Just a quick oneshot I wrote to help beat writer's block! Inspriation struck me while watching through Season 1 again to get a handle on the Doctor. It was the first time I watched The End of the World since learning about Jack, and it really made me think about how he would have reacted to Rose & the Doctor. Let me know what you think!
He remembers. Of course he remembers. How could he forget? And especially forget her.
Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth.
She is younger than he'd ever seen her before. All horrible baggy jeans, purple hoodie, and cheap battered white sneakers. Badly bleached hair – long, like she used to have it - hanging halfway down her back. She looks only a little younger than she did way back when. Back when he had been normal. Well, somewhat normal. Normal is relative.
She hovers around the Doctor without the ease he had witnessed when they first met, lacking the comfortable grace of someone who knows exactly where they stand. She's nervous, amused and not half horrified when the Doctor blows his hot breath all over some figures in black, almost losing her grip on the cutting she is clinging to. But she still possesses her particular brand of plucky charm. And her warmth. She practically radiates it.
She looks at him with fear and a little bit of revulsion now, but it's alright. She doesn't know him anymore. Or yet. Time was such a subjective entity, and he tired of keeping track of it.
She's still his Rose. As much claim as he could lay on her, anyways. She was, is, and always would be the Doctor's Rose. But she had been his salvation, though, more than once. He felt he could still lay some claim to her, no matter how small.
Dancing and a café in Cardiff and gas masks and Blon and the Gamestation. Oh, the times they had together. Rose and the Doctor and him. Lifetimes ahead for Rose, lifetimes behind for him. The Doctor, well. He was a force unto himself. Jack had never worried about him. He had always worried about Rose.
He remembered, back when he still was himself, going back to watch Rose grow up. Watching her skin her knees and fight with Mickey and ride a bright red bicycle sometime around her twelfth Christmas. Watching her stumble home after Jimmy Stone. How he had repressed the primal urge he had felt to skin the bastard alive and how absolutely powerless he had been to interfere. How much more he had respected Mickey after the boy took after the useless blighter with a baseball bat. He had watched Rose leave for work one morning, just by chance, and had whooped for joy to hear on the evening news that the Henrik's explosion had happened. She was on her way.
Now she was here. Lifetimes had passed since the conversation, but he had not forgotten that she had told him where the Doctor had first taken her. When she met the Face of Boe. The name had startled him then, but he had shrugged it off as strange coincidence. But, here he was. And she was the reason he had sponsored this event. Rose Tyler and her leather-clad companion. Couldn't very well change history, now could he? That would be irresponsible.
He's mildly surprised to see her walking towards him as the Doctor flirts with a... tree? Oh yes, Jabe. She would shortly be giving her life to protect them. Another piece of knowledge he wishes he didn't have to know. He longs for legs, for hands. Something. He knows he is powerless inside the glass cage of his manufacturing. Unable to crush the girl who was walking towards him to his chest. His Rose. Lost forever, to a hopefully happy life in a parallel world. This was just her ghost.
Rose slides up to him, smiling. "I think I made the bitchy trampoline mad." Cassandra is still sputtering in the centre of the room, fussing and screeching to be moisturised. He rolls his gigantic eyes, eliciting a delighted laugh from Rose. "Shame I never got a chance to ask her how she got like that, then." she looks at him, smiling. "I'm Rose. Rose Tyler. I'm really an actual human, not like Stretch over there. I'm a... a long way from home." she says, a little sadly, twisting her head to look out the window.
He struggles to form the words to respond to her, but vocal chords that haven't been used in aeons manage only a deep rumble. Rose smiles, all the same. "S'kay, honest! I didn't figure you could talk. Only with telepathy, like in the movies, yeh? Don't think you wanna be inside my mixed up 'ead." She smiles again, a finger gesturing towards her temple. "Its a bit of a human mess in there, I think. Lots of emotions. Kinds sticky. Very cluttered." she smiled and laughed at his eye roll.
He grumbles again, gently reaching out with his mind for Rose's. Just a brush. Just so she could feel the acceptance, the comfort, the peace she was longing to find and he was dying to give. He dusts the surface of her psyche with calm before quickly retreating, giving the blonde girl as charming a grin he could manage. She was right - it was sticky.
Rose blinks, twice, almost stumbling backwards. Her brandy coloured eyes are wide as saucers, and her mouth gapes a bit. He manages a rumbly, wheezing chuckle at the expression on her face. How often had he seen that look of shock?
"That... kinda tickled." a slow smile spreads over Rose's face, eyes crinkling with mirth. "Thanks. That was... Thanks. I think I needed that." She lays a hand on the side of his glass cage, tilting her head and giving him a warm smile. Just like she used to do - but hadn't yet. "Its... nice to know that not all of you lot are so different." She drops her hand, stepping back and looking over her shoulder. "I should go. I don't see the Doctor anymore. I should find him. He's so' of my chaperone. But I'll be back, yeh? Maybe we can talk, proper." She smiles, widely, wiggling her fingers in a goodbye salute before fairly bounding out of the observation deck.
As the doors close behind her, Jack smiles. He returns his attention to the hoard of assembled aliens and the inferno of the dying sun. The peace he had given Rose settles over him, and he closes his eyes. His goodbyes were said, and the circle was complete.