The Original Girl Who Waited
Reinette stood at the window, staring up at the stars. It had only been moments since the Doctor had left through the fireplace, and he told her to pick a star. She kept her eyes on one, with a smile on her face. Her heart could barely contain her excitement. She would be traveling the stars with her beloved. And if things went to plan, she would stay with him for her the remainder of her life. Still, it troubled her. She had seen in his head. Granted, there were only glimpses but she had seen what he had been like in his past regeneration. She was surprised to see such a difference, but still thought he was handsome. She was that he was bitter, untrusting, and hateful towards the world. She had seen that his hearts had been warmed, and his views had changed. She had seen that it was that girl, Rose, who had done that. She could easily see that Rose was just like her, in love with that handsome angel. It troubled her that perhaps the Doctor might feel the same way for Rose, and that he would give up on her.
No. She shook her head. It was pointless in being so paranoid. The Doctor would come back for her. He promised he would come when the clockwork droids appeared, and he did. She knew he would be back, and he would whisk her away.
Reinette turned around, breaking her attention on the star to take in the surroundings of Versailles. She would miss it desperately. After all, it was here that she had a life, and it was here that she had established an image for herself. The king had been so kind with her; she was incredibly fortunate to be the one chosen for his mistress. She hoped she wouldn't hurt him by leaving. Of course, even though she loved the king, her heart had been stolen by an angel, a lonely angel that she hoped to help. It would be extremely easy for the king to obtain another mistress. Before she left, Reinette had to make it clear to him that even though she was leaving, he would always have a place in heart.
"Reinette?" A voice called.
"Yes, I'm in here," she replied. The king stepped into the room, striding to the fireplace and picking up the glass of wine the Doctor had left.
"Where is he?" He asked. "Is he somewhere in the palace?"
Reinette shook her head. "There was a loose connection in the fireplace, leading to some sort of ship in the future. He fixed it and used the fireplace to get back."
"He left you?" He could not hide the anger in his voice. Reinette had placed so much faith in the Doctor, and he just left?
"Oh, no, you misunderstand, my king," Reinette said, shaking her head. "He is just going back to ensure his friends that they are not stranded in the future. He is coming straight back to take me in his magical ship to travel the stars." She smiled wistfully.
King Louis put the glass of wine back on the mantelpiece. "You are leaving." It wasn't a question. The Doctor was Reinette's knight in shining armor. King Louis never did anything like that. It was no wonder she had chosen the Lord of Time over the King of France. He merely nodded, unable to find his voice.
Reinette's face fell, and she took a step forward. She took his hands. "My king, do not believe for one second that I do not love you. I love you so very much, but this is something I have wanted for years. Ever since he stepped out of my fireplace when I was seven years old, I knew I loved the Doctor. Please, do not think ill of me."
He looked up at her, and his expression broke her heart. "I know that, dearest Reinette. It is no wonder you have chosen him. I cannot compare. Please, be safe out there. And please, if there's ever a moment when you wish to return, do so. I shall be waiting."
Reinette smiled, lightly kissing his lips. "I have enjoyed being your mistress. And I am sure your next will enjoy it as well."
King Louis nodded. "Be safe, amour."
"Qui, mon roi."
He gave Reinette one last kiss before departing from the room.
Reinette ran her hand over the fireplace mantel, wishing she could activate it the same way as the Doctor did. She did have complete faith he would return, but waiting was agonizing. She had been waiting for so long, and all she wanted to do was see him again, kiss his lips again, hold his hand again.
The hours rolled by, and the Doctor still hadn't returned. Something must be keeping him, Reinette thought. Some difficulty. He would not just leave her.
She stayed in that room for half the night, forcing herself to keep her eyes open. She could not afford to fall asleep. What if he came? She didn't want him to see her sleeping. She wanted him to see her with a smile on her face and running into his arms.
It was half past three when King Louis came back into the room to see if she was still there.
He found her standing in front of the window, staring up at the stars, nodding off every now and then.
"Mon amour," he said, placing his hands on her shoulders. "Please, you must get some sleep."
"I cannot," she replied sleepily. "What if the Doctor comes? I do not want him to see me asleep. What would he think?"
"He would think you look absolutely gorgeous as you sleep, as I do." He kissed her neck lightly.
Reinette smiled, turning to face him. "If you insist, mon roi."
He took her hand and led her to her private apartments.
"Sleep well," he told her.
"Good night," she said, allowing a maid to undress her out of her dress and dress her in her nightgown.
Reinette fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, and she dreamt of flying through the stars, grasping tightly on the Doctor's hand. Both of them were smiling at each other, their eyes full of love.
One of the maids opened the curtains the following morning, allowing the sunlight to rouse Reinette from her slumber.
She groaned, rubbing her eyes, and for a fraction of a second, she forgot what happened the night before. When her memory returned, she sat upright, glancing around her room.
"Good morning, Madame De Pompadour," the maid said, smiling. "I have laid out your dress."
"I am not wearing that, Theresa," she said at once, seeing the dress she had picked out for her. "I am wearing the dress I wore the night before. The Doctor… where is the Doctor? He is out in the garden, is he not? He was waking for me to rise!" She tore the covers off her body and ran to the large window, eyes scanning eagerly the garden below. Her smile faltered when she did not see any familiar man with wild hair and a pinstripe suit. She turned to Theresa. "Where is he? He has come, yes? You saw him last night, didn't you?"
"I did," she confirmed. "A tall, slim man with a very odd sense of clothing. He broke through the mirror—how, I do not know—on a horse and saved the lives of everyone in Versailles from those frightening mechanical villains."
"And you have not seen him after that?" Reinette asked, feeling the hysteria rise up in her throat. Please, Theresa, tell me you have seen my angel. I need him.
Theresa looked sadly at Reinette and shook her head slowly. "I apologize, Madame." She went over to the bed and started making it up while Reinette processed this information.
It had been hours; where could he be? Just difficulties, she kept telling herself. Just difficulties.
She couldn't remember which star she had chosen, so she would have to pick a new one.
Hopefully tonight, he will come through the fireplace once more and take her to see that star up close.
Reinette was silent as Theresa dressed her in the same dress she had worn during the attack.
"Why do you wish to wear this?"
"Because it is the dress I wore when he told me to pick a star."
She ate breakfast in silence as well, ignoring the looks the others were giving her. He would be here, she just knew it. He could not leave her. Not now.
Reinette's confidence in the Doctor started to fade slightly as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months. She knew time was different on the ship, but she couldn't help but feel saddened. Sometimes she wished she never told him about the fireplace. That way, he would still be with her. But, she could never do that. She knew deep down he could never be truly happy stuck on the slow path. Not when he had exploring to do, not when he had companions he cared deeply about. He had put them at risk when he came to save her. She was not surprised he had gone back to ensure them that everything was okay.
"But, it's not okay," Reinette cried as she found herself growing a bit older each day. "I want to travel with him. I want to smile with him. I just want him…"
She wiped her tears, feeling disgusted with herself for thinking he would not come back for her. Even when she was at her worst, he came back. And he would be back this time.
Even though she wished to spend her days waiting for the Doctor's return, Reinette continued to fulfill her duties to the king. She still loved him, and while she was living in Versailles, it was her job to please him, even if she was feeling less than herself.
She spent any time not tending to the king, sitting in front of the fireplace, wanting her to be the first thing he sees.
As the years rolled by, Reinette felt her health draining dramatically. But how? She was still so young. She did not to look weak for when they were reunited.
She bit her lip down, feeling tears roll down her cheeks. This was so supposed to be so simple, but nothing was ever simple with the Doctor. Despite the fact she was in pain, she didn't regret any of it. She was grateful for those clockwork droids, even if they tried to kill her, because she had met the most amazing person in the world. She would always stand by what she said to Rose. "One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel." She would tolerate and brave many demons in order to stay by her angel's side. Nothing would please her more.
One day, when her health was particularly horrid, she took a quill, a bottle of ink, and a piece of parchment.
She took a deep breath and began to write.
"My Dear Doctor," she said as she began to scribble, "The path has never seemed more slow, and yet I fear I am nearing its end." She felt her eyes start to water, and she hastily wiped them. "Reason tells me that you and I are unlikely to meet again, but I think I shall not listen to reason." She laughed slightly. "I have seen the world inside your head…" And the people you care the most about. "…And I know that all things are possible. Hurry though, my love; my days grow shorter now, and I am so very weak. Godspeed, my lonely angel." She put down the quill and sighed, grabbing a damp towel to press against her feverish head. She coughed into her hands, seeing the red glistening on her palms. She did not have very long.
King Louis stepped into the room, rushing over to her when he saw the blood.
"Madame," he said, taking the towel and wiped her hands free of any blood. "You are very ill."
He glanced at the letter on the desk. "What is this?"
"It is a letter for my angel, the Doctor," she replied. "If the path ends for me and he returns, please, give it to him." Reinette sealed it and looked up at the king, tears glistening in her blue eyes. "He did not abandon me. I refuse to believe someone like him is capable of an act so cruel. Something must have happened. He will return. But, I might be gone before that happens…"
King Louis looked down sadly at his former mistress and nodded. She had done so much for him; the least he could do was this for her.
She smiled through her tears. "Thank you, mon amour. Thank you."
Reinette was in the bed in her old room, her brow glistening with the sweat from her illness. Tuberculosis really was a dreadful disease, she thought. So many people have died too young. Only 42 years old, she was. Too young to be taken away from this world. She would be content with dying moments after seeing him again.
The king was by her side, holding her hand as she felt her heartbeat go slower and slower by the second. So close to death.
"Be sure to give him the letter," she told him.
"Yes, my dearest," he said, bringing her hand to his lips. "Yes."
Reinette smiled softly, looking up at the ceiling. "I tolerated so many demons for him, but it was worth it." She closed her eyes. "Godspeed, my lonely angel." And she fell into an eternal slumber, an image of the Doctor appearing behind her eyelids and a smile on her face.
(Also on my tumblr. Yes, I am a TenRose shipper who actually adores Reinette and her relationship with the Doctor. However, my love for TenRose exceeds all other pairings.)