That Which We Call a Rose

Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to Russell T. Davies and the BBC. I own nothing.

Author's note: This was written for Jaime on her birthday.

I shouldn't have brought her with me. I should've left her back on Earth. She's been nothing but trouble, always doing something to cause it.

And then I stop and look at her. I see her eyes light up when she smiles. I notice the way her blonde hair falls across her shoulders, and I forget all she's done. All that matters at that moment is her.

I'm being ridiculous. I'm nine-hundred years old. I've had countless companions. How can one little nineteen-year-old girl from London throw me completely off balance?

She freaked out when I took her to see the end of the world. She almost destroyed it herself when she felt the need to save her father. I was ready to take her right back where I found her and leave her there.

Then she goes and does something to make me smile. It's been ages since I've smiled and laughed like that.

When we're alone, there is no Ricky or Mickey or whatever the hell his name is. It's just us. And for one moment in time I can pretend that she's mine and she'll stay with me forever.

But then reality intrudes, and I remember that she's human. Humans don't last as long as I have, and I can't keep her forever.

No, I won't think about that now. Hell, I won't think about it at all. She's here now, and she's mine. That's all that matters. That's all that'll ever matter.

My little Rose. My own flower that I'm going to keep for as long as I can.

She breathes life into the TARDIS and into this old, tired man's hearts. They beat harder every time she gets close to me. They whisper that she might be the one...the one who'll stay.

I shake my head and chase those thoughts away. I don't know what Rose will want to do ten years from now. Humans change a lot from age nineteen to age twenty-nine. She might want a family and a stable life by then. I can't provide those things for her. I can only offer an adventure and hope I can protect her in the process.

There I go again, worrying about the future. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to be grateful that Rose is in my life. I'm going to close my eyes and pretend that she'll want to stay here forever.

Yes, I like that thought. If I wish hard enough, maybe she won't wilt and die. I'll be able to keep my flower forever.

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© 2005 Crimson Idealist