Wishing Well

by Canaan [Reviews - 4]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • General, Vignette

Author's Notes:
Written for DameRuth as a gift for Fandom Stocking 2010. Part of my How It Could Have Happened continuity, but can be read stand-alone--just assume it occurs sometime after Boomtown.

"Rose. Rose," Jack said urgently.

She dragged her eyes down and forced herself to focus on his face. "Sorry," she gasped. "Just felt like I couldn't . . . breathe. For a while there." Jack wrapped his arms around her and she buried her face in his shirt. "Ugh. If I can't see it, do you suppose that'll keep it from falling on me?" she asked dully.

"Actually, it's more like we are falling on it--"

"Not a good time, Doctor," Jack interrupted. More quietly, he asked her, "You want to go back in the TARDIS for a minute?"

He took half a step in that direction but she didn't move to follow. "No," she decided. "No, I'm not goin' to miss out on every planet that happens to go around another planet. Just . . . I need a minute. To adjust."

She felt the Doctor's hand on her shoulder then, as he figured out what she was on about. "You lot will eventually decide to call them Galilean planets. Aqanias is the only habitable one in this system, and that giant in the sky is Dar'al. It's not so big as Jupiter back in your home system, but it's bigger than Saturn. And really, it's not like falling . . . more like dancing."

"Dancing? she asked, because she was supposed to.

"I like that comparison," Jack said, all kinds of naughty things in his voice that weren't in his words as he eased away just enough to get one hand properly on her shoulder, the other coming to rest on her waist. She raised her eyes to his face, keeping them locked on his so she wouldn't look up, and let him start guiding her in a fox trot. "We're falling past it, but it's falling past us, too."

"Only a little bit, because Aqanias is so much smaller," the Doctor said from off to one side. "Our gravity well's just big enough to make Dar'al's orbit wobble a little."

"Gravity well." It was easier to dance with Jack than with the Doctor--she didn't have to think as much about where her feet were going with him leading. "Seems like a funny name for it."

"Not really," Jack said. "If you throw a wishing penny, it still falls down. Doesn't that make it a well?"

The Doctor made a disparaging sound. "Completely ignoring the complexities of stellar and planetary deformations of subspatial topography . . . "

Rose giggled. The Doctor never could help trying to put Jack in his place a bit, even when he was long past needing to. "So," she said thoughtfully, "I make a wish and throw a penny and it falls, and at the same time, the whole planet falls past the gas planet." She risked a glance past Jack's shoulder, still feeling the weight of the orange-white mass filling half the sky--but it didn't seem quite so overwhelming now. "And it must be falling around the system's sun."

"Exactly," the Doctor said, pleased.

"So what was your wish?" Jack asked with a grin.

She laughed. "If I tell you, it won't come true. Besides, I don't have a penny."

"Plenty of stars around. You could still make a wish," he suggested, swinging her into a deep dip that left her looking backwards and upside-down at the Doctor.

I think I already did. Rose hoped the orange-ish quality of the planet-light hid her blush. "Oi, enough of you," she said as Jack drew her up again. She let go of his shoulder to thump his arm lightly and stepped back, grinning. "Don't we have a planet to explore?"