The Beauty of It
He sat on the library sofa with his feet up, watching TARDIS footage of last year. The brown eyes were distant and sad. He watched himself bopping around the consol room, tweaking some of the controls. Then she came in. She had that little smile on her face that meant she was up to something.
He used to dread that smile. Now he wished he could see it just one more time.
She brought her hands around from behind her back and handed him a heart shaped box.
"Happy Valentine's Day."
There was no sound on the recording but he could hear it as if she were there saying it now. He remembered how foolish he felt for forgetting, especially when she'd given him the banana cream filled chocolates. Of course, being a Time Lord with infinite banks of knowledge at his beck and call, he was able to whisk her off to the Nobtious day festival on Beruscas. It wasn't Valentine's but it was the same principle, a festival of love. She never knew he'd had nothing actually planned and she was still absolutely dazzled by the wonderful parade and the open air market filled with stands selling sweets and cakes and "love potions", the stands decorated with flowers colored pink and white and red.
"Oh, Rose," he said to himself. "I used to think I was the only person in the world who couldn't take time for granted. Yet I had all that time with you, and now it just seems wasted."
He sat and watched old clips of the two of them, missing her smile, her laugh, the way she moved. And he was completely unaware of a presence in the doorway. The one person those words would hurt most was the one person who happened to hear them.
He wasn't over her. And really, it was a fool's hope to think he would be. She was such a big part of his life for so long. How could he expect the other to choose him when her company had been enjoyed and his had been an acquired taste. She was better for him. She wasn't wrong.
He wouldn't cry. He wouldn't allow himself to. It was no big deal. He was a fifty first century man, equal opportunity. However, maybe it would be better if he left for awhile. He turned away from the man on the sofa and made his way off the ship, giving her a quiet goodbye.
Jack sat on a bench, looking out over the bay. It was chillier than usual and he pulled his coat tighter around himself to try and keep warm. He could go back to the hub, but he wasn't sure exactly when he'd landed. It wouldn't be productive to run into himself. He wished he would have thought of that before he'd left since his vortex manipulator no longer worked for time hopping or teleportation. Now what did he do? Where did he go?
The captain looked up when he heard the familiar voice. The Doctor stood beside the bench, looking out over the water though it was clear he was talking to Jack.
"Mind if I join you," the Time Lord asked, turning to face him.
"How did you know I left?"
"You think I don't know you, Jack? You think I can't tell when you're upset?"
"TARDIS told you," he asked, rolling his eyes as the Doctor took a seat beside him on the bench.
"Well, she helped. After I checked about fifteen rooms," he admitted. "But the question is why?"
Jack refused to look at the other man, looking out over the water instead.
"I heard you," he snapped but the Doctor wasn't fazed.
He reached over, laying his hand over the captain's. His brown eyes had a lost look in them. He didn't know what to do. How can someone be expected to fix things when they didn't know what had skewed them off in the first place?
"Then tell me."
Jack sighed. "I just felt it was time for me to go."
"Go," the Doctor asked, surprised. "Why would you want to go?"
"Because it's not me you want," he said, his gaze still fixed on the gray waves. "Your heart still belongs to Rose. And that's alright. She was important to you. I can't expect you to let her go."
"Oh, Jack," the Doctor said, shaking his head. "Look at me."
He was reluctant, but the captain turned to face the Time Lord.
"Yes," he started. "Rose was important to me. I loved her, and part of me always will. She'll always have a place in my heart. But that's the beauty of it, Jack."
He took hold of Jack's hand, lifting it to the right side of his chest so he could feel the beating of the heart there.
"I'm a Time Lord," he told him with a smile. "I have two hearts. And this one's all yours."
After a moment, Jack smiled back.
"So I get one all to myself?"
"Absolutely," he told him. "Not even Rose can say that."
"Good," Jack told him, putting the Time Lord's hand over his own heart. "Because this one's been yours since I saw you do that little waltz."
They smiled at each other and without a word, they leaned in and their lips met in a loving, chaste kiss.
"Oh and Jack?"
"Happy Valentine's day."