Word Count: 4514
Author's Summary: After the Doctor suffers a terrible shock in the Flowers!verse, it's up to Rose and Jack to comfort him and each other.
Characters/Pairings: Nine/Rose/Jack (in a fashion)
Warnings: Sex, angst
Recced because: This is part of DameRuth's very original and creative Flowers series. The basic premise is that though the Doctor loves Rose deeply, there are way too many biological barriers--physical and chemical--for them to become lovers. Thus, Jack becomes Rose's lover, not just because he loves her himself, but as the Doctor's surrogate. I recommend the whole series for its creativity and sense of melancholy. (Later in the series, Jack, being Jack, finds a way around the biological barriers, but by then, Rose is gone. Thus, Jack and Ten become lovers.)
Anyway, to the story: Our trio come across the horrifying aftermath of a fobwatched Time Lord gone terribly wrong. The Time Lord (unnamed) is long dead, and the fobwatch itself, containing the Time Lord's essence, has become a lethal object of temptation to anyone who finds it. Its discovery sends the Doctor into an emotional tailspin. Jack and Rose can take comfort in each other, but they can't offer the same to him--or can they? The story is told in gorgeous language, the bittersweet dynamic amongst the three of them laid bare as comfort is sought and given.
Rose picked herself up off the rough, gravelly ground next to him and joined Jack in staring at his prize. It didn't seem possible that something so small and apparently ordinary had destroyed an entire archaeological research facility. Or, more accurately, had caused the scientific team stationed there to ultimately destroy each other in the fight to possess it. It was just an Earth-style pocketwatch, archaic and anachronistic for the current, twenty-eighth century.
The only unusual thing about it was the pattern on its cover, which tweaked Rose's memory with its familiarity. That, and, ever so faintly, the hint of a song and a Voice, just at the edge of perception. It wasn't physical; it caught the mind, filled the patterned silver with hidden meanings, made promises, and called . . .
Alive, they said to each other in silence, simply by being close. We're still alive, and it's good.
The first few times they'd worked off the stress of a dangerous adventure in this way, Rose had been secretly worried. It had seemed excessive, almost unhealthy, and very much outside her previous experiences back home on Earth. Now, though, her and Jack together was nearly as natural as breathing, and home was so far away it might as well not exist at all.
Before he could leave the way he'd arrived, Rose twitched and woke. Moving blearily, she raised her head, and he was caught.
"Doctor . . .?" she asked, rubbing her eyes with the palm of her hand. Then, with returning awareness, "Doctor!"
As if afraid he'd vanish, she fought free of the tangled sheets and tumbled out of bed. She padded swiftly to his side, completely unconcerned about her lack of clothing, all attention focused on him. Her brown eyes were wide and worried, dark brows drawn into a frown.
"Are you all right?" she asked, reaching to take his hand in hers. "I've been so worried . . . ow! Your hands are like ice!" She wrapped her hand around his and began rubbing back and forth across his knuckles, sharing her human warmth as best she could. Her eyes never left his, hypnotic. "Doctor, talk to me . . ."
In her presence, as always, something in him went helpless, and he had to respond. "Rose, " he began and stopped, nothing in his mind but her name.