Characters: Rory, TARDIS
Summary: She's alive not in her dreams, but in his. No, not the Doctor's, you idiot.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money, etc.
Warning: unbeta'd, as usual for my recent fic...
The Doctor doesn't sleep very often, and when he does, he doesn't dream of good things. He's seen too much to do anything but either dream of darkness, or dream in nightmares, remembering times so terrible not even she can balm the pain.
In the way only a living machine can, tied into time and circuitry and Doctor only knows what else, she remembers it. It doesn't exactly translate well, but she can recall the weird concept of a sequence of events, of things happening in order; she remembers having senses and language and all these other pretty things that she'll never quite understand again, but can fondly recall.
She sort of remembers biting her thief, which is sometimes what his strays like to do to each other, so clearly it's a good thing.
The TARDIS sort of remembers kissing him too, and that was nice, and if only she could do it again, maybe the way that woman did. Does? No, this one is a did.
But all of this is off-topic, because if she listens and stays quiet, as she always does, she can see the orange one and the pretty one kissing, which means soon, they'll do what her Doctor never does. They'll dream.
Well, he will. He is.
And sometimes his dreams are bad and they wake him up, and she gets to have her time with him and lead him where she likes.
But this time, they're not.
Time to say... Oh, whatever that word is.
And for a moment she's alive again, in a weird sort of way, because it's not the same alive and it's not really alive. It's half-alive, but it's still more living than it was now moments ago in the future. Sometimes there is taste and a moment later touch and smell, and then they all disappear but the hearing and the sight, and she knows she's in a meadow.
She thinks she likes meadows. What she knows of them.
"Oh, you again," the pretty one - Rory - says.
She smiles and sits down, spreading her skirt. "Hello! That's what I was thinking of, I love that word."
"I know you do," he says. "I'm just glad you don't do this every night. Sometimes I do like my own dreams, thanks."
"What, you don't want me visiting?" she asks, pouting.
Rory gives her a sort of half-amused glance. "Do I really have a choice?"
"No, it's fun. Can I have an apple?"
"Of course," Rory says, because they're sitting under an apple tree. Always have been, actually, they just hadn't noticed until she mentioned it. Dreams are funny like that, the TARDIS muses.
So she reached up and grabs one.
"Have you had an apple before?"
"Not properly," she says, her smile delighted. "Thank you, Rory."
"No, for everything. For sort of... teaching me what it's like, for all that I can remember it."
"Do you remember it?" he asks curiously.
She takes a bite of the apple, and again smiles. It tastes delicious, if a bit crunchy. "Silly Doctor! He's always going about being wrong."
"Apples are delicious!"
"Of course they are. I mean, I like them. And it's my dream, sort of... So maybe since I like them, you like them?"
"The data gets processed differently, though. Remember? I hate pears?"
"And I like them... Wait, that didn't happen yet. I never dreamed that you had a pear."
"Spoil - oh, no, not saying that," she says, wrinkling her nose.
Rory snorts. "She's not all that bad, you know."
The TARDIS bites the apple.
"No, really. I like River. Sort of."
The TARDIS sighs.
"I think you're jealous."
"What? Jealous? Like - like you and the Doctor over Amy, jealous? Bad sort of emotion?"
"No! I wasn't -"
The TARDIS grins.
"...Point to you then; no change there," Rory mumbles.
"Oh, you like me."
Rory reaches his hand into the grass (Ooh! She can now feel it under her dress, and it's dewy and wet!), plucks a few, and throws it at her. Being grass and not something substantial like dirt, it fails and falls to the ground halfway between them.
So does Rory, after a moment.
"Kind of," says the TARDIS.
"Kind of what?"
"I kind of remember. It's not perfect, but it gives me an idea. And when I'm here again, and you're dreaming for both of us, I can remember it all. Even the kiss."
Rory stares at her.
"Not us, stupid! When I was really alive, I mean. With the Doctor."
(She hasn't seen him since, because Rory can dream of him, but that doesn't mean it's him, so she asks him not to. It's not like missing him, because he's always there and she's always with him, but it's not like being with him either.)
"Oh. Oh! You mean when you bit him."
The TARDIS grins. "I remember that too."
"You would," he mutters. "Have I shown you tickling yet?"
It takes her a moment or two to figure out what tickling is, running through images in a non-human head. When she figures it out, her eyes widen and she gasps. "You wouldn't!"
Rory grins. "Now you're scared."
They play for a while and then the dream ends, and she's forgotten how to be human again, but it's alright. She can live in his dreams any time she likes, until the day he leaves with the orange one, which has happened, but not yet. For now she's enjoying one thing she truly didn't need to be taught. Friendship. Of course.
And maybe one day she'll even find a way to be human for her thief again, and she won't waste time figuring out things like that first time. So silly. No, she'll just run right up to him and hold him tight and say, "hello, again." He'll like that.
If she's very lucky, he'll call her "sexy" back. ( Originally posted at http://lizzledpink.dreamwidth.org/19081.h