I’ve written a Mickeyfic, now here’s a Jackiefic.
Title: So Are You
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Genre: Gen (as per usual XD)
A/N: Set before Aliens of London, was inspired by that random line in WWIII about Rose’s grandmother and how she thinks Rose is in France.
They’d fixed things up a great deal, since she’d been here last. The corridors were still very white, that was unavoidable, but at least there were more windows now, and at least they were washed. The food in the cafeteria was considerably better, as well.
Mrs Tyler, we must ask you not to mention…your daughter. It would be a bit of a shock, and to be honest, that’s the last thing any of us want. You understand that, right?
Of couse I do, the woman is my mother.
She shouldn’t have kept putting this off. She should have known that it would just be all the harder.
Corridor three. Then up the stairs. Then to the nearest door. This was Alison Darkwood’s room- it had been for almost five months.
Jackie ran through her cover story again in her mind. Rose was in France, on an exchange trip, and would be gone for a long while. She was not lying shot and murdered in a ditch somewhere. Mickey, who Alison actually rather liked for some reason, was not the main suspect, and he did definately not seem to be going utterly mad-
Jackie, look! It’s a picture of Charles Dickens, and that’s them in the background. Rose and the Doctor. He can time travel. It’s not a fake, I swear! Come and look at the website- just come and look! It has all the answers, or all the ones we’ve got so far!
-and everything was fine, just fine.
She opened the door.
Her mother was sitting up in bed, reading a magazine. She was all black and white- white hair, white dressing gown, very black eyes. She looked no different, really, from the last time Jackie had seen her- which was a shamefully long time ago.
“Hi, Mum. It’s me.”
Alison Darkwood gave her a look of utter displeasure. That was, however, all she did. Jackie pulled a chair over and sat down next to her bed.
“How are you doing, then, Mum?”
Jackie’s heart plummeted. Carefully, she lied. “She’s in France, Mum. On an exchange trip.”
Alison stared at her with those unblinking black eyes which Jackie had not inherited. “In France.”
“That’s right, Mum.”
“I went to France once.” Jackie breathed a sigh of relief. “With Stevie. Saw the Effel Tower. Then he ran off with that waitress. I expect he took her to France, too.”
The Waitress, whose actual name Jackie could never remember, had come up in every conversation they had had for years and years and years. Jackie could only nod.
“I expect he took her to the Effel Tower…I expect he took her everywhere…no, wrong way round, she was the one with all the money. It was such a tragedy.” Her old mouth couldn’t form the word tragedy quite right. Jackie didn’t say a word. She was afraid she might start crying and give the game away. Imagine if Alison died from the shock. That would be too much.
Alison tried to turn the pages of her magazine, failed and dropped it on the floor. Jackie picked it up again and wished she had something to say. But in truth there was only one thing to say, and she couldn’t say it.
Jackie, you’ve got to listen! She went off with a alien! I know it sounds mad, but there it is. She could be anywhere, anywhere in the universe…
“I brought you some things to eat. A carrot cake,” she finally managed to say. She plucked it from her bag- it was wrapped in cling film and a little bit squashed. She put it carefully on top of a chest of drawers. “And some fruit. Bananas…”
“You know I hate bananas.” Now she sounded like the mother Jackie had known…
…the one who had told her she’d be out of the house in an instant if she ever got pregnant, who wouldn’t let her work in the shop which sold immoral clothes and books, who hated her runaway husband and his lover, who hated a great deal of things, probably- until a year or so ago, when Jackie (and everyone else) had realised Alison Darkwood wasn’t immortal.
Alison had been so cross when Pete had died. You grew up without a father and so will she. What will become of this family now? Will she lose her own husband now? I expect she will. It’s become a fault in the family lineage. Children shouldn’t grow up without fathers- I know the sort of devils they become. Running around the place destroying everything they can lay their hands on, no decent job, no A levels. Oh, for pity’s sake, of course it’s not your fault, dear. You know I didn’t mean it like that. Go ahead and cry- your mascara’s running, though.
Jackie felt a bizzare feeling of hate, not just towards her mother but towards the world in general, and it worried her. Although, at the same time, she was almost glad of it. She hadn’t felt real hatred for ages, and of course she shouldn’t hope to, but…
“Are you still seeing that nice Pete Tyler?” Alison asked, and Jackie’s heart almost broke. You know she’s in failing health, you know she geniunely can’t remember, she didn’t do that to spite you-
“Oh yes…” Alison said vaguely. “That car.”
“Such a pity…”
Such a pity. Her husband was dead. Her daughter could very well be. She was the last remaining member of the Tyler family, and oh it hurt so much. Such a pity. She could have tried harder. Looked after her daughter better. Been more attentive to the here and now- she herself just wasn’t a child anymore, but oh she acted like one, and she knew it. Something.
“Jacqueline,” Alison said. (Why on earth she used that name Jackie had no idea, she hadn’t ever been called Jacqueline. Never in her life. Sometimes she thought Jacqueline was a different person entirely: namely the daughter that Alison had wanted and had never got.) “Jacqueline, there’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there?”
“There is. I can see it in your eyes.”
Jackie stayed quiet, and wished she’d never come here.
“It’s Rose, isn’t it? She’s done something silly again.”
“No, she hasn’t…”
And then the room went oddly cold. Jackie’s first thought was that the air conditioning must have come on. Then Alison’s black eyes looked at her, and they were cold as well.
Oh my god, there are starting to be more things on earth than there should, and things have been very wrong, and they’re going to be worse…
That made no sense even to her. Alison suddenly reached out and grabbed her hand. She held it hard.
“She’s run away with the big bad wolf.”
In Jackie’s mind the lights flickered and turned off, a warning of some kind. The room faded until it was only black and white, and she didn’t think she’d be able to talk.
“She’s run away with the big bad wolf, he wants to keep her now, you’ll be lucky to see her again, you should have told your mother-”
Jackie wrenched her hand away.
“He blew the house down and blew the house up, he stole her away, he’s been cruel, he’s been vicious and selfish, he’s been a killer, he pointed a gun at her, he’s walking about all alone, you know him, you do, he was there when Pete died, Jackie, he was there-”
The sane thing to do would have been to run to the door, told someone Alison was having a fit, to do something about it, to let her go home. To let her go home and lie on the sofa and cry or something.
“I am alone,” Alison said darkly (except this couldn’t actually be Alison) and an impossible voice answered:
SO ARE YOU.
So is who? Jackie thought in a detached sort of way. Alison’s eyes were as black as crow’s wings.
“He’s dragged her into his fairytale, Jackie, things are about to get dark.”
Her hand was grabbed again, and it was going to be crushed. And all she felt like doing was laughing hysterically- her daughter was missing, her daughter’s boyfriend was crazy, and now her mother seemed the same way. Her next.
Then the lights went back on (not that they’d ever actually been off) and reality descended. Her hand was not crushed.
Don’t you know what usually happens to The Mother in fairytales?
Actually, I don’t.
“I went to France once,” Alison said dreamily.
“I was just telling you, Jacqueline. Before my husband ran off with that waitress. Went to France. Paris. City of love. Had a fantastic time, but it’s ruined now.”
All Jackie could hear was her own breathing. She clutched her mobile phone in her pocket, and didn’t let go. (Maybe it’d suddenly beep, and Rose would have sent a message. Not likely.)
“You weren’t listening, were you? That waitress, and him- love at first sight. You remember his explanation- she could give him more. And he had us. Went back to France. Selfish git, and now Pete’s dead and all.”
A long shuddering sigh came from one of them, probably Jackie, but she wasn’t sure.
Dad’s gone, Rose’s gone, Mum’s here, Pete’s dead, oh god this isn’t fair.
“Perhaps you’d better go,” Alison said, in a now slightly childish voice. “Just not to France.”
“No, okay, Mum. Not to France.”
“Thank you for the cake.”
Jackie sat down on a bench outside. There was a stand nearby selling chips, but she didn’t have enough money. Her mother was slipping over the edge and her husband and daughter were gone.
I am alone, so are you.
She was hungry. Time to go home.
Your family is gone or going, there’s things on earth that shouldn’t be…
Someone raced up to her and sat down. It was Mickey.
“Jackie, we’ve got to talk.”
“No, we haven’t,” she said, and stood up. “Ain’t they arrested you yet, Mickey? Arrested you properly? Got the truth out of you?”
She very nearly hit him and didn’t. He pretended not to notice, somehow.
“I didn’t murder her. I loved her. I’m trying to help…”
“Get away from me!”
She ran away from him, literally ran, (she hated running in general, although she knew she needed to keep fit) ran away from him and ran away from Alison The Mother, and when she got back to the flat she absolutely freaked out.
Why me why me why me…
Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
She eventually sat up, wiped her eyes and decided to just plain forget. She dreamed about dragonlike demons that night.
EDIT: A massive thanks to everyone- I wasn’t expecting that big a response. :D