Rose slumped onto the jump seat, biting her bottom lip in thought as she watched the Doctor circle the console flipping switches and pushing buttons. It had been a long day...an exciting day, but a long one. It didn't help that on their way back to the TARDIS she had noticed a dark-haired man in a long, dark blue jacket. She had realized quickly that it wasn't a proper RAF coat, which meant that it wasn't Captain Jack Harkness...but, it had brought the lost Captain to mind.
Which brought more than a few questions to mind as well.
She opened her mouth to ask one of those questions, but closed it as the Doctor pulled a lever and activated the rotor. She continued to silently watch him as he turned a dial on the small monitor and took one last look at the planet they were leaving. She took a deep breath as he began to speak.
"How are you feeling? You can go have a rest if you want. Cassandra jumping in and out of you would have to wear you out a bit. I'm a little tired...and I'm a Time Lord. I can only imagine how it would make a human feel..."
The Doctor trailed off as he looked up from the console to find Rose staring at him. He nervously rubbed the side of his neck and gave her an awkward smile.
"Still trying to get used to the new new me?"
"No." Rose answered quickly, almost without thought.
The Doctor raised one eyebrow, but said nothing.
Rose sighed and shrugged a shoulder. "Well, maybe...but..." She licked her lips absently and ran her fingers though her hair. "Did you lie to me?"
"Not that I'm aware of." He answered, leaning back against the console and slipping his hands into his trouser pockets. "Do I seem like a fibber? Am I rude, not ginger, and a liar? I ask in all seriousness here...because, well...I'm still learning about the new new me too."
"What? No...not you you. The other you, the last you. Did he...you...that you...lie to me?"
"Well..." He blew out a soft breath and looked down at his shoes. "I didn't actually push any boxes at the Boston Tea Party. More like leaned against a stack and they fell over. I asked Mickey to come with us after we fought the Slitheen, but he was too scared and didn't want to look all girly in front of you. So, I said that he couldn't come. I wasn't really surprised that you saved your father. In fact, I was angrier with myself than I was with you...but, couldn't really let you see that. I don't really dance all that much. I just didn't want you dancing with Jack..."
Rose rolled her eyes and interrupted his ramble. "About Jack, Doctor. Did he lie to me about Jack?"
The Doctor looked up quickly, his dark eyes instantly finding hers. "Me, Rose. That was me, too. And...no, I didn't lie to you about Jack. At least...I don't think I did. I'm pretty sure I didn't. If I did, it was completely unintentional..."
Rose exhaled slowly, pausing just a brief second before continuing. "So, he really is dead then? No chance of him getting out?"
"No human has ever been able to withstand an all-out Dalek attack, Rose."
"No human has ever been able to look directly into the TARDIS either, but I did." Rose countered.
The Doctor nodded softly and stepped forward, turning ever so slightly to sit down on the seat next to Rose. "Yeah...and you almost died. If I hadn't stepped in, you would've died. And I'd still have big ears and wear jumpers and a leather jacket...and be mourning two wonderful people. As it is...I now have brilliant hair, wear a suit, and still have you."
"But...what if something crazy and magical happened? I mean, a lot of unexplained things happened that day. Maybe...maybe he survived. Maybe he's out there somewhere...or even still on the Game Station. Maybe..."
"Rose..." The Doctor interrupted gently. "Nothing magical happened. It was all science and alien. Crazy, yeah...but, not magical. Everything that happened that day can be explained. It may not be easily explained, but...there are explanations. I know that it's hard, but Jack...well, Jack's gone."
The Doctor reached over and placed his hand on top of hers. "Yeah."
As Rose turned her hand under his and laced their fingers together, he wondered if maybe he was a liar as well as being rude and not ginger. Because he couldn't be sure.
Sure, no human had ever withstood a Dalek attack. But, no human had been able to decimate an entire fleet of Daleks with a wave of her hand. Rose had done that. Yes, she had been filled to the brim with the essence of the time vortex, but she had single-handedly put an end to that particular Dalek attack. So...maybe, just maybe Jack had been able to do the impossible as well...with a little help from Bad Wolf.
But, maybe he hadn't. Probably, he hadn't.
He couldn't tell Rose that, though. Because if he did...they'd be going straight back to the Game Station. And he was fairly certain that he wasn't ready to venture back there just yet.
He gently squeezed Rose's fingers as she rested her head against his shoulder. He brushed his lips against her hair in a soft kiss and wondered if he would regret it if it turned out that he had actually lied to her. He exhaled softly and closed his eyes.
Of course he would. No question about it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Doctor sat in the newly redesigned jump seat and stared at the newly redesigned rotor. He reached up and ran a finger along his bowtie, a sad smile playing at his lips.
"What's wrong with you?"
The Doctor turned towards Amy and grinned. "Nothing, what's wrong with you?"
Amy arched an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest. "Deflection doesn't work with me, Doctor. What's wrong?"
The Doctor jumped up and rubbed his palms together before gesturing towards the console. "I was thinking about maybe going to check out Stonehenge...before it was Stonehenge."
Amy rolled her eyes. "Liar..."
The Doctor watched as she left the control room, his grin slowly fading.
"Yeah. Still rude, still not ginger...still a liar. Only now, I know that I am."
The rotor glowed softly in response to his whispered admission. He took a deep breath and ran his fingertips along the console.
"Stonehenge then, Old Girl?"