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Jealousy

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i.
It's silly to be jealous of a memory.
But he turns a corner in the TARDIS, bumps into Rose, and for a second, she looks at him like a stranger.
Words flicker in the back of his mind, half-remembered and possibly never heard at all. The real Doctor, the proper Doctor... He can't blame her looking at him like a stranger when he is.
"Ready to go?" he asks with a smile, like he didn't notice.
"Where are we going, then?" She grins back at him. She'll get used to the new him, one day soon, and so will he.

ii.
It's silly to be jealous of a memory.
That's what she tells herself, lying with her back to the Doctor, staring into the darkness in 1599. After all, she's here, with him, and this Rose is... somewhere else, it doesn't matter where. But the Doctor says Rose would know what to do, Martha hasn't a clue, and she's so jealous her chest aches.
She can hear the Doctor breathing behind her. He hasn't moved. He can't be sleeping. She shifts back toward him after a moment.
She's not jealous of a girl who's only in his memory. That would be silly.

iii.
It's silly to be jealous of a memory. Of a man who only existed for a few months to begin with - a story, a fiction, a fantasy.
As he walks away from Joan, though, knowing he won't see her again... He could have been that man. He could have been any one of a hundred men, someone she might love.
Except that John Smith would have been the man to stay, and there was the one thing he could never do. Still, he exists now, and John Smith doesn't, so if anyone has cause to be jealous, it isn't him.

iv.
It's silly to be jealous of a memory, and pointless to maintain jealousy around Jack anyway. Ianto knows this, and that's why for a while he'll only barely meet Jack's eyes. He can think of a few bigger turn-offs than possessiveness, but not many. He can only force himself not to wonder what else would persuade Jack to leave them, consider the chances it could happen again...
Jack lets himself into the hotel room he rented while they're avoiding themselves, Ianto looks up at him, meets his eyes, and smiles finally. He gave up jealousy with Jack some time ago.

v.
Once upon a time, the Doctor had a brand new body, a universe to see with new eyes, and a friend to see it with him.
Once, the Doctor had someone who'd do anything for him, walk the world and through hell for a handful of words whispered in her ear.
Once, the Doctor had a best mate who never let him lie to himself, said forever and meant it.
They're gone, and the men he was with them. He tells himself he's not jealous of the man he used to be. It's silly to be jealous of a memory.