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DW: Sittin' in the Dirt (Mickey)

sarah531 organized the Mickey Smith Ficathon. I was assigned __kali__, who requested Mickey being a hero, football, and pubs.

Title: Sittin' in the Dirt
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Doctor Who
Character: Mickey (Mickey/Rose)
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: You're angry that I can't love the ocean.
Notes: Set during series one, no spoilers



I came to the world land-locked and some bodies
are permanently strange. Like languages,
if you study them too late, they'll never stick.


The day after Rose leaves, steps into that box with the Doctor and disappears, Mickey works for half an hour in the morning and then decides he has a cold.

He shuffles out and ends up at the pub, because there's no cure for a common cold like a round of drinks and a match on the telly.

At one point that afternoon, the barkeep asks him what he's so blue about, and Mickey laughs. He raises his pint high, and faces the scattered patrons in the room.

"To freedom, mates." He takes a long draught, slams the glass into the counter. "Maybe it's overrated."

The day after Rose comes back, twelve months later, Mickey does the exact same thing.


How can anyone relax
near something so worked up all the time?


It's the middle of March, on a Sunday morning, and the garage is closed for renovation. When the Doctor walks into the pub, Mickey chokes on his beer.

"Thought I'd find you here," he calls out without making eye contact. He walks straight up to the counter, orders faster than Mickey is able to process. Two pints hit the bar, and the Doctor finally smiles. "Come along, then," he says.

Mickey follows him, because he can't help but wonder. He slides into the booth and takes the proffered drink warily.

The Doctor drinks, long and careless. After a moment, Mickey does the same. And then again, and then repeated.

When Mickey reaches the bottom of his glass, he waves to the bar for another. He looks at the Doctor and scowls. "Yeah?"

The Doctor smiles, that loon grin Mickey remembers. "Nothing." Their next round arrives, and he takes another draught. "Thought you had something to say to me."

Mickey blinks. "'Sright I do. Yeah." Another gulp. "Who do you think you are, anyhow?"

"I'm the Doctor," he interrupts.

"Right, the Doctor," Mickey replies. "And do you have a name? How do I know you aren't some sort of wacko kidnapper or something?"

"I'm not."

Mickey stumbles. "Yeah, but--"

The Doctor looks at him level, drops the smile. "Promise."

"Well." Mickey raises his glass, and stares back. "All right."


I know the ocean is glamorous,
but the hypnosis, the dilated narcotic pull of it,
feels impossible to resist.


Rose is different, somehow. She breezes into the pub, where before she had sauntered, and the grin she gives him is bright and affectionate and unfamiliar.

"Hey, you." She puts her hands on his chest and kisses him. She tastes like oranges.

She pulls away after four seconds. Mickey holds his breath, then lets it out slowly.

"Hey," he responds. "You all right?"

He has to ask, he always asks. He never knows what he wants the answer to be.

"Yeah, course I am," she says. "And you? Still here?"

He never knows what she means by that, either. But he shrugs, laughs.

"Looks like, yeah." He puts some money on the bar, then looks at her. "Still want a drink?"

She loops her arm through his, gives him a peck on the cheek.

"Always."


I'm most comfortable in a field,
a yellow-eared patch of cereal, whose quiet
rustling argues only for the underrated
valor of discretion.


Mickey has work tomorrow morning, but he doesn't feel like going home. He doesn't feel like drinking much, either, but there's a match on, so he nurses a single glass through the evening.

Eventually, when parts of the pub have gotten rowdy, and other parts melancholy soft, the door swings open, and Jack struts in.

Mickey doesn't know him that much, but he seems good enough. A little too swank and swagger for Mickey's taste, maybe.

"There's a good man," Jack crows. "Buy a stranger a drink?"

Mickey shrugs, gestures to the barkeep. "Didn't know you lot were still around."

"For a while." Jack leans against the counter, makes something like a purr when his drink slides over. "Rose says she needs shoes."

Mickey laughs. "Yeah, I'll bet."

"Why aren't you with her?"

Mickey shrugs again, and Jack gives him a long look. "Maybe another round?"

"Nah." Mickey turns his attention back to the screen. "Just want to see the match."

Beside him, Jack nods, and settles onto a stool.

They watch till the end of the game, and halfway through the cricket match afterwards.


And above this, I admire
a certain quality of sky, like an older woman
who wears her jewels with an air of distance, that is
lightly, with the right attitude.


They've been gone three and a half days, and Jackie bursts into the pub with red eyes and a handful of cash.

Mickey's almost out the door, with a couple of mates from work. She doesn't even see him, just shoves past him without a word.

There are days when Mickey's tempted to avoid Jackie on a rampage, but today isn't one of them. He waves the lads off, then turns back.

She's reached the bar already, slammed all her money down. Mickey catches her by the arm. "Oi, Jackie."

Jackie whirls, teeth bared. "What?"

There are a dozen things Mickey thinks to say, only half of them coherent. He settles on one.

"First one's on me."

For the second and third and fifth and sixth, Jackie pays without qualm or hesitation.

Mickey only matches her halfway, because somebody's going to have to unlock her door, and it isn't going to be her.

She rambles a lot, about ingratitude and disrespect and A-levels and lies. Mickey interjects where he can, and nods when he can't.

At one point, she narrows her eyes, jabs her finger in his direction. "Don't think I don't know you were in on it, Mickey."

"Jackie, what--"

"These adventures of hers," Jackie clarifies with a slur, "running off and about, risking her life. I know. You."

She trails off after that, and he orders a coffee and water. Jackie protests, but drinks what's set in front of her.

Her apartment is a close walk, and she leans against his arm the entire way. If she sobs a little bit, he pretends he doesn't notice.

When they're finally inside, he helps her to the couch. Takes her shoes off, fetches a blanket from Rose's bedroom.

Jackie curls up, and she grabs Mickey's hand. "It's too quiet, Mickey," she whispers. "I don't want it to be like this always."

Mickey hesitates, puts his hand on her forehead. She's asleep within a minute.

He turns the television on, at low volume, and locks the door behind him.


Unlike the ocean, there's nothing sneaky about
a field. I like its ugly-girl frankness. I like that,
sitting in the dirt, I can hear what's moving
between the stalks.


Mickey doesn't spend all his time at the pub, not really. There's work, and his mates, and once in a while, he takes a girl out.

Sometimes, though, he goes back to the pub. Watches a match, has a drink.

He isn't lonely, not the way he defines lonely, but sometimes he needs a crowd around him to think.

And sometimes, on a good day, Rose walks into the pub and smiles.


###
A/N: Title, summary, and excerpts adapted from Erin Belieu's Two Weeks On the Island. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
liminalliz
May. 6th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
Oh I love it. OH MICKEY.
moodfic
May. 10th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you!
laurashapiro
May. 6th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
Perfect. Bittersweet and matter-of-fact. Just like him.
moodfic
May. 10th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.
gabby_silang
Jun. 1st, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Really, really gorgeous. So sad because he's convinced himself he isn't. Beautiful job. And, oh, Mickey.
moodfic
Jun. 2nd, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, Mickey. I'm glad you liked it!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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