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DW: More Pride (Jackie & Shireen)

mireille179 organized the Doctor Who Minor Character Ficathon. I was assigned samantha2074, who requested Jackie bonding with someone after Rose leaves, with aliens but no Doctor.

Title: More Pride
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Jackie & Shireen
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Yet I can take the exile's part.
Notes: Set between "Rose" and "Aliens of London"



06 March 2005

The last Jackie hears from Rose is the night everything goes mad. And even then, she doesn't actually hear Rose's voice.

Her phone rings, and the caller ID says it's Rose, but it cuts off before she can even get a warning out.

She goes home, and Rose isn't there. She tries calling her a dozen times, but there's never any answer.

She sits on the sofa, holds the phone in her hand, and decides that Rose isn't too old to be grounded, oh no.

She squeezes her eyes shut and doesn't think the worst.


09 March 2005

Rose still hasn't come home, but she isn't one of the bodies the police found in the aftermath, either.

Jackie's fighting down panic, telling herself Rose has gone off with one of her friends again, for a mini-break or something. Irresponsible, irrepressible Rose.

But then Shireen calls her, asks whether she's seen Rose lately, because today's the day they get their nails done.

Jackie drops the phone and screams.


13 March 2005

Rose was last seen, for certain, in a restaurant with Mickey. According to police reports, Mickey got into a fight with an unidentified man, and then he and Rose fled the scene.

When the police take Mickey away, Jackie makes sure she's there. She lunges at the boy, tries to grab his arm.

"What did you do with her? Where is she?" she shrieks.

Mickey yells back that it wasn't him, it was a doctor, and the police put him in the car, pull Jackie off.

Someone takes her hand, gives it a squeeze, and Jackie turns her head.

"Hey, Jackie," Shireen murmurs, and she looks pale. Her mouth is a tight line.

"Shireen." Jackie tries a smile, then looks at the girl again. "You don't look good. Let's get you some tea or something."

Shireen nods. "Yeah." She watches the police car drive away. "That'd be good."


03 April 2005

It's after the third time Mickey gets questioned.

Shireen shows up at the flat with one of those fancy coffee drinks, the ones that are frothy and always too sweet.

"Don't you think," Shireen says, after a half hour chat about Footballers' Wives, "that maybe Mickey isn't, you know--"

"He did it," Jackie snaps, setting her jaw, because it's the only thing that lets her make sense of the world. "He hid her or, or something." She shuts her eyes.

"Don't," Shireen says. Jackie opens her eyes. "Just...what about that man you mentioned before? Couldn't he be the one?"

Jackie shakes her head. "No sign of him." Though it bothers her, too. "Besides, Mickey would've mentioned him if he was involved, wouldn't he?"

Shireen bites her lip, nods slowly.

Because Mickey keeps saying Rose was with him that night, until they got separated. It's the haziness of the explanation that gets him questioned twice more, and convinces Jackie he's guilty.

If Shireen thinks otherwise, she's careful not to elaborate.


12 June 2005

When Shireen opens her door, she looks surprised.

Jackie tosses back the last of her margarita, drops the plastic cup over the balcony's edge.

There was a bin somewhere down there, she's pretty sure.

Shireen opens the door wide. "I have tequila."

Jackie pats her on the cheek as she sways inside. "You're a good girl, Shireen."

They finish the bottle together, start in on the vodka Shireen had stashed in her freezer.

"But," Shireen's pointing out for the second, or maybe the fifth time, "there has to be some other explanation. Because she's not dead."

"No," Jackie says, slamming her cup down on the table, but she misses, and it drops to the carpet instead.

Shireen hands her the bottle. "And it's not Mickey."

"That the police can prove," Jackie interrupts.

"Right." Shireen leans her head back, stares at the ceiling. "Maybe it was, y'know, someone else."

"You mean that man," Jackie says, spinning the empty tequila bottle in a circle with her toe. "The one who was in my bedroom."

Shireen squints at her. "Or maybe it was, like, aliens. Like the ones they talk about in the tabloids. The squinty kind, big-headed? Green?"

"Grey," Jackie corrects, and Shireen stares at her. "I watched The X-Files, too."

"Yeah, well." Shireen slouches in her chair, and slides under the table with an oof. "Maybe they're real."

"Right." Jackie snorts. "My daughter is out there in space somewhere with a bunch of aliens."

Shireen kicks her ankle.

"Oi!" She flinches away. "Watch it! You're supposed to respect your elders."

"Weird things do happen." Shireen's head appears from under the tablecloth. "Like those mannequins that came to life. And that talking dog in Cardiff."

"That's just a trick," Jackie rebuffs. "Like those mimes that throw their voices."

"No, really," Shireen insists. "A friend of a friend of mine's seen it. It talks. It's one of those little pug dogs."

"Yeah." Jackie knocks back a swallow of vodka, coughs. "Any other aliens swimming about?"

"I dunno." Shireen squirms, and her shoulders and arms emerge as well. "One of the accountants at my office is kind of dodgy."

"Just one?"


27 July 2005

Shireen's crying when she calls, so Jackie tells her to come over, don't worry about bringing anything.

She sets tea on the stove, pops over to the corner and picks up a bar of Cadbury milk.

Shireen's blotchy when she arrives, no makeup, sneezing into a wadded tissue.

Jackie guides her to the sofa, puts an arm around her shoulders.

"What's wrong, sweetheart?"

Shireen wipes her eyes with the back of her wrist, wrings her fingers together.

"I forgot," she whispers. "I forgot her birthday. I was just looking in my calendar, and I totally missed it."

Jackie draws back like a whip, and loathing flashes through her.

She forgot Rose's birthday, too.


18 October 2005

Sometimes Jackie remembers she used to hate Shireen.

Maybe hate is too strong a word, but it's when Rose started hanging out with her that things got complicated.

Rose had been fourteen, or barely fifteen, and she met this girl at school, and all of a sudden, she's mouthing off, calling boys at all hours, and snatching Jackie's good makeup from the dresser. "Going out with Shireen," she'd call out, before slamming the door, and no regards to Jackie's questions at all.

It was easier, back then, to make it Shireen's fault, and even though she knew better to hold a grudge, it was still something that popped into her head from time to time.

So it's still surprising that, every couple of weeks, Shireen appears, treats her to a curry, and helps her post flyers round the neighborhood.

"She isn't dead," Shireen emphasizes for no reason.

Jackie appreciates that, because it's not something anybody else says out loud anymore.


10 January 2006

While she's cleaning out the cupboard, she finds an old teacup that Rose gave her for Christmas, a few years ago. The handle is chipped, but it's still pretty. Streaks of green and purple curling around the rim, an abstract garden. Jackie rubs her fingers over the sheen of the china, halts over a splotch of pink. She raises the teacup, inspects it more carefully.

There's a single rose painted onto the side.

Shireen finds her like that, staring, knuckles white around the teacup.

"Jackie?" Shireen reaches out, pries Jackie's fingers off the cup. Sets it on the table, out of arm's reach.

She can't answer her. Can't even look at her.

There's silence, then footsteps, and the door clicks shut again.

An hour and a half passes, then Jackie's startled out of her stupor by the slap of paper against the table.

She looks at the flyers, fresh and in color, then up at Shireen.

"Come on," Shireen says. "They won't hang themselves."

Jackie breathes deep, pushes herself out of her chair.

"Right."


07 March 2006

Jackie dials the number by memory, staring into the living room the entire time, drinking in the sight.

Shireen picks up on the second ring. "Jackie?"

"She's alive," Jackie replies, then hangs up so she can yell at Rose some more.

That evening, Shireen brings in a cake and a bottle of rum. After setting them on the counter, she smacks Rose on the arm, hard, twice.

"Hey!" Rose rubs at the spot. "What was that for?"

"One was for me." Shireen scowls. "One was for your mum."

Jackie smiles. "Thank you, Shireen."

Shireen nods, and catches Jackie's hand, gives it a squeeze.

"You're welcome."


###

A/N: Title and summary taken from this poem by Anna Akhmatova:

I'm not one of those who left their country
For wolves to tear it limb from limb.
Their flattery does not touch me.
I will not give my songs to them.

Yet I can take the exile's part,
I pity all among the dead.
Wanderer, your path is dark,
Wormwood is the stranger's bread.

But here in the flames, the stench,
The murk, where what remains
Of youth is dying, we don't flinch
As the blows strike us, again and again.

And we know there'll be a reckoning,
An account for every hour. There's
Nobody simpler than us, or with
More pride, or fewer tears.


Originally linked here.

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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
astrogirl2
Sep. 6th, 2005 07:42 am (UTC)
Very believable Jackie. I really do feel sorry for her.
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
(Deleted comment)
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Jackie's a difficult character. She's so abrasive, but those twelve months must have been hell.

Thanks for the comment!
bantha_fodder
Sep. 6th, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
Oh, lovely.
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
loneraven
Sep. 6th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful. I really felt for them both, and the detail about Rose's birthday - ouch. A lovely story.
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm thrilled you liked it.
livii
Sep. 6th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
This was great, nicely written Jackie and I loved your Shireen (who I hope we get to meet someday!) It's touching but also quite funny - liked the MiB reference, and the way they glossed over the mannequins coming to life! Lovely work.
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! And I hope we get to see Shireen someday, too.
lizamanynames
Sep. 6th, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
Wow. Perfect Jackie, and I love your Shireen... Yeah, I hate Jackie, and this made me kind of love her.

So very very real.
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Jackie's not very likable, but she really must have had a horrible time, in those twelve months.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
voleuse
Sep. 8th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
*g* Thank you for the feedback!
mireille719
Sep. 8th, 2005 06:39 pm (UTC)
Very nice portrait of Jackie, I think.
voleuse
Sep. 20th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
rhipowered
Sep. 9th, 2005 03:27 am (UTC)
Wicked. Really fascinating perspective, and well-written; it's hard to get this sort of thing between two women in fic.
voleuse
Sep. 20th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
samantha2074
Sep. 15th, 2005 02:35 am (UTC)
I apologize for taking so long to comment. I was waiting to read the ficathon entries until I finished my own story, and I was *cough* running kind of behind.

This was fabulous, full of of wonderful, poignant moments. I loved how you showed Jackie's despair without going over the top, and her exchanges with Shireen were heartfelt and funny. And as a former Russian major, I was tickled to see the Akhmatova poem.

Thank you so, so much for the story. You did a wonderful job, and I'm thrilled with it.
voleuse
Sep. 20th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm thrilled you liked it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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