the pearl

When It Could Have Happened

She's much older now.

But she still remembers.


He laughs at their dancing and insists he'll show then how to do it properly.

She blushes, just a bit, and the Doctor smirks, but Jack takes her hand, and points her head towards her feet, and actually teaches her how to dance.

She's flushed when the song finishes and the giggles that had been building up turn into full-on laughter when Jack does the exact same thing with the Doctor.

The song is faster and the dancing comes easier and it's like they're in one of those old musicals they show during Christmas. By the time the third song finishes, they're draped over each other, laughing giddily, flushes and grins and sheer joy.

They somehow all pause for breath at the same time. In the sudden silence, they look at each other, three pairs of eyes bright and shining. There's a moment, still, quiet, tense, where everything could change, and, suddenly, Jack snorts. Rose giggles, the Doctor chuckles, and they're all laughing again.


Woman Wept is beautiful.

Woman Wept is also incredibly cold.

The waves sparkle in the light of several moons, silver-blue glitter gleaming brightly as they crunch across the ocean. Despite reassurances that the ice is several thousands of metres thick, Rose still worries about lighting a fire, and stands there, shivering even as she hunches further into her parka.

They sit on a wave crest, gloves glinting with ice crystals, and look up at the sky. The Doctor points out constellations, each barely visible in the faint dots of starlight.

"There's the sleeping antelope...and next to it is the fallen wine glass...then you follow the wine droplets down to the crystal palace..."

"That can't possibly be called the crystal palace."

"Most planets had a crystal palace, Rose. Somewhere, sometime, someone goes 'I know, we'll build a great big building out of glass. And then be surprised when it falls apart.'"

Rose chuckles, and then shivers again. Jack notices, and wraps his arm around her, pulling her close. "I saw the Crystal Palace once," he says. "Didn't look like that, of course."

"Of course it wouldn't," the Doctor says. "I didn't say they all had the Crystal Palace."

Rose grins and leans against Jack. "Mickey and I used to go up and look at the stars on the roof," she says. "It was never as clear as this." She shivers, and bundles up further in her parka. "Or as cold."

The Doctor looks at her, and wraps one of his arms around her as well. The three of them huddle together, on a cresting wave that will never crash and look up at the stars.


Jack complains about things he left on the Chula warship all the time. He likes the TARDIS, loves how the Doctor lets him explore the inner workings, but there are still a few things he misses.

Like his razor. From the 51st century, his razor was not only sonic, it had his name inscribed along the handle, and kept him smoother and sweeter than anything else could.

He keeps on trying with a razor he picked up in 18th century Plymouth, a classic straight razor with scrimshaw of mermaids along the ivory handle, but there's something about it that just doesn't seem to work as well as it could.

Rose offers to help, and the Doctor finds them in one of the TARDIS's many bathrooms one morning, Rose perched on the counter, leaning in close to a shirtless Jack, holding the razor in one hand while hanging on to his shoulder with the other.

"Hold still," Rose says, trying to not giggle.

"I can assure you I am holding still," Jack says. "You're the one who can't stop laughing."

Rose puts the razor down and starts giggling uncontrollably, one hand still on Jack's shoulder as she leans forward and rests her forehead against his chest. "I'm sorry..." she gasps between giggles. "It's just..."



The Doctor rolls his eyes and steps in. "You should never've trusted her," he says. "Just look at her -- one move, and she'd slit your throat like that." He takes the razor from the counter, and leans in closely; time seeming to slow down as he precisely scrapes the razor over Jack's skin.

Jack and Rose take a breath, their bodies tense as the Doctor continues.


The guards let her go three hours before they released the Doctor. And it was another three hours before they released Jack.

Jack is bruised. And bleeding from a cut on his forehead. And pale -- distressingly pale. He slumps into the Doctor's arms as the guards let him go, and the Doctor looks at Rose with such concern that her heart stops for a second, convinced that they'd lose Jack before they got to the TARDIS.

They carefully shuffle their way through the town, picking their way across merchants and soldiers, until they reach the familiar blue box. Inside, the Doctor leads Rose to a small room she's never seen before, and they carefully lay Jack onto the bed inside.

The Doctor traces over his body with his sonic screwdriver, his expression growing more and more serious, while Rose stands in the corner, nervously chewing her lip.

The Doctor stands, and turns to look at her.

"Is he going to be all right?" she asks.

The Doctor looks down at Jack, gently stroking his hair, and nods. "He's suffered a lot of damage," he says, his voice low. "But he should pull through."

Rose comes over, and touches Jack's shoulder, who stirs slightly and opens his eyes. "Hey..." he says, looking up at them. "Don't start fighting over me..."

Rose catches the Doctor's eye as she smiles. His grin matches hers.


The team in Cardiff capture an alien with a human companion, and her heart skips a beat when she realises who it must be.

The photos sent to her as they chopper in are beyond her expectations, and she runs to the Ladies' to catch her breath. She doesn't let herself cry, not this time, not ever again, but she quickly wipes her eyes and re-applies her lipstick before walking out to meet the helicopter.

One alien, humanoid male, early 40s.

One human, male, late 30s.

One alien craft, with a chameleon circuit.

She is involved in their interrogations, naturally. She asks them about current events, events in the past, events in the future. She carefully reveals none of her own knowledge, nor any recognition of who they are.

She is in a new world now. There are rules here that do not apply in her own world. And even when she is alone in a room with them, where the cameras and recorders are off, where there are no one-way mirrors, and where she knows she will not be disturbed, she still does not let them know who she is.

The Institute has a policy on time travel and the species known as Time Lords. And despite the ache in her heart, she knows what she must do.

This Doctor Who story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at