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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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UNIT!100 - 023. Lovers.
I Am Clever
Title: Let Her Go (songfic)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Mike Yates, Jo Grant, one-sided Mike/Jo
Prompt: 023. Lovers.
Word Count: 906 (including song lyrics)
Rating: K
Summary: He never could love anyone the way he loved Jo.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Inspired by Passenger’s lovely song Let Her Go, which I recommend listening to.

Mentions of the audio drama The Magician’s Oath, in which we learn that Jo knew about the way Mike felt about her, but at the end of the story, she lost her memories of the whole incident and (it’s implied) about Mike’s feelings, not remembering until years later.

Also, my headcanon Mike Yates is straight; every piece of canon material with the exception of No Future and Happy Endings implies he is, so I’m disregarding those two novels. Even The Magician’s Oath, which is told from the perspective of an older Mike Yates, implies that he still loves Jo.


Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast

Captain Mike Yates gazed forlornly at the bottom of his empty pint of beer. Jo Grant had just announced her impending marriage to Cliff Jones three days prior, swanning off without a thought to how Mike might have felt.

That wasn’t entirely her fault, though - she didn’t know. At one point she had, but that time had long since passed. Some of her memories had been stolen from an alien intruder a couple of years back, including ones about how Mike truly felt - that he was in love with her.

Oh, she and Mike had still been good friends after the fact, but Jo never thought he was being serious when he asked her out on dates; just a bit of fun between two friends. He had never said anything to contradict this, hoping that she would remember on her own. Unfortunately, she never had, and now she was getting married to someone else.

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

He had tried to be happy for her when she had told all the UNIT personnel that she was getting married; had offered congratulations to the both of them with a smile. However, he hadn’t been able to stop the slight fall of his face when she had first mentioned it. He hoped she hadn’t noticed - he didn’t want to put a damper on her happy news.

She had looked so overjoyed at the engagement, and clearly wanted to share that joy with the rest of them; who was he to cause a scene and ruin that? The last thing he wanted was to see her unhappy. So he wished them well, then left the room as soon as he was able, not wanting her to bear witness to his heart breaking.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

As he watched her walk down the aisle, looking more beautiful than ever in her gown, Mike had to catch his breath for a moment. Once he had caught himself and made sure he wasn’t staring, he found himself hoping she was happy with Professor Jones, and that he treated her properly. Jo deserved to be happy; to have some stability in her life and someone to come home to. She would be far more likely to get that with Cliff than with him; a life in the military was always unpredictable.

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
'Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much
And you dived too deep

Sometimes at night, he closed his eyes and he could still see her; smiling and laughing, and he remembered why it was that he’d fallen in love with her in the first place. “The girl with so much life in her”, Diamond Jack had called her, and oh, how right he was.

Jack was perhaps the only other being that knew just how much life Jo had in her; the way she always managed to find the bright side of everything, the steadfast determination she had to succeed at whatever task she was given or set herself to, the way she could light an entire room with her smile… she truly had made him fall head over heels in love with her, whether she knew it or not.

And you let her go (oh, oh, ooh, oh no)
And you let her go (oh, oh, ooh, oh no)

The years passed, and Mike was alone. He had tried many times, and had several different lovers, but hadn’t been able to find any other woman who could capture his heart the way Jo had. After a while, he resigned himself to the status of confirmed bachelor, deciding that he wouldn’t get married.

Then recently, Jo had called him up out of the blue, telling him she’d found a card in her uncle's attic - the card her missing memories had been stored on - and that she remembered the Diamond Jack incident. She remembered everything. Then, there had been a slight pause, and she had simply told him how sorry she was, to which he had told her that he knew; and had forgiven her a long time ago.

And somehow, he realized as he put the receiver back on the hook, that simple acknowledgement from her just made him love her all the more, and he couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened if things had been different.

‘Cause you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missin' home
Only know you love her when you let her go

And you let her go

X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.

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They never quite knew what to do with Mike and Jo, did they! One minute they were clearly headed for romance, and then the next it seemed forgotten. Depended on the writer, I suppose. And then the inevitable romance-out-of-nowhere to explain her leaving. A very brief acknowledgement of some possible regret on Mike's part, and that's that. The show's dismissive attitude towards such things can be one of its greatest failings.

I always saw Mike as bi, probably influenced by a mixture of the New Adventures and the TV show. Whichever way he swings though, he clearly had real feelings for Jo, so this is a very believable scenario.

No, they really didn't. The fact that they apparently wrote in the script (according to Richard Franklin somewhere - I don't exactly recall) that Mike should look upset when Jo announces she's getting married to Cliff made no sense, when the writers did next to nothing with the Mike/Jo romance in the show itself. Ah well. That's what fanfic is for. :D

Eh. It's plausible that he could have been bi, I suppose, but he just never seemed anything other than straight to me, and the fact that the two novels that show him having an interest in men are written by the same author... just seems like it was his own personal opinion of the character. No other writer ever portrayed him as such (not that I'm aware of, anyway). Even the "Fancy a dance, Brigadier?" in The Daemons just seemed like a throwaway joke rather than an "I have an underlying love of men" thing to me, as everyone else was dancing around the Maypole by that point.

Edited at 2014-02-18 06:19 pm (UTC)

As I recall, Mike being made gay in the books stemmed from a general frustration over a lack of gay characters in the canon. And with Richard Franklin being openly gay, I suppose Mike seemed a good choice. Aside from some slightly ham-fisted scripting for him and Jo, there was no definitive proof one way or the other in the show itself. Franklin has since scotched the idea himself, with a book that he wrote about Mike, which probably ought to take precedence though. Apparently it's pretty awful, but it is his character.

Interest tailed off after a while, as first there was Izzy, and then the new series, which normalised things somewhat. So changing pre-existing characters no longer seemed necessary, I suppose.

I think the comment from Franklin that you recall is on the "Green Death" audio commentary. I remember it too, and that seems the most likely place I'd have heard it.

I suppose that's understandable, but still. The two books that mention it are by one author, so I still believe that's just his interpretation. And I totally didn't know Richard Franklin was gay. :O

I personally don't think The Killing Stone is that bad. It's certainly not the best thing I've heard/read, but it's certainly not the worst, either.

Maybe. I know I read it on the internet somewhere; must have been a transcript or something.

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