Think of this as my 'alternative' series, after Rose and Martha. Tell me what you think.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up Ecclesiastes
Chapter One: Loneliness has found a new friend
An alarm vibrated, jumping up and down on it's spindly legs, getting ever closer to the edge of the bedside table it was sat on. An arm protruded out of the bed, helping the clock on its mission to reach the floor. However the new location of the clock did not hinder it's capacity to vibrate, instead it's volume increased, as if the clock itself was annoyed that the bed's occupant was not doing it's bidding, namely getting out of bed.
After an eternity (or several, depending on how you look at it) the bed's owner bowed to the inevitable and got out of bed. Placing the alarm back on the table and stopping its insistent vibrating, he sat back down on the bed and cupped his head with his hands, in a vain attempt to remember what happened in his dream, but the last shreds drained away as if it was water in his hands. Giving up he flung himself back on to the bed.
He stared up at the ceiling. Another day. He wonders why he even bothers, if it really matters if a planet is being rules by a megalomaniac, if he should really bother correcting one small problem while another hundred are being created elsewhere.
Especially as all those planets will vanish one day.
He can't even kid himself that he's exploring anymore. He's seen it all before.
The alarm clock vibrated, it's vibrations humming against the table, waking the Doctor up. Unlike yesterday, his arm flicked the switch off before it managed to reach the floor. He stared up at the ceiling. He didn't want to get out of bed, he was comfy where he was thank you very much. His stomach protested this ruling, instead demanding a much needed visit to the kitchen.
Eventually a decision was reached and the Doctor swung his legs out of the safety and warmth of his covers, his body soon followed. And he mechanically began to get dressed.
Upon reaching the kitchen, he flicked the kettle on and placed two pieces of bread in the toaster. He successfully found a clean mug for his morning cup of tea and silently vowed to do the growing pile of washing up today, just as he had promised yesterday and would most likely promise tomorrow. Because there was no-one to keep him to his word.
The kettle boiled, its whistling cutting through the silence, so the Doctor commences the ritual of making the perfect cup of tea. Getting the colour perfectly right before adding exactly the right amount of milk. He'd barely taken a sip of the boiling hot liquid before the toast popped up, demanding to be buttered. As he scraped a thin layer over the toast, he questioned his odd liking to the very human food that it was. Of all the little planets, it had been that one which affected him most. The butter melted into the toast, smiling to himself he added a much thicker layer of squigy orange marmalade. He then stuck one finger into the jar, swirled it around, his finger came out, now covered in sticky orange mess which he gleefully licked off, sucking his finger until it was free of the marmalade.
Yet again he finds himself memorising every contour of the wall as he eats his marmalade on toast, the previous euphoria of eating marmalade using his finger forgotten. He pondered on how breakfast has changed over time. If Sheridan had still been here, he would have been eating cherry marmalade on organic fresh bread listening to her constant one sided discussion on 28th Century British politics. If Mark had still been here it would be more likely than not that both of them would be nursing hangovers then as the pounding subsided, be laughing about what they'd done the day or night before. If Sophie was still here the kitchen would be full of her singing along to the radio as she prepared breakfast or otherwise their voices as they playfully argued about everything, but at the same time nothing was really discussed.
For a second they were all there, Sheridan adamantly defending Carter's policy, Mark detailing last nights losses and Sophie's singing of The Shoop Shoop song. He could see them, all the passion in Sheridan's voice, the laughter in Mark's eyes... then it was gone. The colours faded, their bodies disappeared and the noise cut out.
The Doctor dropped his head into his hands and breathed deeply. It did not do well to imagine people in your kitchen, the Doctor knew that. He knew that Sheridan had left him to bail her brother out of jail, he knew that Mark had left to get married, he knewthat Sophie, sweet Sophie, had died trying to save her mother's life. Even though it pained him, he knew that if it wasn't for him Sophie would still be alive. He tried to tell himself that they all chose to come and that somehow he'd affected their lives for the better. But he just couldn't see it himself anymore. He could no longer feed himself a lie.
The truth was, he was getting old. Old and bitter. He needed company, but loathed it at the same time. He was completely alone in the universe, it wasn't just that no one understood him, no one could understand him. They say you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone and the Doctor couldn't believe how true that was. What wouldn't he give to be back on Gallifrey with his family, with Romana, hell he would even prefer to be on a mission form the High Courts of Gallifrey even if it included working on the same side as the Master.
Anything would be better than this.
A fugitive whirring echoed through the kitchen while the Doctor was preparing his tea (beans on toast) and distorted the sound of the TV program he'd been watching.
"What?" the Doctor snapped, glaring at the kitchen ceiling.
A voice now filled his head, to an inexperienced listener only further whirring could be heard, but to the Doctor, he could understand it all.
I have somewhere you'll be interested in, the voice, his Tardis told him, in her calm knowledgeable voice, glazing over his reproachful glare, fierce stance and threatening voice.
"I'm not interested," he replied shortly.
"Yes. I'm fed up with everything. Why can't I live a normal life? Why can't I have the life John Smith could have lived with Joan? Why can't I get a job and go to work everyday? Then come home, eat beans on toast, watch TV and go to bed? And feel happy about it all? Not having to worry about people I don't even know dying on me, a hundred people died on me today. Because of me. And it's not fair. It's not effing fair,"
Life isn't fair. You know that better than most Theta. Things happen that even you don't have control over. And yes a hundred people did die at your hand today, but how many lived because of that hand? I think it may be well over a hundred. You're not as useless as you think you are. Do you want me to take you there or not?
"Oh, go on then,"
Good, put on a clean shirt with matching tie and get rid of that stubble. I may be a machine, but I'm still a girl.
Twenty-five minutes later (it had taken him three minutes to remove the stubble and a further twenty-two to find a shirt and tie, well the shirt and tie weren't that hard, it was the matching that took the time) the Doctor was ready and waiting to go off to wherever his slightly senile ship wanted to take him.
She started to feed him co-ordinates which in turn he inputted on the central control panel, twiddling dials, twisting knobs even pumping something that greatly resembled a 21st century bicycle pump. It took him longer than usual to realise that the co-ordinates were heading for Earth 2014. Friday 26th September. He asked her what was so special about that date. The only reply he got was a 'you'll see' which in his eyes did not weigh up as a valuable response. Which he told her. Luckily, for both of them, they landed at that precise second, saving her from having to provide a witty retort. Instead she flung open her doors and sent him out with a metaphorical kick.