Afterwards

Sometimes, the Doctor hated to travel through time. Sometimes, it terrified him. And there was the sometimes when he felt completely lost.

Those times came now. As he stood there in the rain, umbrella there but forgotten at his feet. Watching someone he knew and loved be buried under the ground. It would not be right to say that he would never see them again. In fact, he could step right back into the Tardis and send them back to a time when they were alive. Anyone that he wanted to see, he could squeeze a time in when he was not already there and continue on as if nothing was going to happen to them. It was a fact of life. Or at least of his life.

It would never be the same though, not after witnessing such an event. He could never face someone the same way again after watching the lid being put on their coffin and then slowly lowered six feet down, loved ones (or not) watching with sorrow. He would try his best to act as though things were the same, depending on whether he was the same, and maybe he could fool them. The Doctor was not completely certain.

He very much wanted to blame time. After all, it was easier to blame time for going by then to blame his friends for not living as long as he did. Things always seemed to last forever when other people were around, even in a life and death situation. The Doctor found that he forgot that they would all be leaving eventually. Whether from their own wishes, spontaneous decisions, or being pulled away by force. Time did that to them all, they changed slowly through everything and then something happened. He did not want to stop to try and keep them, he could not live like that. And most of them would not want to stay like that. No, he loved his life as it was, just not everything that came with it. Which was a common thought.

The tree above him sheltered him from all but a few stubborn drops of rain. Even when those drops landed on top of him, he did not move, eyes watching the person who thought he was the last one in front of her grave. There was one comforting thing about coming to some funerals. The ability to see the long period in between date of birth and the date of death and know that there were several more years in there that no one would ever know of. Those were his years, the ones that he knew she never would have spoken to anyone else about. So they were his and his alone. The same thing for all of them. It could have been considered as stealing some of their lifeā€”that she could still have been alive during this year.

Selfishly, he still would not have given them back. Unless she had asked. But by then it would have been too late.

The man finally left and the Doctor found himself wondering who exactly he was to her. Was she ever married? Did she have any children? Was she happy on Earth? So much of her life he had missed out on, only able to hold on to those few years they went spiraling through time and space. It was all relative, but they never thought like that and sometimes the Doctor forgot and thought so as well. He could still go and find out after all, ask her himself. But he had no idea if he would. There was a time when one had to let go. He still had never managed to find that time for anyone.

He picked up the umbrella, walking down the wet hill and ignoring the sound of mud on his shoes. He has had worse after all, a little mud was probably the best cleaning job he has ever had. For some reason however, it made the distance he was covering seem much longer then it really was. It was either the rain or the shoes, he was not certain which. Although this was not the sort of thing he wanted to try out in other likewise situations to discover the truth.

Finally letting out a sigh, he gently took out the waratah from his pocket and set it down with the others, the red flower standing out amongst all of the other arrangements. He stood up right for one more moment, staring from the recently packed down dirt to the tombstone with the familiar name he would always miss.

"Brave heart, Tegan," he mentioned whimsically.

Then he headed back up to the Tardis.