The Doctor stood in the open space behind the house.

So many cheerful items abounded. The swingset. The jungle-gym. The fantastically arrayed series of slides...

All hallmarks of a loving set of parents. Truly perfect. Genetically, lovingly, even having planned out the best future for their offspring, both educationally and socially, even taking into account rebellion and drugs.

Brutally slaughtered by an unfortunate twist of fate in genetics.

The ultimate conquerer. The ultimate ruler... He who would chance the course of the cosmos... even consume the Lords of Gallifrey... bare tens of years before the birth of the Doctor himself.

And, most unfortunately...

encounter the Doctor on a truly bad day.

The Doctor faced the 5-year-old genius.

His battle-armor;

his possible contributions to the cosmos;

let alone the fate of other systems;

even his own race

racketed through his aeon-spanning mind. Oh, how his decisions burned.

He fiddled through the settings on his sonic screwdriver absently as he considered the last words of the Colossus as they ran through his head.

"Please consider my offers, Doctor. I do not think to oppose you. So many who suffered in your race's Time War, I will erase their suffering. I will even work to rebuild your home planet of Gallifrey, side by side with you. Those who doubted you. Your friends. Even your family, I will return to you."

The explosion that racketed across Reality...

The Doctor switched his screwdriver to a new level. He clenched his teeth. The Master, the last of his fellow true Time Lords, fallen. Rose, the first pure soul he'd come across, ripped from Reality.

With Martha having gone, this was a lucky spot. No soft-hearted human would be in range to mollify the necessary.

"Sorry, kid, but you were born twenty millenia too soon. Or late. It hardly matters now."

The Doctor's screwdriver played over several parts of the Child's armor, encouraging a rapid disentigration a few weeks in the past.

A few weeks ago...

"Look, Mother, I told you I had worked it out! This is the highest swing ever.,"

The chain vibrates in his hand. What is this..? His hand slips.

How is this possible?!

A distraught mother runs to her broken child, the paramedics and even the doctors of the finest local hospitals too late to offset tragedy...

A figure in a blue suit stands outside the glass window of a clean room as one of the finest surgical teams on the planet reluctantly steps back to prounounce onetheir few deaths.

He walks over to the family as they recieve the news. The father snarls and stomps off through the waiting room, knocking over chairs. His faithful dog follows him closely, the Doctor notes, trying to console him.

The mother gathers the more normal son and daughter to her, and weeps.

There are no heroics.

The only consolation is that the balance of Time is kept.

It is all he has left.