This story contains spoilers for Series 4 Episode 13-Journey's End.
This was written to ease the heartache I felt for the Doctor at the end of the episode. I'm not buying that Lonely God crap. I've had enough of that, thank you!
The first time he came across Cybermen, the Christmas after the 'incident' with the stolen Earth (he refused to think of that horrific time as anything else, because other terms would involve loss and pain and heartache), he had (hoped) feared that he would be confronted with his own face and glittering blonde hair whenever he turned a corner. He had almost forgotten that Cybermen existed in this Universe before he'd ever stumbled across that world of Zeppelins and Pete Tyler and lost opportunities.
The next few confrontations with the Cybermen helped to disassociate them from that parallel world. Their subtle differences in technology and motives forced him to forget the other Cybermen and concentrate on these longer known threats.
Of course, the first time his heart didn't lurch in expectation when he heard the metallic footsteps and electronic voices he ran straight into himself and one Rose Tyler.
Well, he hadn't, exactly. He had been travelling, at the time, with a lovely couple in their early thirties. He had met Mike and Karen Brown when their house had been flattened by a criminal who had been shot down by Judon members of the Shadow Proclamation. The criminal's stolen cruiser had crashed into their newly mortgaged, two bedroom house on the suburbs of Longwell Green in Bristol. He had been been in Cardiff at the time, refuelling the TARDIS and saying hello to Jack and his team, but the news of an alien criminal on the run had interested him enough to pop over and take a look.
After he had helped the Judon capture the criminal (who had legged it as soon as he could get out of the craft, running away from three month old charges for, almost amusingly, stealing space cruisers and causing criminal damage) he had shrugged off their irritation at his 'unnecessary' assistance and decided to go see where the cruiser had 'landed'.
He had found the couple sorting through the rubble of their first owned, not rented, home for personal items (the Judon had already had the cruiser transmatted away). But even though Mike had tears drying on his cheeks and Karen still had silent streams running down her face, they were laughing and joking at their strange, unfortunate luck, smiling whenever they found an intact photo album or ugly souvenir, given by Mike's Great Aunt from her holiday to Cornwall last year. The absolute strength and typical humanity of the couple had moved him to introduce himself to them and he ended up inviting them onto the TARDIS for a cup of tea (their kettle, unfortunately, had not survived). Four hours later, he had wheedled out all about their lives (they had been married for 6 years-eloped to Gretna Green since they had no immediate family to have a big wedding for, she was a Teaching Assistant at a local Primary School and he was a Forklift Driver for a Haulage Firm nearby, they had no kids because they had found they couldn't-but they didn't mind that and they had been scrimping and saving and working overtime and second jobs in bars for 7 years to get together enough money to get them out of the renting trap and to put down the deposit on their newly destroyed house). After learning that most insurance companies had stopped insuring 'alien related accidents' in recent years, he couldn't help offering to take the, obviously honest and hard working, couple to the Shadow Proclamation to cash in their Compensation Chips.
It hadn't been until he had stepped off the TARDIS and been faced with the familiar sight of the red eyed, white haired Shadow Architect glaring at him that he remembered that the last time he had been here he had been accompanied by Donna (and, oh, how wonderfully she had put the Shadow Architect in her place with the confidence she had gained from travelling with him).
He ended up offering to take Mike and Karen on a trip, anywhere in time and space, to apologise for the fact that, in a moment of pain and anger at himself, he walked back into the TARDIS and ran away into the Vortex for five and a half hours. Well, he had been there for three days before he remembered why he had gone to the Shadow Proclamation in the first place. The couple, with their newly cashed chips that had given them the funds to purchase a new house outright, thought the idea of a trip sounded lovely, since their last holiday had been a weekend in Blackpool two years ago where it had rained constantly ('not that we intended to leave the B and B', Karen had giggled at him).
One trip was followed by another and soon they had been on the TARDIS for almost a year. Mike had a wonderful ability to be able to use any machine you gave him, as long as you showed him what all the buttons did once through (a typical heavy machinery operator and, self admitted, computer game geek), and Karen had that enormous reserve of compassion and patience held by those who had spent plenty of time working with children. They found themselves to be perfectly boring and average and couldn't understand why he thought they were amazing and brilliant and how they managed to keep surviving and, even, helping when the typical 'world changing' events kept happening around him.
They loved the excitement and variety of life on the TARDIS and he loved having them around. They were great company and took delight in the universe he showed them, and they were so completely and utterly in love with each other that he never had to worry about their reliance or attachment to him getting too strong. It was like a buffer that meant that, whilst they were fond of him and thought of him dearly, they would never fall in love with him or promise him forever (or tempt him to want those things...but he always quickly moved away from those thoughts because they made him think of those two special women, best friend and love, who had gotten so close to him and yet he had had to leave behind-the last two people he had allowed to worm their way into the inner depths of his hearts).
It had been approximately Easter time, according to Karen, so they had popped back to Earth to pick up some Cadbury's Crème Eggs (he loved Crème Eggs) when the Cybermen had attacked. He had been on the phone to Martha, trying to find out what plans Torchwood had in place, when he had heard Mike's stunned 'Jesus Christ, watch where you're going, Doctor! I thought you were behind us still. Who's this?' from around the corner of the street. He, curious, had finished his conversation with Martha and gone to see who Mike was talking to.
When he turned the corner and saw Karen, introducing herself to Rose Tyler, and himself, looking past Mike and straight at him, his stomach lurched so much that he almost thought he would be sick. It didn't take long for Rose to turn her gaze towards him (and, at that point, he swore that his hearts stopped beating completely for a good few moments) and for Mike and Karen to notice him, too. The confusion that quickly rose on Mike and Karen's faces was ignored when a group of Cybermen appeared at the other end of the street and everyone chose to forget the unusual meeting in favour of springing into action.
It wasn't until after the threat had been neutralised (not a problem with two Doctors, Rose Tyler and The Browns taking care of the main invading force and both universe's Torchwoods using their resources to stop the Cybermen coming through in the first place) that he had been able to explain to Mike and Karen who the pair were, whilst using the TARDIS systems to come up with a way of sealing the breach the Cybermen had opened when they broke through the dimensions, again.
He had briefly explained the circumstances surrounding the other Doctor's creation and, even more briefly (which probably told them more about her than he ever wanted to reveal), about Rose. Karen had quickly decided that speaking to a woman for once ('not that I don't love you, sweetheart, and not that you aren't fun to talk to, Doctor, but sometimes you need to talk to someone who knows about the problems of bra underwires and running in heels') had taken Rose off somewhere in the TARDIS and left the two Doctors thrashing out a solution to the problem. Mike had helped them set a load of scanning systems running before deciding to bravely venture in search of the two women (machines, Mike liked-and the TARDIS seemed to like him, but he was not quite so good with science, happily leaving it to the Doctors).
The Doctor had managed to avoid talking with himself much, up to that point (after all, it wasn't like they didn't know what the other was probably thinking so coordinating their work wasn't much of a problem) but it was more difficult to ignore him when there was no one else to focus on. He had made a good attempt, though, and he had thought that the three quarters of an hour they had spent working in silence since being left alone must have been a record for these incarnations. But, as much as he had wanted to avoid almost all topics of conversation with the other man, he had also been so incredibly curious about the life he had left the other Doctor and Rose to live.
And, so, he found himself stuck looking at himself in the TARDIS Console Room with Karen and (probably, by now) Mike talking with Rose elsewhere.
'So, how long has it been?'
His other self pretty much snorted at him-half in amusement and half in disgust. 'Does it matter? Time runs differently for the two Dimensions and you probably haven't been keeping track, yourself.'
'I could tell you how long it's been in years, days, hours, minutes and seconds if you wanted me to.' He was rather annoyed at the words of his other self. They both knew full well that he could probably count every second he had ever been with Rose Tyler, so it would make sense that he could count every second without her, too. His other self looked up at him, a small frown accompanying a look that was seeped in pity, and he found himself looking back at the Console to avoid those eyes.
'I know. I just wasn't sure if you would let yourself keep track.' He couldn't fault him for that thought as he hadn't wanted to. His other self sighed, slightly, before continuing. 'It feels like it's been forever since I've felt the TARDIS in my head,' and the Doctor could understand that feeling, remembering how he had felt whenever he thought the TARDIS gone or had moved out of her telepathic reach. He felt a wave of guilt for taking that feeling away from this other Him, not even giving him a piece of the TARDIS to try and abate the loneliness he must have been feeling in his mind. 'But it also feels like no time has passed at all.'
He looked back up at that, an eyebrow raised in curiosity. 'A Timelord who has mixed perceptions of time? Even being part human shouldn't confuse you that much.' He hoped that the teasing tone would help to lighten the mood between them, help to clear the choking silence that was threatening to take hold.
'When you only have so many years in front of you, the ones that have passed seem far too short. The time I've spent with Rose feels so fleeting when I think of how much time I want to have with her.'
All of a sudden the air between them felt like it was infused with lead, a heavy feeling settling in his throat and lungs. The other Him seemed to feel it too, going quiet and looking back with that same pitying glance from earlier. He obviously recognised that Rose was probably not the best subject to be talking about. But, maybe living a human life had emboldened the other.
'She misses you, you know.'
He stilled, instantly. He had hoped she had, even as he wished for her to forget him and immerse herself in happiness with this other Him. A part of him had always known that she would not forget him so easily, but the thought of her crying for him or mourning for him made his hearts ache and his stomach churn with regret. 'Oh?' He asked, trying to brush the statement off-trying to hide the hope and fear inspired by those words. 'Doesn't that bother you?'
This time, the snort of amusement was echoed from behind him. He turned around to see Rose stood in the doorway that led to the rest of the ship.
'You should have a walk around the place,' she suggested to her Doctor, 'If I know you two, the solution you come up with will involve a time limit and lots of panic and running. Best take advantage of this opportunity to connect with her whilst you can.'
It was an obvious attempt by her to get her Doctor to leave them alone for a moment. He was half tempted to beg the other him to stay, but he hadn't spoken to Rose in so long (he really could count the time since he had seen her last) and he didn't want to waste this opportunity either. Even if he knew that she must be angry and upset with him for the way he had left her.
The other him willingly moved away from the Console and towards the rest of the TARDIS, pausing to brush a lock of hair from Rose's forehead before dropping a brief kiss to her brow and a small whisper into her ear. She smiled gently at her Doctor before he walked past her and he disappeared into the depths of the TARDIS. He tried to ignore the jealous streak ('you have no right' he reminded himself) and the wave of anxiety that swept over him as she turned her gaze to him and moved to stand in the space opposite him that her Doctor had vacated.
'I do miss you, you know?' She answered matter of factly, as if it was a constant in the Universe, and he wasn't sure if the touch of resignation to it was fond or sad. He looked up at her to see if he could get a clue from her face and he found the same soft look she had given her Doctor directed at him. 'And, no, it doesn't bother him. Why should it?'
He could think of many reasons why he would be put off by any attachment to another version of himself, but he decided not to us his own jealousy as an example.
'We've had plenty of time to work through any issues we may have had. You are him and he is you. If you had stayed with me and he was here travelling in the TARDIS I would be worried for him and miss him as well.' He was sure that she would, and the thought was as calming as it was unsettling.
'You don't need to worry about me, I'm always alright.' He knew she would see through the lie, and her raised eyebrow told him that she wasn't impressed with the attempt.
'How long did Donna last before you had to take it all away from her?'
He should have known that the other him would realise what would have happened to Donna. He had hoped that, had he worked it out, that he wouldn't tell Rose, but if she had asked him about the effects the Metacrisis would have then she would see through the other Him's lies as well as his own. 'Her mind started to deteriorate almost as soon as we left.' He saw tears spring into her eyes-obviously she hadn't expected him to have gone through the loss of Donna so soon after leaving her. 'I had to wipe her memories to save her life. Wipe her memories of me and the TARDIS and everything related to us.'
'I'm so sorry.' He watched a tear escape and roll down her left cheek. 'My greatest fear for you was that you would be on your own.'
'I'm never really on my own.' He wanted to reassure her. The loneliness he had suffered through had been caused by his own actions. He didn't want her to hurt for his own mistakes. 'I always have the TARDIS. And, well, you've met Mike and Karen. There are always people who fancy a trip through time and space.' He threw a grin her way, hoping to ease her concern for him. She didn't need to know how long it had taken before he had allowed anyone else to come with him and she didn't need to know exactly how isolated he tried to keep himself from the people around him now.
'I was angry at you for a long time.' He had suspected that she would have been. She would have realised that he had forced her to follow his plan, not even giving her a choice. He was angry at himself. 'He was angry with you, too.' And he wasn't surprised in the slightest.
He had no response to give to her admission, not when he didn't blame either of them one bit.
'You left me behind without giving me a choice. You assumed I would want the human lifestyle-living a life day after day.' He could hear a bit of the anger creeping into her calm voice and he wondered just how long it really HAD been for them since he left them. 'And you abandoned him without any thought as to what he was going to lose!'
'He had you.' He had to say it, because as far as both of him were concerned (and he was positively certain that this was a mutual feeling), she was equal to all the treasures in the universe. If he could have kept her forever (his forever, not her's) then even he may have been contented with an ordinary life.
'But he didn't have the TARDIS-who he had been bonded to for several hundred years.' He almost made a comment about the fact that his other self had, technically, been bonded to the TARDIS for less than a day. But he realised that technically he had only been bonded to the TARDIS since his last regeneration. His previous self had a different body and had forged his own bond with the TARDIS just as he, himself, and every Doctor before him had had to do when he had regenerated. And he would have remembered the bond, anyway, with their memories shared from his shed regeneration energy. 'He didn't have all of time or space any more-just the little pocket holding our solar system, he didn't have any ID or money or even a change of clothes!' The anger was stronger here and he found it startling that she was getting angrier for the other Him than she was for herself. 'You didn't even leave him a Sonic Screwdriver or Psychic Paper or anything.'
He wasn't sure what to say to her. He knew that he hadn't handled the situation very well, but he'd been giving her up, knowing that he would likely never see her again. He hadn't been thinking about anything other than how to stop himself from grabbing her and pulling her close to him and never letting go. 'What did you want me to do, Rose?' He asked, frustration seeping into his voice. 'Me and him, we wouldn't have been able to survive together. We would have clashed and rubbed each other the wrong way and eventually destroyed each other. One of us had to go to the other world, and it made sense for it to be him.' Every so often he imagined what it would have been like if he had left the TARDIS to the other Him and lived Rose's life out with her. The fantasy always seemed perfect in his head until he reached the end and remembered why he feared her mortality so much. 'And, do you really think I could leave him there alone?' She was watching him, calmly. Listening to his explanations. 'I remember what it was like to know anger and war. I was dangerous like that. What made me even more dangerous, back then, was how alone I was.' He thought back to the time between wandering away from the remnants of the Time War and stumbling across Rose in a London department store. The loss of the Timelords, of his whole world and everyone who had ever been connected to it, had been a pain so deep and sharp that he had thought he would never recover.
He softened his gaze at her, thinking back to the time he met her, with her sharp mind and unending curiosity and her spirit of adventure. 'You changed that, Rose. You helped me heal and you gave me a reason to want to make things better in the universe. When I said he needed you, it wasn't only because I knew you could do the same again. I was going to trap him away from everything we had ever known. The TARDIS, our way of life, our friends...the only thing I could give him that would abate that loss was the thing that would render all of them null and void.
'If he had lost you, too, then I don't think anything would have ever saved him.'
No matter what scenarios he had tried working through, back then, he knew that the other Him would never be saved from the loss of Rose. The anger and rage that he had been stirring with, from being regenerated into battle, would have never died if he had been forced to give her up with the rest of his world.
'And, what about you?' Her voice was calm again, even but with a hint of sadness that he hated hearing. 'Did you need saving from the loss of me? Of me and Donna?'
He flinched, remembering the hollowness and sorrow he had felt after taking Donna home. Her deterioration so soon after leaving Rose and himself behind had been slightly unexpected. He had half hoped that Donna would last long enough to help him through the separation, but thinking back on that hope made him feel selfish and callous. He had truly adored Donna and her friendship and it hurt to think that he had almost cared more about his broken hearts than about her broken mind.
'I managed.' He had ended up getting caught up in saving several worlds in quick succession, so saying he managed was a pretty elaborate way of saying that he had ignored his emotions until he had managed to bury them down, again. Looking at the sceptical look Rose was throwing at him, he knew she had heard what he hadn't said.
'Would it help you to know that I'm happy?' She said the words tentatively, as if she wasn't sure if they would help him or hurt him more. He felt a stab of envy towards his other self, but the hope that blossomed in his chest made him look directly into her eyes and beg for her to soothe his hearts.
She smiled at him then, glimmers of tears shining just in the corners of her eyes. 'I'd never really wanted the 'day after day' life. I didn't need it from you and I never thought I would.' That had been one of the things he had truly loved about her. She really did enjoy the TARDIS life and everything about it. 'But, when you have them presented to you and the opportunity to take them, you can find them to be everything you ever needed.'
A tear rolled down her cheek then, the smile of her face soft and contented, and he knew this one was not born of sadness for him.
'Thank you, Doctor. I really could have lived the rest of my life travelling with you. But I also love my life with him. And we are both so very, very happy.'
He could feel his pain ease at her words, the worry and concern he had felt after leaving them together, with no choice in the matter, fading. Her words that his other self was 'not him' had always unsettled him (even past a sliver of self-centred pride) and made him worry that she would never be able to accept the other Doctor. And even though that envy still gnawed at him and he could feel his regrets nagging in the back of his mind (it could have been you) there was nothing in the universe he had wanted to hear more than Rose Tyler telling him she was happy.
'I'm glad.' His words were slightly choked up, his throat tight with emotion but, unlike her, his eyes were dry. He was able to smile, genuinely and for the first time since seeing Rose and the other Him without it being manic or joking or a way of hiding. Just a genuine show of pleasure at her happiness.
'And, I want you to know this.' She moved around the TARDIS to stand next to him, he hand raised to rest gently on his cheek. 'I love you.'
He started slightly at that, not expecting the words after her declaration of happiness.
'Don't worry, I'm not asking anything from you.' She kept the hand on his cheek and rested the other on his chest, as if to calm his racing hearts. 'I just want you to know. I love you and I love him and I loved the you I first met. And, if I ever had the chance to meet the eight men who came before him, or the ones who will follow you, then I know that I would have loved them too.'
He was so moved by her words that he wasn't sure if he would ever be more affected by anything for the rest of his existence. The thought that one human girl had so much love for him made his soul sing with joy.
'Rose...' The hand on his cheek moved to cover his mouth.
'You don't have to say anything. There is nothing you need to say to me that I don't already know. Not just because you tell me everyday, through different lips, but because you were right back then. It really doesn't need saying.' He had always hoped that she would eventually see his words of avoidance for what they really were and to hear her accept his silent feelings eased another burden from his tortured mind. 'I just wanted to tell you, because I hope that, even if you are alone, you will take comfort in the fact that you will always be loved and you will always be in my heart.'
He could feel his eyes get moist and his hearts clog up his throat. It did comfort him, so, so much. Even though he knew that she would be gone again soon-back to her happy life with a happy him-he would know that she still loved him and cared for him. And not with sadness and pain, not with his existence in her life having left her with nothing but sorrow. But he would have left her with hope and love and a future that she was obviously relishing in. He pulled her hand off his mouth and, in a moment of courage and amazement at the woman before him, he kissed the palm of her hand before releasing it.
The floor clanked behind him and he turned to see that Mike, Karen and the other him had returned to the Console Room.
'So,' the other him ventured, 'I think I've finished working out a plan! Well, when I say a plan it's more an idea. Or a guess. But I'm sure we can make it work, since there's two of us in the room!'
A few hours later, when the hole between worlds was finally sealed and he had bid himself and Rose farewell with, respectively, a handshake and a fierce hug (given, as Rose had predicted, in panic and under a short time limit) he found himself sitting in the Console Room resetting the TARDIS' systems whilst he waited for Karen and Mike to return from the Newsagents on the corner (they had realised that they hadn't gotten around to getting the Cadbury's Crème Eggs and they had rushed out to buy some).
He was feeling calmer than he had in a long time. No matter how much he had buried his discontent, Rose had always conjured up thoughts that would never stay hidden. Knowing that she, and his other self, was happy and content let him release some of the guilt and pain he had been carrying around since leaving that beach in another Norway. And Rose's words of love had eased some of the loneliness that ate at his soul everyday.
Even knowing that he really would likely never see her again couldn't stop the relief of his pain.
He had gotten used to companions and friends ending up worse for wear after his time with them. He knew he was a double edged knife to most people and gave them worlds they could never dream of along with nightmares they could never imagine.
But knowing that he hadn't done that to Rose (his most precious of friends and companions) was a balm he had seriously needed. Even if he would continue to miss her (day after day, for the rest of his forever), he had the luxury of knowing that a part of him would never be alone-that he kept a piece of her heart with him...and the next him, and the next...
The TARDIS door opened and he watched Mike and Karen walk in (laughing and talking about the Cyberman they had somehow stopped with a can of Diet Coke and a fire extinguisher, earlier in the day), a carrier bag holding a promise of chocolate and, probably, tea bags (they had been getting low, Karen had mentioned over breakfast earlier). They finished their laughter as they approached him, standing at the Console.
'Should have us ready to go in an hour.' The TARDIS was a fantastic machine, but closing up rifts between dimensions wasn't the easiest of tasks for her. 'Fancy getting the kettle on? I think we could all do with a cup of tea and a Crème Egg, whilst we wait.' He grinned at them, hoping that he could count on Karen to have brought a few 6 packs of Crème Eggs. He was still methodically working his way through the various ways of eating them, trying to decide the best one.
Mike took the carrier from Karen and grinned back before heading off towards the TARDIS kitchen. He expected Karen to follow her husband, but she stayed behind and watched him as he finished messing with the various levers and dials that he thought needed adjusting (most of the adjustments, however, were accompanied by a subtle mental nudge by the TARDIS for him to leave her alone to repair herself). He turned from the Console and found Karen looking at him, waiting patiently for his attention.
'Rose, and the other Doctor, left something for you.' She told him, softly. He was surprised by that. After speaking with Rose, he didn't think that they would have left him anything other than the resolution he had gained to their parting. A concerned look flitted across Karen's face before she continued. 'Rose wasn't sure if you would want to see it, when I was speaking to her. And the other Doctor, when he found us and saw it, looked a bit worried, too. So he wrote you this to accompany it.'
She handed over a folded piece of paper and a small memory card, like one you had in cameras or mobile phones or computers. He accepted them and she smiled at him before turning to walk away.
'I'll pour you a cup of tea. Come and join us in a bit.'
He waited for her to leave before he unfolded the piece of paper and read the familiar handwriting.
I'm not sure if looking at this will be good for you or not. A part of me thinks it would be unwelcome but the other part of me thinks you would love it.
Of course, I'm completely biased, here, so I, for once, can't think this through on your behalf to make an accurate prediction.
So I'll tell you that on this memory card that she's just given to Mrs. Brown (lovely lady, by the way) is a slide show that Jackie put together for Rose for her birthday, a few months back. It runs in a special program on Pete's World (we never should have started calling it that-I get the funniest looks from people, sometimes) that lets you attach captions to each photo (Jackie loves making them, I swear she has half our lives categorised in this way) but nothing that our beautiful ship can't work out the programming for. Ignore any captions where she insults me too much, please. She loves us, really, but she also considers teasing me her favourite hobby after making scrapbooks.
I think you would want to see how happy Rose is, but I also wouldn't blame you for bnot/b wanting to see how happy she is without you. But, since she's not iexactly/i without you I end up back to biased and unable to predict what you want.
So this is a fair warning to you to look at the contents of this card ionly/i if you are able to take comfort in her happiness.
I can only hope that you can, because we both worry about you. A part of us will always feel that we gained our happiness at your expense.
And, because I'm sure that I won't get another chance to say this (either because Rose is right and we iwill/i end up doing something that involves a time limit or because we are both 'typical blokes' who will be completely unable to communicate on a level that implies that we have feelings):
Thank you. I never would have been able to live without her. Losing everything else and gaining mortality would have been a worthless existence if I hadn't have gained her, too. Thank you.
He folded the letter back up and pushed it into his jacket's pocket, surprised that reading words written in his own handwriting but by a different hand could give him just as much comfort as the words Rose had said to him. The small black chip in his hand seemed like the most frightening, and yet most wondrous, object in the universe, right now. But he knew that he couldn't resist the opportunity to take a peek into Rose's world and the life she had and loved.
He placed it into the pocket on the breast of his jacket, tucked away safely. When he took the TARDIS into the Vortex and after Mike and Karen had retreated to their room for some rest, he would look at the gift Rose had left him.
Well, one of the gifts, he thought has he turned to make his way towards the kitchen. 'I love you and I love him and I loved the you I first met. And, if I ever had the chance to meet the eight men who came before him, or the ones who will follow you, then I know that I would have loved them too.' Every time her words ran through his mind, he could feel his hearts swell-a bit more of his pain and loneliness disappearing.
He walked out of the Console room and, relishing in the calm and peacefulness he was feeling, wondered how many Crème Eggs Karen would let him eat before she hid them, threw them out of the TARDIS or threatened him with dismemberment if he 'bounced around the TARDIS like a deranged Tigger'. Maybe he could sneak another sugar into his tea whilst she wasn't looking.