Donna had wanted to see Charlie Chaplin.
That single, trivial thought surfaced from the static mess currently inside the Doctor's mind. It meant nothing after everything he'd just gone through, every good-bye he'd been forced to say. But it made the most sense out of every other jumbled thought in there. Maybe he could sort of honor Donna by watching an old Chaplin film. He could technically go see the actor himself but he really didn't want to leave the TARDIS right now. All he wanted to do was curl up on a couch in the TV room with a nice chocolate smoothie.
Tho' your heart is aching
Even tho' it's breaking
It turned out that the Doctor had not made the best choice in films: he'd chosen Modern Times… which only made him think of the heart wrenching song Chaplin had written. How the Doctor wished that he could follow that sage advice, that he could smile right now. Maybe then he'd be able to push away the memories playing in his mind's eye over and over. Maybe then he could forget.
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by if you
Through your fear and sorrow
Maybe then he could forget everyone he'd lost. Not just Donna, not just Rose. But everyone. All his fellow Time Lords. All his former companions. Everyone who'd died for him, everyone who'd made sacrifices on his behalf. The legends and stories were true. Everywhere the Doctor went, death, danger and sorrow followed. The Oncoming Storm only left destruction. Once the storm died, the destruction would end. So why didn't the Doctor just… not regenerate? Why didn't he just die? Wouldn't the universe be a better place without him?
And maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun
Come shining through for you
For some reason, though, he kept pressing on. For some reason, he still had hope for a happier tomorrow. And sometimes that hope was realized… only to later be dashed away, making the happy memories all the more painful. Was it really worth it? What was he trying to accomplish by parading around time and space, supposedly saving the day but really only causing unnecessary heartbreak for himself and others? Was he trying to prove something to someone? Who? There was no one out there but him! Sarah Jane was wrong. Perhaps there were many out there that loved him, but they could never be his family. They could never relate. They could never understand.
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Altho' a tear
May be ever so near
And that was why the Doctor put on a strong face. Because no one could ever understand. And he didn't let it slip. He never cried. And if he did… he could come up with some sort of excuse. Either that or he was alone and no one would know he cried. The Doctor thought back to his brief time as John Smith. The hysterics when he had remembered who he really was were well deserved. John Smith had been so much easier. No centuries of pain, no loved ones lost. But, then again, being John Smith had carved another hole in his hearts.
That's the time you must keep on trying
What's the use of crying?
But… then again, the Doctor was made stronger by the pain. It really was true, what they said: if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger. He didn't understand exactly why, but he kept fighting. While he ruined so many lives, while he "fashioned ordinary people into weapons" as Davros had put it, he also saved lives. He also made people believe in something more, made them believe in hope. Even though sometimes he didn't believe in it himself, he spread the hope around. Crying and giving up never solved anything, never made any wound heal.
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just
So on the Doctor would go. With a smile fixed on his face and a stubbornness that would never let up, the Doctor would continue. It was better to remember the good times than to forget the bad. It was those rare smiling moments that made him want to believe in something more. Want to be something. To find those in need and to help them. To show others what their life could be if they stood up and fought. To never forget and always hope.
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!