Summary: The TARDIS reflects on her Doctor.
Author's Note: Thanks to Kameka for the read-over and suggesting a title.
Disclaimer: Own nothing, turn no profit.
We weren't always together, the Doctor and I. I was getting old, slowing down. I was a discard, useless. Worthless. Then He came, gave me meaning again. My Doctor.
This was many Doctors ago, of course. When he was still young and full of himself. Before the darkness and the doubts. When every new thing was still a wonder. Before we saw it all together. I showed him the universe, and He showed me Himself.
The Oncoming Storm, they call Him on some planets: a vengeful god. To others, He is a Savior. But, to all, He is a man apart, a different breed. Timeless, immortal. Invincible.
I know Him better. I have seen Him die and be reborn on a half-score occasions. To others, it is a source of wonder. To me, worry. For my Doctor is not immortal. Not in the proper sense of the word. His regenerations are limited; there can only be so many. So every time He amazes one of His little humans by being born anew, another piece of my heart breaks.
It's only a matter of time until the day He fails to regenerate. I wonder to myself, where will we be then? Then I remember, it will only be I, and I will be alone. What will happen to me After? I am old and I am tired, but I have no will to die. Not yet. And not alone.
The Doctor and I still have so much to see, He and I and his little humans. He simply adores the species, and I can see why. They are tiny. But their hearts are as vast as my own. I am connected to all living things, even such mayflies as my Doctor's human companions.
They are good for Him, these humans. Especially lately, as He grows older and more tired and the horrors He has seen begin to outweigh the wonders. Every last one of his companions leaves its mark on Him.
Rose, who picked up the shattered pieces of His soul and His psyche after the War. Rose who taught him to love again.
Jack, who made Him laugh. Jack, the first human to ever flirt with me…
Mickey the Idiot, of whom the Doctor was secretly quite fond.
Martha, who broke His heart by confessing her love.
Donna, who brought Him down to earth by not loving him.
Only the most recent in a long line. There were many before; there will be many more in the years to come but, to Him, each is unique. He takes a different lesson from every human He travels with, and from some with whom He never has. Not all these lessons are good; there was Adam who reminded him what it was to be betrayed. But, for the most part, they are a remarkably pure and insightful race.
And, always, amusing. They make Him smile, sometimes even laugh. To hear Him laughing…
I thought He never would again, not after the War. The last great Time War, where the skies burned. Where we both became the last of our race. We made that happen, He and I. His hand hovered over my control panel for what seemed like ages even to me. Then He closed his eyes and whispered, "I'm sorry." The button was pushed; the cascade was triggered. There was no other way. Which did not make it easier for either of us.
He was near-catatonic for weeks afterwards. All I could do was sing to Him. For months, I was not sure if it was enough. Perhaps He wanted to die. But I was afraid to let Him, afraid for my own selfish sake. I simply could not be alone again. We made a pact, then, that we would die together. Or, at least, we affirmed that neither of us had any intention of outliving the other. "Then," he explained to me, "it'll finally all be over. For real. For good." In recent years, He has regained some of that old love of life. He would now survive my passing. I do not believe that I could survive His.
I am not sure I would care to. The universe will be a little darker and a little colder for his absence. Hope will not be in quite so abundant a supply. He brings so much hope, my lonely god. Some who do not know Him the way I do think He must be trying to make up for his actions during the War. I know better. He has always been determined to right every wrong, rescue everyone in need of saving. It did not take the War to make him that way.
He has never been like the Others, the rest of the Time Lords. They watched but seldom interfered. He cannot seem to prevent Himself from intervening. At first, it was simple rebellion on His part. Then He came to know the lesser races, to appreciate them. Finally to care for them. No wonder He was ultimately exiled. He is not like the Others. Which is as well for me. Another Time Lord would not have looked at me twice, let alone risked everything to steal me. But He saw the potential in me, took me and ran.
And we have been running ever since.
Sometimes alone, more often with this or that human stray He has picked up, once or twice with his own family. But always together.
I never felt loved by my previous owner. I was a tool, nothing more. We never talked, never communicated. There was no music, no joy. No love. After less than a thousand years, I don't even remember her name. But if I live for a million years after he is gone, I will never forget the name of my Doctor. His faces will never fade from my memory.
My Doctor, my heart's true love…