He was sick of it.

Just sick of it, was all he could think, as he strode up the walkway to the central control. Sick of having to leave everyone behind, of saving the world and having the only thank-you be a wave and a two-fingered salute.

Was it too much to ask, he mused, flipping a switch with unnecessary force, to have one friend who was slightly more resilient than tissue paper? Then he thought of Jack, and felt his eyebrow quirk involuntarily. One friend whose thoughts didn't take a detour past his groin before coming out his mouth, he amended silently.

He hated how human he was sometimes. Oh, he'd felt it, the rush of excitement, the anticipation that had even managed to dull the ache he'd had, just under his breastbone, ever since he'd seen himself, reflected in his copy's eyes. The rush of happiness at the thought that he would have someone that could travel with him forever, that would laugh and understand and argue and stay.

It had only been on the shores of Bad Wolf Bay, where he'd seen through the monitors the jealous, innately human look his copy had given the TARDIS, that he'd realized.

Only human.

He'd bottled it back. He was too human, and too alien, to rant and scream and shout his despair to the heavens while Donna had been wandering around the console, glancing at him out of the corners of panicked, wild-shy eyes.

So he'd held her, and eased her way. Had numbed the sharp shock of memories being ripped from flesh, had nudged her system into that slow slide into unconsciousness, not realizing until later that it would be the last time he'd talk to her as his Donna, and that he'd never said thank-you.

And when it was done, when he'd stood soaked and shivering in the comforting, empty silence of the control room, he'd wanted to. Had wanted to sink to hid knees and dissolve into helpless, hysterical laughter at the foolishness of it all, and his naiveté; to punch in the coordinates to Sarah Jane's house, where he knew he would find wordless comfort and unreserved acceptance; to throw himself into the futile task of getting Rose back.

But he didn't.

He was much too alien for that.

New author; uncertain enough to not demand reviews. Will, however, be ESTATICALLY HAPPY with feedback. :)