My first multi-chapter fic! OK, technically they're still one shots, but...
Disclaimer: It's not mine. But in a few months it won't be RTD's either.
Standing with Christina outside a flying London bus, her face full of exhilaration and hope, he is so close to leading her aboard the TARDIS.
But then images dance behind his eyes: a blonde girl on a beach whispering an agonised I love you; a doctor kneeling behind bars telling tales of a broken woman walking the world; a flash of ginger surrounding desperate, burning eyes and a flippant Yeah, see you.
But strongest of all, he sees Christina. Her own variation of bigger on the inside, her first alien world, the first time she realises he can't save everyone. And her face, thirty years from now, a broken record repeating the same tired old melodies over a backing tape of weapons and threats. Remarkable, her resemblance to Sarah.
He doesn't want her broken. He doesn't want her wasting her life on a forever that was never hers to give.
So for the first time in his life, he says no.
He's never meant anything more.