Burning Books

By: Thought

Disclaimer: Not mine, suing is bad for your health.
Summary: He wonders if there will ever be a book for their story.
Notes: Unbetaed. First attempt at fic based off the EDAs, don't hurt me. Written while waiting around in a hospital waiting room.

i

"I don't think, even if I tried, I could ever have a normal relationship with anyone else." Fitz's comment is sudden and out of nowhere and the silence it breaks was well on its way to being sacred, but that's more because they're in a library than anything. It makes The Doctor angry and scared and he wants to shout, wants to curl up in the fibres of the carpet and be scrubbed away because this is all wrong. They shouldn't be verbalizing this, not any of it.

'I can never do anything right.' He does not say this out loud because a denial will make this all too real and a confirmation will mean that he deserves this, that he's broken everything and it still doesn't matter. He knows that a reminder about smoking near the books is not the appropriate answer, so he doesn't say anything at all. The smell of leather, the smell of smoke. They're all burning, some more slowly than others. He is burning from the inside out. Fitz is burning down from his callused fingertips, counting it off in inhalations.

The books press in around him like they're waiting to pass judgement.

You are guilty of pushing him away. You are guilty of not pushing him away. You are a Time Lord and you are in love with a human and this means you're guilty either way, you're broken, you're burning.
You should not still have these prejudices.

Eventually footsteps retreat behind him, but it takes a long time. He wonders if there will ever be a book for their story. He wonders if there already is.

ii

Their clothes are muddy, there is blood in the air and they're weak, they're pressed together on the floor, watching everything through a screen. The blood is metaphorical unless you're outside, unless you're in the battle. They are not.

There are arms around him, leather and denim crushed against his back, the leg of a fallen chair jabbing uncomfortably into his stomach. In a way, he is trapped. It is likely better like that. He is learning to appreciate the little things for being little. They are still watching the screen.

"You're too thin," Fitz says as a child's head is blown off.

"It's all the running away." All the things that neither of them are saying, all the things that they haven't thought of to say yet are overhead in a thick, smokey cloud. It is hovering. Suddenly, The Doctor can't breathe, can't smother the horrendous feeling that he is selfish and cruel and someone should just kill him, it wouldn't be that hard, really. Crawl into his bed while he's asleep. A knife through the heart and suddenly the universe is saved. Someone else should get to play the hero.

iii

There is still blood in the air, but this time it's their own, they're the ones under fire. They're the ones who need the help, who are scrabbling about in the dirt, and somewhere there is probably someone sitting on the floor, watching on a screen and wanting to die. This is the story that everyone likes. This is how he wants to be remembered, downtrodden and fierce, clawing his way over a hill as rubble rains down from the battle in the war that he is not a part of. It's a nice thought. It's a nice story, and he wishes someone would write it down in a book so he could pass judgement.

"They're coming 'round again," Fitz calls from the control panel in front of him. The Doctor exchanges a glance with him. The crew are waiting for his orders in their clean, crisp robes, breathing in the same sterilized air that he is, on their clean, sterilized ship. They're waiting out of courtesy because it's not like there's a choice in the end. Kill or be killed. Become what you hate or you won't get to become anything at all.

"I can't do anything right," he mutters to himself. Fitz doesn't even glance up.

'I promised you adventure,' The Doctor thinks. He does not say this aloud, because he's already decided he's selfish.

iv

"I don't think, even if I tried, I could ever have a normal relationship with anyone else." The Doctor, this time, telling a lie.

Fitz sets down his coffee and reaches across the table to take his hand. "I know."

The Doctor smiles like an idiot and kisses the palm of the hand, defiant, out in the open where anyone from The Lady President to The Master can see. It's just like in the movies. He hopes he remembers the script.

He's still burning, down and down and down until he's scorching someone's fingers right off. Later, they'll lie in bed together and one of them will be very nervous --no telling which one, not yet-- and then there will be singing and laughter and tears and fumbled kisses in the heat of battle, someone's mouth saying "don't die." And then someone will die. He doesn't really mind.