Last one, guys! Thank you for all the reviews for what was originally going to be a one-shot. In case it is insufficiently obvious, the BBC owns the Whoniverse and Coldplay owns the lyrics.


They hold one another like they are drowning. They are slow and quiet. The Doctor spends much of his time banishing feelings of guilt, as if what they both desperately want is wrong because it might make him happy.

Koschei breaks the low susurrus of sighs and moans to say, "I don't mind if you hurt me, Theta."

The Doctor kisses the nape of his neck and says, "But I do."

They do not talk again that night. At their climaxes they gasp but don't speak a single word. Koschei falls asleep almost immediately, curled against the Doctor with a trusting hand on his chest.

When you try your best but you don't succeed

When you get what you want, but not what you need

When you feel so tired but you can't sleep

Stuck in reverse…

The Doctor has made love for the first time since the Time War. Now he lies awake, thinking.

Not that he never actually had a form of sexual intercourse in the intervening time – that one night with Madame du Pompadour was brilliant fun, if tinged with sadness in retrospect; and to never even give Captain Jack a quick shag would have been a waste of potential on both sides.

Never Rose, though. He wouldn't have been able to give her what she deserved.

This isn't about what anyone deserved. It's about what one needs to end his loneliness, and the other needs to justify his existence, now that he is a mere shadow of a person.

His skin is entirely too smooth and fair for someone salvaged from the ashes, his hair too soft, the gentle hiss of his breathing too real.

And the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can't replace

When you love someone but it goes to waste

Could it be worse?

The Doctor has learned to surround pain with high walls, keeping himself safe and reasonably cheerful. Otherwise the few billion voices of his lost people would have deafened him long ago. For a moment, though, when he lit that pyre, it was as if they were all weeping with them for the double loss. A friend to an enemy. An enemy to death.

Lying here like this in a heap of limbs and exhaustion, the grief and anger melts away, and he doesn't want to move a single muscle until his bedmate does.

Twitching doesn't count, though. Koschei appears to be having a nightmare, eyes darting. The Doctor smooths his hair and whispers, "I forgive you," into his ear.

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you

Koschei has been getting better over the weeks. He no longer self-injures. Much. He generally goes to the Doctor before he starts, and asks to be restrained before the temptation becomes too great. He does lose his trail of thought, though, and the Doctor will find him sitting in a chair or leaning against a wall, staring and confused.

At one point the Doctor bit the bullet and landed the TARDIS in Martha's room, begging her to help him obtain some psychiatric medication so Koschei would stop waking up in the middle of the night shouting, "DRUMS! DRUMS! DRUMS! DRUMS!"

She was first aghast at the Master being in her house, but a few minutes' conversation with Koschei and she realized this was not the same person at all. The Doctor knows he doesn't deserve her, either.

And high up above or down below

When you're too in love to let it go

But if you never try you'll never know

Just watch your worth

Sometimes he misses being able to go on adventures whenever he feels like it. He answered one distress call since picking up Koschei. When he returned, having been gone for a mere five hours, he discovered Koschei had been peeling the paint off a room with fingernails that were now torn to the nubs. It wasn't actually causing him pain but it was such a pitiful sight that the Doctor decided to make himself unavailable to the outside world for the foreseeable future.

Tears stream down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream down your face

And I…

Tears stream down your face

I promise you I will learn from my mistakes

Tears stream down your face

And I…

They occupy themselves with chess – though Koschei has to be reminded when it's his turn – reading, exercise, films from the Doctor's vast collection, and the Doctor trying to repair what he can of Koschei's mind. He meanders about the ship performing bits of maintenance as Koschei pesters him for stories about the Doctor's exploits.

He doesn't want to hear about the ones involving the Master, though. Or Captain Jack.

His life lacks some of its color, now. But it also lacks a good deal of its ache.

With that thought, the Doctor snuggles closer to the incomplete completion he is so grateful to have, and falls asleep.

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you.