A/N: Ok, this is something that I wrote today on a whim. I was curious about what would have been going through John Smith's head before he opened the watch and this is what came of it. Just a simple playing around with the characters. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Disclaimer: Nope, not mine..though I do have a laser screwdriver...and a movie...does that count?

John Smith stood silently staring at the small silver watch in his right hand. He was as unmoving as a statue. Such a small thing the watch, and yet, the source of all his troubles. His lanky form trembled as he resisted the urge to hurl the offending object as hard and as far as he could.

His thoughts turned momentarily from the watch to his mother. He wished that she were there with him, just to hold him. He wanted nothing more than for her to enfold him in her arms and whisper that everything would be all right. But…she didn't exist…had never existed. If what the maid, Martha, said was true…all his memories were false…a lie…he was a lie!

With that though a tear escaped and rolled down his left cheek leaving a salty trail. A lie…everything he was…a lie. His parents, grammar school…his love for Joan Redfern. Was that false as well? A memory, a feeling planted in his mind by the Doctor?

John turned to the doorway behind him. He heard the women and young Timothy speaking in hushed tones too low for him to decipher the words. It wasn't hard to guess the subject of the conversation though. He choked back a sob.

Why did it have to be such a hard choice?! Simple! Open the watch and allow the Doctor to save everyone, Joan included. That was what he wanted right? For her to be safe? It should be easy…but it wasn't. To do so would the same thing as committing suicide. He would die…another man would be in his body and would walk away looking out through his eyes and speaking in his voice.

Besides, wasn't suicide a bad thing? To take one's life was generally frowned upon in human society, and the Doctor had wanted to hide as a human…so shouldn't he keep doing what he was doing? Right? Right?!

John started pacing. Door to a nearby tree. Door to tree, tree to door. Ten steps in each direction. One, two, three…why couldn't he make up his mind? Seven, eight, nine, ten. Now back the other way. Three steps back towards the tree he stopped, someone was whispering. He looked down at his right hand, the one that held the watch. It was clenched into a fist, so hard that his knuckles were white and the bones in his hand showed through the skin.

He turned the palm face up and unclenched the fist. The watch rested in the palm of his hand, a faint glow showed around the edges. The whispering came from it. A voice like his own, but calmer, more athorative. A voice that promised the whole of time and space with a single inviting word.

Again he wanted to throw it away, throw it so far that it would never be seen again and he would be free to do as he wished.

But he didn't.

The Doctor wouldn't let him.

John looked up from the watch and put through the trees. He saw a fire burning in the school yard and another at the building where the dance had been held. It seemed like days ago, a lifetime ago…a lifetime ago…

He tentively reached his left hand up and traced the tracks left by his tears; he wiped them away with a determined swipe of the hand. The fires had brought the memory of another day, of a whole other world burning.

A world with a burnt orange sky and bright red grass and trees that had silver leaves. John knew where the vision was coming from. He also knew that the world he saw was already lost and nothing could be done for it. But this world could still be saved.

He held the watch out in front of him, silently asking it for direction. It glowed and to him it looked as if it were about to explode. Again the voice whispered to him. In his mind he saw a man like himself. Dressed in a sharp suit he held out his hand and spoke a single word.

"Run."

This time John followed.