What a title right? XDD Not as cracky as it implies. More angsty. Summary: The Doctor's unraveling timeline from 'The Big Bang'— being as hectic as it is and less linear and more-like-a-big ball-of-time-whimey— decided to skip around to memories in his different regenerations. More specifically in his tenth regeneration. AU-ish. Eleven/Ten. A bit of a follow up to "Snazzy Bowties". I make reference to the events in it around the end. So it would indeed be a good idea to check that out before reading this. I totally dedicate this to everyone who asked for moar Eleven/Ten. Comments/questions will be thanked with rambles. Rambles of love though. And possibly cookies.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor who buuuuuuut I do have the Master's laser screwdriver. And now I will take over the world with it. -hugs it-
His entire life was unwinding backwards. And he witnessed it— the sightseer loathing it, admiring it.
The Doctor's adventures with Amy and Rory he expected to relive and just these exclusively; the Saturnynians; Prisoner Zero and the Atraxi jeopardizing the Earth; the Daleks infiltrating Winston Churchill's plans; the Weeping Angels and River Song's reappearance; the Eknodine; but honestly, he should have not have not been expecting his ultimate demise to run so smoothly.
His neck jerked painfully back with the force of his unfurling existence.
The Doctor knew he was at another stopping point in the memories of his life— only it was not with Amy or Rory— it was definitely 2007, definitely at the stroke of New Years judging by the distant, drunken cheering, and he was definitely with a man in a pinstriped suit who had noticed him across the way leaning on the flat balcony as the Doctor curled his throbbing head into his hands.
"Are you going to make it home?" The brown-eyed man asked him in an unreasonably cheerful manner, clapping the Doctor's flexing back. "Too much to drink, have you?"
"I don't drink," he protested with a weak mutter, still feeling a warm palm on the center of his back.
The fragility of the moment became increasingly clearer. This was most definitely 2007, when he visited South London to moodily stare at Rose and Jackie Tyler's permanently locked flat door. And the man right beside him most definitely should not know his current predicament.
"Do I—?" The Doctor made a troubled noise with his closing mouth, correcting himself as he pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose, "—sorry… my mistake… Do you always sound like that?"
"Are you sure you aren't tanked? You can hardly lift your head, mate." A familiar pitchy, sonic whir. A small glimpse of blue light. The Doctor acted instinctively, snatching onto the other man's bare wrist to stop him from scanning him with alien technology he knew all too well.
His previous regeneration backed off, jiggling the screwdriver in the air with that handsome smile, "It's harmless. I promise." He said, pocketing it slowly, "You seem… skittish if you don't mind me saying. Are you sure you don't need a lift home? Even if you aren't drunk, you seem to be a wee bit unsteady on your feet."
"I don't have a home. There's no point."
The other man chuckled but the Doctor found its charisma darkened. "I remember I use to be like that. I would walk around thinking that nothing mattered because nothing could stay the same long enough," he admitted with a groan, shutting his left eye and rubbing the eyelid, "I would get so tired. So tired of being alive. I still am sometimes." (Was he always this honest with strangers?)
As if pleading for a corollary, an answer, the Doctor breathed, head down, "How did you manage?"
His previous regeneration glanced over his shoulder, staring long at the rusting, flat door. "Well, sometimes…" His voice teemed with emotions that threatened to flood over, "…you just meet someone who wants to understand you, I suppose. Who can understand you."
It was too much late when the Doctor realized that he had grabbed the other man's hand on the steel balcony railing, squeezing it with compassionate and empathetic intent, and met those soulful brown eyes. The look in them astonished but appreciative but just before realizing that the "not drunk" man who had appeared and stared at them was… a living Time Lord and not only that… -HIM-.
"No…" The younger insisted doubtfully, "No… it can't be…... How did you…?" He corrected himself unmindful, blinking as if coming from a deep trance, "Or should I say I instead…?"
The Doctor tightened his grip on the hand beneath his before feeling it weaken involuntarily. His head was beginning to throb and spin again like it had before he was pulled back through reliving his life. "I'm so tired…" The other man caught him as his body started on a dangerous path towards the floor, wrapping an arm under his armpit.
"Don't worry... I've got you," he encouraged with that unrelenting cheerful manner, helping his sagging knees straighten by heaving his older self to rest against the railing, "This is really happening, isn't it? I'm meeting myself. How did you manage to get here? What about your TARDIS? And more importantly... how is the universe still holding together?"
"It… doesn't matter. There's nothing… to hang onto… I'm… so sorry…"
"What version of me are you anyway? Future or further in the past?" His previous regeneration reached into his trench coat, slipping on his black-rimmed specs and raising an eyebrow at the old-man braces as he commented with a frown, "Well… It can't be fairly recent by the looks of it."
The Doctor said, a tremor running through him, "You… won't remember me…" He shut his eyes, releasing a shaky, lulled sigh when affectionate fingers brushed his bangs away from his forehead.
"It's alright…," the younger began shushing him like he was a fussing child, "It's alright if you don't want to talk about it right now. I'm sorry for causing you to strain… just… save your strength."
It might have been how the edges of the Doctor's vision was hazing from the splitting headache but the soft orangey glow from the neighbor's flat's windows on this story and the stark white backlight above created a picturesque image of the other man; in the high of his cheekbones; in the roundness of his chin; in the thin protrude of his lips; how the glow-light caught on the tips of his eyelashes; caught the faint curls of the hair peeking from the back of his skinny neck. It was magnificent; it was beyond words and thoughts and the Doctor knew no other impulse then to deliver this paramount understanding into action; to let the person who drew him in like this to what had summoned him.
When it was done, his mouth burned; tingled; with both peculiar and comforting tastes of the other man; a stingy aftertaste of Time Lord essence, and unsurprisingly, what had been a banana milkshake an hour ago. His companion's facial reaction gave no firm indication of how he felt about the kiss (whether it was revulsion or stupefaction or outrage or even arousal… ooh, there it was…)
The Doctor didn't suppose that it mattered anyway. He didn't exist anymore in reality.
"That was…" His previous regeneration mouthed, adjusting his skewed glasses. "Blimey..."
He asked, "I've met you before, haven't I?" The brown-haired man slapped the railing hard as realization overtook his features, "I shouldn't but I do. I remember that bowtie anywhere. The restaurant square across the street. Vienna. 22nd century. Still with that cheeky redhead? She looks like a troublemaker." He grinned in that beautifully demented way, "But she must be worth it."
"Find someone," the Doctor said softly, pulling himself away from the younger's supportive arm and watching the haze strengthening until his surroundings blurred out; he didn't have much time left…
Attempting to cleanse the confusion of his senses came the other man's gentle voice, "…...I will—."
And with no ceremony or forewarning, the unwinding continued.