The corridors of the Citadel were surprisingly quiet. But then, they were all likely bustling around the War Rooms. As of this morning, they were, after all, at war.
The Doctor entered his TARDIS and went immediately to the controls, where he entered the coordinates for a lovely spot in London in the 1960's, where they did his favourite tea within three galaxies. His velvet Victorian coat was draped over the back of his comfy chair, which lay several metres away next to the end table with his current novel sitting on it.
He was about to set the controls in motion when his scanner came to life and a familiar face appeared on it, solemn and determined.
"Madame President," He said, with a small smile as he greeted the woman who had once been his companion, in her first and second bodies and his fourth, "How can I help you?"
"With your refusal to fight, you can't," Romanadvoratrelundar said stonily. Her third and current incarnation was a lot more serious than the ones that had preceded it. "But I thought it best to inform you that we have just suffered our first casualties."
"How thoughtful of you," He muttered. He knew that she wasn't happy that he was refusing to fight the war. But he just couldn't. He was the Doctor, and he just couldn't, no matter how she tried to guilt him into it with talk of casualties.
"They were a group of radicals who wished to attack the Daleks before they attacked us. Obviously, they failed. Six of them, classic TARDIS crew," Romana continued, and her eyes flicked down as she began to list the names. "Mandel of Mirraflex, the Matron of Redloom, Relinak and Trelinak of Brightshore, Gaiantria of Oakdown, and the Angel of Arpexia."
The first few names he didn't recognise, but by the end, his body was rigid.
"What?" His voice was low, breathy, and full of disbelief and confusion.
"You heard me."
"But I just saw her, this morning!"
"They left two hours ago, were confirmed dead twenty minutes ago. They didn't waste any time." Romana looked back up at him. "I thought you ought to know."
"How can you be so cold about this?" The Doctor demanded. "She's your cousin!"
"She was an idiot who got herself killed."
"She would never do that!" He shouted. "She's no warrior, she's a mechanic, who was only going to fight out of a stupid sense of obligation to you!"
Romana tilted her head to the side. "Perhaps she wasn't as honest with you as you thought. Yesterday afternoon, she wouldn't stop insisting that the fight should be taken to the Daleks immediately. She was overruled, but didn't look happy about it. Her decision is regrettable, but not entirely unprecedented. The TARDIS they left in was hers, in fact. No doubt destroyed along with them."
"It makes no sense! She would never do it…especially not in her current regeneration. Never," The Doctor said weakly. "She can't just be…it doesn't…"
"I'm sorry, Doctor, but she's gone," the President of Gallifrey said, a hint of sadness finally touching her voice for a moment, "And I have a war to fight."
"And I don't," He said, turning the screen off and bending over the console as he tried to process what he had just found out. It made no sense. His hearts ached as he recalled bright eyes and laughter and a voice that had been so filled with fear. He shut the memories out. It changed nothing. He wasn't going to fight, nothing had changed. Perhaps once the war was more brutal, he could help heal those who had been hurt in it. But he would not fight.
He had lost so many friends, and would lose more by the time that the war was over. It wasn't as if she would have survived it anyway. What was one more lost friend amongst the dozens of others?