Don't know where this came from, really. Thought of the summary randomly and I sat down and just let myself write. Set after Journey's End, but before Planet of the Dead. Hope you all like it! I love reviews.

I actually started crying while writing this. That should be some indication of how many tissues you're going to need.

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. If I did, Steven Moffat would have written Donna back into the show a long time ago. The Master too.

He misses her ginger hair.

He almost took it from her too. Not in a creepy way, mind, but the color itself could be extracted and replicated easily. With a little bit of genetic therapy, BAM! He could have red hair.

He never asked her, of course. She would have just hit him and accused him of being a creep with that smile on her face. He misses that smile too. It lit up the inside of the TARDIS like nothing else ever had. It made the old phone box feel like home again.

Strange that home was with one's best friend rather than a wife or a lover. He'd only had the first of the two, and just once. Their children and grandchildren were all dead now.

It sort of made sense, in a way, that home was with your best friend. Best friends were the people you told secrets to because you knew they'd never tell anyone else. He hadn't had a best friend in a long time. Not since... Well, the Master. But best friends didn't have expectations of you.

Rose's expectations had been more than he could handle; leaving her at Bad Wolf Bay the second time around was the only real option. He gave her as much of himself as he could manage and then fled, away from the potentially dangerous new look in her eyes. Working in the alternate universe had changed her; she wasn't the Rose he had left behind the first time. Now she was armed with knowledge, not afraid to tear down the walls of a universe and slaughter trillions with its collapse. She wasn't his anymore, he reasoned; perhaps the other Doctor would grow with her and she would learn once again what she had forgotten.

Martha's expectations had been completely different. Romance had never been his strong point; it hadn't even been so with Rose. He had hoped that ignoring the problem, in this particular case, would make it go away, but he never had good luck in that field. Or in any field, for that matter. Martha's sidelong glances became feet stomped in frustration, huffs of the voice, and condescending words. She was his friend, but the demand to be much more was one he could not accept. In the end, she had been happy with Mickey, something that he was more than glad to see.

Donna had been so many things, but she had been nothing like Rose or Martha.

When Rose would have been standing back in shock at someone's injury, Donna would have been rushing forward asking what she could do to help. When Rose would have expected him to return for her, Donna would have been surprised to hear him say her name and see him over her shoulder. Where Rose was scared, Donna was brave, and where Rose would not admit her mistakes, Donna threw her own back in her face as a constant reminder.

When Martha would have been standing in the corner, arms crossed and sulking because of the pretty blond girl, Donna would have been speaking softly and saying exactly what he needed to hear. When Martha would have been standing in shock at a hand in a jar, Donna would have been examining it with interest and cracking a joke at its owner's expense. Where Martha was self-absorbed, Donna was kind, and where Martha was easily surprised, Donna was open-minded.

Home was with Donna because she didn't expect. She didn't demand. She didn't complain.

And now she was gone. Home was gone. Again.

Perhaps he had finally learned that looking for the one thing you wanted the most would always ensure its destruction. So that left only one option – traveling alone.

He came to the conclusion that it was the best way. He didn't want anyone else after home.