Title- Old Friend
Characters- Eleven and the Brig
Summary- "He has nothing else to give but this, nothing else he can give to his old friend but his silent presence and his eternal respect."
A/N- Everyone else has said it so well, but I had to have my say, incredibly short though it is. RIP Nicholas Courtney- you will be sorely missed.
He only realizes the date after he's dropped Rory and his pregnant wife off back in Leadworth. It occurs to him very suddenly that it's February of 2011, and he knows what that means. He's been here before, just once...
The TARDIS materializes in the cemetery on the hill, and he stands a little way back from the small crowd by the grave site. His place isn't by the coffin. The person resting inside it, he thinks sadly, is a far greater man that he'll ever be. The bravest man he ever knew.
He sees another figure tucked away from the crowd. His third self is leaning against a tree, hidden in the shadows across the hill. Their eyes meet and they nod simultaneously, each acknowledging the other's presence. It's only fitting that they both be here. One Doctor simply doesn't seem like enough on a day like this. He should all be here, but the rest of him never found the opportunity. He kept meaning to come, but somehow it never quite worked out. And so there are only two, the lost old man and the young one who knew him best of all.
He wishes he still had his fez or his stetson, so he could take it off in respect. But he doesn't. The Doctor has nothing else to give but this, nothing else he can give to his old friend but his silent presence and eternal respect. He sighs and turns away.