I don't own Doctor Who! In any regeneration, shape, or form! Please enjoy, and PLEASE review.
This is dedicated to Elisabeth Sladen, the ultimate companion. Little late, but I don't have a working TARDIS, so it happens.
The Doctor hit a button on the TARDIS' console and smiled as Amy and Rory wandered away, gathering their bags as the TARDIS sped through time and space.
"Do you ever envy them, Doctor?" River smiled at him from the other side of the console.
"Yes." He smiled at her surprise at his bluntness. "I am a complicated man, River Song."
She snorted. "Yeah, sure." She sat back in one of the nearby chairs. "Really, though. You have companions, and they travel with you, but eventually, they move on, have other lives. What do you do?"
"I live on." He shrugged. "Sometimes, I make new friends."
"Friends? Really? That's a stretch."
"I pick the best, River, sometimes, they pick me, or fate or whatever, throws them at me. But they're always the best." He smiled. "I have seen my companions move past me, in their own lives. They save people, worlds, even universes. I am not so modest to say they would do it if they had never known me, but they always had the potential. That's how I found them, or however we met."
"Still, it's lonely."
He was silent for a long moment. "I've had a few, not more than a handful, that I've seen over the course of more than one life. I can always go to them for a cuppa. No adventure needed."
River smiled. "Domestic."
"Yes." He cleared his throat, avoiding her uncomfortable gaze. "I had one, one of the special ones. Rose, her name was. We had an adventure where we met up with another of my companions. I hadn't seen her… Well, it had been a while. Anyway, the topic came up, about life after me. I told her that she, or any companion could spend the rest of their lives with me, but I could never spend the rest of my lives with them. Time Lord and all that. No matter what I do, eventually I watch you all die."
"What happened to her?"
The Doctor avoided the question with a shrug. "She pointed out the truth to me, that once my companions move on, I tend not to look in on them. I've been trying to change that, because of her." He smiled. "Even went to Sarah Jane's wedding."
"That wasn't exactly what I consider a domestic moment, if I remember the story right."
"You've heard her name before." It wasn't a question.
"Is it so hard to think that you would discuss your friends with me, someday?"
"Yes." River smiled and the Doctor frowned, uncomfortable again. "Anyway, that's that."
"Who's the DoctorDonna?"
"Where'd you hear that?"
"A song. An Ood song." River smiled. "I wondered if it was you."
"No. Oh no. Donna was… well." He blinked. "You don't recognize her name?"
River shook her head.
He had to turn away at the feelings he wouldn't be able to keep off his face. He thought for a moment of the Library, where Donna had asked about her future, and he had offered her River's journal. Spoilers, indeed.
"What's that look?" Amy asked as she emerged from the hallway, Rory in tow.
Sometimes… Yes, it was lonely.
"Have I told you about Donna? Or Sarah Jane?"
Amy frowned and shook her head.
"Well, then, settle in." The Doctor grinned brightly. "Nothing should ever be forgotten. My companions, most of all. Special, every single one of you. Best of the best."
So they all settled in, and the Doctor told tales for hours. He told them only of good times. He talked about a car named Bessie, and a Scottish piper, and a ridiculously long scarf. He told them of Sarah Jane the intrepid reporter, and of being a cranky old man. He told them of his best friend who never shut up no matter what, and of an immortal time agent.
Sometimes, it was lonely, yes.
Sometimes, it was perfect.