Pain, Like Blood

The Doctor's daughter died in her father's arms.

He held her close, his body wracked by the sobs he choked back. Not again, no, please, not again! he wanted to scream. That gaping hole he'd told Donna about, filled up with pain the way the bullet hole in Jenny's chest filled up with blood, was torn open afresh, and wave after wave of agony spilled forth.

The Storm churned.

But then the clouds parted, just for an instant, and a golden ray of hope broke through. The Doctor clutched at it like a lifeline. "Two hearts!" he half-whispered, looking up at his companions, his voice hoarse with grief. "Two hearts! She's like me! If we wait… if we just wait…" But it was false hope, he knew. Even if she could, it was too late.

Martha confirmed it. "There's no sign, Doctor," she said gently. "There's no regeneration. She's like you, but… maybe not enough."

And just like that, the last of the light disappeared.

The Storm howled.

"No," he choked out. "Too much. That's the truth of it. She was too much like me."

Only as he said it did he realize just how true that was. Only then did he understand the pain of his existence, the pain that stained his soul like Lady Macbeth's "damned spot." He'd lost so much, destroyed so much, he had nothing left. Oh, he had causes and companions and so many things he was prepared to die for, but nothing really to live for anymore. And he would deny that to his dying day.

But for one shining moment, he'd had Jenny. Beautiful, brilliant, amazing Jenny. The very idea of her had hurt, at first, but then she'd awakened something in him that he'd thought long dead. He'd been a father once, he could do it again—and by everything he'd ever held sacred, he was going to do it right. For just a little while, he had dared to dream of whisking her away from battle-scarred Messaline and traveling the stars together, of showing her the wonders of Time and Space. He had allowed himself to imagine her becoming a proper Time Lady. The brightness of her future overwhelmed the darkness of his past.

And then Cobb, that coward, how dare he call himself a General, had shattered those dreams. The Doctor had just finished describing the beautiful new world that awaited them, and while everyone else laid down their weapons, Cobb had shot at him. And Jenny had taken the bullet, saving his life. Her father's daughter, thought The Doctor bitterly. All that potential, all that blinding, brilliant light, gone, to protect a life he wasn't even sure was worth living anymore.

The Storm raged.

He laid her gently down, kissing her forehead tenderly. Then he looked over his shoulder at the man who had killed her.

In three long strides he stood towering over Cobb, whose men had forced him to his knees. He snatched up the gun from the floor, cocked it, and pointed it at the old man's head. He didn't know if it was still loaded. He didn't particularly care.

The Storm raged, tearing him apart. His breath came in ragged gasps, and his entire frame shook from the force of the rage and horror and pain and grief and loss that thundered and shrieked within him. He almost laughed at the terror on Cobb's face—he could see the Storm in The Doctor's eyes. The Daleks named me well.

The ersatz General cowered before the fury of the Time Lord.

After a few eternal seconds, The Doctor released the hammer, took the pistol by the barrel, and crouched down so he was face to face with Cobb. "I never would," he hissed. "Have you got that? I. Never. Would."

He stood and glared at the opposing forces. "When you start this new world, this world of Human and Hath," he ground out, "remember that!" He thundered his anger and pain at them with all the arrogance of a Child of Gallifrey. "Make the foundation of this society a man who never would!"

The Doctor flung the gun to the ground in disgust. His hands felt dirty for having touched it.

He sat beside the body of his daughter and waited for the tears to come.

But they didn't.

The Storm had passed.