Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor was throwing switches and pushing buttons when Rory and Amy emerged from one of the corridors, Rory pulling on a fresh shirt.
"All patched?" he asked them. Amy nodded.
"Just like you said, three lefts and a right, to the 'stitch-o-matic'," she said, rolling her eyes. "Is that even a real medical machine? Or something you picked up on some creepy alien planet?"
"Did you use the 'human' setting?"
"Duh. Wouldn't want him getting sowed up weird," Amy said, kissing Rory's cheek.
"And you're sure there's no normal black thread?" Rory asked.
"What's wrong with orange and blue?" the Doctor scoffed. "Orange and blue is more exciting than boring old black anyways."
"Doctor…" Amy started, frowning at the console.
"Is that thing… the creature from Midnight… Is it dead?"
He stared at her for a moment, his expression unreadable. It was moments like these that his eyes shone with the mysteries of all of time and space, glittering darkly, seeming to be trying to convey meaning to her but in a language she had yet to learn, and probably would never live long enough or see enough to learn.
It was suddenly easy to see that this man, this… Time Lord, had seen the birth and death of the universe, had seen wars to end all wars, had destroyed his people, everyone he knew and loved and cared about, the only people in the universe who truly understood what it was like to look across time and space.
Those eyes, that face, so young, but so old. It seemed as though he would implode from the pressure the universe put on him, but at the same time, as though he would explode from the knowledge and experience and power he contained.
His expression was empty- it said that he would never tell her, and that terrified her, that he wouldn't tell, but soothed her that she wouldn't be burdened by the weight of what he left unrevealed.
He turned away.
Quick, clever hands snapped a row of switches, then rang a bell. "Where are we going next?" he asked, keeping a pretense of happiness and energy that nobody believed, but made them comfortable anyways. And in one corner of his mind... He could hear it.
I'm still alive. Keep killing yourselves- I'll get what I want eventually. He shivered violently, and flipped a few more switches, taking them far away.
Done! Special thanks to Shiny Ivyleaves, who remained a consistent reviewer and critiquer through the entire story! And for those who are interested...
NEXT STORY: The Doctor didn't abandon Amy and Rory just because he wanted to preserve their lives. He was preserving their fond memories of him, because he knows he isn't going to be that way much longer. As the Doctor is saying good-bye for what looks like the last time, he knows that, in his blood, an ancient virus is destroying him, cell by cell, death pumped through his veins by the same two hearts that once pumped life through him. There is no stopping it.
It's slightly graphic... lots of blood refrences, and medical jargon, and some things that most would deem "OHMYGROSS"ness. Unsure of the publish date- I'm only about halfway through right now, and as much as I want to start posting already, I don't dare, because I have a tendacy of getting halfway through, then going back and rewiriting minor details so they'll be major but subtle contributions to the plot. But it will be up eventually. Keep an eye out!