I love the summer holidays...I'm cranking out so much stuff! :)
Anyway, this is a totally unplanned one-shot, inspiration of which probably hit me about an hour ago. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I love my angst (a little too much), and this story probably takes the metaphorical cake.
Because I've thought a lot about what the First Doctor would think of what Eleven has been up to, Series 6 and the Battle of Demon's Run, in particular. Frankly, I don't think he would like it at all, he would be horrified. So here's my angsty character study-ish thing, a kind of introspective into what the Doctor really thinks of himself, and what he thinks of what others think of him. It's quite dark, and puts the whole series into a kind of different light.
Slight, vague spoilers for A Good Man Goes To War. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Also, if you want to add some extra mood, play the 'Time Lord Victorious' music in the background...makes it dark and dramatic. :)
There's mentions of Classic companions, but seriously, no knowledge needed, it's really vague. Apart from Tegan, but that's informative, and frankly, her input was seriously needed.
"You think I wanted this?I didn't do this. This... this wasn't me!"
"This was exactly you. All this, all of it. You make them so afraid. When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you'd become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name? Doctor? The word for healer and wise man, throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word "Doctor" means mighty warrior. How far you've come. And now they've taken a child... the child of your best friends... and they're going to turn her into a weapon, just to bring you down. And all this, my love...in fear of you."
Her words rung in his head, and he ground his teeth, resisting the urge to punch something now that he was alone in the TARDIS after weeks of searching for the child. There was nothing, nothing at all…and all he could think about was what that child – the grown up version – had said to him after that battle, after he had fallen so hard from such a great height. He wouldn't have cared what she said…only…
It was true. All of it, every last word.
He had left Gallifrey with his young granddaughter in tow, alike souls ready to see the universe and sick of being held back by the supposedly 'noble' Time Lord race. The seriousness of the action had never struck him until she had left, and he found himself suddenly without kindred, surrounded by humans who didn't understand him in the slightest, and frankly were almost scared of him. And he had realised that he could never return, for fear of punishment. And he'd had a taste of the freedom, something he knew he would never give up.
But that man…the man he had once been. He somehow found it hard to imagine being that man, so naïve, but also could not forget the bliss of how pure his mind had been back then. Oh, back then he had just been a silly old man in a machine he couldn't control, and had the internal glee and maturity of a child. Because it had all been about being old, and grumpy, and important…
Now that he was all of those things, he realised that he had been missing out on absolutely nothing. Old age wasn't glamorous. His one thousand and three hundred years – and the fact that he had felt the need to start lying about it told a whole story of its own…nine hundred, seriously? – they weighed down on him, pressing against his hearts and mind and making it harder to live with himself with every passing second. His old age ate at him, nagged at his conscience and reminded him of every monster, every weapon, every death that had ever happened, ever happened because of and for him.
Because back in the days when was still easy, when he ran around Earth doing impressive martial arts, or even when he had that stupid haircut, and his first bowtie…he had actually looked back at his first life with pity and contempt, glad to have moved on. Over the centuries, as the deaths continued and he just kept losing people, he began to realise something.
He was jealous. Forever jealous of himself, wanting to be that old man again, because being old would mean being young. It was ironic, really. When he had looked old, his eyes were so bright, so ready for whatever the universe could throw at him. Look at him now. Face of a baby, and eyes of a man who has seen centuries of pain, lived through it himself, seen the death of hundreds of races, including his own, and had been forgotten by so many of his so called 'best friends'. Those two teachers, the ones that had travelled with him, the ones who had started the endless line of human travelling companions, what would they say? They wouldn't recognise him. Not just the face, but the eyes and the soul. He was nothing like the man they had known, and he never would be again…it was far too late.
What were those words again? "The man who can turn armies at the mention of his name…" The word Doctor used to just come with an obvious and predictable follow-up question, now it was met with sideways glances and fearful retreats. How far he had come, indeed…
He had just been a man…a silly, overly smart, stupid man, travelling the universe because it was what he enjoyed, and there was always more trouble to get into, more people to save and more ways to show off. He had never been important, just a strange man in strange clothing, with a girl by his side, who was there to keep him company, help him out, and above all, make him feel clever. He would turn up out of nowhere in his strange blue box and wonder into people's lives for a few brief hours, days at the most, and then keep going, never stopping for anyone. And no one remembered him, not really. There would never be anything more than a hazy memory, a memory of a man who had helped out in a tough situation. No one special. Just a man, and nothing more.
Now…he was a legend, who could turn armies, cause people to form groups and cults around him…and it made him sick how much power he had over them, how important he had become. He didn't want to be important, or powerful. He wanted to go back to being tiny, an insignificant speck who made some changes now again, who didn't look at the universe and just see a backyard…
He wanted to be the man he used to be. The man who – had he been able to see what he would become – would be completely and utterly disgusted with himself. Be disbelieving, even. Summon armies? Pah, he couldn't even take a trip to Rome without having to impersonate a musician, get embroiled in an assassination plot he knew nothing about, and end up giving Emperor Nero the idea of burning Rome…by accident, though, of course. But what a joke…if only. He could it see now, the old Time Lord would lift his chin, trying to make up for his slight lack in height, and eye him condescendingly, making him feel like a guilty school boy who had been playing soldiers for too long. And then would come the scolding, the anger, the cold yet fierce and bitter disappointment.
He had never meant to be this. Never wanted to be this. Didn't want to be viewed as a mighty thing. He wanted to crawl into a corner, hide from the universe, hide from everyone who thought he was this amazing, shining thing, because he wasn't.
Maybe once…when he had had the love and the support of others, ones who didn't hold him as an idol, but as a person and friend…Steven, Jamie, Zoe, Liz, Sarah, Romana, Nyssa, Tegan, Peri…not some 'Last of the Time Lords'. Just a Time Lord, and a rather pathetic excuse for one. It hadn't mattered back then. But even Tegan had noticed it, so far back that it had barely begun to touch him yet. It had hit her, the pain and death that followed him, and it had been that relevation that took her away from him.
He gripped the console as he remembered her parting words…
"I'm not coming with you."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm tired of it."
"What's the matter?"
"A lot of good people have died today. I think I'm sick of it."
"You think I wanted it this way?"
"No, it's just that I don't think I can go on."
"You want to stay on Earth."
"My Aunt Vanessa said, when I became an Air Stewardess, if you stop enjoying it, give it up."
"It's stopped being fun, Doctor! Goodbye."
She had been the first to notice…but not the last. It had been her departure that had made him realise his errors, and he began trying to mend his ways from then on, determined not to let himself become who she thought he was. He had tried so hard.
But it was too late. After centuries of trying, he had failed. He had become too big, too powerful, too important…and he felt every fibre of his being, every part of him, every past incarnation and life that was inside him…he felt their complete, utter disappointment.
His head hung as his body began to shake with uncontrollable, ashamed, broken sobs.
So, there's my two cents! :) Yeah, it's screwed up and dark, but heck, Eleven hates himself, his self-loathing is no secret (*cough* DREAM LORD *cough*), so frankly, it makes sense to me. Frankly, at the rate he's going...the Valeyard's existance totally makes sense.
Hope you liked it...any questions, feel free to ask, otherwise, just let me know your thoughts in a review please! It would make my day, because I really do care what you think, and value every opinion I get, which is why I reply to every review I receive.