What each of the Doctor's companions did for him, how they helped him, or what they gave up from him, or what they learned from each other
Rose brought him back. She showed him humanity in a time where he'd had to force himself to forget. She showed him brightness, and happiness, and silly grins, and naïve innocence. And pink and yellow joy. She made sure he'd never forget that there are still people who will give up their life, or just themselves in general, for the person they love and the things they know are right. To fix what needs to be. She'd took the TARDIS in her head to help him; without knowing what she was doing, she'd shocked him into seeing that humans are beyond brave, and so very past loyal. As he'd regenerated his tenth time, she was the one that was there for him. That made sure no one found him when he was sleeping…and he woke up caring for her more than he did before, even if he had no idea who he was then, he knew it'd be okay, because she was Rose and he was with her.
Jack had shaken him loose, made him a little uncomfortable, and very amused. All at the same time. Jack had shown him that you can not give a damn sometimes, but still do what you gotta do. Jack had showed him that not everyone he touches gets burned. That he still had good effect on people; the Doctor had made Jack brave, had made him courageous and stronger and more inclined to do what should be done. Not what's easiest. And that made him feel needed in a way. A very weird Jack kind of way. All his companions had made him feel needed in a way, because they didn't understand the universe, and he did. The technical, factual part of it anyway. Jack'd died a hundered times, and will die a hundred more deaths, but he wakes up the same man. Doing things his own way. Sutbborn as hell, dirty, wild, fun, and never afraid. Jack taught him that when it comes down to it, some people can turn off their fear. And Jack could do that, when he knew he had to. Jack had been something else; he'd shown the Doctor how to be free, and still be loyal.
Martha had taught him a very hard lesson. She taught him to pay attention. If he'd known that before, he wouldn't have broken her heart the first few months, he would've noticed the way she looked at him. But she didn't just show him that he was a prat a lot of times. She showed him that women can be strong and smart and girly at the same time. She taught him more about loyalty; that when you care about someone, you do what it takes to help. She taught him how to make hard decisions; because as he watched her turn and wipe the tear off her cheek as she left the TARDIS, he realized she wasn't leaving just because of him; she was leaving because she had to. Because it was a decision that had to be made. For her family. For her friends. The ones that needed her and the ones that she was preventing from getting hurt by being around the Doctor. And most importantly, she showed him that you can stand up for yourself no matter how hard it is, or how much you want to give in. She loved him, or thought she did, and she still left. Because she knew he would never, could never, show that love back. And she left to protect herself; because she knew she deserved better and she didn't care if she didn't know yet how to find it. Bravery and indepence. Miss Martha Jones.
Donna taught him many things. Mostly by repeating it in his ear a million times a day that he was a dunce. Donna taught him humility; that not every girl he meets will love him like….that. Donna showed him how to laugh, even if they were in danger, because if something's funny, you LAUGH damn it. Donna taught him bravery too, and instilled a new sense of adventure in him. Donna gave him a friend. A buddy. His first best friend in over 800 years. She showed him how to mock, and make fun, and laugh, and carry on with someone again. She taught him honesty, or more accurately, BLUNTNESS. She wasn't scared to give him a kick in the ass or a slap to the head. She made him listen to her, and reminded him that everyone everywhere are worth something. Are the same, and deserve to be treated like it. She reminded him time and time again, that yeah, I'm human, but I have a voice. And you will note it.
Amy made him smile; simple as that. She brought back the child in him, and the flirt in him. She renewed the wonder in the universe for him, reminded him that it's still there, always will be, just gotta remember how to see it. She opened his eyes. She made him laugh again, after he'd lost Donna, laugh in a way that made him feel human. Or normal. Or not alone. She was his best friend and she would always be there when he came back to her. Amy was amazing, sarcastic, crass, a little rude, wonderful, not sweet but kind, very sassy, and extremely had a huge heart, the kind of heart he used to have. Sure, she could annoy him to no end, and did. Frequently. But she reminded him of family, like she was his little sister. His little sister that's gorgeous and kind of kissed him, but that's beside the point…no, that's very far away from the point actually. And she surprised him, because she was brilliant. She made snap decisions in the moment when she was terrified, that were actually genius. She knew people, and seemed to use that to help them. Because there was a desperate need to reach out in her. Reach out to care for others, fix them, reach out to the stars to see more. She was a lot like him in some ways; stubborn, curious, enthusiastic, brave, big-hearted. But she didn't have the gnawing feeling in her gut that her innocence was gone like the Doctor did. And the fact that she retain her innocence, while still being all saucy and Amy like, made him have hope that he could keep his too. He saw in her what he'd forgotten he wanted to be. And it made him smile.
River. Another Pond. …..She did his head in. Drove him bonkers. Completely and utterly MAD. She made him crazy and angry and excited and nervous and ecstatic and a bunch of other equally stupid and wonderful emotions. She was his friend, his wife, his partner in crime, his personal unsolvable mistery, his heartbreak, his joy, and his equal. She understood things about him that no one else could ever begin to grasp. She was like him-and not just because she was a Timelord. But because she saw things the way he did, she saw the universe as a beautiful mad adventure full of timey wimeyness. She was the only one he could ever trust HIMSELF with, trust his soul with, because she had a way of calming him- making him less frightened of someone knowing him- and exciting him-terrifying him because of the way she makes him feel- at the same time. She outwitted him constantly and she got along with his TARDIS better than he did at times and she was quite insane and irritating….but she was wonderful. She loved him more than anyone else in the whole of time and space ever had; she gave up all her regenerations for him. And she impressed him, honestly, he stood in awe of her sometimes; she was raised since she was a baby, programmed and brainwashed, to kill him, but when she saw that he was not who they taught her that he was, that he cared, she CHOSE to change her destiny, she fought her brainwashing. Nobody ever could tell her what to do. His bad, bad girl. But she wasn't; she was good.
Rory. His father-in-law (That carries a sword). Rory Williams is a lot of different things, but when it comes right down to, the most important thing about Rory is that he's a good man. He's brave beyond belief, although he has no background or education to make him so. He's the most loyal human the Doctor has ever met. He's the kind of man that when he finds someone he loves, he'll fight armies or wait a thousand years just for that one person. He's a family man and a warrior; The Last Centurion and The Boy Who Waited. The Doctor knows that Rory will be able to move on without him; it was never Rory's idea to go off on adventures anyway, he just did that for Amy. Because that's who he is; it doesn't matter much to him what he's doing, just that he's with the people he loves. He's a selfless man that's completely content in being so. He's introduced an idea into the Doctor's head that the old Timelord never believed he could even consider- that there are all kinds of adventures, that don't have to include dangerous aliens. He's shown him that running and adventures and madness isn't the only way for a happy life. That being happy isn't about getting everything you wanting, or going and seeing and doing everything you ever wanted to. No, to be happy, you simply have to find the one thing that never fails to put joy into your heart. And for Rory, that was his family. The Doctor had been alone so long that he'd forgotten completely how families work. Rory, however inadvertenly, reminded him of how it works again. e reminded him that you do whatever you can for those who you love. He reminded him that there are people in this world that will always be there for you, if you let them be. He showed him that family isn't a one-sided thing; every member of a family is a different part, making up a whole. He taught him that together, a family is the strongest thing out there. Rory Williams taught the Doctor about family.
The Doctor had been flying around the universe for over a thousand years now. He must have been to at least 500 diferent planets all in a million different years. He's seen stars being born and has watched civilazations crumble and begin again. He's seen ruby waterfalls and planets made completely of jungle. He's saved hundreds of planets and gotten to do things most people wouldn't even dream of. But the thing that held him in a constant state of wonder, was not all the magical places he's been or the extradanary things he's done, but the people. The people that have passed through his life is what has impressed him that most. They're loyalty, their bravery, their madness and craving for MORE, their brilliance, they're intelligence, their goodness, and their heart. That's what he truly loves about his life. The companions that shine so brightly. His friends have always been the best of him.