Doctor Who: Doctoris Lacrimae

(Doctor's Tears)

Summary: He steps out of the TARDIS with his head held high, but not even a Doctor can hold back tears forever. A tribute to Elisabeth Sladen.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who and all of its characters, locations, etc., belong to their respective owners; I'm just borrowing. No copyright infringement intended!

Author's Note: A small, unworthy tribute to an incredible woman. Rest in peace, Elisabeth Sladen.

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The Doctor is crying.

He has done so well up until now, he really has. He's kept his head high, his shoulders back; he even helped to rescue at least two unique alien races before breakfast. He and his TARDIS have kept busy all day, zipping about time and space as if they don't have a care.

But they do.

The TARDIS does not twist quite as quickly as she should. The Doctor's head is not quite as high as he would prefer it to be. He tries at first to ignore it, push past the raw wound; but it remains as obvious as a big gaping black hole trying to swallow a sun. In some quiet piece of time out there - in her proper time, he supposes - exactly one year has passed since a most extraordinary woman has died.

Somehow, the world has moved on without her. Even he thinks he has, for a while. But on this day, this most terrible anniversary, the Doctor buries himself in a dark corner of the TARDIS.

Knees pulled up to his chest.

Bowtie hopelessly askew.

He weeps for her. The Doctor knows that if she was with him, she would smile at him, pat his hand, tell him that there is no need to cry. But she isn't there, and the ghost of her smile in his memory is not enough to stop his tears. Maybe if he were strong enough to swing by Earth and visit her - her grave, at least - he would have some closure. But he knows that he isn't strong enough. Maybe next year.

Maybe.

Oh, how he misses his Sarah Jane.

fin.