The plaque read "11" and he could see his distorted reflection in the brass. He grabbed the knob and twisted, peering inside to find out what awaited him. "Of course," he said, a sad smile forming on his face. "Who else?"
Her eyes glared at him defiantly. She was one of the few people he had ever met who could put him in his place with just a look. Whenever he had risen above himself, she was always sure to remind him of the right thing to do and of who he was meant to be. She was his advisor and confidante; and together they were brilliant.
But she never realized her own potential, and, for that, he had failed her. She thought she was ordinary, even less than that. But, oh, how wrong she was! Didn't she ever understand? The Doctor never accepts anything less than magnificent, and she was no exception. All of time and space was laid before her very feet as tribute, and she received it all with such greed and pleasure. Yet, she doesn't remember any of it.
When Jamie and Zoe forgot, that was different. He wasn't to blame; it was just a consequence of something much larger than himself. It wasn't his decision. And, he was promised, they wouldn't forget him entirely. But Donna. It was his fault entirely; he should have protected her. The course of events were in his hands, literally. And the worst part: she'll never know how important she really was, is still.
Her image remains as a warning: these people whom he invites along his journeys are more than just playmates; he plucks them from their real lives and promises them so many things that he can't always fulfill. It is his fault, never theirs.
But the guilt did not overpower him; if it had that ability, he would have succumbed to it long ago. No, he knew this was not his time. Carefully, he closed the door again, placing a "Do not disturb" sign over the knob, and continued on his way.