You are always here to me

Disclaimer: Don't own Doctor Who, don't own the songs.

Phase One: Here without you

The moment he had realized that he had found someone so very special, she had been gone. And, no matter how present, no matter how close she was, to him she had always been one step ahead. There, but gone.

But never quite so physically gone. He had sometimes spent years waiting to meet her again, but now, after less than a month, he felt her absence like a constant pain, sometimes oddly numb, sometimes throbbing and stinging.

Missing her had never felt this final and for some reason he knew that there was only one last meeting ahead of him. Only the Singing Towers.

The air felt colder in the places where she should be standing.

His steps echoed through the empty rooms, and he waited and waited for another sound, but nothing came.

His ever-distant wife had become a black hole that was always there in the corner of his eye like a blot on his vision, threatening to drag him into darkness.

Something was missing just as obviously as if a bit of the console had been gone. Even the TARDIS felt it.

He was alone.


He hid from the emptiness in the darkest, most crammed corners deep within the maze of the TARDIS' corridors, but it always found him.


Phase Two: I can hear you talking

Of course he was hearing voices. He was too old, had seen too much, had lost too many to not hear them. Donna's voice that teased him. Rose's that talked about the bright side of things (she had gone very quiet lately). Amy's voice that tried to talk him into an adventure. Rory who pointed every last risk out to him.

And River, his voice of reason.

You need to eat, Sweetie.

Lethargically, he scrambled to his feet and dragged himself into the kitchen.

Come on, Doctor, you could go somewhere. Somewhere bright and exciting. He ignored Amy.

Look at you, don't tell me your age is showing now. Get a grip! He ignored Donna, too.

He took some bread, cheese and a cup of tea and crawled back into one of the remote chambers somewhere he had never cared to go before. Leave me alone, the lot of you, he thought. I'm too old and too broken for this.

I have retired.

Someone will find you if you stay here. At least disguise yourself if you have to continue moping.

He always listened to his wife.

At least when it came to that, he was a good husband.

Phase Three: The Ghost of You

He could see her. That probably meant that he was going crazy, but he didn't really care.

His brain had conjured a flawless image, whether to comfort or to torture him, he hadn't quite found out yet. She didn't do anything spectacular, most of the time she was just there somewhere, sitting on the armchair opposite in the library, mocking his skills when he tried to get the TARDIS do something complicated or passing outside his bedroom door within his last waking moments.

She was always by his side, no matter where he went (probably due to something psychological since she was his imagination). He knew she wasn't real.

And it hurt. Because his hallucination didn't just sit there. River spoke to him, obviously believing he could not see her, yelling at him when he was about to do something stupid, scolding him for being "a depressive, useless wimp who could save the universe if only he got his arse off his bloody chair for once".

She watched him cry with tears shimmering in her own eyes. Incapable of doing anything. She was a ghost. But sometimes she would reach out for him until her fingertips were but inches away and whispered his name.

It was like he was watching his wife through thin glass, so close and untouchable.

But, even though it was painful and tragic and even though it tore him apart, at least he wasn't alone anymore.

His dead wife became his constant companion through his years alone on a cloud, leaving him only once when he finally found the strength to visit the Singing Towers.

But as he returned, she was back by his side. And whether he was chasing Snowmen around London, searched high and low for Clara Oswald, fought the old God, encountered an Ice Warrior, hunted ghosts or Cybermen - whenever he turned around, she was there.

You watch us run.

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