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The Doctor stood in the lamplight, outside a pub in vacant London. False snow clung to his hair, and his breath whirled visibly in the cold breeze. Christmas night… He’d had to come here, after all he’d lost. Had to see what he’d done, the 6 billion people he’d saved… To prove that it was worth it. Even if he’d never believe it himself.

6 billion and 3. His subconscious countered. He had to see them and feel them and bathe in their goodness, their magnificence. Had to convince himself to go on, for their sakes. For Martha. For Jack. For Rose. For all the others out here… Surviving. Living.

And for Astrid. For Adric. For all the beautiful people tossed to the wayside- unnamed, unknown, all with their beautiful futures that The Doctor had marred beyond recognition. Those who had been brave and good, those he couldn’t save… Whose faces he’d see every night, every blink, behind his eyelids.

They all thought the doctor was brave- all those fantastic companions he’d loved and lost, they all looked at him with stars in their eyes. The Good Doctor. Out there every day, selflessly, saving the universe. Well that wasn’t bravery, and The Doctor knew it, better than most.

It was fear.

The Doctor had always been a coward, even before the Time War. He hadn’t lied when he’d told Martha and Jack he'd run- he did. Never stopping, never staying, always terrified of becoming too close, of feeling
He’d gotten too close with Rose. Look where it landed him. His eyes watered at that thought, but he squeezed them shut against the cold breeze.

He stared at Jack through the frosted window, laughing with his team, clashing glasses joyfully, exchanging gifts… Even Martha was there. Good ol’ Martha, of course no alien invasion was going to scare her off. The Doctor almost smiled. But he didn’t, because of the fear waiting right behind his eyes- fear of himself, of the warm, bubbling longing in his heart, his mind wandering to how easy it would be, just turn the handle, walk in, surround himself with all that love…

Jack’s head snapped away from the celebration as if he could hear The Doctor’s thoughts. And The Doctor ducked out of sight, his back to the cold bricks, ashes, not snow, on the breeze tousling his hair. He hated and loved Jack in that moment, as he had since they’d been reunited. Because he wasn’t sickened by Jack, by his eternity, his inerasable existence in the universe. No, it was a far more twisted compulsion that drove his anger toward the man- and that was fear. Jack was a constant. He could give The Doctor what he’d never had- someone to go home to. A companion that the ages would not whither and destroy. And quite frankly, that scared the shit out of him. The possibility of someone that close. Someone who wouldn’t fade away. Gripping his hands, digging bloody half-moons into his palms, The Doctor prayed for the courage to be a coward.

Jack burst through the door just in time to hear the sirens, the unmistakable sounds of the TARDIS; to see its half-eclipsed form pulsing into nothingness. And he punched the cold brick with anger, wishing, not for the first time, that The Doctor would let him take the fear away.
I do not own any of these characters, Doctor Who, or Torchwood.
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dyien Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
zomg fantastic!! :D
SheikahWarrior Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2008  Student Writer
thank you :)
spottail Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008   Writer
spottail Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2008   Writer
Wow. That was really good!
SheikahWarrior Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2008  Student Writer
Thank you-AAH! Your signature! The Hollow Men! Best poem ever! *lovelovelove* :)
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Submitted on
June 6, 2008
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