Doctor Who – Shattered

The Doctor was beginning to wonder when he’d run out of hearts.

To his knowledge, he’d never had more than two. But with the amount of pain, and the number of times they d broken, he was starting to think he surely had used up more than that by now.

He’d lost companions before. He’d lost friends, he’d lost his entire world and species and yet he could still feel pain. Not just the old pain, dulled by distance, but the fresh pain.

Rose.

Susan.

Rose.

Astrid.

Rose.

Reinette.

Rose.

Joan.

Rose.

Donna.

Rose.

Sarah Jane.

Rose.

K9.

Rose.

Romana.

Rose.

River.

Rose.

The entire Time Lord race.

Rose.

Gallifrey.

Rose.

Adelaide.

Rose.

Who was he kidding? It was Rose. It was always Rose. He sighed and closed his eyes, pressing his hands against the TARDIS console. He tried to lose himself. He tried to distance himself from his oncoming death. He succeeded in distractions. He succeeded in scaring himself nearly into regenerating, simply with how far he was willing to go.

Time Lord Victorious, indeed He was victorious in nothing. He was a loser. He lost friends, he lost family, he lost everyone he cared about.

He lost Rose.

Every time his exhaustion caught up with him and he had no choice but to sleep, he heard the roaring of the Void suction, saw that white wall, saw the look on Rose s face when he was cut off, unable to say goodbye properly Unable to tell her that he loved her. He woke up with a wet pillow and tears still falling every time.

It had been different for awhile, when Donna had been there. He’d felt better. Happy, almost. And then there was the hope of Rose s return to carry him through. Now well, now he hoped she was happy. Hoped that his Metacrisis double was giving her the fantastic life he’d always wanted for her, the one adventure he could never have. He was having it, in a way, he supposed.

Sometimes he caught flashes that he hoped were a remnant of an actual connection with his other self. An image of Rose at a breakfast table, laughing. He’d get an impression of a warm body against his chest in a still moment, so vivid that he could feel Rose s heartbeat against his chest. And with every flash, with every vision or impression, while it dug deeper into the hole in his heart, it gave him the knowledge that he’d done the right thing when he left them there.

Of course, that s assuming that he hadn t simply lost his mind with all the grief, all the pain, all the heartaches. Hallucinations could easily explain the flashes, and the feelings but he didn t let himself dwell on that. Admitting you have a problem is half the battle and he did NOT want to win that particular battle. If that was a delusion, it was one that he desperately needed to maintain in order to hold the tenuous grasp on his sanity that he had at this point. He hurt so much there was no distraction for more than a few moments. No matter what kind of danger he was in, no matter who he met, it couldn t dull the pain. Nothing could fill in the hole in his hearts. It was as if every pain he’d suffered before losing Rose had simply cracked the surface but when he lost her, the woman he loved, it broke, and it broke dramatically. Shattered.

He felt shattered. That was a good word to express it. And it just made him wonder how it was possible that only two hearts could feel so much pain.

The Doctor thought he should have run out of hearts by now.