Rather too angsty than usual, so consider this a vent fic of sorts. This is a result of a current low mood and musing about missing scenes in DD. Yeah, I know it was on 2+ years ago. But it hurt, and no amount of reunion fics will change that. This is right after the loss. Brooding, musing Ten and desolate streets. Oh yeah.
Title is based off Hardy's poem. I somehow..liked the idea of memories coming to life through tactile objects, even as mankind dies and fades away. And don't even get me started on the whole 'futility of life, why do I bother' part of it.
Very angsty and introspective, save for a teeny amount of fluff. You have ben warned.
You may notice some..kinda reversed dialogue from the episode iRose/i [..it seemed..fitting? :p] so:
bDisclaimer/b I don't even own Doctor Who, it belongs to the Beebs. Oh hail. I just write to implicitly complain about any crap in it I don't agree with XD
The sky bleeds grey, and there is a suspicious lightness to his frame as he pads across the desolate street. Only it's a lightness he does not like at all. Even though he's not sure what it is, or means, or why it's there.
For that matter, he's not sure of anything anymore. It feels as if all his senses are dimmed. Irresolute, like the pale ochre wash of the sun barely seeping through steadily blackening clouds. Since losing the one thing that made his world that much brighter to the white tumult, he feels...nothing.
Pausing in his heavy steps, he tries to feel the Earth alive beneath him, an ancient breathing at its molten core. Under the thin soles of his Converse-clad feet and beyond, it screams an unsettling silence. Not even a hum. Dead. He tries to pick up something, anything, but cannot feel the ongoing turn of the planet, and as it hurtles around the Sun. We're falling, falling through space, he muses, though no one else knows because it's too superficial. Everything is standing still. And he can't feel it either.
A graceful arc of lightening splices the heavens for a moment, and a figure scurries hurriedly across the vast blandness of the street, out of view, footsteps eerily loud. Grey-washed blocks of buildings flank the roads, stacked upon each other, and it's a place he knows too well. He feels numb, yes, but the pang of misguided hope rests heavy on him enough that the sinking yet rising of his weary hearts is too much. Too tangible. He's always been one to shy from overt display of emotion, yet this is on the inside. It doesn't show, but it wouldn't matter if anyone could see his grief because they don't care.
Nearing the estate, the familiarity of the broad stretch of ground strikes him. A thousand different memories reside here and, hell, he's exaggerating but it's not like anyone knows.
A murmur of thunder rolls out across the skyline, as if not to disturb the peace. Or perhaps to break everyone out of their reverie somewhat. Maybe they need it. Forgotten slivers of paper pull about in tight circles as a nervous breeze picks up, ruffling his dark attire a little. They skip and tumble, mixing with soulless leaves and landing in dredges, turning his attention to the crowds milling together, whispering in hushed tones. They cling together, keeping together what remains of their families. Grey text on white sheets line the wall, and as he stares as them, the print seems to blur. Turns his gaze away, not wanting to face the evidence that proves what he'd lost not two hours ago is actual.
Yet something propels him forward. His weary feet carry him, in an almost somnolent manner, closer to the mourning couple closest to the lists. Red-rimmed eyes glance up at him, some mothers, some children, with ashen faces, and when he inexpressively looks back before squinting for the names he's looking for, eyes hastily lower.
Names upon names. So many. Today this is the list of the missing ones, tomorrow he knows it'll be impassively telling of the list of the dead. When he finds what he's looking for, it shocks him into realization. Her name doesn't look right in plain black script. And neither do all the rest. This shouldn't have happened, but he doesn't have the energy to rant, to rave to anyone about his loss. Runs a shaking hand through his rumpled locks, already teased out of the frustration of the day.
A young girl, faced framed by straggled russet locks, chokes a muffled sound, and collapses into the nearest familiar arms. He blankly observes her being consoled, aware that whilst these people may have little, there was someone there to catch her.
Their sorrow, grief and trepidation emanates from the pack –and everywhere- at such a tangible intensity it yawns before him like an ominous pit. That lump pushes its way into his throat, but he pushes it back. There's little left in him even to grieve. Lost so much that nothing would make up from.
Suddenly his hackles rise at the atmosphere of this place. They feel sorrow, pain? They couldn't even begin to comprehend the burden his own distraught brings him. They couldn't possibly know what grief is. He wants, needs, to run to orange-burnished skies and scream himself hoarse with his pain. It feels as if someone has a steadfast grip on the lower lobes of his lungs and, swallowing back what is left of him, he strides over to the doors of the flat, which cry of the neglect of the world, its surface peeling weathered paint.
It's not over yet, not is it just. He still has one thing left he can do, though, to somehow keep this part of the world intact, to preserve it. Not exactly trying to avoid the enormity of the devastation that lies before him –around him. It's inescapable. But it might help.
Floorboards creak dispassionately at him, and everything is musty, reeking of long-forgotten ghosts and souls. Not so long forgotten here, though; as he gingerly pushes the front door open into the abyss of a once familiar place. Why does it all seem so..small? Compared to his ship, yes, but this is...was –he can't decide, it's too painful – her home. Her life, and her death, in a way, all in one and it gives him the most mixed up feelings.
He had to use a fair bribe to get in. If he had to state himself as a next of kin of anyone else in perfectly content situation, he would've scoffed and utterly refused. But this time...it felt okay. It felt..right.
Covering the length of the slight corridor leading to the living-room, memories alight before his eyes. They were here only a few hours ago. That makes his stomach tighten immeasurably, eyes catching sight of the abandoned Bazoolium lying on the dusty side. The sight of the photographs has always made him smile, because he's never had anything like that. Never wanted to record his past. There was so much, yet too little.
Fingertips caress the alien metallic surface, as though trying to touch the memories. Images wash back, though fractured and distant.
He can see her fervent joy, the smile that lights up the room. Or rather outside. But even in the busy hustle and bustle of the market, he knows she is special. Before he journeys back on that dreaded weekly –or fortnightly, or monthly; time is almost non-existent onboard – to where she truly belongs. Or he thinks she does. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he raises his head to the bright crowds, only to notice her absence. She watches, noticing his shoulders slump, his forehead crease in an exclamation of disappointment. He thinks she's left him, just forgotten him? Waving from a stacked nearby stall –the mass of elegant carpets and tapestries may be the reason he cannot see her- she grasps his attention:
"Doctor!" A voice full of light, laughter at his doubt which has never been so pronounced. The effect of this on him is magical. He grins almost manically, earning a few odd looks from other patrons and strides towards her. She laughs again because its barely much of a distance, and he's steadily getting more and more shocked, sceptical observances.
He's not sure why he's so happy, but it doesn't bother him one bit. It's probably something to do with the atmosphere on this planet. Offering the tinny object in his palm, he denounces its origin and rambles on for some while, who knows, before being pulled into a bear hug. Warmth and content rush through him. This is just fine, he thinks, pressing the softest of kisses to her hairline.
Pulled out of the memory of his own accord, the dankness of the flat seems even dimmer now. With a heavy sigh and some carelessness, he places the Bazoolium down on the oak surface, the need to remain here almost abhorrent to him now. It's that itch to jump, to run, again, but it's not right. He shouldn't be running. Running away from the truth, like he does. Settling down with the full weight of his grief onto the floor with a slight whump, he prays to gods and goddesses he doesn't believe in to get him out of this mess, and find a way forward. There must be some way he can see her again. Against all the odds there always is. Because he's the Doctor, and his long life, spread like pages of some ancient old gold-leafed volume, is like that