He hated days like this.
The Doctor sat alone in a dull green armchair, thinking over the recent departure of his latest companion. That and why he had such an ugly chair in the first place.
"Honestly Clara, why do I-" He began to ask, only pausing once he realized he was alone.
It had been months since he had woken up in that desert, but he couldn't help shaking that awful feeling. It was a hollow, crushing blow that was all the worse when he couldn't remember why it such a difficult feeling. If there was anything worse than caring, it was not knowing why.
He sighed as he looked around the room. It was a nice, quaint little area in the TARDIS, with a high ceiling and walls adorned with bookshelves full of papers and scrolls from all sorts of places and times he had been. The chair he sat in faced towards the only space in the room adorned not with books, but a stone fireplace. To his left was a small brown table with a book and his sonic screwdriver placed on top. The other chair appeared just as his did, but empty.
He hated this place. It teemed with sad memories, too many to reminisce on in one sitting. Instead, his mind would betray him and focus on one of the many he had lost. Some days, he would see Susan sitting in the opposite chair, laughing as she read tales of the lost moon of Poosh. Others filled with Madame de Pompadour as she stared intently at the fireplace waiting for him. Still others would come and go. Ace, Rose, Donna, Ian, K9, Sarah, and the list would go on and on. It was always a different face, one that always left him in tears or screaming.
Not today. That would be much too kind. Instead, it was mocking him with the one face he couldn't see as he stared at the table's lone book.
That's all he remembered: a name. It wasn't even a complete name either, so he couldn't just look up her on the TARDIS database and whisk himself away to her. This must have been how Donna felt…
No, she completely forgot. Nothing remained of him in her memories, not even his name. Yet he remained Clara's.
He got up from his chair, walking to the door heading out from the room to the console room. He didn't want to care anymore. He reached for the door handle and turned, but it wouldn't budge.
"Oh come on! I have more important things to do!" He argued with the door, hoping that maybe a shout or two would make it open. "So many other things to do besides caring!"
The TARDIS responded with a low moan and the sound of it landing.
The Doctor grinned at the universal sound of hope. "Excellent, now-" It quickly turned back to its low frown as he once again tried the handle to no avail. He furrowed his attack eyebrows, angry that he was stuck with his thoughts in the room. Unless…
He jolted to the small table and grabbed his sonic. He raised it to the door and pressed the button. Blue light illuminated the handle, but nothing happened. He looked up at the door, only to see that it was made of wood.
"Well that's great!" He huffed sarcastically. "Why do I even have wood here? Better yet, why haven't I fixed the settings for wood?"
The TARDIS whirled once again, answering the Doctor the only way a madman would understand.
He turned away from the door, muttering under his breath as he made his way back to his chair. He slouched into it, peering into the fireplace as he thought about his predicament. Hours passed like this, with the old timelord staring while trying not to care.
However, he was betrayed by his own caring hearts. He thought of Clara and the mystery surrounding her. It was oddly familiar for her to be a mystery to him, despite his frustration of not remembering her.
As time progressed, his neck began to strain from looking near the base of the fire in same position for hours. Tilting his head to the side to pop it, he saw the lone book on the table by him. While he had known that the book was there, he couldn't remember what it was or why it was there. Unlike Clara, however, he could solve that mystery.
He picked up the book and looked at the book's simple cover. It was a brown, leather bound book, looking newer than many of the other works in the TARDIS library. It had no title or author written on the front or book. He opened the book to the first page, which simply read as Memories.
The Doctor read the vague title in distaste. He closed the book and walked to the shelf to put it away. Once that was done, he returned to his seat and sat down. Folding his hands together by his chin, he tried to think of a way out of the room.
Yet the book called out for him. Not literally of course, but it intrigued his curiosity more than he would have liked to admit. Grumbling as he got up from his seat, he returned to where he shelved the book and sat back down in the chair.
He inspected the book's cover again, running over it with his sonic to see if there was anything interesting about it. Reading the report it gave him, he was startled to see that the book's papers were made from Gallifreyan trees. He opened the page to read the title once more, seeing if it was written in the language of the TIme Lords. No, it was written in English, cursive letters brilliantly decorating the page in ink. If he had to say, the calligraphy was akin to early English works done in the twelfth century.
It was strange, but definitely worth reading this wouldn't be so depressingly boring. He turned the page from the initial cover page to read the first entry of the book, curious as to what he would read.
Author's Note: This is my first Doctor Who fanfic, so any constructive criticism is appreciated. Thank you for reading and have an excellent day!