A big thank you to my darling beta, roarlikethunder, for dealing with my absurd amount of commas and having the patience of a saint.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who, or any of the characters. If I did, my poor Doctor would never be alone.
Summary: Once again, the Doctor finds himself utterly alone. As his mind wanders to what might have been, he begins to think that the real curse of the Time Lords isn't outliving everyone you love. Maybe, just maybe, it's so much deeper than that...
The Doctor has learned an infinite assortment of lessons throughout his many centuries. These lessons run the gamut from how to ride a bike-simple for most, yet not so if you lack a parental figure to teach you-to how to successfully talk an alien race out of their elaborate plans to destroy the universe. As you can imagine, that particular lesson has been incredibly beneficial on several precarious occasions.
Yet, there is one lesson that has been burned and reiterated to such an extent, and such a frequency, into the Doctor's mind and hearts that he is sure it will never truly leave him, no matter how many times he regenerates.
Never get attached.
Never let yourself love, Doctor.
Never let yourself feel.
Unfortunately, the mind of a time lord is an incredibly busy place-what with holding the secrets of the universe and all-and the lessons he learns are thoughts just like all the others, they're ordinary and capable of being misplaced. In fact, more often than not, these warnings, despite how important and crucial to his well-being that they are, are tossed around and forced to mingle with his other thoughts and memories until they are muddled and gone without a trace.
Perhaps that is how he keeps getting mixed up with humans. The memories of past heartbreak elude him in those pivotal moments and he doesn't think anything of it as those damned words slip out of his mouth, "Where do you want to go?". And suddenly he's off again with another companion who will most certainly leave him behind eventually. They always do. Even those who don't necessarily want to.
After all, that's the supposed curse of the time lord. Perpetual loneliness. Outliving everyone you care for...everyone you love. Ultimately, the Doctor has also learned that love cannot keep people out of harm's way. Love cannot heal. Love cannot bring the people you care about most back into your arms. Time doesn't work that way. It isn't merciful or lenient, like he tries to be. If something is destined to happen, it will happen without consideration as to what would be best for the last of the Time Lords, and it will happen as soon as it's meant to...no sooner, no later, not even long enough to choke out one last goodbye. It will just happen.
Yet, he's never learned. He hurts each time they walk out of the TARDIS, each time they ask to go home, each time he is forced to choose between them or the world. He feels the same numbing betrayal and loss and guilt every time, but he always finds ways to understand. The Doctor is nothing if not understanding. After all, each and every companion holds special places in his hearts. He loves all of them in different ways.
He accepts this for the first time as he sighs, looking around the TARDIS. He has no one to share her with anymore. He used to share her with Rose-he thought she'd be around forever (a silly thought for a Time Lord)-and a while ago, he had the pleasure of sharing it with a spunky ginger named Donna, and before her was the stubborn Martha. Then the brave Ponds. And there were many before all of said companions, and he knew in the depth of his hearts that there would be many more to come. Many more adventures...and many more heart shattering goodbyes. That was the life of a Time Lord.
"Isn't it a shame?" He whispers to the TARDIS, who hums a bit in reply. It's a shame that he has so much to give, yet no one to give it to. It's a shame that he can't ever save those he loves. He couldn't even save his daughter, the last of his family. He can save the universe countless times, but what does that matter next to how many companions and friends he's lost?
Sometimes, he almost wishes that he could settle down and start a family. This is where his thoughts often lead when he's alone and soaring across the galaxy, tearing apart the delicate shreds of time. He sees a small home (blue, of course), with a decently sized yard for his children to romp barefooted in the dewy grass, and perhaps even a dog, but definitely not a cat. He's never been terribly fond of felines. His daughter might have long blonde hair (like Jenny's), and perhaps his son would don the red hair that he had always wished to have. Of course, they'd have brilliant minds filled with a yearning for more and more knowledge-knowledge that he would take pleasure in sharing with them when they were ready. And someday, he'd show them the galaxy; he'd give them the stars. He could give his family so much love; love capable only of a creature who suffered the burden of two hearts. Then again, if he finally attained someone to love, maybe it wouldn't be a burden. Maybe it would be a gift, a blessing.
If only he could keep someone around long enough. That is the ultimate problem though, isn't it? He's a Time Lord. He's practically immortal; able to regenerate again and again until the day finally comes when the galaxy implodes on itself and turns everything to dust. How could he possibly put himself through such pain as outliving another one of his families? And yet, how could he not?
The Doctor chuckles grimly, running a hand through his disheveled hair as he steps onto the turf of a new planet. His mind wanders to his peoples' curse. He has so much love to give, which he blames solely the abnormal number of beating organs lodged in his chest cavity. So much love to give, and no one to give it to...
As he throws a bemused laugh over his shoulder, his intentions set on sharing his new found revelation with a close friend, the empty spaces behind him serve as reminders that he's alone. He'll always be alone, with no one to share his clever quips, thoughts, and burdens with. Not to mention his love. Feeling lonelier than ever before, the Doctor thinks to himself that perhaps, just perhaps, the real curse of the Time Lords is that they have two hearts.
A/N: If you have a moment, I would absolutely love some feedback! But if you don't have a moment, then thank you so much for taking the time to read my little fic, and I hope to see you again very soon!