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the_silverdoe ([personal profile] the_silverdoe) wrote on July 11th, 2012 at 11:57 am
Fic: Leave my body (Doctor Who, Ten, Wilf, Eleven)

Title: Leave my body
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst, character introspection, meta-fic (sort of)
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Wilfred Mott, Eleventh Doctor, mentions of various Ten-era characters
Setting: The End of Time/post-The End of Time (so spoilers for that, obviously)
Word Count: 2294
Summary: "Oh, people would still call him ‘the Doctor’, he would still lead the same life. He would carry on, but he would be gone. Pretty schizophrenic, but that was who he was."



A/N: Wow. This was actually written back in November, during NaNoWriMo, and has been sleeping on my hard-drive ever since. Well, not exactly, since it had been edited and re-edited until my beta and I were pretty much happy with it. Said beta is the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] novindalf  (who incidentally gave me the prompt that inspired this fic) and I owe her big, big thanks for the several evenings she spent beta-ing this, correcting my English mistakes, pointing out that readers can't read my mind and that I needed to be clearer, for clever rephrasing and overall turning this into more of a readable fic and less of a philosophy essay (which is sort of was). 
Basically, this fic is about my take on Ten's regeneration process, and writing down my thoughts on it, on EoT, on Doctor Who in general, and how I see Ten's behaviour during the specials. It's a declaration of love to Ten (and Wilf) and how I love and relate to him even during his darkest hour. I needed to get it out of my system.
The title comes from Florence + The Machine's song of the same name. I listened to it on repeat while writing this. The lines 'I don't want your future, I don't need your past. One bright moment is all I ask.', 'I'm gonna leave my body, I'm gonna lose my mind' and 'History keeps pulling me, pulling me down' were particularly inspiring. 
(I am well aware that I 'owe' Doctor Who fic to some of you, so I hope this will be a tolerable compensation in the meanwhile :))



"Even then, even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away... and I'm dead."

oOo

Wilfred Mott was standing alone in his kitchen, a cup of strong tea in his hand. It was very late at night, and the last guests of Donna's wedding had finally gone, even the last stragglers he had never thought would leave.

It could have been such a wonderful day; seeing his Donna reasonably happy - even though he knew she would always be missing a part of herself she couldn't even remember existed - had really warmed his old heart. She had insisted on dancing with him, in spite of his protests.

'I'm too old, sweetheart!'

'Oh come on, Gramps! Just this one, for me!'

You could never argue with Donna for very long; she always won. Yes, it had been a beautiful day, and he hoped that Shaun would make her happy. But he couldn't rejoice.

Because he had showed up. The Doctor.

At first he had been relieved. He had thought he would never see that man again, despite his desire to believe otherwise, and his heart had jumped in his chest at the sight of him there, alive.

But the look on the man's face - that young face belonging to a man so much older than him -that look told him nothing had changed. The Doctor was still in danger, still going to die. Yet he had managed to do some good on his last visit, bringing this lottery ticket he had implied would be a winning one. Sylvia and Wilf would have had every right to be angry with him, for taking Donna and bringing her back broken, but at the moment Wilf only felt sorry for him, and he knew Sylvia did too. Surely it must have been heart-breaking for him not to be able to run to Donna and hug her, to congratulate her as best friends do?

That look... It was the look of someone who had given up, but without completely accepting his fate. He looked so miserable, so deeply unhappy, that Wilf would have given anything to take his place at that moment.

But even more than the sadness he had felt when the Doctor had returned to his TARDIS and left, Wilf couldn't stop thinking about the conversation they had in that café a few months before, when the Doctor had told him he was going to die. Wilf had had trouble understanding him then, and even now it wasn't completely clear what the Doctor had wanted to say.

He was going to regenerate, apparently. So he wasn't going to die, he was going to reboot his cells, and change his body. The process had started when the scars had disappeared from his face, or so the Time Lord had said.

But from what the Doctor had explained, it wasn't just about his body; his mind would change too. It was hard to imagine: a Doctor without that bony face, those big brown eyes that could reflect all the joy in the world and all the pain in it as well. Those ridiculous spectacles and the way he elongated the word 'Weeeeelllll' when he was explaining things - all of that, and more, made the Doctor who and what he was. How could any of that change?

He wondered whether the Doctor had meant it when he had said he was going to die, whether the prophecy could really be true. Wilf assumed he truly believed that he was actually going to die then, once and for all. He could still recall the sound of the Doctor’s voice when he had mentioned it, if he focused hard enough.

"If I'm killed before regeneration, then I'm dead," he had said.

Maybe he thought this was really the end. Still, Wilf doubted that was the case. The Doctor had mostly seemed upset about leaving his personality behind - changing his mind, his thoughts, maybe a bit of his soul. Yes, that was probably what he had meant.

~

It was at times like these that Wilf truly realised he had been in contact with another world. The aliens, the Daleks, the planets in the sky... It was all so phenomenal, and yet in truth it allowed him to see what was even more important; people mattered, their souls mattered, human reality mattered. And for Time Lords - for the Doctor, for this man who had been like his son and his ancestor, his friend and his guide, who had shown him time and space, changed Donna's life and all of theirs - reality was extremely different. No wonder he looked so scarred…

Where could he be now? Somewhere in the middle of the 'Time Vortex' (wherever or whatever that was), probably in that funny box of his he called a 'time machine' – but where? And when? Had the Doctor he had seen a few hours before already regenerated, or had he gone back in time, in Wilfred's past, and done so then? Unless he was centuries in the future, when Wilf would be long since dead and buried. It was very odd to be thinking like that, and certainly disconcerting.

So he was... somewhere, in his new body, and the Doctor Wilf had known was dead. Or he was reborn, depending on the way that you looked at things. Wilf couldn't help but wonder what the Doctor looked like now. Was he older or younger? Wiser? Funnier? Sadder? Did he still care for Donna? Did he still love that girl Rose? Would he come back to see them, to tell them he was still alive, or would he simply move on and act as if he was really dead, now that his previous self was gone?

To be truthful, Wilf wasn't sure he wanted to see the Doctor again. That is, if he had to be different, even by just a little bit, then Wilf wasn't sure he could take it. He had known a good man, a crazy man, an old man, a great man, and he didn't want to look into the eyes of a stranger who would smile at him and say 'Hello Wilf! I'm the Doctor!'


Only he wouldn't be, not really. And wouldn't it be unfair for both of them, him and the new Doctor? Wilf was certain it would be painful to face him, to see the ghost of who he used to be in the new man's eyes, and to know he would never be able to speak to his Doctor again. No, it was probably better if they never saw each other again. The Doctor was in Wilf's past now, and that was the end of it.

Wilf had struggled to put a name to his feelings, but now it struck him: he was mourning. It was strange, but the way he saw it, he had lost the Doctor forever. He felt a bit ridiculous really, mourning a man who hadn't died, who was in reality still out there somewhere. Even the incarnation he had said goodbye to might still be around, with all his time travel business. He was everywhere and nowhere. To Wilf, he was nowhere, and he wouldn't be anywhere close ever again.

~

On the next day Wilfred Mott went back to the little coffee shop he had dragged the Doctor to several weeks before. He sat at the same table facing the street, on the same chair, and ordered two coffees. He drank the first one and left the other one untouched opposite him. The waiter looked at him as if he was some sort of lunatic, but Wilf didn't care. In his own way, he was saying goodbye to an old friend.

oOo

The Doctor had meant every word he said back there in the café. He still meant them now, even as he walked in agony to the TARDIS, surrounded by the echo of the Ood's haunting song. He wanted to cry, he wanted to scream and shout, he wanted to hit something – he wanted to prove that he could still live, but it was impossible. He had no time left; this time his song was ending.

The last time it had been different, easier. He had gone with a 'bang!' and hadn't been so full of despair. Part of his ninth self found some peace in the regeneration, the warrior he had been could finally let go. Maybe he thought he deserved it as punishment for his actions during the Time War, for all the things he had been forced to do but couldn't accept and forgive himself for. Maybe it was because he still had Rose.

Now he was all alone; they were all gone, they all had someone else. He stole their lives away, but in the end he was the one who always ended up being alone.

He was going. He could feel the regeneration coming and he wouldn't be able to contain it for much longer. Why? Why couldn't he stay, why did he have to change for his body to be repaired? It was unfair, he had lived so long, but had died so many times. And right here, right now, he wasn't ready to accept it. He wasn't ready to accept the fact that everything that made him who he was, that unique Doctor he had never been before and never would be again, was about to disappear for another to take his place.

He knew that who he was now was about to become a mere echo buried somewhere within the memory of his next self, like all his previous incarnations had done before. He could remember being every single one of them but he had changed so much that he couldn't understand them. He was not them, and the man he was going to become would not be him either.

He was perfectly aware that he was being selfish, and stupid, but he couldn't help it. Part of him resented the man who was about to replace him – for keeping his memories, his TARDIS and his life, but in the process killing him. This suit, these glasses, this voice, that hair – all of that would go. His feelings too – everything he was. He would be gone.

Oh, people would still call him ‘the Doctor’, he would still lead the same life. He would carry on, but he would be gone. Pretty schizophrenic, but that was who he was.

He understood more than ever what John Smith must have felt like when he had to die, to erase his existence, so that he, the Doctor – the real one – could come back. His life had been made up, but it was still real to him. That sacrifice... he'd been blind back then, he hadn't realised. The thought of that brave man brought more tears to his eyes. He had to fight them back; he had to be stronger than that. He was still the Doctor, and the Doctor wasn't afraid to die.

So why am I? Have I become too close to humanity? Did they turn me into one of them?

Well, part of him had - the man who had come from himself and Donna and who was somewhere in the parallel universe with Rose Tyler. Oh, Rose Tyler, I hope that at least that version of me can make you happy.

An alien he remained, though, and the glow that came from his hand kept reminding him of that fact.

At some point he had thought the prophecy meant he was actually going to die, once and for all – there, done, goodbye Doctor. He might have even hoped that would be the case; after all, ending his life in this body didn't seem like such a bad idea. He loved this body, this personality, the things he had achieved as this man. He was ready to go, and to leave in this form would have satisfied him. But you don't always get what you want and his biology had decided otherwise; he was going to regenerate again.

Of course he could contain it and die like the Master had, but even he wasn't selfish enough to do such a thing, nor did he have the right to. He wouldn't deny the next himself the chance to carry on with his life.

Yes, it was time he left. He had done too much, lived too long. He would live again, but he would be able to restart. This body had reached its end, his song was ending. Maybe it was better that way. Though they had broken his hearts too many times, all the people who had travelled with him, now he couldn't and didn't want to carry on without them. Rose, Mickey, Jackie, Martha, Donna, Jack, Wilfred, Sarah Jane… But after losing Rose, after what he had done to Martha's family, to Donna, after Adelaide - it was too much. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry...

It was time. And yet…

'I don't want to go!'

oOo

Flashy new Tardis. Flashy new Tardis with a flashy new kitchen. Bouncy new Doctor in the flashy new kitchen of the flashy new Tardis.

And pears in the fruit basket.

Pears. How had pears gotten here, he hated pears! Or rather, he used to hate pears. Actually it had been a while since he'd tried any. Hmm... It couldn't kill him, could it?

'Oh, that's nice. Very, very nice. Silly Doctor, how could you ever not love pears? I love pears, pears are cool! Amelia Pond! Forget Argentina, we're going to a market, a proper human market. I want pears!'

oOo

"Some new man goes sauntering away... and I'm dead."



 
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