I don't think about a Bright Moon
-"Rough Sex" by Lords of Acid
It isn't love like the Doctor knows it.
When the Doctor considers love, he thinks about completion. He thinks about holding hands and sitting under a crystalline sky. He thinks about laying his head against a coral column and taking in the warmth of another being who knows him perfectly. He thinks of strange skies and pretending that they last forever. That's what he thinks love is.
The Doctor always thinks in terms of forever. He wants love to be deep like the vortex, no matter how twisted and complicated it may become. Things move slowly down Time's hallway, but that's all right. They never leave that way.
This man before him, this thing, he doesn't think like the Doctor does. He's born out of battle and death and destruction. He's deep like a graveyard and wired like a television. He bounces from one emotion to the next like the flipping binary code of frequent channel changing. Without some sort of a written guide, the Doctor can't figure out how the Thing understands them all.
All of the Doctor's emotions are stored in tight boxes, each lined up in a neat pattern (such a strange way to store emotions for a man whose life is like crazy paving). The Thing keeps all of his emotions in his pockets and on his sleeves, ready and available should he need them, but he often pulls the wrong one out (such a strange way to store emotions for a man who should've been living life one day after another).
He has the Doctor's face, but the Thing is not the Doctor.
It starts because the Thing cannot control his emotions. And so, the Doctor is a little rough with his words. So, the Thing is offended. This is not an uncommon situation. This is not an uncommon moment between them. It also is not an uncommon subject between them. The Thing is not the Doctor. The Doctor is just reminding him of that.
But the proverbial straw on the Thing's proverbial back has apparently broken it and the next thing the Doctor knows, he's been knocked backwards by the force of the Thing's fist. He looks up from where he's fallen against the console and the Thing looks down at him, mouth all but frothing with rage.
"I am the Doctor." The Thing says.
The Doctor puts his hand to his jaw. It isn't going to bruise. "Would the Doctor punch someone?"
He would. He's thinking about punching the Thing right now. Right across the jaw. The Doctor's muscles are stronger and the Thing's blood vessels are weaker. He'll bruise. He deserves it. Instead, the Doctor gets to his feet.
The Thing steps forward and shoves him backwards. The Doctor falls back onto the grate. He looks up at the Thing in confusion. The Thing looks down at him with determination.
"I am the Doctor."
"Right, the Doctor would behave like some sort of child." He probably would, but the Thing hates being called a child and the Doctor knows this. He's unsurprised to find he's shoved back down when he tries to stand again.
He struggles with the Thing's hands and tries to get to his feet. The Thing is surprisingly strong, or maybe the Doctor is surprisingly weak. The Thing gives up on shoving and grabs the Doctor's lapel, shoving him backwards into the coral column behind him.
It doesn't really hurt, but he hates being moved around like some sort of toy.
"I am the Doctor."
"No, I'm the Doctor!" He shouts the words back at the Thing with a vehemence he wasn't entirely sure he had towards the Thing. Spit flies from the Doctor's lip and lands on the Thing's nose. It's wet and glisteny with all of his pent-up frustration at this half-man that insists he is who he is most certainly not.
The Doctor focuses on it too long. His lapels are pulled again, and before he's quite sure what's happened, the Thing has pressed his mouth to the Doctor's. His lips are like the Doctor's but warm and his breath against his face doesn't smell like his own.
The Thing kisses desperately. It feels like reverse CPR, he's trying to pull air, pull life from the Doctor into himself. He wants so desperately to feel like the man he insists he is. He lets go of one lapel and tangles it in the Doctor's hair, getting a firm grip. It doesn't matter if the Doctor kisses back or not, he's going to kiss him until he feels fulfilled.
That is how the Thing lives, the Doctor thinks. He doesn't do anything halfway. He doesn't kill unless it's genocide, he doesn't fight unless one of them will be broken, and he won't stop this kiss until he's certain he's drained what he thinks he can from it.
The Doctor doesn't kiss back. He freezes, back straight and uncomfortable pressed against the coral. His mouth feels hot, invaded by the warm mouth of this man who looks like him but isn't. He wants to ask the Thing if the Doctor would kiss someone like this.
As quickly as it started, the Thing ends the kiss, half-shoving the Doctor away from him. He thinks the look on the Thing's face is disgust, but it isn't. It's something else, something the Doctor doesn't recognize; a blinking 12:00 at 3am, emotions caught up in all the wires that don't make any sense.
"You're the Doctor," he says. It sounds like a realization, or perhaps a confession. Yes, that's what it sounds like. A confession.
But the Doctor doesn't understand what he's confessing. After all: "I know I’m the Doctor."
The Thing nods, and then turns sharply to leave. His shoulders slump over. He looks rejected. Why does he look rejected? The Doctor hasn't had the chance to reject him just yet.
It all means something, but it's something the Doctor can't decipher. He leans back against the coral column he understands and watches the Thing go back to his room.
It isn't love like the Doctor knows it.
He doesn't really know what it is. All he knows is it's human and strange and he'll never pull the Thing into himself to understand him. He'll stand back and wonder rather than take the step forward and find out.
After all, the Doctor only does things halfway. That's the sort of man he is.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,047
Special thanks to handysparehand for help with beta and having a muse that is a constant inspiration! <3<3