You can feel your ship's pain.
It is part of you. It sinks under your skin, it permeates every cell of your being until you are her pain. Every part of you hurts. Your hands shake as you try to reconnect wires and seal up damaged systems.
Somewhere, under the pain, you can feel a layer of betrayal. Not to her, the one who damaged your ship, but for you, for allowing her on board. For leaving her alone. For trusting her, when you were warned. You should've known, but you didn't want to, and now there's nothing but pain.
You should've known. You just should've known.
You struggle with the glowing crystal in the side of the console, but pull it out. It burns your fingertips, hot with the energy of the injured ship. The necklace you gave her back at Christmas. You spent long enough working up the courage to climb up high to obtain one of these crystals, and even longer finding someone who would be willing to set it for you. The time spent was worth it for how much she liked the gift. Something unique. Now all that's left is a broken crystal and a smoldering hole in your time ship.
And it all started here, didn't it? Right in this console room; you trying to convince her to go somewhere, anywhere with her. Her wit and ego drove you mad, but they also pulled you in. They made her interesting. They made her unique.
The console is in ruins. It reminds you of the mess that was made when you had to change her back from the paradox machine. That took a long time to fix, too. But it was fixable then, and it is fixable now.
TARDIS capabilities at 34%
With the TARDIS heating set to manual, you can actually manage to move around the lower floors without freezing or the upper floors without worrying that your suit will catch fire. Half of the wiring systems are repaired and now, all you have to do is manually restart the converter field, which is located in a grid above the art room.
You're not sure how many days you've gone without sleeping now, but the TARDIS's repairs have put you on a sort of automatic. You feel the hurt, you repair it, you move on to the next hurt. Slowly, she's healing. Eventually, she'll be fixed.
Maybe then she'll forgive you.
You move into the art room and climb up on a table to reach the grid. Converter field back online. Now you're getting somewhere. For the first time in a long while, you smile.
You hop off of the table and look around the room. A good deal of the paintings have melted from the heat, but you can just chalk that up to the things that were ruined because of your mistake. That and the damaged attic items, the frozen-over broken pool tiles, not to mention the ceiling in the ballroom.
Off in the corner is that painting of the orange and the apple, surprisingly unaffected by the heat. Of all the things to survive this, the one psychic painting she made survived.
And it all started here, didn't it? Right in this artroom, her by your side. She asked questions, you shared with only a moment's hesitation. You felt almost as if she got it. That maybe she understood you.
You consider moving the painting back to the attic, but that would only mean you admitted it bothered you, sitting there quietly amongst all of your broken things.
TARDIS capabilities at 52%, lighting and cooling functions back online.
Bits of machinery poke into your sides as you crawl through another hatch to repair another leak that's compounded from the damage to the console. The light at the end of the row blinks and you reach out to grab the switch when crash, the whole duct beneath you collapses and you fall a good fifteen feet to the hard ballroom floor below. The air in your lungs leaves with a woosh and some crumbled coral falls onto your stomach.
Well, that wasn't fun.
You straighten and try to get your bearings. TARDIS ballroom, illuminated only by the red emergency lights. With that duct gone, you'll need to go around to the other side of the pool room and climb back up before you can get anything done. If only the structures weren't so weak from the heat overloading.
A bit of coral falls and hits the automatic music player. It whirrs to life, playing a waltz from Terre D'Ange. You struggled to remember that waltz and you struggled to dance competently with your partner.
You haven't been in this room since then, have you?
And it all started here, didn’t it? Right in this ballroom, her in your arms, dancing the dance of rivals. Battling a quiet battle to this music. And just when you were positive that you'd won, your resolve slipped and you kissed her.
You step over the broken coral and hit the button on the music player. No time for walking down that road, not now.
TARDIS capabilities at 68%, motor functions and time-space differentials corrected
It's around this point that you realize just how long it's been since you've slept. Your suit is covered in oil, your eyes are burning with tiredness, and your face is beginning to look unpleasantly gruff.
And the ship in your mind is quieter, now. Not as much pain. And she wants you to sleep. Rest and heal, like she's doing.
You head to your room and take a shower, then find your blue suit, which you lay out for yourself for when you wake up. The brown one gets tossed into the TARDIS wash, and once that function's back up it'll be right as rain. You scrape your straight razor across the strop and lather up your face.
It's not a bad face, not really. You slide the blade across the harsh angles on your jaw and chin with a surprising agility despite your lack of sleep. You remember considering losing your sideburns at some point in the near past because, well, even if you liked them you didn't really have to look at yourself all that often, did you? That's what she always said.
You swear under your breath as you nick the sensitive skin above your lip. Bloody woman, hurting you even now. Finished, you wipe down your face and head towards the bed.
And it all started here, didn't it? When you---
And when you close your eyes, you can almost swear you smell the hint of her perfume on the pillows and the coverlets. It makes your chest feel cold and heavy.
Hours pass. No sleep comes. You're quite certain you can smell her perfume, her sweat, her sex. It's been so long since you've been in this bedroom, much less the two of you together, but you're certain it's there, in the air, keeping you awake.
You think about changing the coverlets and pillows, but that would be admitting that she's what's keeping you from resting.
TARDIS capabilities at 94%, all control functions operational. TARDIS navigation systems back online.
By the time the TARDIS is repaired completely and you're ready to take her out for a drive, you've completely lost track of time. You think you've shaved twice since you started, or was it more? It's difficult keeping track of time in the timelessness of the TARDIS, and it's even more difficult keeping track when you don't want to keep track.
Time has flowed by. That's really all you need to know.
You set the coordinates. First stop, off to pick up the companion you abandoned (the one you should've listened to), back on that recreational planet. The motor needs a little time to warm up, so you set the ship to automatic and start back down the hallway.
There's one more thing to repair before the ship is truly ready.
Your hand falls to your pocket, where the small crystal is still warm. A shattered sunburst all concentrated into a tiny gem. You look at it, dangling from its delicate chain, and wonder what made you think it was so special. After all, there were hundreds more like it back on that planet. Hundreds more and others might not have done quite so much damage.
Still. You sigh, and place it down on the wooden dresser next to you. If you thought the faint smell of her in your room brought back memories, standing in her bedroom does far worse. Snow falls outside of her window, and her clothes still hang out of the cabinet she brought. It's like she's just stepped out of the room for a moment, or gone back to deal with her husband. It's like she'll be right back.
But she won't.
And you can't care. It's not that you don't, or that you don't want to; you can't. For a man like you, there is absolutely no time to grieve, or to mope over a love betrayed. It just doesn't work like that.
You step out of the room and shut the door. With a wave of the sonic screwdriver, the lock melts within, permanently sealing it. She would hate this, you think. Sealing her away and never allowing yourself to think about her. She would hate how hard you're trying to make her not matter. But she forfeited the right to make you see the folly of your own self-preservation techniques. She gave up the right to help you the moment she hurt you.
And now, you'll forget her. It will be easier this way.
You close your eyes and the ship moves the room away, deep into the labyrinth of corridors, like a forgotten memory.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,678
Based on RP in realityshifted with shatteredqueen and others.