Near-death escapes and new aliens with really bad tempers and running, running, running. He loved every moment, he loved everything. There was nothing he couldn't do. Nothing. He could save anyone, he could save everyone. He could rewrite the stars and tell a few jokes over tea in the TARDIS.
He was so happy.
Now, he's just tired.
One failure after another, one heartbreak after another, and he's alone and he's tired. He's so tired. He's so tired of failing, he's so tired of losing. His body sags and his shoulders slump and he just feels old.
He's been old for a very long time. He just feels it. Looks it.
It's why she doesn't recognize him, he thinks. Why the new him, when he regenerates for her in two years, why she doesn't notice it's the same man who told her she'd have a great year in 2005. He doesn't look the way he used to at all.
He used to love her, he thinks, watching her run off to her home. The blonde girl with a wide smile and a young soul. She complimented him in so many ways, and when she held his hand, he felt like she's repaired something that was long since broken.
But now, watching her at the start of her journey when he's at the end, he thinks he might just hate her a little bit. Hate her because of how much he envies her. She has all of those good times to look forward to, and he can't see them anymore through the haze of the bad.
He used to love the universe. All of it, every single star and every single planet was beautiful and amazing. He used to love the tricks it would throw at him, the secrets it would reveal. Now, he---he doesn't hate the universe, but he almost did. He almost hated the universe and the things it made him suffer so much that he would rip it open. Rip it open because he deserved to do what he wanted, rather than what was right.
A bolt of pain shoots through him. His insides are liquefying, the radiation is shutting him down and he's about to regenerate. And while he doesn't love the universe like he used to, he certainly doesn't want to destroy it by pulling the blonde girl from her fixed point in time. An explosion like he imagines he's about to create will do just that.
He starts back towards the TARDIS. He started here. Here, in this regeneration, crashing the ship not a few feet from where he's stumbling to.
He used to love this life. Now, he clings to it like an addict to their drug. He doesn't want to go. He doesn't want to give up. He doesn't want to lose all the things he's had.
But it's too late. He's lost his love of his youth. He's lost his love of her. He's lost his love of the universe.
It's time to start over.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 503