For Theta it’s first love.
There is joy when he’s with Koschei, affection, the wish to be with him (except on a bad day). Excitement at having found a friend, an equal, about the plans they make (except the ones that go too far). Never has the future scared him (more) less.
Going his own way was frightening, doing it all alone. Koschei, understands (too well), accepts (too easily), agrees (but isn’t always agreed with). Their time is coming. Theta will enjoy it while it lasts. (It won’t last forever.)
For Koschei there is no doubt they’ll always be together.
Leela moves with stealth, strength and courage, even in bed. It’s easy to surrender to her and Romana does it willingly. This is new to her, but the part of her that once travelled with the Doctor is always open to new ideas, new experiences.
The part of her that rules the nine Gallifreys is far too willing to give up control.
Leela’s firm, mortal body seems to shimmer in the soft light, and she smiles, and her eyes are full of admiration. Romana sighs against her touch and allows herself to love again, just a little, for one night.
It was foolish to think the Doctor wouldn’t recognize him. Foolish to think the Time Lords would let him get away with giving their technology to war-hungry strangers. The most foolish thing, however, was trying to tell himself that this was anything else but a desperate call for the Doctor’s attention.
He’s different now — they both are. But when the War Chief slides his arm around the Doctor’s shoulder, offering to share his power, somewhere back in time Koschei is taking Theta’s hand, offering the same.
The Master isn’t foolish enough to believe that this time the Doctor will stay.
Ianto has loved many people in his life. Lisa hasn’t been the first, but he always thought she’d be the last. Before she died, and even more after. For a while his heart felt dead. When Jack found his way inside (once again) Ianto nearly left the team. He never expected him to become the centre of his life. Never expected himself to love again, this much.
He knows Jack loves him, but also that he’s not the only one — when he’s longing for Jack’s touch, he’s just asking to be hurt. It’s not perfect.
But at least it’s something.
The cosmos is a big place. The Master has all of time and space as his personal playground: So many possibilities, so many plans, and no one there to stop him. No while the Doctor is stuck on that primitive planet, unable to do anything but play in the mud. The Master could take over the universe, and the Doctor wouldn’t even notice.
He frowns, and sets the coordinates to Earth, England, in the 1970th.
His old friend shows up, plots, strikes. In the end he’s defeated.
When he escapes alive the Doctor allows himself a little sigh of relief.
Donna doesn’t know this woman.
She doesn’t remember that she first saw her on a screen, in space, or that together they moved the Earth. She doesn’t know why she looks at her and feels like she’s important (like they both are). Doesn’t know why she seeks her presence, only that this woman is giving her something she doesn’t want to lose (again.)
Sarah Jane hardly knows Donna. She doesn’t understand why she can’t remember her, or the Doctor, or insists that aliens don’t exist.
But she recognizes desperation when she sees it, and is ever so willing to help.
The Doctor is here, so the Master has to be. The Rani rolls her eyes at his plan — it’s easy to see through his obsession. It seems nothing has changed since they graduated, and left home.
The Doctor doesn’t know of their presence yet. She wants it to stay that way, has no interest in entering this game they are playing. Koschei doesn’t want her to, anyway. She’s just a tool for him, to help him get what he wants.
There is only one way for this to end. Maybe she’s lucky and they’ll finally kill each other this time.
Owen usually is the first one to leave — unless there’s something alien to examine and he gets lost in his work, in those nights when Jack remembers why this man is so invaluable to their team.
Tonight he stays because Jack asked him to, with looks, lips, touches. Because Jack is lonely, and, for once, needs someone who doesn’t care if he calls them ‘Doctor’.
Because Owen knows it’s not him and doesn’t mind.
Because he takes a lot, and so has always something to give when they need it.
Later Jack will think back to this night and weep.
They fight together, side by side, and despite everything the president allows it. They make such a good team.
The Doctor, fighting, killing, with blood on his hands — it’s disturbing, delicious. Irresistible.
The Master’s laugh is bitter, and the Doctor doesn’t know him even now, when the Master roughly pushes him to the ground. He lets himself be taken, quietly begging to be hurt — he’s still the same, and this war will destroy him, in the end.
The Master leaves before he’ll have to see it.
If he’d asked him to come with him, this time the Doctor would have.
Jenny loves travelling. Loves living. Loves the creatures and people she meets.
One woman she loves more than most. They meet on Earth, were everyone looks just like Jenny and no one looks at her twice.
Sky does look twice, and trice, and Jenny looks back. Soon she learns things she didn’t know before.
There’s someone she can make happy by existing. She likes that.
But staying in one place is something she cannot learn. Eventually she leaves, for the next star, the next galaxy.
She’s in Andromeda already, when she realises she could have asked Sky to come along.
The Master rules England, then the World, and finally, finally he has the Doctor kneeling before him. Desperate, willing to do anything if only the Master left his precious humans alone. And the Master laughs, and takes him in front of everyone, before he destroys the islands of Japan.
He laughs when he ages the Doctor once again — it’s unnecessary. Empty cruelty. All of this is unnecessary.
The Master has won already, because the Doctor destroyed Gallifrey, and for the first time ever he needs the Master as much as the Master needs him.
It makes dying his final triumph.
Eternity is a lonely road. Jack knew all along, but he needed to lose a lot of friends before he realised what it meant.
He’s come to accept it. People die. In the end everyone will leave him.
He can bear it, because of one man, who means more to him than anyone else. Sometimes Jack thinks he lives only for the next visit of the Doctor. He’s his centre, his lifeline.
The one he can forgive anything.
Jack tries to forget that even the Doctor won’t live forever.
But one day he’ll regret never having bought him that drink.
August 11, 2008
(It’s still the 10th in Florida!)
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