The Doctor made sure the leather jacket had no creases and hung it carefully on the rail, silently bidding goodbye to the former owners.
He took a circuitous route out of the wardrobe room. He was in no hurry to get back to the flat, which had been a whirlwind of activity when he left as Jackie prepared for the New Year party. The New Year: a concept that was so very human.
He came across an upset jewellery box, which appeared to have fallen from a shelf. Perhaps one of their rocky journeys through the Vortex had knocked it off, or perhaps one of his companions had overturned it and neglected to pick it up. The contents were scattered across the floor. Grateful for an excuse to delay his return, the Doctor began to gather them up.
The contents turned out, in the most part, to be odd earrings. Not a single earring had a pair and he wondered where the missing twins were. Perhaps still in the possession of the original owners; perhaps somewhere else in the TARDIS; perhaps trampled into the ground of some alien planet.
He imagined them scattered through time and space, along with all the odd socks, odd gloves, odd people. Everything that had lost its partner in existence or had simply never found it.
There was something curiously pathetic about the idea.
The dull gleam underneath a table turned out to be a ring. The Doctor turned it over in his hands. A ring; a singular object; an unbroken circle. Yet this ring was just as bereft of a partner as any of the earrings. The man who had worn it was long since a memory.
He went to place the ring back in the box, but hesitated. A man was the sum of his memories, after all. A Time Lord even more so.
He slipped the ring into his pocket.
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