Well, this was... really not how he'd imagined it going.

"This is what I always wanted," said Rose. "Mum, Dad, Mickey, getting to fight the good fight on Earth."

"Yeah, but..." No! She was supposed to just run off with him! That was how it was meant to happen, damn it all!

"It's been ten years for me," she said, looking a bit less sympathetic. He must have completely failed to hide his disappointment. "I'm not going to just run off with you and leave everything behind. Did you think I'd be sat here pining over you for the rest of my life?"

"No, of course not!" Just a bit. Just a tiny bit.

It was terribly unfair of Rose to have an exciting life of her own. Not that he felt any resentment about it, obviously, but... well.

"I'll just... head back to my own universe then." Right. Okay. He could find someone else. He had lots of friends, any number of whom would be willing to have adventures with him.

Rose smiled at him in a way that was slightly too kind.

--

"I can't, I've got exams in a week," said Martha.

The Doctor stared at the mobile incredulously then put it back against his ear. "But I've got a time machine."

"I know, but I've been studying really hard for this and I don't want to forget everything."

"After your exams then."

"I've got a date."

What? Martha was cheating on him already? "Oh. I see." That bitch.

"It's not that I didn't love travelling with you, but I've got things to do here."

"What about your sister?"

"No! You're not dragging my sister off into time and space! She'd probably twist her ankle or something."

"That wouldn't be a problem. That really, really wouldn't be a problem."

Martha's sigh sounded slightly irritated. "Look, I've got to go. I'll text you when I get the chance."

"Yeah, okay. If you're sure." He'd find someone else. That'd teach Martha to turn him down.

--

Sarah placed a plate of biscuits on the coffee table and watched children and Time Lord fight over the chocolate ones.

"I've got Luke to take care of and a book contract."

"You could bring Luke with you."

"Good heavens, no! Your TARDIS is no place for a child."

"Can I have one of the others, then?" The Doctor studied each of the children in turn. "How fast do they run?"

"You're not taking any of them! They've got school to think of."

Bloody hell, Humans could be thick sometimes. "I've got a time-machine. It travels in time."

"Can I have a go?" asked Luke.

Sarah shut her son up with a look.

The Doctor tried not to whine. "But it'll be fun! You could all come with me and I'd have you back in time for tea."

"No you wouldn't," said Sarah. "I know what you're like and know what that TARDIS of yours is like. You'd dump us in the 1970s and tell us we should be grateful you'd hit the right planet."

"But-"

"I'm not going to change my mind no matter how much you sulk."

He wasn't sulking! He was just... expressing his unhappiness through non-verbal cues. "Can I come back when they're over eighteen?"

"Stop it!"

The Doctor chewed on a digestive and tried not to look too upset.

--

He got halfway to the TARDIS before Jack caught up with him.

"Doctor, I said no."

"But she wants to come with me! She said so!"

"Tosh, did you really say you wanted to go with him?"

"Well, I did say I'd like a look at his time-machine."

"And then he'd have talked you into just one trip across the galaxy. And then one more."

Toshiko stepped away from the Doctor.

The Doctor was getting a bit pissed off by this point. "What is it with you lot? Does no one like adventure anymore?"

"I've read your files," said Toshiko as though that answered everything.

"Look," said the Doctor, aiming for reasonable, "you can't need all of them. Just let me borrow one for a bit."

"Get your own!"

"I'm trying to but people keep stopping me! It's not as much fun on my own. I need someone to talk to. Can I have the Welsh one in the suit?" This was getting ridiculous. At this rate he'd have to kidnap some teachers or possibly an air-hostess.

--

"You were the first person I thought of," he told Donna. "You're so brave and curious and..." he thought quickly "really attractive as well. I expect beautiful and rich men from the future would be all over you. Did I mention it travels to any holiday destination on the planet? Oh, and there's a massive wardrobe."

Donna shoved past him into the TARDIS. The Doctor died a little inside but, really, he was sure it'd all work out for the best.