He’d talked too much. He always talked too much; it was all he had, really, and if his gob had gotten him into trouble before, well, it usually got him out as well. He hadn’t met a problem yet that he couldn’t talk his way out of as easily as he’d talked his way in. Well, that wasn’t precisely true, but he always had words at his disposal. Nothing constrained him to silence.
His voice, his words–taken, twisted, flattened. And he was left in the dark and the cold, his body frozen to stone, his voice choked off. Until she spoke; then, he had to. His own stolen words wrenched back through his lips, no matter how hard he fought.
She’s not exactly strong, look at her.
All she’s got is our voices.
The greatest weapons of them all. Jenny would have laughed to hear him say that: a soldier after all. And so he was. A careless, foolish, terrified soldier. But weapons didn’t have to be for killing, weren’t all for war. Swords into ploughshares. He had words for everything. Words that could make peace, words that could stay a hand; words for pain and darkness and reason and mercy, logic and sense and chaos, and it had them all, every one.
He should have seen it then. There was power in names. Rose and Martha and Donna and the TARDIS–words that signified so much more: love and friendship and affection and home. They were every one of those things to him, each in her own way, like so much light in the dark: power that thing couldn’t possibly understand, or could it? It understood the darkness of the human soul, it was learning the darkness in his–was that its nature, too? Did it choose him because he was the cleverest one there, or was it because, of all of them, the shadows on his soul were the deepest, the most impenetrable, black as ash and ever-shifting with the flashes of an explosion he could never stop seeing?
It had tried to take his name. He could still feel it, chiseling through his mind, reaching for it and though it hadn’t come close, not really, he shuddered at the possibility. Like so much light in the dark, his name had power.
There was a medical team waiting at the Leisure Palace but he shrugged them off, looked no one in the eye, not even Dee Dee, who in the end had understood, and who he liked despite it all. He couldn’t bring himself to be kind. He didn’t have the energy for reproach. So he turned and walked off, and gave no words away.