On his world, fire was everything. The Time Lords, Gods of the universe in their own right, worshiped only fire and themselves. The fire banished the darkness, the fire gave life, light, the fire conquered the time their race ruled over, burning at its very heart. Fire was everything to the Doctor and his people, and he’d been the one to watch them burn. He’d been the one to put fire to his planet, he’d been there when the flames had faded to embers and the embers to ashes. He’d been there to watch the oldest and mightiest empire burn at his will, and fire was everything to him.
His companions never understood his relationship with fire. Why he ran from it, towards it. Why he loved it so much, how he could hate it simultaneously. Why he burns their photographs when they leave, when he loses them like he’s lost everything else. Why he counts his losses only in the ashes he leaves in his wake.