Slow Burn

by mmgage [Reviews - 1]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst

Author's Notes:
This was written for who_contest's drabble competition. The prompt is "Burn" and entries are not to exceed 350 words. I encourage you to check out the community and the many excellent entries for all the contests.

This was exactly you. All this, all of it. You make them so afraid. When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you'd become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name? …And now they've taken a child... the child of your best friends... and they're going to turn her into a weapon, just to bring you down. And all this, my fear of you.

River's words burn in his memory. When did this begin? When did he first go wrong? Was it at Bowie Base, when he declared himself the Time Lord Victorious? Or was it earlier? Maybe it was with Donna, when he took her memories even as she told him no. He'd meant to save her, but maybe he should have left that choice to her — to live a half-life or burn out quickly in a blaze of glory. Perhaps he needed to go back further even. Was it when he trapped the Family of Blood in eternal torment, or when he declared himself a man who didn't give second chances? Maybe he had to go back further still — back to the war. He'd burned his enemies and his people together, giving neither side a chance (he'd thought) to escape. But maybe… maybe it was even further back. The rules had been clear. The Time Lords of Gallifrey were observers only. They didn't get involved. He'd thought the rules silly, as stuffy as the old men who'd made them, but maybe they'd had a point. Maybe this had been inevitable, from the moment he decided to move from detached observer to active participant. Perhaps he'd started this slow burn of destruction the moment he went looking for an unlocked type-40 TARDIS.