Culpable

by Untempered Schism [Reviews - 7]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Character Study

She’d heard the word muttered while he was dashing around in the church making certain all the doors and windows were shut tight so those horrible things couldn’t get at them. Just the one word, but she didn’t know what it meant.

She’d realized pretty quickly that there was a steep learning curve to traveling through all of time and space with a bloke as brilliant as the Doctor. It was early in the process that it occurred to her that there were times when that quick flash of exasperation on his face when she asked a stupid question was completely justified. She’d never paid much attention in school, it all seemed so boring but she was a quick study when she wanted to be and she liked pleasing him. Liked it a lot, loved the look of surprise and affection on his daft face when she said something he hadn’t been expecting her to say. It always gave her such a rush to see the pride and awe in those beautiful blue eyes of his when she exceeded all his expectations. It made her want to exceed all of his expectations in every way imaginable.

So she’d made use of his vast library, reading up on history and literature, looking up words he’d used that she didn’t understand. She’d even left a thick, beautifully bound but battered dictionary on her nightstand so she could look words up just before bedtime. She reached for it now, pulling it into her lap as she sat on her bed, tears rolling down her face to look up the word she'd heard him say in the church.

Culpable. Deserving of blame. She closed her eyes and shuddered. Culpable. He’d been thinking of her, dashing into the street to rescue her father, doing it at an already weak point in time after he’d explained to her--

She choked on a sob, tears sliding down her cheeks and splashing onto the open page beneath. It had all been her fault.

Culpable.


He’d been adjusting the feedback buffer on the starboard temporal displacement array but she’d grown irritable with his unnecessary tinkering and zapped him good and proper. He pulled the singed fingers out of his mouth and scowled. Even his ship was out of sorts with him. Not that he blamed her. What had he been thinking?

He scrambled up and out of the well beneath the console, replacing the grating so he could pace back and forth as he replayed the recent series of events that had come perilously close to wiping out humanity. It hammered home to him how different things were now.

He kept forgetting, Rassilon help him, there were times when he did forget now. Fleetingly and usually when she was smiling up at him and laughing, he forgot. Forgot that he was the last. In those moments it was like the war had never happened and Gallifrey was still there and if he managed to make a dog’s dinner of things someone would have his back. It had happened today. Several times. In his rush to please her, to grant her every request, while he was showing off, he’d completely forgotten how bad things could get, how quickly. And once she'd darted into the street to save the father she had never known, he’d been helpless to repair the damage.Thanks to him, there was no higher power to swoop in, scolding and exasperated, to make it all right again. Gone, every last one of them, by his hand.

He was the last, how ironic, that he survived, the rebel, an embarrassment to his genetic line, the village idiot. He was an idiot who'd gone and fallen in love with a woman who thought he was powerful and clever and thus worthy of her love. An idiot who was so besotted by Rose Tyler, he'd forgotten everything he'd ever learned every single time she looked up at him with those beautiful whiskey colored eyes of hers and fluttered her mascaraed lashes at him. The last of the Time Lords, him, a miserable joke of a survivor of what had once been the most powerful race in the multiverse. Humanity was nearly erased from time before they'd even had a chance to leave their solar system and it had all been his fault.

Culpable.