There’s a street, her old street, looking magical in the snow. It’s cold but he doesn’t feel it, not with so much energy thrumming through his veins.
He hears a voice, her voice, and it’s like music to his ears. They way vowels roll off her tongue and consonants trip over her lips. He catalogues as much of it as he can, holds onto it with every aching muscle.
And there she is, pink and yellow, cheeks flushed from the cold. She smiles and it warms his already heated body.
But then she speaks, and she doesn’t know him, her eyes don’t sparkle with love and affection.
She is polite, but not familiar. Doesn’t joke about him being an old man. Doesn’t offer him her hand. She asks if he’s drunk.
The energy churns through his body and he can feel his cells screaming in agony. Cells dying. Cells rewriting themselves.
He’s always hated this part. This body hates it even more.
He focuses on her, even though his vision dances like the flakes of snow around her hair. He’s reminded vaguely of a snow globe and he wonders if he’s turned her life upside down yet.
He asks for the date. She gives it to him.
He’s not sure if he wants to laugh or cry.
He gives her something to hold onto, even though he’s sure she’ll disregard the musings of a drunk man.
In return she gives him a smile, and she’ll never know how much it means to him.
She turns away and he wants to scream, wants to cry, just wants it to be over already.
There’s a street, her old street, looking magical in the snow. Her old street that they had walked down countless times before.
It’s the last time he’s walking down this street, it’s not with her, and it feels so wrong.
He falls to the ground and he feels the snow melt beneath his touch. She had once complained that his hands were too cold, and out of spite he had refused to hold her hand for the rest of the day.
What he would give to have another go at that moment.
His hand grasps air, looking for something to hold. He pretends that it’s something to steady himself. He knows it’s her hand.
He thinks of a human in another universe and tries to hold onto that. That somewhere in the multiverse, he is with her, and they are happy.
There’s singing in his mind and snow in his hair. He picks himself up despite the pain. He’d gotten quite good at that in this body.
He staggers to the TARDIS and takes one last look. A single, lost mitten on the ground. A lamppost where he had wanted to kiss her.
He closes his eyes and he sees her again. Holds onto her image as he had once held onto her hand on a windy day in New New York.
There’s a street, her old street, looking magical in the snow. She runs back into the cold to ask a stranger if he needed any help getting home. He holds onto her as he lets the fire consume him.