A Portrait of Goodbye

by Styrofoam monster [Reviews - 4]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Angst, Character Study, Introspection


Martha keeps looking at him, eyes up then down, lashes angled, her mouth slipping into a hopeful smile. It's a complicated series of motions — the Doctor wonders if she knows that in the body-language of the mute tribes of Rhune she is saying, “I am a talented female, much desiring to mate with you and bring you into my tribe.”

Of course not. The old girl stopped translating non-verbal languages regenerations back.

With an evasive shrug and a complicated movement of his feet, the Doctor signals back, “I hold your abilities in high esteem and pay my honors to your tribe. But my own people have perished in a battle against their foes, and I must live on, without mate, to proudly carry the name of my tribe.”

Strange how one can say so little when speaking, yet so much without uttering a word.

“Doctor.” Martha is frowning at him. He gives her a bright, raw smile. “Why are you skipping around? Is there a problem, or something? Can I help?”

“Nope! Just felt like it. Got a fiddling tune stuck in my head, you know how it is. I need to visit the Infinitesimal Moors of Astrakvia again, they can play like nothing you've ever heard.”

A note of reproach sounds in his mind. It would be better, she feels, if he talked about his feelings to his humans.

Not happening. See, he'll always muddle it if he sticks to twenty-six letters and finite tenses. With the imaginary indeterminate he might begin to explain, but that tense is found only in Gallifreyan, which only he can understand, and that's the whole issue, really.

Martha has a very expressive forehead, crinkled as it is: “My tribe worries over your well-being. Won't you cast away your remembrance token into the moving waters, and travel on with us to the fertile grasslands?”

The quirk of his lip, flick down of the eyes. “Apologies, kind one, but my path must be solitary until my final reckoning with the black wolf of Winter.” Dashing around the console he employs the same fierce concentration he shows when escaping angry mobs, and blasting guns, and friends.

In the angle of his retreat: “Or come with me, then, but mine is of farewells.”