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Backwards in Time | Forwards in Time

7 Deadly Sins - Not Like You: Sloth

Title: Not Like You
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: The Doctor/Martha Jones
Prompt: # 04 - Sloth
Word Count: 1’365
Rating: G
Summary: After so many years of fighting, his energy is completely exhausted. Her manic hero isn’t so ‘manic’ anymore.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Doctor Who. Thank RTD and the BBC.
Author's Notes: No 4 in my 7 Deadly Sins Series. Non-Italics are Martha’s thoughts, and Italics are the Doctor’s.

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Not Like You

It’s worrying. I’ve never seen him like this before. And my lack of knowledge is making the situation seem so much more impossible to handle.

I think anybody who’s ever met the Doctor will agree that he hates stopping, absolutely despises doing nothing. He’s always got to be up and about, rushing around like a man possessed from one planet to the next, saving worlds and ending wars and curing diseases. Never stopping, never so much as pausing for breath. For him, there is no ‘seventh day of rest’ as God himself intended; there are always going to be people and planets in need of a saviour, and – being the martyr that he is – it is more often than not going to be down to him to save them.

I think that’s what attracted me to him in the first place – his open willingness to help everyone. And not just the people he likes, either. He even goes out of his way to try and make the bad guys gain as much of a good deal as they can under the circumstances. Granted, they only get ‘one chance’, and then whatever happens happens without him so much as batting an eyelash, but even so … they get one more chance out of him than I would have given them.

But putting aside my reasons for loving him for the moment, it’s customary to feel absolutely knackered after spending a day around him. More often than not, I’m having to beg him to let me have a break, because he’s just so used to doing something every second of the day. I think his motto has got to be something like ‘a second doing nothing is a second wasted’, or something. And he doesn’t half live by that!

I guess … what I’m trying to say – really badly, admittedly – is that … seeing him doing nothing is just … it’s not ‘Doctor’. And that’s what’s scaring me, more than anything. See? I’m so flustered by his unusual behaviour that I’m having trouble forming a coherent sentence …

Instead, I’m standing here, in the middle of the Console Room, watching as he … sits. He’s just sitting there, staring at the central column as though entranced by it. The TARDIS hums and clinks around me, distracting me from the complete silence that would be reigning supreme around us without her.

I tried asking earlier – asked him if we were going to be going anywhere exciting today, if he had anything else adventurous and extremely dangerous up his sleeves.

He said ‘no’.

And that was it.

No reasons, no explanations, no mindless chit-chat … just … nothing.

So I’m sure you can see why I’m ever so slightly concerned for him.

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I couldn’t even begin to tell you how tired I am.

I never thought I’d see the day when I couldn’t handle saving the Universe anymore. But it seems that day is upon me at last.

The problem is … I stopped. I stopped doing things, stopped running, stopped fighting. And now that I’ve stopped, I don’t think I can face trying to start all over again. I always knew, deep down, that this was going to happen – that I was going to run out of steam and lose grip on my urgency to help others. I guess I always knew that there would come a time when I would finally have to stop running. I suppose I’ve simply been putting off the inevitable.

I now that it’s happened … well, I wasn’t prepared for it, and now I can do nothing about it.

I see Martha, out of the corner of my eye, standing with her arms folded, just … staring at me.

She’s worried, but she has no need to be.

I’m not.

I always knew this would happen.

And now it has.

Oh well.

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This is getting quite irritating, I must confess.

Before, it was downright scary, but now? Now it’s gone so far beyond scary that he is annoying me, more than anything.

But … that isn’t fair, is it? It’s not his fault he’s tired …

Because that’s the problem. Oh, I know all too well what the problem is, alright.

And maybe the most annoying thing is my inability to help him. But because I can’t blame myself, I want to blame him for giving up, even though that’s the last thing I should be doing. As horrible as it seems, it’s easier for me to be annoyed with him than it is for me to admit that there is nothing I can do to pull him back …

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Tired.

So, so tired.

Tired of running. Tired of fighting. Tired of living.

Nine regenerations, ten versions of myself, nine-hundred years of endless torment …

It’s all just … just too much! I can’t take it anymore!

Why will the Universe not leave me alone ?! All I desire is a moment to myself, is that really too much to ask?

… …

Judging by the look on young Martha Jones’ face, I’d wager a bet on ‘yes’.

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Goodness … he blinked!

Dare I hope that he’s snapped out of it, then?

Whether I think I’m hoping or not, my heart-rate’s quickened considerably. Taking a tiny step towards him, a let a hopeful smile spread across my face as I watch him blink again, his left hand twitching ever so slightly in his lap, my anger and frustration no longer traceable as it is overwhelmed by sheer relief.

“Doctor?” I whisper, unable to disguise the anxiety as well as I’d hoped to.

As he turns to me, at last, hazel gaze focussed upon my face for what feels like the first time in a lifetime, I can’t contain a sigh of pure joy, nor can I quench the urge to run at him and grab him in a bone-crushing hug.

“Oh, Doctor, thank God! I knew you wouldn’t leave me, I just knew it!”

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I’m not entirely sure if I regret snapping out of it, now that she’s crushing my chest. I can’t hide from the fact that I’m no less exhausted now than I was when I thought I was at the end …

The end of it all …

Where has this strength come from? I thought I’d exhausted everything! It felt like I had, at any rate.

It must be down to Martha. Just like it was down to every other companion, at some point in the past.

They are the only constants in my life. If it weren’t for them, I would have given in centuries ago.

And yet here I am once again, saved by yet another wonderful, beautiful friend, and she – just like all the others – has no idea just how much she has helped me.

“I knew you wouldn’t leave me, I just knew it!”

No, Martha. I wouldn’t leave you. I couldn’t.

I can’t deny that I’m still tired, still fed up with fighting for the right thing when the wrong thing happens anyway.

But because she’s here, I can’t give up, not yet. It would break her heart.

So I’ll just have to wait until she goes – because she will. Oh, I know she’ll go in the end. Everybody does.

I don’t know if I’ll survive that, again, but at least then I’ll be able to give in – be able to give myself that long awaited ‘moment to myself’, when the Universe doesn’t need saving and my hearts can weep in peace.

… …

But is that really likely to happen? I’ll find somebody else, won’t I?

On and on it will go …

Endless, timeless. Never stopping, never resting.

A part of me wants to hope that I can finally rest when Martha leaves me, rest for the first time in years, but a larger part fears I won’t be able to pull myself back if there isn’t somebody else there to catch me …

And giving up is not who I am. Doing nothing is not in my nature.

I’ll leave that to the sloths of the Universe – they do it so remarkably well.

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