thirty2flavors: (the oncoming storm)
[personal profile] thirty2flavors
Title: Most of All
Rating: PG for emo
Genre: Angst
Characters: Ten, with hints of Donna
Spoilers?: All the way through to Planet of the Dead
Summary/Excerpt: It’s been months since he spent any decent amount of time on the TARDIS, what without eight-hour layovers as part of a daily routine, and so the prospect of finding a mug he hasn’t used in a room he hasn’t been in is, frankly, unsettling.

Author's Note: A line you may not recognize in this comes from this deleted scene from The Doctor's Daughter.

In the library, the Doctor finds a mug.

Sitting harmlessly on the tabletop, pale and blue with the tiniest of chips on its rim, it startles him, and he crosses the room towards it slowly, as though it’s a polar bear he’s stumbled on.

There are two very good reasons there should not be a mug in the library. For starters, he doesn’t use that mug. He’s got mugs from Tryksofarian that hold temperature indefinitely. He’s got mugs from Maddagan VI that let you set the internal temperature within an eightieth of a degree Celsius. This mug – well, it’s just a mug, boring and ceramic, and he hasn’t used it himself in years.

And in any case, regardless of mug, it’s been months since he was in the library. It’s been months since he spent any decent amount of time on the TARDIS, what without eight-hour layovers as part of a daily routine, and the prospect of finding a mug he hasn’t used in a room he hasn’t been in is, frankly, unsettling.

He picks it up gingerly and peers inside. What were once no doubt the last dregs of coffee or tea have evaporated, leaving in their wake a faint brown rim at the bottom of the cup. He frowns at the stain. He considers Alice in Wonderland, the drinks she drank and the food she ate. He considers the types of things people usually put in mugs and the general improbability of a stowaway drinking his coffee and reading his books and leaving his mugs dirty on his coffee tables.

Then he runs his index finger along the bottom of the mug and pops the finger into his mouth.

Coffee, it tastes like. One sugar and entirely too much milk. He pulls the finger from his mouth and sighs.

Well, mystery solved. No mysterious stowaway, unless that mysterious stowaway happens to have the same precise taste as Donna Noble.

Readily associating the uncomfortable shift in his stomach with licking months-old coffee residue rather than any ridiculous sentimental reason, the Doctor leaves the library.


After he’d first lost her, the task of de-Rose-ifying the TARDIS had been painful and drawn out. In the years that she had traveled with him the girl had somehow managed to leave her mark in every nook and cranny in ways he’d previously have believed impossible. Shirts and shoes and scraps of paper and magazines and photos sprawled across the TARDIS, tossed haphazardly onto sofas and chairs, lying half-hidden under tables. When he'd finally worked up the nerve to sweep it all into one room, the TARDIS had felt bare.

With Donna, though, there’d been time to collect her things and return them to her. Traces of Donna on the TARDIS are few and far between, and the dirty mug is the first in quite a long time. Aside from the vast amount of space and the frankly incredible wardrobe, there is little to indicate that the TARDIS has ever held more than one passenger.

Nor will it, ever again.

He rinses the mug at the kitchen sink and thinks of the confused disappointment on Lady Christina’s face. It isn’t something he regrets, turning her down; it was the better of two choices and – for him at least – the road less traveled, so at bare minimum he had Robert Frost’s approval.

Still, the Doctor wonders whom precisely he’s washing this mug for, if he never intends to use it.

Donna would be furious, he knows. She’d be furious at him for a whole host of things, he’s sure, several of which would earn him a good smack, and right near the top of that list would be his blatant refusal to take the advice she’d given him years ago. He can practically hear the lecture.

You giant bloody prawn, she’d say, shaking her head as she did so. Are you completely daft? Haven’t we been over this? Do I need to write it backwards on your forehead so you see it when you’re fixing your hair? You need someone, you idiot. So go find Lara Croft and her hover bus and quit moping around!

He scrubs at the inside of the mug with a vigour he usually can’t manage over tasks like cleaning dishes. It’s impressive, really, how difficult removing the stain is proving to be, and the Doctor is hardly going to be bested by a mug. He reaches into the cupboard beneath the sink and sifts through his large assortment of alien cleaning products.

Rose would be furious too, he thinks.

You told me once, she’d say, and maybe she’d be blinking back angry tears the way she was when he last saw her, that it was the most important thing. Getting across the universe, you needed a hand to hold, you said, more than wormhole refractors and spaceships and whatever else. What, did you change your mind?

“Aha!” He pulls a strangely shaped bottle of viscous green liquid from the cupboard and straightens. The people of Kretchla are notoriously cleanly and their detergent is a force to be reckoned with. He pours a liberal amount into the mug and resumes his scrubbing, and really, he ought to visit Kretchla more often, though unknowingly leaving mugs of coffee to fester for several months was unlikely to win him any fast friends.

Sarah and Martha wouldn’t like it, either.

You’ve always traveled with others, Sarah would reason, and Martha – Martha, she wouldn’t say anything at all. She’d only look at him sadly, the full extent of her compassion and sympathy and pity hidden beneath a thin veneer of disapproval.

The Kretchlan detergent does absolutely nothing to the stain.

Admitting defeat to a mug is, he thinks, one of the more pathetic moments in his nine hundred years. He pops the cap back on the bottle with just a hint of a petulant scowl – he really will have to visit Kretchla, if only to inform them that their detergent is disappointingly sub-par – and stares at the mug.

He ought to throw it out. He’s certainly not lacking in mugs and one with a chip and a stain is hardly going to be missed by – well, him. It’s clutter, really, even if he isn’t pressed for room. He doesn’t need it.

Striding across the room, he moves to toss it in the bin.

You see, that pain, in there, comes Donna’s voice, and it’s memory, this time, rather than speculation. That doesn’t mean you were wrong to let her in. It proves you were right.

The Doctor pauses. He considers the bin and he considers the mug, chipped and stained. He considers the woman who’d used it last and the dozens of others who used it before her.

“You’re wrong,” he says – aloud, though the moment is long past, because the TARDIS is too quiet these days.

The answering silence is uncomfortable. Before he retreats back to the console room to find somewhere new to land, he opens the cupboard and returns the mug to the shelf of its peers.

Date: 2009-04-13 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh, i am so starting to cry right now! my goodness!

Date: 2009-04-13 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha oh no! I'm sorry!

Date: 2009-04-13 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dude, this was like watching an episode...except with words.
Ugh eloquency fail.

But srsly, A+

Date: 2009-04-13 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dude you don't know how pleased I am that you enjoyed my emo srs bsnss Doctor Who fic. I feel like I impressed the Pope. TY BB.

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Date: 2009-04-13 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Damn hormones, I'm tearing up. It's the hormones. Really.

You absolutely nailed Ten here, and also the voices of his companions--Donna's righteous wrath, Rose's angry disappointment, even Martha's silent pity. They know how badly he needs someone, even if he refuses to admit it. Oh, Doctor! I do hope the regeneration takes care of this.

Date: 2009-04-13 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course!

Aw, thank you! I do suspect the regeneration will help to some degree.

Date: 2009-04-13 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Poor Doctor :( It's so sad that he's going to spend the rest of his time as Ten alone yet it makes perfect sense. Losing Donna was the final straw :(

Gorgeous fic, really lovely.

Date: 2009-04-13 03:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know! It makes more sense and will undoubtedly work better than shoehorning in someone new, but I still find it totally tragic.

Thank you!

Date: 2009-04-13 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, this was lovely, and so sad. *huggles the Doctor* The mug kinda reminded me of that ep of House MD...

Date: 2009-04-13 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahah oh no! I don't watch House, lol, I hope I haven't unwittingly stolen their mug symbolism.

Thank you!

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Date: 2009-04-13 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's definitely the hormones that are causing the tears in my eyes. That or it's really dry in here.

You've captured Ten perfectly here. He's so incredibly broken. And you've got Donna, Rose, Sarah Jane and Martha's reactions down pat. They would say those things to him. I'm just glad that, at the end, he returned the mug to the cupboard.

Date: 2009-04-13 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, of course.

Thank you! Poor Ten is such a basket case. I write Rose and Donna quite often but Martha and Sarah Jane infrequently/never, so I'm glad their reactions were fitting, too. And the mug, wellll, I couldn't really have him throw it out, lol.

Date: 2009-04-14 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, that icon is so sad. *huggles emo!Ten*

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Date: 2009-04-13 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Poor Ten. He's so sad. This captures him beautifully, and his companions. I especially love the way you described Martha. That's just it.

He needs Donna back. :(

Date: 2009-04-13 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He does! D: I miss Donna. I think my favourite part of the special was when they mentioned her, lol.

Thank you!

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Date: 2009-04-13 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, this is beautiful and very painful. So him, though. You've nailed the companions' reactions perfectly too (though I'd have liked to see what Jack would have to say to him). Gorgeously melancholy.

(Personally, I'm relieved that he wouldn't let Christina go with him, but that's another story entirely)

Thanks, too, for the link to that deleted scene; I really must break open my S4 pack and see what else I missed!

Date: 2009-04-13 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I admit that I may have skipped out on Jack because somehow writing him absolutely eludes me. I've written something like a total of two lines of dialogue for him and they were both atrocious, I'm not quite sure why he perplexes me so much.

I wasn't much of a Christina fan and his refusal made a lot of sense, so I didn't really take issue with it either. Very sad sentiment, though. Oh, Ten.

That was the only deleted scene that really caught my eye, most of the others were not really things I'd miss. But that one! I love that one!

Date: 2009-04-13 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ohhhhh it's beautiful! and totally doctor like. and exactly what he'd think and how he's feel and licking things!

and reminds me of that conversation we had about omelettes

Date: 2009-04-13 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LIRL YES LICKING THINGS. I was like "wow licking the inside of a cup that's been sitting dirty for several motnhs is really disgusting. ............but so is licking sand, so."

YES THE OMELETTES. I have actually written a disgusting number of fics set in the TARDIS kitchen, I don't know why. Kitchens just seem like a place people discuss things.

Thank you!

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Date: 2009-04-13 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, Doctor. :( You totally nailed his emo ways, this is brilliant.

Also, A+ for saying Lady Christina = Lara Croft, because this is true. Except Christina had less fatalities.

Date: 2009-04-13 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! Oh Ten, you poor emo bastard.

SHE TOTALLY IS. Also Christina's boobs are not as freakishly large (

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Date: 2009-04-13 10:00 pm (UTC)
nonelvis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
Really nice work -- angsty and introspective, one of my favorite combinations.

Date: 2009-04-13 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I used to write a tonne of angsty stuff, and while I don't so much anymore, there's no one quite as good as the Doctor for exercising those muscles, lol.

Date: 2009-04-14 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, now I miss Donna all over again. Poor doctor. (You did a great job with the voices. That is exactly what Donna would say.)

Date: 2009-04-14 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I wish Donna were around to smack some sense into him, but given that she isn't I figured this might be a half-decent substitute.

Omg your icon cracks me up so much, I love that scene.

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Date: 2009-04-15 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just realized I hadn't commented on the actual fic, shame on me because I love it. I'm so jumping on the bandwagon, your voice for emo Ten is wonderful and the bit with him licking the dregs of coffee is so perfectly who-cracky.

and Martha – Martha, she wouldn’t say anything at all. She’d only look at him sadly, the full extent of her compassion and sympathy and pity hidden beneath a thin veneer of disapproval.
That is just perfect. I love that you actually get Martha and never reduce her to a jealous idiot.

It's brilliant to use the companions as his conscious. He knows "they" are right but yet he can't let himself move past how he lost Donna. Oh heartbreaking but so beautiful.
Also Lady Croft, haha YAY!

Redundant comment is pretty much redundant.

Date: 2009-04-15 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The licking grossed me out to consider but I figured it was totally legit, haha.

Martha tends to get neglected in the Ten/Rose corner of things and I admit that I'm not much better, as I've hardly written her at all, but I do quite like her. I thought the unrequited love plotline was kind of clunky and unneccesary, but I suppose that's not really Martha's fault. And basically everyone but Donna has a crush on Ten anyway, LIRL. I think I'm going to write smething Martha-centric soon, I feel bad neglecting her.

Rose and Donna (and Martha too I suppose) really were his conscience so it seemed fitting, and I liked working witht he idea that he knew them well enough to know exactly what they would say. I've seen some people attributing his new no-companion rule to what Davros said about turning them into weapons, and while I think that's part of it, I think the real brunt of the issue is just his own somewhat-selfish refusal to get close to anyone, even if he knows he should, for fear of being hurt. I can't really blame him, he's got an awful track record, and I like that RTD acknowledges that losing the woman you love and your best friend one after another would absolutely leave you all messed up psychologically. Not that the Doctor has really been healthy psychologically since the Time War, anyway.

YES LARA CROFT. Props to you my dear.


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Date: 2009-04-15 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh Doctor
*huggles him*

Your voices, all of them, are absolutely perfect. Nice work :)

Date: 2009-04-16 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! He really could use a hug. There was a distinct lack of hugging in POTD, it was quite sad.

Date: 2009-04-17 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:( :( :( So saaaaaaaad... the fact that he said something out loud and there was no one there. Those moments always break my heart, when he finds himself alone after losing a companion. Oh, Doctor. ♥

DONNNNNNNNNNA ♥... I love her to BITS. She's just... effing brilliant.

for him at least – the road less traveled, so at bare minimum he had Robert Frost’s approval. SO MUCH LOVE. I love this poem. :D

HOW DO I MISS YOUR UPDATES? You're on my flist and on my DW filter so that I don't miss'em... BUT I DO. D: I guess... I'll just check every now and then. LOL.

Date: 2009-04-17 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That moment in Partners in Crime when he starts talking to no one KILLS ME every time, and I KNOW he's just about to reconnect with Donna. Knowing Ten's refusal to take on another companion is just so sad. D: And I kind of feel for the TARDIS, because I suspect he'll spend a lot less time in... her.. (wow, how awkward that sounds) if he's alone because I think he'd just keep submerging himself in civilisation all the time.

Me too. What I really wanted to write is a fic where Donna shows up and kicks his ass for being so self-destructive, but since I generally don't do fix-its, this was as close as I could get. And then the other companions wanted to have a say, too. Rose would be so upset, I think, if she knew.

That's strange. It might be because I tend to post at weird times of day -- I posted this at like one in the morning, lril.

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