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The pain felt very real. Every time he saw them together, he simply knew. Things were going to change soon. The feeling was quite familiar, a mix of pride and happiness to see a loved one leave the nest to fly on its own. Strangely enough, it was the pain that he remembered best.

It was happening all over again and the memories washed over him, making him shiver. He straightened his grip on the wheel and shook his head in an attempt to get rid of the flashes from his past as well as of the recent events.

The Doctor tried to focus on his driving. The night was dark, as dark as his thoughts and he had to rely on both the moon and Bessie’s lights to remain on the small countryside road. He was mildly aware that he was driving a bit too fast for this kind of road.

Soon, his mind brought him back to Jo and her decision to start a new life with Professor Jones. The Doctor had seen the signs. The wind of change started blowing in his face but he chose to ignore it. He chose to act like any Earthling would have in such a situation. He became jealous although he knew perfectly well that this was as childish as irrelevant. He wasn’t in love with Jo, while Cliff obviously was. He simply wanted her to stay with him, to remain his travel companion. He wanted to share adventures with her…

“I don’t want things to change,” he said out loud, realising how selfish he sounded.

He stopped the car abruptly and rested his head on the wheel. It wasn’t about Jo. Deep down, he knew it. He had lost companions before and as much as he cared for them, he never expected them to remain with him forever. But this time, it was different. It wasn’t about Jo, it was about Susan, only in reverse. He had left his granddaughter behind, making a difficult choice for her, allowing her to get a life of her own. Now, Jo had made this choice on her own, deciding to leave him when he had decided to leave Susan. The pain was now excruciating. His hearts felt broken twice.

Would Jo miss him? Was Susan missing him? He felt a sudden urge to check on her, reach to her and hug her.

Instead, he took a deep breath and resumed his driving. He needed to go over it. Jo had made her choice. Susan was leading her own life now.

“All I need is a new companion… Besides you, Bessie, of course!”

The Doctor was smiling again.