I once asked him if he believed in reincarnation, if he thought a human could come back as someone or something else? He said without hesitation ‘of course!’ He said he knew for a fact that I personally had been with him before what I thought was my first Doctor, the leather clad one. That I had always been there to give him advice. It could have been just a one-word answer, maybe a simple yes or no said at the right time in the right place to guide him here today. He firmly and absolutely believed this. That brought me back to when he regenerated into the man I loved today. I denied him and wanted him to change back. How selfish I had been, how simple minded to think that he could die again (although I think he would have just to please me) to give me the face I was used to. I wanted him to stay with me always and he was doing just that. I loved him with everything I had been and I know he loved me too, although the words would get lost inside his hearts at times. I still heard him whisper it to me when he thought I wasn’t listening, or he thought I was fast asleep.
He (this him) loved me with his last breath, taken not with the golden glow of regeneration burning through him but as a man with only one heart that was failing in his proud chest. I saw and not for the first time but what would be my last, the starlight in his eyes. I swore that I could feel that same starlight pulsing under his skin.
He told me he didn’t want to go but emphasized that it was not because he was afraid of death. Oh no, that was not why at all. His fear was always that the next him would forget all the wonderful people he considered to be family here on earth. That they would never see him again. What if they needed him and the next him didn’t listen? Didn’t recognize their voices? She knew he was hearing the echoes of the other, the full Time Lord as he left this life for the next as well. Those were shared fears, connected all the way to the grave.
The secret, he had told me in a whisper was that he was so much more than just the last of the Time Lords. He was time itself. And because he burned in the fires of time he never feared the rains that death would bring in the form of tears. He could never be extinguished, never be smothered, never be blown out. Oh how he burned, as bright as a million suns. No, he never feared dying. Death feared him. Every time he ascended like a phoenix into deaths realm death cowered at his feet. Usually by then he had totally separated from the person he used to be safe in the knowledge that he continued on, the new Doctor in the Tardis.
And as for me, just a heartbeat away from giving birth to his son? Well he told me that he knew, this one hearted Lord of Time that regeneration or not he absolutely would have two legs with two feet to walk the ground again. And two arms to hold me along with two hearts to keep my singular one safe. Someday. Not right away but someday. So he told me not to seclude myself because if I do I will never get to meet the new him. I may not even recognize him at first but when his new two feet take him towards me and his arms wrap around me I will know. My heart will know. And then we will run again.