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Orpheus

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Ahimé!, dove trascorsi?

“Where are you going?” Wilf asked, bewildered.

“To get my reward.” He would be Orpheus, going to hell to retrieve his lost love.

Dove mi spinse un delirio d’amor?

From his vantage point, high on the catwalk above her, he saw just how unprotected Martha was. She and Mickey were both completely unguarded, exposed to the Sontaran soldier who stood taking careful aim a few feet ahead of him. They should know better. He waited. He may have turned them both into weapons, this might be what happened to the people he loved, but he wouldn't leave them so vulnerable. There was no need for words when they finally noticed him. They knew.

Sposa! Eurydice! Consorte!

“That was the maddest Christmas ever, Clyde!” For all of his genius, Sarah Jane’s son was still a typical human teenager, oblivious to anything that wasn’t his mate on the other end of the line. The Doctor had meant to leave Sarah something small, though he hadn’t really had a plan, if he was being honest. There weren’t enough words for him to tell what she had meant to him, how happy he had been to see her again in that dark, deserted school. Nothing that he could have said to make the years of abandonment and anger disappear. Instead, there was a car bearing down on Luke, kept chattering to Clyde without a worry in the world. His muscles screamed at him as he lunged at Luke, pushing him away from the car just in time. He turned back to see Sarah’s face. He hoped it would be enough.

Ah, piu non vive! La chiamo in van...

The cantina might have been crowded, but it was never difficult to pick Jack out of a crowd, no matter when or where he was. The man practically walked around with a personal spotlight on him. But this time was different. The captain’s face was wan, drawn with loss and fatigue as he stared, unseeing, into the depths of his glass. The Doctor felt the same ache and miserable regret in his own bones. He hoped this would help for Jack, even if there was nothing to be done for him. The ebb of his regeneration gnawed at the back of his mind, but not yet. Not just yet. He left Jack and Alonso to whatever solace they might find in one another.

Misero me, la perdo.

“No, it’s not just a story; every word of it’s true!” Oh, but it had been a good one, hadn’t it? The story he had made? It wasn’t entirely fair for him to ambush her granddaughter like this, and he felt a pang of guilt as he watched Verity’s shoulders fall back, her realisation that this impossible man was actually standing across the signing table from her. He allowed himself that small vanity, told himself that she would know now, without any doubt, that Joan - brilliant, strong Joan - had been telling the truth all those years. He took his book and walked away, unable to answer her question.

E di nuovo e per sempre!

Donna’s face was wild with joy, unrestrained laughter written through her entire being. The air was thick with flower petals as she bossed around her entire entourage, putting her wedding coordinator to shame. It had only been a few hours in his own timeline since he had dropped Wilf off, but the Doctor’s hearts constricted at the sight of his best friend in all her rude-and-ginger glory, and he missed her with a visceral ache that had nothing to do with the fire that was burning him from the inside.

Oh legge! Oh morte! Oh ricordo crudel!

“Here… here you are! Same old face, didn’t I tell you you’d be alright?” When Wilf finally approached, the Doctor understood just where Donna had gotten her ability to fill an entire TARDIS with a never ending stream of speech; he loved and hated it all at once. He wanted Wilf to anchor him here with his words, in this place where everyone was happy, even Neris. But he also itched for the other man to be still, to let him deliver his gift and be gone. There was still one more thing to be done, and there would never be enough time. He choked out the words, they seared his throat in the offing, but Geoffrey Noble really had been generous and kind, and Sylvia deserved the comfort of one last memory of the man she loved.

Non ho soccorso, Non m’avanza consiglio!

The Ood song flooded his mind, fire raging through his consciousness.

Io veggo solo (o, fiera vista),

Was it cold? It was snowing, really properly snowing in London, so it must have been cold but he couldn't tell. He only wanted to see her face once more. He was born into this body with her voice, her compassion, her love written into his DNA, and he was going to make sure he died that way as well. There was no need to speak, no need for her to turn back to see him. For her to notice him threatened their entire timeline, and he couldn’t risk that. He wouldn’t let her fade, like Eurydice, into dust and ash from his selfishness. Better to stay in the shadows.

Il luttoso aspetto

But the agony was overwhelming, her long scarf too perfect, the sound of her voice too much for him to bear, pressing against his hearts as she hurried along in the snow. It was time. And of course she would notice someone in distress, would turn to make sure they could get home alright. He realised that he had had it wrong. He was Eurydice, not her. And if he was Eurydice, then she was Orpheus with lute in hand, turning back one last time to look upon the face of his love who had been called home with a song. He took an involuntary half-step toward her, but she was already gone into the night. The Doctor was vaguely aware of his chest heaving, and yet not being able to catch his breath. All was fire, all was ash.

Dell’orrido mio stato Saziati, sorte rea:

Pain flooded his body and mind, and he wasn’t ready. It was too late, too wrong. He was lost.

Son disperato …