Breathe (A Short Doctor Who Story)
The tale of the Doctor's adventure through the uncharted territory of a companions mind and how he helps her through the trials and tribulations that come. But piling that on top of the crushing weight of having to babysit the universe can throw any Timelord into a confused frenzy.
She's fragile under his stare with skin that seems to be made of glass, and how he wants to touch it will never be understood. But if he reached out, would she break? Would her eyes overflow with tears caused by him, and would he be able to bear that thought?
Grace looks back at him with a cautious green gaze because she sees so much in him. She sees hopelessness and desolation intermingled with passion and caring and all she wants to do is fix him. He's witnessed so many people leave him after having so many companions and he's afraid that he's going to lose her too.
The heart-monitor beeps next to her carefully and she extends a hand to cover his, and that's when he notices the scars covering her arm. Her hand is cold like the glass she seems to be made of and he sighs heavily at the thought that he couldn't help her. For God's sake, he wasn't even intelligent enough to see how hurt she was.
For all that the Doctor was worth, he wasn't able to save her just like he couldn't stop the others from leaving. He doesn't know what to do, so he sits there and feels her cold hand cover his and does all he can do to keep breathing and stem the flow of oncoming tears.
"I'm sorry," he tries to say, but no words are able to come out. So he shivers under the cold of her hand and breathes some more as she says the answer that he never requested.
And he knows that it is because, if it wasn't, then she wouldn't have said it. And for whatever reason, that comforts him. He lets those words resonate through his mind and gives them the power to keep him calm and enjoys that fleeting feeling. Even though this entire circumstance is his fault, he feels calm for a moment. And although he doesn't know how Grace can do that, he's more grateful in this moment than he's ever been.
The Doctor knows that it's hard for her to talk, so he keeps her quiet and let's his gaze fall to the scars littering her arms. He wants to ask her why she didn't tell him what was wrong and what compelled her to keep her suicidal thoughts from him, but doesn't. She looks so fragile and he doesn't want to ruin the moment that seems so peaceful on the exterior.
Her gaze meets his and she passes him a sad smile and closes her eyes as she utters her next command, "Breathe."