Lost in Paradise

Author: Leopard
Rating: Moderate
Status: Complete

Written for Duck's contest

A DW fanfic, set just after TATM. The Doctor is lonely cause his Ponds are gone ;-;

Chapter 1

Bong. The TARDIS engines groaned before everything was still again. The Doctor walked around the console, halfheartedly, pressing buttons and flipping a lever. Flopping down into his chair, he looked out into the lonely TARDIS. Silence.

With a sigh, he adjusted his bow tie. No more, he thought. No more travelling with people, it always, always ends badly. What would he do now though? Continue travelling, of course, try and stay out of trouble but that never ended well... "Aha!" he said to himself getting up and walking back to the console. "I always wanted to go..."

The Doctor opened the doors with a creak and stepped outside. Frost crunched under his feet and he grinned. Who said he couldn't explore by himself? Almost three days later he returned to the TARDIS after being arrested for having a bow tie. Imagine that, a planet that forbade bow ties? He'd been in court for three days trying to get rights to have a bow tie. His blue bow toe was now dust after being incinerated. He had managed to steal the micro-incinerating device however. And nearly got his head blown off in the process.

Having put on a new bow tie he span around the console to where he had put the micro-incinerator. "Fascinating! They've shrunk it by 361.445% by nano-fribulating the extro molecular..." his voice fell, being met with the engines bonging and clonging. He sighed and pinched his forehead. He was lonely again. He needed an adventure with a friend, one who would be happy to go home and do humany wumaney stuff again.

Siitting down on the steps that led into the depths of the TARDIS, he hung his head and thought about his glorious Ponds. It had been fantastic, travelling and hoping it would never end. It had been the best, the best times that his newest regeneration could have hoped for. Thinking about regenerating and meeting people afterwards made a pang of sorrow and bittterness wash over him. Rose. Donna. Martha. Sarah-Jane. All his companions, his friends who had gone with him through time following the promise of adventure. All gone now. Gone forever, trapped or lost or left. And they were only his recent friends, he had not yet forgotton those who travelled with him long ago or those who went with him once or maybe twice.

His head was in his hands, and he was so sad. Sad, lonely Time Lord. He couldn't keep his friends, they were too human. Too human to be able to stay. Too human to be able to not die around him. He sobbed into his hands. Travelling was fine for a while and then everything went pear-shaped. More like completely wrong shaped. Everything went so wrong, it was almost as if he was condemned to lose everyone he loved.

But that was it exactly. Anywhere you want, but not all the time. He got up slowly and wandered over to the screen. The TARDIS told him it had been about three months since he had been left alone by himself. Three months? It hardly felt like it. Then again, he had been moping for all that time. Just like he would have done with Rose, but then the Titanic crashed into the TARDIS. Then Astrid. Then moping. He shook his head, thinking like this would do no good. Sighing, he pressed a single button knowing that the TARDIS would know where he was going. The only woman who would have a slight chance of knowing how he felt.

He was going straight to Stormcage cell 426.

Chapter 2

"Hello, sweetie," whispered River to herself as she heard the TARDIS materialise outside her cell. Why had he come? Would he be in her future or past? She heard his footsteps get louder and she grinned. She turned to to see him and her face fell. She knew that face.

"Why are you here?" he said sharply. She closed her eyes a second longer than a blink and breathed out.

"Nostalgia, dear. I'm merely getting my things. Don't you know my wardrobe is bigger on the inside?" He didn't react and she mentally took a large deep breath in. Picking up her diary she flicked through it even though she knew where they were. She knew exatly what had happened and she knew he had been moping around for the last three months. The truth was the grounds of her pardon were a bit shaky so she had to report back every month for a week or somehting. She hadn't really been listening, making the guard feel uncomfortable had been a lot more fun.

"They're gone, aren't they?" she asked. He nodded sharply. "Would you...?" She gestured towards the door and he flicked the sonic out of his pocket and unlocked the cell door. He turned and marched back towards the TARDIS. River followed him quickly, sighing. He was going to be moody and hard to deal with. She walked into the TARDIS and shut the door quietly behind her.

"Mind if I pop down to the wardrobe room quickly?" The Doctor made no response, and River went down without a word. She quickly dressed herself into comfortable trousers and a jacket; looking stunningly good wasn't her main priority at that moment. When she returned to the console room, she noticed the Doctor had hardly moved. Her mouth set into a frown.

"Doctor, they're gone." she whispered, walking up next to him. "There's nothing you can do and it isn't your fault."

"It's always my fault!" he shouted viciously. River didn't move, but she blinked. That was the closest to flinching she would allow herslef to get. "It's always my fault and it always ends like this! Tell me, River, seeing as you seem to know, how it isn't my fault that everyone I ever take with me gets heartbroken in some way or another; them and me! Never again!" He hung his head, and River wrapped her arm around his back.

"It isn't your fault, my love, it never really is. Everything comes to an end, and everything has its time. It is wonderful while it lasts and then it is over, but because something had ended doesn't mean you have to forget or disregard how wonderful those times were. You will find someone else, and you will never forget. That is the curse and the beauty of your travels."

He silently pressed a button. They stood unspeaking as the TARDIS engines whirred and bonged, before making their classic vworp, vworp landing noise. River mentally rolled her eyes, he left the brakes on again. He said he liked the ear grating noise, maybe he did, but it was almost painful nonetheless. One more bong, and then a quiet hum filled the control room. The Doctor moved away, and slowly raised his hand towards the door.

River looked at him confused, with a where-in-the-universe-are-we kind of look. The Doctor just raised his eyebrows and grinned slightly. She smiled, and turned towards the door. She walked swiftly towards the doors and opened them; they opened with a creak as always. She really wished he'd oil them or something even though she knew he never would.

As she looked out, she realised where they were and gasped with delight. She turned back to the Doctor who had started walking towards her. He grinned more widely this time, and said "Merry Christmas, River."

Chapter 3

"But... oh! Doctor it's fabulous! Where are we?" He put his hand on River's shoulder. She looked out onto the glittering planet beyond, covered in a thick layer of snow and dotted with hundreds and hundreds of pine trees, all decorated with tinsel and baubles. Each one was covered in a dusting of snow and topped with a glowing star or sparkling angel.

"Commonly known as Planet of the Christmas Trees. It does have a real name, but Planet of the Christmas Trees sounds a lot better don't you think? I've heard that if you manage to find it there's a huge Christmas tree with naturally occuring presents and a door to a tunnel to the centre of the planet which has been turned into a planet-size ice skating ring, and it is said that the native people, who just so happen to be humanoid and wooden are the best skaters in the galaxy." RIver grinned and wrapped her arms around her husband's waist.

"It's amazing!" she whispered. The Doctor grinned. "Is this a Time Lord sorry for being grumpy earlier?" She looked up at him.

"Well, um, you see..." He trailed off and she laughed. "Yes." he said simply. He smiled though sadness still swam behind his eyes. He tucked a sticking out curl behind River's ear, gripped her hand and started running, pulling her willingly through the trees.

Snow crunched under their feet as they ran past hundreds of soft green pine trees, all dusted with a generous coating of snow. River giggled as the Doctor threw a badly aimed snowball at he head. It landed on a nearby tree and a puff of snow floated down from the tree it disturbed. She kicked up the snow in response and the white exploded everywhere, floating down in a soft flurry.

"Doctor shush!" River hit him lightly on the shoulder. They stood in the silence as a fresh shower of snow started to fall. Then she heard it again. Soft music drifting on the breeze. "Doctor come on, I bet that's the skating!" She grabbed his hand and started to drag him off. He opened his mouth to protest, but thought the better of it and let himself be dragged along by his wife.

As they ran again through the snow, the music got louder. It was upbeat and jazzy, and performed by a whole jazz orchestra, or so it sounded. Suddenly a large tree burst into view, covered in glittering lights of all colours and sparkling tinsel as if it were a Christmas tree.

"We found it!" whispered the Doctor with glee. "We really found it."

Chapter 4

They approached the giant tree grinning. The glittering lights lit up their faces in all colours. The music could be heard from below, loud and jolly. The Doctor felt a wave of sadness as he knew that the Ponds would have loved it there. But he would not think about the Ponds, River was there with him and it was fabulous.

"Look Doctor, there's the entrance! Come on, let's go!" she walked briskly with a spring towards a large trapdoor. The Doctor hesitated as he remembered his last regeneration saying allons-y all the time. Pushing away the painful memories he jogged after River.

She pulled open the trapdoor with a grunt. The doors landed with a thud, making a puff of snow rise around it. She peered in and saw a ladder that she knew was down to the skating. Swinging herself into the hole she quickly descended down the ladder, the Doctor following quickly behind her. A few rungs from the bottom she jumped off and looked around at the underground ice skating.

It was every bit as fabulous as the Doctor had promised. The ice seemed to extend forever and though there were many many people - and aliens - on the ice it seemed like few due to the sheer size of the place. Not only was there the ice skating however, there was a large restaurant with the waiters whizzing around on ice skates. "Doctor this is amazing!" she whispered.

"Do you want a go on the ice?" he asked. She nodded with a smile and he somehow pulled out two pairs of ice skates from his pockets. River knew better than to ask.

They walked over to one of the many benches that surrounded the ice. River quickly pulled on the skates. "Shoes?"

"They're all very honest, just leave them here." She pushed her shoes under the bench and stood up. She wobbled a little; it had been a while since she had been ice skating. The Doctor offered his hand and she took it. Together they stepped onto the ice.

River skated round in a quick circle to make sure she could still ice skate; she could, of course. The Doctor was a lot more wobbly. He skated forwards to catch her up and nearly fell face first. River laughed. He was trying to stay upright although it wasn't exactly working. River skated off and the Doctor followed with a shout and a wobble. He soon got the hang of it and he and River tried to outskate each other, both getting faster and faster until the Doctor smacked right into one of the natives.

"I'm very sorry!" said the Doctor quickly, trying and failing to get up. River was trying not to laugh. The native merely smiled and with a chuckle said

"It is fine!" he offered his hand to help the Doctor up, which he accepted with an embarassed thank you. He and River skated off again and she burst into laughter.

"River! It's not funny!" She laughed harder.

"It really is! I love to see you blush sweetie." He pressed his hands to his face making her giggle more. "Come on, honey!"

They skated for a long while afterwards, and when they finally got tired they went to the restaurant for some chips. "I hope they have chips." the Doctor was saying. "I love chips." There were chips, and the two sat down at one of the tables. The Doctor ate most of the chips and told silly stories that neharly had River in tears with laughter.

What was probably many, many hours since they had arrived they returned to the TARDIS. The Doctor had bought River a scarf that could tell the weather: blue for snow, purple for rain, gold for sun. The TARDIS door shut with a creak and River sat in the seat in the console room. The Doctor looked at her. His face fell. They both knew what had to happen next.

The journey was a silent one. The engines came to a stop and River stepped out. "Thank you, honey. Don't be alone, Doctor." He dipped his head at her and shut the door sadly. Silence greeted him.

Chapter 5

The TARDIS drifted through space. The console room was silent once again. The cloister bell chimed distantly as if trying to comfort the distraught Doctor. He took no notice, it was merely background noise.

"No more!" he cried out into the emptiness. "I can't do it any more! I can't! I just can't..." He put his head in his hands and collapsed onto the chair. A tear fell from the corner of his eye. The TARDIS whirred supportively. "I know you think I should find someone else but how? They only ever bring pain." The cloister bell clonged again. "Yes, I know this was how I felt before Rose but I had just commited mass genocide! I think my mind's a little clearer now thank you!"

A part of the TARDIS rumbled as if she disapproved. Pinching his forehead, he stood up and walked over to the console. He ran his hand over the buttons and switches. "I tell you what, how about time for a redecorate? How about something new, ay old girl? Something fresh. Nothing that will remind me of anyone and something that will remind me about all of them. How does that sound?" Some of the buttons and lever clicked and pressed with a somewhat satisfied sounding hum.

The engine wvorped and came to a stop, landing somewhere. "Where are we then...?" The Doctor opened the door and a small smile took over his face. "Oh, you sexy thing. I'll go explore then, huh?" As if shooing him out, the doors shut and pushed him out. The lock clicked loudly as if she were saying "Off you go!" He turned up his nose at the box for a few moments before running his hand down the wood lovingly. The TARDIS whirred and he stepped back before running off to discover this new planet.

He returned some time later when the TARDIS signalled him by heating up the key. He was in the middle of trying not to get zapped, but that could wait. The TARDIS was new and different, how could he resist? He quickly resolved the problem that actually was over a spoon and raced back to the TARDIS. Smiling, he placed his hand on the door, feeling the slight vibration. It opened with a creak as always.

"Oh, this is marvellous! You are a sexy thing, arent you!" It was similar to a console room he had had in his youth, and yet new and mysterious all the same.  The TARDIS hummed and flicked a lever. He grinned and ran his hand down the new control panel.

"Maybe just one more adventure then."

T'end. It seems inconclusive but directy links between TATM and The Snowmen so it does make sense. Trust me. Hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading!