Author: professor pangaea
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 5,628
Author's Summary: Mortality, mistakes, loneliness, loss and love. Twenty-nine years seems like a long time for all of that, and like hardly any time at all.
Characters/Pairings: Ten, Ten (duplicate)/OC, the TARDIS
Recced because: Bias warning: I was one of the betas for this story, but honestly, I'd rec it even if I weren't, because it is quite simply one of the most beautifully written stories I've ever read about the Doctor's love for the TARDIS. Handy, well-settled into life on Pete's World, still mourns the loss of his most faithful companion, so an unexpected visit from Ten – and a last chance to be with his beloved ship – proves almost more than he can bear. The emotions here are well-drawn and deeply affecting; Handy may miss the TARDIS like nothing else, but he's also surrounded himself with people who love him, and more important, has accepted that love in a way that Ten never did.
John stared at his dark ceiling. He had a fading impression of green light bathing him, surrounding him; of panels and crystals and plugs beneath his hands, of the TARDIS singing to him, warm and reassuring. He closed his eyes again and tried to pull back the sensation of that comforting presence in the back of his mind; sometimes, if he was still close enough to sleep, he could fool himself into believing that it was still there, still linking him to her, and her to him. For a little while.
He wasn't sure how long he laid like that, eyes closed, breathing slowly and evenly. Concentrating while simultaneously trying not to focus on that concentration, just on holding that feeling. Sometimes he fell back to sleep like this, back into his dreams. Sometimes he hoped that dreams were glimpses into possible timelines, alternate dimensions, parallel planes of existence. That a dream could be more than a memory, more than just a formulation from his brain created by fluctuating chemicals and his subconscious.