He pushed the doors open to find her shirt laying over one of the rails.
His first instinct was to grab it up and hunt her down, with the intent of teasingly accusing her of using the console room as a clothesline.
Before his hand reached the fabric, the fact finally sunk in.
It was as if one of his hearts had suddenly stopped working; his chest felt tight with the realization that the beautiful, sunny creature he'd shared his life with - twice over no less - was no longer a part of his universe.
Gulping a breath, he picked up the shirt and instantly his senses were flooded with the same sensations he'd always experienced every time he touched her.
laugher joy sunshine regret strawberries desire tea shampoo soft warmth sympathy love
Blindly, he slid down against the wall, holding the shirt in both hands to his face, as if he could hold on to her essence by merely breathing in her lingering scent.
As the tears mercilessly dropped from his eyes, he whispered words into the stillness that no one but his ship would ever understand.
A/N: Unbeta'd ficlet written to accompany the art here. I've been having a rough time (not merely due to online issues), and both the art and fic that it inspired were the result of some very dark moments. This could theoretically take place before the final scenes in Doomsday, but I prefer to imagine this occurring immediately following his departure in The Runaway Bride.
And even though I don't deserve it, thank you all so much for your kind words and support. It's because of you that I don't give up.