Author’s Note: I think I should quote Doctor Who at this point. Yeah. Not that I used the same words, but I’ll steal them for the title.
I guess you could consider this prompted. This thought wouldn’t leave me alone.
“I don’t age. I regenerate. But humans decay. You wither and you die… You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can’t spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on, alone.” ~The Doctor, “School Reunion.”
Being with Luna was sharing and learning, and he enjoyed every moment of it. She still read one hour a day, since the kids were disappointed and resorted to threats and tears when she tried to tell them no, but they did a lot more than that as well. Museums, gardens, sculpture parks, they went and saw them all. He did not know that he had ever had such an enjoyable time before, not even on that fourth planet. Having Luna as a companion made each of the new experiences richer, more fulfilling, and when she asked him to share his knowledge of the universe, he found it was able to counter the hunger just as well as his curiosity.
He had to wonder if he had found someone like Luna before—though he didn’t know that it was possible to find anyone like Luna, she was too special, too unique—if he would have been able to avoid the disasters that had happened in the past. She made so much possible for him, and her presence was almost… an addiction.
He was of the vortex. The only addiction he could ever have was to destruction, yet he thought that she had somehow supplanted the hunger. He did not understand how that could be possible, but the hunger was endless and his need to spend time with Luna was equally limitless. He did not enjoy the time they spent apart. That was the problem.
He was far too dependent on her.
Children of the vortex did not die of natural means. The only way to kill them was to turn the hunger against them, and that could kill—did kill—but without the hunger, they could exist forever. He was, in some sense, immortal.
Luna was mortal.
Far too mortal. Humans had one of the shortest lifespans in the universe, still plagued by disease and warfare and their lack of development. He liked many things about them, but he knew them to be flawed. He knew them to be fragile.
Luna’s mother had died. Luna had almost given up on life. He’d fought to get her back, but what happened if he could not do it again? What happened if she were to fall ill with the same disease that had taken her mother? What if some other disease or some accident ended her life?
Even if she reached the end of her existence in a natural way, growing old and dying, it would still be too soon for him. He didn’t know what he would do if that happened. He needed her.
“Did you ruin another one of my books? You look terrible.”
“Okay.” She sat down next to him, frowning. “This about Alvin? I admit, I kind of wish we could… send him away for a while. His hive-speak is so… grating. I don’t like the way he follows me around, either. I know he’s… creating his own hive with us, but I’m not a hive person. I’m independent and eccentric. I need space.”
“It is not Alvin. It… If I told someone from the other worlds that he was here, they would come and take him away—”
“No! They’d lock him up and do cruel things to him, and he doesn’t deserve that. He’s annoying, but he’s not evil or anything. He just needs to learn boundaries.”
“Then you must teach him boundaries.”
She frowned. “What is with the tone? I don’t like that tone. That’s a bad tone, and you’re not—I know that the voice is as real as the face, but Tynan, when you talk like that—”
She nodded. “Yes, I am. That isn’t news. I’ve always been human. Unless you thought I wasn’t, in which case, I’m kind of curious about what you think I might have been. Do a lot of species look human or is it just us that does this?”
He shook his head. “There are many humanoids. You are not so unique a species.”
“You are human. Therefore, you are mortal.”
“Everyone dies, yeah, so—”
“I don’t. Not naturally. If they find me, they may kill me, but I could potentially live forever.”
“That’s nice. You’ll get to see everything the universe has to offer, and it will—”
She stopped, staring at him for a moment. He didn’t like bringing up her death, didn’t want to think about it, and yet he could not stop thinking about it. He was afraid to lose her. She swallowed. “I… Well, it’s not so bad. I’m not dying right now, and I can expect a few good decades and—”
“How am I supposed to face eternity without you?”