The Doctor pondered what a life in sepia tone would be like, (all browns and oranges a bit like the seventies) as he held the faded photo delicately between his fingers. It had a small crease across the centre a bolt of cream through the sepia where he had folded and unfolded it in order for him to keep it in his wallet. The smiling faces that looked back at him reminded the Time Lord of more innocent times and happier days. That was a summer he wouldn’t forget. He remembered how he had laughed, and instantly felt regret that he didn’t laugh like that anymore. He never completely relaxed around people anymore, not even Rose saw the real him. Everything was a mask to hide his darker side, the aspects of himself he didn’t want to let emerge. Sometimes he wished he could wipe away the sorrow, grief and loneliness like wiping the grime from a surface. The Doctor glanced down once again at the sepia tone photograph, and in his mind stepped through the white border into the shades of brown depicting a moment in time.
He could see the room with its quaint furniture, hear the ticking of the clock on the mantelpiece (and hour fast as usual), smell the musty aroma and hear her voice, gentle yet firm. He replied to her question, with his usual flare for facetiousness. She just laughed it off as the other occupant of the room set up the camera. The little tabby cat which loved the warm place by the fire let out a faint meow as he picked it up. He stroked it gently, holding the animal to his chest. She rebuked him for disturbing the creature when it was happy. He put the cat down but now it wasn’t content with being left on its own, mewing piteously for him to pick it up. He was tempted to give in to its demands but she explained it would be cruel to tease the animal and he should leave it be. He apologised to the cat and looked away with great difficulty, concentrating on how to pose for the photo. He pulled at the constricting collar as the photographer told him to keep still. A flash of light and puff of smoke, he froze in position. The image in sepia, frozen in time. The picture he held in his hand and kept always next to his hearts. His happy place from the past.