[A crackle of white noise makes the silence that follows seem louder in comparison. The lens itself is focused dead-centre on the Doctor's face, something he seems discomfited by: he actively avoids looking directly at the camera, rolling a pencil along the desktop out of frame.]
The jumper is complete.
[He glances briefly at the lens, as though whomever he intends it to be viewed by understands his non-sequitur. Clearing his throat, he absorbs himself in the movement of the pencil, glasses low on his nose.]
There's a certain... inordinate amount of pleasure I might otherwise have felt from this. Flouting the rules, the regulations, crafting something out of a bit of gum and TARDIS-innards, ohyes, very clever, very true to form. Brilliant, in fact. Something I've regained a decent sense of since...
[Swallowing hard, the Doctor's hand stills and he draws it away, rubbing the back of his neck.]
Since. The Admiral's rather stern warning was unnecessary; I can keep a bloody secret. There's ones you keep and you keep and keep until they've gone to sleep with the men in the shadow of your mind. Forgetting without it having truly been lost, maybe a few extra, precious seconds' worth of digging necessary to unearth it.
I never forget. [That hand stills. He looks up beneath knitted brows, to the camera again.] You never forget, Doctor. Which brings me back to the jumper. And this. This-
[Papers rattle; he pulls a sheaf of them before the lens. Gallifreyan sigils come barely into focus before the whole lot it is slapped without ceremony onto the desk.]
-because I don't know what this is. Well I do- I'd have to have gone completely round the bend not to understand the calculations behind a multi-dimensional transmat device designed specifically to take advantage of a particular loophole in the temporal shielding of the barge- but that's beside the point.
[He leans closer to the camera, staring intently into the lens with eyes that are impossibly old, belying his decades-young appearance. The Doctor's voice is shot through with urgency.]
The point is I've lost nearly sixty hours of time, and in that time I've completed a project I chucked aside because I assumed I only had a short stay left ahead of me. I've lost all sense of Time, of possibility and fixed points. Jack is no longer a Fact to me and what limited senses I had left.
[Sucking in a breath, the Doctor rolls his gaze heavenward and rubs at his eyes. He peeks between his fingers, shoulders slumped.]
I haven't much time. Bollocks to that; I haven't the faintest idea what sort of time I've even got left. If it can be-
[His throat tightens and he kicks the desk with an inaudible snarl of frustration before he chokes out, with clenched teeth:] -fixed. I can fix it; we can fix it. I won't go out like D-
[Crestfallen, the Doctor worries away at the inside of his lip.]
Everything I am is defined by my experiences. Who I was before. Those who came with me. Obstacles I faced and those who put me through them.
I can't just let that go without a fight.
[Palming the jumper, he stares at its shiny face and rolls it between his hands, indecisive until he promptly sits up straight.]
And I don't need the temptation to run anymore.
[Private to Tallahassee]
I have something for you.