1) mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread, and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity, or migh
2) an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like
When they travelled the stars together, the Doctor couldn’t look away. Rory was shining so brightly, it was blinding but hypnotising. It hurt his eyes but nothing in the world could make him stop watching. His face was radiant with everything most beautiful, most pure, most heroic in him. In the crystal blue of his eyes, freckles on his nose, every little wrinkle (mark of everything he had been through) you could read his selfless heart, his unyielding courage, his willingness to sacrifice himself for loved ones but also for people, any people in need, hurting.
True doctor at the very core. A wise man, a healer.
There was his soul there, a little boy daring to dream and hope no matter how ignored and unnoticed for so long. A young man never discarding that child in him, but following the reason, embracing responsibility, because that’s what you do: you live, you make the best of it, you leave the testimony of you ever being here, making you proud, instead of chasing the impossible, feeding on the dreams. And there was a hero, brave, loyal and devoted, following you to the edge of the earth once he gave you his trust, no questions asked, your greatest soldier, your faithful partner, your best friend.
Rory shone like the brightest star, as Doctor stared in awe. Committing every little detail of this face, this heart, this soul to memory. So that he could tell stories of a man he once knew, a man who overwhelmed him, a man so much better than he himself could ever become. So that the universe would never forget, amidst all the implosions, deaths of the stars, black holes collapsing and supernova devouring whole constellations, that there was once this beautiful soul for a split, little moment shining more brightly than the sun.
The Doctor watched and bathed in this glory, desperate to steal some of it, to feel it on or inside himself and maybe cleansing himself this way, redeeming, turning with at least small part of himself into this astounding man. No, he was too broken, too stained already. He never had in him to be capable of this kind of heroic beauty. He could only stare from the distance, admire, and pay silent tribute.
Oh Rory, the whole universe should stop and stare, for you are the greatest wonder out there.
How could he look away? Nothing in the world could make him.
The moment the star dies devoured by nuclear explosion from its very core the supernova is released. It’s a burst of so much energy, light and power that the whole galaxy shines with it as even the sun itself fades in comparison. It’s wondrous and lethal, as the wave of that dying power consumes everything on its way and yet you would die to see this, you would do anything to witness this cascade of light brighter than the sun, brighter than anything in the entire universe. The Doctor saw many deaths of many starts, always leaving him astonished with dark glory of the cosmos. But none of the experience compared to the day he witnessed Rory’s death.
Rory was the supernova when he lived. Blinding all the galaxy with this warm, stunning light. With his heroic deeds, wise words. He did not destroy, yet healed and saved, but he left path in Doctor’s life, like a hurricane or a tsunami, of rules, ideas, values, swamped and reformed completely. He shook the Doctor’s world exactly like the wave of supernova’s flare could shake the universes.
Seeing him dying, was like witnessing last trembles of that glorious light, echo of its peak while now it was only a memory. An afterimage of something so grand you start to think it could have never been real. You start to think of it as a myth. He couldn’t look.
He couldn’t see it happening, the light dying to reveal the world intact and complete. As if Rory’s passing away didn’t make any change, didn’t make the universe collapse. Though it should. Just as supernova would.
The Doctor couldn’t look because something unique, rare and so very special was disappearing entirely, to never be revived again. Even though this could be his last tribute, the only chance to acknowledge its existence. When the last of a kind dies, how can you not watch?
But just as he used to can’t stop watching, now he did. He forced himself to. Maybe because it was a cruel reminder for him that dreams have to shatter as reality eventually pours in, with its mortality and fragility. Nothing lasted, everything ended and the ground was slipping from beneath his feet, as he was left behind, a fossil of time and space, never ending, never changing, as time and space flooded around him, passed him, ahead of him.
Or maybe he didn’t look because not witnessing this light as it extinguishes would help him pretend it was still there, brightening his path. Not facing the end, would make denial about it easier, as he would continue to cling to all the memories about his beautiful, Rory, brave Rory, irreplaceable Rory to keep him alive forever this way.
Or maybe because it was his doing. He killed Rory the moment he stole him to the TARDIS. The moment he selfishly wanted this soul to follow him, to be with him, to inspire him to become him.
Guilt was about to choke him when he turned away from the echo of the supernova reminding him everything he lost. Everything he let perish. Everything stolen by time, oh irony his greatest traitor. Everything that once let his whole world shine with hope, belief and wonder. He turned away to pretend, to chase dreams, to chase impossible, to shelter himself in immortality. Because that’s what he always did.
A madman in his box running away from the truth too terrible, too ugly to face. Betrayed by time over and over again as it passed and he refused to embrace it, hiding behind his immortality, in his neverland.