danny pink appreciation week > day 4: fanfiction

Okay, Ghosts is really about Clara, but it has a Danny bit in it that I quite like:

“When I was a soldier, I accidentally killed a little boy,” Danny said
without preamble. And Clara stared at him. She thought she had been
expecting something even worse.

“What?” she said again.

“I didn’t mean to. Afterwards – there was an investigation – they think
he sneaked into the compound to get his football – they said it couldn’t
have been prevented. But-”

“It could,” Clara said, her mind suddenly zipping back to a room where
three men stood around a button, where three men nearly pressed it.
“Things like that can always be prevented!” She had once prevented them!

“They said I wasn’t to blame.”

“God, Danny.”

“I know I was to blame, Clara. I’m the one who pulled the trigger. It
could have been anyone but it was me. I’m going to feel guilty about it
the rest of my life, but I tried to put it behind me. D’ya understand?”

“Yes,” Clara said slowly. She had seen the Doctor kill. Hadn’t she? She herself had threatened to kill. And yet…that button. That room…

“How old was he?”

Danny didn’t even flinch at the question. “Ten.”

Clara noticed his lack of flinching, but she couldn’t assign a reason
for it just yet. “Did you become a teacher to make up for it?” She
thought the answer to that might decide their relationship. The answer
to that might decide, even, what Danny Pink was. “Teaching children, instead of…”

“Shooting them,” said Danny, and she caught a glimpse of it then, the
very real shame and guilt and anger. “Yes. That’s why. I thought I would
do anything to bring that boy back, Clara. But I couldn’t. I could
only…make better soldiers, better adults, better people. Less careless
ones. Less stupid ones. That’s what I want to do.”