She forced herself to keep quiet for several moments, knowing the moment she spoke, there’d be more unwanted words that would no doubt come pouring from her mouth. Was she scared of the truth? Was she in denial of it? Perhaps it was a bit of both.
Of course she was happy during that time with him. She was both ignorant and blind to the things he’d done, but despite all that, she really was properly happy.
“‘Course I was happy…” she forced herself to speak, “That kind of relationship.. it was somethin’ I wanted with ya for as long as I can remember…” the words, obviously, were truth— only her words weren’t being transformed this time. Everything she was saying was of her own will.
"The day we found out I wasn’t pregnant; do ya remember? I thought ya’d be relieved. But ya weren’t— And I genuinely didn’t understand why…” she blinked back at her tears, “When ya explained… when ya said ya wanted a family someday again— with me, it put so many things into perspective, and I was… truly happy. The idea of startin’ a family had always scared me.. Back when I was still with Andrew, he suggested it close to a million times… but the idea never seemed right when I was with him.”
It was hard to get her point across with the right words, but at least these were her words, and not something picked out for her by the truth field, “My point is… I was comfortable and completely content with any future life woulda brought you and I….” she trailed off for a moment, “but that future did not include the lyin’… or the manipulations… or the memory-stealin’. Ya didn’t just take my memories… ya stole someone from me, Doctor. Someone I love very much.. and there is no reason in the universe that could justify that.”
The Doctor listened to her with eyes that stung with tears spawned solely by her words, “I meant what I said that day, Michelle.. Every single word of it. I did lie. And I did manipulate, but there was plenty of honesty… My feelings for you never changed. None of that stuff was ever a lie…”
He swallowed the lump in his throat, attempting another careful step closer. There was so much he wanted to say, but he wasn’t sure if he’d have the time he needed to get it all out. At the rate the conversation was escalating, how much longer would it be before she left and decided her time in the Room of Candor was over?
"I know I betrayed you and I know you have no reason to trust me.. I was envious and I allowed my desires for you to consume me—" not the exact words he wanted to use, but what could he really expect in here?
"But listen to me… I am swearing to you… here and now that I will never make that mistake again.. Your memories are yours. I will never tamper with them. I will never take them… Not ever again… Michelle—” he paused for a moment, a question lingering at the tip of his tongue for a long while before he finally forced the words to come forth, “Do you still love me?”
He was scared of the answer— terrified that she’d say no. But he needed to know. More than anything, he needed to know…