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Outliving the Doctor

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Donna's words paralyzed him. A million thoughts raced through his head. No, it couldn't be her. It couldn't be that easy. But the way Donna's eyes averted to someone behind him sparked a bit of hope. No, he couldn't hope. Hope lead to heartbreak. If she wasn't there behind him, he would break. He could not let himself hope. He pushed the feeling deep down but it was too much. The feeling flooded and gushed in his chest until it was too much to bear. It was too late, he was hoping. He had started hoping from the moment Donna had said "She was blonde". All that hope pushed his face to look behind him.

And she was there.

An enormous gun slung around her shoulder, golden hair falling to her shoulders, a wide grin on her face, was Rose Marion Tyler.

He was numb, frozen.

But then she took a step forward and his limbs were thawed.

He started at a slow jog forward, but she started running, and so did he.

And in all his years of running, he had never run so fast, because she was there. The distance between them shortened and the world fell away, until it was just Rose. He wasn't even aware of his legs propelling him forward.

The hope that he had tried to push down, he embraced it now. He let the hope become the only feeling he had. He almost there now, Rose was but a mere moment away.

And then they collided together, hugging each other so tight they might as well be one person. He lifted her off her feet and swung her around in a circle, their laughters filling that dark, dead street. His face was buried in her golden head of hair, not daring to et her go. Tears dripped freely down their cheeks, but they were laughing, pure joy bubbling up inside them.

She was there.

She did it.

She's back.

The pure rightness of it all filled their bones and they held each other close, so close.

"I love you."

He blurted out the words as if she might disappear again. Gently, she pulled away from him to gaze into eyes with a grin.

"Quite right, too."

Tilting her head upwards and going onto the tips of her toes, she leaned into his lips. He melted into the kiss, his hands resting on the small of her back. It was gentle and messy, filled with salty tears, but it was perfect.

Rose Tyler and the Doctor.

Together.

As it should be.

Chapter Text

“Docter, is this really necessary?”

“Yes, Rose. The TARDIS may filter most illnesses, but you two should get vaccinated just in case.”

The TARDIS let out a rumble and a shake as they landed, throwing everyone off their balance for a moment. Donna shook her head angrily.

“You’re a terrible driver,” She proclaimed with a glare. “You watch it, spaceman, if we end up in the wrong timezone, or on a war infested planet again…” Rose snorted and the Doctor smiled sheepishly.

“It’s not ENTIRELY my fault, the TARDIS does it!” He protested. Rose laughed again and pushed him out the door. They all let a sigh of relief at what met their eyes. “See? I told you I could do it!” Rose raised an eyebrow.

“Didn’t you just say the TARDIS-”

“Hush, hush, what’s important is that we’re here,” The Doctor cut her off hurriedly, marching on forward. The two women shared and amused look and followed the certainly slightly mad alien.

“You ladies just need to fill this form out, and you’ll be all set,” The alien at the front desk said cheerily. Rose and Donna took the forms and began filling in the required information. Soon, they were both finished, and were sent to the waiting room for their names to be called.

“Rose Tyler and Donna Noble, please head this way to room B24 and A42,” A monotone voice sounded over the announcements. Footprints the pair had previously hadn’t noticed on the ground lit up, a pathway to show them to their destination. The Doctor squeezed Rose’s hand.

“You two call if there’s any trouble,” He told them. Donna let out a short laugh.

“Doctor, it’s a hospital, I doubt there’s going to be any trouble,” She chuckled. The Doctor and Rose shared a look, and Rose kicked her Time Lord boyfriend slightly.

“Oi! That wasn’t my fault!” He exclaimed.

“That’s what you always say,” Rose replied with a roll of her eyes. She gave him a kiss, and followed the footprint trail alongside her ginger friend, leaving said ginger friend to wonder what that was all about.

Rose arrived at her destination and peered through the door. A doctor was sitting at a desk, typing something down. He caught sight of her and brightened. “Hello! Rose Tyler, is it?” He asked politely. Rose nodded with a smile. He beamed and gestured to a sort of large, glass, cylindrical structure in the corner. “Please, get in. We need to scan to see what immunities you already have,” Rose stepped into the glass cylinder, and the doctor went back to tapping on his computer.

A blue light passed over her body, starting at her head. The doctor frowned as he received the information from the scanner. He turned to the blonde with a puzzled look. “You filled in your species as human, correct?”

“Yeah? Because I am?” Rose answered uneasily. Somehow, she had a bad feeling about where this was going.

“Well obviously, you’re not,” He told her, turning back to his computer. “We have records of every species known to date, and you’re not one of them. It’s like you don’t exist!” Rose’s muscles were frozen in place, her throat numb with fear and confusion.

“Can… can I call my friend? He might be able to help,” She managed out weakly.

The Doctor, upon hearing the announcement for him, immediately set for Rose, worry quickening his steps. He came to room B24 and opened the door. The other doctor, the one that wasn’t a Time Lord, gestured for him to join him.

“Ah, Mr. Doctor, you’re here,” He exclaimed warmly, although his eyes were full of concern. “Please, could you clarify some things?” He let The Doctor take a look at what the scan revealed. The nine century year-old alien read the text, his face slowly growing in shock and bewilderment.

“But she’s-”

“Showing no signs of cell death, I know,” The other doctor interrupted. “And her DNA is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” The Doctor raised his head to look at Rose, his pink and yellow not-quite human.

“Rose, let’s go back to the TARDIS,” He urged softly.

“But I haven’t even gotten my-”

"Let’s GO.” He ordered, and that was that.

“Doctor, I don’t understand, what happened with Rose?” Donna asked, quickening her pace to match the Doctor’s. He pushed the door open to the TARDIS and went to the control console. He pressed a button on his screwdriver and opened up a hologram

“This, Rose, is your DNA,” He stated, a dark look on his face. Suffice to say, Rose’s DNA did not look like a normal human’s. The Doctor brought up another hologram. “And this, is a picture of the TARDIS’s timestream,” His companions stared at the holograms in shock. They look almost exactly alike.

“But… what? What does that mean?” Rose asked, agape and numb.

“It means, Rose, that you’re going to live… forever,” He answered sadly. Rose stared ahead, trying to comprehend the situation.

“Well, isn’t that good? I’m going to stay with you forever, just like I promised,” She reasoned, knowing full well it wasn’t that simple. The Doctor shook his head.

“I’m not immortal Rose. I know you assumed otherwise, but that simply isn’t true,” He explained, clearly upset. “You’re not just going to live alongside me. You’re going to outlive me. I’m so, so sorry, Rose. But one day, you’re going to watch me die.”

That was the end of that conversation for a bit. It was bedtime for the humans when it was brought up again. “What are we going to do?” Rose asked softly.

“Ah, the usual,” The Doctor sighed, letting her head rest on his shoulder. “Travel through time and space, pick up new companions, lose them, start the cycle all over again. Probably should teach you how to fly the TARDIS at some point,” Rose snuggled up closer to the Time Lord.

“But what am I going to do?” She whispered.

“See, that’s the scary thing, Rose,” The Doctor murmured into Rose’s silky, golden hair. “I don’t know. I don’t know what you’ll do after I die. I’m used to the fact that I’m going to lose all my companions eventually, whether they leave, die, or get taken away from me. But now here’s this beautiful, fantastic, brilliant girl who’s going to have to watch ME die, and I’m not sure what to do about that,” There was silence for a few moments.

“Let’s just… not worry about that now. We’ll figure something out,” Rose breathed. “We’ve got a lot of time.”

Chapter Text

“Doctor, are you alright?”

The Doctor winced. “Yeah, Donna, I’m just…” He drew out his hand in front of him. It was glowing a golden yellow with regeneration energy. Rose’s eyes widened in realization.

“Oh no…” She whispered, stepping back in horror.

“You just what? Why’s your hand glowing like that?” Donna asked in panic. “What’re you doing? What do you mean ‘oh no’?”

“Regeneration,” The Doctor explained, gritting his teeth. “Radiation will do that to you,” He pushed the two away and stumbled into the TARDIS. Rose grabbed him by the sleeve.

“Radiation? Doctor, what happened?” She queried with concern. The Doctor gave a pained smile.

“Ah, ol’ Wilf got himself into a spot of trouble,” He told her, waving it off. Staggering to the console, he flipped a few levers and pressed a button. “Might as well say our goodbyes. Let’s visit Ricky and Martha first, shall we?” The TARDIS gave its signature rumble and the trio went to say their goodbyes through time.

They had saved Mickey and Martha, chatted with Jack, comforted Wilfred, when the Doctor collapsed. He let out a pained grunt, but pushed away his companions’ help and blundered on. He shoved the doors to the TARDIS open and slumped on the control console. Pressing a button or two, he sent the TARDIS just above earth’s atmosphere. “You two better stand back,” He rasped hoarsely. “I think this one’s gonna be a whopper!” Donna shook her head.

“Doctor, I still don’t understand,” Her eyes were wide with worry. “Why do we have to stand back? What’s regeneration?” The Doctor chuckled weakly.

“Complicated.”

Rose laid a hand on the puzzled ginger’s shoulder. “To put it simple, he’s not going to look the same when it’s done,” Donna turned to the blonde, looking even more confused. “It’s always weird the first time.”

“Rose,” The Doctor said suddenly. “How long are you going stay with me?” Rose smiled sadly.

“Forever,” She whispered. The Doctor grinned at her, then burst into light, energy shooting in every direction. His companions fell back and covered their heads as the TARDIS burst into flames all around them. Electric sparks flew and pieces of the ship crashed to the floor.

“Ah!” The new Doctor yelped. Donna opened her eyes and ran to him

“Doctor, are you-” She halted, seeing the new man before him. “You… wh-who are you?!”

“I’m… the Doctor, yes that’s it. Now…” He jumped to his feet with grin. “How do I look?” Donna just stared at the man in front of her agape.

“But you-”

“Have legs! And hair!” He said cheerfully, running his hands through his hair. “Ooh, lots of hair! Wait… am I a girl?” Donna, wide eyed, shook her head, and the Doctor sighed in relief. Donna stepped back unsure of what was happening.

“Who-”

“Oh! Hair! Is my hair ginger?” Rose managed a smile at that, but was preoccupied with the numerous fires all throughout the TARDIS. Donna shook her head again and the Doctor gave an exasperated expression. “Bollocks! Anyways, I think I’m forgetting something… I’’m.. We’re… We’re...Rose probably knows, she’s smart! Rose! What am I forgetting?” Rose shrugged, backing away from a burst of flame and sparks from the stairs.

“I don’t know, Doctor, but you better figure it out quick, because we’re-”

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

“Crashing!” The Doctor burst out with a proud smile, stumbling as the whole ship shook. “We’re crashing!”

“Watch it, spaceman, you look like a little schoolboy!” Donna chuckled, looking the Doctor down. The doctor gave and offended look.

“Watch it, earth girl, you look like… I’ll think of a good comeback later!” He shot back and they both laughed. Their giggles subsiding, Donna looked him over fondly.

“You really are him, aren’t you?” She asked softly. The Doctor grinned, joy lighting up his eyes.

“Suppose so.”

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Doctor had been lucky to find Rose wandering among the empty halls of the TARDIS. When Rose didn’t want to be found, the TARDIS obliged. This made hide and seek impossible for these fully grown adults. He found her hiding among the rows and rows of books in their 2nd library. “Rose?” He queried softly. She jumped.

“Doctor! How’d you- nevermind. What is it?” She asked politely, hiding her sadness behind a shiny smile. The time lord stepped closer to her.

“I could ask you the same thing,” He sighed, setting his jaw in concern. “You’ve been avoiding me all day. And don’t protest, I know when the TARDIS is hiding you. So answer me, Rose Tyler. What’s wrong?” Rose averted her eyes at the floor uncomfortably.

“You died because of me,” She whispered guiltily. “Again,”

“What? Rose, neither of those times I died because of you!” The Doctor burst out. Rose shook her head.

“But you did! The first time you died to save me, and this time…” She swallowed. “This time I could’ve taken your place. If I had been there, nobody would have died!” The Doctor gave a disapproving look before pulling her into a kiss. Their lips touched, and they stayed like that, suspended in time for a few moments.

“How dare you, Rose Tyler,” The Doctor said as he pulled away. “How dare you blame the woman I love most in the universe for something that she didn’t know was happening?”

“I-”

“Hush! I don’t regret dying for you, and I don’t regret dying to save Wilf. It was a set moment in time, there was nothing you could have done,” He told her sternly, then kissed her again. Again, it was as if time stopped in that moment, it was just the Doctor and Rose, the Thief and the Wolf, the universe revolving around them. They let go and Rose gave her signature smile.

“Alright, you win,” She grinned. The Doctor beamed back at her.

“So, what do you think of the new look?”

“Honestly, Donna was right.”

“What?!”

“You do look like an 11 year-old.”

“Oi!”

Chapter Text

“Where’s Rory?”

The Doctor stared at the angel, then at Rory’s gravestone. He gulped, a lump in his throat. He turned his gaze to Amy. “Sorry,” The Doctor whispered at his flaming haired girl. “I’m so, so sorry,” Amy was paralyzed. Rose gently laid a hand on her shoulder, but Amy shook it off.

“No,” She uttered, tears stinging the edges of her eyes as she shook her head. “We can just go get ‘im in the TARDIS. One more paradox-”

“Would rip New York apart,” The Doctor interrupted sadly.

“That’s not true, I don’t believe-”

“It’s true,” Rose told her calmly. River nodded behind them.

“Mother, they’re right,” She affirmed. Silence enveloped the graveyard for a few moments, Amy’s breath quickened in desperation as she took a step forwards to the angel.

“Amy,” The Doctor’s voice was low and wary, then grew louder as Amy walked closer to the danger. “What are you doing?”

“That gravestone, Rory’s, there’s room for one more name, isn’t there?” She answered cautiously, not taking her eyes off the angel.

“What are you talking about?” The Doctor quickly walked up to her, grabbing her arm. “Step away from the angel, come back to the TARDIS, we’ll figure something out!” Amy pulled away from him, not moving away from the stone terror.

“Amy…” Rose warned, realization prickling at her skin.

“The angel, would it send me back to the same time, to ‘im?” Amy’s hair whipped around her face in the wind.

“I don’t know!” The Doctor exclaimed in fear, also figuring out Amy’s plan. “Nobody knows!” Amy edged towards the angel.

“But it’s my best shot, yeah?” Her voice broke as tears welled in her dark eyes.

“NO!” The Doctor burst out in agitation, reaching out to her.

“Doctor, shut up, yes! Yes, it is!” River shouted earnestly.

“It’s the only way,” Rose agreed bleakly, her chestnut eyes glimmering with tears.

“Amy!” The Doctor begged, looking from River and Rose to Amy.

“Well then, I just have to blink, right?” Amy stepped closer to the angel. “I-it’ll be fine, I know it will, I-I’ll be with him, like I should be. Me and Rory, together,” Tears streamed down her rosy cheeks as, not taking her eyes off of the statue, she reached behind her. “Melody.”

“Stop it! Just- just stop!” The Doctor hollered in frustration, tears pricking his old, time lord eyes. River calmly advanced forward to her mother, gently taking her hand.

“You look after him,” Amy ordered through tears, her voice choking up. “And- you be a good girl, and you look after him. You and Rose both. He needs you,” River gave and obliging soft kiss onto her mother’s hand.

“You are creating a fixed time,” The Doctor snapped through gritted teeth and tears. “I will NEVER be able to see you again,” Amy shook her head slightly.

“I’ll be fine,” She whispered, now able to taste the bitter saltiness of her sadness, her face wet with it. “I’ll be with ‘im.”

“Amy,” The Doctor pleaded desperately. “Just come back into the TARDIS!” Amy’s breath shook with sobs, already having made her decision. Tears running down her cheeks, she gave her answer to the Doctor, remorseful yet not regretful.

“Raggedy man,” She weeped, then whipped around to face him, her eyes filled with guilt, clearly stating ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you’. “Goodbye!” The angel, having nobody looking at it anymore, jumped forward to touch Amy, and then she was gone. The Doctor’s eyes flickered to the tombstone. Underneath Rory’s name was Amy’s.

“NO!” He shouted, sobbing his hands with pain and loss, misery etching his voice. Rose took his hand, her eyes still fixated on the angel, giving the Doctor time to grieve for their fallen companions.

 

The Doctor sat in the console room, bitterly reminiscing on what he could’ve done to stop this. Rose sat down beside him, and pulled him into a hug. “You’ve got the ‘it’s all my fault’ face on,” She whispered.

“It was-”

“NOT your fault,” She stated firmly. The Doctor stayed silent. Meanwhile, River sadly pulled a few levers on the console, keeping all her thoughts to herself. Rose gave notice to the woman’s silent ambling. “River. Come with us,” River stopped and smiled.

“Wherever, whenever you want,” She answered. Rose and the Doctor beamed gratefully up at her. River rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. “But not all the time! Although… This book I’ve got to write, Melody Malone, I presume I sent it to Amy to get it published?” Rose and the Doctor shared a look, then nodded.

“Yes… yes,” The Doctor agreed with a sigh.

“I’ll tell her to write and afterword,” River said as she paced past them. “For you. Maybe you’ll listen to her,” She smirked, then walked off. The Doctor stayed in place, his brain putting things together. Then he remembered.

“The last page,” He gasped, jumping to his feet. Rose grinned at the time lord running out the door. Maybe.

Chapter Text

“Now, let’s see where we ended up this time,” The Doctor dashed excitedly to the door. Peeking through, he looked around. Clara quirked an eyebrow.

“What, you don’t know?” She scoffed.

“Clara, he doesn’t know what he’s doing half of the time,” Rose chuckled, rolling her eyes. “I thought you’d noticed.”

“Oi!” The Doctor protested from outside. “Are you coming, or are you going to keep poking fun at me?” The two women shared an amused look.

“Both, probably,” Clara responded, following Rose out the door.

 

“Well, Rose, where and when would you say we are?” The Doctor queried as the trio made their way through the crowded, well lit halls. This was a regular test when they didn’t know the answer to the Doctor’s question. This exchange had been going on ever since Rose’s immortality had been announced. She’d be doing this on her own some day, after all.

Rose examined the plated metal walls and the lovely violet carpet beneath their feet. She made note of the crowds of people of all shapes and sizes moving past them, and the closed door rooms with numbers and letters labeling them. She listened and heard the hum of some kind of engine. It made a constant growling noise, always brushing up against the corner of her mind, no matter how hard she ignored it.

“First off, the obvious. It’s a spaceship, a large passenger ship by the looks of it, and the sound of it. I can hear the engine, it’s large and powerful, but it’s not meant to be speedy, adding onto the proof this is a passenger ship. A cruise ship, if you will. All these people are on vacation,” She began, her eyes darting around the hallway. “Judging by the logo, it’s part of the Official Dondredos Cruise Line. Clara, you know the Dondredos galaxy as Andromeda. So we’re in Andromeda, but which part? I’m lucky this time, because I spy a brochure that somebody dropped!” She triumphantly snatched the holographic brochure from the floor.

“Let’s see… aha! ‘The state of the art cruise ship, Constellation, will be making its first trip, and it will be passing by your favourite celestial bodies in quadrant six.’,” Rose read proudly. “We’re in quadrant six of Andromeda. Love quadrant six, prettiest quadrant of Andromeda in my opinion. And the Constellation had its first trip in 102,403. Well, earth years. I know because the Constellation was renowned for having many successful trips and for having the biggest blast engine ever at the time,” She finished and took a breath.

“Wow,” Clara marveled, clearly impressed. “Good work!” The Doctor nodded, pride lighting up his eyes.

“Yes, fantastic work, Rose,” He agreed, unable to hide his grin. Taking Rose’s hand, he marched on forward. “Well, let’s see what’s in store. Trouble follows us everywhere, don’t you think?”

The trio stood at the window, watching the planets and the stars rush by, the inky blackness occasionally disturbed by the odd colourful nebula here and there. Clara would comment on the beauty of the view, but the Doctor would scoff and say that they could see a view like this anytime you want, and better view at that, so let’s just-

Their bantering was interrupted by a loud boom and a shake that nearly brought everyone to their knees. “Doctor!?” Clara started, her voice high pitched in alarm.

“Before you ask, no, I doubt that was supposed to happen, and yes we should go check it out!” The Doctor cut Clara off, and the three time travellers raced to the front deck.

The front deck was made almost entirely of a thick, strong glass, and it made for a perfect view whenever the ship reached a new destination. The trio halted to a stop at the sight that met their eyes. This, like most sightings, had been some form of a glamorous nebula. Yet this one was different. Ruby red and bright cyan, it pulsated, shooting bright beams of energy at the ship.

“That’s… that’s the Great Leech Nebula! It was closed off and forbidden years ago because of its danger!” Rose breathed, her eyes wide. “Wait a minute. What year is it again?”

“You said 102, 403, why?” Clara answered curiously. Rose sighed.

“The Great Leech Nebula gets closed off in two weeks,” She explained slowly. “Because the captain of the Constellation refused to listen to scientists. This is why the Great Leech Nebula gets closed off,” The Doctor groaned in frustration.

“Damnit, Rose!” He muttered, and Rose gave a sheepish smile.

“Well, it gives us something to do today,” Clara admitted. “Alright, let’s go save the Constellation!”
The trio shared a grim look and bolted to the piloting room as the captain came over the announcement

 

“Hello, I’m the Doctor. This is Rose and Clara, and as I’m sure you’ve realized, we need to get the hell out of here,” The Doctor announced grandly after pushing through the doors. The room of pilots grew silent, staring at this new man who had just burst through the doors. A man, presumably the captain, cleared his throat.

“Please escort yourself to your rooms, we’ve just hit a spot of turbulence,” He explained calmly. Rose raised an eyebrow at him. “No worries,we’ll figure it out shortly.”

“I really don’t think you will,” Clara stated with a glare.

“Clara’s right, it’s not called the Great Leech Nebula for nothing,” Rose rolled her eyes. “It’s draining all of the power from your engine, then it will destroy this entire ship.”

“How did you… why… who…?” The captain spluttered.

“Know the Great Leech Nebula isn’t so great even though you said it was perfectly safe on your brochure?” The Doctor interrupted. The trio shared another look. “Common sense, I suppose.” Suddenly, there was another boom, and everyone lost their balance. The lights dimmed to almost blackness, and there was a faint confused clamouring and shouting from the poor passengers of the Constellation.

“It’s drained the rest of your main power. Only so long before your emergency life functions power runs out,” Rose commented. “My friends and I have the means to take off, but we won’t. We are going to help, whether you let us or not,” The captain stuttered for a moment, then gave up.

“We have… an extra power bank, only to be used in emergencies. It has enough energy to get us away from the Leech,” He muttered in defeat.

“Perfect! Let’s use it,,” The Doctor replied quickly, and motioned for the pilots to proceed. The captain’s eyes widened, and motioned for the pilots to stop.

“No, wait,” He protested angrily. “First of all, you do not have the authority to command my pilots. Second, we can’t just deplete the entire reserve power bank!” The Doctor narrowed his eyes.

“Of course we can, it will get the ship to safety, and from there, we can call for help,” The Doctor told him cautiously. He did not like where this was going.

“No, you don’t quite understand. The reserve power bank is mandatory on every public spaceship. That’s the main power back, the life functions power bank, and the reserve power bank. Don’t you know how much that amount of power costs? I could save thousands if we avoided using it,” the captain argued. A glimmer of fury sparked in each time travellers’ eyes. None of them liked it when money was used as and excuse to put lives at risk.

“Oh, I think I understand very much,” The Doctor started slowly, somehow both calm and aggressive at the same time. “I think you are a very, very selfish man for putting money above lives, and I think it is not a good idea to make me angry, especially if I already know how selfish you are for ignoring the educated scientists who informed you about this nebula’s dangers. So give the order to use the power banks, or shut it!” The stunned captain opened his mouth to speak, but another boom shook everyone’s balance.

“Sir, if you were planning on listening to this doctor, I’m afraid we have a problem,” A young pilot said quietly. “We’ve, uh, lost connection with the engine, so if we want to give it the reserve power, we’ll have to do it manually,” The room went silent. The captain cleared his throat.

“Which means…?” He queried. The young alien pilot fiddled with their tie.

“Er, it means someone will uh, have to go into the engine, and turn it on from there,” They explained nervously. “That someone will er, receive the full blast of the engine, and uh, die,” Silence enveloped the room like a blanket. Another pilot spoke up.

“How do we choose someone to die for us?” He asked. The Doctor set his jaw. He knew what needed to happen, he just hated it. She would speak up any moment now.

“I-I can do it, it’s fine,” The first pilot said, trembling. They looked at their shoes as they stood up, tears welling in their eyes. Rose firmly strided over to the young alien and put her hands on their shoulders and sat them down.

“Nope, sorry, YOU my friend, are not dying today,” She ordered firmly. The pilot, still trembling, looked up at the blonde, a tear rolling down their cheek. “What’s your name?” They faltered for a moment, blinking their scarlet eyes, confused as to why this woman was helping them, caring about them.

“V-Vermillion,” They whispered, barely holding themself together. “My species’s eyes are red, but not usually this red. That’s why I’m called Vermillion,” Rose beamed a warm smile, her eyes shining with determined compassion.

“Well, Vermillion. I am not letting you die because you do not deserve that. I promise that you’ll be safe. I promise that you and everyone else on this ship will go home. Well, not that one,” She cocked her head at the captain. “He’ll get charges pressed against him. Lose his job and spend more than a few years is jail for passenger endangerment, he will, eh?” Vermillion managed a smile. The captain turned redder than Vermillion’s eyes.

“B-but, er, how… who’ll go instead?” Vermillion asked, swallowing the lump in his throat. The Doctor gritted his teeth grimly, knowing what would come next.

“No worries, I will,” Rose announced firmly. Vermillion’s already wide eyes widened.

“Rose, please,” The Doctor begged uselessly, knowing it would happen anyway.

“Doctor, please, do you see any other beings incapable of dying?” Rose shot back. The Doctor shut up, most of him had already agreed that there was no other way.

“What do you mean, incapable of dying? M’am, please, you will die!” Vermillion protested. Rose gave them a reassuring smile.

“I’ll be fine,” She assured, then turned to look at the rest of the pilots. “Someone hand me and intercom, I’ll tell you when I’m about to do it,” One pilot obliged, and Rose put it on gratefully. She then paced towards the desperate, pleading time lord, grabbed him by the jacket, and pulled him into a kiss. They released, and gazed into each other’s eyes.

“Rose…” He murmured once more, gazing into those brilliant chestnut eyes. “How long are you going to stay with me?” Rose smiled softly with that tongue touched grin of hers.

“Forever,” She responded softly. “I’ll be okay, Doctor. I love you,”

“Quite right, too,” The Doctor replied easily with a smile. “And I suppose, Rose Tyler, I love you,” He didn’t notice, but he was clutching her hand tightly. Rose glanced over at Vermillion.

“You know where the engine room is, right?” She asked. “You might wanna watch, so you’re sure I’ll be okay.”

 

Rose worked into the panel in the wall, pulling wires apart and tapping the screen. Wiping a bead of sweat from her brow, she spoke into the intercom. “Finished, I’ll divert power on one, you’ll know if it’s working when you hear my screams of pain, is that alright?” There was a moment of awkward silence on the intercom, then a voice responded.

“Yeah, that’s alright, we’re ready to go, on standby waiting for you,” It said. Rose took a deep breath, her heart pounding.

“Five... four... three... two… one,” As the word slipped out of her mouth, she swiped the screen in the panel. Nothing she could’ve done would have prepared her for the excruciating, burning pain that ripped through her, blinding her. She could barely feel herself screaming. Of course, the screaming didn’t last long because her vocal cords had burned up. She could feel her flesh burning and melting and tearing off her bones, then her bones scorching into nothingness. Everything hurt until there was nothing left to hurt.

The Doctor, Clara, and Vermillion were standing outside the engine room, hearing Rose’s screams fade into nothingness.. They all shared a grim and worried look. After a few minutes, a voice could be hear over the announcements.

“Passengers of the Constellation, we are happy to inform you that the danger has passed. However, we ask that you remain in your rooms and wait until further instructions.”

Upon hearing this, they heard the roar of the engine die down. The Doctor immediately darted inside to check on Rose.

Where Rose should be, was the floating figure made of bright golden energy. It hovered there for a moment. This, of course, was Rose. She tried to say something, but she had no mouth, no vocal cords.

“Doctor?” She thought as loud as she could at the time lord, hoping he could hear it.

“Yes, Rose, are you alright?” He replied quickly. Rose started to respond, but there was a slight tingling in her toes. Everyone watched as, starting from her feet, her bones began to grow back. Then some flesh. Then webbed veins. Then finally skin and hair. The Doctor, remembering Rose could not grow clothes, warned everyone to look away. Rose collapsed to the ground and the time lord quickly wrapped her in his jacket and picked her up. The blonde blinked open her eyes and look up at the Doctor.

“Hello,” She greeted with a sleepy grin. The Doctor smiled back.

“Hello,” He greeted back. “Let’s go check on the captain, shall we?” They all walked back up to the piloting room, with Vermillion absolutely flabbergasted and gaping in shock and wonder.

 

“Hello captain,” The Doctor stated as he stepped into the room. “And your welcome. Although Rose should be saying, but she’s a tad tired from being disintegrated,” Everyone in the room’s jaws dropped at the sight of Rose alive.

“But… wait… how did she… how is she…” The captain spluttered.

“I think, once you’ve sent a distress signal, you’ll be alright on your own. But one more thing, captain,” The Doctor interrupted sternly. “You put everybody’s lives in danger for more money that I very doubt you need all that much. I’m not one for physical violence, Rose usually threw the slaps and punches when needed, but again, she’s a little tired from being disintegrated. So Clara?” Clara grinned.

“Way ahead of you, Doctor,” She announced, marching up to the captain, where she gave him a deserved punch in the face.

“Thank you, Clara,” The Doctor smirked slightly, then glanced at the door. “Shall we head back to the TARDIS?” Clara gave a nod, and they did.

 

As Clara began to step through the deep blue doors of the TARDIS, she heard and out of breath voice from behind her.

“Wait!” Vermillion shouted, then stumbled to a stop, panting tiredly. “When m’am Rose is feeling better, will you please give her this?” He handed Clara a little holographic note. Clara took it and gave a nod.

“Of course,” She assured them, then hesitated to go into the TARDIS. Vermillion fidgeted for a second.
“Who are you?” They blurted out. “And… er… who is Rose? How’d she do that thing where… how’d she survive?” Clara hesitated once more.

“I don’t really understand it myself,” She admitted. “Something happened to her a long time ago and now she just… can’t die, I guess,” Vermillion slumped slightly.

“Well what about my first question? Who are you three? Why are you getting in a little blue box?” They repeated curiously. Clara chuckled.

“We’re travellers. We help out around the universe,” She explained lightly.

“In there?” Vermillion wondered in disbelief. Clara let out another laugh.

“It’s a tad bigger on the inside,” She replied, amused. “Well, see you around, I suppose. Bye, Vermillion! Good luck,” She stepped into the TARDIS and closed the doors behind her.

“Yeah,” Vermillion murmured to themself. “See you around,” They stood for a moment, then turned to walk away. The strange blue box was out of sight when they heard a loud groaning, wheezing noise. They stopped, then turned and walked back, curious to see what it was. The sound faded away as they turned the corner and saw nothing. The blue box, the one Clara and Rose and the Doctor were in, had vanished, not a trace of it left. The pure oddness and unexplainable-ness of it all was somehow funny. For the first time in a long time, happiness and elatedness bubbled up in Vermillion’s chest and they laughed. They laughed and laughed, and went back up to the piloting room

 

After putting on some clothes, and taking a nap, Rose let out a yawn and walked outside into the hall, and bumped into Clara.

“Oh! You’re up!” Clara handed her the holographic note. “The pilot, Vermillion, wanted me to give you this,” Rose took it curiously.

“Ah, thanks Clara,” She replied warmly, opening it.

“Rose

Hello! I just wanted to thank you for stopping me. I’m sure if you hadn’t been there, everyone would have let me die. And I would’ve been okay with that. I’ve been struggling with depression and fitting in ever since I came out as non-binary. I don’t know about your planet, but mine is very strict on gender rules. VERY. Even my own family was uncomfortable around me. Fortunately, I hear there are some protests going on to change that. The pilot academy was the only place I was really happy, and even there, it was really strict. What I’m trying to get across to you is, well, thank you for caring about my existence. Thank you for caring for whether I died or lived and pushing for the latter. Thank you for caring about what my name is and who I am, and going through what must have been burning pain so I and all the passengers could live. I think, I’m going to keep going because of you. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a captain! There’s a spot available, after all ;^D

Vermillion Gratlyn”

Rose beamed, tears in her eyes. “Vermillion. I thought I recognized that name. They become the successful captain and pilot of the Constellation and many, many other spaceships. Pride of the Dondredos galaxy, that one,”

Chapter Text

“Where is Rose, anyway?”

“Ah, off on her own adventure, Clara. She’ll be alright,”

“What’s with you and her anyways?”

The Doctor halted and gave Clara and odd look. “What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s obvious that you’re in love,” Clara explained. “But like, are you married yet? I don’t see a ring anywhere,” The Doctor fidgeted with his bowtie uncomfortably.

“I mean, well, not yet,” He muttered. “We’ve been busy. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind,” Clara sat up in her chair, agape.

“You’re telling me that you’ve been together, what, five hundred years,” She started slowly, in shock. “And you’re STILL not married?” The Doctor set his jaw and furrowed his brow.

“It hasn’t been five hundred years, Clara,” He argued, although a part of him was internally kicking himself. “A century or two, at most. You’re overreacting,” Stupid, stupid Doctor, he thought to himself. Jackie is going to burst in from that parallel universe and give you another slap, laws of physics be damned.

“How is that overreacting!?” Clara threw her hands into the air in frustration. “You’ve got access to the best jewelry shops in the UNIVERSE and you’ve never thought of buying her a ring? Neither of you?” The Doctor crossed his arms.

“You humans and your ceremonies. You know, for most of your existence, marriage wasn’t about love, it was about money and property,” He harrumphed, frustrated with himself more than anything. “Does it really matter that much if we’re married or not?” What are you doing, you stupid time lord, he thought angrily. Jackie is going to rip apart the walls of the universe, and she’s going to kill you.

“Of course it matters!” Clara snapped. “Even more so because she’s got a human family! Imagine what her mother thinks of you!” The Doctor gave a dry, uncomfortable laugh. That’s all he’d been thinking of since Clara brought it up.

“Alright, alright,” He mumbled, flipping a few levers and turning a few dials on the console. “I know a place. Best jewelry in the universe, it has,” Clara’s face lit up.

“Great! Jewelry shopping!” She jumped to her feet happily, then promptly fell back down as the shake of the landing threw the two of them off balance. “You’re a terrible driver, you know that?” The Doctor, annoyed, mimicked her under his breath and stepped out the door

 

“Now that we’ve got that over with, it’s time for the next step,” Clara announced as she stepped into the TARDIS. She whirled around with her hands on her hips. “How and where are you going to propose to her?”

“Why do you know so much about proposing?” The Doctor queried as he pocketed the two stunning rings Clara had helped him pick out. The mentioned Impossible Girl merely shrugged.

“I’m a romantic, I suppose,” She answered. “Now, answer my question,” The Doctor blinked, furrowing his brow.

“I’ve got access to the whole of time and space. We could go see the most brilliant sights in the blink of an eye,” He sighed. “How am I supposed to pick a place?”

“Perhaps something memorable,” Clara suggested, crossing her arms. “Somewhere that holds value to you two,” The Doctor furrowed his brow in concentration. This HAD to be perfect. If one thing was off, as he kept reminding himself, Jackie would bust in and smack him into a black hole. A plan slowly fit together in his head. Clara watched as an ecstatic grin formed on his face, and gave him a smile of her own.

 

“Doctor, why are we here, exactly?” Rose asked curiously. The trio were sitting on top of a building, overlooking a large warehouse. The Doctor shushed her, keenly staring at it.

“Hold on, wait a minute…” He murmured, then his eyes lit up. “There we are!” Two figures emerged from the building.

“-go on, have your lovely beans on toast,” A familiar voice with a northern accent came from the figure still standing in the doorway. “Don’t tell ‘em all about this or you’ll get ‘em killed,” The door slammed shut, and wide-eyed, Young Rose, slowly back away and turned around.

“Is that-” Older Rose started, and the Doctor, with a nod, hushed her excitedly. The door burst open again, and the younger, leather jacketed Doctor stuck his head out.

“I’m the Doctor, by the way, what’s your name?” He asked the stunned blonde.

“Rose.”

“Nice to meet you, Rose,” He replied, holding up the bomb. “Run for yer life!” The door slammed shut again. Rose stalled for a moment, still dumbstruck, then turned around and did what he asked. She ran. Her golden hair flowed behind her as she disappeared around the corner. It wasn’t long before a boom sounded, and the shop burst into flames, the windows shattering, and people on the streets screaming. A silence fell between the trio.

“So that’s how you two met,” Clara said finally. “You blew up her job,” Rose snickered at that.

“Right,” The Doctor stood to his feet. “I’ve got a few more stops planned, if you don’t mind,” Rose glanced at Clara, giving her a confused look. Clara grinned knowingly.

 

“Miss Tyler, open that door, won’t you?” The Doctor declared. Rose obliged, and her eyes widened. The TARDIS was floating in space, and not too far away was a familiar observatory space station watching a familiar planet, the burning red light of a dying sun illuminating the vastness of space.

“Oh, Doctor,” Rose murmured in awe softly. Clara and the mentioned time lord had joined her in standing in the doorway, looking out at the view.

“A long time ago, I took this fantastic girl on adventure to see her planet die. To impress her. Not the most romantic place to take a girl, now that I think about it,” The Doctor began solemnly. “We got a bit wrapped up, and before we knew it, the earth was gone. She said to me sadly, ‘All their history, and nobody was around to see it.’. But I have a time machine. Might as well see this wonderful planet off,” And as he said those words, the earth burst into burning pieces. Rose broke her stare to gaze at her Doctor. He did the same.

“Thank you, Doctor,” Rose whispered with a smile. The time lord merely gave her a loving smile. The trio gazed at the wonderful view for a few more moments, then collectively decided to move on. As the doors closed shut, the Doctor quickly sprung to life at the controls.

He took them to many places other than that. An icy ocean on a freezing planet, a snowy night at Cardiff long ago, a dark night in the middle of a war, and many others. So many memories. Time and time again, he took her and and showed her places that wrapped her in that beautiful sense of nostalgia. The 15th New York and Britain’s Olympics. But why, Rose wondered. Why now? Clara seemed to know. Rose would catch her stealing an excited grin as if she knew what was coming. She wanted to ask, but the Doctor would whisk her away to another location. Finally, she took it upon herself to ask.

“Clara, what’s going on?” Rose whispered, leaning over to the mentioned girl. Clara just gave her that same grin and did not answer, her wide eyes sparkling with excitement.

“Right, last stop, Miss Tyler, out that door you go!” The Doctor announced, nervously putting a hand in his pocket. He fumbled with his words slightly, and Rose could just hear the time lord’s two hearts pounding from where she was. What was going on? Rose obliged and stepped out, and to her surprise, found herself on the windy beach of Dårlig Ulv Stranden.

“Why…?” She murmured to herself as her blonde hair whipped around her face in the wind. The Doctor’s voice sounded behind here.

“I had my hearts broken here, long ago,” He told her distantly. “You stood there, and you told me you loved me. I wanted to tell you the same, but me, the lord of time, ran out of time. Then you were gone. I thought I’d never see you again. But, miraculously, I got you back. This time, just to be safe, I’m going to make it so I’ll never lose you again. There’s a sentence I didn’t get to finish here,” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Everything clicked into place in Rose’s mind as she watched him get one knee, and take out a little box.

“Oh, Doctor,” She whispered fondly as the little box clicked open to reveal two brilliant, shining rings. The time lord smiled.

“Rose Tyler, I love you,” He told her, gazing into her eyes. “Will you marry me?” Rose promptly launched herself into the Doctor’s arms, closing the gap between their lips.

“Oh yes, of course I will!” She parted their faces to say. “Yes!” They went back to snogging. Clara laughed and applauded.

“Well, that went well,” The Doctor sighed when they stopped to breathe. “Else, I’m sure your mother would have burst through the walls of that parallel universe just to kill me, laws of physics be damned,” Everyone halted to look around for a moment. They waited. No Jackie. Phewf.

“We’ve both been quite daft, no?” Rose asked sheepishly. “We’ve been together for a few decades, and only now are we actually tying the knot. I’m surprised my mum didn’t already burst in to kill you,” They shared a laugh on that little beach in Norway. Rose Tyler and the Doctor, as it should be.

Chapter Text

“There’s a call for you from the office… from your doctor…?”

Clara smirked slightly. She quickly grabbed her things and got on her motorbike. Her hands and feet moved in a fluid motion, as if her limbs had memorized what to do when she heard the word “Doctor”.

Her hair whipped around her face in the wind, gold in the buttery sunlight. Around the corners and past the cars, she drove onto a long empty road. Well, almost empty.

She squinted through her visor.

The familiar blue box seemed to beckon her. Clara stepped on the gas pedal, driving straight towards it. The doors swung open at the last second, and she screeched to a halt in the blue lit console room.

The Doctor looked up slightly from his book on quantum mechanics with a little grin. As Clara took off her helmet, familiar footsteps came down the hall, and she turned her head to face the disapproving blonde.

“Draft,” Rose reminded her. Clara rolled her eyes and with a snap, she closed the doors. The Doctor slammed his book shut.

“Fancy a week in ancient mesopotamia?” He asked, turning around. “Or travel by future mars?” Clara cocked her head.

“Wanna make cocktails?”

“On the moon,” Rose chimed in.

“Moon’ll do.”

There was a silence for a moment, then the trio burst into laughter and hugs and catching up. Which was promptly interrupted by shaking of the TARDIS. The Doctor looked around and at the console. “Levers aren’t going,”

 

On the ground, Osgood fumbled through the crowd to find Kate Stewart on a bench. “LookIknowit’syourphonebutcheckouttheringtone,” She panted, out of breath and showing Kate the phone. “It’s him,” The blonde frowned and took the phone to her ear.

“The Doctor, hello,” She greeted quickly. “Put down the TARDIS in a field, I’m having it brought in. Where are you?” The Doctor, clutching the frame of the TARDIS, growled in indignation and pointed the phone at the helicopter above them. Kate gasped at the familiar whump-whump of the helicopter through the phone.

“Oh, Doctor, I’m so sorry,” She apologized quickly. “We had no idea you were still in there!” She hurried away as Osgood stood in awe, staring at TARDIS high above her head.

 

“Doctor, you better come back in before you fall,” Rose warned her fiance. The Doctor huffed in irritation.

“I’ll be fi--AAAAA” He screeched as he dropped out the door, just barely holding on the the bottom of the TARDIS with his legs. He fumbled with the phone for a moment, then yelled into it, “Would it kill you to knock?!”

“I told you so,” Rose grumbled under her breathe as she tried to help her fiance up, which in turn only made said fiance slip. Amazingly, he grabbed the TARDIS with his hands and still held on. Instead of letting Rose help, he chose to dramatically hold on and hop down when the TARDIS was close enough to the ground and saluting.

He marched over to Kate and the officers who were waiting whilst Rose and Clara hopped out after him. “Doctor, as scientific officer, may I extend our official apologies-” Kate began over the sound of the whirring helicopter.

“Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, a word and which I’m sure your father would have told you,” The Doctor interrupted and took a breath. “I don’t like being picked up,” Rose gave an apologetic smile.

“That probably sounded better in his head,” She apologized.

“I’d like to give you some directions from the throne,” Kate announced as Osgood pulled out a letter from her pocket. Kate took it and handed it to the Doctor. “Sealed orders from her majesty Queen Elizabeth the First,” Clara’s eyes widened.

“Queen? The first? Sorry, Elizabeth the first?” She stammered out in awe. Kate nodded.

“Yes, the credentials are inside,” She replied and pointed to the building behind her. “Inside,” The trio shared a look and shrugged in silent agreement, then followed Kate inside.

“Nice scarf,” The Doctor commented at Osgood, who was silenced with amazement.

 

“Unified Intelligence Task-force,” Rose explained to Clara as they walked quickly through the halls. “It’s called UNIT, they investigate anything alien,” Clara quirked an eyebrow.

“What, like you two?” She asked.

“I worked for them,” The Doctor said offhandedly. Clara let out an laugh at that.

“You had a job?” She chuckled. The time lord gave and offended look.

“I’m 1200 something years old, why shouldn’t I have a job?” He huffed. Clara rolled her eyes.

“Well, I’m not so sure you would be a good co-worker,” She began and Rose burst into giggles. The Doctor huffed and glared at both of them, then halted to a stop at the object draped in cloth blocking their path. Before he could say a word, the officers pulled off the cloth to reveal a painting of a city burning. Smoke darkened the crumbles of civilization as fires raged. It was Gallifrey

“That’s not possible.” Rose murmured, narrowing her eyes.

“No more,” The Doctor read, memories flickering across his face. Kate nodded.

“That’s the title,” She stated. The time lord glared at her.

“I know the title,” He growled, his fists clenched. Rose took her fiance’s hand and gave it a light squeeze. The feel of her soft skin loosened the tension that had been growing inside of him. He gazed into her warm brown eyes, is fury dying down.

“Also known as Gallifrey Falls,” Kate added, snapping the Doctor back into reality. He narrowed his eyes.

“This painting doesn’t belong here,” He informed her in a low voice. “Not in this time or place,” Clara squinted at the art piece.

“How is it doing that? It’s just an oil painting,” She murmured, stepping forward to lay a hand on it.

“Time lord art,” The Doctor explained quietly. “Bigger on the inside, a slice of real time,” And indeed, if you looked at it, it was like looking through a window on a frozen moment in time. The buildings, the fire, the rubble. It looked so… real.

The time lord was paralyzed, his eyes locked onto the scene in front of him, unblinking and unmoving. Memories he’d rather forget rushed into his head. Screams he’s rather not hear filled his ears. Actions he’d done that he’d rather not remember, lest shame swallow him alive, filled his mind. A voice cut through the deafening pain.

“Doctor,” Rose’s voice snapped him out of his trance.

“This was the day he did it,” He uttered in a low voice. “They day I did it. This is the day I killed them all.” And the he was back in his trance, the Oncoming Storm enveloping his voice. “The last day of the Time War. A war between my people and the Daleks. And in that battle there was a man with more blood on his hands than any of them. A man who would commit a crime that would silence the universe, and that man… was me.”

His mind flashed with the memories of fire and ships and weapons firing. Of screams and families running away. Of soldiers marching and Daleks shouting. Of a little stolen box. No, not that one. The box that was the most powerful weapon in the universe. Oh, so long ago.

Chapter Text

He wipes his forehead of sweat. The blazing sun beats down upon him, and the silence is deafening. Wearily, he opens the barn door. Ah, shade. He steps inside and sets down the bulky sack, closing the door behind him. He takes a moment to relish the shade.

His eyes slowly fall to the sack on the floor, and ugly feeling festering in his chest. No matter, it has to be done. He lifts the box out of the sak and sets it on the floor, regarding it at all angles. A low hum of power emanates from inside it.

“Alright little fella, how’d ya work then?” He murmurs roughly. He first tries to slide a few panels. Nothing. Press a switch. Still nothing. He sonics it. The sonic flies out of his hand as the box makes a sort of twanging noise. Sighing, he stands up to grab his sonic. Now what?

A noise startles him from outside. A lonely howling. Could just be the wind, but it won’t hurt to check. He peers out the door. “Hello?” He calls. No answer. “Is someone there?” Still nothing. Closing the door with a sigh, he turns around to see that he’s no longer alone in this rickety old barn.

“It’s nothing,” A raggedy, blonde girl says from upon the box. “It’s just a wolf,” For a moment, the Doctor, no he shouldn’t be called that, is frozen. A million questions rush into his head.

“Don’t sit on that,” He blurts out sternly. The girl cocks her head curiously, blonde curls falling around her face.

“Why not?”

He grabs her arm forcefully, dragging her to the door.

“Because it’s not a chair, love, it’s the most dangerous weapon in the universe,” He practically throws her outside and slams the door behind her. He takes a breath and turns around to see her sitting on the box again.

“Why can’t it be both?”

He blinks. How did she move so fast? Nevermind that. He kneels down in front of her, taking both her hands.

“Listen,” He begins slowly, staring into her eyes. She stares back intently. “A very bad thing is going to happen here and ‘m not sure how it’s going to work. But I don’t think ya wanna be here when it does okay?” There’s silence for a moment.

“You’ve got a funny face,” She observes.

“You should see the other fellas.”

“I like it though.”

“Thanks, it’s new. Not sure ‘bout the ears though, they just sorta kept going,” He shifts his feet to a more comfortable crouch. “Now, you need to pick a direction and just run--”

“Run. I like that word,” She says thoughtfully. “Why’d you park her so far away? Didn’t you want her to see?” He blinks, standing up with a confused and uneasy expression.

“Want who to see?”

“The TARDIS,” She drags the word out as she stands up. “Wouldn’t she approve? Are you ashamed of me?” He rubs his chin uncomfortably. How does she know about the TARDIS. The girl skips to do the door and opens it. The desert stretches out infinitely.

“You walked for miles. Miles and miles and miles.” She whispers.

“I was thinking.”

“I heard you.”

“You what?”

“No more!” She shuts the door and turns around to proudly examine the Doctor’s startled expression. She starts stomping around the room in a childish imitation of the Doctor, punctuating each step with,

“No! More! No! More! No! More!”

“Stop it!” The Doctor growls.

“No! More!”

In a flash of anger, he grabs her arm, yanking her around. “I said, stop!” Suddenly she’s staring at him with a new intensity.

“A barn though?” She begins thoughtfully. “A barn in the middle of a desert? Whose barn is it?” The Doctor simply stares at her with a troubled expression. She has wide, mad grin on her face and leans forward to whisper in his ear.

“It’s my barn.”

Wooden clicking sounds from behind them. The Doctor turns to the box. Panels begin sliding and turning like a self operating puzzle box.

“Okay, time’s up,” He informs the girl. “Off you pop, it’s activating,” He kneels down in front of the box, examining it, muttering under his breath.

“Why do you need a weapon?” The girl asks, ignoring the Doctor’s order. “Are you a soldier?” The Doctor doesn’t look up from the box.

“No, but there’s a war.”

“Are you going to win it?”

“Nobody’s gonna win, nobody ever does.”

The girl smiles. “You sound clever.”

“Not clever enough to figure out how this thing works, so could ya give us some hush?” An irritated tone enters his voice. He flips the box around to a screen. Curious, he touches it, then immediately retracts his hand from the pain that hits him. “Ow!”

“What’s wrong?” The girl asked, tilting her head. The Doctor rubbed his burnt finger with a grim look.

“The interface is hot.”

“Well I do my best,” A flirtatious smile crept across her face. The Doctor still didn’t connect the dots, instead concentrating on the box.

“These panels keep moving, but there’s no consistent pattern-”

“You’re a bit hot yourself,” The girl tried again. The Doctor ignores her, still not seeing the obvious.

“-There’s a power source inside, possibly some kind of stasis shielded black hole-” He cuts himself off, finally registering what the girl said. He freezes, turning the look at her, seeing her knowing, flirtatious smile.

“You’re the interface?”

“Hang on, I think I’m called the operating system,” A thoughtful look crept upon her face.

“I don’t understand.”

“Well they must have told you the Moment had a conscience,” She said it like it was the most obvious thing in the world, then gave a cheery wave. “Hello!”

The Doctor looked incredulously between the girl in the box. “You mean… you mean you’re that?” The Moment grinned knowingly at him.

“Oh, look at you, stuck between a girl and a box,” She teased. “Story of your life, eh Doctor?” The Time Lord raised an eyebrow.

“You know me?”
“I hear you. All of jangling away in that funny little head.”

The Doctor narrowed his eyes. “What d’ya mean, you’re the conscience? Explain.”

“I mean the power I hold is not simply wielded. I was designed and built by the ancients of Gallifrey, in times lost to myth and legend,” She narrowed her eyes mockingly. “Did you expect a big red button?”

“You don’t have one of those, do you?”

She laughed. “Down, boy.”

The Doctor fell silent, thinking.

“What do I call you?’

She huffed a sigh. “Really? I chose this form especially for you. It’s from your past!” She paused and frowned. “Or is it from your future? I always get the two mixed up,” The time lord didn’t answer. The Moment had made a mistake, he’d never seen this girl in his life.

“Alright then, I guess I mixed it up. Whoops,” She sighed in disappointment. “I’m called… Rose Tyler. Wait, no. In this form, I’m called…” Her deep chocolate eyes flared gold. “Bad Wolf. Are you afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf, Doctor?” The Time Lord furrowed his brow.

“Don’t call me Doctor,” He hissed, pain flashing across his face. “I lost th’ right to be called that a long time ago,” The Moment simply shrugged.

“And I’m the most powerful weapon in the universe. Look around you,” She commented distantly. “This isn’t a barn, I sucked it from the sand as you walked,”

“So you can build a barn is what yer saying,” He deadpanned. The Moment huffed another annoyed sigh.

“It’s not a barn,” She argued, lifting her chin. “It’s a crucible in which I will test the mettle of a man who will kill so many,” The Doctor rolled his eyes.

“Fine by me, but can I call you Fred?”

“Are you flirting with me?”

 

“You started it.”

“Well you stole me away,” She argued. “You took me to this barn. Flirting with the most powerful weapon in the universe, have you just defined yourself, Doctor?” The Time Lord shrugged.

“I could live with it, if I had.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” She quirked an eyebrow. “And the judge of you. Who are you, Doctor?”

“I thought you could hear my funny little head,” He snapped with a glare.

“I can hear who you were.Who you have been till this moment. But oh, you’ve changed!” The Moment taunted, circling the Time Lord. “The Doctor has taken arms! The Doctor is ready to kill. To kill and kill and kill and kill and kill--”

“This war is destroying all reality,” He interrupted, fury brewing in his eyes. “Everything is at risk.”

“And you’re the only one to save the universe,” She mocked.

“Yes.”

“If I ever develop an ego, you’ve got the job.”

“If you can hear me, if you’ve been inside my head, then you know what I’ve seen. The suffering,” His voice was low as he stared into her eyes, unblinking, challenging. “Every moment in time and space is burning. It has to end. And I’m gonna end it the only way I can,” The Moment scoffed.

“By winning.”

“I told you, nobody wins. Not in this war, no winners, not ever.”

“Ah, but if you end it, Doctor, you win it. You’ll be the victor. What kind of man will that make you?”

The Doctor fell silent. He clumsily sat down, his face in his hands. “Ya say… ya say that form is from m’ future,” He rubbed his forehead miserably. “Yer wrong. I have no future. I don’t intend to survive this,” The Moment sat down beside him.

“Everything has consequences,” She whispered gently. “You will survive. And that will be your consequence, if you do this. There’s Daleks but there’s all those children. How many children are on Gallifrey right now?” Pain and misery flashed across the Doctor’s eyes as he saw in his mind innocent kids laughing and playing. Then burning and screaming.

“I don’t know.”

“They’ll all die. What will that turn you into?”

The Doctor buried his face in his hands. She was right, he knew she was right. But as there any other way? What else could he do?

And odd sound jolted him out of his thoughts. He lifted his head to a… portal, perhaps? Glowing, distorted and swirling, it hovered above him.

“There’s windows opening in your future,” The Moment observed quietly. “A tangle in time of the days to come of the man that today will make of you,” They both stared solemnly at the portal, until it coughed up…

A fez?

The red garment lay on the floor until the Moment broke the silence.

“Okay, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Chapter Text

“But the Time War’s over, why are you showing us the painting?” Clara asked.

“The painting’s not why you’re here,” Kate answered, gesturing towards the letter still in the Doctor’s hand. He opened the envelope, yellowed with age, his eyes quickly taking in the message. Kate tilted her head to another hallway. “It’s better if I show you,” The trio followed Kate and her scientists down the before-mentioned hallway.

One scientist stayed behind to answer his phone. A moment later, his eyes widened, and he looked at the caller ID. “But… that’s not possible, I was just…” He stammered out, then paused. “Understood sir, but… why would I take it there?”

 

The trio stepped into the gallery cautiously. There was a loud noise as the ceiling lights turned on, revealing another painting. Of Elizabeth the first and a man Clara did not recognize.

“Oh, look who it is,” Rose commented with a reminiscing smile. Something told Clara that she wasn’t talking about the queen.

“Did you know Elizabeth?” She asked the Doctor who was staring intently at the art piece.

“Yeah. A long time ago.”

 

“Back! Behind me now!” The Doctor shouted, shoving the two Elizabeths behind him. His eyes locked onto the mysterious portal hanging above him. “It’s a tear in the fabric of reality, anything could happen!” Despite the danger of the situation, a part of him was alive with excitement as he watched the portal swirl and pulsate.

Excitement turned to confusion as a fez was spat out from the vortex. “For instance… a fez,” He commented on the red headwear laying pitifully on the forest ground.

 

A smile crossed the Doctor’s face as he remembered his previous incarnation. His reminiscing was interrupted by painting being moved out of the way, revealing a dark, hidden corridor.

“Welcome to the under-gallery,” Kate’s voice slightly echoed as she stepped into the blackness. Sensor lights boomed on and the corridor lit up. “This is where we store all items too dangerous for public consumption,” She walked quickly ahead and the trio followed.

The Doctor slowed to a stop and crouched down to pick up and handful of sand off the floor. “Sand or dust…?” He murmured to himself as it ran through his fingers. Kate stopped and raised an eyebrow.

“Is that important?”

“1200 years and I’ve never stepped in anything that wasn’t.”

“It’s not,” Rose assured her. The Doctor stuck out his tongue at her.

 

“Someday, you could just walk past a fez,” Clara sighed. He’s like a child, she mused to herself.

“It’s never gonna happen, Clara,” Rose grinned in amusement.

“My fiance is right!” The Doctor threw over his shoulder as he marched out the room.

“Nutjob!” Rose chided after him

“But your nutjob!” He whipped around and waved his ringed finger in her face. “Foreeeevvvveeeerrr!”

 

The room Kate stopped in was and odd room. There were more bigger-on-the-inside paintings, and dozens of shattered glass shards covered the floor. “This is why we called you here,” Kate told them.

“Interesting…” The Doctor’s gaze flickered across the room.

“What, the broken glass?” Clara queried. The Doctor scoffed and shook his head.

“No,” He corrected. “What was it broken from?” Clara rolled her eyes.

Rose picked up a shard. “Look at that,” She observed. “Glass of all these paintings’ been broken from the inside,”

“These are all landscape paintings, there are no creatures in them at all,” Kate pulled out a tablet. “Well, not anymore,” A picture showed a blurry figure in the desert painting.

“Something got out,” Clara murmured. The Doctor grabbed the tablet from Kate.

“Lots of somethings.”

“This whole place has been searched,” Kate informed them. “Nothing left and nothing got out,” The Time Lord turned to walk to the exit, but a sound from behind him stopped. Slowly turning around, his eyes settled on the bright, swirling vortex that had appeared in front of them.

“Oh no, not now!” He yelped in annoyance.

“Doctor, what is it?” Rose asked, but the Time Lord ignored her.

“Not now, I’m busy!”

“Is it to do with the painting?” Kate asked and the Doctor shook his head.

“No, no, this is different,” He sighed. “I remember this happening. In another life,”

“I wasn’t here for this, was I?” Rose questioned, eyes not leaving the pulsating portal.

“No, this was… before,” He murmured before taking his fez of in a quick motion. “Oh, of course. This is where I come in,” He stepped back and gave a maniacal grin to the three women. He tossed the fez in, and with a “Geronimo!”, he jumped in as well.

“Doctor!” Rose shouted after him then ran her hands through her hair in agitation. “Of course, jump into the mysterious rip in the fabric of reality, why don’t you?”

 

The Doctor watched as a man hurtled out of the vortex and crashed to the floor. He couched to pick up the fez.

He put it on.

They both stood up at the same time.

“Who is this man?” One Elizabeth asked.

“That’s just what I was wondering,” The Doctor deadpanned.

“Oh that is skinny,” The man said, not taking his eyes off the Doctor. “That is proper skinny. I’ve never seen it from the outside, it’s like a special effect!” He marched up to the Doctor and swiped the fez off his head. “Ha! Matchstick man.”

The Doctor, agape, reached for his sonic. The other man did the same motion. They both drew theirs out. The man shook his and it clicked open. The Doctor slid his up. He realized who the other man was.

“Compensating,” He told him.

“For what?” The older Doctor queried.

“Regeneration,” He answered with a shrug. “It’s a lottery,” They both closed the devices.

“Oh, he’s cool, isn’t he cool, I’m the Doctor and I’m all cool,” The older Doctor mocked as they both flipped their sonics in the air and put them away. “Oops I’m wearing SANDSHOES!” He pointed accusingly at the Doctor’s feet.

“Listen, I’m busy,” He growled under his breath.

“Oh, busy, I see, is that what we’re calling it?” He taunted, putting on his fez and stepping to the two Elizbeths. “Hello, ladies,” He gave a dramatic bow and the younger Doctor gritted his teeth in annoyance.

“Don’t start,” He snapped, pulling him away. “One of them is a Zygon,” The older Doctor gave a disgusted noise.

“I’m not judging you,”

Suddenly the portal made another noise. They both stepped forward and put on their glasses, squinting at the anomaly and took a moment to complement one another. The older one whipped around to face the Elizabeths.

“Your majesty, now would be a good time to run,” He advised.

“Run where?” They protested in unison.

“Whichever one is the real one, turn and run in the opposite direction of the fake one,” The younger Doctor ordered. They both obliged and took turns kissing him.

Once they were out of sight, the older Doctor turned to his younger counterpart.

“One of them was a zygon?”

“Yeah.”

“Big red rubbery thing covered in suckers?”

“Yeah.”

“Venom sacs in the tongue?”

“Yeah, I’m getting the point, thank you.”

The older Doctor, done bugging his younger counterpart looked back up at the portal.

“Can you two hear me?!” He called out.

“Yeah,” Clara replied.

“Yes, dear, now where are you!?” Rose called back. Their Doctor looked at the younger one.

“England, 1562,” He responded, slightly distracted by if that blonde with the familiar voice was who he thought it was.

“Who’re you talking to?” Clara squinted, confused.

“Myself!” They both replied in unison, then shared a grin.

“Can you come back through?!” Kate shouted.

“Too high up, wait,” The older Doctor took of his fez. “Fez incoming!” He threw it into the portal, and… disappeared. The three women on the other side shared a look and shrugged.

“Nothing here!” Clara called. Silence fell between them until the younger Doctor said aloud what everyone was thinking.

“So where’d it go?”

Chapter Text

“I’m reversing it and you’re reversing it back again, we’re confusing the polarity--” The pinstriped Doctor halted in horror as he watched a familiar face jump out of the portal. The figure stood up and looked at them both. He straightened his leather jacket and held up the fez.

“Lost fez, anyone?” He asked.

“You…” Pinstripes growled. “How can you be here? More to the point, why are you here?”

“Told ya, lost fez. You’re slow, aren’tcha?” Leather Jacket snapped. “I’m looking for the Doctor. Either of ya know where he is?” Pinstripes cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Well, I mean…” He started slowly. “You’ve certainly come to the right place.”

“Good, that’s real helpful,” Leather’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Who are you then, his companions?”

“His COMPANIONS?” Bowtie protested with and offended look.

“Eh, they get younger all the time,” Leather shrugged. “Now, back to m’ first question, the one ya very helpfully never answered,” The two younger looking men shared a look then held up their sonic screwdrivers.

“... You? You two?” Leather wrinkled his nose in distaste.

“Yep,” Pinstripes sighed.

“Both of you?”

“Mhm.”

“... Even Chinny over there?”

“Yes!” Bowtie snapped, his pride wounded. Leather huffed a sigh and stepped forward.

“It’s like ’m havin’ a midlife crisis,” He muttered. The other two stepped back and pointed their sonics at him.”Why’re you pointin’ them at me? They’re screwdrivers, what’dya think they’re going to do?” The two shared a look then uneasily put them away.

“Halt!” In a flash the three men were surrounded by soldiers, each poised with a crossbow. “Which one of you is the Doctor?” Pinstripes and Bowtie backed up against each other, sonics out again and pointing them at the attackers.

“The pointin’. Again?” Leather huffed at his older and seemingly less mature counterparts. The leader of the soldiers spoke up.

“The Queen is bewitched, and I will have the Doctor’s head,” He commanded boldly. Leather scoffed.

“Well, I s’pose it’s yer lucky day,” He muttered grimly. “Three fer th’ price of one, what a deal,” Suddenly, familiar voices echoed out of the vortex.

“What is that?” The general asked, fear etching his voice. “What is this witchcraft?” Bowtie’s face brightened.

“Ah, yes, now that you’ve mentioned it, that is witchcraft!” He announced with a cheerful flip of his sonic. He skipped forward to the portal. “Yes, very witchy witchy witchcraft. Hello! Am I talking to the witchy witch of the well?” On the other side of the portal, Clara nudged Rose with her shoulder. The blonde huffed in annoyance and stepped forward with a mutter.

“Hello?”

“Yes, hi, hello!” Bowtie greeted with a grin. “Would you mind telling these ridiculous mortals to make themselves begone?” There was an irritated grumbling before Rose answered.

“Yes, ridiculous mortals, hear me now!” She spoke flatly. “Make yourselves begone, or I shall curse thee!” Worried murmurs arose from the soldiers. Pinstripes’ breath hitched as he listened to her voice. Could it? No, it couldn’t be. It couldn’t be her.

“Doctor, what’s going on?” Clara butt in curiously.

“Ah,” Bowtie clasped his hands together, something this body did a lot. “Time-wimey thing,”

“Timey-wimey?” Leather asked incredulously. Pinstripes shook his head.

“No idea where he picks that stuff up,” He sighed, lying through his teeth. In that moment, rustling footsteps came from the forest, then emerged Elizabeth. The soldiers immediately kneeled to her.

“You don’t seem to be kneeling,” She commented, treading towards the three men. “How tremendously brave of you.”

“Which one are you?” Pinstripes asked cautiously. “What happened to the other one?”

“Indisposed. Long live the Queen.”

“Long live the Queen!” The soldiers repeated.

“Arrest these men,” Elizabeth ordered casually. “Take them to the tower.”

“That is not the Queen of England, that is and alien duplicate!” Pinstripes protested.

“And you can take it from him, he’s really checked,” Bowtie added, as grin tugging at his lips.

“Oh, shut up.”

“Venom sacs in the tongue.”

“Seriously, stop it!”

“Wait, the tower?” Bowtie stepped forward eagerly. “Oh, I love the tower. Breakfast at eight please, and will there be wi-fi?” Leather rolled his eyes.

“Ya capable of talkin’ without flappin’ yer hands around?”

“Yes. No.” Bowtie clapped his hands together with a wide grin. “I demand to be incarcerated in the tower immediately with my co-conspirators, Sandshoes and Dumbo!”

“Dumbo?!” Leather snapped.

“They are not sandshoes!” Pinstripes protested. Leather scoffed.

“Yeah they are.”

“Silence!” Elizabeth spoke up, narrowing her eyes. “The tower is not to be taken lightly. Very few emerge again. On the other side of the portal, a different conversation was happening.

“Come on,” Kate said, whirling around. Clara tilted her head.

“Where are we going?”

“My office. Otherwise known as the Tower of London.”

Rose and Clara hesitated, sharing a look, before following.

 

One by one, all three Doctors were shoved into the barren room, the door slamming behind them. Bowtie immediately set ti fiddling around with rust covered metal pieces he found on the floor, whilst Leather started scanning the door.

‘Three of us in one cell, it’s gonna cause a nasty anomaly if we don’t get out soon,” Pinstripes commented, before giving and odd look at Bowtie. “What are doing?” Bowtie shrugged.

“Getting us out.”

Pinstripes looked back at Leather. “The sonic won’t work on that, it’s too primitive.” He told him. Leather huffed in annoyance and pocketed his sonic.

“Ah, so we should just ask fer a better quality door, s’that it?”

Bowtie shrugged. “Might work.”

Pinstripes began pacing across the room like he did when he was thinking.

“So, the Queen of England is now a Zygon, but nevermind that,” He halted. “Why are we all together. Why are we all here?” Silence. The other two stopped what they were doing. “Me and… Chinny, we were surprised, but you came looking for us. You knew it was going to happen, so who told you?” Leather averted his eyes to see the Moment in the corner, a finger on her lips, warning him to keep quiet.

“Oi!” Bowtie broke the silence. “Chinny?”

 

“Black Archives. Highest security rating on the planet. The whole staff have their memories whiped at the end of every shift, automated memory filtering,” Kate told them proudly as the three women walked through the dark halls. She stopped and showed her card to the guard at the desk. “Access, please!”

“Impressive,” Rose nodded, meaning it. They stepped through a door into a large, dimly lit room with rows and rows a of filing cabinets.

“Lock and key?” Clara asked, her eyes flicking to the key Kate had used to open the door. “Bit basic, isn’t it?”

“Not a lot of electronic security down here, we’ve got to keep the Doctor out,” Kate explained. “This whole area is TARDIS proofed. God knows what would happen if he had access to this collection,”

“But you let us in,”

“You two have top level security clearance. Imagine if the public knew about this,” Kate settled with a smile at an “exhibit”. “The consequences would be… disastrous,” Rose’s jaw dropped in awe. Clara squinted and leaned forward.

“What is it?

“A vortex manipulator…” Rose whispered. “How’d you get ahold of one?”

“Gifted to the Archive by Captain Jack Harkness on the occasion of his death,” Kate crossed her arms proudly. “No one can know we have this. Not even our allies,” Clara gave her a curious look.

“Why not?”

“America with the power to change history,” Rose quirked an eyebrow with a soft laugh. “You’ve seen their movies,” Kate nodded and walked to the entrance to the room keeping the device, Clara and Rose following close behind.

“So, this is how we’re going to rescue the Doctor,”

“I’m sure there’s enough power for a two-way trip,” Kate agreed.

“Or,” Rose folded her arms. “We could just use the TARDIS,” For a moment, Kate had a blank look on her face.

“Are… Are they supposed to be here?” Clara piped up uncertainly, referring to the scientists outside the room that definitely looked like they shouldn’t be here.

“Oh, they’re probably just finishing up disposing of the humans,” Kate answered casually.

“Of the h-” Clara cut herself off, horror dawning upon her. Rose whipped out her sonic screwdriver and scanned Kate.

“Zygon?!” She read in alarm.

Kate began to convulse slightly, her skin reddening and shifting. Rose, momentarily frozen with shock, got herself to her senses. She snatched the vortex manipulator and pressed a button on her screwdriver as the zygon let out a snarl. With the TARDIS materializing around them, she pulled Clara behind her, praying the ship materialize faster. Just as the zygon lunged forward, the TARDIS fully solidified around them and she breathed a sigh of relief.

She shoved the vortex manipulator into Clara’s arms and began to fly around the console room, pulling levers and flipping switches. If Clara didn’t know any better, it was almost as if the blonde was the original pilot of the time-ship.

“England 1562, right?” Rose asked, looking up from the console. Clara nodded, and Rose flipped a final lever, letting out a breath. The TARDIS gave its familiar groaning, wheezing sound, and Rose took a moment to calm herself. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” Clara replied grimly. “It’s just… those people that they replaced. Kate and the others. Are they okay?” Rose grimaced

“I don’t know,” She admitted. “I really don’t. We’ve just gotta hope for the best, yeah?”

 

An awkward, pained silence had fallen among the three men. One young, one a tad older, and one centuries older. All weary and broken, only one with hope in his heart. The Moment sat down beside Leather, whom was sitting like a sack of misery.

“Ask them,” She urged. “Ask them what you need to know,” Leather lifted his head up at the two men and took a breath.

“Did’ya ever count?”

“Count what?” Bowtie asked, not looking up from the stone pillar he was working on.

“... How many children there were on Gallifrey that day?”

Silence.

“Yes,” Bowtie answered wearily. “I don’t dwell, though,”

“2.47 billion,” Pinstripes spoke up with a glare. He marched up to his older counterpart, weight in his steps. “You don’t dwell? You don’t dwell? What kind of beautiful, happy fantasy world do you live in where you don’t dwell on something like that.

“Spoilers.”

“No. For once I’d like to know where I’m going,” Pinstripes poked his finger at Bowtie’s chest, and aggressive look in his eyes.

“I know you would,” Bowtie told him calmly. “But you’ll have to find out the long way around. The wait will be worth it,” Pinstripes scoffed and walked away.

“The Moment is coming. The Moment is me, and you have to decide if all that death will be worth it,” The Moment stared deeply, mournfully into Leather’s eyes. “2.47 billion. Is it worth it, Doctor?” Leather paused, raising his gaze.

“No.”

“No?” Pinstripes asked, raising his eyebrow.

“Just. No.”

Bowtie suddenly let out a small laugh. Pinstripes whipped around and glared.

“Oh, is something funny?” He asked sarcastically. “Did I miss a funny thing?”

“Sorry, it just occurred to me that this is what I’m like when I’m alone,” Bowtie chuckled. Pinstripes rolled his eyes and continued pacing.

Silence fell once more.

“They’re all the same screwdriver,” The Moment hinted with a wink.”Same software,” Leather frowned and pulled out his sonic, turning it on.

“400 years…” He whispered under his breath.

“Sorry?” Pinstripes asked.

“They’re all th’ same screwdriver. Same software, different case!” Leather jumped to his feet.

“Yeah, so…?”

“Still slow, aren’tcha?” He whipped around and started scanning the door. “Scanning the door ‘n implanting th’ info as a permanent subroutine in th’ software. If ya really are me, what with th’ sandshoes an’ th’ idiot bowtie,” Bowtie subconsciously reached to fix his bow with a hurt expression while Pinstripes sighed. “Then th’ program must be still running,”

The other two, amazed, pulled out their sonics. Lo and behold, the leather-jacketed Doctor was right.

“Yeah! It’s still going!” Pinstripes grinned in excitement.

“Calculation complete!” Bowtie added, checking his sonic. “I’ll tell you what, boys, we… are incredibly clever--” He was cut off by the door swinging open to reveal Rose and Clara. Silence.

“How… How did you do that?” Bowtie asked uneasily. Clara shrugged.

“The door wasn’t locked.”

Pinstripes wasn’t listening. His hearts had stopped. Every muscle in his body as frozen in shock as his eyes stared ahead at the person he thought, no, knew he’d never see again. Against all odds, she was there, his pink and yellow human, perfect in every way.

“Rose,” He managed out, his throat numb. She gave her signature tongue touch smile, and his hearts started back up again. She stepped forward, a sad look flickering across her face.

“Doctor.”

Chapter Text

For a moment, he couldn’t move. Then the smile she gave, the oh so perfect and beautiful smile, thawed his paralyzed limbs, and in an instant, they were in each other’s arms. He couldn’t believe it. There was no way this was real. But she WAS real. Here she was, hugging him back. He nuzzled his face into her golden hair, and she was there.Tears stung the edges of his eyes and he let them flow because this was real.

“Rose…” He whispered lovingly through tears. “Rose Tyler. Oh Rose, you’re here… you’re real…” She gave little giggle and it was like music to his ears.

“Can’t get rid of me,” She laughed gently. “Miss me much?” He hugged her tighter.

“So much. I missed you… so much…” He finally relinquished her but took her hands. “How are you here? How did you… ?”

“Spoilers.”

His fingers absently traced circles on her palms and he stiffened when they brushed past a ring. Pinstripes lifted Rose’s ringed hand with a frown, studying the gold and the blue.

“Wait… are you…?” His eyes flickered to Bowtie. The floppy haired man gave a little wave, exposing the identical ring on his finger. His hearts dropped and his face fell. “Oh… so you and him…”

“Yeah,” Rose confirmed with a sad smile. “Sorry. You know what they say. Sometimes you have to have to go the long way around,” He pulled her closer suddenly with and anguished look.

“Why wait?”

“What?”

“You heard me. There’s something this daft old Time Lord never got to say on that beach a while back.” He raised his hand to brush a strand of hair out of her face before letting it settle behind her neck. “Rose Tyler… I love you. Always have and always will. I have two hearts, and when you fell into that parallel world, you took them both with you,” Rose grinned a smile that lit up her face.

“I love you too.”

He grinned back. It was the happiest you could ever find the Doctor, at least in this face. He could feel his hearts mending and warming. He felt as if he could float into the sky. Slowly, gently, he leaned his face towards. He halted.

“Can… can I?”

“You daft old man… of course.”

She tugged him down by his lapels and they kissed. It wasn’t hot or passionate, it was just a kiss. Just loving and longing of days that never were. The Doctor relaxed into it, and for a moment, he allowed himself to believe she had never left at all.

Leather looked at them with a faint sense of awe. This woman, this Rose… He had never acted like this around anyone before. Yet there he was, his future self snogging her, a mess of emotions. He averted his gaze to the Moment, a more raggedy and feral version of this Rose. She winked at him.

“From your future!” She sang with a grin. Leather’s cheeks flushed slightly as he realized what that meant, and turned back to the his future self and Rose.

They stayed like that for a moment, frozen in time, until somebody cleared their throat behind them.

“If you don’t mind,” Bowtie stepped forward, a hint of jealousy in his voice. Rose giggled.

“Doctor,” She chided. “You’re seriously jealous of YOURSELF?” Bowtie grumbled under his breath while Clara gave him a fond pat out his shoulder.

“Only you,” She sighed. She looked at the three men with a frown. “Three of you in one room, and not one of you thought to try the door?”

“Well, why wasn’t it locked?” Leather spluttered out in embarrassment.

“I left it to see what you would do upon escaping,” zygon-Elizabeth told them, stepping through the door with a smile. “I understand you’re rather fond of this world. It’s time I think you saw what going to happen to it,” She turned around and gestured for the group to follow her.

 

“The Zygons lost their homeworld,” zygon-Elizabeth explained as they walked through the hall, snarls and growls reverberating off the walls. “It burned in the first days of the Time War. Now they require a new one,”

“So they want this one,” Clara realized slowly.

“Not yet. Far too primitive. Zygons used to a certain level of comfort.”

“Commaaaandder,” A voice hissed from the doorway. The tall figure of a zygon stood there behind them. “Whyyy are thheese creaturres here?”

“Because I say they should be,” She responded with a smirk. “Observe this. I think you will find it fascinating,” The zygon stepped forward and placed its hand on a glowing orb attatched to a machine. In and instant, he disappeared and reappeared in a painting of a desert.

“That’s him!” Clara gasped, stepping forward to look wide-eyed at the painting. “That’s the zygon in the picture now!”

“That ain’t a picture, ts’a stasis cube,” Leather corrected. “Time Lord art. Frozen instances in time, but could be deployed as-”

“Suspended animation,” Pinstripes interrupted, squeezing Rose’s hand tighter in excitement. “Ohh, that’s very good. Zygons’ll pop inside the painting, wait a few centuries until the planet gets more interesting, and then out they come.”

“So the Zygons are invading the future from the past,” Rose squeezed Pinstripes’ hand back. “Earth is ready to be taken over.”

“Correct-o-mundo,” Bowtie took Rose’s hand with a slight glare at his younger counterpart then wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Never let me say that again,” Rose nodded with a grim look.

“And I am the real Elizabeth,” Elizabeth lifted her chin proudly.

“... What?!” Pinstripes eyes widened.

“My twin is dead in the forest,” She lifted her dress to pull out a knife from a belt around her leg. “I am accustomed to taking precautions,” Pinstripes flinched. “These Zygons never even suspected that it was me who survived rather than their own commander,” She scoffed. “The arrogance that typifies their kind,” Clara tilted her head in confusion.

“...Zygons?”

“Men!” She corrected loudly. Pinstripes rubbed the back of his neck with a grimace.

“And you killed one of them?” Clara asked in awe.

“I may have the body of a weakened feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon,” She grinned proudly, then turned to Pinstripes. “The future of my kingdom is imperiled. Doctor, can I rely on your service?”

“Well, I’m going to need my TARDIS,” He started. Elizabeth laughed.

“But first, my love, you have a promise to keep,”

Pinstripes thought for a moment in confusion, then his face fell and he groaned as he remembered what she meant.

 

“I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

Pinstripes gave an uncomfortable look, then glanced desperately at the rest of the gang. Rose grinned evilly and gave him the thumbs up. He turned back to Elizabeth, and she pulled him down to kiss him. Clara and Rose threw flower petals onto the two, beaming happily.

“So you’re okay with him…?” Clara gestured to the married couple. Rose gave a light laugh.

“If I was a few centuries younger, then no,” She replied easily. “But, times change, and I understand better as I get older. He’s done this a lot. Marriage doesn’t really mean a lot to him,”

“Unless it’s with you!”

“Yep!”

Meanwhile, the other two Doctors watched the kissing with a slightly disgusted look. Leather glanced at his older counterpart.

“Does this happen a lot in the future?”

“It does start to happen, yeah.”

Pinstripes then finally was able to escape Elizabeth’s excessive snogging.

“I will be right back.”

He then turned and dashed into his TARDIS which had parked on the side. The rest of the group followed close behind.

Rose gave a nostalgic sigh. “Oh, I loved this version,” Pinstripes looked up from the console with an excited grin. She gazed at him fondly, then took a step back. “But I really best be going. I parked our TARDIS back in the castle, and I can’t just leave her behind.”

Pinstripes’ face fell in despair. “B-but, I just…” Got you back… the words hung unsaid in the air. Rose smiled sadly and skipped up to him to give him a peck on the cheek.

“I’ll meet you in a minute,” She assured him. “Now, where are we meeting?”

“National Gallery, the Zygons are hiding underneath there,” Bowtie called from behind the console.

“No, UNIT headquarters, they followed us to the Black Archives,” Clara correct. The three Doctors were silenced, agape. Rose grinned at her.

“Right, thanks Clara,” She backed towards the door. “Don’t let them do anything stupid while I’m gone!” And then she vanished out the door. Pinstripes stared longingly after her.

“She can take care of herself,” Bowtie told him softly. Pinstripes swallowed and nodded. In that moment, there was a crash and sparks flew out of the console, and suddenly the console room looked different.

“Ah, the desktop is glitching!” Pinstripes jumped back from the console with an annoyed expression.

“Three of us in one room, she’s trying t’ compensate,” Leather brushed himself off and looked at his setting of the room. It was whiter, cleaner, with large circles dotting the walls.

“Look!” Bowtie said to Pinstripes while pointing at the circles. “It’s the round things!”

“I love the round things,” Pinstripes responded. The pair were like little children in a toy store.

“What are the round things?”

“No idea.”

Bowtie then dashed to the other side of the console, flipped a few levers, and in a flash, the setting of the console room was his setting. “Ah! Stabilized!”

“Oh, you’ve redecorated!” Pinstripes remarked cheerily. “I don’t like it.”

“Oh, yeah, oh you never do!” Bowtie snapped childishly.

 

“Science bleeds, Kate, is that what you meant? Is that what your father meant?” Bowtie’s voice sounded through a computer screen.

“Doctor?” Kate asked, wide eyed.

“And Rose Tyler,” Rose’s voice added. “Hello, Kate, you alright there?”

“Yes, thank you, but how-”

“Space-time telegraph,” Bowtie explained easily. “A gift from me to your father, hot-lined directly to the TARDIS, both of them, in this case, how are you dear?”

“Just fine, but could you please focus, honey?” Rose sighed in exasperation.

“Right-o then. Kate, I know about the Black Archives and I know about the security protocols, so please tell me you are not about to do something unbelievably stupid!” Bowtie’s voice rose in agitation.

“I’m sorry, Doctor,” Kate answered sadly before nodding at the scientist behind her. “Switch it off.”

“Not as sorry as you will be,” Pinstripes snapped, his voice dripping with frustration. “This is not a decision you will EVER be able to live with!” Silence followed as he glanced up at his older counterpart, his eyes narrowed, challenging. Bowtie stared back, tension filling the air.

Then the TARDIS gave a mighty shake as it tried to land.

“Kate, we’re trying to bring the TARDIS in, why can’t we land?” Bowtie yelped, frantically pulling at levers.

“The whole building’s TARDIS proofed, we can’t!” Rose shouted back, desperately trying work around the barriers.

“I said, shut it off!” Kate ordered the scientist, and he obediently began to do so.

“Argh, Kate PLEASE just listen to me!” Bowtie snarled, but was met with a beeping noise to show that the signal had been cut off. Pinstripes sucked in a breath and sighed.

“Tower of London totally TARDIS proof.”

“Oh, that’s just fantastic,” Leather pinched the bridge of his nose in agitation.

“But how can they do that?!” Clara asked, her eyes wide in alarm.

“Alien technology plus human stupidity, trust me, it’s unbeatable,” Bowtie was now pacing, running his hands through his hair in frustration. He then turned a few dials and pressed a few buttons. “Rose? Are you there?” There was a moment of silence before Rose responded.

“Yeah, I am,” She sounded stressed. “What’re we gonna do?” Bowtie was back to pacing muttering angrily under his breath.

“We don’t need t’ land,” Leather said suddenly.

“Yeah… we do,” Pinstripes corrected grimly. “Tiny bit. Try and keep up.”

“Nah, still slow I see,” He marched up to the console to pick up a glass orb. “There’s another way,” The other two men grinned as realization dawned on them.

“Sorry, bit behind, what are we doing?” Rose asked.

 

Bowtie tapped his foot impatiently as he waited for the call to be picked up.

“Hello?” A man’s voice said through the phone.

“Look at your phone and confirm who you’re talking to!” Bowtie said quickly. There was a moment of silence before the man talked again.

“But that’s not possible, I was just--”

“Just talking to me, I know. I’m a time traveller, figure it out. Listen, I need you to send the Gallifrey Falls painting into the Black Archives, understood?”

“Understood, sir, but… why would I take it there?”

 

“Please, Doctor,” Osgood sobbed under her breath. “Save us.”

Suddenly, there was a sound of glass shattering behind them, and a destroyed Dalek crashed onto the floor. This was followed by the three Doctors walking dramatically into the room.

“‘Hello,” Leather greeted.

“I’m the Doctor,” Pinstripes continued.

“Sorry about the Dalek,” Bowtie finished.

Rose and Clara shared an amused look.

“Showoffs,” Rose sighed.

“Kate Lethbridge-Stewart,” Bowtie stepped forward, his voice rising to a snarl. “What in the name of sanity are you doing?”

“The countdown can only be halted at my personal command, there’s nothing you can do,”

“Except you could both agree to halt it,” Pinstripes spoke up.

“Not even the three of you.”

“You’re about to murder millions of people,” Leather growled.

“To save billions,” Kate argued. “How many times have you made that calculation?”

“Once,” Bowtie’s furious eyes dimmed slightly. “And it haunts me even now, centuries later.”

“You can tell yourself it’s justified, but it’s a lie,” Pinstripes walked forward and leaned on the table. “What I did that day was wrong. Just wrong,” Leather’s eyes flickered to the Moment standing in the corner. She gave him a mournful look.

“And because I got it wrong,” Bowtie began. “I’m going to make you get it right,” Him and Pinstripes both pulled up a roller chair, sat in it, put their feet on the table, crossed their legs and arms in perfect unison.

“Any moment now, you’re going to stop that countdown,” Pinstripes ordered. “Both of you. Together,” The countdown was at 50 seconds now.

“And then you’re going to negotiate the most perfect treaty of all time,” Bowtie added.

“Safeguards all around and perfectly fair on both sides.

“And the key to perfect negotiation?”

“Not knowing what side you’re on.”

They both pushed their chairs back and stood up simultaneously, taking out their screwdrivers.

“So now,” Bowtie started easily. “For the next few hours, until we decide to let you out--”

“--No one in this room will be able to remember if they’re human--”

“--or zygon!”

They both jumped onto the table and all three of the Doctors and Rose pointed their screwdrivers at the memory filter. There was a flash of white light and both Kates stared at each other in horror.

“Cancel the detonation!” They shouted in unison, and the countdown stopped a mere five seconds before the detonation. The Doctors grinned at each other victoriously.

 

The Archives was filled with silence as Rose wandered among the halls. Her gaze fell upon Leather, sitting all alone. The blonde smiled. She hadn’t had a chance to talk to him directly amongst all the chaos. She’s missed this face. When was the last time she saw it? Oh, so long ago. So she sat down beside him.

“Hello,” She greeted. He looked up at her.

“Hi,” He responded, and silence followed. What could he say? “You have a sonic screwdriver.”

“Yep.”

“Ya know how t’ pilot th’ TARDIS.”

“Mhm.”

“How…” He hesitated. “Why would I… who are you?” Rose gave a sad, slightly pained smile.

“You haven’t met me yet,” She remarked. “You have no idea who I am.”

“I have… some idea,” He scratched the back of his neck, awkwardly remembering the snog his future self had shared with her. “I… he… I mean, m’ future self, you an’ ‘im…”

“Kissed, engaged, in love, yeah I remember,” She smirked fondly, sighing with nostalgia. “Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen this face, heard this voice. I’ve missed it. I’ve missed you.”

“Well, when do I get th’ pleasure of meeting you?” He asked, his breath quickening.

“Soon. Not long now, I think,” Rose answered thoughtfully, then gave a soft chuckle. “You’ve still got all of it to come. All of our adventures are out there, waiting for you. So much is about to happen! You just wait, Doctor. There’s a wild ride about to start, it stretches out through time and space, and we’re riding it together! And it is gonna be… fantastic!”

She finished, an excited sparkle lighting up her eyes. Leather was speechless. Breathless. What was there to say? How do you respond to that? So he said the only thing he could think of.

“I can’t wait.”

She grinned, and her smile lit up his whole world. This person whom he had just met, who he was going to meet was so utterly pure and kind and… and he couldn’t let her world burn. His gaze averted to see the Moment standing behind her. She smiled. He sighed.

“M’ moment has come,” He lifted his head and straightened. “I’m ready.”

“I know you are,” The Moment replied sadly. Rose turned to look behind her. To her, there was no one there.

“Who is it? Who’re you talking to?”

But when she looked back, he was gone.

Chapter Text

Leather stared down the machine, a dull ache in his bones. The scarlet button glimmered with the faint sunlight, cruelly beckoning him. Taunting him.

“Well, you wanted a big red button,” The Moment raised an eyebrow. “One big bang. That’s it. No more Time-Lords. No more Daleks. Are you sure?” Leather laughed drily.

“Could anyone ever be?” He sighed wearily. “There’s no other way. I’ve run outta time an’ options.”

“The Lord of Time has run out of time,” She chided gently. “You’ve seen the men you will become.”

“Those men? Yeah… Fantastic, they are. Sounds like it’ll be fun bein’ ‘em.”

“You see? They’re you.”

“Nah. They’re th’ Doctor.”

“You’re the Doctor, too,” She insisted. He shook his head, frustration tensing his muscles.

“No. Great men’re forged ‘n fire,” He argued quietly, his piercing blue eyes burning. “It’s th’ lesser men who light th’ flame,” The Moment fell silent and he took a deep breath, his hand reaching towards the button. It hovered above it, the universe dangerously hanging in the balance, ready to tip either way. Coward or killer? Flashes of children laughing and playing flashed through his mind, skipping and giggling innocently. Coward or killer? Mothers and fathers picking up their kids, proud grins on their faces, reminding them to come inside and eat echoed inside his head. Coward or killer?

“You know the sound the TARDIS makes?” The Moment interrupted, yanking him out of his thoughts. “That wheezing, groaning? That sound brings hope wherever it goes,” Leather managed a small, crooked smile.

“Yeah,” He sighed thoughtfully. “Yeah, I s’pose I like t’ think it does.”

“To anyone who hears it. Anyone. No matter how lost,” A grin lit up her face as the familiar sound of the TARDIS came from behind them. “Even you.”

He turned around as the TARDIS’s materialized. The doors creaked open, and his older counterparts stepped out, followed by Rose and Clara. They walked toward him, glancing around the barn.

“Told you he hasn’t done it yet,” Clara whispered.

“Aw, ya missed me,” Leather attempted weakly. “But you should leave. This… this’s fer me t’ do. Alone.” He turned around to hide his miserable expression. They didn’t answer him.

“These events should be time-locked,” Pinstripes remarked, looking around the room. “We shouldn’t be able to be here,” Bowtie nodded.

“Then something must have let us in,” He agreed, fiddling with the cuffs of his sleeve. Unbenounced to them, The Moment grinned at them fondly.

“You clever boys.”

“’m serious, go. Leave,” Leather growled, pain evident behind his voice. “Go be th’ Doctor. Snog Miss Rose, save who ya can. Be the Doctor I can’t be. Make it worthwhile,” His voice quavered as his hand rested on the ruby button.

“I spent all those years burying you in my memory,” Pinstripes spoke up.

“Pretending you didn’t exist,” Bowtie added, his voice low and quiet. “Keeping you a secret, even from myself.”

“Pretending you weren’t the Doctor, when you were the Doctor more than anybody else.” Pinstripes’ voice broke slightly. Bowtie stepped around the box to face Leather and look him in the eyes.

“You were the Doctor on the day it wasn’t possible to get it right.”

Pinstripes stepped forward as well, and placed his hand on top of Leather’s. “But this time…”

Bowtie repeated the action. “...You won’t have to do it alone.”

Leather fell silent, trying not to choke on his swirling emotions. “Thank you,” His voice was barely audible, whispered through pain and shame under his breath.

A smooth, gentle hand joined the three old men. They looked up in surprise to see Rose staring at them intensely.

“Rose,” Pinstripes growled through gritted teeth. “Don’t. Please don’t.”

“I don’t want you to become like me,” Bowtie murmured. “If you do this, you become a killer. I can’t allow you to hold that burden.”

“But standing aside, though, watching and letting it happen, is that really better?” Rose argued, her chocolate eyes flashing gold. “No. I can’t stand aside and let you suffer alone,” The Doctors shared a worried look, then relinquished. That little selfish part of themselves that they always tried to stomp away and hide twitched gratefully in relief that their burden would be shared.

“What we do today is not out of fear or hatred,” Pinstripes began, a mournful look on his face. Tears gathered in the eyes of the women watching.

“It’s done because there’s no other way,” Rose continued solemnly.

“...And it is done in the name of the many people we are failing to save,” Bowtie finished. They all stood in silence for a moment, the three men all with sad and grim grim looks darkening their eyes. Finally, Bowtie gave a slight nod to the others, signalling it was time. At the corner of his eyes, he spotted Clara, tears dripping down her cheeks, shaking her head in horror. “What?”

Rose took Clara’s hand in worry. “What is it, Clara?”

“Nothing,” She whispered, shaking slightly. Bowtie retracted his hand from the button.

“No, it’s definitely something. So tell me.”

“It’s just… when you told me you wiped out your own people,” She rubbed her face and looked down at her feet. “I never pictured YOU doing it… that’s all.” A pang of hurt flashed across Bowtie’s face and he winced, his resolve crumbling slightly. The Moment watched them with a sigh. Maybe there was hope for her yet. Maybe she wouldn’t have to kill.

“Take a closer look.”

The room darkened and morphed until and all too familiar scene unfolded around them. Children running. People screaming. Fires burning.

“What’s happening?” Clara whispered, her wide eyes darting around area.

“Nothing. It’s a projection,” Leather answered bleakly.

“This is the reality around you,” The Moment pressed. Maybe, if she kept on going… she was almost there. Pained guilt darkened the three men’s eyes as a young girl ran desperately between them, before falling to the ground. Dead. Her mother, not far behind her, stopped with wide eyes. Clutching her stomach in anguish, she screamed.

“These are the people you’re going to burn?” Clara breathed in horror, shaking slightly. Families retreated and explosions sounded as buildings fell to the ground. This was war. Not soldiers being offered medals, or the last ship being blown out of the sky while triumphant music played, but innocent people suffering.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Pinstripes murmured, almost choking on his shame and regret as he watched these people who had no fault in this world bleed and burn.

“He’s right, there isn’t another way, there never was,” Bowtie’s voice quickened, a hint of panic seeping into his voice. Rose took his hand, her warm fingers tracing gallifreyan letters on the back of his hand, but this time it didn’t seem to help. “Either I destroy my own people or let the universe burn.”

“You can’t save everyone, Doctor,” Rose told him quietly.

“I know. But this time I couldn’t save anyone.”

“That’s not true. You saved the universe,” Rose argued, her eyes burning intensely, as if to vaporize her tears. “It wasn’t fair. None of this is your fault. You should never have been but in that situation. You should never have had to make that choice.”

“But I did. And now I’m all alone.”

“There’s me.”

At that, the corners of his lips twitched, and a little bit of weight was lifted off his shoulders. “Well, what am supposed to do now?”

“Do what you always do,” Clara spoke up, a faint sense of hope lighting up her eyes. “Be a Doctor. You said that name was a promise, what was the promise?”

“Never cruel, never cowardly,” Pinstripes’s soft voice cut through the quiet of the war around them.

“Never give up, never give in,” Leather spoke for the first time in what seemed like eternity. The words lit up a spark deep inside Rose’s chest. She’d been comforting the Doctor about his horrible choice he had to make, but what if there was another way? What if… he didn’t have to give up?

“Never give up, never give in…” She repeated under her breath. “There seems like there’s no other way. So what are you going to do about it?” The scene around them melted away until they were back standing in the barn. Bowtie had a new look of rising confidence on his face.

“Probably something stupid,” He adjusted his bowtie, straightening his back.

“You’ve already done that,” A grin made its way across Rose’s face.

“Then probably something crazy,” He averted his eyes to his younger counterparts, a mad spark lighting up his eyes. Pinstripes narrowed his eyes.

“You’re not actually suggesting we change our own personal history?”

“We change history all the time,” Bowtie shrugged, but he couldn’t hide his growing excitement. “I’m suggesting something far worse. Gentlemen, I have had 400 years to think about this. I change my mind!” And in and instant, he pulled out his screwdriver, pointed it at the box that could destroy a galaxy, and he closed it.

“I admire yer enthusiasm, I really do, but in case you’ve forgotten,” Leather raised and eyebrow. “There’re still billions and billions of Daleks up there attacking us.” The mad jovial energy radiating off of Bowtie had spread to Clara and Rose, and they shared a look of terrified excitement.

“Yeah, there is--” Bowtie agreed.

“-But there’s something those billions and billions of Daleks don’t know--” And now it had spread to Pinstripes, who was now positively beaming.

“-Because if they did, they’d probably send for reinforcements!” Bowtie continued, giving one of those ‘right you are!’ points with his finger at Pinstripes.

“What? What don’t they know?” Clara asked, joining in. Bowtie chuckled and rubbed his hands together.

“This time there’s three of us.”

“Oh! Blimey, I’m getting it now!” Leather threw his hands in they air. “Oh, that is fantastic!”

“Oh, I’m getting that too! That is brilliant!” Pinstripes practically leaped backwards across the room, one hand running through his hair. Now all of them were intoxicated with that passionate, impulsive determination that had created reckless ideas in every intelligent being since the beginning of time.

“I’ve been thinking about this for centuries!” Bowtie struck a silly superhero pose sending Rose and Clara into fits of giggles.

“She didn’t jus’ show me any ol’ future, she told me exactly what I needed to know!” Leather shouted to nobody in particular. “Bad Wolf girl, I could kiss ya!” The Moment snorted with laughter.

“Yeah, that’ll happen,” She huffed a laugh, while a confused and slightly concerned expression flashed across Rose’s face.

“Did you just say… Bad Wolf?” She asked softly, before being swept back into the excitement.

“So, what are we doing? What’s the plan?” Clara questioned, a bold smile making her face practically glow.

“The Dalek fleet’s surrounding Gallifrey, firin’ at it constantly,” Leather informed them.

“But what if the whole planet just disappeared?” Pinstripes suggested, a gleam of hope lighting up his dark eyes.

“Slow down, love, back up a little,” Rose laughed, but her eyes were intent and listening.

“The Daleks would be firing at each other, they’d be destroyed in their own crossfire!” The trenchcoated man showed no signs of stopping his planning.

“Gallifrey’d be gone, Daleks would be destroyed, ‘n it’d look to the rest of the universe like they’d just… annihilated each other!” Leather continued with exuberance.

“But where would Gallifrey be?” Clara queried, brushing a lock of cocoa coloured hair out of her face enthusiastically.

“Frozen,” Rose realized, catching on to what the men were saying. “In an instant of time. Hidden away and safe!” Bowtie grinned proudly at his fiance.

“Exactly,”

“Like a painting,” Leather finished. Pinstripes breathed a light laugh and took Rose’s hand. The five of them shared looks of determination and excitement

 

“Are you sure?” Bowtie asked the golden haired woman before she stepped into his younger counterpart’s
TARDIS.

“Yeah. you go with Clara,” She nodded softly. “Do you remember how you felt when you lost me? And then when you got me back? That’s how he’s feeling right now.”

Bowtie hesitated, then smiled. Of course he knew. He never wanted to be apart from her again. He hadn’t wanted to stay more than a foot away from her. But Rose was centuries old now. She knew she could take care of herself. And that knowledge led his feet into his TARDIS where Clara was waiting.

 

“Hey,” Pinstripes looked up at Rose’s voice as she stepped into the TARDIS. A swell of so many emotions blossomed deep in his chest, and he felt might break down into joyful sobs at her feet.

“Hello,” He said instead, his voice slightly cracking. She grinned at him with that cheeky tongue-touched smile and he nearly melted into a puddle right then and there. “Right then, best be off then?”

“You ready?”

“I’ve never been ready for anything in my life Rose, you know that.”

They shared a little chuckle and for a moment, it felt like old times. Before Rose found out her forever meant forever. Before the Doctor had finally told her what needed saying. Before they had reunited with relieved tears in their eyes. Before they had lost each other. Almost… normal

“Need help with the controls?” Rose asked softly. “I distinctly remember someone landing us a year late one time.”

He huffed an annoyed laugh, but anyone could see that he wasn’t really irritated. He was, in fact, happy as ever, and he gave a wordless nod, deciding not to question just when she learned how to pilot the TARDIS.

You would be in awe if you watched them, twirling around the console, like two stars orbiting each other. Perfectly in sync. A dance of two people equal with each other, a duet. Both wordlessly knowing exactly what to do. The only words to describe it would be utterly beautiful.

 

“Hello, hello, Gallifrey high command, this is the Doctor speaking.”

“Also the Doctor! Hello!”

“Also th’ Doctor, standin’ ready.”

“Dear God, three of them,” the General sighed. “All my worst nightmares at once.”

“And my best dream,” Rose murmured with a smirk, only audible to Pinstripes, who turned pink.

“General, we have a plan.”

“We should point out at this moment, that it is a fairly terrible plan.”

“And it almost certainly won’t work.”

“Don’t tell them that!” Rose hissed.

“Yes, I was happy with fairly terrible,” Bowtie agreed.

“Sorry, just thinking out loud,” Pinstripes shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck.

“We are flying our three TARDISes into your lower atmosphere.”

“We’re positioned at equidistant intervals around the globe” Pinstripes gave a proud smile at Rose. “Equidistant, so grown up.”

“Very, but could you concentrate?” Rose grinned back at him.

“We’re jus’ about ready ta do it,” Leather informed the Council.

“Ready to do what?” the General demanded.

“We’re going to freeze Gallifrey,” Bowtie informed him.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Using our TARDISes, we’re going to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in time,” Pinstripes explained. Leather nodded.

“Ya know, like those states cubes? Single moment in time held in a parallel pocket universe.”

“Except we’re going to do it to a whole planet,” Bowtie had one of those mad grins on his face.

“And all the people on it!” Pinstripes agreed, excitement dancing in his eyes. He looked over at Rose with a grin.

“Even if that were possible, which it isn’t,” The General argued, narrowing his eyes. “Why would you do such a thing?”

“Because the alternative is burning,” Bowtie replied bluntly.

“And I’ve seen that,” Pinstripes huffed, glaring.

“And I never want to see it again.”

“But we’d be lost in another universe!” The General protested. “Frozen in a single moment… we’d have nothing!”

“You’d have hope,” Rose interrupted. “And right now that’s exactly what you don’t have.”

“It’s delusional!” The General snapped, ignoring Rose. “The calculations alone would take hundreds of years!”

“Oh, hundreds and hundreds,” Bowtie agreed with a laugh.

“But don’t worry! I started a very long time ago,” Pinstripes cracked his knuckles with a grin. Right on cue, a new voice came in.

“--to the War Council of Gallifrey, this is the Doctor.”

“You might say,” Bowtie continued, clearly enjoying this. “I’ve been doing this all my lives!”

A chorus of new voices followed, and Rose had stopped to watch in amazement.

“Alright!”

“Stand by-”

“Ready!”

“Commencing calculations-”

“I’m here-”

“--Cross the boundaries that divide one universe from another!”

“I didn’t know that I was well off!” The General huffed at the new Doctors that had arrived. “Eleven of them!”

“No sir,” Another new voice cut in. “All twelve!”

“All thirteen, actually!” A woman’s voice added.

“Sir! The Daleks know that something is happening!” A Time Lord shouted. “They’re increasing their firepower!”

Their ship shook and broken parts rained down as the Council lost their balance. A look of realization on his face, the General glanced up at the 13 Doctors.

“Do it, Doctor,” He commanded weakly. “Just do it.”

“Okay.” Bowtie said this with a dramatic look up from his console. “Gentlemen-- and women, apparently, looking forward to that-- we’re ready.”

He pulled a lever and shouted his new favourite word. “GERONIMO!”

“Allons’y!”

“Fer God’s sake. Gallifrey Stands!”

There was a boom and a flash of light, and Gallifrey was gone.

 

“I don’t suppose we’ll ever know if we saved Gallifrey,” Leather pondered out loud, bringing his mug of tea to his lips. “But at worst, we failed doin’ the right thing, as opposed to succeedin’ in doing th’ wrong.”

“Life and soul, you are!” Clara raised an eyebrow with a smirk.

“Nah, he’s all ears,” Rose chuckled, and earning a glare from Leather.

“Shut it, you two, jokin’ about m’ ears crosses th’ line!”

“--Well there’s always something we don’t know, isn’t there?” Pinstripes was saying.

“Should hope so,” Leather muttered, standing up. “Well, it’s been an honor, an’ a privilege.”

“Likewise.” Pinstripes nodded.

“Doctor,” Bowtie added. Leather smiled at that.

“And if I grow t’ be half the man that you are,” Leather turned to face the two women behind him. “Rose Tyler, Clara Oswald, I think I’ll be very happy.” The women smiled back at him, taking turns giving him a hug. Rose secretly slipped a note into his pocket while he was distracted. A reminder for later.

“Ain’t that right!” Clara laughed. Leather grinned a wide smiled, then his face dropped after a few moments.

“I won’t remember any of this, will I?” He asked softly. Bowtie shook his head.

“The time streams are out of sync,” He confirmed. “You can’t retain it.” Pinstripes gave an anguished look to Rose.

“So I won’t remember that I tried t’ save Gallifrey, not destroy it. I have t’ live with that?” He looked aup at the two men, and something told him he’d be alright in the end. He straightened. “But for now, fer this moment… I am th’ Doctor.” He grinned. “Thank you.” Bowtie nodded with a slight smile as Leather stepped into his TARDIS. The ship wheezed until it was gone.

Pinstripes looked back at Rose sadly. “I won’t remember you.”

“Not this me, no,” She agreed, stepping forward to rest a hand on his cheek. “But I’m coming. I promise I’m coming to get you. Right now, your Rose working as hard as she can to get back to you. I’m sorry, but you have to wait. But I will find you.”

“I don’t want to forget.”

“I know.”

“I love you.”

“Quite right, too.”

They shared a light, teary laugh. They let go of each other’s hands, not aware of when they had started holding them. Pinstripes turned around to face Clara.

“I look forward to working with you, Clara Oswald.”

“See ya, Pinstripes!”

“Pinstripes?!”

“It’s what I’ve been calling you in my head!”

They laughed at that. Pinstripes stepped back and opened the door to his TARDIS. He hesitated.

“Rose.”

“Hm?”

“Before I go, I just wanted to tell you, you were fantastic,” There’s a hint of nostalgia in his voice as he recalls the words from his memory. “Absolutely fantastic.” And then he’s gone. Rose scoffs slightly, a reminiscing grin on her face.

“Arse. I still haven’t forgiven you for freaking me out like that.”

“Of course you haven’t.”

The Doctor shook his head with a huff, and turned around to gaze at the painting.

“Need some time alone with your painting?” Clara pipes up.

“Yes he does, come along, Oswald!” Rose ushers Clara into the TARDIS. “You know, Doctor, the way you’re looking at that painting, I’m starting to get jealous.”

“Oh, hush.”

The Doctor shook his head with a grin and sat down.

“By the way, I heard the Curator was looking for you!” Clara called before shutting the doors. The Doctor looked up and pondered for a moment.

“I could be a Curator,” He thought aloud. “I’d be great at curating, I’d be the Great Curator!” He sighed thoughtfully. “I could retire, and become the curator of this place.”

“The Doctor? Retiring? Please,” A voice sounded behind him. Slowly, he turned around to see who was speaking. “That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.”

“Rose?”

The blonde woman grinned. There was a sad, tired look in her eyes. She was wearing a simple red dress that went a little bit past her knees. The dress was burnt and torn at the edges, ragged and worn out, yet it looked barely used.

“Hello Doctor,” She replied wearily. “I missed you.”

“I’m touched, but you’ve only been gone for-- oh.” He cut himself off in realization.

“Yeah,” She sighed, then nodded at the place beside him. “Is this seat taken?” He shook his head, and edged to his left to allow her more place to sit.

“What are you doing here?”

“Better question, what do you make of the title of that painting?” She diverted the query entirely, instead focusing on the painting in front of them.

“Well, which title? There’s two. No More, and Gallifrey Falls.”

 

“That’s where everyone’s wrong. It’s all one title,” Rose explained, brushing a lock of hair out of her face. “Gallifrey Falls No More,” She grinned. “What do you think that means?”

The Time Lord blinked, processing the information. Then his eyes widened in excited realization.

“It means it worked! Gallifrey’s still out there!”

“Could be, yeah.”

“So where is it? Is that why you’re here, to tell me where Gallifrey is?”

“Some things that are lost are meant to be found again. You’ll have to figure it out on your own,” Rose answered easily, folding her hands on her lap.

“So why are you here?”

Rose sighed weakly, tears gathering in her eyes.

“I’m saying my, I suppose you could call them, goodbyes through time,” She wiped her eyes and leaned to place a gentle kiss on his lips. They stayed there like that before, regretfully and hesitantly, Rose pulled back. “Goodbye, Doctor. I love you.”

She stood to her feet and turned to walk away.

“Rose,” The Doctor jumped to his feet. Rose paused, turning to look at him. He had an unpleasant theory on this future Rose’s appearance. “How long are you going to stay with me?”

Something in Rose’s eyes broke, and she blinked tears away, choking out her answer.

“Forever.”

Then she was gone.

Chapter Text

The Doctor straightened his leather jacket as he put the TARDIS into the time vortex. He could feel the memories drain away. Rose. Clara. Xygons. Elizabeth. Gallifrey saved. Gallifrey. Gone. Gallifrey is gone. Burned. Gallifrey was burned. He burned Gallifrey.

Then any trace of his previous adventure vanished, leaving anger, despair and self-loathing its place. At first, he thought it might be nice to stay in the vortex for a few days. Weeks. Months. Sleep as much as he could which would be two minutes seeing as he’d jump straight into nightmares. But he couldn’t. His brain needed something to do, otherwise he would drown into thoughts of the war.

“I need somethin’ t’ do. I need t’ think about somethin’, anythin’ other than…” He trailed off, looking pleadingly up at the ceiling. “Please find me somethin’ to do.” The TARDIS, in response showed a suggestion on the little screen on her console. London, Earth, 2005. Nestene Consciousness invasion. Perfect.

He was halfway through setting the bomb up, not really caring if he went with it, when there were voices down the hall.

“Stop it! This isn’t funny!” A girl’s voice cried out. He huffed in annoyance. Just his luck. He crept down the hall to check on her. Of course, Nestene controlled mannequins were poised to kill her. Fantastic. Dashing up to her, he took her hand and…

“You’ve still got all of it to come. All of our adventures are out there, waiting for you. So much is about to happen! You just wait, Doctor. There’s a wild ride about to start, it stretches out through time and space, and we’re riding it together! And it is gonna be… fantastic!”

“Backwards or forwards in time?”

“You can see places 100 thousand sunsets ago… no wonder you never stay still!”

“You look beautiful!”

“Off we go, into time and space!”

“Rose, I can dance!”

“I want you safe… my Doctor.”

“And it is gonna be… Fantastic!”

“Travelling with you, I love it!”

“The stuff of legend!”

“I made my choice a long time ago and I’m never going to leave you.”

“Rose, hold on!”

“I love you.”

“Quite right too. And I suppose, if it’s my last chance to say it… Rose Tyler--”

“I love you.”

“Quite right, too.”

“Will you marry me?”

“Of course!”

“Run!” He told her. And they ran.

 

She’d said no. All of time and space, he promised her, and she’d said no. Of course she’d said no. She had a life, and she couldn’t just run off with him. Still. What now? Just keep travelling numbly forever? He sighed and sunk down against the wall, his hands shoved into his pockets. They brushed up against something. No surprise, he had a lot of things in his bigger-on-the-inside pockets. But this was something he didn’t remember putting in there.

He drew it out. It was a note. Odd. It wasn’t his handwriting.

Doctor

Go back! You forgot to tell her it travels in time!

Love,

-Bad Wolf

Who was Bad Wolf? How did they get this note into their pocket? And, more importantly… did he really forget to tell her that? He stood to his feet and walked to the console, resting a hand on a lever. It was worth a try.

Chapter Text

“Excited?” Clara asked cheekily as Rose views herself in the mirror. It wasn’t a traditional human wedding dress. If it were it would be pure white, beautiful yet plain. This dress was something different. It starts as a blue hue at the top, then fading into purple, pink, and finally yellow at the bottom. Clara also insisted on throwing some golden sparkles onto it. Quite akin to a sunset, Rose realized.

“Yeah,” A grin settled on her face. “Everyone’s gotten an invitation, yeah?”

“For the 18th time, yes,” Clara laughed and rolled her eyes. A tinge of pink lights up Rose’s cheeks and she gives a light chuckle. Everyone’s coming. Except… her face falls. Clara notices. “You alright, there?”

“Yeah, ‘s nothing, just...“ She trailed off. “My mum would’ve liked to see this. My wedding, I mean. She was always fussing about it.”

“Sorry…” Clara took Rose’s hand with a sad smile.

“S’alright. We both made our choices. She wanted to stay there, and I couldn’t leave here,” Rose gazed sorrowfully at something that wasn’t there. “I just wish she knew, y’know?” Something sparked in Clara’s eyes. Here eyes widened like she did when she realized an idea.

“Time Lords were able to go to parallel worlds, right?

Rose nodded.

“Yeah, but it’s unsafe to do it now because all the Time Lords are--”

She cut herself off and the two women shared a look.

Before Rose could dash off, Clara grabbed her arm sternly.

“Change. Save the dress for the wedding.”

 

Rose and Clara burst into the library with a thud. The Doctor, who up until then had been absorbed in a book, nearly jumped at the sudden noise.

“Rose, what---”

“TimeLordscouldcrosstoparallelworldsright?”

“Yes, but all the Time Lords are gone, so-- OH!” He jumped to his feet. “I can’t believe I didn’t… oh, Rose, I have a lot of work to do! I’ll call you in a tick!” He pecked her quickly on the cheek before rushing out the doors.

It turned out “a tick” meant a few hours.

“Rose!” The Doctor called from the console room. His fiance was there in a few moments, Clara following close after. “Come here, check this out.”

“You got a gap?” Rose asked, her eyes glimmering with anxious hope and excitement.

“Not just a gap, a safe tunnel through,” He corrected with a wide grin. “All we need to do is send a message through.Will you do the honours?” He gestured to a button. The message was already typed out.

Torchwood,

If you get this message, immediately call the Tyler family. This is an invitation to the wedding between the formerly big-eared oaf and the blonde he accidentally stole for a year (sorry about that Jackie). Please tell them to prepare. No need to drive anywhere, their ride

Regards,

The big blue box!

Giddily, Rose pressed the button, and the console made a little noise as the message sent.

“So now we wait?” She asked anxiously. The Doctor nodded, beginning that pacing he does when he’s impatient. Not even ten minutes late, they got a response.

We will deliver your message. However, we must ask you to identify yourself. Your signal stretches out from beyond our universe, which shouldn’t be possible.

-Torchwood

The Doctor furiously typed out a response.

Torchwood,

How this message was sent matters not. The Tyler family are family friends and we’re picking them up for our wedding.

Regards,

The big blue box!

 

Very well. We will relay your message.
-Torchwood

 

The Doctor clapped his hands together in excitement.

“Perfect! We’re off!”

Rose’s jaw dropped slightly, her eyes glimmering with excitement.

“You mean…?”

“Absolutely. It’s time to see the Tylers,” He grinned madly. “Hold on! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!”

Trembling, Rose set to work on the opposite side of the console from the Doctor. The TARDIS vibrated as it maneuvered through the gap between two seperate. Their landing was signaled by a sudden jerk that sent everyone to the ground. The Doctor dusted himself off as he dizzily got to his feet.

“Now!” He gave a little hop in place. “If I’m not wrong, we are now outside the Tyler estate, and your mother is--”

“OPEN THE DOOR NOW YOU DAFT ALIEN!” A muffled voice came from outside accompanied by furious knocked. Rose wasted no time in obliging in her mother’s request and launching herself into Jackie Tyler’s arms.

“Mum!” She cried out. Jackie responded with the tightest other bear hug you could imagine.

“Oh baby is that really you? Rose, sweetie, I missed you so much!” Jackie whispered, her eyes glistening.

“Rose?” A small voice came from behind her. “Like our Rose? The one who’s fighting bad guys?” Rose lifted her face from Jackie’s shoulder to look at the sandy haired young boy staring wide eyed at her. Jackie nodded with a wide smile, letting go of her daughter.

“Rose, this is Tony, your little brother,” She introduced. Tony wrung his little wrists shyly. “Tony, this is your big sister, Rose!” Tony stuck out his little hand.

“Hi Rose,” He rocked on his heels with a crooked grin. “Mum told me a bunch of stories about you!”

“Really?” Rose mused, taking Tony’s hand. “Like what?”

“That your kicking butt with your dumb alien boyfriend!”

Rose burst into laughter as an insulted “HEY!” came from the Doctor, who had, up until then, been talking with Torchwood officials.
,
“My dumb alien boyfriend. He is that,” She agreed.

“Whose side are you on, Rose?!” The Doctor pouted angrily.

“I hate to say it, Doctor, but literally nobody is on your side,” Clara giggled from behind him.

“Really?!” He gave and exaggerated sigh. “Well at least the TARDIS doesn’t agree with you,”

I beg to differ, The TARDIS chuckled in Rose’s mind. Rose relayed the message with a mischievous grin.

“This family is a nightmare,” The Time Lord huffed. Rose rolled her eyes.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” She scoffed, then turned back to her mother. “So, how long’s it been for you?”

“Eight years, you?”

She was met with and awkward silence. The Doctor cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“300.”

Jackie’s went blank. The trio waited nervously. The Doctor counted backwards under his breath.

“Five… four… three… two--”

“IT TOOK 300 YEARS FOR YOU TWO TO GET ENGAGED?!”

“--one.”

“That’s your first concern?!” Pete asked incredulously. “There’s nothing else wrong with their answer?” Jackie pointedly ignored him.

“You IDIOT ALIEN!” She boomed. “How did it take you 300 years to ask her to marry you?!” The Doctor winced and wrung his hands sheepishly.

“It slipped my mind,” He mumbled.

“It slipped your mind for 300 years!?” The Doctor had no answer to that. Jackie huffed. “This had better be a bloody amazing wedding, or you’re going to get another smack, young man.”

With any other person, the Doctor would have laughed in their face and proudly announce that he was way older than them. He would have lifted his chin and raised his eyebrow. He would have towered over them and astound hi with his cleverness and wisdom.

But this was Jackie.

“Yes, M’am,” He muttered instead. The rest of the group had been watching in silent amusement, hardly able to hold in their giggles. Jackie gave one last scowl before relaxing her face. Then it got to her.

“300 years?!”

The Doctor sighed.

“Jackie, we were just over th--”

“HOW IS SHE STILL ALIVE?!” Jackie screeched. Pete rolled his eyes. Rose winced.

“The short story is that I can’t die,” She explained. “We’ll tell you about it later.”

The Doctor held open the TARDIS door.

“Now get in!” He said with a grin. “Tomorrow’s our wedding day!”

Tony raced inside first.

Chapter Text

skskskks im sorry for the inactivity guys. i just got back from a week long camping trip and now im going to cuba for a week. there's only wifi in the lobby of our hotel. but! i promise i'll have two chapters done once i get back. tysm for your patience guys and for the lovely comments they really mean a lot to me so keep em coming! love y'all!

Chapter Text

They were to be wed on a planet of ice. Almost and exact duplicate of Woman’s Wept, to be exact. Except for the fact that it wasn’t unbearably cold. It was actually quite a pleasant temperature.The energy signatures from it matched those of Bad Wolf, so it was probably her doing. Creating a whole planet so they could be married.

And the Doctor though he was dramatic.

Another sign of Bad Wolf’s dramatic flair was exact place they were getting married. The only part of the planet that wasn’t ice was a stone cliff matching one on a planet they had been a long while back. Poetic, really. Promising each other forever in the same place they did all those years ago. Except back then, it was the Doctor living with the knowledge he’d outlive Rose.

Now it was the other way around.

“Right,” Huffed Clara to the guests stepping out of the TARDIS doors. “The Doctor says this planet has a high chance of shattering right after the wedding. So we’re heading straight into the TARDIS after the ceremony, everyone got that?”

Tony, dressed in a decidedly adorable little suit, raised his hand.

“Why’s the planet gonna explode?” He asks.

“It’s made of ice all the way to its core and it’s near a burning star,” Jack Harkness explains. “It was also made purely for this wedding and when the wedding’s done?” He makes a wild gesture for something exploding with his hands.

“You’d think being a goddess of time she’d have the foresight to make a proper planet that, you know, doesn’t explode,” Mickey muttered.

“This way please, you lot,” Jacke ushered the crowd into the seats she had spent days perfecting.

 

From inside the TARDIS, the Doctor fixed his bowtie for the 87th time and read his vows for the 103rd time. The ship beeped teasingly at him.

“Nervous? Why would I would I be nervous. I’ve faced Daleks and Cybermen and this is just a silly human ceremony and… and…” He sighed and ran his hands through his hair. “I just really don’t wanna mess this up. I’m a Lord of Time and if I can’t do this how am I supposed to do anything?”

He sucked in a breath.

“Also if I do one thing wrong Jackie will find a hundred separate ways to kill me.”

The TARDIS gave a sympathetic hum and then urged him to go outside. The Time Lord muttered something about her never being very helpful then did so.

 

“Ugh, you look beautiful!” Donna exclaimed. Rose was wearing her dress, staring into the mirror, surrounded by Donna, Clara, and past-Amy. She looked like a sunrise..

(At this point, you may be thinking, “Amy?!”. Yes, Amy. You thought she would miss out on this?)

“By the way, I am so glad you guys picked us up for your wedding,” The other redhead said. “I don’t care wherever I ended up, I would’ve kicked your asses.”

“Oh, we could never forget about you,” Rose chuckled.

“Getting back to our conversation about your dress, if the Doctor messes up the wedding, can I marry you instead,” Clara butt in, eyeing Rose with a quirk of an eyebrow. “Because damn.”

“Sorry, Clara, but I’m bound to that dork no matter what happens.”

“No matter what?”

“Seriously, Clara, get a girlfriend.”

“Oh, I’m trying!”

“I have some single friends,” Donna smirked. “Give me a preference, and I’ll hook you up.”

“Guys or girls, I really don’t care.”

“This is my wedding, may I remind you,” Rose scoffed fondly. “Can we get off the topic of Clara’s romantic life, or lack thereof?”

“Hey!”

The music began softly. An acoustic version of I Can’t Help Falling in Love played as Mickey and Jack accompanied Rose up the aisle. A cliche song, perhaps, but who said that was a bad thing?

Her chocolate eyes met the Doctor’s. He gave a wide grin from where he stood beside Wilfred at the end of the aisle. Before she knew it, they were already side by side.

As it should be.

“Guys, gals, and non-gender-conforming pals!” Jack began, and for a moment, Rose and the Doctor shared a look that meant “maybe we shouldn’t have let Jack make the speech at our wedding”, but Jack ignored this and continued.

“I'd like to formally thank Rose and the Doctor for making the mistake of letting me speak at your wedding. Today we are here to witness a union that quite literally has been waited for centuries. So kudos to you two on somehow forgetting to do this for, what, 400 years? C’mon, Doctor!”

“I for one, have been waiting since the beginning. When he was all big ears and leather jackets and grumpy eye rolls. Even then, two regenerations ago, he was making heart eyes for her. He, a war torn soldier and the actual Lord of Time, was absolutely whipped for this 19 year old girl from London. It was ridiculous to watch, really.”

“Is this really necessary, Jack?” The Doctor sighed.

“Nope! You made a mistake by letting me be the speaker at your wedding! But no takesy backsies now! I am going to embarrass you in front of all your loved ones!”

“You’re a hazard to society.”

“Maybe! But at least I didn’t take my crush to watch her planet blow up on our first date.”

“As much as this is fun,” Rose interrupted. “This is a wedding, not a stand up roast session, Jack.”

“Fine. Come to me about embarrassing stories at the afterparty!” He grinned wildly. “Anyways, right. The wedding. After a decade of mutual pining, then centuries being so in love with each other they forget to get married, we’ve finally gotten to this point. To be sappy for a moment, I really am happy for you guys. I can’t stand the thought of a universe where you two don’t get your happy ending together, because you are literally perfect for each other.” “

“From what Donna and Martha told me, this man was at his lowest point when he lost Rose. I think, if Donna hadn’t been there, he might not have lived to tell the tale. And Rose, brilliant Rose, Rose who never got her A levels in school, dropped everything and went back into school and studied math and science and quantum physics to find a way back to him. She crossed universes to get back to him, something not even the Lord of Time himself could do. Now here they are. The Doctor Rose Tyler, together, in the TARDIS. As it should be.”

There was a pause. A moment where everyone stopped with a surprised gratefulness at Jack genuinity.

“Now, I think the bride and the groom have prepared their own vows?”

The Doctor nodded and set his jaw nervously.

“400 years ago,” He began. “I emerged from a war, battle torn and filled with bleak self hatred. I’ll be honest, I wanted to go through all my regenerations and be done with it. The only reason I’m not dead…”

He paused, gazing into Rose’s eyes. Not like he ever stopped, anyways.

“The only reason I’m not dead is you, Rose. After witnessing all that death, you gave me a reason to live. You were my reason to live. And I am so glad I lived. If I had to feel that pain all over again to get to this point then I absolutely would.”

“I’m not good at romance. As Jack said so eloquently, I took the girl I loved to watch her planet burn. I showed her horrors that she never even dreamed of. And still she stayed. No matter what, she never budged. I was tired after the war, so tired. And suddenly Rose was there, to let me lean on her.”

“Rose, you said something back when we first met that I have never forgotten. I had told you that Gallifrey was gone. I said ‘I’m left travelling on my own because there’s no one else.’ and then you said, ‘There’s me’.”

“As long as I live, through everything we go through, I promise there will always be me.”

Rose’s dark eyes glowed a soft gold they filled with tears. One hand was resting on her heart and the other was fidgeting with her dress. She bit her lip softly.

“My turn then, yeah?” She laughed gently, her trademark smile gracing her face. “Once, I was a 19 year old shopgirl in London who hadn’t even her A levels. A high-school dropout, never destined for anything special. Meant to drag herself through life until she died. Anyone could look at me and think, ‘Wow, she’s obviously not going anywhere’.”

“But then you came along. I thought I was going to work at that shop forever, then you went and blew it up. You took my hand, told me to run, and swept off into the stars. You believed in me when no one else did. To you, I was brilliant, fantastic Rose Tyler. Not dumb Rose Tyler, not Rose Tyler who never got her A level, not Rose Tyler the shopgirl. I was just Rose.”

“You made me feel special. You talk about me making you better, but the truth is, love is making each other better. You’ve made me a better person too. Our lives are messy and imperfect. We’ve lost and we’ll lose some more. But I think, as long as we’re holding hands, everything might turn out okay in the end. I promised you forever here a while back. This time, it’s for real. Because now, this time, I know for sure it’s true.”

“So here’s me, promising you forever.”

“I’m going to stay with you. Forever.”

The two were practically glowing, in Rose’s case, literally. As far as true happiness came, this was as close as it could get.

“Rose,” Jack started. “Do you promise to stand by this man through all of space and time and to the ends of the universe?”

“I do.”

“Doctor. Do you promise to stand by this woman through all of space and time and to the ends of the universe?”

“I do.”

“Then by the power vested in me by the Goddess of Time herself, I now declare you married. No takesy backsies. You can kiss now.”

Instantly, they were in each other’s arms. Their kiss was soft and gentle and genuine, and so utterly, perfectly them.

Rose Tyler and the Doctor.

Together.

As it should be.

Chapter Text

The crowd of people huddled around the open doors of the TARDIS to watch the planet explode. It glowed brilliantly in the light of the nearby star as cracks the size of ravines wrapped around until the wonderful amalgamation of the married couple’s memories shattered into a billion pieces.

Despite the hurried rush to get off the planet, it really was quite a beautiful sight. The sun beamed through strands of water vapor and and glittered against the many shards floating adrift in the vast vacuum of space.

The crowd’s awe soon dissipated though, and the doors shut as the TARDIS was getting chilly. Background music and cheerful chatter filled the halls as the reception started. Glasses clinked and laughs bubbled and everyone was, well, happy.

People caught up with each other and shared embarrassing stories about the newlyweds. Said newlyweds were huddled together on the couch, practically inseparable, whispering and giggling and wrapped up in their own little world. Tony played with Mickey and Martha’s kids far away from the “annoying” adults.

Meanwhile, amongst family and friends, a new face emerged, pushing her way through the crowd. Well, she wasn’t necessarily new, per say, she had snuck in during the clamor to get off the planet.

“Excuse me?” She asked a familiar redhead. “Excuse me, m’am?”

Donna turned around and her expression turn from one of cheer to that of shock.

“Oh my God!” She gawked. “It’s you! Martha, look!” Martha looked over her shoulder and widened her eyes at the sight.

“Oh my God, we have to find the Doctor!” She gasped.

“The Doctor?! Oh, brilliant, I was actually looking for h--” The stranger was cut off by Martha and Donna taking her hands and dragging her through the crowd.

They came to a stop in front of the before-mentioned couch, the one with the married couple.

“Doctor!” Martha interrupted the couple’s gazing into each other’s eyes.

“Yes, Martha?”

“Doctor will you stop bleedin’ staring at Rose and look?!” Donna blurted out. Rose huffed a little laugh as the Time Lord rolled his eyes.

“Alright, what is it that you wanted me to--” He stopped, his face stunned in astonishment.

“Jenny?”

She smiled.

“Hi dad.”

“But… but you--” He stammered out.

“Died? Yeah, well, half Time-Lord, right?”

The Doctor cursed under his breath, running his hands through his hair in frustration.

“Of course, of course,” He muttered. “Why didn’t I think of that? It’s been centuries, and I never even…”

“Yeah, that was kind of annoying. You’re pretty hard to track down,” Jenny admitted. “But I don’t blame you for giving up hope. It’s a hard thing to gain after losing so many people.”

“How did you find me, anyways?”

“Oh, come on!” She laughed. “The Doctor getting married? It’s all over the place! Word gets around, y’know.”

“Sorry to interrupt,” Rose interrupted. “But just so I’m on the same page, that’s Jenny? The one you told me about?”

"You talked about me?" Jenny questioned her father hopefully.

"Of course he did!" Donna spoke up.. " In what universe does the Doctor never mention his daughter?" Martha gave Donna a look and gestured away from the obviously private conversation. Donna huffed and the pair walked away, each trying to discreetly look over their shoulders to see what was going on.

“Right, Rose, this is Jenny, my… daughter,” The Doctor introduced awkwardly. “And, Jenny, this is Rose Tyler. My wife.” Rose waved slightly with a polite smile.

“Your wife. So… like my mum?” Jenny asked shyly, rubbing the back of her neck like the Doctor’s previous regeneration used to do. Rose and the Doctor shared a look.

“If you want,” Rose answered, trying not to let the hope shine through her smile. Jenny brightened.

“I’ve always wanted a mum,” She said eagerly. Rose beamed.

“I’ve always wanted a daughter.”

The Doctor watched with great fondness. He’d always wanted a daughter too.

“Hug?” He asked. Jenny immediately took upon the offer, wrapping him in a tight embrace. Rose, of course, soon joined in.

“I got a dad and a mum on the same day,” Jenny’s voice, though muffled, was filled with a warm sense of awe.

“Lucky us,” Rose chuckled softly.

“Lucky us indeed,” The Doctor agreed. Because just a few centuries he would never have dreamed, nor dared hope that he would be as happy as he was in that moment. It was perfect.

Everything was perfect.

Chapter Text

Jackie

“It’s about bloody time!” Jackie huffed angrily. “Been waitin’ years for grandchildren, I have! What’s her name?”

“Jenny,” Jenny interrupted.

“Mum, please, I am begging you, don’t embarrass me,” Rose groaned in embarrassment.

“I’m not going to do anything!” Jackie protested, pressing a smooch to Jenny’s forehead. The Doctor wrinkled his nose in memory of the numerous times the woman had done it to him.

“I don’t mind,” Jenny giggled.

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Clara

“Clara, this is--”

“Jenny,” Jenny cut in, sticking out her hand with a bright smile on her face.

“Clara,” Clara replied with a grin, taking Jenny’s hand. “Heard a lot about you. Nice to finally but a face to the name, especially when it’s one like yours.”

“I could say the same to you.”

“Oh boy,” Rose muttered..

 

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Ponds

“Finally!” Amy grinned. “We’ve been waitin’ on you two to have kids for ages!”

“We didn’t technically have her, there was this whole thing with--” The Doctor started.

“Shhhhshshhshshshhh,” Amy hushed. “I don’t wanna hear about whatever weird alien thing resulted in her creation. Besides, she’s blonde. She’s as much as your daughter as you can get.” Rose and Jenny shared a look and shrugged.

“She’s got a point,” Rose admitted.

“I can’t believe we’re gonna have to stay quiet about this to you,” Rory sighed.

“Wibbly wobbly timey wimey,” The Doctor patted Rory comfortingly on the back. “You’ll do okay. I know because you did do okay. So since you did stay quiet about it you will stay quiet about it.”

“This is hurting my head,” Rory groaned.

“Cheer up! Now that the Time Lords are back I might have a chance to bring you back!” The Doctor clapped his hands together and grinned excitedly.

“The Time Lords are back?!” Amy and Rory shouted in unison. Rose rolled her eyes and glared at her husband.

“Whoops,” he said sheepishly. “Guess you’ll have to keep that a secret too.”

-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Jenny

The girl sat at the open door of the TARDIS, the immense nothingness of space spread out before her. It amazed her to no end of how big space was. It was just so… large. Towering over her billions of possibilities. The stars that burned every colour and the planets that orbited around them, each one different than the last and now she could visit them all

She’s heard stories. Looking for someone like the Doctor, you’re bound to hear a few. The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Whispers rippling out through the universe. Each place they visit they get noticed. Somebody sees the strange man and woman who seem to know more than anyone else. They know things that they couldn’t possibly know. Then they save the day and disappear without a trace. Sometimes they’re seen getting into a little blue box, but that’s impossible. Little blue boxes aren’t ships.

Somebody asks who they are. The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Always the Doctor and Rose Tyler. Then they disappear.

All these stories about this odd, wonderful duo who swoop in and save the day at the last moment. They’ve saved planets, entire galaxies even. Some say they even saved the universe. Some people laugh at this, say it’s impossible. But if anyone saved the universe, they say, it’s them.

The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Her parents. She feels a small sense of pride at that.

Jenny lets out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. It turns white in the cold of the vacuum of space.

She finally made it.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Doctor and Rose Tyler

Limbs tangled together under the sheets, Rose snuggled closer into her husband’s chest. Her husband. The word gave her a sense of thrill. They had never cared much for labels or customs, but it felt good.

“We’re married,” She whispered out loud. She could feel the Doctor beam above her.

“Yeah.”

“We’re parents.”

“Yeah.”

“Everything is perfect,” Rose realized in awe. She felt the Doctor sigh contentedly above her.

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

hey guys!!! thank you all so much for staying with this dumb thing thus far!!! your comments bring me unimaginable joy. that being said, school starts next week, so the chapters might update a little slower starting next tuesday. but don't worry!! there's no way i'm giving up on this fic!!!! just a reminder, the next chapter is the last bit of Time of the Doctor, 11's regeneration. see you then!!

<3