Notes: Well, we have come to the end of this story. The next one, entitled A New Friend, will be a rewrite of Series 5. I hope you'll all join me for that one as well! I'm really proud of this chapter, so I hope you all like it. And as much as I am MADLY in love with David Tennant, I'm sorry but yes, he is regenerating. Enjoy, please review, and I'll see you all in the next one.
Chapter Thirteen – The End of Time: Part Two
The Master strapped the Doctor onto some kind of trolley. His arms and legs were bound and his mouth was covered as he looked over at Rose. She was tied up as well, with rope, to a nearby chair. Rose glared at the Master angrily, but didn't say anything, for now. The Doctor knew that wouldn't last long. His wife never failed to speak her mind when push came to shove.
"Now then, I've got a planet to run," the Master said to the Doctor in satisfaction as he moved to activate some sort of huge video conference call. He chatted with various versions of himself around the world. Gloating over the control he had over all of the world's military resources.
"Enough soldiers and weapons to turn this planet into a warship. Nothing to say, Doctor? What's that? Pardon?" he teased as the Doctor glared at him, not even trying to wrestle with the gag over his mouth.
"You let him go, you monster, or so help me..." Rose growled at the Master.
"Or you'll what?" he sneered at her. "She is a feisty one, Doctor. You've always got to have your little pets around, don't you? Not sure how she avoided changing with the others. Is she not human? I could do some experiments to find out."
Rose glared at him as he approached her and ordered, "Hush now. Listen to your Master."
Rose's mobile rang again from her pocket and the Doctor's eyes met hers fearfully. She swallowed the lump that had suddenly appeared in her throat and tried to hide her terror as the Master halted his footsteps away from her at the sound.
"But... that's a mobile," the Master said curiously and turned back towards Rose.
Rose didn't say anything, just stared at a spot on the carpet and tried to hold herself together.
"Everybody on this planet is me, and I'm not phoning you, so who the hell is that?" he demanded to know as he charged back over to Rose's side. She stayed silent as he reached into her pocket and found her mobile. Looking at the call display, he said, "Jamie? Who's Jamie?"
Rose began to tremble slightly as he turned on the speakerphone and held it near her to listen. "Mum! Where are you? I'm so scared, mum. Everyone looks like that man..." Jamie cried over the phone.
Rose cut him off before he revealed too much, "Jamie, just hide, sweetheart. We'll think of something, you just stay far away from everyone and hide until it's safe."
"Who is he? Why didn't he change? Why didn't you change?" the Master demanded to know.
"Shut off your phone, love, so they can't trace you and hide! Run, Jamie!" Rose shouted and tears started to fall from her eyes.
The Master scowled in frustration and threw Rose's mobile across the room. He stormed over to the Doctor's side and ripped the gag open. "Who is that child?" he asked angrily.
"Like I'd tell you," the Doctor replied.
"Well, let's take in all the available information shall we? Jamie, called this young woman, mum. Now, I can't imagine that you'd be bringing families around with you... you've always been drawn to the danger and the adventure. Not exactly responsible parenting, young lady," the Master said as he circled Rose like a vulture.
"But... you do seem rather protective of our friend, the Doctor, don't you? I wonder..." the Master said as he grabbed Rose's hands where they were tied together to shove her sleeve further up her arm. There he found her gleaming marriage bracelet around her left arm and began to chuckle.
"Oh... oh, this is too perfect!" the Master shouted and laughed as he danced back to the Doctor's side. "Did your little mongrel wife manage to make it back to your side? Oh, ho ho! The things I could do to your precious Bad Wolf."
"Don't you dare touch her," the Doctor snarled at him.
"You two do love to make demands, don't you? You are in no position to demand anything. I've taken over the entire human race, I have your darling wife, I'll find that disgusting mutt of an offspring you created, and I have you right where I want you, Doctor," the Master stated, assured of his victory.
"And how could I resist the opportunity to see just what the Bad Wolf has to offer?" the Master sneered as he ran behind Rose and put his hands on her shoulders. The Doctor glared at him, the Oncoming Storm raging in his dark eyes. "Ooh hoo hoo! That's got him riled up, now doesn't it?" the Master laughed and leaned around to look at Rose's face.
Rose had taken enough from this madman and spit in his face angrily. At that, the Master stood to his full height over her. All traces of teasing gone, she saw the true depth of evil in his gaze. In a flash, he backhanded her across the face and Rose's chair fell backward to the floor. Her head hit the tiles with a sickening thud and Rose fell unconscious.
"Rose! No! You fucking bastard!," the Doctor screamed as he pulled uselessly against his restraints.
"There we are. So that's how to bring the anger to the surface. I enslaved the entire world for a year, I've turned all of humanity into myself and you just sat there. But harm one hair on your wife's head and it seems all bets are off," the Master said thoughtfully.
"Just stop this! You don't need to do this! Stop all this destruction and I can help you," the Doctor shouted.
"Give up dominating the universe? Would it stop, then? The noise in my head?" the Master asked, doubting that anything would quench the need to answer the drums.
"I can help," the Doctor insisted, anything to turn him away from all of this pain and destruction.
"I don't know what I'd be without that noise," the Master admitted softly. "Listen to it. Listen," he whispered as he closed his eyes and tipped his head back, revelling in the sound that only he could hear.
"Then let's find it. You and me," the Doctor suggested.
"Except. Oh... oh, wait a minute. Oh, yes. Oh, that's good," the Master mused as a new plan emerged.
"What? What is?" the Doctor asked, always worried when his old friend was that happy about anything.
"The noise exists within my head, and now within six billion heads. Everyone on Earth can hear it. Imagine. Oh... oh, yes!" the Master raved and began to laugh loudly. His laughter was cut off painfully as his skull glowed through his skin again and he curled up in pain.
"The Gate wasn't enough. You're still dying," the Doctor told him.
"This body was born out of death. All it can do is die. But what did you say to me, back in the wasteland? You said the end of time," the Master replied.
"I said something is returning. I was shown a prophecy. That's why I need your help," the Doctor insisted.
"What if I'm part of it? Don't you see? The drumbeat is calling from so far away. From the end of time itself. And now it's been amplified six billion times. Triangulate all those signals and I could find its source. Oh, Doctor. That's what your prophecy was... me!" the Master told him, growing more excited by the minute.
He ran to the Doctor and leaned close to his face whispering, "Where is your TARDIS?"
"No. Just stop. Just think. You can stop this now, Master," the Doctor pleaded.
"Kill her," the Master ordered one of the guards, who marched over to where Rose lay unconscious on the floor. The Doctor grit his teeth fiercely as he looked at his wife on the floor.
"I need that technology, Doctor. Tell me where it is or I will kill your wife, now," the Master threatened as he stood over her body angrily.
The Doctor's voice stayed tense and angry as he slowly revealed the truth, "After all this time, do you know what the most impressive thing of all is?"
"I'll kill her! Take aim," the Master ordered and the soldier prepared to shoot Rose where she lay.
"You've got six billion pairs of eyes, but you still can't see the obvious, can you?" the Doctor sneered at him.
"Like what?" the Master asked derisively.
"That guard... is one inch too tall," the Doctor informed him. The Master turned toward the guard in surprise, only to meet the butt end of a rifle that smashed into his face. The Master crumpled to the floor.
The guard removed the dark helmet and the Vinvocci man said nervously, "Oh my god, I hit him! I've never hit anyone in my life."
The Vinvocci woman ran into the room and began to release the Doctor's arms as the man untied Rose from the chair. Only the Doctor's arms were free when the man placed the unconscious Rose against him and the woman started to wheel the trolley he was still attached to out of the room shouting, "Well, come on! We need to get out of here fast."
"No, no, no... get me off of this thing! Don't! No, no, no," the Doctor protested as he clasped Rose tightly against himself, so she wouldn't fall off.
They reached the hallway and the man asked, "Which way?"
"This way," the woman told him as she pushed the cart towards the stairs.
"No, no, no, no, no! The other way. I've got my TARDIS!" the Doctor shouted as he clutched his wife even tighter.
"I know what I'm doing," she argued.
"Not the stairs! Not the the stairs!" the Doctor demanded frantically. His head was still strapped to the trolley, as were his legs. He could only use his arms to hold Rose in place, which was incredibly difficult because the trolley bounced and twisted all over the place. The Doctor was terrified that he would drop his unconscious love down the marble staircase and injure her further. He just wanted to get them all safely into the TARDIS where he could get away from the Master, find his son and take care of his wife in the infirmary.
"Worst rescue ever!" he shouted indignantly when they finally reached the bottom of the stairs, Rose still safely in his arms. The violent jostling had begun to rouse her, but she was just mumbling a bit when they reached the room beneath the Gate where they had first met the green aliens.
One of the Masters appeared in the doorway with several of the armed guards and announced, "Gotcha!"
"You think so?" the green woman asked cheekily as she powered up their transmat.
"No, no, no, no, don't!" the Doctor protested just before they all disappeared from the basement and materialized on the Vinvocci ship. "Now get me out of this thing!" he shouted angrily.
"Don't say thanks, will you?" the woman snarked at him.
"He's not going to let us go. Just hurry up and get me out!" the Doctor demanded impatiently.
Rose continued to come around, staggering away from the Doctor and the two Vinvocci as she rubbed the back of her head. When the Doctor was finally free of the straps holding him to the trolley, he jumped to the transmat controls with his sonic and the system began to spark dangerously.
"Where's your flight deck?" the Doctor asked the green woman who was currently glaring at him.
"But we're safe! We're a hundred thousand miles above the Earth," she told him assuredly.
"And he's got every single missile on the planet ready to fire," he enunciated clearly in her face to be sure she understood why he was so worried.
Her eyes popped open wide and she admitted, "Good point."
The Doctor grabbed the hand of his still slightly groggy wife and pulled her along with them as he followed the Vinvocci to the flight deck. Rose stumbled after him and knew that the situation had to be serious if he wasn't fussing over her at the moment. She was glad to be away from the Master, though, however that had happened.
When they arrived in the control room of the ship, the Doctor shouted, "We've got to close it down! He'll be able to track us all powered up."
"No chance, mate. We're going home!" the tall, green man informed him as he started preparing their ship to leave orbit.
"We're just a salvage team. Local politics has got nothing to do with us. Not unless there's a carnival. Sooner we get back to Vinvocci space the better," the woman insisted as she aided her compatriot.
"We're NOT leaving," the Doctor said as he sonicked the main controls and the whole ship powered down. The aliens were about to start shouting at him, but he shushed them, waiting to see if an attack was coming.
After several minutes of silence, the woman sighed angrily, "No sign of any missiles... No sign of anything. You've wrecked the place!"
"The engines are burnt out. All we've got is auxiliary lights. Everything else is kaput. We can't move. We're stuck in orbit," the man complained.
"Thanks to you. You idiot!" she shouted at the Doctor and left the room.
The Doctor wrapped Rose in his arms and rubbed her head. Feeling for any damage as he held her, though he was sure that her increased healing abilities were already at work on mending her. He knew he should pull back to check her for signs of concussion, but he couldn't bare to let go of her just yet.
Jamie had been hiding in the abandoned warehouse for hours. He panicked for a little while when he felt his mother fall unconscious and his father's feelings turned to rage. Shortly after that, they suddenly moved very far away, probably in orbit rather than on Earth. They seemed to be less upset now, but were still very far away.
He wasn't sure if it would be safe to contact them telepathically yet, but guessed that if they hadn't contacted him, it probably wasn't. His father had said that his mum's mobile should be safe. She had told him to shut it off earlier so that the Master couldn't track his call, but his mother seemed to have escaped now. And he wasn't sure what else to do. It was starting to get dark, he was hungry, and he was scared.
Turning his phone back on, Jamie's finger hovered over the button to dial his mother's phone. His mind battled with the decision for another moment before he pressed the button. The phone rang for quite a while before it picked up.
He breathed a sigh of relief until he heard the voice on the other end of the phone.
"Why, this must be Jamie," the Master said too sweetly.
Jamie's hearts began to race and fear spiked through him. He was sure his parents would feel his terror, but would they be able to help from wherever they were? He didn't know what to say into the phone so he hung up quickly and powered it down again.
Should he run? Was the call long enough for the Master to trace his location? If he opened the door to the warehouse, would he be seen immediately? He wished once again that uncle Jack's Vortex Manipulator hadn't broken down after his jump to London. Or that he had the parts he would need to repair it.
Jamie didn't know where else he could go, so while there was a chance that the Master might be able to track where the call had come from, he just huddled down deeper between some boxes and hoped that he wouldn't be found. Silent tears streamed down his cheeks as he wished his parents were with him.
Within minutes, there were several Masters searching through the warehouse. It didn't take long for them to find Jamie and he was roughly taken from his hiding place. Without a word to him, Jamie was driven to the Naismith mansion where he came face to face with the original Master.
The Master took Jamie's face in his hand and looked him over, turning his head side to side as he considered him. "Definitely more Time Lord than human, but then, your mother isn't entirely human any more, is she?" the Master commented, not really expecting any kind of response from the frightened seven year old.
"Have you looked into the Vortex yet, freak?" the Master demanded an answer.
Jamie could only manage to shake his head, no.
"Good," he said darkly. After removing the useless Vortex Manipulator, the Master tied Jamie's wrists and ankles, tossing him into the corner of the room containing the Gate.
Jamie watched as several Masters entered the room with a box. The one in the black hoodie that had spoken to him earlier, smiled evilly as he looked at whatever was inside it. Then, he set several of his other selves to work building some sort of machine. It took them all night to complete it. Jamie fell asleep for a little while, ignored in the corner, but woke when the sun began to shine through the windows of the large room.
The Master who had spoken to him the day before, turned on a broadcast system that would reach the entire planet as well as any ships in orbit and began to speak. Since everyone had been turned into versions of himself, Jamie could only assume that the message was intended for his parents, wherever they were.
"A star fell from the sky... don't you want to know where from? Because now it makes sense, Doctor. The whole of my life. My destiny. The star was a diamond... and the diamond is a Whitepoint Star. And I have worked all night to sanctify that gift. Haven't I, Jamie? ... Oh, say hello to daddy. I'm sure he misses you terribly," the Master announced haughtily.
"I'm alright," Jamie called from his place on the floor. He could feel his parents' fear and worry spike through their bonds with him.
"Now, the star is mine. I can increase the signal and use it as a lifeline. Do you get it now? Do you see? Keep watching, Doctor. This should be... spectacular. Over and out," the Master said as he cut the broadcast.
"Open up the Nuclear Bolt. Infuse the power lines to maximum," the Master ordered the technician inside a double sided, glass box.
"Nuclear bolt accelerating, sir," the technician replied.
"Send the signal back and the link becomes a pathway," the Master mused as he took a large diamond from yesterday's mystery box and placed it into the machine they had built. "Come home."
On the Vinvocci ship, the Doctor was working to repair everything. He wanted the systems to operate perfectly once he decided it was time to take action. He didn't want to give the green aliens a chance to run away however, so he set the master switch and prepared everything secretly.
"Do we have a plan, Doctor? Jamie feels so scared," Rose said, her voice shaking with emotion.
"I can get us back down there, but I don't know what the Master's doing yet. I need to know where to focus an attack to stop him, so I need to be sure before we go. Jamie is scared and so am I, but right now, we are alive and I don't think the Master would hurt or kill Jamie without me there to watch him suffer. And he has to find Jamie first," the Doctor explained sadly.
"Alright... If we were able to shut down the Gate, would everyone turn back? Or are they all stuck that way?" Rose asked. She was trying to figure out if that machine was the 'link' she was supposed to break to save everyone.
"No. The machine would have to send out another pulse to change them all back to human. But the Master would have to be disconnected as the template. I'm not sure how to do that other than killing him," the Doctor admitted.
"Ok then. We'll find a way, Doctor. We will find a way to save the world, save Jamie and you are NOT going to die today, my love," Rose said with tears in her eyes.
The Doctor put down the wires he was working on and moved to take Rose in his arms. They stood there, in front of a large window, looking over the Earth that slowly spun below for several minutes. Suddenly, the communication system came to life with an open broadcast.
The voice of the Master taunted him with the news of a Whitepoint Star and his capture of Jamie. The Doctor trembled in his wife's arms as all of his worst nightmares began to flash before his eyes.
"Doctor, what's a Whitepoint Star?" Rose asked, knowing that she needed to help him to keep calm enough to focus on a solution.
"A Whitepoint Star is a diamond only found on one planet. Gallifrey. Which means it's the Time Lords. The Time Lords are returning," he told his wife, the agony in his voice apparent.
"I thought they couldn't get out of the Time Lock, because of the War?" Rose asked him.
"If they used the drumbeat in his head as a signal and sent the diamond to Earth as a physical connection, they could pull Gallifrey right through to here and now. But not just the planet, they'd bring the whole of the Time War with them," he explained in growing horror and building rage.
"Then we'd better stop them," Rose said assuredly. "I think it's time you got us back down there, Doctor."
Together, Rose and the Doctor ran back to the flight deck of the ship. As soon as they entered, the Doctor began to issue orders to their Vinvocci friends, "This is a salvage ship, yes? You go trawling the asteroid fields for junk?"
"Yeah, what about it?" the green woman asked, her continued irritation showing.
"So, you've got asteroid lasers!" the Doctor announced excitedly.
"Yeah, but they're all frazzled," the man argued.
The Doctor threw a large switch and everything powered back up. He told them quickly, "Consider them unfrazzled. You there," he barked pointing to the green woman, "I need you on navigation, and you, get in the laser-pod." The last part directed to the other alien.
"Rose, I know it's not your area of expertise, but I'll need you on laser number two. Because now they can see us and you've got to fire on all those missiles that will be heading our way," the Doctor stated as he set the controls to begin the ship's descent.
"This is my ship, and you're not moving it. Step away from the wheel," the woman argued, but the Doctor didn't move.
"There's an old Earth saying, Captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need," the Doctor told her.
"What's that, then?" she sighed in frustration.
With a wink to his wife, he shouted, "Allons-y!"
The Doctor accelerated the ship towards London and instructed the Vinvocci woman to navigate them back to the Naismith mansion. In the meantime, Rose and the other alien were kept extremely busy firing the lasers at the hundreds of missiles that chased them through the skies. Rose wished it were Mickey in her seat right now. All of the video games he played, were bound to make something like this much easier.
When they got closer to the mansion, the Doctor left the Captain to pilot the ship, but instructed her to wait until they were off. He pulled Rose from the laser-pod and ran with her back to the transmat. There wasn't a link, but once they were close enough, he didn't need one, he could send them straight into the building without the ship needing to stop and possibly getting hit by missiles.
They materialized in the centre of the room with the Gate. In front of them, stood five Time Lords in regal, burgundy robes. They seemed to be in some kind of white portal in front of the Gate. Behind them, stood the Master with a smug smile on his face. Rose searched the room frantically to find her son. He was sitting on the floor nearby, his wrists and ankles tied with rope.
"My Lord Doctor. My Lord Master. We are gathered for the end," the most regally dressed Time Lord announced from the centre of the Time Lords before them.
"Rassilon, listen to me. You can't!" the Doctor pleaded.
"It is a fitting paradox that our salvation comes at the hands of our most infamous child," Rassilon said with a nod towards the Master.
"Oh, he's not saving you. Don't you realize what he's doing?" the Doctor said, shaking his head at the stupidity of all of them.
"Hey! No, hey! That's mine. Hush," the Master shushed the Doctor. He wanted to be the one to reveal his perfect plan. "Look around you. I've transplanted myself into every single human being. But who wants a mongrel little species like them, because now I can transplant myself into every single Time Lord. Oh, yes, Mister President, sir... standing there all noble and resplendent and decrepit. Think how much better you're going to look as me!" the Master shouted with a victorious smile and raised his hands.
Rassilon raised his hand. On it was a metal gauntlet, which began to glow with an eerie blue light. The Gate released another blast of energy and all of the duplicate Masters began to change back to their normal human states.
"No, no don't! No, no, stop it! No!" the Master shouted as his plan fell to pieces in front of him.
"On your knees, mankind," Rassilon ordered and the people in the room obeyed in confusion.
"No, that's fine, that's good... because you said salvation. I still saved you. Don't forget that," the Master called to Rassilon, grasping desperately at any remaining control over the situation.
"The approach begins," Rassilon breathed and raised his arms in welcome as a huge planet began to appear in the sky above them.
"Approach of what?" the Master asked confusedly.
"Something is returning. Don't you ever listen?" the Doctor chastised him. "Not someone, someTHING."
"What is it?" the Master questioned, still not understanding what was happening.
"They're not just bringing back the Time Lords. It's Gallifrey. Right here, right now," the Doctor replied angrily as he held Rose's hand tightly.
Rose looked around the room, trying to formulate some sort of plan. She was supposed to cut some sort of link, but she wasn't quite sure where the link would be that was connecting the Time Lords and Gallifrey to the Earth.
The room shook as earthquakes began due to the gravitational forces of a huge planet suddenly appearing in the sky. If Rose couldn't break the connection, Gallifrey's arrival would shake the Earth to pieces.
The newly transformed humans started to panic and ran from the room. Jamie saw a woman trapped in a glass box near him, trying to get out. Wanting to do his part to save people, he wriggled his way into the other side of the enclosure and pushed his way up to a standing position so he could press the button, releasing her door. She ran away without a second glance and he sat back on the floor to look out at his parents again, now trapped inside the cubicle until his father could get him out.
"But, I did this. I get the credit. I'm on your side," the Master told Rassilon. "But this is fantastic, isn't it? The Time Lords restored."
The Doctor shook his head sadly as he explained what his one-time friend did not yet understand. "You weren't there in the final days of the War. You never saw what was born. But if the Time Lock's broken, then everything's coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. The War turned into hell. And that's what you've opened, right above the Earth. Hell is descending," the Doctor explained with anger and anguish oozing from his pores.
"My kind of world," the Master said maniacally, as if that was his plan all along. But a hint of fear also showed in his eyes.
"Just listen! Because even the Time Lords can't survive that!" the Doctor explained.
"We will initiate the Final Sanction. The end of time will come at my hand. The rupture will continue until it rips the Time Vortex apart," Rassilon announced with a snarl.
"That's suicide," the Master argued, confused as to how that would be salvation.
"We will ascend to become creatures of consciousness alone. Free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be," Rassilon proclaimed.
"You see now? That's what they were planning in the final days of the War. I had to stop them," the Doctor concluded, hoping that now the Master would understand.
Rose felt her heart breaking for her husband. He had blamed himself for the destruction of his home world since the day she had met him. Now, he would have to do it all over again or it would have been in vain. She suddenly noticed one of the Time Ladies that had been covering her face, lowered her hands and their gazes met. It was the woman from her dreams... the woman she was sure had to be the Doctor's mother. The woman glanced behind Rose to the tall machine that was glowing and humming, with a large white diamond perched in the centre.
Rose nodded to her and gave her a small smile of thanks. Turning, she quietly made her way closer to the device; she didn't want anyone to notice her... yet.
"Take me with you, Lord President. Let me ascend into glory," the Master requested.
"You are diseased, albeit a disease of our own making. No more," Rassilon denied him.
"No more," Rose agreed loudly, announcing her presence. Her husband turned to look on her in shock.
"Who is this creature?" Rassilon sneered at her.
"I am the Bad Wolf. I am the Doctor's wife. And I will not allow you to destroy the universe today. Together, we have saved creation too many times to allow one such as you to undo all of that. I have swallowed the Time Vortex and survived. I destroyed the Dalek Emperor with a wave of my hand. And I will stop you," Rose proclaimed and with a spectacular backflip, cartwheel and a mighty kick, Rose sent the machine housing the Whitepoint Star crashing to the floor in a shower of sparks.
A cold wind began to flow through the room and into the white portal as the Time Lords were sucked back into the Time Lock. The Doctor moved to help Rose back to her feet after her spectacular, gold medal worthy display of acrobatics.
Together they turned to face the Lord President as the Doctor said, "The link is broken. Back into the Time War, Rassilon. Back into hell."
"You'll die with me, Doctor," Rassilon snarled at him as he raised his gauntlet threateningly.
"I know," the Doctor admitted sadly.
The Master, however, rubbed his hands together as he had before when attacking the Doctor and said, "Get out of the way." The Doctor and the Master stared at each other for one second. And in that second, the Doctor saw the man that had been his friend emerge once more.
With a blast of sparking energy, the Master attacked Rassilon and shouted at him, "You did this to me! All of my life! You made me! One! Two! Three! Four!"
With that, the Master and all of the other Time Lords that had been standing in the portal disappeared. Gallifrey faded from the sky and the tremors stopped. The room was eerily silent as the Doctor fell to his knees and began to sob. Rose wrapped her arms around his shoulders supportively.
"I'm alive... there was... I'm still alive," the Doctor cried.
But Rose and the Doctor stiffened suddenly when they heard four gentle knocks on a glass surface. Tears began to fall from Rose's eyes as the Doctor began to tremble again.
"Daddy, can you get me out of here please? I think the Nuclear Bolt is going into overload," Jamie said softly. They both looked up to see their son trapped in the Nuclear Bolt control box, that could only be opened one side at a time, always requiring one occupant. Unfortunately, that was now Jamie.
"Oh, Jamie," the Doctor breathed harshly. His shoulders shook with silent sobs as his sacrifice finally revealed itself. "You're worth it, son. The glass will contain the radiation, but I can't shut it down. When I push that button, Rose, get him out of there and shut the door."
"Doctor," Rose gasped sadly as she gazed into his beautiful brown eyes for what would likely be the last time. She knew he could regenerate from this, but he had told her that it still felt like dying. "I will still love you and I will miss this you for as long as I live."
He pulled her into a passionate kiss, rubbing his hands up and down her back in desperation. This was goodbye, even if a new man would walk away, still him... yet not. When he pulled away from his wife, he didn't look at her or Jamie again. Dashing into the other side of the enclosure, he said, "Better be quick."
When Rose was in place to pull Jamie out, he counted down and pressed the button. He flinched in pain as his body was flooded with five hundred thousand rads of toxic radiation. His knees gave out as he curled up on the floor. He absorbed it all and felt the beginning tingles of regeneration burning inside of him.
Rose and Jamie sat outside of the chamber as Rose untied her son's wrists and ankles. They watched with tears streaming down their faces as the Doctor sacrificed one of his lives to save Jamie. He looked up at them sadly and pushed open the door, once it released after the system's radiation levels had ceased.
"I need to get back to the TARDIS. I can hold it off for now, but the process goes more smoothly when I'm inside the ship," the Doctor told them, pushing himself painfully to his feet.
"That was smooth, last time?" Rose asked teasingly as she tried to lighten their sombre moods. He gave her a sad smile and leaned heavily on both of them as they made their way back to their beloved time ship.
Reaching painfully for his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor made the ship reappear so that they could enter together. He moved to the controls and sent the TARDIS into flight before sitting with them on the jump seat. He took their hands in his as he considered what needed to be said.
"It's my fault, daddy. I'm sorry," Jamie said as he broke down and started sobbing.
"No! No, Jamie. Don't you dare blame yourself for this. Tell me why you went into the chamber to begin with," the Doctor insisted and wrapped an arm around his son's shoulders.
Jamie was gasping for air through his tears and Rose rubbed his back to help him calm down enough to explain. Finally, he said, "I... I saw that someone was trapped inside and wanted to get out. You're always saving people and I wanted to save someone too."
"And that is why I don't want you blaming yourself for this. Not for one second. You didn't know that I wouldn't be able to just get you out of there safely afterward. You just wanted to help someone and I don't ever want you to question helping. That is what we do. What we always do. And you are worth it, just like your mother's life was worth my last one," the Doctor said with a small chuckle.
"We love you very much, Jamie. And your father and I will do anything to keep you safe, alright?" Rose added. Jamie nodded and wiped his nose with the back of his hand.
"Now, once we get settled again after my regeneration. We are going to prepare you to look into the Vortex. That will unlock your ability to regenerate, so that you will be safer in the life threatening situations that we often find ourselves in. We've been playing it safe, but now that you're getting older, we've got a universe to keep an eye on. It's our job as the last two Time Lords and our precious Bad Wolf, right?" the Doctor asked his son as he helped the young man understand. He brushed the unruly hair from Jamie's eyes and tipped his chin up to meet his gaze.
"Right," Rose and Jamie agreed together, sharing a small smile.
"I've been holding back this regeneration for a while now. It might be a little rough," the Doctor warned them as the familiar soft golden glow flickered over his skin.
"We'll be fine, love. And we'll be here to help you get through it," Rose told him as she caressed his freckled face one last time, pressing a kiss to his forehead.
He urged them to stay back as he moved closer to the doors. Rose hugged Jamie tightly as they stood by the jump seat and watched as the Doctor's hands began to glow brighter than before.
"I love you both. I don't want to go," the Doctor told them with tears in his eyes and in a burst of golden fire, he began his rebirth. He was screaming in pain as he changed and the console room exploded into flames from the energy of the transformation. Rose and Jamie huddled together as they tried to avoid the sparks and flames that flew around them. They threw themselves from the seat and onto the grating nearby as they were almost crushed by a falling coral strut. Once safe, they peered aroudn the console to see that the golden flames had finished their work.
"Legs! I've still got legs," he said as he rubbed them both in assurance. "Good. Arms, hands, oooh, fingers. Lots of fingers. Ears, yes. Eyes, two. Nose?" he questioned as he touched the parts of his face in turn and upon inspection decided, "I've had worse."
"Chin.. blimey! Hair," he evaluated it and upon feeling it's length, exclaimed, "I'm a girl!"
Rose giggled slightly at his antics as she watched this new version of her husband discovering himself. He was still tall, but looked even younger than before. His hair was still thick and she couldn't wait to run her fingers through it. Jamie watched him curiously, never having seen a regeneration before.
Feeling more of his neck and body, he decided, "No. No, I'm not a girl. And still not ginger! And something else... something important... I'm... I'm, I'm..."
There was a huge bang then, as a piece of the coral struts fell to the floor dangerously.
"Crashing!" he yelled gleefully as if this sort of excitement was just what he wanted. "Rose! Jamie! Ha ha!" he cried as he moved to the TARDIS controls. He looked over at them and with a smile added, "Geronimo!"