Chapter 18

The Doctor's Day

Queen Elizabeth I was sitting in a comfortable study, waiting for Lord Bentham to report back to her on what the Doctor, Rose, and their two companions had been up to once they had left the dungeon. It was fair to say that she wasn't expecting the report that he delivered.

'A flash of light?' she asked.

'Yes, your Majesty. And then there was a near naked young lady in the passage who wasn't there previously.'

'Show me,' she commanded, and followed him to the dungeon.

'I'm with her,' she heard Rose say as she approached the door. 'Forget the molecules. The first thing I'd have scanned was the lock . . . Rose. I'm married to that numpty there.'

She then heard a new voice. It must have been the near naked young lady Bentham had mentioned. 'Clara, and I travel with that numpty there.'

'Numpty?' she heard the Doctor and the younger of his two companions say.

'Yes. Exactly. It should have been locked. So why wasn't it?'

Elizabeth entered the dungeon. 'Because I was fascinated to see what you would do upon escaping. I understand you're rather fond of this world. It's time I think you saw what's going to happen to it.'

Elizabeth took them along a number of passages until she came to a larger dungeon that was filled with futuristic equipment. 'The Zygons lost their own world. It burnt in the first days of the Time War. A new home is required.'

'So they want this one?' Rose asked.

'Not yet,' Elizabeth told her. 'It's far too primitive. Zygons are used to a certain level of comfort.' She had managed to convince the Zygons that she was the Commander, and had asked them to report on their status.

It didn't take her long to work out what they were up to, as the use of spies, espionage, and political intrigue were well known to any monarch.

A big red rubbery thing covered in suckers approached Elizabeth. 'Commander, why are these creatures here?'

'Because I say they should be. It is time you too were translated. Observe this. I believe you will find it fascinating.'

The Zygon put his hand on a glass cube with dents in the corners, then vanished. The 3D landscape painting from the Under Gallery was nearby.

'That's him! That's the Zygon in the picture now,' Clara told them. She had seen the empty painting when they had been in the Under Gallery.

'It's not a picture,' the old Doctor explained. 'it's a stasis cube. Time Lord art. Frozen instants in time, bigger on the inside, but could be deployed as . . .'

'Suspended animation,' the Doctor finished for him. 'Oh, that's very good. The Zygons all pop inside the pictures, wait a few centuries till the planet's a bit more interesting, and then out they come.'

Eleven continued the explanation for Clara and Rose. 'You see, they're stored in the paintings in the Under Gallery, like cup-a-soups. Except you add time, if you can picture that.' Rose and Clara just looked at him as though they had dribbled down their leather jackets. 'Nobody could picture that. Forget I said cup-a-soups.'

'And now the world is worth conquering,' Rose said.

'So the Zygons are invading the future from the past,' Clara added.

'Exactly,; Eleven said.

The Doctor went up to what he thought was the Zygon Commander Elizabeth. 'And do you know why I know that you're a fake? Because you're such a bad copy. It's not just the smell, or the unconvincing hair, or the atrocious teeth, or the eyes just a bit too close together, or the breath that could stun a horse. It's because our Elizabeth, the real Elizabeth, would never be stupid enough to reveal her own plan. Honestly, why would you do that?'

'Because it's not my plan. And I am the real Elizabeth.'

Rose snorted a laugh. Oh she SO loved his runaway gob.

The Doctor gulped. 'Okay. So, backtracking a moment just to lend context to my earlier remarks.'

Elizabeth interrupted him. 'My twin is dead in the forest. I am accustomed to taking precautions.' She produced a dagger from the garter beneath her skirts. 'These Zygon creatures never even considered that it was me who survived rather than their own commander. The arrogance that typifies their kind.'

'Zygons?' Clara asked.

'Men.'

Rose grinned at her. 'And you actually killed one of them?'

'I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon. The future of my kingdom is imperilled. Doctor, can I rely on your service?'

'Well, I'm going to need my TARDIS,' he told her.

'It has been procured already.'

'Ah,' he said.

'But first, my Lord Doctor and Mistress Rose, you have a promise to keep, and I have a duty to perform.' they both gave her a quizzical look.

In the Tower courtyard, where Eleven and Clara had been a few hours ago, and five hundred years later, Elizabeth sat on a throne. In front of her were two knighting stools, and the ceremonial sword.

'Can we be knighted twice?' Rose whispered to her husband.

'If anybody can, we can,' he said with a grin.

Elizabeth stood and picked up the sword. 'My Lord Doctor, Mistress Rose. Approach and kneel before your Queen.'

They walked forward and knelt on the stools. Elizabeth touched the Doctor's right then left shoulder with the tip of the sword, and then did the same for Rose.

'Advances Chevalier au nom de Dieu,' Elizabeth said, and gestured for them to rise. She then kissed the Doctor on each cheek, before kissing Rose on each cheek, and then pulling them into a group hug.

'Is there a lot of this in the future?' the old Doctor asked Eleven,

'What, the knighting or the kissing?' Clara asked with a cheeky smile.

'Well, both of them actually,' Eleven said. 'It does start to happen, yeah.'

'God speed, my Lord,' Elizabeth said.

'We will be right back,' he told her.

'Actually,' Eleven said with a wicked smile. 'There is one more thing your Majesty.'

'Oh? And prey tell, what is that?'

He looked at Clara and raised his eyebrows. 'In the National Gallery, concealing the entrance to the Under Gallery, is a painting of your Majesty, with the Lord Doctor and Mistress Rose at your side.'

'Ooh, immortalised in oil,' the Doctor said with a smile and straightening his tie.

'You weren't dressed like that though,' Clara said. 'You were dressed like William Shakespeare. You know, in doublet and hose, and wearing a ruff.'

The Doctor looked decidedly unhappy, as Rose had a fit of the giggles.


'Right then, back to the future,' Eleven said as he entered the TARDIS behind the Doctor.

'You've let this place go a bit,' the old Doctor said, looking up at the arched ceiling.

'Ah, it's his grunge phase,' Eleven told him, tossing a stasis cube in the air before catching it again. 'He grows out of it.'

The Doctor stroked the Time Rotor. 'Don't you listen to them.' An alarm sounded and the Doctor got an electric shock. 'Ow! The desktop is glitching.'

'Three of us from different time zones. It's trying to compensate,' the old Doctor realised.

Eleventh looked around the morphed room. 'Hey, look. The round things.'

'I love the round things,' the Doctor admitted.

'What are the round things?' Eleven asked him.

'No idea.'

Eleven went up to the console and checked the settings. 'Oh dear, the friction contrafibulator. Ha! There, stabilised.' The console room changed to the Eleventh Doctor's configuration.

'Oh, you've redecorated,' the Doctor said, looking around and pulling a face. 'I don't like it.'

'Oh. Oh yeah? Oh, you never do. Listen, we're going to the National Gallery. The Zygons are underneath it.'

'NO!' Clara shouted. 'UNIT HQ. They followed us there in the Black Archive.'

The three Doctors stared at her without speaking.

'Okay, so you've heard of that, then.'

'What's the Black Archive?' Rose asked.

'It's where UNIT keep everything that they shouldn't keep,' the Doctor told her.

Eleven fired up the Time Rotor and set the coordinates for four hundred and fifty one years later. He adjusted more controls, and they heard voices through the speaker.

['There's a nuclear warhead twenty feet beneath us. Are you sitting comfortably?'] the woman they had heard through the fissure said.

['You would destroy London?'] she seemed to ask herself.

['To save the world, yes, I would.'] she answered herself.

['You're bluffing.']

['You really think so? Somewhere in your memory is a man called Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart. I am his daughter.']

'Science leads, Kate. Is that what you meant? Is that what your father meant?' Eleven asked her.

['Doctor?']

'Space-Time Telegraph, Kate. A gift from me to your father, hotline straight to the TARDIS. I know about the Black Archive and I know about the security protocol. Kate, please. Please tell me you are not about to do something unbelievably stupid.'

['I'm sorry, Doctor. Switch it off.']

'Not as sorry as you will be,' the Doctor told her. 'This is not a decision you will ever be able to live with.'

'Kate, we're trying to bring the TARDIS in. Why can't we land?' Eleven asked her.

['I said, switch it off.']

'No, Kate, please. Just listen to me!'

'The Tower of London, totally TARDIS-proof' the Doctor said.

'How can they do that?' Rose asked him.

Eleven answered for him. 'Alien technology plus human stupidity. Trust me, it's unbeatable.'

The old Doctor looked at the stasis cube Eleven had left on the console. 'We don't need to land.'

'Yeah, we do. A tiny bit. Try and keep up,' the Doctor said. He presumed it was his age.

'No, we don't. We don't. There is another way,' he said, picking up the glass cube. 'Cup-a-soup. What is cup-a-soup?'

The Doctor and Eleven looked at him, and their eyebrows raised in unison as they saw him holding the stasis cube. 'Oh, that is brilliant!' the Doctor said. Maybe it wasn't his age after all.

'What's brilliant?' Rose asked.

'You'll see,' the Doctor said with a grin. 'I've been to your home planet often enough . . . fancy a visit to mine?'

Eleven adjusted the Time Rotor to take the TARDIS back to when he and Clara had first entered the Under Gallery, before opening the door and taking out the phone out of it's box on the other door.

'Take a look at your phone and confirm who you're talking to,' he said to McGillop, one of Kate Stewart's staff.

['But that's not possible. I was just . . .']

'You were just talking to me. I know. I'm a time traveller, figure it out. I need you to send the Gallifrey Falls painting to the Black Archive. Understood?'

['Understood, sir. But why would I take it there?']

'What's your security level clearance?'

['Ten, sir.']

'Ah, well, this is eleven.'

Inside the Black Archive, there was an explosion from the Gallifrey Falls painting, and a wrecked Dalek fell onto the floor.

'Hello,' the old Doctor said.

'I'm the Doctor,' the Doctor announced.

'Sorry about the Dalek,' said Eleven.

'Also the showing off,' Clara said, as she and Rose stepped out of the painting.

'Oh he's good at that,' Rose said with a grin.

'Kate Lethbridge Stewart, what in the name of sanity are you doing?' Eleven asked one of the Kate's.

'The countdown can only be halted at my personal command. There's nothing you can do,' the other one said defiantly.

'Except make you both agree to halt it,' the Doctor told her.

'Not even three of you,' said Kate.

'You're about to murder millions of people,' the old Doctor said.

'To save billions,' she explained. 'How many times have you made that calculation?'

'Once,' Eleven said sadly. 'Turned me into the man I am now. I'm not even sure who that is any more.'

The Doctor had a go. 'You tell yourself it's justified, but it's a lie. Because what I did that day was wrong . . . Just wrong.'

The old Doctor turned to look at Rose and Clara, but once again, Rose got that odd feeling that he was looking at someone behind her. She looked over her shoulder, but there was no one there.

'And, because I got it wrong, I'm going to make you get it right,' Eleven said, as he and the Doctor wheeled chairs to the end of the table. They sat down together. They put their feet up on the table together, and they crossed their arms, together.

'How?' Kate asked.

The Doctor answered first. 'Any second now, you're going to stop that countdown. Both of you, together.'

'Then you're going to negotiate the most perfect treaty of all time,' Eleven declared.

The Doctor looked at Eleven as he spoke. 'Safeguards all round, completely fair on both sides.'

'And the key to perfect negotiation?' Eleven asked.

'Not knowing what side you're on,' the Doctor concluded.

They pushed themselves away from the table with their feet and stood up, together, and took their sonic screwdrivers out of their pockets.

'So, for the next few hours, until we decide to let you out . . .' Eleven started.

'No one in this room will be able to remember if they're human . . .' the Doctor continued.

'Or Zygon,' Eleven concluded.

The Doctor jumped up onto the table. 'Whoops . . .'

Eleven joined him. '. . . A daisy.'

The three Doctors pointed their sonic screwdrivers at the memory filter in the ceiling. The countdown reached seven as the humans looked befuddled. The two Kates looked at each other, no longer certain if the bomb going off was an advantage, or if it would ruin their day.

'CANCEL THE DETONATION!' the two Kates shouted together, seeing the counter on five.

'Peace in our time,' Eleven said.

'Time for a cup of tea,' Rose said with a broad smile. 'Fancy givin' me a hand?' she said to Clara.

'Tea?' Clara couldn't believe it. There was this gorgeous blonde in a sexy leather outfit, offering to make tea like a Stepford Wife. 'Is that what a Time Lord Wife does, make tea?'

'My mum used to swear by a cuppa tea in a crisis. Probably still does in that parallel universe of hers.' That got her thinking about her mum again, and she was momentarily distracted as they made their way to the small kitchen area. 'Where was I? Oh yeah, cuppa tea. You can save the world with a cuppa.'

Clara laughed politely as she filled the kettle. Rose could see she didn't believe her.

'Seriously. That one Christmas, how long ago was it now? Six or seven years ago. I lose track in the TARDIS.'

'I know what you mean,' Clara agreed.

'So, anyway. There we were in that asteroid space ship hovering over London. You've got people on rooftops, waiting to jump off . . .'

'I remember that!' Clara told her.

'And his lordship there fast asleep and no use to man nor beast.'

'Asleep?'

'Yeah. Bad regeneration.'

'So what happened?'

'A flask of tea my mum had made, spilt and dripped through the floor grating into the electrics. The tea vaporised, and he inhaled the vapour, woke up, and saved the day.'

They made the drinks, and handed them out to the people in the room. Rose and Clara looked at the gallery of photographs pinned to a board. 'Oh look, there you are,' Clara said.

'Wha? When was that taken?' Rose asked.

Clara looked closely at the information attached. 'It says April 2007.'

Rose thought about that date. '2007? 2007, April? What was I doin' then?' She then realised. 'Deffry Vale High School! We were stayin' at the flat with mum, while the Doctor investigated the teachin' staff. Oh look, there's Sarah Jane. And this one, that's Mickey, and here's Martha and Donna.' It was like a time traveller's Facebook, and she wondered if any of the photographs were of people who would come after her.

Clara went over to the old Doctor, who was sitting in the seventh Doctor's big leather chair, while Rose went to talk to her husband and Eleven.

'Hello,' Clara said.

The old Doctor looked up. 'Hello.'

'I'm Clara. We haven't really met yet.'

'I look forward to it.' He could see that something was troubling her. 'Is there a problem?'

'The Doctor, my, my Doctor, he's always talking about the day he did it. The day he wiped out the Time Lords to stop the war.'

'One would,' he agreed.

'You wouldn't. Because you haven't done it yet. It's still in your future.'

'You're very sure of yourself.'

'He regrets it. I see it in his eyes every day. He'd do anything to change it.'

'Including saving all these people. How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think? Look over there. Humans and Zygons working together in peace.' He wondered how she knew he hadn't destroyed Gallifrey yet. 'How did you know?'

'Your eyes. You're so much younger.'

'Then, all things considered, it's time I grew up. I've seen all I needed. The moment has come. I'm ready,' he said to someone behind her.

['I know you are.']

'Who's there? Who were you talking to?'

Rose smiled at Eleven. 'Your tea all right?' she asked as an opening gambit.

'Lovely. You always did make a nice cup of tea.'

'When was that? Two hundred years ago?'

'Now, now, Rose. You know I can't talk about it?'

'Yeah, I know. You can't tell me when I die, or how . . . or where. But you can answer me this. Was he happy?' she said, nodding to the Doctor. 'Were you happy?'

He cupped her face with his hand and rubbed her cheek with his thumb in a way that was so familiar to her. 'That is such a Rose question. Yes, we had a wonderful, happy marriage . . . my Love.'

She reached up and pulled him gently into a kiss. 'For old times sake,' she said with a loving smile.

It had been two centuries since he had kissed her, and he had missed her every single day. 'Thank you,' he said quietly.

'Hey guys!' Clara called out. 'The old guy's disappeared.'


In the old barn on Gallifrey, a red, rose-like, ruby button stood on a stalk above the clockwork box that was the Moment.

['You wanted a big red button,'] the Moment reminded him. ['One big bang, no more Time Lords. No more Daleks. Are you sure?']

'I was sure when I came in here. There is no other way.'

['You've seen the men you will become.']

'Those men . .? Extraordinary.'

['They were you.']

'No. They are the Doctor.'

['You're the Doctor, too.']

'No. Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame, whatever the cost.' His hand hesitated over the button as he recalled the sound of children's laughter.

['You know the sound the Tardis makes? That wheezing, groaning. That sound brings hope wherever it goes.']

'Yes . . . Yes, I like to think it does.'

['To anyone who hears it, Doctor. Anyone, however lost.']

The barn filled with the sound of the Time Rotor. ['Even you.']

Two TARDISes parked themselves in the barn, and the Doctors, Rose, and Clara stepped out.

'I told you. He hasn't done it yet,' Clara said.

'Go away now, all of you. This is for me,' the old Doctor told them.

'These events should be time-locked. We shouldn't even be here,' the Doctor said.

'So something let us through,' Eleven reasoned.

['You clever boys'] the Moment said.

Rose looked in the Moment's direction. 'Did you hear somethin' then?'

'Go back,' the old Doctor pleaded before anyone could answer Rose. 'Go back to your lives. Go and be the Doctor that I could never be. Make it worthwhile.'

'All those years, burying you in my memory,' the Doctor said.

'Pretending you didn't exist. Keeping you a secret, even from myself,' Eleven agreed.

'Pretending you weren't the Doctor, when you were the Doctor more than anybody else, said the Doctor.

Eleven looked at the old Doctor. 'You were the Doctor on the day it wasn't possible to get it right.'

The Doctor stood one side of the old warrior. 'But this time . . .'

'. . . You don't have to do it alone,' Eleven said, standing the other side. They placed their hands on the button together.

The old Doctor was choked with emotion. 'Thank you.'

'What we do today is not out of fear or hatred. It is done because there is no other way,' the Doctor told him. He looked at Rose and saw she had tears rolling down her cheeks. He could feel what she was thinking. She was remembering Pompeii, the moment in the escape pod when they had set off the volcano.

'And it is done in the name of the many live we are failing to save,' Eleven announced. He looked at Clara, and saw her shaking her head. 'What? What is it? What?'

'Nothing,' she lied.

'No, it's something . . . Tell me.'

'You told me you wiped out your own people. I just . . . I never pictured you doing it, that's all.' Rose reached over and rubbed her arm in an attempt to comfort her.

['Take a closer look,'] the Moment said.

'At what?' Rose asked, having heard her own voice. She presumed it was some time travelling malarkey that she would become aware of at a later date.

It suddenly went dark. 'What's happening?' Clara asked in alarm.

'Nothing,' the old Doctor told her. 'It's a projection.'

['It's a reality around you,'] the Moment told the old Doctor, as they looked at the city of Arcadia on Gallifrey. The citizens were running around them, fleeing for their lives as the city fell to the Daleks. Not realising that there would be nowhere to run.

'These are the people you're going to burn?' Clara asked them.

'Clara, don't!' Rose warned her. It was exactly the same as Donna in Pompeii. It had already happened. End of!

'There isn't anything we can do,' the Doctor told Clara.

Eleven nodded 'He's right. There isn't another way. There never was. Either I destroy my own people or let the universe burn.'

'Look at you,' Clara said sadly. 'The three of you. The warrior . . . the hero, and you.'

'And what am I?' Eleven asked her.

'Have you really forgotten?'

Eleven knew he wasn't the Doctor he used to be. 'Yes . . . Maybe, yes.'

'We've got enough warriors,' Clara said, looking at the old Doctor. 'Any old idiot can be a hero,' she said, looking at the Doctor.

'Then what do I do?' Eleven asked.

'What you've always done. Be a doctor. You told me the name you chose was a promise. What was the promise?'

The sounds of battle faded as the Doctor answered her. 'Never cruel or cowardly.'

'Never give up, never give in,' the old Doctor finished.

Suddenly, they were back in the barn. The Doctor frowned at Eleven. 'You're not actually suggesting that we change our own personal history?'

'We change history all the time. I'm suggesting far worse,' Eleven replied.

'What, exactly?' the old Doctor asked.

'Gentlemen, I have had four hundred years to think about this,' Eleven told them. 'I've changed my mind.' He sonicked the big red button back into the Moment box.

'Wha?' Rose asked, incredulous. 'If he can do that, then what about Pompeii? What about my father?'

The Doctor put a comforting arm around her shoulders. 'Those events were history for us before we even went there. Here, now, at this very moment, there is one of us for which it hasn't happened yet. We are in his time line, and it will be his actions that determine future events.'

The old Doctor pointed out a slight problem. 'There's still a billion billion Daleks up there, attacking.'

'Yeah, there is . . . There is,' Eleven agreed.

'But there's something those billion billion Daleks don't know,' the Doctor informed them.

Eleven continued to think out loud. 'Because if they did, they'd probably send for reinforcements,'

'What?' Clara asked.

'What don't they know?' Rose enquired.

Eleven grinned at them. 'This time, there's three of us.'

The old Doctor clasped his hands to his head. 'Oh! Oh, yes, that is good. That is brilliant!'

'Oh, oh, oh, I'm getting that too! That is brilliant!' the Doctor exclaimed.

'Oh my God!' Rose said, picking up her husband's thoughts. 'You are kiddin' me.'

'Ha, ha, ha! I've been thinking about it for centuries,' Eleven declared.

'She didn't just show me any old future, she showed me exactly the future I needed to see,' the old Doctor said.

['Now you're getting it,'] the Moment said.

'Eh?' Eleven asked. 'Who did?'

'She did,' Rose said, thinking that she was talking about her future self sitting on a crate, and frankly wearing an odd outfit. She couldn't wait to see what all that was about.

The old Doctor was looking up to the ceiling. 'Oh, Bad Wolf girl, I could kiss you.'

['Yeah, that's going to happen.']

'Bad Wolf?' Rose said, looking at her other self with a frown.

The Doctor frowned as well. 'Sorry, did you just say Bad Wolf?'

'So what are we doing? What's the plan?' Clara asked, not being telepathic.

The old Doctor started to explain. 'The Dalek fleets are surrounding Gallifrey, firing on it constantly.'

'The Sky Trench is holding, but what if the whole planet just disappeared?' the Doctor continued.

'Tiny bit of an ask,' Clara said doubtfully.

But the Doctor continued his explanation. 'The Daleks would be firing on each other. They'd destroy themselves in their own crossfire.'

'Gallifrey would be gone, the Daleks would be destroyed, and it would look to the rest of the universe as if they'd annihilated each other,' the old Doctor concluded.

Rose then understood. 'And the timeline continues as it should, living a little white lie.'

'But where would Gallifrey be?' Clara asked.

The Doctor pinched his finger and thumb together. 'Frozen . . . Frozen in an instant of time, safe and hidden away.'

Eleven pointed at him. 'Exactly.'

'Like a painting,' the old Doctor said.


Rose and the Doctor were at the console of the TARDIS, when they heard Eleven call the War Room on Gallifrey.

['Hello, hello, Gallifrey High Command, this is the Doctor speaking.']

'Hello! Also the Doctor. Can you hear me?' he said to the screen.

They heard the gravelly tones of the old Doctor. ['Also the Doctor, standing ready.']

['Dear God, three of them. All my worst nightmares at once,'] a man said in the War Room.

'General, we have a plan,' the Doctor said.

['We should point at this moment; it is a fairly terrible plan,'] Eleven explained.

'And almost certainly won't work,' the Doctor confessed.

['I was happy with fairly terrible.'] Eleven complained.

'Sorry, just thinking out loud,' the Doctor said as Rose giggled.

['We're flying our three TARDISes into your lower ATMOSphere,'] Eleven explained.

'We're positioned at equidistant intervals around the globe,' the Doctor added.

'Ooh, equidistant. Listen to you using grown up words,' Rose teased.

['We're just about ready to do it,'] The old Doctor told the General.

['Ready to do what?']

['We're going to freeze Gallifrey,'] Eleven told him.

They saw the General frown on the screen. ['I'm sorry, what?']

'Using our TARDISes, we're going to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in time,' the Doctor announced.

The old Doctor cut in. ['You know, like those stasis cubes? A single moment in time, held in a parallel pocket universe.']

['Except we're going to do it to a whole planet,'] Eleven said.

'And all the people on it,' the Doctor added.

['What? Even if that were possible, which it isn't, why would you do such a thing?'] The General asked them.

Eleven responded to that question. ['Because the alternative is burning.']

'And I've seen that,' the Doctor told him.

['And I never want to see it again'] Eleven declared.

['We'd be lost in another universe, frozen in a single moment. We'd have nothing.']

Oh how wrong he was. They would have that which the Doctor prized the most. ['You would have hope. And right now, that is exactly what you don't have.] Eleven said.

['It's delusional. The calculations alone would take hundreds of years.']

['Oh, hundreds and hundreds,'] Eleven agreed.

'But don't worry,' the Doctor said. 'I started a very long time ago.'

A silver haired old man appeared on the console screen. ['Calling the War Council of Gallifrey. This is the Doctor.']

'Who's that?' Rose asked.

The Doctor squinted at the screen. 'Oh, that's me in my first body.'

['You might say I've been doing this all my lives,'] Eleven said.

More Doctors started appearing on the screen. ['Good luck,'] Two said.

['Standing by,'] said Three.

Four's face appeared. ['Ready.']

['Commencing calculations,'] Eight told them.

'Ooh, he's a bit of all right,' Rose said with her tongue between her teeth smile.

['Soon be there,'] Five said.

'Oh, and blonde! I never knew you were blonde. You never said.'

'Welllll, it never really came up, did it?'

The seventh Doctor appeared on the screen. ['Across the boundaries that divide one universe from another.']

['Just got to lock on to his coordinates,]' Six said.

'Oh, and another blonde,' Rose said, enjoying seeing all his previous faces.

And then a face appeared that she knew so well. ['And for my next trick,'] a northern voice said.

'Oh it's you,' Rose said with a warm smile.

'They're all me,' he reminded her.

'Yeah, but you know what I mean.

['I didn't know when I was well off. All twelve of them!'] The General said.

['No, sir. All thirteen!'] the General's aide called out, as a new face appeared on the screen.

'Who the hell is that?' Rose asked.

'I have absolutely no idea,' the Doctor told her.

['Sir! The Daleks know that something is happening. They're increasing their fire power,'] the aide told his commanding officer.

The General considered his options, and realised there weren't any. ['Do it, Doctor. Just do it.']

['Okay. Gentlemen, we're ready,'] Eleven said. '[Geronimo!']

The Doctor took Rose's hand and held it on the lever, covering it with his own. 'Allons-y!' he called out and they pulled down the lever.

['Oh, for God's sake,'] they heard the old Doctor groan, which made them laugh out loud. ['Gallifrey stands!']

'Oh that was good,' Rose said with a smile.

The National Gallery.

London.

'I don't suppose we'll know if we actually succeeded. But at worst, we failed doing the right thing, as opposed to succeeding in doing the wrong,' the old Doctor said, taking a sip of tea.

'Life and soul, you are,' Clara said jokingly.

The Doctor had his brainy specs on, looking at the three dimensional painting with Rose. 'What is it actually called?' he asked Eleven.

'Well, there's some debate. Either No More or Gallifrey Falls.'

'Not very encouraging,' the old Doctor said.

'How did it get here?' Rose asked.

'No idea' Eleven told her.

'There's always something we don't know, isn't there?' The Doctor said, taking a sip of his tea.

The old Doctor nodded in agreement. 'One should certainly hope so. Well, gentlemen, it has been an honour and a privilege,' he said, putting his empty cup down.

'Likewise,' the said Doctor, nodding to him.

Eleven nodded also. 'Doctor.'

'And if I grow to be half the man that you two are . . .' he said, turning to face the ladies. '. . . Rose Tyler and Clara Oswald, I shall be happy indeed.'

'That's right. Aim high,' Clara said, kissing him on the cheek.

Rose kissed his cheek. 'Actually, Tyler's my maiden name. My married name is Lungbarrowmas.'

He looked back to Rose and kissed her hand. 'Oh of course it is. I look forward to meeting you again.' He turned to the two Doctors. 'I won't remember this, will I?'

Eleven shook his head. 'The time streams are out of sync. You can't retain it, no.'

'So I won't remember that I tried to save Gallifrey rather than burn it. I'll have to live with that. But for now, for this moment, I am the Doctor again. Thank you.' He looked at the row of three TARDISes. 'Which one is mine?' he asked and then spotted it. 'Ha!'

He stepped into the shabbiest TARDIS, and a few seconds later, it dematerialised.

'We won't remember either,' the Doctor said, taking off his specs and putting his arm around Rose's shoulders. 'So you might as well tell me.'

'Tell you what?' Eleven asked with a frown.

'Where it is we're going that you don't want to talk about.'

'I saw Trenzalore . . . where we're buried . . . We die in battle among millions.'

Rose gasped and put her arm around her husband's waist.

'That's not how it's supposed to be,' the Doctor said.

'That's how the story ends. Nothing we can do about it. Trenzalore is where you're going.'

'Oh, never say nothing,' the Doctor said with a smile, holding out his hand to shake Eleven's. 'Anyway, good to know my future is in safe hands.'

Rose kissed Eleven on the cheek. 'I'm wonderin' if I've got to get used to that face or not.'

'You'll see,' he said with a smile. 'Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.'

She gave a single laugh. 'Y'know, I've just had a thought. I bet Time Lord family photo albums are a riot.'

They all laughed at that thought. 'You have no idea,' the Doctor laughed. He turned to Clara. 'Keep a tight hold on it, Clara.'

'On it,' she replied as he took her hand and kissed it.

Rose kissed her on the cheek. 'Nice to meet you Clara. You look after him, yeah?'

'You too.'

Rose stepped inside their TARDIS, and the Doctor paused in the doorway. 'Trenzalore. We need a new destination, because . . . I don't want to go.' He turned and stepped into the TARDIS, closing the door on his future self and his companion, and travelling on into his own future with his wife and eventually, with their child.

The End.