I did it. I made him become human.
Dalek Caan could take all the credit he wanted … he'd been the one to cause the actual events of my Doctor becoming human, but he never started it. He could never even begin to think about how it was my plan, how I was the one who knew it needed to be done.
I'd seen it, those first few years. The sly touches, the gawps at the back of his head when she thought he wasn't watching. The regretful sighs when she really thought about it; he was a Time Lord, what would he ever want with her?
And I'd seen him, too. The way he held her gaze a few seconds too long, or clung to her that little bit too tightly. But, he thought, he was an alien; how could she ever love him?
I guided him to the exploding sun, the last gap in the universe. I pushed myself that little bit further, just to make sure he could say goodbye to her properly. I, the TARDIS, what she and most other people thought was just a machine; I felt his pain when I couldn't push that little bit further, couldn't let him say those final words …
I felt it later, when I made him human. When I made him into the stuffy schoolmaster. I felt the way his new genes meant he could think things, feel things with so much more clarity. How it could bring him so much more, even if it meant me losing him. Again, I felt his loss having to change back.
Then, later still, when she came back. I limited his regeneration, directed the superfluous energy to his discarded, forgotten hand. Why do you think I spent so much energy preserving it in the first place? I guided them to the Crucible, to Caan and all he was prepared to do. I shut my doors so that the redheaded woman couldn't escape, so she could put into place the sequence of events I'd been planning for so long. I gave this him enough information to let him know what he had to do to win, to defeat his enemies. And I told him so in a way that he had to destroy something, so she'd need to make him better.
Later, watching her nearly ruin these plans, determined to reject this gift I'd given him to give to her, I had to make some noise. Tell him it was time to go. Even then, she was so persistent I thought it would fail. And I thought he'd give in, too. But they didn't. And she stayed with him.
Because I've seen all of time and space, all of the fire and courage and longing in the universe, and I know his limits. I know that a soul can't roam this world forever, intent on saving and helping and then refusing to be rewarded. I know how much it hurts to never get that prize, that final ending that means all the torment and suffering have been worth it and I knew it was what he needed, if only part of him. And I knew how to do it.
Yes, I did it.