The Day Has Come
"Now! The day has come!"
Who had the right to say that? The Doctor stared out at the ellipse of the constellations, ignoring the quiet Time Lords, respectful in silent cheers for victory. Could they really cheer like this? Only he knew the Daleks. Who remembered Arcadia now?
The day had come. Arcadia was the battlefield. It had happened before. He prepared for this moment. He had been prepared for this moment from the previous.
They were Time Lords, travellers of Time and Space, who had placed themselves out of reach of anyone. Contact of a bare minimum lasted Forever. Most of Forever was shunning the Universe. Watch and learn. Listen. Do not smell, or feel. They are there for us.
Our people are yours, Doctor.
We are here for you Time Lord.
All ours is yours, Time Lords.
Save us, Gods of Time!
Who is-are-will be there for whom, the Champion of Me?
Lo, the day had come.
"When is the last time you have been off planet?"
"Not for centuries – let us not forget off time. We have an expert here though, no? Doctor, you will guide us well. Praise to Madame President."
Never before had he felt misplaced by wearing a Victorian overcoat. Even the Counselors were dressed for war. The War.
"What have the Time Lords not accomplished when their minds were set to the task?" the lie.
He knew that was a lie, those failures stood out most clearly in his mind. There was certainty. Waning into simple courage.
Weren't the Draconians coming to help defend the line? The Doctor knew what happened, so had come to change it.
"We cannot wait. Daleks arrived an hour ago and we have to go now to then to defeat them." Knowing the reaction to their action would destroy everything they were trying so hard to save.
"We are forsaken this time," the truth. The smile which had seemed so permanent on his face was still there. But only because he was not going to give up hope. And because he realized the irony of this Fate of the Time Lords.
Now, the day had come.
"I don't understand."
He was young. Merely rushed into graduating so he could go to War. He was only eighteen years old. He had regenerated nine times already.
The Doctor was still hanging on to now. Him. Because he knew himself now and believed waking up in a freezer was good for him. That he was learning. He was still trying to surpass his mistakes. Keep from wiping out entire planets.
There was Arcadia, the last bits of its dust swirling around the gravitational pull of a galaxy collapsing in on itself for being destroyed then and now.
In which time did his precious Humans die? The two he taught the most, dead from the same thing, just as all of them eventually were. Him.
"You have inherited the worst Fate," the half truth. The Doctor stared ahead for a moment before granting his companion with another gaze. This tenth body was around fifty Human years old. So many species would expect that to mean the boy knew as much. The Doctor was used to the innocence of an old body. "The Time Lords have pretended to be much more then they were," another half truth.
"We lived our lives in our paradise." A sort of awe came to the boy yet man's voice, trying to remember a mere few months ago. At least, it was a few months ago for the Doctor, including all of his travelling in time for the war. This lull was failing in giving them security.
"We called ourselves Gods to other races," so unfortunate a truth, "And as Gods we shaped the worlds around."
"Why ever not?" It was hard to make someone, so new to the concept of the Universe and Time, understand the lines which were never meant to be crossed. After all, seeing the Chasm happened not too long ago. The fragile balance was either forgotten in that moment or fully remembered.
The Doctor remembered it now simply because he had no other choice.
"Does this look now like we are gaining because of those thoughts?" an obvious and hurtful thought. He should not have vocalized this. The other was still just a child. Only experience could make one understand. The boy was to die tomorrow. Inhabiting his last body he would carve out his hearts.
"Having mastery over Time means nothing – whether in any particular order or not we will run out of it," pure and simple, to be understood. The gravity of it would not come, but it was understood. Time was slipping away.
The order to return to their Tardises was cut off by sabotage. The Doctor had terrible burns on his face. The boy regenerated again.
The day had come.
The Doctor blankly remembered the day as if he had already lived it, but could do nothing. Walking through the same steps, he fell into the same traps and the same mistakes he must have made centuries and centuries ago.
She walked with a constant twitch under her left eye. The Doctor did not even know why he tried to protect her – she who had always cared nothing for them. It was strange how she responded to the call, how she had not forsaken them. The Doctor sheltered her in his own Tardis when hers took the first blast of Grentible. She did not thank him.
She knew he would do it and did not want to die yet.
"How did it come to this?"
Maybe it was because this regeneration of hers was softer then the others. She had tried to keep the same basic goals, but it rounded out for survival. And for her to survive, she felt like she needed her people so as to constantly have a source of hatred. She would fall apart otherwise.
"Never thought we would run out of time?" how he could try to tease. She had said that once, though singularly involving him in the statement. Maybe she remembered this, because the face which had been so smooth creased in familiar lines which probably only he would remember.
"There isn't any more time, is there Doctor?"
"They will not win," a fact. The Doctor would never allow the Daleks to take over everything in every time. He would do anything to at least keep those memories.
"But will we win?"
She smiled and was beautiful. Life simply decided to leave her when they were recalled for a new weapons check. Sitting on a crate, her own private joke to make him sign for the weapons he so abhorred. She died as no Time Lord had ever died and the Doctor closed her dark eyes from this existence they were both pained by. She would be the last enemy and friend he would allow to die, he believed he promised himself. Somehow he would redeem them.
It was his own private joke that he left her there, the most peaceful Gallifreyan for all Time, sitting and waiting for someone else to notice her and finally give Ushas the attentions which early on might have saved her.
But lo, the day had come.
The day which he suddenly realized the price he would have to pay. Their day. The communications seemed as if they should constantly be cutting off, but they were relatively smooth considering the voices behind them. Why would they not listen to him?
You have-will have-always had no time.
"Don't go down there, you'll kill yourself!" the absolute end to this. They were all suicidal for a people, for a place, for a Time which was no longer there.
In retrospect, no one would have ever willingly gone back to the planet of the Time Lords ever again, even if it had stayed. Everything down there was dead, dying, or about to die. Maybe it was selfish greed. Either way the Doctor knew it had to end.
Hiding it by saying there was no choice. There was a choice, but was it the better one?
He ignored the message from the insane and recently regenerated Time Lord telling him to stop, screaming not to do what was going to kill everyone. He ignored the sight of his future by cutting off communications.
Tomorrow came before today already and he was at Arcadia again.
"Are we really winning, Professor?"
No. It was the answer. Maybe in the previous body she recognized so much he would have found a tactful way of saying it. He never seemed to have a problem telling her the truth, even when everyone else was really cheering a victory, even though the Time Lords had been completely and utterly deceived.
Then the Sea of Death rose. And he did not know how she had managed to throw him so far away. She never screamed, his Dorothy, because she had told him many a time the lack of pain she would feel if she died for him.
He felt the pain as the counterattack was planned and canceled. Arcadia had swallowed too many up. He visited another friend, about to die.
"Take care of my precious mother, Doctor."
And he had not the hearts to tell him her blindness had caused her to be swept away as well.
So, he simply cried. And the other assumed that meant he would.
Now the day had come. It had come and...
Fire. An entire planet blazing. It could not match the brilliance of the star it surrounded. It would never be the bright. But it burned for a long time and the Doctor watched.
The Tardis was silent. The Doctor wondered if he had been forsaken for his action.
But no, that was not right.
He was silent.
They had been forsaken. Because he had killed them. Because he had forsaken them long ago. Because the Daleks had blamed him. Because they had learned from him.
Everything to make him kill them all and ruin planet after planet. After planet.
Now. The day has come.
The day had come.
And the Doctor watched for a long time as the embers died. Just as he did.
It was a long time in coming, but it came.
And he regenerated.