A/N: Oh yes, a missing scene in "The End Of Time, Part Two." This takes place right after The Doctor staggers out into the alley and sees Ood Sigma. I'm not a Doctor/Rose shipper, I'm a Doctor/River shipper, so we all knew this had to happen.
The Doctor's Last Song
"We will sing to you, Doctor," Ood Sigma soothed, his voice as calm as the snow that fell around them. "The universe will sing you to your sleep."
The Doctor dug his palms into the white flesh that was growing along the ground. In anguish, he lifted his head to stare at Ood Sigma as a universal melody filled the air; an orchestra of angels just for him. Defiantly, he pushed himself to his feet, staggering in the silently falling snow. "Sing…" he breathed; his voice a shell of what it used to be. "Song…"
His eyes flashed. Of all the people he had chosen to say goodbye to – Martha, Mickey, Jack, Verity, Donna, Sylvia, Wilf, Rose – how could he have forgotten her? River Song! She'd literally given her life to save him. Him and CAL and The Library. And their future.
The Doctor clutched each side of his chest, balling his pale blue shirt up into his fists. In his present condition, he could say that the nuclear radiation he'd absorbed was literally eating away at his hearts, but he knew that was not the case. Something had dawned on him: he would regenerate, and with that regeneration, he would change the course of his future. Their future. Time could be rewritten and in saving Wilf, he had unwittingly rewritten those times.
"There's only one thing I can do now," he whispered into the frigid, January silence. He had to say goodbye, a proper goodbye, to his River Song. Insolently, he made his way to the TARDIS. There was no way in the whole of the universe that he was going to regenerate without seeing River for one last time.
As he maneuvered the controls, the old ship seemed to creek and cry along with him, as if she could feel what he was going through as the nuclear energy took its toll within his ever frailing body. "Just get me to The Library," he begged, his eyes flooding to the point that the controls seemed to be melting right out of his hands. "Right down to the core of the planet."
The Vashta Nerada briefly crossed his mind, but he dismissed it quickly: he didn't have time to indulge irrational fears of the dark, not when death had knocked – four times to be exact – and was now letting herself in. Shadows, in comparison, didn't seem so bad anymore.
The TARDIS landed with a jolt that knocked The Doctor forward, into the control panel. His hand shook as he clamored for support, feeling for something – anything – to push himself back up with. His hand found the edge of the console and he struggled to right himself. As he stared at the TARDIS doors, he wondered if he even possessed the strength to push them open. Then a memory washed over him and slowly, steadily, he raised his hand out and pushed his index finger just halfway behind his middle finger, while simultaneously aligning the pad of his thumb to the opposite side of his middle finger. With a quick reflex, he snapped. The snap echoed throughout the hollow hull of the TARDIS, then the doors groaned as they opened before him.
"Doctor," CAL greeted, as The Doctor stumbled out of the TARDIS. Charlotte Abigail Lux's smiling face welcomed him as he leaned against the door of the TARDIS. "What are you doing here?"
"River," The Doctor breathed, his voice wet and dragging. "I need to see her." He dug his hand into his pocket and lamely retrieved his sonic screwdriver. "CAL," he spoke, as softly as his struggling voice would allow, "I need you to download me to your hard drive…just temporarily." He pushed himself off the door of the TARDIS, propelling himself over to the wall, where he injected his sonic screwdriver into Charlotte's mind.
"New hardware detected," CAL spoke, her eyes suddenly wide. "Processing. Please wait."
"Hurry," The Doctor begged, his voice a whimper. "I don't have much time."
"Hardware assimilated," CAL replied. She smiled at The Doctor. "Now downloading The Doctor."
In a flash, The Doctor found himself in a bedroom, seated on a plush midnight blue mattress speckled with glitter coated constellations whose opposite side of the bed had been pulled back to reveal white satin sheets. He moved his hand towards the pillow, lightly brushing his hand across it, and picking up a single strand of curly ginger hair.
When a gasp from the opposite end of the room prompted him to look up, he released it, only to turn his attention to River Song, who stood before him with her pale ginger-brown hair down in bunches around her shoulders, wearing an almost ethereal white nightgown.
"Doctor," she spoke, swallowing the lump in her throat that even The Doctor could see from his vantage point on her bed. "What are you…"
"I came to see you."
He attempted to stand, but found himself clutching the nightstand and gritting his teeth instead. No sooner had he made the attempt, than did he find River's arms wrapped around his skinny form, allowing him to lean on her for support. "Thank you."
"What have you done to yourself?"
"I don't want to spend my last moments talking about that," he winced. "But for what it's worth, I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."
River touched his face, her hand like warm milk on his skin. "Sorry about what?"
"About rewriting everything. Please know that I never meant to. I did want to go to the end of the universe with you." Her face was blurring right before his eyes.
"No." She shook her head. "No, that's not possible. I came back to save you. Us."
"And you did. This," he struggled to keep his balance, "this was my fault."
River's eyes were rushing. "What?" she exclaimed. "What in the universe are you talking about!"
"The picnic at Asgard, the crash of the Byzantium…none of it will happen now. You told me you knew me, that I was the youngest you ever saw, and that we did those things together. But River," he fought to brush her face with his fingertips, "I'm going to regenerate. Which means I won't be the man who did those things with you. It'll invariably alter the future you remember. We may never even meet." A tear finally made its way down his cheek.
"Oh," River pressed her cheek to his shuddering chest. "Doctor." She closed her eyes as she felt his hand entangle itself into her hair. Within mere moments, they were standing in a new environment: on a red and white checkered picnic blanket, beneath a violet sky and three moons – each arranged smaller than the last, like a set of Matryoshka dolls – in varying shades of pink from dark to light.
The Doctor tilted his head back, staring up at the sky. The pink glow of the three moons reflected on his face as River sank closer into him. Somehow, he found the strength to wrap his arms around her, clinging to her as if she could actually stop his impending regeneration. "Asgard," he exhaled.
"Yes." River closed her eyes, inhaling as much of The Doctor's scent as she could: smoke, sweat, snow, and raw energy. Everything she smelt was not what she remembered of Her Doctor. "Asgard was a first for us."
"A first of what?"
"Please," he whispered. "If I never know you-"
She pressed her index finger to his lips. "Shush. You will know me. You've got it all wrong, Doctor. You know the Earth saying about those who assume."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, Asgard does happen after you regenerate. So does the crash of the Byzantium."
"Quiet," she insisted, still holding her finger to his quivering lips. "Shortly before you meet me, you become entangled with group of rouge Epochs."
"Epochs…" The Doctor's eyes began to swell. "Epochs feed on time energy!"
"Yes, but these rouge Epochs, they were like time energy vampires and when they found you, well, they performed what you might call a de-generation, which transformed you back into your Tenth regeneration. During that time, we met and I became your companion, which lasted for about four months, until just before the crash of the Byzantium, when you-"
The Doctor held up his hand, this time silencing River with his fingers. "Don't tell me. Spoilers," he winked, wincing despite his charm. "If your past doesn't change, then I don't need to know how I get my new body back, just that I do."
"Mmm," River purred, "that sounds more like My Doctor." She stared at the triple lipstick moons as the quadruple thump of his dual hearts pounded in her head. "This is my favorite place, you know. Asgard. I come here often when I'm missing you." Her eyes lifted when The Doctor took her hand into his. She frowned. "You're hot," she noticed.
"I like to think so," he replied cheekily.
"No," River shook her head. "Literally, you're hot." She looked down at his hand, realizing it was glowing in hers.
The Doctor winced, instantly pulling away. "I have to get out. Before I regenerate and blow up you and CAL."
River bit back the pricks in her eyes as she stood and attempted to help The Doctor to his feet, only to have him reject her. "Doctor-"
"I'm not safe here anymore," he said, his hand becoming brighter and brighter as he spoke. He lifted his head towards the purple sky. "CAL!" he called, only for Charlotte to appear beside him at his wish. "I need you to upload me, now!"
"Yes, Doctor." CAL closed her eyes. "Uploading: The Doctor. Please wait."
River could see that both his hands were glowing and he was keeping her more than an arm's length away from himself, crying, too, as Charlotte proceeded to take him away again. In a blur of motion, she threw her arms around him, intent on not letting him get away. "You're not going without proper leave," she spoke, before pressing her lips to his. They were fine at first, then burned, and quickly they smoldered of nuclear proportions. When she opened her eyes, she found scalding golden energy blinding her eyes, just as he faded from her grasp.
River tilted her head towards CAL. The tears running down her cheeks reflected a soft pink color in the glow of the triple moons. Wordlessly, Charlotte took her hand, and River squeezed it, thankful for the little girl.
The next thing The Doctor knew, he was standing back in front of his sonic screwdriver, which was still lodged in CAL's wall. His fumbling fingers wrapped around the metal rod and ripped it from the wall, just as a blast of nuclear energy pulsed from his free hand and destroyed a shadowy spot of The Library's core. Not wanting to hurt CAL anymore, he leaped into the TARDIS, just as another stray spot of energy blew from his left leg, tearing a hole in his pinstriped pants. With a well timed snap, the TARDIS doors closed, just as another golden beam streamed from his snapping fingers.
As his head began to glow like a meteor flying across the night sky on Earth, he pointed his sonic screwdriver at the control panel. As it started to emit its classical high pitched sonic waves, the levers on the console began to move and the TARDIS jerked into flight, somewhere in space. "Anywhere!" he yelled out loud. "Just take me somewhere where no one will get hurt." The sonic screwdriver slipped from his hands as the most intensive pulses so far began to radiate from him. His hands moved to his head as he screamed; by far, it was the most agonizingly painful death he had ever experienced. Even his tears were charged with nuclear radiation.
"I don't want to go!" he choked. Even knowing that, as the as the words tumbled out of his mouth, he would still be back – however briefly – it did not provide him solace. He had become attached to his Tenth form more so than the others, except, of course, for maybe his Fifth form. It was the people and the memories, he theorized, attributed to the attachment, and no matter what, he despised the idea that he would have to leave it all behind for something new.
But I'll have River in my new form. I have an entire future to look forward to with her. The real Asgard, the crash of the Byzantium, the… The Doctor stopped himself from going on. He couldn't bare the thought of the Singing Towers, knowing that it would be the last day she would truly be with him. I scarcely know her, he realized, and yet I love her.
"I'm in love with her."
And he exploded, taking the TARDIS and all his memories of His River Song with him.