A/N: Hmm, last chapter.

Chapter 8 – The Memory That Never Was

Rose and Don had been assigned the task of making the Doctor comfortable as he slept whilst Martha and Jack prioritised food and medical supplies respectively.

They took him straight to his own bedroom, Don setting him carefully down onto the bed.

"Hold him up," Don said, and Rose slipped her arms beneath the Doctor, pulling him to sit up. Don slipped his jacket off of his shoulders before they manipulated him to remove his shirt.

"He has scars," Rose pointed out, indicating two white scars, one across the side of his ribs and one down his chest, plus a dark one across his arm. "Where they got each other."

"I don't think they'll ever fade," Don said, frowning. "They'll be there through all his bodies."

"What do we tell him when he wakes up?" Rose asked, lying him back down on the bed carefully.

"The truth," Don said. "It's what I would want."

"And what about that sword?" Rose asked, bringing the cover up over the sleeping Doctor. "We'll hide it from him, yeah?"

Don frowned. "We don't know what memory is missing."

"But if it's bad, he won't want it," Rose persisted.

"Memories, both good and bad, make up the person you are," Don said. "Haven't you learnt anything in the past few days?"

Rose sighed. "The dark part of him was just so big... all that stands in front of the Doctor bein' evil is that little tiny good part of him."

"Then we've just gotta give him a few extra hugs during the day," Don replied, beaming, but then his expression turned serious. "It's not really our call..." He looked at Rose, who was just staring at him, hopeful.

"How is he?" Martha's voice came from the doorway.

"Still asleep," Rose replied, tearing her gaze away from Don to Martha. She was holding the very sword they had been talking about.

"We have to give it back to him," Martha said straight. "It's his memory."

Both Don and Rose sighed guiltily, looking back at Martha in the doorway.

"Okay," Don said. "Who's gonna do it?"

Everyone stayed silent.

"I will," Martha suddenly said, placing the sword down in the floor next to the bed. "When he wakes up."

Don and Rose nodded, and left her to her medical duties.

The Doctor woke up feeling as though he'd just run around Planet Earth 99 times. He opened his eyes to find himself in his own bedroom in the TARDIS, semi-naked with his bedside light on. Someone was sitting next to him in a chair by the bed and he looked up to find Martha gazing off into the far wall, deep in thought.

"Martha?" he asked, tiredly.

Martha almost jumped five foot in the air. "Doctor! How are you feeling?"

"Bleh," the Doctor replied, sticking out his tongue.

"Don! Rose! Jack!" Martha called, and it was seemingly only a matter of seconds before all three charged through the door like excited dogs looking for their dinner, tripping over each other's feet.

"Doctor!" Rose exclaimed, bright-eyed as she ran over to jump on the bed, almost sending him flying off with the bounce. She hugged him tightly.

"What happened?" he asked, smothered in Rose's hug.

"What do you remember?" Don asked.

The Doctor frowned. "We were in a base... somehow I managed to get electrocuted and then woke up in a coffin. Thanks for that, by the way."

Don gave a grin and thumbs up. "So nothing after that?"

The Doctor shook his head. "What happened?"

Don looked at Rose, who looked at Jack, who looked at Martha, who looked at Don. After a moment they all turned at looked at Don, who looked back over his shoulder at an imaginary person behind him.

"Me, then," he sighed, perching himself on the end of the bed as he began to explain from start to finish what had happened since he'd 'died'. The Doctor's eyebrows progressively got higher and higher as Don's tale drew to a close until they were almost at his hairline.

"Right," the Doctor said after he'd finished, lips pursed. "Okay, then."

Don blinked. "You don't believe me, do you?"

"Well it is a bit far-fetched," the Doctor said, shrugging.

"Told you we should've filmed it," Don said, nudging Rose, who grinned.

"Just get some sleep, you're exhausted," Martha said sternly, staring at the others. Knowing what she was about to do they obliged, upping and leaving with cheery waves to the Doctor.

Martha swallowed, looking back at the Doctor.

"Doctor," she began, hesitant. "Your dark self said something... about the Year That Never Was..."

He looked at her, confused. "The year that what?"

"You know, the Valiant..."

"The who?"

Martha blinked, staring at him. He looked genuinely confused. Was this it? The memory he'd lost? If he couldn't remember being on the Valiant then he couldn't remember the Master... and what he did to him...

She looked down at the sword lying on the floor. The sword that would give that memory back to him.

And she just couldn't do it.

"Oh, nothing, sorry," she said, smiling. "Get some rest."

He was too tired to protest, closing his eyes and very quickly dropping off. Once she was sure he was asleep she quietly picked up the sword, and slipped out the door.

She found everyone in the Kitchen, chatting over a cup of tea. Once she entered they all fell silent and looked directly at the sword in her hand.

"Don," she said shortly, holding it out to him with tears threatening to overcome her. He took it, confused. "Hide it somewhere he'll never look."

He nodded shortly, getting up and disappearing into the corridor.

"You didn't?" Rose asked as she took a seat.

"I found out which memory he's lost," she said, staring at the table. "The Master. The Year That Never Was. He's forgotten it all."

Rose nodded. "You did the right thing."

"I hope so," Martha replied.

They said good bye to Martha and Jack in Cardiff the next day, the Doctor seemingly even more cheery than he had been before now the weight of the Year That Never Was was not on his conscience.

Soon it was only Don, Rose and the Doctor left in the TARDIS, just like before. The Doctor was back to robust health despite his near-death experience, bouncing around the console like a two-year-old. He'd been forced to concede that their story may in fact be true when he'd found the scars on his arm and chest that he definitely knew had not been there before.

Once Rose and Don were alone, she turned to him, poking him in the shoulder.

"Where did you hide the sword?"

He poked her back. "Not telling."

"Awww, come on?" Rose persisted, poking his shoulder again.

"I said no," he returned the poke. "He'll never find it, okay? Even I had issues with going in there."

Rose rolled her eyes, poking his shoulder again.

"Hey you two," the Doctor suddenly appeared in the doorway, frowning. "Where are my Desperate Housewives DVDs?"

Rose and Don burst out laughing as they both bounded forward to hug him tightly, glad things were finally back to normal.

About a mile away inside the TARDIS interior sat a room that, until Don, hadn't been opened for hundreds of years. It hadn't been touch by time; still perfectly preserved, looking as it had when it had been prepared for use.

The Dark Doctor's sword was propped up against the wall next to a cupboard, out of place in such a room. The flooring was plain but the wallpaper was brightly coloured, mobiles hanging from the ceiling, still turning around above a small disused cot across from the door of the TARDIS Nursery.

The End

A/N: No sequel planned! :D

Well, what a random short epic. Did my respect points just decrease for writing about something totally random and rubbish? :o

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