A/N- Because she's out there. And also because I have plot bunnies the size of crocodiles gnawing at my leg. And also because stream-of-consciousness is fun, if hard to understand sometimes. The extreme run-ons are intentional.

Silence Falling

"Do it, Doctor."

She can't believe she really did it. Twenty-four hours ago, as Rassilon ripped control of this tailspin of a war and this fracturing people out of her hands, she gave the order. Her last command as president: ordering the death of every single one of her people. Herself included.

After that, she withdrew into her office (former office, but that doesn't matter now). She has been here ever since, staring at the wall and waiting for consequences.

It starts subtly. Just the slightest tremor that could easily be (yet another) Dalek creation rumbling through the skies. Then the shaking starts in earnest as, far below the Citadel, the Eye of Harmony inverts, warping space and time itself, generating a fantastic amount of heat in the process. The great Dome (what's left of it) shatters, crashing down with an unholy shriek as the crystal shards come down like a rain of daggers. The air grows hot as the screaming begins; buildings are tumbling down and the feeling of Time Lord minds blinking out one by one freezes her in place.

Dalek voices, tinged with urgency and something akin to panic cry out as well, and a vicious, bloody grin appears on her face at the sound.

She can feel the Eye itself, bucking and contorting viciously as the singularity turns in on itself. Bits of the ceiling start crumbling in.

Anything flammable catches fire as Gallifrey's atmosphere grows unbearably hot, roasting them all. Anyone without the advanced biology of a Time Lord, capable of withstanding such extremes, will already be dead. Her hearts weep for Leela.

A chunk of marble falls and strikes her sideways. The world goes hazy and her lungs choke on fouled, too-hot air as she loses control over her respiratory bypass. This is it...

And then.

There is a crack in her wall. Light pouring out, the impossible light of pure Time itself. Detached, she supposes that it is a side-effect of the Eye's destruction. Time splintering apart, just here...

The light creeps toward her.



It pours into her head, the universe inside her and she inside the universe and also outside. She screams, if she still has a body, and reaches out desperately for something solid and small and familiar to try to ground herself, and of course what she finds is him, because who else would it be? He's in the futurepast, Earth somewhen. Twenty-first century, as they understand things. But she can't control the inferno inside her and she has to let go as a rush of fire-death-destruction flows between her-them-it-we into the TARDIS and her mind screams as the universe vanishes from her head in a blast of Time energy and then she's falling falling falling...

...into the Void and everything is Void now except there's Earth-Earth-Earth!

And then everything is back but she's gone and he's gone with her and there's the TARDIS and she recognizes him even with a new face and a horrible tweed jacket and then suddenly he is gone, too, and she screams and she's falling through the Void and there's nothing.

No light no sound no touch no smell no sense of other minds not even her own body not even the ever-present timelines because this is Void-space and there is no time and she wants to die and a tiny eternity flashes past and then the TARDIS is falling in the Void with her and he is there and he catches her in his arms as she falls through the door and she feels like this is familiar and that terrifies her because familiarity would mean existence and she knows existence is a lie.

His hands are on her face, turning her up to the light, and she panics and she sinks her not-teeth into his not-flesh...

And then there is the hot, bright taste of blood in her mouth and it's so viscerally real and so very, very Doctor, that suddenly it all falls away and she feels her hearts beat strong in her chest and she buries her head in his tweed-covered chest and cries. She cries for Gallifrey and for Leela and for so many other things, and his arms are around her and even though he's regenerated at least three times since she saw him on that last day of the War, he still smells the same.

He doesn't seem to recognize her, though, because he whispers in her ear, "Who are you?"

And she has an answer (she has several, Romanadvoratrelundar, Romana-Fred, your girl, your friend, your President), but it no longer seems to fit because there's a hollow place inside where that name used to settle. It is like the place that felt empty before her Initiation, but in a different way. As though something has been taken, rather than not yet given. But the effect is the same, just deafening silence in her head. And so she gives him the Gallifreyan word for silence.

She can't look in his eyes, but she suspects he is smiling.

"Welcome aboard, Idris."

And her centuries-long fall through nothing is over.