Title- One Last Day
Summary- "'Could you do this? Think about it, Doctor. One last day with your beloved... which day would you choose?' And just like that, he is back there, standing on the fields of Arcadia. With her."
A/N- The Christmas special... oh my god the Christmas special! David Tennant, step aside. Your ass has officially been kicked, special-wise. And it gave me SO. MUCH. SHIPPING. FODDER. Oh, I'm sure there'll be plenty of Amy and Rose and River stuff on here... but let's face it, much as I try to avoid the practice, I have officially surrendered to the lure of the OTP. So here's a short little piece from me, all- as always- about the Doctor's magical, wonderful Romana (and just for the record, I have invented my own version of Romana III).
Also, to those of you following ATG and my Jennyfic, never fear. New chapters are almost completed, and should be up within a few days, once the holiday madness dies down.
"You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
But it's time to face the truth,
I will never be with you."
The realization of what they must do is painful. To save the lives of four thousand people, Abigail has to die. It's a bitter choice. It's one the Doctor has had to make before (Pompeii springs to mind, and Gallifrey, too), but experience does not ease the sting.
"Her voice resonates perfectly with the ice crystals. It calmed the shark, it will calm the sky, too," the Doctor says, watching as Kazran stares fiercely into the cryo cabinet, his younger self standing by, watching silently.
Kazran sighs. "Could you do it? Could you do this? Think about it, Doctor. One last day with your beloved... which day would you choose?"
And just like that, he is back there, standing on the fields of Arcadia. With her.
He can't help but remember that final day, the last memory he would ever have of the beautiful Romanadvoratrelundar. And she was beautiful, no matter which face she was wearing, he always thought she was beautiful.
Earlier tonight, he told Kazran he was rubbish with girls, and that was true. Romana, though... his Romana was never just a girl. And she was never really his, either. They had never quite been in the same place at the same time.
In the beginning, they had been too busy sparring, with each trying to prove they were cleverer to really see it. And then, just as they were becoming whatever they might have been, she was gone, and he was left with two broken hearts. And then, of course, when he saw her again, she was the Lady President, with cold, proud eyes hiding a smile that only he ever got the chance to see, but that, of course, didn't matter. No, there was never an opportunity to run together as far or as fast as they both wanted, and only once when they were both ready to say what was in their hearts... and that was the day of her death...
Arcadia. Hell, by that point. The final battlefront of the Time War standing between Gallifrey and total Dalek conquest. Under an emerald sky stained scarlet by the fire and smoke of a thousand million explosions, on a field soaked in blood, there she stands, her TARDIS shot down, facing a dozen Daleks. They stand back to back, both clutching weapons of tremendous power, both terrified.
Daleks scream as she takes deadly aim, picking them off in rapid succession. She lets out a guttural, ironic laugh, and her short blonde hair gleams in the setting sun. Too soon, though. A battalion is approaching across the plain. And there are no reinforcements in sight.
"Go," she says. "Go, Doctor. I will hold them here."
"Yes, Doctor. You stand a better chance of ending this than I ever did." Her blood-stained face is bitter, but accepting. And then she smiles. "I love you, Doctor."
These are not words their people say aloud. It is very rare for a Time Lord to really, truly fall in love- their culture is not one that encourages the fostering of such emotions- so when it does happen, it is considered too precious, too wonderful to be spoken for all to hear. But there is no time, with a fleet of Daleks almost in firing range, for them to deepen their mental connection for either of them to speak the words silently within their own minds. Custom doesn't mean anything anymore. The end of the world is coming.
"And I love you," he says softly. "Always."
Her smile grows, and tears pour down her face. It is the first time he has ever seen her cry.
If he could go back, if he could have even one more day with her... what he wouldn't give for that. He has seen her so recently. When his last regeneration made his farewells, looking back on each and every one... oh, how long he stood in the shadows on Tara, watching her through the bars of her cell, wishing so much that he could speak to her. He had burned up most of the time before the regeneration really took hold flitting along his own timeline, standing just enough away not to be noticed, watching her, wishing so desperately that he could shake his past self and tell him to appreciate what he had while she was still there.
Now, he is not as sentimental as that last one. But Romana is a special case.
One last day with Romana... which day would he choose? Any day. The most ordinary day in the world. He would take her for ice cream. They could go back to Paris. Hold hands and walk by the river. Read a book together. Anything. He would take anything...
"Christmas," Abigail says. "Christmas day."
His reverie is broken, and, as always, his broken hearts are set aside in favor of saving lives.
Later, Amy sees his morose face and asks him what he's thinking about. He tells her he's thinking about ice cream.