I feel rather awful here, because I am in fact springing the final chapter on you. I was going to have at least one more, but when I wrote this, I realised that there was no point dragging it out. I think you'll see why. I like the ending very much, and I hope you do too!
The Doctor stepped forward ever so slightly, so that he was in front of his three friends. The metacrisis's shoulders visibly slumped. Nobody said anything, until-
The Doctor relaxed, frowning in bemusement at his clone.
"Don't make me say it again." Murmured the metacrisis. The Doctor looked confused.
"You're sorry for trying to kill the Doctor?" Snapped Rose, marching towards the metacrisis and poking him in the chest with one finger. "How could you? I was right, you really aren't him!"
The metacrisis opened and closed his mouth, trying to find the words. The Doctor observed him, and at that moment he really could see himself in that skinny clone of his. Forever apologetic and guilty about his actions, something all too familiar for the Doctor himself; he touched Rose's arm and she turned to him.
"Leave it." He said softly.
"I'm not leaving it." Replied Rose sharply. "He's not what he used to be."
"I'm not, no...Not at all, really." Cut in the metacrisis, hands buried in his pockets. "I've thought about it, I've thought about us...I know it's a lie." His eyes were slightly bloodshot, and he looked off to the side, at the surrounding walls, trying to act nonchalant. "And I know I can't be trusted. I don't trust myself."
"You couldn't help it. It's what you were born into." The Doctor sighed. "I can't leave you, with them. With her."
"I know." Nodded the metacrisis, and he caught eyes with the Doctor and strode towards him. Amy, Rory and Rose all tensed, but the Doctor waved them off and stepped forward himself.
The metacrisis held a hand out, and the Time Lord took it, shaking it carefully. He felt the other hand tighten around his as they moved up and down, and the metacrisis gave him a steely smile.
"I really hate you, you know." He said in a tone tinted with humour. The Doctor nodded sympathetically.
"I hated you for a little while."
They smiled at one another with mutual understanding.
"I want her happy." The metacrisis said quietly then, and he released the Doctors hand as he stared at the floor. "Promise me that you'll make sure she is."
"What're you gonna do now?" Asked Amy, folding her arms.
"I'll do what I can to protect this world." Said the metacrisis with a shrug. "Without my past hanging around, I can try and get rid of my demons...I suppose."
The Doctor's lips curved up at the corners. Things had come around, got better, even after everything had seemed so broken and wrong. He felt for the metacrisis though, he hurt for him, but he knew it was best, to leave him on his own, and so did he.
"Will you be okay?" Rose was between them now, eyes wide and brimming with tears.
"Oh you know me." Smiled the metacrisis, keeping his distance. "I'm always okay."
A silence hung around the two for a moment, and then the metacrisis added- "I love you, Rose."
She nodded and leaned in, kissing him on the cheek.
"I know. And I love you." She stepped back, taking the Doctor's hand in hers. "But you know I can't stay here...I never fitted in, and we never fitted together."
The ghost of a smile flashed across the metacrisis's face, and his tone was not bitter.
"And why settle for second best, eh? You love me because I'm him. I was lucky to get you the first time."
The Doctor felt an ache in his chest, and he looked at his feet in an almost cowardly fashion, feeling terrible to just be beside Rose, holding her hand, when the metacrisis couldn't. The tables had truly turned since his arrival, and he wasn't sure whether he should be thanking Amy, or shouting at her.
Silently, he and Rose turned their backs on the metacrisis Doctor, hardly daring to look back, and slowly made their way to the back wall, hand in hand. Amy and Rory followed, Amy's head on Rory's shoulder, and together they stood in a row, facing the crack.
The Doctor fumbled for his sonic, took it in hand, and held it at the crack, pushing the button.
The smile turned into a gaping mouth, and through it, visible a distance away, was the TARDIS, stood waiting for them in the decrepit room. The Doctor felt Rose's hand tighten around his, almost in fear as Amy and Rory first made their way through the gap.
Looking at one another, the Doctor and Rose prepared themselves to step through worlds, but a loud voice called them out.
"Oi you two! Don't think you're getting away that easily!"
Spinning around, the couple came face to face with Jackie Tyler, armed with suitcases and satchels, a little boy standing beside her, his tiny hand in hers. On her other side was Rose's father, holding the rest of the bags, almost weighed down by them all.
"Hi." He murmured, slightly annoyed and confused by the situation.
"Could have told us this one was unstable-" Jackie gestured over her shoulder to the metacrisis, who raised his eyebrows. "No offense, love." She added.
The Doctor's eyes darted from one family member to the other, and then to the little boy, who he deduced was in fact, little Tony.
"Hello Doctor." He said quietly, hiding a little behind his mother's legs. The Doctor smiled widely and wiggled his fingers in a strange wave. Jackie looked irritated, but her expression was somehow soft.
"Bewitched my whole family, you have." She peered over his shoulder at the huge gap in the wall, growing smaller each second. "That's the exit then? I've missed that funny old world."
The Doctor couldn't help but smile; he imagined the earth would be a much warmer place with the Tyler's return. He released Rose's hand and stood aside, gesturing to the gap.
"Your carriage awaits."
"You'd better have some plan to get us a house and an income" Jackie ordered as she shuffled towards the portal, holding Tony's hand on one side and three bags on the other. Rose rolled her eyes and murmured to the Doctor;
"I'm sure I can whip something up." The Doctor laughed, following the group towards the bright light. Just before he went through, he turned one last time to view the metacrisis, who smiled at him, giving him a small salute. The Doctor nodded to him.
And he stepped through, the pathway closing behind him.
"I really love the new TARDIS." Rose said in awe, leaning on the console. The Doctor chuckled and looked around, noticing the brighter glow the ship had been emanating since Rose's arrival on board.
"Yeah. I like her new look. It's sexy. Well, I think it's sexy."
"It's very sexy." Giggled Rose. "By the way, thanks for giving mum and dad them lottery numbers. I was worried they'd have nowhere to go."
"It's what I do." Shrugged the Doctor, flipping switches and circling the console.
"It is." Beamed Rose, following him, staring at the new interior. "-feels the same, in'ere."
"Always, has, always will." Agreed the Doctor, watching her bright brown eyes flit around. She caught him looking and faced him, stroking his face with one hand.
"Thank you?" The Doctor quirked an eyebrow. "What for?"
"For making me happy." She smiled slightly and kissed him on the forehead. "Now, I need to do some exploring of this place... maybe now you'll let me see your bedroom?" She gave him a mischievous smile.
"I suppose I could make an exception." Replied the Doctor fondly.
Rose looked as though it was Christmas morning, and she clapped her hands together once before looking up at the TARDIS column. The Doctor regarded her as she shuffled to his side, their shoulder's meeting.
"The stuff of legend are together once again!" She said overtly, her laugh fighting through, causing her words to shake. "I told you we'd always be okay, you and me."
"You were right." The Doctor caught eyes with her, and in them he saw a brief glimpse of the metacrisis, someone who he would never forget, just like all his other friends. He bowed his head a little at the memory, and let Rose kiss him full on the lips.
When she pulled away she stuck her tongue out slightly, and her cheeks went pink.
"I don't think I'll ever get tired of doing that."
With that, she turned on her heel and vanished up the stairs, and into the depths of the TARDIS.
Moments later, from one of the stairwell to the Doctor's right, Amy Pond emerged, smirking triumphantly, having obviously witnessed the entire exchange between the Doctor and Rose.
"Stop this, Amy! We can't!" She said over dramatically, quoting the Doctor from earlier as she descended the steps. "The fabric of reality will collapse!"
"Alright alright." Grimaced the Doctor. "I get it."
"Oh come on. I reunited you with your lost love. I've gotta get some points for that."
"Never mind. The fact is, you said it was impossible, and-"
"And you proved me wrong." Finished the Doctor, and he smiled wryly. "The fabric of the universe nearly collapsed; there were worlds and lives at risk because of you, Amelia Pond."
Amy stared at him, slightly unsure, as he leaned in, his voice only a whisper. "Thank you."
I hope none of the metacrisis/ Doctor scene was anti climactic for any of you. I wanted the fight to be a learning experience for the Doctor and for Meta, and at the end of the day, it really isn't in his character to be a complete nutter.
Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed. This has been the most popular story I've written, and I've adored reading all the reviews and writing the story. I'm sad it's over, but I'll definately be continuing with 11/Rose stories in the future, so watch this space.