The Death of a Good Man
The Doctor had resigned himself to his fate, to die in this battle, to die at her hands. She was going to kill him today he was sure of it, everything had been leading to this moment, ever since their first meeting.
The battle against the silence was almost over, judging by Amy's triumphant look as she forced the few remaining monsters to surrender, to leave this planet in peace. They watch her go, beaming up to her ship with them hostage. His final moments were drawing ever closer.
Quietly he pulls Rory away from the crowed of rebels, dragging him into a small alcove in which to talk. "It's not her fault okay?" He tells Rory sternly, placing his hands on his shoulders. It's important that someone understands, he thinks.
Rory stares at him confused but lets the Doctor continue anyway "you must remember that she doesn't want to do this, but River she is under their control, she can't not do this or else time will fall apart" he looks into Rory's eyes desperately trying to get the other man to understand, to get him to see that there is no other alternative.
Rory looks at him "Doctor what are you on about? What's going to happen? What is Melody going to do?" He asks, his voice full of concern for his grown up daughter.
The Doctor sighs "she going to kill someone, she's going to kill them today"
Rory looked at him alarmed. He manages to choke out a question "Who?"
The Doctor runs a hand through his hair and looks away "A very good man. The best man River has ever known" he says softly repeating Rivers words.
"Oh" replies Rory looking at him. "Sorry"
The Doctor looks at him and tells him "don't be, I've had a good life"
Rory goes to say him something but a sudden loud explosion drowns his words out. As they rush towards the source dread fills the Doctor, as they witness the scene before them. A slightly younger version of River stands alone in the centre of the destruction, save for the few who are injured and unable to flee. She appears to ignore these fallen few, her eyes desperately searching the debris.
"I've been waiting for you" she says spotting them as they approach. Her eyes are blank and unfeeling, an obvious sign of the monsters control.
She smiles, lifts her laser gun up to face them and shoots. The Doctor feels nothing and for a moment he thinks she has missed, but he quickly dismisses this thought as Rory gasps and falls to his knees. She never misses her target.
The tears begin to drip down Rivers face as freed from her trance she runs towards them, towards the fallen centurion. The Doctor just stands there numbly, watching their emotional family reunion. "I was wrong" he thinks.
Shocked Rory looks up at her puzzled "I think you missed" he says smiling weakly at her. She shakes her head sadly and clasps his hand in hers "you'll always be my favourite Daddy, you know that" she tells him solemnly, gently wiping his hair out of his eyes as she does so.
"I should be angry, upset even" thinks Rory as his breathing grows erratic. But he isn't, he can't be not with her not now.
He smiles at her as he thinks of the Doctor's words and what they mean. Him a good man, a very good man, the best she has ever known. The words sooth him, he knows it isn't a competition and it never was, but for her to chose him over the Doctor is a triumph.
He feels selfish for thinking these things for being proud of his death but he can't help it, he can't help but be elated at the words of his daughter who is lying beside him now crying just for him.
He tries to comfort her, let her know he doesn't blame her but he struggles to get the words out. "Hey hey sweetheart" he whispers gazing deeply into her teary green eyes "it's alright. You know I love you" River smiles and nods her head "Me too Daddy".
River watches as Rory slowly fades away leaving her alone with the Doctor.
He doesn't know what to say, he had been so sure that she was coming for him not Rory. So he just holds her tightly in his arms as if the universe would just crumple and fall away if he let her go, although for her it already has.
Eventually her crying subsides enough to speak "I never called him that before" she tells the Doctor sadly "I never got the chance."