***This is the last chapter of this story, I am afraid. I just wanted to thank all of my dedicated readers, and remind you again that if you are interested, I have another story I am doing about the Master called "Have a Little Faith in Me." A few chapters are already up. Anyway, this story had been very fun to write, and has brought a few tears to my eye. I hope you all have enjoyed it as well.***
Judas dropped to his knees, not caring that Rassillon was running. Why her-why was it always her that was destined to die? Why was it always Rose Tyler that the Universe was trying to take away?
Jack had taken off after him, screaming for him to stop. Judas couldn't find his legs to stand, so he crawled through the shattered glass, his blood staining the roof as the shards cut into his palms.
He stopped short, looking at a picture of himself, only this was a living, breathing photo. The Doctor was crumpled to the ground, holding Rose in his arms the same way Judas had held his Rose that day.
"Someone! Get help-she's a human! She needs medical attention!" The Doctor screamed at Madera, but even he knew it wouldn't help her. The almighty High Council of Time Lords could only watch the Doctor cradling the near-dead human girl in hopelessness. Another life needlessly taken...
As Judas crawled a few inches closer, the Doctor jerked her out of his reach. "You don't touch her-you don't dare touch her!" He snarled at Judas, but it was more from his pain than his anger.
"I'm fine-I...feel fine..." Rose's voice was fading quickly, but she reached up and touched the Doctor's cheek.
"Shhhh, Rose. Don't talk-just focus on staying awake." The Doctor frantically whispered to her, closing his eyes at the contact between her skin and his. He rocked her in his arms, begging her not to close her eyes.
Rose brushed her hand across his eyes, catching his tears. "Don't cry, Doctor...not over me.."
He leaned down and kissed her forehead as currents of pain and anger jolted through his body. He wanted to lift his head and scream at the Universe-would it always be like this?
"Did it feel like this?" Although his eyes were on Rose, Judas knew the question was aimed at him.
"Like what? Like all the air is being sucked from your lungs?"
Judas only nodded, forcing himself to look at the Doctor. "And after today, nothing else you ever do will matter."
Rose coughed, looking over at Judas as her eyelids began to flutter. As she spoke, her voice became raspy, and every word was a labor. "Everything...he does...matters." Then she reached a trembling hand out to him.
Judas took it, nodding in agreement with her, though it was a slow nod. "And you're right Rose Tyler." He glanced back up at the Doctor, meeting his eye. "Everything he'll ever do will matter. That's the kind of person you are, Doctor."
The Doctor shook his head. "No Judas-that's the kind of people we are." For the first time he shared a smile with Judas. "Judas...I'm sorry. I...I was wrong. Everything you said to Rassillon-thank you."
"No-I'm sorry." He let his gaze drop to Rose. "After she died...I thought if I had her back then everything would go back to the way it was. I realize now that it can never go back..." His words trailed off as he watched Rose, watched her chest struggle to rise, then fall.
"I am so, so sorry for you, Judas." He understood now-understood that pain and the anger that drove Judas to do waht he did. He understood that need-the driving force to do whatever was neccessary. That feeling when you felt you had no choice...
"You've got to go on..." Rose's weak words brought him back from his thoughts. "The Universe...will always need...the Doctor."
And the Doctor will always need Rose Tyler. He didn't want to admit it, not out loud and not even in his mind, but for one brief moment he didn't care what the Universe needed. What about me? What about what I need? It frightened him-the thought that he he didn't care anymore.
But...wait a moment...there was a solution here. He turned his focus back to Rose, stroking her hair as his tears traced lines down his face. There was a solution here-there had been one from the start.
A smile broke across his face-a genuine, warm smile that he pulled from somewhere deep down inside of him. He leaned down and kissed Rose's forehead. "Don't you worry, Rose. I'm gonna fix this."
He kicked his leg out, sweeping away all of the loose pieces of glass, and laid Rose down carefully.
But Judas knew what it was that he was doing to do. "What do you think you're doing?"
"What choice do I have?" The Doctor spoke to him without looking up, gently placing his hands on Rose's face.
Judas grabbed his arm, causing the Doctor to look up at him with tears in his eyes. "I've seen too many that I love die, Judas. Too many that I couldn't save. I won't let her die-not when there is one last thing I can do." His voice was strained as he spoke.
"Then let me."
The Doctor almost laughed. "You don't know what you're saying, Judas."
"No Doctor-you're the one that has no idea. You think I don't know what this means? You don't think I would have done this for my Rose? But I couldn't-she was already too far gone by the time I found her."
"You won't regenerate, Judas. You do this and it'll be permenent!"
"Exactly! And what's the point?" He grabbed the Doctor's shoulders, giving him a gentle look as the frustration melted from his voice, replaced with compassion. "What's the point of bringing her back if she isn't coming back to you?"
"But you'll die."
Judas only shrugged, laughing a bit nervously. "I think I've lived long enough. Besides...there's no place for me without her."
The Doctor thought about his words for a moment. He knew he shouldn't listen. He knew it was selfish, but perhaps today, only today, he was allowed to be selfish.
"Thank you, for this."
Judas nodded, kneeling beside Rose as the Doctor stepped out of the way. He placed his hands carefully on either side of her face, looking at her for but a moment.
Thank you, Rose Tyler.
As he closed his eyes, his hands began to glow with a yellowish energy. He couldn't help but feel that his Rose was there, standing right behind him. It was a comforting feeling, one that drew a smile from him.
There was a current that was passed to Rose from him, but there was also something of a doorway, where his memories were shared with her.
"What if you wake up one day and decide that you don't want this?"
Judas looked at her in confusion. "Decide that I don't want what?"
She had gestured to the air. "This-travelling with me. You never just want to go back home?"
He had pulled her to himself, wrapping his arms around her waist. "You're my home, Rose. Wherever we go, I'm home."
She smiled up at him, then rested her head against his chest.
Rose started to cough as the energy intensified, causing her to gasp for air.
"Why can't you just let me be angry at you?" She had screamed at him, trying her best not to laugh.
He threw his hands out. "Be mad-I'm not stopping you!" Then with a wicked grin on his face her grabbed her from behind, tickling her.
"Stop it Judas! Just let me be angry!" She shrieked in laughter, knowing good and well she couldn't be angry at him.
Judas felt himself beginning to grow lighter, like he was being drained. Which he was-he was draining himself, giving up his regenerations and his life itself to Rose.
As the very last sparks of yellowish energy were leaving him, Judas fell to the side, his vision fading as he took in the purple sky once more. "I'm coming home...Rose..." The words dripped from his lips, his very last words.
And then he closed his eyes...for the last time.
Rose suddenly opened her eyes, taking in a large gulp of air as the Doctor wrapped his arms around her, calming her.
"Just breath, Rose. That's it-nice, deep breaths."
"But I saw them, Doctor. I saw Judas and the other Rose." She was trying to sort out the images that had just been running through her head. She didn't even see Judas yet, quiet and unmoving, laying on the ground...
"You saw memories, Rose. Memories shared between you and him..." The Doctor took her face in his hands gently, looking right at her as he spoke.
"He gave you something, Rose, something precious." He tried to explain to her, knowing that what he was going to say would break her heart. "You see, you had been shot, and you were dying. He gave up his regeraations and his life, to bring you back to me."
"What are you saying-" She nearly screamed as she broke free of the Doctor's grasp and turned to see Judas, seemingly asleep on the ground. But she knew-she knew he wasn't sleeping.
"Judas! Judas!" She screamed out, shaking him. Fresh tears trembled on the edge of her eyes, forced to run down her cheeks by her screaming.
"He's gone, Rose. He's gone." The Doctor whispered as he pulled her away from him. She slammed herself onto his chest, her cries muffled by his coat.
Madera and the rest of the High Council fell to their knees around them, bowing their heads in an act of respect. Judas had made the ultimate sacrifice, all for a race that they had deemed "inferior" to themselves. Madera could only shake her head-things would change after today. The rest of the Time Lords would remember Judas-remember his sacrifice.
Jack suddenly appeared in the distance, running toward them. He stopped when he noticed Judas, unmoving on the ground.
Rose opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She buried her head back into the Doctor's coat.
"He gave his life for Rose...that's what happened." It took a few minutes, but the Doctor was finally able to answer.
The rooftop was swarming with a few different creatures, all of them in black uniforms with a large, white "51" inscribed on their helmets-agents of Proclomation Enforcement. While Jack had been chasing after Rassillon he had contacted them, let them know where he was and what was happening. His commander thought it best to send a few agents there.
"What will they do with his body?" Rose asked, finally able to speak as she gestured to the High Council, who were lifting Judas' body onto a large glass plate.
"He'll have a ceremony of the Highest Honours-then his body will be burned, and we'll not leave his side until the fire burns out." Madera answered her, placing her hand gently on Rose's shoulder before looking at Jack.
"What can we expect of you and your agents, Captain Harkness?" She narrowed her eyes at Jack, but hadn't interfered with them.
"It's just a routine investigation. We'll have to take Rassillon into custody, but I promise we won't harm him. I hope you understand."
Madera only nodded, without replying. She knew that Rassillon had committed murder-they all had, but since they hadn't interferred with the investigation, the Agency thought it best to just take Rassillon and leave the rest of the High Council out of it.
"And what about you Doctor?" Madera looked across at the Doctor. "What will you do now?"
"Oh I think we've seen enough of death around here. I think it's time we took a vacation-cleared our minds a bit." He nudged Rose, and she nodded in agreement.
"I see. May I wish you luck in your travels...and thank you again, Doctor." Those were the last words Madera spoke as she walked away, looking back over her shoulder one last time to look at the three of them.
Rose lifted her hand to the hand, waving the Time Lady good bye. Madera waved back, then followed behind Judas' body, disappearing from the roof.
The Doctor knew it was time to leave-this little pop around Gallifrey had turned into something the Doctor wished never to experience again. Though, at the same time he was glad he had got to meet Judas. He was proud of his parallel self, depsite the things that had happened before.
"Jack-need a lift back to Earth?"
Jack shook his head, watching the other agents around them. "I'll just catch a lift from one of those guys." He suddenly grabbed the Doctor around his neck and pulled him into a hug. "I'm glad I got to meet you, sir."
"Me too." The Doctor laughed, breaking away from Jack's hug as it lasted a little too long.
"You too Rose. Watch after this guy." He hugged Rose for a moment, wishing that things would have turned out different for her.
"Never a dull moment with you, Jack." Rose chuckled as she intertwined her fingers with the Doctor, and looked one last time in the direction they had taken Judas' body.
People always wanted to sacrifice for the Doctor. But she was different...why would anyone want to give up their life for her?
"You ready to go?" The Doctor's words broke through her thoughts, and as she looked up at him she smiled.
And then the two of them were off, walking across the expanse of glass that was the rooftop of the Citadel. Both glad they had come, but both heartbroken at what was lost. But also, both knowing that if they had to chance, they would do it over again.
"In case you were wondering-it's because you're special." The Doctor said to her, seemingly out of the blue as they were walking away.
"What do you mean?" She asked in confusion.
"In case you were wondering why someone would sacrifice for you-it's because you're special, Rose Tyler."
Rose only shrugged her shoulders, not believing what he was saying.
"Like Judas said-in every dimension, the Doctor will always be with Rose Tyler. I love you." He squeezed her hand as he spoke.
"I love you too."