A/N - The Final Part.


Part 8 – Area 52

He spent months working on the Teselecta, modifying it, improving it and making it generally less rubbish. He smoothed out the movement and included a mock regeneration cycle, using the TARDIS to interface with it to make it as convincing as possible. He needed to fool everyone, not just the Silence, but those who knew him best. The Silence would only believe it if the reactions of his friends were genuine.

He set up a motion-capturing device in the console room of the TARDIS and when he stepped inside it almost felt as though it was him walking about and not the machine. He had made sure to rig the spatial and sensory receptors on the machine to interface directly with his own whilst he was connected; it was the only way to ensure total control. He tested it out by remote piloting the TARDIS, throwing levers, punching in coordinates and overall it seemed fine. There were a few glitches but nothing that couldn't be solved with a bit more tinkering.

He sent invitations to the only people he trusted and numbered them. Himself first of course, always, but it was easy now – River was second. There was a time that it would have been the Ponds, but he trusted their daughter more than he ever thought it possible to trust another person. And this was his message to her: '2'.

They sat together in the diner where she had slapped him so many years earlier and compared diaries. His hearts were thumping in his chest, in spite of the preparation he was still terrified. She, on the other hand, seemed at ease. "Have we done Easter Island yet?" He knew immediately but rifled through his diary all the same, "Yes, I've got Easter Island." He was ridiculously nervous about what was about to happen and couldn't relax. He wondered how she could be so laid back, she surely remembered? He wasn't sure; he searched her face for some clue but couldn't see any. He slipped his hand under the table and stroked her knee with his fingertip. Her hand soon came down and slipped into his, squeezing it tightly. She seemed almost excited; she must not have remembered what was coming.

"You are always and completely forgiven," he said preparing for her younger self to play her part. He hoped it would be enough to make amends for what he was about to put her through.

He had a plan and it was going to work – She would 'kill' the Teselecta and if he ran into her (and he knew he would, because she was that kind of woman), he'd pretend to be the pre-Utah Doctor and some day down the line he'd show up at her door and bring her to the Singing Towers. He liked the plan; he was going to disappear and wouldn't be able to interfere anymore. No more lives ruined by his meddling – it was a good plan.

But nothing was ever straightforward when it came to River. She just wouldn't give in, she broke time to avoid killing him and it hurt. It physically hurt, he could feel time dying, but it also hurt to know that all the time he spent with her she knew that she had done this. She was the one who always trusted him, trusted that he would do what was best and this time, when he needed her to trust him the most, she didn't. In the diner, she knew this was coming and she wasn't even sorry, she was happy about it. He had been duped.

She was stupid too, she brought him to her – if she really didn't want to kill him all she had to do was stay away from him. He knew this younger version wasn't the same but he didn't think she would be so different, how had he not seen that when he visited her?

She took him top of the pyramid and showed him what she had built, it was impressive, but really, what use was it? She sent out a message to all of time and space, what made her think anyone would care? He knew she did but she was projecting her feelings on the rest of the universe. "You're an embarrassment." He aimed to hurt her. But she told him to shut up, and proved to him how much he was loved and how much he mattered to so many, and to no one more than her.

In Demon's Run she showed him the worst of himself, now she was showing him the best. She showed him that in spite of mistakes and wrong turns that he was still, and always would be, loved. "I'll suffer." He could see it now, what it would do to her if he forced her to believe that she had killed him. He could never put her through that now. He had been so busy thinking about himself and his choice that he didn't think to allow her one.

She was so much like her parents – willing to sacrifice anything for the one they loved, taking grand gestures to ludicrous levels, and not to mention stupidly stubborn. Why did she have to be this? Their daughter, his bespoke… everything? He had to hand it to her, she knew what he needed and gave it to him whether he asked for it or not. So he decided to do something for her, make her the woman who married him and trust her completely, just as she always had trusted him. He kissed her and it didn't feel like kissing the Luna River anymore, even through the Teselecta. It felt like the first time he chose to kiss her after Demon's Run, and like then, he made it a good one.