Last of the Time Lords

A year had passed.

A whole year under the rule of the Master and planet Earth was feeling the strain. All her resources, her minerals, her land, had been ravaged to make weapons for his insane war against the rest of the Universe. The humans, now little more than slaves under the watchful eye of the Toclafane. Martha Jones was still missing, having escaped just at the start of his reign, rumors, though, said she was travelling the world, looking for something, a weapon with which to stop the Master at last.

It was these rumors, these reports that filtered over to the Master of Martha's sightings, that kept those imprisoned on the Valiant hopeful.

"Citizens rejoice!" the Master's voice came over the loudspeaker, "Your Lord and Master stands on high, playing Track 3."

The doors to the conference room/bridge opened and the Master spun around while 'I Can't Decide' played. He started singing along as he strutted in, sliding to Lucy, wearing a red gown. He gave her a long, deep kiss before sitting on one of the chairs at the table, taking a sip of tea from Mrs. Jones and spitting it out, smashing the cup on the table, leaving her to clean the mess.

He ran onto the bridge and starting ringing a hand bell. The Doctor crawled out of a tent with straw on the floor as the Master ran down and shoved him into a wheelchairm only so he could push the Doctor around the room and stop by the window to look out at the butchered Earth below.

"It's ready to rise, Doctor," he grinned, "The new Time Lord Empire," a few Toclafane flew by, "It's good, isn't it? Isn't it good? Anything? No? Anything?" he waved his hand in front of the Doctor's face, "Oh, but they broke your hearts, didn't they? Those Toclafane, ever since you worked out what they really are."

"You're losing your touch," a raspy voice called from the other side of the room. He stood up and looked back to see the Professor, sitting back against the wall, next to the door, a collar around her neck with a heavy chain attached to the back of it set into the wall, heavy manacles around her ankles and wrists, a harness around her, tethering her to the wall. She was dirty and bruised, her lip spilt and an eye blackened, pale and thin, "You're getting worse at hiding things if we managed to figure it out. The madder you are, it seems, the less clever," she scoffed, "Oh, sorry, you were never all that clever to begin with."

He glared and fired a laser at her but she ducked to the side as much as she could, the laser singeing her hair instead of burning her.

"They say Martha Jones…has come back home," he eyed her, "Now why would she do that?"

"Leave her alone," the Doctor hissed, for both the Professor and Martha.

"But you said something to her, didn't you?" the Master replied, looking between them, "You hatched some sort of plan on the day I took control. What did you tell her?"

"I have one thing to say to you. You know what it is."

"Oh, no you don't!" he shoved the chair away and walked over to the center of the room.

"Valiant now entering Zone One airspace," came over the loudspeaker, "Citizens rejoice."

He clapped his hands, "Come on, people! What are we doing? Launch Day in 24 hours!"

He turned to sneer at the Professor as she glared up at him, "Oh cheer up," he grinned, before kicking her hard in the chest. He laughed as she hunched over in pain, breathing raggedly through her now cracked ribs.

It was absolutely superb to have that much power over her, to have her so restrained. All she ever did was beat him at everything. Even when he'd been that disgusting human, Yana, she still managed to get HIS rocket to work, figure out his other equipment. It was the same in the Academy, all she did was steal his glory, explaining his elaborate plans to others, figuring things out before him, doing better than him...she was better at everything! She was smarter, faster, more cunning, more observant, more creative, a faster reader, hell she was even taller than him! He could never lay a hand on her though, because the Doctor went out of his way to protect the miserable little witch. And it wasn't fair, the Doctor was HIS friend first! They had practically been raised together, entering the Academy at the same time with a pact to always remain friends...but that didn't matter at all once the Doctor had met the Professor...oh, but he would enjoy torturing her as much as he could whether through the laser, his guards, or through her beloved Doctor, she never could bear to see him suffering for her...

The Doctor looked over at her, watching her as the Master left. She nodded briefly to him, she was ok, before Mrs. Jones ran over to her, dabbing the blood away from her mouth as she coughed up more.

"Three," she whispered to the woman.

Mrs. Jones gave no outward sign that she heard her, though the Professor knew she had. They just had to hope she could pass the message on to her husband, Tish, and Jack.

~8~

The Doctor and Professor watched as the clock on the bridge read 14:58, Mrs. Jones and Tish glancing at it as well, when the Master walked into the room.

"Time for my massage," he breathed, "Who shall I have today? Tanya. Come on, sweetheart. Lucy, have you met Tanya? She's gorgeous," he pulled off his jacket and tossed it on the table before Mrs. Jones, sitting down, "Tanya, when we get to the stars, I'm gonna take you to Katria Nova. Whirlpools of gold," he glanced at Lucy, "You two should get to know each other. That might be fun," Tanya began to massage his shoulders when the alarms started blaring.

"Condition red!"

"What the hell?" he jumped to his feet and ran up the stairs to the bridge.

"Repeat: Condition red."

Mrs. Jones grabbed his jacket and tossed it to Tish who handed it to the Doctor. He fished in the pocket and pulled out the laser screwdriver, aiming it at the Master.

"Oh, I see," he held up his hands.

"I told you," the Doctor said, "I have one thing to say," he flicked the button…

But it didn't work.

The Master laughed, "Isomorphic controls," he leaned over and plucked it out of the Doctor's hands before backhanding him, sending him to the floor, "Which means they only work for me. Like this," he grinned and shifted a setting, firing at the Professor, striking her in the arm, burning her, "Say sorry!" he knew she was the orchestrator of this plot, but he'd been careful to never let her touch the screwdriver or see it for very long, knowing her abilities. She hadn't known it was isomorphic, his own little failsafe should something like this happen.

"Never," she ground out.

He struck her again, in the knee, "Say it!"

She just spat at him.

"Didn't you learn anything from the blessed Saint Martha?" he demanded as Lucy ran over to help him back into his jacket. He turned to the Joneses, "Siding with the Doctor and the Professor is a very dangerous thing to do. Take them away."

"Move!" a guard ushered the women out of the room, "Come on."

"Okay," the Master grinned and spun around, "Gotcha," he grabbed the Doctor and lifted him into a chair at the end of the table, "There you go, Gramps," he pushed the seat away a bit and sat on the edge of the table, keeping both him and the Professor in sight, "Oh, do you know, I remember the days when the Professor, oh, that famous woman, was waging a time war. When the Doctor, battled Sea Devils and Axons, sealing the rift at the Medusa Cascade single-handed with the Professor's device. Oh…that was a fun day watching her chew you out about it," the Doctor glared at him, his fists clenching as he saw the Professor trying to move her leg and wincing out of the corner of his eye, "And look at them now. Stealing screwdrivers. How did they ever come to this? Oh yeah. Me!" he laughed.

"I just need you to listen," the Doctor tried again.

"No, it's my turn. Revenge! Best served hot. And this time…it's a message for Miss Jones."

~8~

The Master stood before a camera in the conference room, the Doctor held between two guards behind him while the Professor was visible, still chained against the back wall, though gagged now, with two guards on either side of her.

"My people," he greeted to anyone watching, and he had a suspicion who would be, "Salutations on this, the eve of war. Lovely woman. But I know there's all sorts of whispers down there. Stories of a child, walking the Earth, giving you hope," he walked over to the Doctor, "But I ask you…how much hope has this man got? Say hello, Gandalf. Except he's not that old but he's an alien with a much greater lifespan than you stunted, little apes. What if it showed? What if I suspend your capacity to regenerate? All 900 years of your life, Doctor. What if we could see them?" he stepped back, aiming the screwdriver, using it again, "Older and older and older!" the Professor struggled vainly against the chains as she tried to get to him, to make it stop, watching in horror as the Doctor writhed in agony, "Down you go, Doctor," he fell to the floor, "Down, down, down you go," he stopped, staring at the pile of clothes on the floor, "Doctor," he bent down and a large, domed head peered out from the neck of the shirt with large blinking eyes.

The Master grinned and walked back to the camera, "Received and understood, Miss Jones?"

He nodded and the connection was severed as he turned to smirk at the Professor. He glanced to the guards that stood near her, what he'd just done to the Doctor would hurt her more than any sort of physical torture...but then again, he was never one to do things by halves.

"Have some fun boys!" he shouted before grabbing the Doctor by the back of his neck and holding him up, forcing him to watch, helpless, as the guards closed in on her...

~8~

The Doctor stood, perched in a large birdcage, his eyes trained on the wall where the Professor slept fitfully, an aftereffect of whenever the Master allowed the guards to beat her. She was bruised and bloodied and in pain and he couldn't do a thing to help her, to protect her. He looked down sadly, he'd failed her…

The doors opened and the Master led a somewhat timid Lucy in, "Tomorrow, they launch," he stated, "We're opening up a rift in the Braccatolian space. They won't see us coming. Kinda scary."

"Then stop," he wheezed.

"Once the empire is established and there's a new Gallifrey in the heavens, maybe then…it stops," he walked to the cage and looked at the Doctor through the bars, "The drumming. The never-ending drumbeat. Ever since I was a child. I looked into the Vortex. That's when it chose me. The drumming, the call to war. Can't you hear it? Listen, it's there now. Right now. Tell me you can hear it, Doctor. Tell me."

"It's only you."

"Good," he turned as the door opened and a sphere entered.

"Tomorrow, the war," the female Toclafane stated, "Tomorrow we rise. Never to fall."

"You see?" he gestured to the sphere, "I'm doing it for them! You should be grateful! After all, you love them. So very, very much," he moved to sit at the table, his back to the still unconscious Professor, smirking at the fact that she was still out. The guards must have been more agressive this time to have worn her out to the point that she didn't wake upon his entrance, "I took Lucy to Utopia. A Time Lord and his human companion. I took her to see the stars. Isn't that right, sweetheart?"

"Trillions of years into the future," she replied, "To the end of the Universe."

"Tell him what you saw."

"Dying. Everything dying. The whole of creation was falling apart. And I thought…there's no point. No point to anything. Not ever."

"And it's all your fault. You should have seen it, Doctor. Furnaces, burning. The last of humanity screaming at the dark. All that human invention that had sustained them across the eons. It all turned inwards. They cannibalized themselves."

"We made ourselves so pretty," the sphere agreed.

"Regressing into children. But it didn't work. The Universe was collapsing around them. My masterpiece, Doctor. A living TARDIS, strong enough to hold the paradox in place, allowing the past and the future to collide in infinite majesty."

"But you're changing history," he argued, "Not just Earth, the entire Universe."

"I'm a Time Lord. I have that right."

"But even then, why come all this way just to destroy?"

"We've come backwards in time to build a brand new empire lasting 100 trillion years," the sphere cried.

"With me as their Master. Time Lord and humans combined. Haven't you always dreamt of that, Doctor?" he got up and walked back to him, "Human race. Greatest monsters of them all. Night-night," he smirked before walking out, his arm around Lucy as the sphere followed.

The Doctor just gripped the bars of the cage and gazed sadly upon the Professor as she let out a soft cry of pain in her sleep.

~8~

The Doctor was lying on the bottom of the cage that night, his eyes open, watching the Professor as she slept on. Suddenly the door slid open and the Master turned on the light, striding in, in a dark silk robe, this time waking the Professor in the process, "Guess what?" he smiled.

~8~

"Citizens of Earth, rejoice and observe!" the Master's voice came over the loudspeaker.

The doors to the conference room opened and two guards escorted Martha inside. She walked forward, alone, to one side was her family, on the other, Jack. As she got closer to the stairs she saw the Professor chained to the wall and gave her a brief nod. Right at the base of the stairs where the Master was standing was the Doctor in his cage, she smiled softly at him.

"Your teleport device," the Master stated, "In case you thought I'd forgotten," Martha pulled it out from her pocket and tossed it to him, "And now…kneel," she did, "Down below, the fleet is ready to launch. Two hundred thousand ships set to burn across the Universe," he walked to the comm., "Are we ready?"

"The fleet awaits your signal," a man replied, "Rejoice!"

"Three minutes to align the black hole converters. Counting down!" he flicked a switch and a clock on the wall started to count down the seconds, he turned to Martha with a grin, "I never could resist a ticking clock. My children, are you ready?"

"We will fly and blaze and slice!" came the reply of thousands of Toclafane, "We will fly and blaze and slice!"

"At zero, to mark this day, the child, Martha Jones, will die. Ha, my first blood. Ha, any last words? No?" he looked at the Doctor and Professor, before turning to Martha, "Such a disappointment, this one. Days of old, Doctor, you had Companions who could absorb the Time Vortex. This one's useless!" he glared at her, "Bow your head. And so it falls to me, the Master of all, to establish from this day, a new order of Time Lords! From this day forward…"

Martha started to laugh.

"What? What's so funny?"

"A gun?" she raised an eyebrow.

"What about it?"

"A gun in four parts?"

"Yes, and I destroyed it."

"A gun in four parts scattered across the world? I mean, come on. Did you really believe that?"

"What do you mean?"

"As if we would ask her to kill," the Professor smirked.

"Oh, well, it doesn't matter. I've got her exactly where I want her."

"But I knew what professor Docherty would do," Martha argued, recalling the woman who had given her up, "The Resistance knew about her son. I told her about the gun, so she'd get me here. At the right time."

"Oh, but you're still gonna die!"

"Don't you wanna know what I was doing? Travelling the world?"

"Tell me."

"I told a story, that's all. No weapons, just words. I did just what the Doctor said, what the Professor planned. I went across the continents all on my own. And everywhere I went, I found the people, and I told them my story. I told them about the Doctor. And I told them to pass it on, to spread the word so that everyone would know about the Doctor."

"Faith and hope? Is that all?"

"No, 'cos I gave them an instruction. Just as the Doctor said," she stood up, recalling his words to use the countdown, "I told them that if everyone thinks of one word, at one specific time…"

"Nothing will happen! Is that your weapon? Prayer?"

"Right across the world. One word, just one thought, at one moment…but with 15 satellites!"

"What?"

"The Archangel Network," Jack grinned.

"A telepathic field binding the whole human race together," Martha nodded, "With all of them, every single person on Earth, thinking the same thing at the same time. And that word…is Doctor."

The countdown hit zero and a glowing field of white appeared around the Doctor.

"Stop it!" the Master shouted, staring at him in horror, "No, no, no, no, you don't!"

"Doctor," Jack closed his eyes.

"Doctor," as did Mrs. Jones.

"Don…" the Master warned but a large plasma screen showed crowds of people all across the world, gathering, chanting 'Doctor,' "Stop this right now! Stop it!"

"Doctor," even Lucy closed her eyes.

"Doctor," Martha did the same.

The Professor smiled and let her eyes drift closed, "Doctor."

The Doctor broke out of his cage, now regressed to an old man, "I've had a whole year to tune myself into the psychic network and integrate with its matrices."

"I order you to stop!" the Master shouted.

But everyone started chanting louder, all around the world.

The Doctor smiled as he returned to his normal self, "The one thing you can't do, stop them thinking," he levitated, using the telepathic field, as the Master looked on, shocked, "Tell me the human race is degenerate now when they can do this," he held out his hand to the Professor and her bindings came undone. Martha ran over to her along with her mother, helping to get them off her.

"No!" the Master fired at him but the Doctor deflected it.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Then I'll kill them!" he turned the laser on Martha and the Professor but the Doctor threw it across the room telekinetically, "You can't do this! You can't do…it's not fair!"

"And you know what happens now."

"No!" he backed up as the Doctor floated closer to him, "No!" he groveled, "No! No!"

"You wouldn't listen…"

"No!"

"…because you know what I'm going to say."

"No!" he curled into a fetal position as the Doctor landed and walked over to him, wrapping his arms around him.

"I forgive you."

"My children!" he suddenly shouted, "Protect the machine!"

"Protect the paradox!" the Toclafane called over the comm., "Protect the paradox! Protect the paradox!"

"Jack the Paradox Machine!" the Professor called, Martha and Mrs. Jones working on getting the harness off her.

"You men with me!" Jack turned, running out with a few guards, "You stay here!"

The Master pulled out the Manipulator.

"No!" the Doctor grabbed onto it moments before it was activated and they disappeared, reappearing on a rocky cliff.

"Now it ends, Doctor!" the Master held out his arms, "Now it ends."

And then the alarms went off.

~8~

Martha helped the Professor stand, shaky though she was, leaning heavily on one leg, "We've all 6 billion spheres heading straight for us," she told the woman, "What do we do?"

"The computer," she said.

Martha nodded and wrapped an arm around the girl's waist, helping her hobble over and up the stairs. She held the woman steady as she began to type a code into the computer…

~8~

"We've got control of the Valiant," the Doctor told him, "You can't launch."

"Oh, but I've got this," the Master grinned, holding up a small device, "Black hole converter inside every ship. If I can't have this world, Doctor, then neither can you. We shall stand upon this Earth, together, as it burns!"

And then…

The lasers of the Valiant fired at the approaching Toclafane, decimating them.

~8~

Martha's eyes widened, watching as the Professor slammed her hand down on a button, firing. She'd seen the warrior within a few times during her adventures with the Doctor…but never so much as this…

~8~

"Weapon after weapon after weapon," the Doctor ignored the firing, knowing the Professor was doing it to buy him time, "All you do is talk and talk and talk. But over all these years…and all these disasters, I've always had the greatest secret of them all. I know you. Explode those ships, you kill yourself. That's the one thing you can never do," he held out his hand, "Give that to me."

The Master hesitated before slapping the device into his hand.

They fell to the ground as the Earth started to shake, signaling the destruction of the paradox. The Master grabbed the Manipulator but the Doctor did as well, both of them fighting for control till the Doctor managed to press it, getting them back to the Valiant.

~8~

The ship rocked as the Paradox Machine was destroyed, throwing Martha and the Professor down to the ground where the Doctor steadied them, "Everyone down!" he shouted, "Time is reversing!" he helped them to the floor, holding onto the Professor closely as they grabbed Martha's hand.

A bright light filled the room as people clung to what they could find as time rolled back until…it faded and everything was back the way it was.

The Doctor jumped up and ran to the controls as Martha helped the Professor to her feet, "The paradox is broken," he cheered, "We've reverted back, one year and one day. Two minutes past 8:00 in the morning," he flicked on the comm..

"This is UNIT Central. What's happened up there? We just saw the President assassinated!"

"You see?" he grinned, looking around, "Just after the President was killed, but just before the spheres arrived. Everything back to normal. Planet Earth restored. None of it happened. The rockets, the terror. It never was."

"What about the spheres?" Martha asked.

"Trapped at the end of the Universe," the Professor replied.

"But I remember it," Mrs. Jones frowned.

"We're at the eye of the storm," the Doctor told her, "The only ones who'll ever know…" and then he spotted Mr. Jones, "Oh, hello! You must be Mr. Jones! We haven't actually met…"

The Master made a break for it, only for the door to open and Jack to grab him as he walked in, "Whoa, big fella! You don't want to miss the party," he looked at a guard, "Cuffs," and proceeded to lock the Master's hands together before him, "So, what do we do with this one?" he asked, leading him to the center of the room, standing on one side as the Professor and Martha were on the other, the Doctor before him with the Joneses behind him.

"We kill him," Mr. Jones glared.

"We execute him," Tish agreed.

"No, that's not the solution," the Doctor shook his head.

"Oh, I think so," Mrs. Jones grabbed a gun off the floor and aimed it at the Master, "'Cos all those…things, they still happened because of him. I saw them."

"Go on!" the Master grinned, "Do it!"

"You're better than him," the Doctor reached out and took her hand, slowly lowering the gun till he could hug her. Martha walked over and took her mother from him, hugging her tightly.

"You still haven't answered the question. What happens to me?"

"You're our responsibility," the Professor told him. She hobbled over to look him in the eye, the Doctor watching her, "By rights, we should let them kill you. But that would make us just like you, wouldn't it?"

He swallowed hard and looked away.

She nodded and stepped back, shooting a small, tired smile at the Doctor.

"But you can't trust him," Jack argued, stepping forward to look at the two of them.

"No," the Doctor agreed, "The only safe place for him is the TARDIS."

"You mean you're just gonna…keep me?" the Master frowned.

"In the TARDIS though?" Jack stepped over to the Doctor, speaking quietly.

"Hmm," he nodded, "If that's what we have to do," he looked at Jack, "It's time to change. Maybe we've been wandering for too long. Now we'll have someone else to care for."

A gun shot rang out.

Lucy had a gun and a horrified expression.

The Professor fell to her knees, her hands pressed against her chest as blood seeped between her fingers.

Another shot rang out.

Jack glared, the gun he'd grabbed smoking.

The Master fell backwards, a hole in his head, dead before regeneration could kick in.

The Doctor ran to the Professor's side, falling to his knees as he grabbed her, lowering her to the ground in his arms, "There you go," his eyes filled with tears, "I've got you. I've got you."

"I didn't see her…" she whispered, "He grabbed me and…"

"It's alright," he breathed, stroking her hair as her body started to swirl with orange-gold energy, "It's alright."

She blinked back tears, "I love you."

And then her body convulsed as the regeneration took hold…

~8~

That night the Doctor stood before a pyre, the Master's body on top of it, with a lit torch in his hand. He reached out and lit the bottom of it, watching sadly as the pyre caught fire, before glancing at the Professor. She was tall, lean, with blond hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, her blue eyes were hard and cold, her expression unreadable, blank, emotionless…hard, like her eyes. She stood stiffly, her hands locked behind her back, her feet apart, in the 'at ease' position.

Her clothes didn't fit her, she was still dressed in her last incarnation's outfit, the waterfall cardigan, meant to make her feel warm and secure, looked out of place with her indifferent persona. He couldn't help but worry for her. This regeneration, this body, was born of pain and anger, and those two emotions would take more doing to get over than simple fear...if she even wanted to get over them...

They watched the pyre burn for a moment longer before walking off into the night.

~8~

The Doctor, Martha, and Jack stood, leaning on the railings by the Pierhead Building in Cardiff while the Professor stood beside them, in the 'at ease' position once more, eyeing the various men and women who walked by, as though ascertaining their threat level.

She had selected a pair of black cargo pants that went down to her knees, with a blue, almost grey, thin strap tank top, a pair of black, fingerless gloves, and small black shoes. She'd even gone and gotten a belt with a holster on it for the sonic blaster she'd found under one of the panels by the console.

Both Martha and Jack were making an effort to try and remain acting normal around the clearly changed girl.

"Time was," Martha commented, looking around at the people, "Every single one of these people knew your name. Now they've all forgotten you."

"Good," the Doctor replied.

"Back to work," Jack decided, ducking under a railing.

"We really don't mind, though. Come with us."

"I had plenty of time to think that past year, the Year-That-Never-Was. And I kept thinking about that team of mine. Like you said, Doctor, responsibility."

"Defending the Earth. Can't argue with that," he reached out to shake Jack's hand but exposed his Manipulator as well.

"Hey, I need that!"

"We can't have you walking around with a time travelling teleport," he soniced it, "You could go anywhere, twice. The second time to apologize."

"And what about me? Can you fix that? Will I ever be able to die?"

"Nothing we can do. You're an impossible thing, Jack."

He laughed, "Been called that before," he saluted them, "Sir. Ma'ams," the Professor gave him one in return. He nodded, happy he'd gotten just a bit of a reaction from the girl, before he turned to go…and then stopped, "But I keep wondering…what about aging? 'Cos I can't die but I keep getting older. The odd little grey hair, you know? What happens if I live for a million years?"

"We really don't know."

He laughed again, "Okay, vanity. Sorry. Yeah, can't help it. Used to be a poster boy when I was a kid back on the Boeshane Peninsula. Tiny little place. I was the first one ever to be signed up for the Time Agency. They were so proud of me. 'The Face of Boe' they called me. Hmm, I'll see you," he turned and ran off.

"Can't be," Martha breathed.

"No, definitely not," the Doctor shook his head, "No," Martha laughed, "No!"

The Professor merely turned and walked off, back towards the TARDIS.

Martha's laughter died as she watched her go, before looking at the Doctor to see him watching her sadly as well.

"Is regeneration always like that?" she asked him quietly, "Making you so different?"

He sighed, "We carry things over from when we regenerate. Whatever's most prevalent or powerful in our minds at the time tends to stick with us. For her," he nodded at the Professor as she disappeared into the box, "It was pain and anger."

"Will she be like that forever?"

"In time she may change. But then again…she may not. It depends."

"What will happen with you and her?" she wasn't asking in a 'hopeful' way, but deeply concerned for her two friends.

"Nothing will change. I still love her, and will love her, regardless of what any of her regenerations are like. I just…need time to get to know this one," he sighed, "And to be honest, this isn't the worst version of her I've seen."

"How can you tell?"

"Well…she didn't kill all of the Master's guards when she woke up. I suppose that's something."

"What do you mean?"

"The training for the Academics went up to, and including, killing anyone and anything associated with the enemy on the field of battle. She let them live. That's a sign."

"Of what?"

"She's still in there somewhere."

~8~

The Doctor and Professor stood outside the TARDIS, watching the Jones family reunite through the windows of their house. Mrs. Jones looked out at them, nodding, before they turned and headed back inside.

The console was back to normal with the Doctor's hand resting on the floor by it. He sat on the captain's chair and leaned back, putting his feet up on the console till the Professor shoved them back down and walked past him.

He could only smile a bit at that, before putting them back up, and watching as she double checked the TARDIS was alright. His Kata could never stand people putting their feet on the console either. Though this one seemed far more forceful about it.

~8~

Martha stepped into the TARDIS to see the Professor at work around the console while the Doctor peered around from the other side.

"Right then!" he stood up, "Off we go! The open road! There is a burst of star fire right now over the coast of Meta Sigmafolio. Oh, the sky is like oil on water. Fancy a look? Or…back in time. We could…I don't know, Charles II? Henry VIII? I know! What about Agatha Christie? I'd love to meet Agatha Christie! I bet she's brilliant!" his smile faded when he saw she wasn't smiling, and realized why, "Okay."

"I just can't…" she explained.

"Yeah."

"Spent all these years training to be a doctor. Now I've got people to look after. They saw half the planet slaughtered and they're devastated. I can't leave them."

"Of course not," he smiled, "Thank you," he hugged her tightly, "Martha Jones, you saved the world."

Martha pulled back and glanced at the Professor who hadn't taken a step towards her, though, she was watching. It was eerie, seeing the woman so quiet, so closed off and hard.

"Yes, I did," she forced herself to smile, "I spent a lot of time with you two and you know what I realized? I am good. You gonna be alright?" she glanced back at the Professor, "The both of you?"

"Always," the Doctor nodded, looking at the Professor as well, "Yeah."

"Right, then," she kissed him on the cheek and went to hug the Professor, hiding her frown at feeling the girl tensing beneath her and not returning it, before she pulled away. She stepped back and looked at the Doctor, tossing him her mobile, "Keep that. 'Cos I'm not having you disappear. If that rings, when that rings, you better come running. Got it?"

"Got it," he grinned.

"I'll see you again," she smiled at him, before looking at the Professor.

The Professor gave her a small nod in return and Martha beamed, she'd gotten something. So with that, she turned and walked out of the TARDIS, leaving them to start her up.

~8~

The Doctor and Professor worked around the console in a comfortable, though just slightly tense, silence when a ship's horn was heard.

Suddenly the TARDIS jolted, throwing them to the floor. The Professor was up only a second later, looking up at the bow of an ocean liner that was sticking through the wall.

"What…" the Doctor coughed, "What?" he gaped, finding a life preserver that read 'Titanic,' and looked at the boat in confusion, "What?"

To be continued...in...Relapse!

A/N: Have your hearts broken too? Mine certainly has. It killed me to write this chapter, to make the Professor so much like the body she despised. But there was no way that, having survived the Master for a year, she wouldn't have been affected when she regenerated. And all the pain and beatings inflicted were far too much like her training as an Academic to not trigger some sort of...relapse.

And I just want to thank all of you guys so much for taking time to read this story, it really means a lot to me that you all like it and continue reading it :)

Countdown for Voyage of the Damned in...T minus 6 hours and counting...