The End of Time (Part 2)
Wilf was tied to a chair on the other side of Naismith's office, the Master grinning as he looked between him and the Doctor, who was strapped to a wheeled chair across from Wilf. While Wilf was simply tied up, the Doctor was strapped down, his wrists and ankles bound with a strap across his chest and a gag over his mouth. Though even that was nothing compared to the Professor. She was tied to a wheeled chair as well, her ankles, legs, thighs, wrists, forearms, chest, stomach, and head all strapped back, a gag over her mouth, a set of ropes and even some chains holding her down as well. She was completely immobile as the Master had deemed her far more dangerous than the Doctor even on a bad day.
"Now, then," the Master smirked, "I've got a planet to run," he walked over to the center of the room where a small computer was set up, "Is everybody ready?"
"6,727,949,338 versions of us awaiting orders," the Naismith/Master reported from the labs.
"This is Washington," the president/Master appeared, "As President of the United States, I can transfer all the United Nations protocols to you immediately, putting you in charge of all the Earth's defenses."
"UNIT HQ, Geneva reporting," the UNIT/Master called, "All under your command, sir."
"And this is the Central Military Commission here in Beijing, sir," the commissioner/Master added, "With over 2.5 million soldiers, sir. Present arms!" the image changed to an army of Masters, presenting their rifles.
"Enough soldiers and weapons to turn this planet into a warship," the Master nodded, "Nothing to say Professor?" he grinned at her, "That's a first. How about you...Doctor?" he walked over to him, "What's that? Pardon? Sorry?"
"You let them go, you swine," Wilf glared.
"Oh, your dad's still kicking up a fuss."
"Yeah? Well, I'd be proud if I was."
"Hush, now," he put a finger to his lips, "Listen to your Master," Wilf's mobile began to ring, surprising him, "But that…that's a mobile..."
"Yeah, it's mine, let me turn it off."
He shook his head and walked towards him, "No, no, no. I don't think you understand. Everybody on this planet...is me. And I'm not phoning you, so who the hell is that?" he knelt down and began to search Wilf.
"It's nobody. Probably some ring back call."
He pulled out a revolver, "Ooh, and look at this. Good man!" and dropped it on the floor, continuing to search till he grabbed the phone, "'Donna.' Who's Donna?"
"She's no one, just leave it."
The Master answered it, setting it to speaker so they could all hear her, "Gramps...don't hang up. You've got to help me. I ran out. Everyone was changing."
He put his hand over it, "Who is she? Why didn't she change?"
"Gramps, I can't hear you."
"Well, it was this thing the Doctor did...he did it to her," Wilf replied, "The meta-crisis."
"Oh...he loves playing with Earth girls. Ugh!"
"Are you there?" Donna called.
The Master turned to the computer, "Find her. Trace the call."
"Trace the call!" the Naismith/Master ordered his technician/Masters.
"Are you still there?" Donna tried again, "Can you hear me?"
"Say goodbye to the freak, granddad," he held the phone to Wilf.
"Donna, get out of there!" Wilf shouted, "Look, just get out of there! Run!"
"She's on Wessex Lane, Chiswick," a technician/Master reported.
"Open the phone lines," the Naismith/Master ordered, "Everyone on Wessex Lane, red alert."
"What do I do?" Donna asked.
"Run, sweetheart, that's all," was all Wilf could say, "Run for your life!"
"There's more of them."
"Donna? What's happening? Are you still there?"
"Donna? Look, I'm telling you. Run, Donna! Just run, sweetheart. Just run!"
"It's not just them...I can see those things again. Those creatures. Why can I see a giant wasp?"
"Donna, don't think about that, Donna, my love, don't!"
"And it hurts. My head, it keeps getting hotter, and hotter, and hotter, and hotter, and hotter!"
Just then, she screamed.
"What did I..."
The line went dead.
"Donna?" Wilf called, frantic, "What was that? Donna...Donna, are you there? Donna…Donna! Donna..."
The Master got up and strode over to the Doctor, pulling off the gag, "That's better," the Doctor grinned, "Hello," he glanced at the Professor, "Still scared of her then?" the Master just glared at him. He rolled his eyes, "Did you think I'd leave my friend without a defense mechanism? The Professor took care of that a long time ago."
"Doctor, what happened?" Wilf asked.
"She's alright, she's fine, I promise. The Professor made it so she'll just sleep if she starts to remember too much."
Wilf looked at the Professor who tried to nod but was far too immobile to do anything.
"Tell me, where's your TARDIS?" the Master demanded.
The Doctor looked back at him, "You could be so wonderful."
"Where is it?"
"You're a genius. You're stone cold brilliant. You are, I swear, you really are. Even the Professor agreed once that you could be so much more. You could be beautiful. With a mind like that, we could all travel the stars. It would be my honor, 'cos you don't need to own the Universe, just see it. To have the privilege of seeing the whole of time and space. That's ownership enough."
"Would it stop, then? The noise in my head?"
"We can help."
"I don't know what I'd be without that noise."
"Wonder what I'd be, without you."
He sniffled, "Yeah."
"What does he mean?" Wilf frowned, "What noise?"
"It began on Gallifrey," the Master turned to him, "As children. Not that you'd call it childhood," he sat down on the desk, "More a life of duty. Eight years old. I was taken for initiation. To stare into the Untempered Schism…"
"What does that mean?"
"It's a gap in the fabric of reality," the Doctor explained, "You can see into the Time Vortex itself. And it hurts."
The Professor closed her eyes, boy did it hurt.
She turned away from the Untempered Schism, her body tense as she walked past the Keepers of the Schism, both men reaching out to place a hand on her shoulders as she passed, as they did with every child, it was the only comfort they could afford to the children who looked upon the Vortex for the first time.
She trembled as she walked down the steps of the temple just outside the Academy where the Schism was kept, tears filling her eyes. Her head hurt, her head hurt so badly! It felt like it was being ripped apart, tiny little needles sticking her entire body with every move she made.
She'd just reached the bottom step when she fell to her knees, crying, the pain too much to handle.
A moment later, a pair of arms wrapped around her.
She looked up, her vision blurred by the tears, but she could see, it was the boy. The boy who she'd bumped into, the boy she'd taught chess, the boy who really HAD carried all her supplies to her classes when her arm had been cased. And here he was, again, right when she needed him.
She turned and buried her face in his small chest, clutching his shirt as she cried.
"Shh," he whispered, rubbing small circles in her back, "I know, it hurts. I know."
It was the day before she'd been born. The day before she would turn nine years old. The day every child was taken to the Schism to look upon time after nearly a year of schooling, completing their initiation into their society. They were taken from their families at the age of eight and taught about time and space, about the Vortex for nearly a year before being allowed to look upon it, to understand it on a deeper level.
"I'm here," he whispered, dropping a small kiss into her hair as he held her, "I've got you. It'll be alright, trust me, you'll be alright. I promise."
And though she still felt the pain, and though she'd only known him not even a year, she trusted him, she believed him. She WOULD be alright again, as long as he was there…
"They took me there, in the dark," the Master frowned, thinking of is own time at the Schism, "I looked into time, old man, and I heard it calling to me. Drums, the never ending drums. Listen to it," he looked at the Doctor, "Listen."
"Then let's find it, you, her, and me."
The Master frowned, "But that's just it isn't it. It can't be us," the Doctor frowned, watching him, concerned, "'Cos it's always the Doctor and his Companion, or the Doctor and his Bonded…it's never two with you. You always have just one of another species with you, one human and ONE other Time Lord…not two..." he started to grin, the Doctor growing anxious, "Oh well, that's easily taken care of, isn't it?"
The Doctor's eyes widened as the Master turned and grabbed something out of his pocket, a syringe, "What's that?"
He just smirked and turned to the Professor, walking towards her as she struggled in her restraints.
"Stop!" the Doctor shouted as he uncapped the syringe, "Leave her alone!"
Instead he just jabbed the needle into her neck, quickly injecting her with the solution. Her eyes widened in horror as her body analyzed the solution, before closing in pain, tears in the corners of them as her body tensed.
"What is it? What did you do to her?"
The Professor's eyes were screwed shut but the Master loosened the gag, he wanted her to tell him herself.
"A…aspirin…" she forced out, trying to get her body to fight it, the human pill that acted as a poison to their people.
It was something difficult to pinpoint. Aspirin it had been, but…it was diluted enough where it wouldn't kill her outright but in, what she could estimate was, a few hours, at most, yet it was concentrated enough where she'd only be able to truly burn it out of her body by utilizing a healing coma…which she couldn't afford to do right now.
He truly was a sick and twisted genius.
"No…" the Doctor breathed, seeming to have realized the same thing as her. He glared at the Master, "How could you do that to her? We're the only three left!"
He laughed, "It wasn't just me. I've got six billion voices agreeing with me and six billion can't be wrong…" he trailed a moment, before realizing something, "The noise exists within my head…and now within six billion heads. Everyone on Earth can hear it. Oh...oh, yes!" he laughed before dropping into a crouch, his face becoming skeletal again.
"The Gate wasn't enough," the Professor glared at him as her body started to shake, trying to fight off the injection, "You're dying just like me."
"This body was born out of death. All it can do is die," he sneered, standing up and turned to the Doctor, "But what did you say to me, back in the wasteland? You said, 'the end of time.'"
"I said something is returning," the Doctor said, his gaze flickering back and forth between the Professor and the Master, "We were shown a prophecy. That's why we needed your help."
"What if I'm part of it? Don't you see? The drumbeat is calling from so far away, from the end of time itself. And now it's been amplified six billion times. Triangulate all those signals. I could find its source! Oh, Doctor...that's what your prophecy was. Me!" he slapped the Doctor's cheeks, "Where's the TARDIS?"
"No," he shook his head, struggling to get out of his restraints…if they could get to the TARDIS he could make a solution to counteract the aspirin, "Just stop. Just think."
"Kill him," the Master pointed at Wilf. A helmeted soldier walked over, raising his gun, "I need that technology, Doctor. Tell me where it is or the old man is dead."
"Don't tell him!" Wilf shouted.
"I'll kill him, right now!"
"You know," the Professor ground out, nearly biting her lip in pain, before looking up at him, "The most impressive thing about you is that, after all this time, you are still just a stupid little boy."
"Take aim," the Master ordered.
"You have got six billion pairs of eyes, but you still can't see the obvious, can you?"
"Like what?" he took her bait.
"That guard is one inch too tall."
The Master turned to look at the guard when the man lashed out, hitting him in the face with the butt of his gun. He pulled off his helmet as the Master fell, to reveal the male Vinvocci.
"Oh, my God, I hit him!" he gasped, "I've never hit anyone in my life."
"Well, come on!" Addams ran into the room and over to Wilf, "We need to get out of here, fast."
She managed to free him and moved towards the Professor as her partner went to the Doctor.
"God bless the cactuses!" Wilf breathed.
"That's cacti," the Doctor corrected.
"That's racist!" the male glared, struggling to get the restraints off.
"Come on!" Addams shouted, "We've got to get out."
"There's too many buckles and straps!"
Addams had to agree, struggling with the woman's restraints as well, "Just...wheel them!" she ran behind her and started to push the chair as her partner did the same for the Doctor.
"No, no, no!" the Doctor shouted, "Get me out! No, no, don't! Don't! No, no, no..." but the aliens didn't listen, wheeling them out and into the corridor.
"Which way?" the male alien looked around.
"This way," Addams turned, wheeling the Professor off.
"No, no, no, the other way!" the Doctor shouted as the Professor groaned, "We've got my TARDIS."
"I know what I'm doing."
"No, no, just...just listen to me!" and then he spotted something, "Not the stairs...not the stairs!" the aliens just continued to push the chairs down the wide steps towards the cellar, each bump jolting them, "Worst...rescue...ever!" Addams rolled her eyes at him as she led the way back to the basement lab, "Just...stop and listen to me!"
The guards appeared, blocking the way out of the room when the Master arrived, smiling, "Gotcha."
"You think so?" Addams pressed her wristband.
"No, no, no…don't, don't!" the Doctor shouted.
But it was too late.
The five of them disappeared and reappeared on the Observation Deck of the Vinvocci ship, hovering in outer space.
"Now get me out of this thing!" the Doctor shouted, struggling.
"Don't say thanks, will you?" Addams glared.
"He's not going to let us go," the Professor groaned.
"Just hurry up and get me out!" the Doctor struggled more.
"Oh, my goodness me..." Wilf breathed, seeing the Earth out the viewing window, "We're in space!"
"Alright!" Addams shouted.
"Get a move on!"
They finally managed to free the Doctor and he quickly flashed the sonic on the control panel for the teleport, making it explode, making sure the Master couldn't follow. He turned to the Professor, flashing the sonic at her, releasing her from the bindings and running over to her, kneeling before her.
She put her hand on his shoulder, using him to help push herself up, and turned to Addams, "Where's your flight deck?"
"But we're safe!" Addams shook her head, "We're a hundred thousand miles above the Earth."
"And he has got every single missile on the planet ready to fire!"
Addams blinked, "Good point," before turning and leading them away. The Doctor put an arm around the Professor, helping her to follow when they noticed Wilf just standing there.
"Wilf!" the Doctor called.
"But we're in space!" Wilf breathed.
Wilf laughed and turned to them, following them as they ran through the ship to the flight deck.
"We have to close it down!" the Professor shouted as they ran into the room, turning to lean on a device as the Doctor fished for the sonic.
"No chance, mate, we're going home," the male alien replied.
"We're a salvage team," Addams agreed, "Local politics has nothing to do with us. Not unless there's a carnival. Sooner we get back to Vinvocci space the better."
"You're not leaving," the Doctor flashed the ship and it went dead, only a few lights still on. He shushed them as the ship creaked, waiting.
"No sign of any missiles..." Addams glared at him after a moment, "No sign of...anything. You've wrecked the place!"
"The engines are burnt out," the other alien reported, "Just auxiliary lights. Everything else is kaput. We can't move. We're stuck, in orbit."
"Thanks to you. You idiot!"
And with that, she stormed out, her partner with her.
"I know you, though," Wilf turned to him as he went to the Professor's side, helping her sit as she started to shake again, closing her eyes as she focused on manipulating the aspirin within her, "I bet you've got a plan, haven't you? Eh? Come on! You've always got a trick up your sleeve. Nice little bit of the old Doctor flim-flam, ha ha, sort of thing? Eh?" the Doctor just looked up at him, solemn, "Oh, blimey…"
The Doctor sat by the Professor, both of them working on some wiring. He'd tried to convince her to at least attempt a partial healing coma, but she refused. They needed to get the ship working and he would need her help. She'd also pointed out that, once in the coma, it was damaging to wake up midway though, which he had to concede to, recalling his last bout in the coma during his regeneration.
He glanced up, looking out the window at Earth, when he spotted a white light streak across the sky. He stood up and walked to the window, watching it as the Professor eyed it from where she sat, both of them knowing it wasn't a typical meteor.
Wilf walked into the flight deck to see the Doctor and Professor, sitting side-by-side, working on some more wiring, the Professor was shaking noticeably and there was a sheen layer of sweat on her brow. The Doctor was casting quick glances at her every so often, clearly worried for her as he had right to be.
"Aye, aye," he tried to smile as he walked over to them, "Got this old tub mended?"
"Just trying to fix the heating," the Doctor remarked.
He sat down beside them and looked out the window, "D'you know, I've always dreamt of a view like that," he laughed, "I'm an astronaut. It's dawn over England, look. Brand new day," he sighed, "My wife's buried down there. I might never visit her again now. D'you think he changed them, in their graves?"
"No, not your fault."
"It's the psychotic child's fault," the Professor cut in, her voice raspy, "Not yours."
Wilf looked back out the window, "Ooh...1948, I was over there. End of the Mandate in Palestine. Private Mott. Skinny little idiot I was, stood on this rooftop, the middle of a skirmish. It was like a blizzard, all them bullets in the air. The world gone mad…yeah, you don't want to listen to an old man's tales, do you?"
"We're older than you," the Doctor told him.
"I'm 906, she's 904."
"What, really, though?"
"900 years...we must look like insects to you."
"We think you look like giants," the Professor smiled at him lightly.
Wilf nodded, swallowing hard, before he pulled out his revolver, "Listen, I...I want you to have this. I've kept it all this time, and I thought..."
"No," the Doctor shook his head.
"No, but if you take it, you could..."
"No. You had that gun in the mansion. You could have shot the Master there and then."
"I would've," the Professor remarked, showing Wilf her blaster, the Master had left it on her lap, seeing her too restrained to use it, "But he means too much to you," she added, looking at the Doctor.
Wilf shrugged a bit, "Too scared, I suppose."
"I'd be proud," the Doctor told him.
"If you were my dad."
"Oh, come on, don't start. But you said...you were told...he will knock four times, and then you die. Well, that's him, isn't it, the Master? That noise in his head? The Master is going to kill you."
"Then kill him first," he held the gun out.
"That's how the Master started," the Professor told him, leaning back, closing her eyes as she rested against a cool piece of metal, "It's not like we're innocent. We've taken lives. I killed millions during the war against the Daleks…"
"I got worse," the Doctor cut in, looking down, "I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own."
The Professor sighed, her eyes blinking open, a sad look in them, "Sometimes, during the war, I used to think a Time Lord lives too long. Sees too much…"
The Doctor nodded, understanding, to see that much death, it made you question if there was anything good out there, especially when it's not just war but...seeing all your friends die, as you live on…it could be just as damaging, "I can't," he shook his head, "I just can't."
"If the Master dies, what happens to all the people?" Wilf asked.
"Doctor, what happens?"
"The template snaps," the Professor stated.
"What, they go back to being human?" she nodded, "They're alive and human? Then don't you dare, sir. Don't you DARE put him before them. Now you take this, that's an order, Doctor. Take the gun. You take the gun and save your life. And please don't die. You're the most wonderful man and I don't want you to die!" he sobbed as he took the Doctor's hand and tried to place the gun in it.
"Never," he pushed the gun away. In a way...he would almost welcome the Master killing him, as long as he regenerated in the end and didn't die completely. The Professor was dying, he didn't want to leave her to regenerate alone, not when she'd been forced to nearly every time. No, if he was meant to die, he would die, with her, the two of them, together, as it always had been, as it always would be...
"That's why he's got me," the Professor held up her blaster again, cutting off his thoughts.
He looked at her, a bit startled. But he realized, this was just like with Jenny, she still considered herself broken, but more so because of the war, that she was already too infected, to desensitized to the sight of death and the act of killing. She had told him of the few clones she had killed in trying to prevent Jenny from killing, to prevent the killing from infecting his daughter, and here she was, about to do the same for him, to protect him from having to kill his friend if it came down to it.
She was going to infect herself, push herself to do it, just so he wouldn't have to.
"A star...fell from the sky," the Master's voice came over the speakers, "Don't you want to know where from? Because now it makes sense. The whole of my life. My destiny. The star was a diamond. And the diamond...is a Whitepoint Star," the Doctor gasped as the Professor's eyes widened, "And I have worked all night to sanctify that gift. Now the star is mine. I can increase the signal and use it as a lifeline. Do you get it now? Do you see? Keep watching. This should be...spectacular. Over and out."
"What's he on about?" Wilf frowned, "What's he doing? What does that mean?"
"A Whitepoint Star is only found on one planet," the Professor told him, "Gallifrey."
"Which means…" the Doctor swallowed hard, "It's the Time Lords. The Time Lords are returning."
"Well, that's good, isn't it?" Wilf asked, "That's your people."
The Doctor simply grabbed Wilf's gun and shoved it in his pocket, helping the Professor up as they ran from the room. Wilf followed, confused, racing after them down the hall and into the Observation Deck. The Doctor ran straight to the comms. and switched them on, the Professor examining the controls.
Four beats played over and over.
They shook their heads in alarm before running back to the flight deck just as Addams and her partner entered, "What's that?" Addams asked.
Her partner checked the comms. in that room now that they'd been opened from the Observation Deck, "Coming from Earth. It's on every single wavelength."
"But you said your people were dead, past tense," Wilf turned to the Doctor as he moved to help the Professor get the controls up.
"Inside the Time War," the Professor explained quickly, "When the whole War was Time Locked…"
"Sealed inside a bubble," the Doctor tried to help.
"It's not a bubble."
"But think of a bubble."
"Nothing can get in or get out of the Time Lock," she turned to him, "Nothing can get in or get out..." she swallowed hard, "Except something that was already there."
"The signal," Wilf gasped, "Since he was a kid."
"If they can follow the signal, they can escape, before they die," the Doctor nodded.
It took time for the Time Lock to set into place, to solidify and actually lock away a planet. The Time Lords, they had activated a measure that would wipe out the whole of creation, began the process of tearing the Time Vortex apart. It was meant to spread across the galaxy from the heart of Gallifrey, ripping their planet apart first before blasting out into the Universe with their planet as the epicenter, the minds of their people at the eye of the storm. The Time Lock had just managed to set in place a moment before it had spread, a moment after the planet had destoryed itself, stopping it, saving the Universe. It appeared...those few moments before the lock slid into place were the moments the Time Lords were using to try and escape...
"Well, big reunion," Wilf grinned, "We'll have a party."
"There will be no party," the Doctor shook his head.
"But I've heard you talk about your people like they're wonderful."
"That's how we choose to remember them," the Professor told him, "The Time Lords of old. But then they went to war, an endless war, and it changed them, right to the core. The war infected them."
"You've seen our enemies, Wilf," the Doctor said grimly, "The Time Lords are more dangerous than any of them."
"Time Lords?" Addams frowned, "What lords? Anyone want to explain?"
"Right, you!" the Doctor pointed at her, "This is a salvage ship, yes? You go trawling the asteroid fields for junk?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"You've got asteroid lasers," the Professor said.
"Yeah, but they're all frazzled," her partner shook his head.
"Consider them un-frazzled," the Doctor flipped a lever and two doors on opposite sides of the room opened, "You there," he turned to Addams, "I'm going to need you on navigation. And you," then her partner, "Get in the laser pod. Wilfred?"
"Yeah?" Wilf looked at him as Addams ran to the navigation and the other alien to one of the doors.
"Laser number two. The old soldier's got one more battle."
"Right," he stood and rushed over.
"This ship can't move," Addams argued, "It's dead!"
"Fix the heating," the Doctor pushed a large lever and the ship started up.
"But now they can see us!"
"Oh, yes!" he turned to the wheel.
"This is my ship and you're not moving it. Step away from the wheel."
"You are not flying this ship," the Professor agreed, nudging him away and taking his place, "I've flown war ships," she reminded him, "You're going to need me to outmaneuver the missiles."
He nodded and turned to Addams as she moved to protest again, "There's an old Earth saying, captain, a phrase of great power and wisdom and consolation to the soul in times of need."
"What's that, then?"
The Professor pulled the wheel back and the ship took off.
"Come on!" the Doctor stood beside her, cheering as the ship entered the atmosphere, "Come on..."
"You are blinkin', flippin' mad!" Addams shouted.
"You two," he turned to Wilf and the other alien, "What did I say? Lasers."
"What for?" the alien frowned.
"Because of the missiles," the Professor told them.
"We've got to fight off the entire planet!" the Doctor agreed and the two ran off for the lasers.
"We've got incoming!" Addams shouted from the navigation, seeing the lasers on radar.
"Open fire!" the Professor ordered as she took evasive action with the missiles heading towards them, weaving in and out of them.
"Open fire!" the Doctor repeated, "Come on, Wilf!"
Finally the two started firing at the missiles, causing them to explode.
"And there's more," Addams called, "16 of them. Oh! And another 16."
"Go to the rear-gun lasers!" the Professor ordered as Addams headed for the lasers.
"You two, open fire!" the Doctor took charge, "NOW!"
A large number of missiles were taken out relatively quickly as the Professor made the ship loop to avoid some others, "No, you don't!" she spun she ship, allowing Wilf and the alien to fire, destroying the other missiles, "Lock the navigation!"
"Onto what?" Addams asked, rushing back to navigation.
"England!" the Doctor shouted, "The Naismith mansion!" a few moments later, as they reached land, the Doctor called out for a report, "Destination?"
"50 kliks and closing. We've locked on to the house. We are going to stop, though?" the Professor and Doctor didn't answer, "We are going to stop?"
The ship just zoomed closer, over the countryside, as Wilf and the alien arrived back on deck.
"Professor!" Wilf ran over, seeing the Professor piloting, and turned to the Doctor, "Doctor, you said you were going to die..."
"He said what?" Addams shrieked.
"But is that all of us? I won't stop you, sir, but is this it?"
The Professor aimed the ship right at the mansion but pulled up at the last moment. The Doctor knelt down and lifted a hatch from the flight deck floor, the gun in his hand. He looked over at the Professor who lifted her blaster as well and, with a nod, they both jumped down. They fell through the sky, crashing through the glass dome of Naismith manor and onto the floor in the center of the Gate room, the Doctor on his stomach, the Professor on her back. She rolled over to fire at the Master but he seemed to be expecting it and kicked her blaster out of her hands. She cursed the aspirin, her strength was fading fast, she hadn't been able to hold onto it. The Doctor, though, seemed to have just a bit more luck, holding onto his gun and turning it on the President of Gallifrey, Rassilon, as he stood before four other Time Lords and Ladies, two weeping, in a bright white light on the side of the room. But he was too weak and fell to the floor, struggling to stand.
"My Lord Doctor," the President sneered, "My Lady Professor. My Lord Master. We are gathered for the end."
The Doctor looked to his side where the Professor was struggling to get onto her knees, panting, the exertion of it all accelerating the aspirin. He grunted, slowly rising to all fours and then kneeling, helping the Professor onto her knees as well.
"Listen to me," he turned to the President, "You can't…"
"It is a fitting paradox that our salvation comes at the hands of our most infamous child," the President cut in.
"Oh, he's not saving you," the Professor glared, "Don't you realize what he's doing?"
"Hey, no, hey!" the Master cut in, "That's mine. Hush. Look around you. I've transplanted myself into every single human being. But who wants a mongrel little species like them? Because now I can transplant myself into every single Time Lord. Oh, yes, Mr. President, sir, standing there all noble and resplendent and decrepit. Think how much better you're going to look as me!"
The President merely held out his gauntlet-covered hand and it glowed, returning the human race to their original selves.
"No, don't..." the Master cried out like a petulant child, "No, no, no, stop it! No, no! No, no! Don't!"
"On your knees, mankind!" the President barked and the humans in the room dropped down, scared.
"No, that's fine, that's good, because you said salvation. I still saved you, don't forget that."
"The approach begins…"
There was a rumbling and the room got brighter.
"Approach of what?" the Master frowned.
"Something is returning," the Professor glared at him as she hunched over, shaking, sweating, her eyes tearing up in anger and pain, "Don't you ever listen? That was the prophecy. Not someone, something."
"What is it?"
"They're not just bringing back the species," the Doctor said quietly, his arm around the Professor as she shook, trying to get control of her body once more, "It's Gallifrey. Right here, right now."
The humans looked up, seeing another planet looming in the sky through the broken dome and ran out of the room, screaming.
The Master fell to his knees, "But I...I did this. I get the credit!" he looked at the President, "I'm on your side."
"Come on, get out of the way!" they heard Wilf shouting as he ran into the room, "Get out of the way! Doctor...Professor…"
"Somebody, please!" a technician called, locked in the radiation booth.
"Alright! I've got you…" Wilf ran over, getting in the other side.
"Wilf, don't...don't!" the Doctor shouted.
But it was too late.
Wilf pressed the button, releasing the man, trapping himself, "I've got you. Come on. Go on."
"But this is fantastic, isn't it?" the Master grinned as the Professor and Doctor glared at him, "The Time Lords restored."
"You weren't there in the final days of the War, you coward," the Professor spat, recalling her regeneration at that time, the realization that came with it, "You never saw what was born. If the Time Lock is broken, then everything is coming through, not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres, the War turning to hell. And that is what you have opened, right above the Earth. Hell!"
"My kind of world."
The Doctor shook his head, "Just listen! 'Cos even the Time Lords can't survive that!"
"We will initiate the Final Sanction," the President nodded, "The end of time will come at my hand. The rupture will continue, until it rips the Time Vortex apart."
And now that Gallifrey was appearing in those final seconds outside the last moments of the Time Lock, they could rip the Vortex apart from there.
"That's suicide!" the Master gasped.
"We will ascend to become creatures of consciousness alone, free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be."
"You see now?" the Doctor rounded on him, "That's what they were planning in the final days of the War. I had to stop them."
"Then take me with you, Lord President," the Master knelt down and stretched out his arms, "Let me ascend into glory."
"You are diseased, albeit a disease of our own making," the President sneered, "No more."
The Master lowered his arms, realizing the truth, after all this, he had no way out. The President held out his gauntlet-covered hand once more, the energy starting to hum, when there was a click.
The Doctor stood, the revolver aimed at the President, as the Professor fell on all fours, a hand on her stomach as she felt her organs slowly start to fail.
"Choose your enemy well," the President glared at the Doctor, "We are many. The Master is but one."
"But he's the President," the Master argued, "Kill him, and Gallifrey could be yours!" the Doctor turned the gun on the Master, "He's to blame, not me! ...oh, the link is inside my head. Kill me, the link gets broken, they go back. You never would, you coward. Go on then. Do it," the Doctor turned back to the President, "Exactly. It's not just me, it's him. He's the link, kill him!"
"The final act of your life is murder," the President eyed him, "But which one of us?"
The Doctor's gaze hardened…when he felt a hand on his leg.
He looked down to see the Professor staring at something past the President's shoulder. He followed her gaze to see an older woman with brown hair lower her hands from her weeping position, to look at him, tears running down her face. His eyes softened and filled with tears of his own as he looked upon her. She smiled at him softly, so proud, before motioning with her eyes at something behind him.
He switched the gun to the Master once more.
"Get out of the way," he told the man. The Master smiled and dove to the side as the Doctor shot the device holding the Whitepoint Star and completing the link, it went up in flames. He whirled around and glared at the President, "The link is broken. Back into the Time War, Rassilon. Back into hell."
Gallifrey flickered above them.
"You'll die with me, Doctor," the President threatened.
"I know," he steeled himself when someone grabbed his hand and tugged. He looked over as the Professor pulled herself to her feet to stand beside him, always.
Rassilon held up his hand, aiming the gauntlet at them.
"Get out of the way," the Master called from behind them.
The Doctor jumped to the side, pulling the Professor down with him, as the Master shot a bolt of energy at the President, striking him in the chest, forcing him backwards.
"You did this to me!" he roared, "All of my life!" he sent a bolt with his other hand, "You made me!" with each bolt he shot out, he stepped closer to them, "One! Two! Three! FOUR!"
With that final strike, he stepped into the light, falling back to Gallifrey with the others, the planet fading from the sky.
The Doctor was lying on his back on the floor when he came to, his hand still holding the Professor's as she lay on her side beside him, facing him. He rolled onto his side towards her as her eyes flickered open, "I'm alive," he breathed, smiling, "I've...there was..." he laughed, pulling himself towards her and kissing her deeply, "We're still alive!" he laughed shakily, pushing himself up to kneel beside her. He truly hadn't believed they would survive that confrontation. Now, he just had to get her to the TARDIS and then he could figure out an antidote to the aspirin and they'd both be fi...
Someone had knocked four times on glass. The Doctor's eyes went wide as he realized the noise and what it meant while the Professor's filled with tears and closed, her face scrunching in pain, not just her own anymore.
Four more knocks.
And four more.
He turned to see Wilf, still in the booth.
Four more knocks and a little wave.
"They've gone, then?" he asked, "Good…oh. If you could let me out..."
"Yeah," he breathed as the Professor took his hand, forcing herself up to sit, gripping her head with the other hand as the movement jarred her.
"Only, this thing seems to be making a bit of a noise."
He stood up, helping the Professor up as well, "The Master...left the nuclear bolt running. It's gone into overload."
"And that's bad, is it?"
"No...'cos all the excess radiation gets vented inside there. Vinvocci glass contains it. All 500,000 rads, about to flood that thing."
"Oh!" he chuckled a bit, "Well, you'd better let me out, then."
"Except it's gone critical," the Professor leaned heavily on the device that had created the link with Gallifrey, "Touch one control and it floods. Even the sonic would set it off."
"Sure," the Doctor whispered.
"Look, just leave me."
"Ok," his voice broke, "Right, then...I will," he started to pace, knowing he couldn't leave the man there to die, "'Cos you had to go in there, didn't you? You had to go and get stuck, oh, yes! 'Cos that's who you are, Wilfred. You were always this. Waiting for me, all this time."
"No, really, just leave me. I'm an old man, Doctor. I've had my time."
"Well, exactly. Look at you. Not remotely important. But me? I could do so much more!" he yelled at the ceiling, "So much more! But this is what I get. My reward. And it's not fair!" he pushed a number of items off a desk, breathing heavily. To have come SO close to surviving, to having enough time to save the Professor...
"Let me do it," the Professor called quietly, knowing he truly didn't want to die, that he'd been hoping for them to escape with enough time to get her an antidote so they both could live, but it was too late for her, she knew it. He looked at her, startled, "I'm…I'm dying anyway…what's 500,000 rads of radiation gonna do?"
He shook his head and walked over to her, taking her head in his hands, "It could kill you quicker, too quickly…" he shook his head, "I can't lose you like that. Not again," he kissed her once more, "This body…lived too long hasn't it?"
She reached up and pressed his hand to her cheek a moment longer, "It seems we are both going to die at the hands of someone who knocked four times."
And then he realized, Carmen hadn't expressly said it was just him who would die from the four knock. Four times…yes…the Master, who had knocked his four beat rhythm on the barrel in the shipyard, had been her demise…Wilf, with his knocks on the glass, would be his.
He nodded, tears in his eyes, as he turned and walked across the room.
"No..." Wilf shook his head, "No, no, please, please don't. No, don't. Don't...please don't! Please!"
The Doctor put his hand on the door to the other booth, "Wilfred...it's my honor. Better be quick. Three, two, one," he stepped in and pressed a button, releasing Wilf. His booth filled with the radiation, making him groan and slide to the ground, curling up in pain at it. The Professor stumbled over, Wilf quickly moving to her side to help steady her as they watched the machine switch off. The Doctor slowly unwound himself and sat up.
"What..." Wilf breathed, so relieved he was still alive, "Hello."
"Hi," he frowned.
"Still with us?"
He stood with a gasp of pain, "The system's dead. I absorbed it all. Whole thing's kaput," he put his hand on the door and it just fell open, "Oh. Now it opens, yeah," he stepped out and reached for the Professor, just pulling her into his arms as he held her, no telling how much time they'd have left now.
"There we are then, safe and sound. Mind you, you're in hell of a state. You've got some battle scars there…" the Doctor simply put a hand to his face and wiped, his cuts healed as he pulled his hand away, "But they've...your face! How did you do that?"
The Doctor looked at his hands, "It's started."
The Professor nodded and the two walked out of the room, Wilf following solemnly behind.
'Theta?' she called to him quietly, he looked at her, 'I don't care anymore if it's how the Master got started or not, if he EVER comes back again, I'm just going to blast a hole in him before he can kill me for a third time.'
He could only give a small smile at that, to be honest, he wouldn't blame her. If he ever had to choose between her or the Master...her, every time.
Wilf stepped out of the TARDIS as it appeared before his house, the duo behind him, the Professor leaning heavily on the Doctor as they spotted Mrs. Noble, smiling, in the doorway.
"Oh, she's smiling," the Doctor remarked, "As if today wasn't bad enough. Anyway...don't go thinking this is goodbye, Wilf. We'll see you again, one more time."
"What do you mean?" Wilf turned to them, "When's that?"
"Just keep looking. We'll be there."
"Where are you going?"
"To get our reward," he and the Professor turned and headed back into the TARDIS.
The Doctor stood on top of a scaffolding, the Professor having just knocked out a Sontaran who had been aiming a gun at Martha Jones and Mickey Smith as the pair stood in a warehouse district, looking at a map.
They looked up, spotting them there, and waved. He smiled at them before turning and taking the Professor's hand that wasn't holding the mallet, walking away.
The Doctor dashed out from the drive of 13 Bannerman Road when he spotted Luke Smith walking across the street on his phone, a car headed for him. He quickly shoved the boy back as the car drove past.
"But it's you!" Luke gasped, seeing him, "You're..." he looked over, watching as the Doctor just headed back to the TARDIS where the Professor was standing in the doorway, "Mum!" he ran across the street, carefully, and over to Sarah Jane, "Mum!"
"What?" she looked at him, "What is it?"
"It's them. It's the Doctor and Professor!" he pointed and Sarah Jane looked over at the Doctor. He raised his hand in a little wave as the Professor nodded. The looks on their faces clearly telling her something was wrong as she waved back sadly.
They stood off to the side, watching as the bartender of an alien bar handed Captain Jack their note. He looked up at them, startled, before glancing at the note they'd written.
'His name is Alonzo.'
Jack looked a bit confused but the Professor nodded to the man that had just taken a seat beside him, Midshipman Frame from the Titanic. He glanced at the man and then back at them, both of them saluting him. He returned it with a proper salute and they walked off.
The Doctor and Professor stood behind a man getting his book signed by Verity Newman, author of 'A Journal of Impossible Things,' as she explained the book to him, "No, it's not just a story, no. Every word of it is true. I found my great grandmother's diary in the loft. She was a nurse in 1913, and she fell in love with this man called John Smith, except he was married already, to a woman, Katherine. They were both visitors...from another world. She fell in love with a man from the stars. And she wrote it all down," she closed the book and slid it across to the man.
"Thank you," he walked off and they stepped forward, putting the book before her.
"And who's it for?" Verity asked.
"The Doctor and Professor," the Professor breathed, trying to keep strong and stable, to hold off the regeneration that was slowly setting in as long as she could.
"'To the Doctor and Professor,'" Verity signed, "Funny, that's the name they used…" she looked up at them, stunned to see one of the people from the book before her and, given what her grandmother had written about the little she'd learned of their species from the serving girl Martha, she could guess the girl beside him was the Professor with a different face.
"Was she happy...in the end?" the Doctor asked her. He still felt guilty that Nurse Redfern had fallen in love with him, especially since he knew, even as a human, he could never return her affections, not when he had the Professor.
"Yes. Yes, she was. Were you?"
The Doctor smiled when the Professor took his hand and squeezed it, the two of them heading out.
They stood by the TARDIS, outside a church, watching as Donna stood with her friends, taking pictures at her wedding.
An older woman they recognized as Minnie had just run off to the bouquet toss when Mrs. Noble looked around and spotted them. She nudged Wilf and he turned around, the two of them quickly walking over to the TARDIS.
"And here you are, same old face," Wilf smiled, "Didn't I tell you you'd be alright? Oh! They've arrested Mr. Naismith. It was on the news. Crimes undisclosed. And his daughter. Both of 'em, locked up. Yeah, but I keep thinking, Doctor, there's one thing you never told me. That woman. Who was she?"
The Doctor just looked away, sad that he'd lost his mother for the second time due to his actions.
The Professor, sensing it, reached into his pocket and handed them a small envelope, to get them off the topic, "We just wanted to give you this," her voice trembled with the strain of holding off the regeneration as long as she was, but if there was anything his Kata was, it was determined.
"Wedding present," the Doctor nodded, "Thing is, we never carry money. So we just popped back in time, borrowed a quid off a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was. 'Have it,' he said," Mrs. Noble gasped, "'Have that on me.'"
They nodded their goodbyes to the family and turned to step back into the TARDIS, hoping Donna would enjoy the lottery ticket they'd given her.
The Doctor leaned heavily against the wall of an alley just outside the Powell Estate. The Professor was in the TARDIS, unable to even stand after the last few trips from the effort of holding back the regeneration, she was determined not to go without him. She knew he was nearing his end as well and wasn't going to make him support her as well as himself. She'd remained behind, knowing this was also one trip he needed to make by himself.
He listened, hearing the familiar voice of Rose Tyler and her mother as they walked towards their home. He had seen all his former Companions, it was only right that, despite everything, he see her as well.
"I'm late now, I've missed it," Rose was saying, "It's midnight. Mickey'll be calling me everything. This is your fault."
"No, it's not," her mother insisted, "It's Jimbo! He said he was going to give us a lift, then he said his axle broke. I can't help it."
"Get rid of him, mum, he's useless."
"Listen to you! With a mechanic. Be fair though, my time of life, I'm not gonna do much better."
"Don't be like that. You never know. There could be someone out there."
"Maybe. One day. Happy New Year."
"Happy New Year!" she hugged her mother, just outside the alley, he could see them now, "Don't stay out all night."
"Try and stop me!" Jackie laughed before walking off.
He grunted just as Rose walked past.
She turned around, squinting in the darkness, trying to see him, "You alright, mate?"
"Yeah," he groaned.
"Too much to drink?"
"Something like that."
"Maybe it's time you went home."
"Anyway...Happy New Year."
"And you," she started to walk off when he called out, "What year is this?"
"Blimey, how much have you had?" she stopped, laughing as he shrugged, "2005, January 1st."
"2005? Tell you what. I bet you're going to have a really great year."
"Yeah?" she smiled, "See ya!" she turned and ran off.
He watched till she entered her building before groaning in pain and pushing himself along the wall, one hand on the bricks to support himself. He turned the corner where the TARDIS was parked and struggled to make to it. He cried out in pain and fell to his knees.
He looked up, spotting Ood Sigma standing there in the snow, "We will sing to you and your Bonded, Doctor," the Ood told him, "The Universe will sing you to your sleep."
He looked over, seeing a faint orange-gold energy start up in the TARDIS, and managed to stand up, pushing himself towards it. He threw open the door and stumbled in to see the Professor sitting against the console, biting her lip as she tried to wait for him.
"This song is ending," he heard Sigma in his mind, "But the story never ends."
He tossed his coat on a Y-beam and pulled himself up the ramp till he dropped to his knees beside her, his hands beginning to glow as well.
"I don't want to go," he whispered to her, scared, but bearing it.
She looked at him, shaking, "Our next great adventure," she held out a hand to him, "Together."
He took her hand and they pulled themselves to their feet.
A moment later…
They threw their heads back, their arms out, still holding each other's hand as the regeneration energy poured out of them. It was too much for the poor TARDIS, two regenerating Time Lords, fires sprung up on the console, beams collapsed aground them.
They screamed as the energy tore through them, changing them, before gasping. The Professor stumbled, falling down onto the captain's chair as the Doctor looked down at himself.
"Legs!" he cheered, "I've still got legs, good," he kissed his knees and continued his inventory, "Arms. Hands. Ooh, fingers, lots of fingers. Ears, yes. Eyes, two. Nose, I've had worse. Chin, blimey. Hair..." he ran a hand though his longer hair, "I'm a girl!" and quickly felt his Adams's Apple, "No! No...I'm not a girl."
"I would hope not," the Professor laughed, jumping up and over to him. She kissed him quickly and pulled away, grinning, "And neither of us are really ginger."
He pulled his brown hair down in front of his eyes, frowning, before looking at her, taking her in as she was him. She was shorter than him by five inches, her hair darkened slightly to a strawberry blonde, not quite ginger, but not quite blond, a perfect blend of her last incarnation and Donna if he had to guess. It was wavy and just a few inches longer than it had been. Her eyes were hazel now, a beautiful swirl of brown and green with little flecks of a lighter green here and there, with cheekbones that were just slightly more pronounced when she smiled like she was now. Overall, she was beautiful, like she always was to him.
He frowned suddenly, "There's something else, something important, we're…" there was a small explosion behind them, "Ha! Crashing!"
They ran back to the console, practically dancing around it as they piloted, she smiled at him, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
He grinned as she pulled a lever, sending them off, before grabbing the console as he shouted, "Geronimo!"
To be continued…in…Revitalization!
A/N: Good news for all Keta fans. My withdrawl has actually led to goodies for you! I'm so starved for Keta that all I can think about is adding in lines and cute scenes between the Doctor and Professor! The next story will be packed full of Keta fluff, banter, flirting, possessiveness, protectiveness, and more! I like to think that, since they are regenerating together and starting new lives together that Keta is going to be more in sync than ever! I can't wait!
And...OMG! You guys! You are all amazing! 16 reviews for the last chapter alone! That makes up like a quarter of the total reviews and you've taken us beyond 50! Keep that up in Revitalization we may end up with more than the 150 I'm hoping for :) Congrats to you for reaching the 50 though, 'cos that means you get The Eleventh Hour! In...T-minus 6 hours and counting!