Here it is. The last chapter of A Moment In Time, hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!
I do not own Doctor Who, but I do lovie him very much.
The Doctor gathered up great coils of rubber tubing, grabbing a small box of doodads, that he shoved into Rose's hands. Rose was beaming beside him, her eyes twinkling, mouth split into her trade mark smile. Working a hand free of his load he gripped hers, grinning back at her and they ran back to the console together.
"I'm just saying, something LIKE socks, I don't mean-"
"Socks? What's the point socks? That's...Socks?!"
"Doctor!" Amy's cry cut off Rory and the 'Doctor's' rising argument. "What're you doing?"
"Oh, don't mind me. Basic Tardis repairs. Nothing important. Come on Rose." He darted around them, dragging Rose behind him.
"Oi! What do you travel with him for?" The clone asked, gesturing at Rory. "He's thick!"
"OI!" everyone in the room glared at him Rose more softly then any of the others.
"Don't dis on the Roman." The Doctor frowned and then gestured emphatically at Rory. "Besides that's Rory! We love Rory! He's clever..sometimes. Plus he's always good for a laugh." he fumbled at his nose, wires slipping down his arms, stopping quickly at they're disgruntled expressions. "Right. Come on Rose."
"Doctor!" Amy complained, but he had already disappeared beneath the inky floor.
"You're a Roman?" The clone turned to Rory.
"It's a long story..."
The Doctor dumped his load unceremoniously onto the floor, beginning to work with the tangled wires immediately.
"What ARE we doin'?" Rose asked, watching him with a smile. The Doctor glanced up.
"I told you, saving the universe. We are going to close the cracks. We-" he stared for a moment into her eyes. "are taking you home." He looked away and his movements were slower, his eyes darkened by hidden pain.
"But...you said you weren't gonna help...Wha=" She broke off thinking for a moment."If you know how to get us home...Why aren't you tellin' them?" She pointed to the ceiling.
"Because...it'll give them something to do...keep them sharp! Got to give that giant brain something to do or he'll get bored,lazy...start forgetting things and before you know it, he'll be as thick as the rest of you."
Ignoring the jibe at her fiancee's (and species) intellect, Rose laid a hand against his cheek, forcing his eyes up to hers, eyes filled with quiet anger, but at what she couldn't guess.
His face breaking into a soft smile, he trailed a finger down her cheek.
"Oh, Rose. My Rose..." He looked her up and down. The anger replaced by pride. "Because I need them to save themselves...I need them...not to need me." he looked down, shoulders sagging. "I'm a selfish old man. And I needed...just once, just This once...I needed to leave the world behind, to leave them all behind...and know they would survive." He couldn't look at her as he turned back to his work, couldn't face her judgment. But she didn't judge. She stood by his side, not saying anything, but at the same time, saying everything that needed to be said.
"Right!" the Doctor bounded up the ramp,Rose following more slowly behind him. "How are we all doing?" He turned to beam at them all in turn. "Any ideas? No of course not. But! Don't worry, because I've had an idea that will make up for all of you!" His grin widened, and he wandered over to face Amy's gaping expression. "Hello Amy how are you feeling?"
"What idea is that?" Rory interrupted.
"A great idea...really very grand, not important what it was, the important bit is..." Here his smile became decidedly smug. "I am going to save us all."
The Doctor darted back down the ramp without answering, brushing past Rose as she moved to take HER Doctor's hand.
"Hello Rose." He grinned at her. "Having fun?"
"Right! Here we are." The Doctor reappeared, dragging the previously seen rubber tubing behind him. He'd attached what appeared to be a pair of barbecue tongs to the end, and was holding a small box in the crook of his arm. "Right, Rose, Doctor palms flat together." He clipped the tongs over their fingers, holding it in place with a couple rubber bands. Then he fumbled through the box pulling out a tangle of wires and a box of rainbow band aids. "Alright Scrawny loose the pinstripes." The Doctor snapped.
"Oi! Watch it Chin-Boy!"
"What is wrong with my chin?"
"Doctor!" Reminded him sharply. He went back to work, frowning angrily. The clone stripped his jacked and the Doctor stuck a wire over his heart, holding it in place with a band aid and pulling down his collar to get to the skin. The next one went on his forehead, dangerously close to his hairline.
"Rose." The Doctor turned to her with a smile.
"Ah, no." The clone cut in, taking a threatening step forward and holding out his empty hand. "Come on." He wiggled his fingers.
Rolling his eyes and sighing in disgust the Doctor passed over the band aids. With much fumbling and Rose's one handed help he attached the wires to the appropriate places. The Doctor looked on sullenly.
"Right, Rory! I need you to power the generator."
"More electric mixers?"
"No." He gave Rory a puzzled look. "No of course not! This is going to take much more power..." Looking Rory up and down in confusion once more he gestured him forward. "Follow me."
"So it's basically like static in a sock..."
"N- well, yes, sort of, temporal static, in a temporal sock, but not really because that would make the Tardis a sock, plus! We're using a jacket, there's not actually any sock involved really. So no nothing like that, but sort of yes."
"But- that's what I said...earlier. I said like socks and static, and your clone or who ever laughed at me. But I was right?"
"Yes, sort of Rory, in an entirely wrong sort of way, but yes. You see I said you were clever."
"Yes well, not everyone can be me, two's already to many, really." He nodded knowingly. "'s why he's got to stay over there, across the void. It's why Rose has to stay with him..." His eyes got distant for a moment, and a soft smile tugged at his lips. "Anyway!" His grin returned full force. "Let's get you set up."
He removed his tweed jacket, laying it across the floor fondly, while Rory removed his shoes and strapped a pair of clothes irons to his feet.
"Right, try and do even strokes, I don't want you wrinkling my coat. Keep it up as fast as you can until I say stop, got it?"
"Why couldn't I do this with my hands?"
"Because. Don't start till I tell you." Moving behind the last centurion the Doctor connected more wires to the back of the irons, twisting them firmly into place. "Right." The Doctor giggled suddenly. "I always wanted to try parallel parking." leaving Rory to groan at a bad joke he ran upstairs.
"Okay." He opened the hot tap as far as it would go, jerking the zigzag plotter down to one and yanked down three yellow levers in quick succession. "Hold on tight. Now Rory!"
Instantly the Tardis began to move, shaking and groaning, the scanner run through a slew of random images as the Tardis tried to cope with the Void. The Doctor began to laugh wildly dancing around the console as steady footed as a sailor, pulling out knobs and twisting dials, snapping the zigzag plotter up to four as the rumble through the Tardis grew. Sparkling gold and blew energy ran up the tubing, circulating around Rose and the 'Doctor's' bodies, sending out a halo of pulsing light.
"Faster Rory!" The Doctor laughed, and a whine filled the console room, slowly building in strength until it broke with a flash and a great angry zapping. The Tardis disappeared from the Void with a jolt.
"Okay Rory stop! Rory stop!"
Everybody in the control room was climbing to their feet save the Doctor, who was leaning over the railing, flushed with laughing.
"Did we do it?" Rose asked instantly, biting her lip. The Doctor gestured at the doors and taking the clone's hand and working the wires of their bodies they ran to the doors, throwing them wide and letting in a stream of rich yellow sunlight.
"Rose!" Jackie's voice came in from out of doors and the clone smiled.
"Yep, we did it." They stepped out together, back into THEIR world. The Doctor watched them from afar, was as Jackie came barreling through shining glass doors and gripped first her daughter and then her...Fiancée. Her love. The man she'd chosen. The human. The man who could give her a lifetime. And he tried not to feel bitter. Patting the Tardis fondly and smiling his thanks to his beloved Sexy, he went to stand by the door jam, keeping his feet firmly within the limits of his giant, blue, little box. Pete had joined Jackie, a little carroty haired boy clinging to his side, and the family welcome was going round. The Doctor looked to the ground, trying not to think of everything he'd lost that day on Bad Wolf Bay.
Everything you saved. His mind whispered, but this was one moment when he didn't want to listen.
He looked up at Rose's smiling face and an answering smile pulled up his cheeks.
"Hey..." He reached out a hand, grasping hers. "Welcome home." His mouth twisted as he said it and she didn't reply, just sat watching him. He could feel the clone him's eyes on them from afar. He didn't care. He pulled Rose closer to the Door, tucking her away into a little outcropping of shadow, his eyes suddenly desperate.
He cut her off.
"Come with me." He stared hard into her face, ignoring the guilt and pity that he saw there. "There are so may places I wanted to take you Rose Tyler. Barcelona," She shared his brief smile and he pressed on. "The purple plains of Jhassari, real purple, not purple tinted, proper purple plains of grass. Gandera, brilliant, everything is made of blown glass, the buildings, the tables, the cars, can you imagine? Glass cars." He laughed. "Oh and so many whens...1902,4908, the year 222,222, in the galaxy of Nebvulas when butterflies first migrated through space!"
"Venus! During the festival of warmth, everyone going about in their dressing gowns taking baths in honey, chocolate, pineapple juice, anything really."
"Marsh mellow roasting over a super nova while listening to Elvis Presley, and star jumping in the Cribula! Little platforms of stardust artificially suspended over a pool of perfumed clouds, turkey racing in Winho, to meet Louis and Clarke, King Henry the IIII, Amelia Earheart. Arthur Dent, S-"
He stuttered to a stop, looking at her with wet eyes. She gazed back at him, her eyes similarly damp.
He nodded, swallowing hard.
"I wish I could but..."
"I know. I'm sorry." He drew her to him. "I am SO sorry." He peeled her away from him, looking deep into her eyes with all the affection he had hid from her for so long. "Rose Tyler." His mouth flickered into a smile though the tears remained in his eyes. "My Rose Tyler." He drew an unsteady breath. "There's something I have to tell you, because it is important. So, so...Important. And it needs saying." He cradled her face in his hands, placing his thumb over her lips gently to keep her from talking, from taking away his nerve with gentle. "You...are...fantastic...Absolutely, fantastic." He bent his head against hers, delighting in the feel of her breath against his skin. "And I will ALWAYS, always, remember you." He pressed his lips against hers in a rash kiss, pulling her face to his for one too short moment. She pulled away with a gasp and he caught her gaze, pinning her with the full force of his eyes.
"I love you Rose Tyler."
Before she could respond he withdrew into the Tardis, slamming the doors closed behind him before collapsing to his knees with a shuddering sob. The Tardis didn't wait for him, she dematerialized with a sigh of regret and relief, conveying her own sadness to him with a heavy thrum. He hardly noticed. He was fighting so hard to keep his grief inside of him, to shove it away to the dark places he kept it, to bury it behind excitement and adventure... but he couldn't. There was nothing left to hide it with, he had stripped away the barriers to his soul and shared it with her and now...
He felt as if he had died. His whole body ached with the pain of death and there was nothing to alleviate it. No regeneration. No new body, no excuse to let go of his pains and claim they belonged to someone else. Because he was all their was, and all he was in that moment, was pain...
Rory forced Amy from the control room, forced her away from the Doctor as he mourned, leading her deep into the Tardis. But not deep enough. The Doctor's sobs echoed down the corridors, laced with her name and Rory knew that no matter how far he led her, they could not escape the loss of eternity.
River Song closed her journal slowly as the familiar noise filled the prison hall, overpowering the turmoil of the cage's ceaseless rain. The Tardis ground into existence, looking small and dingy and the doors swung open with a creak.
"Hello sweetie." River purred, pressing herself against the bars of her cage. But the sight that met her wiper the smirk from her face. The Doctor stumbled out, looking tired and broken, cradling a dish of chips between his hands.
"Hello River." His voice was hoarse and dejected, pulling at her heart.
He tried to smile, but the expression only broke away at her heart a little more.
"I lost one of my hearts today...I just came to make sure the other one was still intact."
Saying nothing River offered her hand through the bars, he took it, studying her knuckles fondly, before pressing it to his lips softly.
"What happened?" Her voice was nothing but a breath, to be easily ignored if he so chose. He smiled at her and lowered himself to the floor outside her door, pushing the chips through the bars, River gathered them into her lap, watching him carefully.
"I lost someone today..." Slowly and falteringly he told her of Rose, his brilliant, brilliant Rose. River listened without a word, content to simply hold his hand as the storm of Stormcage raged on outside. And they sat together like that as the universe watched because sometimes it didn't need the Doctor to save it... Sometimes it needed somebody to save the Doctor.