Author's Notes:

Bad Wolf is omniscient, so she gets first person, of sorts. Present tense, because omniscient beings from the Time Vortex always have tense troubles.


I am the Bad Wolf. We are the Bad Wolf. We touched the cube and our soul was joined, and all of time and space and reality can be seen, but is sheltered for the minds within not to burn like moths in the flame.

He is so beautiful. Both of him. So many beautiful, terrible possibilities. So much work to do. So many secrets.

They are terrified. Both of him. They fear us, they love us.

I blink, and let her speak. She must. She refuses anything less. "Hello Sweetie. This is fascinating. Much better than being stuck a lifetime or three in that computer. Dead boring after a bit, though the spa was a nice touch. This is…all of time and space. It's so very beautiful. So very very…" A sigh, and she speaks too. "Never enough time, is there? Even though I could see every atom, every moment. You never get enough time with any of us."

River's Doctor opens his mouth. Closes it, then opens it again, pressing ever forward. "There is never enough time. River Song. Rose Tyler." He swallows, and this is so hard for him. He thinks he's a coward, but we know better. "I love you. Both of you, all of you. I never can say it when it needs to be said."

Rose's Doctor is crying silently, that beautiful bit of Donna Noble giving him the strength he needs. "Cowards, both of us. But cowards who love you."

My voice, the voice of the Bad Wolf thrums, overlaid human on inhuman, and still tempered to not drive mere Time Lords mad. "We know, luv. We know all. Now, give us what's in the bag. She's said yes. Would have, will do, all of that rot. I say yes too, you impossible man, though you didn't even give me the chance." His eyes shine with relief and sorrow and the aching pain of holding off death instead of embracing it. My Doctor, I would save you from this if I could.

"What's in the bag, brother?" Rose's Doctor asks softly, his hands yank at his hair, pulling hard. He knows he is powerless in this, even though we do it all for him.

Surprisingly, River's Doctor does not fumble with the zipper on the ridiculous backpack, his movements graceful for once in this life. He pulls from the depth of the bag a piece of the future, golden and shining, as small as the fist of a child, as large as a galaxy in possibilities - so blindingly bright with complexity.

"That's an amber gestation pod from Prycolix Seven." Rose's Doctor pipes up without hesitation, a gobsmacked look on his face. "What are you doing with an amber gestation pod from Prycolix Seven?"

I speak knowing that yes, this needs saying, or his future will be impossible to confront, the pain impossible to dull even through regeneration. I speak with River's voice, for that is what he needs to hear for the last time, before the first time. "I forgive you, Doctor. I know you were waiting for the right time, but it never would have happened. Our lives were too mad. Too terrifically, beautifully tragic. I know this is for the best."

River's Doctor stares at us, tears touched with golden fire tracking down his cheeks. He speaks his own words, needing his brother to know, to agree. "They are my children. River's and mine. Embryos. Two of them."

Rose's Doctor stands there, eyes flickering madly between his brother and his otherworldly wife. "Time Lords don't have twins. Never happened. Never ever."

We laugh, a sound sharp enough to threaten to cleave the sky itself. "Never say never ever. But no, not twins. Two separate zygotes. One from the very first time, and one from the very last. Did you think I didn't know, Sweetie? I always knew. I still loved you. And them. The possibility of them."

River's Doctor looks at his brother, because he can not look at me, at the Bad Wolf, and stay sane another moment. "I had thought to ask you to build a Loom. To give them a chance. There was no other way, no human could gestate a Time Lord, much less two."

The pod was so very light for the weight of its potential. It was nothing to lift it from his too-tight grasp and spins it through the shimmering air to cup it in the palm of my hand. "I'm not human, husband."

We look at Rose's Doctor and wait. "Penny in the air."

Universes pause for a quanta, as possibilities align. We already know the answer. But does the Doctor?

He nods, a smile touching his lips. "I love being a father, this time 'round. Much less stuffiness and expectations, much more hot fudge and silly hats." He turns to his brother, "But no cowboy hats."

"You'd have liked the fez. The fez was cool."

"Boys!" That was River and Rose, unamplified except in exasperation. The Bad Wolf has too much fun laughing within.

"Thank you," one of the Doctors said.
"Thank you," one of the Doctors answered.

Bad Wolf speaks, my voice infinitely soft, "I bring life."

The amber glows bright enough to outshine both suns in the sky, as it presses against my womb and then transfers within. Each potential finds a home, and two mothers waiting to care for them both. One to give them life, the other to teach them the stars.

Bad Wolf cries. Tears of glowing fire, diamond dust and dreams. "They are so beautiful, Sweetie. So incredibly beautiful. They have your eyes, both of them."

"Are they ginger?" River's Doctor steps closer, touching her arm, pulling her toward him and cupping her cheek in his hand. "I'd always hoped they would be ginger."

He didn't wait for an answer, pulling me into a kiss. Kissing River, kissing Rose, kissing a future he thought he could never ever touch again. I breathe into him, just enough to give him strength and time and hope for what the Doctor must do. I also knock that damn cowboy hat from his head, plunge fingers into his hair, give him something to remember from us.

I pull away, and look in those eyes, eyes reflecting the fire and time in mine. The Doctor and his Bad Wolf. "You are never alone, Doctor."

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