"Chesterton, Chris, raise anchor! O'Malley, take the helm! We're getting out of here!" The sea rolled and the sky roared as the black hole began to open up.
"Captain Pearce!" called Pete, "What about the subs?!"
"Listen, Mr. Tyler, whatever this is, they're safer down below. If this stops, we can come back for them, but right now, we've got to worry about our own hides. We're no good to them dead."
Pete reluctantly accepted this. He looked up to the sky and hoped that the Doctor and Rose could stop this.
"There's got to be something we can do," said Jake.
"I can fix the navigation," said Mickey, "But beyond that, I don't know. Whatever's doing this is coming from inside the hatch, so only the Doctor and Rose are in a position to fix it."
Rose rocked the Doctor's body back and forth, silently screaming through her tears. She knew he was not coming back now. It had been too long.
"You'll be free soon, Peylix!" shouted the Pythia. "We'll both be free!"
Something in Rose calmed. She could feel something reaching out to her, a connection strengthening, then a familiar song, a song that sung of the same grief that she felt. "You will never be free."
The Pythia looked down at the girl she had disregarded. Her hair raised almost as if she were under water and she…she was glowing. "What is this?" When Rose turned her face toward the Pythia, the old woman felt fear like she had never known. "No. It can't be!"
The Bad Wolf stood and approached her. She pointed her triton at her, but the Bad Wolf raised her hand and the triton disintegrated.
"You have suffered these long years in isolation," the timeless voice echoed.
"It can't be. The Golden Guardian!"
"Suffer no more." The Bad Wolf flicked her wrist and the Pythia screamed as she was blown into atoms.
Rose could feel the universe running through her. She and the TARDIS were of one mind again. She looked up and could see through the crust of the Earth and the fathoms of ocean as the black hole opened up in the sky. She closed her eyes and could feel her feet leaving the ground. She concentrated and slowly, but surely the hole in the sky closed up. She knew she had to bring the Doctor back, but she could see now what she had done to Jack before. She could not reverse that. He had a purpose. She felt the energy of life and death. She narrowed it into a controlled stream and directed it at the Doctor. Everything hurt. Everything burned. She had to let go of this. She had to do it without the Doctor's help this time. But how?
"It's stopped," Dean marveled.
The black hole was gone. Even the clouds were clearing and the sea was calming.
"Come about!" called Captain Pearce. "Let's get our people back!"
"It's gone!" said Spencer. "Thank the lord, it's gone!"
"It's the Doctor and Rose," cried Mickey. "I knew they were alive! I told you!"
"Yes!" crowed Jake and he hugged Mickey.
"What's more, I fixed the navigation," Mickey added.
"Alright," said Spencer. "Let's get out of here!"
"No," said Mickey. "We're waiting for them."
"But we've only got four hours of air, one without the emergency tanks, and it'll take us three hours to get to the surface!"
"I hate to say it, but he's right Mickey," said Jake. "There's not much we could do to get them out from here anyway."
"Kid, there's nothing we can do," said Spencer.
Mickey took a long look at the hatch. "Alright," he finally relented. "Spencer, take us up."
The Doctor gasped. His chest ached. Wait. No it didn't. He blinked as his vision returned. He could see an impossibly bright glowing shape at the top of the cavern. A gravity globe? No. It was.. "Rose!"
He stood up and called out to her. "Rose! Rose, can you hear me?!"
How was this possible? She wasn't even anywhere near the TARDIS. Where had the power come from? Where would it go when it left her? "Rose, please. Concentrate on the sound of my voice."
"Doctor?" Her voice sounded far away and right next to his ear at the same time.
"Rose, come back down," he pleaded.
"I don't know if I can."
"You can, Rose, I swear you can. Just concentrate on my voice. I know it's hard with the whole of time and space running through your head, but try, please try, to ignore every sound but my voice."
"Now breathe in deep. Now imagine the whole of time and space being gathered into a ball. Now, gently, very gently, breathe that ball out."
He could see the golden particles exiting her mouth in a stream and surrounding her. He breathed a sigh of relief. Then, very suddenly, all the particles seemed to be sucked into her body very quickly, the glow disappeared, and she began to fall to the ground. He ran to catch her and she knocked him down as she hit his arms. "Rose?" he rolled over and lay her beneath him. "Rose, what happened? Are you alright?"
She seemed unconscious, but she was breathing steadily. The Doctor put his hands on either side of her face and gently reached into her mind. There seemed to be no trace of the time vortex inside. Wait, no. There was a tiny golden filament that he could only just sense. He traced it back to the TARDIS. Ah, so the power did not reside inside her, but her bond to the TARDIS from the first time she became the Bad Wolf acted as a conduit. The bond did not seem harmful, so he didn't attempt to disconnect it, as that would be too delicate a task. He withdrew from her mind. She would be fine. He saw a drop of water on her face. A tear? Then a drop hit his hand. Oh no. All the shaking must have made the cavern unsound. Under so much water pressure, who knows how long it could last? He picked Rose up and ran as fast as he could to where the sub had landed. He rested her against it and picked up the com from the console, praying it still worked. "This is sub-1 to sub-2, or to The Lady of Truth, whoever's listening!"
"That's the Doctor!" Mickey scrambled for the com. "Doctor, it's Mickey. Are you and Rose alright?"
"We're fine for now, but the cavern could cave in at any second. I saw some ancient machines further back in the library. I think I can fashion a short range transporter with components from them and the navigation unit in the sub, just make sure the ship stays where it is so we have a place to transport to. I just need five minutes."
"Right, well you'll probably beat us up there then."
The Doctor smiled. "Here's hoping." He ran into the next room ripping apart machines and taking what he needed.
Rose came to with and aching head. She opened her eyes to see the Doctor running towards her, sonicing some kind of circuit. "Doctor?" Then she remembered. "Doctor! You're alive!" she cried.
"Yes," he said quickly ducking into the sub and opening the console. "Kissing and relief sex later."
"You're still covered in blood! What happened?"
"It'll come back to you in dreams, just like before." He soniced a bit of the sub console onto his circuit thing. "Right now we're getting out of here." He reached down his hand for her to take and she did.
"What's that thing?"
"Short range teleport," he answered, putting his arm around her waist. "Should carry two." He smiled at her. "Allons-y!" He pushed the button.
They materialized in mid-air and dropped six feet into the freezing water.
"Holy hell!" cried Captain Pearce when he saw them. Everyone came to the side of the boat to see them treading water below.
"You moved the boat!" the Doctor called. The captain and Pete laughed, then moved to haul them up.
After Mickey, Jake, and Spencer surfaced and the Doctor and Rose dried off and changed, everyone gathered in the galley to talk about the day's events and mourn the death of Bobby Trapper.
While the Doctor and Rose told the crew what happened, Jake approached Mickey. "Hey, Mickey can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Sure." They went out on to the deck.
"Look, Mick… back there, in the sub, when I called you… Well, when I said-"
"Jake. It's okay. You were probably thinking about Ricky. I understand."
"No, but that's just it. I wasn't. For years I've been feeling… I've had feelings for you. And at first I couldn't figure out if it was just because you reminded me of Ricky or what. But then I realized it was you. Just you. You're so different. I mean, you're alike in a lot of ways, but you're very much your own person. Then I couldn't figure out if being with you would be disrespecting Ricky in some way, but I've realized it isn't. You're a different person. So, it doesn't matter that you look like him, because I loved him for him… and now I love you for you. And I know you probably don't feel that way about me, but-"
He was stopped mid-sentence as Mickey kissed him full on the mouth. Jake kissed him back desperately. When they broke apart, Jake uttered, "I thought you were straight."
"So did I," said Mickey. "Then I met you. But another captain taught me once that labels like that don't matter. You can love who you love without worrying about fitting into a category. And I do love you Jake."
Jake smiled and kissed him again.
Later that night in their cabin, the Doctor told Rose about what happened when she was the Bad Wolf.
"But how?" asked Rose. "I thought I had to get that power from the TARDIS."
"You did," said the Doctor. "The first time you became the Bad Wolf, you bonded with the TARDIS. Permanently. You're a conduit for her power now."
"Is there some way I can control it?"
"No. And there shouldn't be. No one should have that much power. Not all the time. And using it too much could kill you."
"Very not good. I have a theory," he added. "That the power you drew this time is the reason we came to this universe in the first place."
"The TARDIS is at her strongest when she's happy, and she's happiest when she's full of people. Plus, her bond with you is strongest when you're inside her. So I think, your connection reached out to when you, Mickey, and I were inside her and pulled the time vortex out from there, which is why we crash landed here the first time with the Cybermen."
"Do you think you'll be able to get us back to our universe?"
"No," he sighed. "But," he said brightening, "We can explore this universe. I can rewire the TARDIS to navigate this vortex."
"How will you know what events are fixed points and what events are in flux if you don't know the history here?"
"Oh, that's Time Lord instinct. The timelines of this universe started falling into my head as soon as I got here."
"You think you're so impressive."
"As I keep trying to tell you: I am."
She laughed and kissed him.
"Imagine it, Rose. A whole universe filled with planets I know nothing about! We can discover them together!"
"I'd travel any universe with you."
He pulled away and looked at her seriously. "For how long?"
"Forever. You know that."
He smiled. "Yes, I do. But I just wanted to make sure before," he got up and dug in his pocket and pulled out a little wooden box. "Before I did this." He got down on one knee in front of the bed and opened the box to reveal two silver wedding bands.
"Oh my God," gasped Rose. "Doctor, are you really…?"
"Yes, I am! So? How about it, Rose Tyler? Will you marry me?"
"Of course! Yes! Yes, yes, yes!"
He beamed and got up and kissed her. "They're Chrimedium," he said, sitting down next to her again. "They say 'eternal love' in old high Gallifreyan. They're from back when my ancestors still married for love."
"Mum's gonna flip," said Rose, smiling.
He groaned, "Oh can't we just elope?"
"That would kill her!"
"Oh, fine," he sighed. Then he smiled. "A big wedding might be nice, actually."
"Yeah. And I won't even be at gunpoint or spearpoint this time!"
"Have you never married anyone by choice before?"
"Well I'm glad to be your first," she said.
They kissed again and all was right with the multiverse.
- THE END -