The Day of the Doctor and Professor
The Doctor and Professor sat by one of the stairs to the lower levels of the TARDIS, the Professor with her arm linked through the Doctor's as he read a book about Quantum Mechanics to her, him grinning as he leaned on her. They glanced back when they heard the alarms blaring, the Doctor immediately jumping up to go and check on them, wanting to see if it was some sort of enemy about to attack them.
But luckily it was just the proximity detector, Clara was on her way to the old box on the motorbike they'd given her. They'd been travelling with Clara for…quite a while now. It was only really about a year for her, seeing them every Wednesday or so, till she'd gotten a job at the local school. It felt like ages ago they'd dealt with the Great Intelligence, but really...it had barely been a week, one week ago (for them) that they'd learned that the Professor was pregnant.
The Doctor had gone a bit…extreme in his paternal sense of protection for his Bonded, he'd started to 'baby proof' the TARDIS…even though the baby itself was no more than a thumbnail in size, if that. It wasn't till he'd tried to bubble wrap different objects that she'd pulled him aside and told him to knock it off…and then flipped him over her shoulder onto their bed to remind him she was still strong as ever and able to take care of herself.
And then reminded him she was perfectly healthy after that.
He blushed, recalling that moment, before he flicked a switch and the doors opened to allow Clara in, as he moved back to the Professor, extending a hand to help her up.
"Oi!" the Doctor called when they saw the motorbike pull to a stop, "Draft!"
Clara rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers, the doors closing. It had been…an interesting trick that they'd mentioned, that the Doctor could open and close the doors with a snap and she'd tried it, surprisingly it had worked. The Professor thought it was mostly because of she and the Doctor seeing Clara as more of a granddaughter to them, that the TARDIS recognized her as she had Susan, and just…was nice to her.
They'd noticed a change in the TARDIS's temperament with Clara ever since they'd gone to Trenzalore, it seemed the box knew exactly what Clara had done for them, for her 'children' and she was eternally grateful to the human. She rather liked Clara now.
"What do you say to a week in Ancient Mesopotamia," the Professor smiled, coming over to take Clara's helmet from her, "And then future Mars?"
"Will there be cocktails?" Clara asked.
"On the moon!" the Doctor called from the other side of the console, about to get it prepared for flight.
"The moon'll do!" Clara nodded, grinning as she ran over to him to hug him.
"How's the new job?" he asked, "Teach anything good?"
Clara grinned, "No," she looked past him at the Professor, moving to hug her, "Teach HIM anything?"
It was…a nice parallel, she'd found, between her and the Professor. She'd really learned so much from the Time Lords that, well, she'd taken a leaf out of the Professor's book and decided to try her hand at teaching. The Doctor loved to jokingly pout that she should have been a Doctor, to 'keep it in the family' but she'd just remind him that his wife was a teacher too and he'd lose the argument before it could begin.
It was…nice, to see the Time Lords had taken to her like that, treated her like family. From what she'd learned of the other companions, while they'd all been exceptionally close to the Time Lords, none of them had been considered 'granddaughter' like she was. And she'd gotten to meet Jenny! Her…cousin, it seemed, or at least that was what Jenny insisted on calling her. She DID still have to meet River Song though, preferably alive this time, no more data ghosts and things, that was just creepy.
"Not a thing," the Doctor cut in.
The Professor laughed, "Not a thing I can tell anyone but him outside the bedroom," the Professor remarked.
"Professor!" the Doctor shouted, blushing a fierce red.
The Professor laughed and leaned in to kiss his cheek, "Bun in the oven and I've still got it," she winked at him, patting his cheek.
"I really don't need to hear that," Clara grimaced playfully.
"We did learn some things though," the Doctor huffed.
"Like what?" Clara crossed her arms, moving to lean against the console.
"You've got nothing."
He sighed, "No."
The Professor shook her head, "I DID manage to teach him how to do the Macarena though," the Professor added, "Still took him ages though," she pointed at the Doctor.
He just grabbed her finger gently and tugged her closer, "We'll it's hard to concentrate when YOU're my teacher."
"That's not what you said in the Academy," she reminded him, moving to wind her arms around his neck.
"Yes, well…I didn't know I loved you for 100 years, that shaved some focus off."
"That still leaves about 300 more years," she countered.
Clara shook her head as she watched them go back and forth with each other, flirting, of course, they always flirted. But it was very sweet, especially now that she knew that the Professor was pregnant. She knew it was probably years more for them, travelling with her, before they'd finally gotten pregnant. She was sure, total it was about…300 years of trying and they were FINALLY going to have a baby!
It was so wonderful and she really hoped she'd be there to see it. She'd worried a bit that Time Lord pregnancies lasted years or something, some other odd time thing, but the Professor had assured her that it was the same amount of time as a human, so just…8 more months to go and she couldn't wait! It was odd, if the Time Lords saw her as their granddaughter…that meant that their child would be her…aunt? Uncle? Definitely NOT her own parents, she had a mum and a dad and they were wonderful, but it was weird to think they'd be younger than her and still be an aunt or something.
But if they followed the ideal that Jenny did, that all Time Lords did, she'd be more like an Aunt to them. Family was very general on Gallifrey apparently, anyone around the expected age for a relative was just…whatever relative they should be. She'd be like an Aunt to the child, whereas she was a cousin to Jenny. It was all really weird and she tried not to think on it too much, it gave her a headache at times to try and understand the Time Lords and how they worked.
"So!" she shouted, when she looked over to see they were currently kissing, oh the Doctor was SO amusing to see around the Professor. If she thought the man had been gone about his wife before…it was nothing compared to how he acted now that he knew she was pregnant, "Shall we be off now?"
"Yes, yes," the Doctor laughed, giving the Professor one more peck, before they headed to the controls…
Only for the TARDIS to start to shake, "What's happening?" Clara gasped.
"Whoa, whoa!" the Doctor tried to keep his balance, moving to the Professor's side as she ran to the monitors to check, "We're taking off. But the engines aren't going!"
The Professor rolled her eyes, seeing something on the monitor, a UNIT helicopter lifting the TARDIS into the air and ran to the doors.
"Professor!" the Doctor ran after her, trying to climb over the bike instead of rushing around the other side of the console, as she opened the doors and grabbed the phone from the instructions panel.
"Hello, Kate Stewart's phone?" the Professor heard someone answer.
"Hello," she greeted, slapping the Doctor's hands away as he tried to take the phone and tug her back inside, "This is the Professor, I'm with the Doctor…can we speak to Kate please."
"Oh," the Professor heard the girl say, before she gasped, "Hold on!" she shook her head, pressing the phone to her shoulder as the Doctor tried to take it.
She rolled her eyes, handing it over, before she moved to lean on the railing beside the door, watching as the Doctor looked down at where they were being flown.
"Professor?" the Doctor heard Kate come on the line, "Hello! We found the TARDIS in a field. I'm having it brought in."
"No kidding!" he shouted, trying to make out Kate's voice over the roar of the choppers propellers.
"Where are you?" the Doctor rolled his eyes at Kate's question and held the phone up to the chopper, "Oh, my God!" Kate gasped, "Oh, Doctor, I'm so sorry, we had no idea you were still in there!"
"Doctor watch out!" the Professor shouted, when the chopper swerved and the Doctor fell out of the box, the Professor jumping forward to grab his feet, keeping him from falling out entirely.
"Doctor?!" Clara gasped, rushing over to help.
"Professor!" the Doctor shouted, "Clara!"
"Doctor, can you hear me?" the Professor nearly laughed, able to hear Kate speaking even as the phone dangled and swung beside the Doctor.
"Ow!" he winced as it hit him in the face.
"I don't think he can hear me…" Kate remarked to someone.
The Doctor reached out and grabbed the phone, "Next time, would it kill you to knock?"
"I'm having you taken directly to the scene…Doctor, hello, are you ok? Is the Professor there?"
"Whoa…" the Doctor twisted, grabbing one of the crevices below the TARDIS, "I'm just going to pop you on hold," he told her before dropping the phone, "Let go!" he called up to the Professor and Clara.
The girls looked at each other a moment, before shrugging and letting go of his feet as the man fell out of the TARDIS, able to hold onto the small holes in the bottom of the TARDIS as it was slowly set down, her and Clara watching as the whole of UNIT gathered before the Tower of London, Kate visible standing before them, the blonde woman dressed all in black.
The TARDIS lowered, hesitating in dropping completely till the Doctor let go and hopped to the ground, straightening as a UNIT soldier called out, "Atten...tion!"
The Doctor immediately saluted himself, before blinking and looking to the side as the Professor and Clara came up on either side of him, "Why am I saluting?"
The Professor just shook her head and gave a small two finger salute back to the soldiers, "At ease boys," she called, the entire UNIT squadron moving to the rest position, which made her laugh, "Been ages since I've done that."
"What?" Clara glanced over, "Ordered someone around? You do that to the Doctor loads of times."
"Commanded a platoon," the Professor remarked, "Sort of missed the opportunity because of the CyberPlanner. That was a waste and a half."
The Doctor just kissed her quickly, still so very relieved that she had been able to heal from the hell of the war and move on, to be able to look back at that time when she was a soldier and be able to joke about it. He knew it had taken her centuries to get to that point, but he was just…happy she'd made it.
And then he realized what Clara had said, "Hey, oi!" he pointed at her, "She doesn't order me about."
"Really?" Clara scoffed playfully.
"Shall I be forced to pull rank on you again soldier?" the Professor asked him.
He looked back and forth between her and Clara, already realizing he'd lost, "I…you…shut up," he pouted as they laughed.
"Doctor, Professor," Kate spoke, "As Chief Scientific Officer, may I extend the official apologies of UNIT..."
"Kate Lethbridge-Stewart," the Doctor cut in, "A word to the wise. As I'm sure your father would've told you, I don't like being picked up."
"Oh really?" the Professor had to laugh.
"That probably sounded better in his head," Clara agreed.
"By anyone other than the Professor," he amended.
"Aww, thanks love," she kissed his cheek.
Kate looked at them, "You seem…happy…" she remarked, not that it was a bad thing, it was just…she remembered them being rather a bit more…solemn last time, more focused, these two…they hadn't stopped smiling even when the Doctor had been dangling out of the TARDIS.
"Do we?" the Doctor grinned wider.
"Thank you," the Professor absolutely beamed, "Haven't stopped the last week really."
"Might I ask…why?" Kate found herself smiling as well.
"Ah, well," the Doctor grinned, before reaching out quickly and pulling the Professor to him with a quick tug, wrapping his arms around her waist to touch her stomach, his hands splayed over her stomach, "Take an educated guess."
Kate glanced at the Professor's stomach and then up at the woman herself, "Oh my God…"
"Our thoughts exactly," the Professor laughed.
But Kate's smile started to fall slightly, "Um…perhaps we should…" she looked at a girl beside her, a young woman in a white lab coat, a multicolored scarf wrapped around her neck that seemed oddly familiar to the Professor and thick black glasses, "Try and…"
"Kate," the Professor cut in, "I recognize a fumbled plan when I see one. We're here, you called us in, just…tell us what's the matter."
"Yes," the Doctor nodded, "We'll have it sorted in time for tea, promise," he crossed his hearts.
Kate sighed, knowing exactly how dangerous small things UNIT and Torchwood found could grow to be when the Doctor got involved or when it was deemed necessary for the Doctor to be there, "I'm acting on instructions direct from the throne," she turned to the girl as she pulled a white envelope from her pocket, giving it to Kate who handed it to them, "Sealed orders from…"
"Her Majesty," the Professor cut in, eyeing the red wax seal on the back, "Queen Elizabeth the First actually."
"The Queen?" Clara's eyes widened, "The First? Sorry, Elizabeth the First?"
"Ooh," the Doctor winced recalling that adventure, "You didn't happen to call Jack in on this one did you?"
"No," Kate nodded.
"Good," the Professor remarked, "Not a good memory for him."
"Brilliant memory for us though," the Doctor winked at her.
Oh it had been a WONDERFUL memory. Their wedding, Martha there and Jack, an attempted assassination attempt on the Queen…and a Sontaran attack to boot, but still…their wedding. She loved thinking on that memory, replaying it in her mind. She had been…so happy that they'd waited till that point to wed, well on Earth terms at least, because it was just the right time for them both. She had finally broken through her soldier-like shell, he had healed from what he'd done on Mars…it was just…the perfect night. And their honeymoon hadn't been too bad either.
"Her credentials are inside," Kate added as Clara moved to ask them what it was about the Queen that they seemed to know. She held out a hand though to stop the Doctor when he tried to open the letter, "No. Inside..." she gestured back over her shoulder at the National Gallery.
The Doctor nodded, ready to head into it, but pointed at the girl, "Nice scarf," he remarked.
The girl stared at him and grinned, completely star struck, "Where'd you get it?" the Professor wondered.
"The um…the curator gave it to me," she murmured, startled the Professor was talking to her, "Said it was chilly out."
"Good on him," the Professor grinned, already working out exactly who the 'curator' had to be. She was an Academic, they made connections like that.
"Right," Kate called from behind them as they walked through the Gallery, "I want a secure perimeter around the gallery…"
"Did you know her?" Clara asked them as she walked on the other side of the Doctor, the Professor on his right, "Elizabeth the First?"
"Unified Intelligence Task Force," the Doctor answered as the Professor moved to open her mouth.
"Sorry?" Clara blinked, seeing a small blush on the Doctor's face.
"This lot. UNIT. They investigate alien stuff, love anything alien."
"What, like you?"
"He actually works for them," the Professor told her.
"He's got a job?!" Clara blinked. Honestly, you see the entirety of someone's life and you still DIDN'T know something about them.
"Why shouldn't I have a job?" the Doctor said, mock-offended, "I'd be brilliant at having a job."
"Yes," the Professor nodded, amused, "Because the last time you tried a 'job' Cybermen nearly invaded and the time before that a Forest was burned down and before that…"
"Ok," he covered her mouth with his hand, "She gets it."
The Professor rolled her eyes and took his hand off her mouth.
"See," Clara pointed at him, triumphant, "You don't have a job!"
"I do," he insisted, "This is my job, I'm doing it now."
"You never have a job."
"I do! I do."
"Right," Clara scoffed, "So, Elizabeth?" she smirked seeing him roll his eyes now, "Not going to put me off my stride granddad," she nudged him, KNOWING that calling him that as she rarely did, would get to him.
The Professor smiled, her hand drifting to her stomach, patting it as she answered, "We got married in her court," she answered for him, "Saved her from an assassination attempt and that was her reward. We um…had a bit of trouble with our friend Jack, Jack Harkness, when he um…danced with the Queen."
Clara frowned, "What sort of trouble?"
"Oh you know," the Doctor tried to wave it off, "The usual. Named an enemy of the crown, again, banishment, the threat of beheading…"
"Must have been one hell of a dance," Clara muttered, not seeing the Time Lords sharing a smirk at that. Poor Clara had no idea what 'dancing' meant at times.
"Oh, I think it was," the Professor laughed.
They came to a stop before a rather large painting that was covered in a cloth and instantly their laughter ceased when the cloth was dropped to reveal the image of an oil painting, a rather alien looking Citadel on fire, under attack, burning and seeming to be in the middle of collapsing. It was a very familiar image to two of the three standing before it, and vaguely familiar to another.
"Elizabeth's credentials," Kate eyed them, seeing their faces pale, their expressions drop.
"But…" Clara frowned, shaking her head as she squinted at it, "But that's not possible," she was speaking more of course, to the fact that the painting itself seemed to be almost 3D in effect, yet was an oil painting in 2D.
The Doctor winced, closing his eyes, "No more," he breathed.
Kate nodded, "That's the title."
"I know the title," he remarked, a bit of a snap to his words. Of course he knew the title…how could he not, the entire scene…it was one that haunted him, reminded him of the war.
"Also known as Gallifrey Falls."
"This isn't right," the Professor shook her head, "This painting doesn't belong here, not in this time or place."
"Obviously," Clara murmured.
"It's the fall of Arcadia," the Professor breathed and, for the first time in the last week, her smile slipped off her face…only for the Doctor to turn, seeing that, and reach out to poke her cheek, using a finger to try and lift the corner of her mouth. He succeeded in making her smile again, laughing a bit as she gently took his hand, squeezing it by her face as she rested her forehead to his, nuzzling her nose to his a moment.
"It's in the past," he whispered to her.
She nodded against him and pulled away, looking back at the painting a more…sad smile on her face as she observed it.
"And…what's Arcadia?" Clara asked, it sounded familiar, but…she just wasn't sure where she'd heard it from.
"It is…it was," the Professor corrected, "Gallifrey's second city. It fell near the end of the Time War," she nodded at the painting, "That…that's a representation of it just before it was obliterated," she sighed, "I was there…I saw it all collapse…I stopped the Daleks attacking the other soldiers in the fields coming to try and help."
She swallowed hard, remembering that day. She remembered standing on a high ledge, on a small mountain, watching as the city fell to flames, utterly destroyed. The painting represented it moments before it was obliterated, but she remembered what happened after. She remembered getting the command to destroy the Daleks. Why the High Council hadn't ordered her to destroy the Daleks before the City fell as she was there before it happened, she didn't know. But she'd stood there, waiting for her command, as she'd been expressly told to WAIT for it. She'd hit the Daleks, all of them, when the command had finally come, sent out a wave of energy from a gun she'd made that caused them to explode from the inside out, raining burning flesh and debris on the Time Lords below.
It had been a horrible sight, the only thing that made it bearable was…seeing the Doctor again after that, seeing him coming to find her. She remembered giving him her bracelet, she remembered promising that she'd see him again, that she wanted it back…only to be thought dead mere days later. She couldn't imagine how terrible that had to be for him, to have that hope in her bracelet and get word she'd fallen only a few short days later.
'Devastating,' she heard him in her mind, 'Is the right word, how utterly devastating it was to think you dead Kata.'
She looked up at him to see him staring at the painting with the saddest eyes she'd ever seen, more sad than her own when she tried to get him to give in to something. She knew why, her death, the death he thought she'd endured was the trigger, it was what sent him running to the Archives and stealing the Moment. And so she lifted her hand and poked his cheek, pushing the corner of his mouth up to make him smile as he had her, 'You're not allowed to be sad either,' she reminded him, 'I'm still here.'
'But Gallifrey isn't,' he sighed, 'And it's all my…'
'OUR fault,' she cut in, 'You may have hit the button Theta, but it was MY device that did it. We are both to blame for this.'
He closed his eyes, just…taking comfort in how she was still there, as she'd said. He had to wonder though, if he'd known, if he'd known that she was alive…would he have hit that button? Would he have condemned the planet to death? That had been his whole reasoning, yes to stop the war but also…the planet and the war had taken her from him. It was the planet's fault and…he'd seen red. He hadn't cared, he'd just acted, been so desperate to see it over…
And he'd lived, for HER, because she would have NEVER forgiven him if he'd allowed himself to fall with the planet. He'd lived in her memory, only to find that the memory was a reality, that she was alive. He had always regretted what he'd done, after he'd Time Locked the planet, the moment his head had cleared and he'd realized what he'd done. He regretted it more when he saw her alive, his entire reason for ending it in the first place.
He just wondered…if he'd know, what would have changed?
"But how is it doing that?" Clara's voice cut into their thoughts, the girl walking towards the painting and reaching out to touch it, seeing it truly was as flat as it appeared, yet it looked like she could reach into it, "How is that possible? It's an oil painting...in 3D."
"Time Lord art," the Doctor shook his head, trying to focus on the present even with the biggest glaring memory of the past in front of him, "Bigger on the inside. A slice of real time, frozen."
"Elizabeth told us where to find it," Kate gestured at the envelope, "And its significance."
Clara turned around, only to see the Time Lords standing closer than ever to each other, their arms around each other, the Doctor's one hand resting protectively on the Professor's stomach, but their faces, they were smiling sadly, but…she could see a far worse pain and terror in their eyes. And for the Professor to be afraid…she knew it was truly terrible, "You ok?" she asked, walking over to them.
"He was there," the Doctor murmured.
"Who was?" Clara frowned.
"The other Doctor," the Professor whispered, "The one who did it."
"The one I don't talk about," the Doctor agreed, closing his eyes.
He'd always known that the Professor KNEW about that version of him, she knew about the one he didn't speak of. She humored him of course, right from the start, the moment she woke up again after he'd rescued her from the Krillitanes. She'd touched him, and remarked that it was his 10th self, but he saw it in her eyes, she KNEW it was really his 11th. And whenever he called himself 11, she never corrected him, because she knew how much it hurt him to remember that one. It was…remarkable, how little they had seen of each other between him running off and fleeing Mayra and seeing her again in that school as a prisoner. So much had happened, so much time had passed, he'd changed so much…and yet all it took was one look from her, one touch, and she KNEW not to bring that version of him up.
That was his Kata, his Professor, she was smart, she was an Academic, she made connections like that. It was why he didn't talk about what she was like during the war, the warrior she'd become, the soldier she was, she hated to remember that as much as he hated to remember the one who ended it all.
"I don't understand," Clara told them.
The Doctor looked at her sadly, "We've had many faces, Clara, many lives, the Professor and I."
"We don't always admit to all of them," the Professor added and Clara braced herself, knowing what was coming, their dual speaking, though…she had to admit, she was a bit used to it by now, "To the ones who did the worst of any of our incarnations."
"There's one life I've tried very hard to forget. He was the Doctor who fought in the Time War, and that," he nodded at the painting, "Was the day…that was the last battle before he did it."
"Before he initiated the Time Lock," the Professor explained, seeing Clara get a bit lost, "The Fall of Arcadia was the last major battle…before the last day of the Time War."
"The war to end all wars between our people and the Daleks."
"That battle held two souls, both with more blood on their hands than any other," the Professor murmured as the Doctor squeezed her.
He may have pushed the button and ended the Time War, he may have killed all the Daleks and Time Lords alike…but SHE had been the one to literally kill and assassinate and brutally slaughter on the battlefield, she had killed more souls fighting IN the war than the Doctor probably had ending the war.
"It would create a man who would commit a crime that would silence the universe," the Doctor finished, "And that man was me."
The Time Lord High Command center was barely holding its own as two men, two Time Lords, walked quickly through the halls, a general and another one of his subordinates stalking down the length of it. The halls shook as the Daleks fired on it, but they were holding strong.
"The High Council is in emergency session," the man, the younger of the two, reported to his general, "They have plans of their own."
"To hell with the High Council," the general waved him off as they entered the control room, the War room, "Their plans have already failed. Gallifrey's still in the line of fire. Especially now with the Academics destroyed," he shook his head, "I cannot believe she fell, the Professor was out best soldier in the program," he sighed, rubbing his face, knowing hope was truly lost with the last Academic killed.
They'd gotten word of it, more like a glaring alarm. All Academics had been fitted with a bio-chip injected into them, in the back of their necks, that reported their status right to the High Council and High Command. It allowed them to track their progress, see if any were in deadly danger or nearing death or regeneration and send in reinforcements or extraction units. It was…eerie how little those chips went off in that way. Other soldiers, their vitals would be off the charts, the adrenaline, the heart rate, the perspiration, everything would go haywire in the middle of battle…but not for the Academics. They had the uncanny ability to remain deadly calm, their training had ensured that. Their vitals hardly ever changed, they felt no fear, they felt no pain, and when they did their minds were able to overcome it, push it away, keep them steady. It was always shocking when a vital pitched, it meant the Academic in question was truly in jeopardy and needed assistance.
The Professor was often deployed for those instances. It…terrified them, quite a bit, how…quickly she came up with plans and rescue actions and counter attacks. It was like…at the snap of a finger or the drop of a hat, with the most minimal information she would have it already formulated how best to approach and attack. The High Command had been skeptical of the Council's plans for training the Academics, but the end result had been…exquisite. Truly the best soldiers that had ever been released into a war.
But now she was gone, the last one to fall, and they didn't understand how. The last place her tracker had picked her up was somewhere halfway across the planet, it appeared she'd teleported there…and then it cut off, the entire vital went offline, flat lined. There was nothing anywhere that gave any hint that she was still alive. She'd been exterminated. And with her, their hopes of winning. Only when the Academics had been deployed did the war start to turn in their favor…no more.
"So, he was there then?" the general turned to the man.
He gave a solemn nod, "He left a message, a written warning for the Daleks," he reached forward and pressed a button on the table, a hologram of a message the Doctor had left etched into the wall of a small city that had been the next target of the Daleks, 'No More.' He shook his head, "He's a fool."
"No, he's a madman," the general swallowed hard, looking at the message.
It was the last straw, he knew, the last straw of a man the High Council had manipulated almost as much as they had the Professor. He had been a part of it, of the training programs, one of the war attendants brought in to teach the Academics how to fight. He'd seen the course set for the Professor, how much harder she was pushed, how much longer she was starved, how much more was dealt to her and put on her and forced on her. He had been standing there, watching as she broke a young boy's arm, HE had forced her to do it. And he had seen what she'd become.
He was well aware of why she had personally been included into the training program. He knew why Rassilon himself had broken one of his rules about them, regarding regeneration and how it had to be stopped before the final test was made. The Professor was an important woman to the Doctor, one of the most renegade Time Lords ever produced. Rassilon wanted the man's ingenuity, his creativity, all the things he'd learned on his travels, to benefit the war, much like the Professor's mind and natural grace benefitted her as a soldier. The Professor had been selected as a soldier, to lure the Doctor back. And the man had come, he had run for the battlefields the moment he'd learned what had been done to her, that she was fighting as well.
And now, with her dead…something that had made its way back to the Doctor, of course it would, the Daleks would NEVER be so quiet about one of their greatest enemies being stopped, the Doctor would be uncontrollable. This was his last break, this was the last thing the man could endure, the farthest he could be pushed. With her dead…there was nothing for him to fight for, nothing for him to protect, nothing to tie him to Gallifrey. Those words, 'no more,' they were the words of a man at his end.
He closed his eyes, he NEVER should have agreed to the High Council's demands that they NOT tell the Doctor the truth about the Professor's death. At first, originally, it was just a rumor, something the Daleks had begun to try and spread hopelessness and despair among the soldiers, the Doctor had heard of it, and…they hadn't heard anything from him after. The Professor, at that point, had still been alive, it wasn't till the Doctor had fallen silent, that only hours later, the Professor's vitals disappeared and flat lined. By then, there was no point in telling the Doctor she lived, she was truly dead by then.
"As you can see, sir," the man beside him spoke again, pulling his thoughts away, "All Dalek fleets surrounding the planet now converging on the capital, but the Sky Trenches are holding."
No sooner had those words left his mouth did the room shake as it was hit in an attack, "Where did he go next?"
"What does it matter?" the man shouted, "This is their biggest ever attack, sir. They're throwing everything at us…"
"Sir," a Time Lady ran over, "We have a security breach to the Time Vaults."
The General turned to rush to the side of the room, checking a device that put a hologram of the area of the Time Vaults that had been entered, and his eyes widened, "The Omega Arsenal, where all the forbidden weapons are locked away."
It wasn't even that that alarmed him…it was the blinking light of WHEN it had been broken, it had been…mere hours ago, only a few short hours before the Professor's vitals halted. He KNEW he should have told the man she lived, they would not be at this point if he had thought her alive.
"They're not forbidden anymore," the man remarked, "We've used them all against the Daleks."
"No," he shook his head, realizing the ONLY reason the Doctor would go to the Vaults, an area that had been sealed off and hidden from the public, "No we haven't."
He turned and fled the room, the man following him as they rushed through the building, taking as many shortcuts as they could till they finally reached the Omega Arsenal deep below the city. He walked straight up to a plinth, placing his hand on top of the empty space above it and let out a fearful breath, "The Moment is gone."
The man frowned, "I don't understand. What is the Moment? I've never heard of it."
"It was the Professor's Academic Masterpiece," he explained.
That was the ONLY way the Doctor would have even known about it. NO ONE was meant to know what an Academic made for their final project, the ones that would earn them their title of 'Academic,' but the High Council, the Academy board, and the ones who took care of the Vaults where all Academic creations were stored. He knew how close the Professor and the Doctor were, it could only be assumed that she had told him of her device.
"And what's so important about that?" the man shook his head, "It's nothing but a school project!"
"It has become much more than that," the general uttered solemnly, "By the time she finished it…the power levels it could be set for could be as small as a flower…or as large as a planet," he looked over at the man, "The High Council titled it something different, The Galaxy Eater," he turned back to the plinth, "The Professor was the only one with access to it once it was placed in the Vaults, and she worked tirelessly on improving it, adding to it, perfecting it. It has the potential to be a weapon so powerful, it could…destroy us all. The operating system, the interface, it was said it might be sentient."
"And we've never used it!?" the man asked, shocked, if it was such a powerful weapon, why not use it to stop the Daleks.
"It is a Time Lock," the general shook his head, "The most powerful Time Lock ever created," he turned to the man once more, "And the interface controls it. The interface that can think for itself, how do you use a weapon of ultimate mass destruction when it can stand in judgment on you? There is only one man who would even try. There is only one man it would even listen to."
On a barren landscape, much like a desert yet somehow not looking quite as dry, an old man with a tan sack over his shoulder walked, for miles and miles, away from his dull blue police telephone box, his expression grim, his thoughts heavy, burdened in a way none could understand.
He sighed, murmuring to himself, "Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro, I serve notice on you all. Too long I have stayed my hand. No more. Today you leave me no choice. Today, this war will end. No more. No more."
That single thought continued to echo through his head, No More. No more death, no more destruction, no more loss, no more bloodshed, so many things that needed to end.
No more Doctor.
He slowly approached an abandoned shack of some sort, stepping in to see it abandoned, before he made his way to the middle of it. He knelt down, opening his sack and pulling out a small box. It was an intricate box, silver in color with golden inscriptions in Gallifreyan, golden clockwork designs, it was…beautiful. He looked at it, lightly tracing the edges of it, before he opened it, and pulled out the device inside.
It was in remarkably good condition for being centuries old, resembling a more…advanced sort of blender from Earth. It was like a small box, with a sort of whirling device on the top of it. It appeared to have been much improved since he'd first seen it, clearly the one he'd first encountered was a mere prototype. He felt tears gather in his eyes as he looked at it, as he remembered the person who created it, as he remembered what he'd lost in losing her.
He swallowed hard, closing the box and setting the device on top of it. He closed his eyes, rubbing his hand over them, unable to believe he was actually about to do this, to use HER device, a device that had been made to preserve a simple flower, a memory of their time together, of their innocence…to destroy everything.
He looked over his shoulder when he heard something creak outside. He frowned, moving to the door and looking out, "Hello?" he called, but there was no one there, "Is somebody there?" he leaned out more, squinting into the distance.
"Shame on you Theta," a voice said behind him, and he froze, recognizing it.
Of course he'd recognize it, it was a voice that he'd dreamed of so often, a voice that had haunted his nightmares when he imagined her out in the war zone, fighting…even though he knew it wasn't her voice any longer. It was the voice he'd heard for over 400 years, before never having heard her speak to him again until only days ago, and then her voice was…nothing like that at all.
He looked over, spotting a young blonde woman who looked no more than 21 in Earth years, sitting on the small box, the device on her lap, her grey eyes staring into his, her familiar grey eyes, with her golden hair pulled up into a high ponytail. She was wearing black leggings, black boots that went up to her knees, and a high collared red, long-sleeved shirt with copper buttons, a thick black belt around it, the typical attire for an Academic in the Academy.
"Kata…" he breathed, his eyes wide as he rushed to her, nearly falling to his knees before her, reaching out to take her hands…only for his to go through hers.
It was a hologram.
"I'm just an image," she told him, "No touch," she added, before sighing, "A preprogrammed emergency interface…" and looked at him, "Set to react only to you, Theta."
He looked at her, he should have known it wasn't her. For her to be there, looking like she was…was impossible.
"I'd imagine I've regenerated at least once since making this?" she spoke, and he nodded, THAT was why he should have known, this person sitting before him…it was her first incarnation, a FAR cry from the last one he'd seen.
"You have," he nodded, unable to bring himself to tell her that…she'd died.
"I do hope it wasn't tripping over brick or something utterly stupid like that," she remarked, smiling at him, looking so innocent that…he almost forgot the war was happening, that it was still going on.
"The…High Council…they took you, made you into a soldier," he whispered.
She nodded, "For the War," he looked at her startled that she knew about it. If she was a preprogrammed interface…how could she possibly know? She shook her head at him, as though sensing his thoughts or seeing his expression, "I've been tinkering with this," she nodded at the device in her lap, "Adding to it, upgrading it. Seems I might have accidently made it a bit sentient too," she laughed, before looking at him, "I know, Theta, I know about the war. And the Moment…" she shook her head, "It never intended to be used for THIS," she looked at him.
"You know," he swallowed hard, realizing she knew what he planned to do with it.
She nodded, "I always know what's going on in that head of yours," she lifted a hand to touch his forehead, stopping just a hair away so that he wouldn't feel her hand go through his head, "And even if I didn't…I KNOW you Theta. Better than anyone. I know you wouldn't be able to stand the war, seeing people suffering. You could hardly stand to see ME suffering. It's why you're a Doctor. My Doctor."
"I can't be your Doctor anymore," he looked at her, his eyes reflecting his devastation, "You're DEAD Kata."
She blinked, a bit surprised by THAT fact, "Ah," she nodded, "Well then…I hope I was able to go down kicking and screaming and making a difference."
The Doctor actually felt himself laugh at that, even then, even centuries later, even talking to a hologram of her…she still knew what to say to make him smile, "My Optimistic Kata."
She smiled, before glancing past him, "Thank you," she looked back at him, "For not setting the TARDIS so close."
He nodded, swallowing hard, "She didn't need to see this."
"You walked for miles and miles, just to protect her."
"I'd walk farther for YOU," he reminded her, wanting desperately to take her hand, but knowing his hearts would break to try it again and not be able to hold her hands. It killed him even now to just look at her, at a memory of her and know the real her was dead.
"As I would you," she agreed, "I heard you, you know. 'No More,' over and over and over again."
"I was just…thinking," he looked at her, a bit oddly, how had she known how often he'd said that.
"And I heard you even then," she laughed, "I didn't just make this a hologram of me Theta, I…made this ME. I downloaded a bit of my consciousness into it, a bit of telepathic tech and so on…I heard your thoughts a mile away. And it's…not just that, my upgrades," she led up the Moment, "It doesn't just apply to Time Locking a single moment around it…it can do the same though time and space. It can…see those events, create windows to them, so that the device can be brought there to activate. And, through that, I've seen what the future holds for you."
"I don't have a future," he said solemnly.
"I think you do," she countered, "You always will. Because no matter what the Universe will always need its Doctor."
"Please don't call me that Kata," he whispered, his voice thick with emotion, "Not anymore."
"I've been fighting this war for a long time. I've lost the right to be the Doctor."
"Then I am no longer the Professor?" she countered, crossing her arms and giving him a look that made him smile to see, a look he hadn't seen in…too long, "Shall I be the Soldier then? The Weapon? The Sergeant?"
"Stop it," he cut in, "That…will never be you."
"And the Doctor will ALWAYS be you," she pointed out, before holding up a hand quickly to stop him, "There's no point arguing, you know I am always and will always be right."
"Never could win against you," he murmured.
She smiled at him again, "No matter what you do Theta, I know it, I know YOU, you will be the one to save us all."
"Yes," he sighed, sad, "I suppose I will be."
"But perhaps not in the way you think," she added.
He looked at her, searching her eyes as they stared into him. The hologram…really was startling in how much it made him feel like she was there. He couldn't see through her, she looked physically there, she sounded like her, no mechanical qualities in her voice, and she talked just like his Kata, it really was her personality. She responded to him, not just with preprogrammed phrases but true thought. He knew his Kata was brilliant, she always surpassed expectations, and here she had done it again, she'd made a device that was a little bit alive.
"If you have been inside my head, then you know what I've seen. The suffering. Every moment in time and space is burning. It must end, and I intend to end it the only way I can."
"And using my device to do it," she sighed, looking down at the Moment, "By Time Locking the planet, by killing them all, Daleks and Time Lords alike. It will do it, if you wait to the right moment, when the High Council begins to rip the Vortex and the planet apart, if you Time Lock it just then…the planet will burn within it, all contained, tucked away, and Gallifrey will be destroyed," she looked at him, "You know there will be consequences for you."
He shook his head, "I have no desire to survive this."
"Then I will not activate the Moment," she countered just as quickly, "I will NOT see you die Theta, I will NOT see you lock yourself away with the rest of the planet. You want me to do this to my home? Then you must do something for me in return. You must LIVE," she looked at him and he felt his breath leave him to see tears in her eyes, "We made a promise once, to go out into the Universe, to save people, to HELP…if I cannot…then YOU must. You must keep the promise, for the both of us."
"I don't know if I can," he whispered, tears in his voice, "A life without you Kata, is not one I want to have."
She smiled sadly at him, recalling when he'd said that to her, just before his own graduation from the Academy, they'd been in the desert, he'd said that, "I will always be there Theta. I'll be that little voice in the back of your head nagging you and pointing out what you missed. You'll never really be without me. You'll have our box to keep you company. Just…live. See the places we were always going to go, meet Shakespeare, go to Rome, visit Venice and Akhaten and…"
"I will," he cut in gently, unable to stand seeing even a hologram of her get upset and know HE was the cause of it, something he'd sworn never to be, "For you."
She nodded at him in thanks, "Before you do this though, Theta, you MUST be sure of this," she looked at him intently, "Using the Moment…it will destroy the Daleks, yes, but it will murder our people as well, whatever remains of our friends and family, not even that…all those people, those innocents who weren't fighting in the war. Think about…about all those children. Do you know how many children on Gallifrey right now? Do you have any idea?"
"No," he shook his head, "I don't."
"I do," she murmured, "One day…you will too. One day you'll count them. One terrible night when the guilt consumes you, when you try to punish yourself for what you've done," she eyed him, "Do you want to see what that will turn you into? I can show you," she looked over and a whirling portal of shimmery air opened before them, "I've developed trans-temporal cross-spatial wormhole tech just for this, to make it easier for the Moment to be moved from place to place. It can take you to your future, from long ago to days to come, to the man today will make of you."
They both stared at the portal…when a red fez fell through.
"I don't want to know," she closed her eyes and shook her head, only able to imagine what sort of man he'd be if he wore a fez in the future.
Clara walked back over to the Time Lords as they stared at the painting, "But the Time War's over," she glanced at Kate, "Why have you brought us here to look at a painting?"
"The painting only serves as Elizabeth's credentials," Kate explained, "Proof that the letter is from her. It's not why you're here."
The Doctor looked at the letter, at the inscription on the front, 'My Doctor.' He frowned, that…made no sense at all to him. Every time he'd met Elizabeth that he could recall, the Professor had been with him, so why was it addressed JUST to him? And why on Earth would it say 'my' Doctor, he had NEVER given Elizabeth the impression that he was hers, at all, ever. He would have thought it was clear in how he'd MARRIED the Professor in front of her last time they'd met…or…the first time SHE'd met them, the first time they'd met her she'd tried to have them beheaded in front of Shakespeare!
"Hold on," the Professor frowned, taking the paper and looking at the inscription, "This isn't right…"
"My thoughts exactly," he nodded, "Why just ask for me and not you, what about…"
"No," she cut in, "The handwriting," she murmured, "Look at the handwriting," she held it up again.
He frowned and squinted at it, before his eyes widened and he ripped the wax seal open, unfolding the letter to read.
"My dearest love, I hope the painting known as Gallifrey Falls will serve as proof that it Elizabeth the First IS involved in this. You may or may not recall that you pledged yourself to the safety of her kingdom. In that capacity she appointed you as curator of the Under Gallery, where 'deadly danger to England' is locked away. Should any disturbance occur within its walls, it is her wish that you be summoned. God speed, my loving husband."
The Doctor blinked a few times and reread the letter, before starting to smile and looking at the Professor as she winked at him. He let out a laugh putting the note back in his pocket before he turned to Kate, "What happened?"
"Easier to show you," Kate remarked, eyeing him oddly for how happy and carefree he seemed to be despite the fact that it was all rather serious and they'd been so solemn only moments ago.
The Professor paused when Kate turned to lead them out, hearing one of the other male UNIT scientists answer his phone, with a "McGillop. But that's not possible."
She smiled, hearing rather distinct voices on the other end of the phone even as they left the room. She was starting to enjoy how much better her senses were for the augmentation surgeries she'd endured. She could hear more than anyone else, and she was rather excited and curious to see how those voices would end up on the other end of that conversation.
They stepped past a door as a metal shutter came down behind them, the three of them following Kate on. The Professor smiled and laughed when they passed a room of paintings, spotting one of Elizabeth and others, very familiar faces indeed. She laughed harder when Kate led them into the room and the Doctor groaned seeing it standing there.
"This way," Kate opened a secret doorway behind the painting, leading them in to another set of halls, "Welcome to the Under Gallery."
"Much nicer than the under-henge," the Professor remarked.
"Not quite as clean though," the Doctor grumbled as they entered a room of statues with quite a lot of thick dust on the floors.
"This is where Elizabeth the First kept all art deemed too dangerous for public consumption…" Kate began.
The Professor sniffed a moment, before frowning, tugging the Doctor to a stop as she knelt down and touched the dust on the floor. He crouched beside her, letting it sift through his fingers again.
'Try and taste it, and I will never kiss you again,' she remarked, recalling the last time he'd been around such sandy substances, he'd tried to taste it, dead sand, blah.
'Well what do YOU think it is miss smarty pants?' he smiled at her.
She grinned, 'Stone dust, marble, granite, other stones as well, stones one would make a statue out of.'
He looked around, seeing the statues were still there, just covered in cloth, 'Interesting…' he murmured.
"Um, Doctor, Professor?" Clara called seeing them both crouched in the dust and, well, playing with it, "Something you want to share with the class?"
"Stone dust," the Doctor murmured.
Kate frowned, "Is it important?"
"In twelve hundred years I've never stepped in anything that wasn't," he remarked.
"Like a mutated Dalek reject in Manhattan," the Professor laughed, "Nearly stepped right in that one."
He helped her to her feet and looked back when he heard someone make a sort of wheezy noise to see the girl from earlier, with the scarf and glasses standing in the hall, just outside the open painting, "Oi, you. Are you sciency?"
"Oh," the girl gasped at being pointed out, before making her way towards them, into the room, "Er, well, er, yes."
"Got a name?"
"Good. I've always wanted to meet someone called Yes."
The Professor shook her head and put a finger to the Doctor's lips to silence him, "Can you take this stone dust analyze it for us? I'd do it myself but I'd rather like to see what Kate wanted to show us."
"Yes, we want a report in triplicate, with lots of graphs and diagrams and complicated sums on our desk, tomorrow morning, ASAP, pronto, LOL. See?" he pointed at Clara, "Job," before he turned to Kate, "Do we have a desk?"
Kate smiled, "No."
"And we want a desk."
"Oh, a nice one," the Professor added, "Light wood, bit low to the ground, soft as well."
"Soft?" the Doctor looked at her, "Why should a desk be soft?"
She smirked and he instantly knew he was going to turn red quite quickly, which was proven true when she merely said, "Because, one day, when we work late and I decide to throw you down on it and 'have my wicked way' with you, I'd rather not have you bruise your back."
The Doctor started to sputter, his face turning red as a tomato, as she merely kissed his cheek and walked past him, him following her off with wide eyes. That was…almost exactly like what she'd said to him on House, in the TARDIS graveyard, only this time he knew she really would follow through with it. This time it wasn't her emotions getting the best of her but really her saying what she was thinking. He tugged at the collar of his shirt, his bow tie suddenly felt a bit tight.
"Must you do that?" Clara sighed as the Professor stopped by her and Kate, "One day you really might break him."
The Professor laughed, "He's just SO easy to tease," she defended, before walking past the women who turned to follow her despite her not really knowing where she was going. Well, that was a lie, she did sort of know. She'd run a quick scan of the gallery on the TARDIS for the lay out before they'd left the box. She knew ALL about the secret rooms, she just…didn't know which one they were heading to.
"Doctor!" Kate called back, seeing the man still standing there with wide eyes and a gaping mouth that opened and closed as though a fish, before he shook his head and ran after them.
He dashed past Kate and Clara and to the Professor, gently taking her from behind, his arms carefully wrapped around her middle, as he lifted her up and spun her around, "You, my dear," he whispered in her ear as he set her down but refused to let her go, "Are a terrible, terrible tease."
"And you, my love, are the easiest target in the Universe," she countered, "Stop blushing such a lovely shade of red and one day I might decide to stop."
"Oh, never," he turned his head, kissing the side of her face, before burying his nose in her neck, "I love it far too much when we flirt," he whispered in her ear, "It's our 'thing,' don't you agree?"
"I thought our thing was finishing each other's sentences."
"We can have more than one thing," he decided, "I like having things with you."
"Me too," she agreed, turning her head to kiss him on the lips.
"Do they do this a lot?" Kate had to ask Clara.
"Yeah," she sighed, "Not something I need to see MY GRANDPARENTS!" she shouted at them, "Doing, thank you very much."
"Oi!" the Doctor pointed at her, "Don't sass your gramps."
Clara snorted at that, "SHE does," she nodded at the Professor, "I had to get it from somewhere," she joked. She knew they weren't really her grandparents, but that she more reminded them of a granddaughter. She liked that, she liked the little running jokes they had that they were this little family of sorts. Jenny already called her cousin and she was already looking forward to being a babysitter for the Time Lords when they had their child. Oh she couldn't wait for that!
"Come on," the Professor laughed, taking his hand as they walked further into the gallery, Kate taking the lead this time. She paused, glancing back at a rather odd painting of what looked like a period battle…but with a general on a horse on top of a pile of Cybermen. Weird.
The Doctor, on the other hand, stopped more to look at the red fez in a display case to the side. He grinned eagerly and snuck over to it while the Professor and Clara were distracted by the paintings. He pulled the glass case off it and put the fez on, turning to them and holding his arms out for thoughts when they turned to him. Clara looked unamused while the Professor just smiled and shook her head, expecting that.
"Someday, you could just walk past a fez," Clara remarked.
The Professor snorted, "That'll be the day."
"Never gonna happen," the Doctor agreed, "I've got as good a chance of that as Proffy here has with not whipping out the blaster."
"Oi," she nudged him with a laugh, "I'm not THAT bad."
"We've got an entire room dedicated to the items you've used as weapons Professor," Kate called from ahead.
The Professor pouted and scrunched her nose, "Ok, perhaps I AM that bad."
The Doctor laughed and kissed her nose to make her smile again, when they entered another room, white, with what seemed to be landscape portraits on the walls, broken glass on the floor.
"This is why we called you in," Kate gestured at the room.
"3D again," Clara murmured, eyeing the paintings.
"Now look at that," the Professor remarked, kneeling down, about to pick up one of the larger glass shards when the Doctor dashed forward and snatched it himself, winking at her as he held it up for them to look at, "Do you see it?"
"Interesting," the Doctor nodded.
"The broken glass?" Clara frowned.
"No, where it's broken from."
"Look at the shatter pattern," the Professor pointed at the edges of it, "Use your eyes, notice everything. The glass on all these paintings has been broken from the inside."
"As you can see," Kate added as they stood, "All the paintings are landscapes. No figures of any kind."
"So?" the Doctor glanced at her.
"There used to be," Kate sighed, handing him a tablet with a portion of the original image on it. He held it up to the painting, just in place, so that they could see there was a vague humanoid shape, like a shadow painted in the distance on the landscape before them.
"Something's got out the paintings," Clara realized.
"Lots of somethings," the Doctor agreed, "Dangerous," he started to tense, looking around as though it might be in the room.
"Whatever it is, it's not here," the Professor told him, taking his hand, "Oh do calm down Doctor, there is nothing I have ever dealt with in my lives I haven't been able to handle," she reminded him, "I'm as strong now as I was in my first incarnation, stronger. I can STILL protect myself."
She knew where his mind had gone, to her safety, to that of her and her child. She…should have expected this when she'd first found out she was pregnant. It was only a month along, barely that, and he was already acting like she was ready to pop. He was taking care of her and lifting things for her and pulling her away from the sharp pointy things that could hurt her…she'd caught him once trying to bubble wrap pieces of paper so she wouldn't get a paper cut. It was sweet, but ridiculous, and if he kept it up she was sure she really would try to blast a hole in him one day.
He seemed to be under the impression that she had gotten weak in her pregnancy. Despite it being at the start of it, he seemed to think that she needed protecting. They had a very protective relationship as it was, both of them possessive of the other, protective of the other, and…rather passionate about the other, but he was starting to take it to another level.
"But you shouldn't have to," he murmured, taking her hand as he reached out to touch her face, "It's MY job to protect you. And…"
"And what?" she asked, a suspicious note in her voice.
"You DO tend to run into the middle of things…"
"Like you," Clara butted in, "Come on Doctor, you can't get all overbearing on her for doing exactly what YOU do, just because she's pregnant."
"Yes," the Professor smiled, before looking at the Doctor, "And I'm already very protective of my little sea monkey sized baby," she reminded the Doctor, "I won't do anything that would put it in danger, not after how hard we worked and how long we tried for one," she reached up and took his hand off her face, just holding it, "You know I won't."
He sighed, "I know," he had to agree. The Professor wouldn't EVER let anything endanger her baby, their baby, not after the centuries they'd spent trying for one.
"This whole place has been searched," Kate added, "There's nothing here that shouldn't be, and nothing's got out…"
And then a swirling mass of air and ripples appeared before them, like a small vortex.
"Seriously?" the Professor had to blink at it.
"Oh no, not now," the Doctor groaned.
"What is it?" Clara frowned at it.
"No, not now!" he shouted at the swirl, "We're busy!"
"Is it to do with the paintings?" Kate wondered.
"No," the Professor sighed, rubbing her head, "No. This is different."
The Doctor nodded, "I remember this. Almost remember," he frowned, trying to recall what came next.
The Professor just smiled and reached up, taking his fez off and holding it before him.
"Oh, of course," he grinned, taking it, "This is where I come in," he winked at her and kissed her quickly before throwing the fez into the fissure and rushing after it, "Geronimo!"
"Hate you!" the Professor called as he ran.
"No you don't!" he shouted, jumping into it.
"Doctor!" Clara gasped, about to rush after him, when Kate pulled her back.
"Wait!" Kate held her arm.
The Professor just sighed, shaking her head, "And he says I'M the one who rushes into things," she muttered, before walking towards the portal, not jumping in but staring up at it, crossing her arms.
The Doctor landed with a thump on the ground of a forest with an "Oomph!" face down, right in the dirt, before turning his head to the side to see something that had him jumping to his feet.
His last self, standing there, in his brown pinstripe suit and tie, the fez on his head, with two Queen Elizabeths, much younger hers than they'd ever encountered…standing there beside him.
"Who is this man?" one of the Elizabeths demanded.
"That's just what I was wondering," his past self remarked.
The 11th Doctor jumped to his feet, eyeing himself, "Oh, that is skinny. That is proper skinny. I've never seen it from the outside. It's like a special effect. Oi!" he frowned, rushing over and pulling the fez off the man's head, "Ha! Matchstick man."
"You're not…" the 10th Doctor eyed him, coming to a realization of who this had to be. Slowly they both turned and pulled out their sonics. The 10th Doctor turned his on, starting to whirr around, while the 11th Doctor grinned and flicked his open, the 10th Doctor looking at it with wide eyes before he pushed his own sonic open more, "Compensating?"
"Regeneration. It's a lottery."
"Oh, he's cool," the 11th Doctor rolled his eyes, "Isn't he cool? I'm the Doctor and I'm all cool. Oops, I'm wearing sandshoes."
"What are you doing here? I'm busy!" he gestured back at the two Queens.
"Oh, busy," the 11th Doctor rolled his eyes, feeling a bit…disgusted at how his past self considered himself 'busy' with the two Queens, when the Professor…he paused, thinking about that. He spun in a circle a moment, frowning, "I see…" he said slowly, he…didn't see the Professor there.
There was only one reason why the Professor wouldn't be there. Given the fact that the Queens were younger than even when he'd gotten married to her…he could assume that this was him meeting an earlier version of her, earlier than ever…but…why didn't he remember it? Why didn't the QUEEN remember them when the Professor had saved her life? He hadn't changed apparently in all the incarnations he met her in, she would have recognized him the moment they saved her from the assassin before getting married, so…why hadn't she?
And, given this was earlier than he'd ever met the Queen…was this…did it mean that this was before he'd found the Professor? It had to be, but…then where was…no. He cut himself off, he was NOT going to think about that…that…well he couldn't use that word, it was rude, even if the emotion and the feelings behind it were true. No, he just had to hope that particular blonde girl wasn't here.
But if this was a him before he met Elizabeth the first time…why didn't he remember? Oh, what did THAT matter, now he realized, if this WAS before he found the Professor…he couldn't say anything.
"Is that what we're calling it, eh?" he asked, a bit bitter, just the…thought of him being with anyone else but the Professor made him angry, "Eh?" he put the fez on and mockingly bowed to the Queens, "Hello, ladies."
"Don't start," the 10th Doctor rolled his eyes, not exactly sure why his apparent future self was so…angry at the moment.
"Listen, what you get up to in the privacy of your own regeneration is your business but…"
"One of them is a Zygon."
"Urgh. I'm not judging you or anything, but when did our standards EVER get that low?"
Before the 10th Doctor could defend himself more, the small swirling vortex appeared once more. They turned to it, putting on their glasses as they examined it, only to notice the other was wearing glasses and smiled, pointing at each other a moment.
"Oh, lovely," they both smiled.
"Your Majesties," the 11th Doctor called back, pleased he had an excuse to get rid of them, "Probably a good time to run."
"But what about the creature?" both women asked.
The 10th Doctor turned to them, "Elizabeth, whichever one of you is the real one, turn and run in the opposite direction to the other one."
"Of course, my love."
One of the Elizabeths ran up to him, "Stay alive, my love. I am not done with you yet."
The 11th Doctor grimaced as he saw the woman kiss him before running off, "Thanks," his past self spoke, but he could see a grimace and a distaste in the action that confused him, "Lovely."
"I understand," the second Elizabeth ran up, "Live for me, my darling. We shall be together again!" before she too kissed him and ran off.
"Well, won't that be nice?" the 10th Doctor grimaced.
"One of those was a Zygon," he reminded himself.
"Big red rubbery thing covered in suckers."
"Don't forget the venom sacs in the tongue," a voice called from behind him.
The 11th Doctor froze, hearing that voice. His hearts started to race as he realized he could place the exact moment of this meeting now, by just the tone and the volume of that voice. Oh he'd tracked progress by that voice, by the strength in it, and now he knew…he knew exactly where his past self had fallen into this timeline. He slowly turned to see a girl, a brown haired girl, with grey eyes, dressed in a white shirt, black pants and a grey waterfall cardigan that was just a bit big on her, standing there before him.
"Professor?" he breathed, staring at her, at the first incarnation of her to travel with him after the war, The one he'd rescued from the Krillitanes, the one she'd regenerated int.
Before she could even answer…another voice, the one voice he had been dreading to hear, called out, "Who are you?"
His eyes widened as he saw none other than Rose Tyler walking down, from behind a tree that she and the Professor had obviously been hiding behind. And he reacted instantly.
Before either Rose or the 10th Doctor could blink, he'd grabbed the Professor's hand and pulled her back behind him, holding out the sonic, glaring at Rose as he spoke, with no small amount of menace in his voice, "Get back!" he nearly snarled at her, "Do you hear me?! You stay AWAY from her!"
Rose blinked and looked at the 10th Doctor shocked, "What's going on? Who is he Doctor?"
"He's um…" the 10th Doctor tugged on his ear, "He's me."
"What?" Rose looked at him, making her way over to the 10th Doctor's side, frowning when she saw the 11th Doctor moving as well, as though mirroring her steps, circling her, keeping the Professor directly behind him as the girl looked on, confused as well, "How's he you? Is that a…bow tie?" she grimaced as she eyed him.
"He's the next me," the 10th Doctor said, at the same time his 11th self said, "Oi!" at the slight against his bow tie.
"Doctor," the Professor asked, "What's going on?"
"Nothing," the 11th Doctor smiled at her, not realizing she was speaking to his past self, "You just…you stay there, and everything will be ok, ok?"
The Professor blinked and glanced at HER Doctor, who could only shrug, not sure why his future self was acting that way.
"What's the matter with you?" Rose crossed her arms, glaring right back at the 11th Doctor for his attitude. And…a little bit for his reaction. She'd seen his look when he'd seen the Professor, how it had softened, how he'd looked at her with such…care. She'd assumed that the same would be bestowed upon her when she revealed herself, and what did she get? Glares, snarls, threats.
"YOU Rose Tyler," he nearly spat, shocking all of them with how much venom was in his words, "You are everything that is wrong with me."
"Now hold on," the 10th Doctor tried to defend her, "What's happened? What's Rose done?"
"Oi!" Rose huffed, "Why do you think I did something?"
"Don't you dare," the 11th Doctor's eyes narrowed even more, "Don't you dare blame the Professor."
The Professor's eyes widened, "What…what did I do?" she asked quietly.
"Nothing," the 11th Doctor turned to her, taking her hand as he smiled at her.
He knew that this her….this had been the version of her that had needed him the most, the one that had needed his undivided attention and support to really be able to get over her fears. But he'd been so…he couldn't even think of the word. It wasn't that he loved Rose, no, his hearts had always and would always belong to the Professor, but…he'd been attracted to Rose yes, he'd been close to her, he hadn't wanted to hurt either by taking sides. And as a result the Professor had suffered, her growth had been stunted, Rose had just kept making it worse for her, kept pulling his attention away and being snide to her, setting her back.
If Rose had never been there, he could have concentrated and put all his efforts to the Professor and she would have been stronger during their travels, all the things that had bothered her an gotten to her wouldn't have. She would have been happier, if he'd just STOPPED focusing on Rose and focused on the one his hearts had been pulling him to all along.
"Rose is just being a child," he finished.
"I am not!" Rose stomped her foot, which made the 11th Doctor roll his eyes.
"Yes because stomping your foot is SO grown up," he snapped back at her, making her frown, "Were you or were you not just thinking, right then, that it wasn't something YOU did but something the Professor did to make me react this way?" he eyed her as she shifted, revealing to all that WAS what she'd been thinking, "Hmm? Was it? Or would you care to lie to me?"
"Well she had to have done something," Rose argued, "You yelled at me Doctor…told me to keep away from you and…"
"Have you ever considered," he cut in, "That you did something deserving of me to say that?" he shook his head and looked at his past self, "How did we never notice?"
"N…notice what?" the 10th Doctor looked between them, frowning when he saw that Rose had actually sort of admitted that she blamed the Professor for him disliking her in the future…because clearly he disliked her, with a passion. And he had no idea why other than that Rose would apparently do something.
"How much of a child the human really is," he muttered, "19 years old, what were you thinking?"
Before Rose or any of them could even respond to that, another voice called out through the vortex, "Doctor? Are you there?"
They watched as his expression softened and he smiled, turning to look at the Vortex, unable to really see anything but hear well enough, "Yes, yes, I'm here. Hello!"
A woman laughed, "Hello. Did you land on your face again?"
He rolled his eyes, "Yes."
"Would you like me to demonstrate how NOT to?"
"NO!" he shouted, his eyes widening as he realized something.
The Professor, HIS Professor, was about to jump through the portal…and join them…with ROSE right there. He whipped out the sonic and flashed the vortex, hoping he would be quick enough to reverse the polarity and keep her from following…
The Professor took a running leap at the portal, ducking into a role as she leapt, not pretending that it would be some sort of simple walk through but a literal doorway. She used the momentum of her jump and the crouch of her roll, to continue to roll once she hit the ground on the other side of the portal and stood. She smiled, brushing off her hands and skirt, "There you see?" she smiled, "Easy. I don't understand why you have such difficulty NOT landing on your face…" she trailed off when she turned to see that she was NOT with her Doctor.
She was standing in a wooden shack of some kind, with a very familiar older man sitting before her, holding the fez and looking at her.
"Ah," she nodded, "Hello," she gave him a small wave.
"Hello?" he remarked, curiously.
The 11th Doctor waited a moment, waiting to see if the Professor would jump through, only to breathe a sigh of relief when she didn't appear, "Brilliant," he smiled, "Good, hello!" he called, wanting to make sure that he hadn't accidently cut off the audio so to speak, "Are you still there?"
"Um…Doctor?" Clara's voice called out instead of the Professor's.
"Ah, hello, Clara. Can you hear me?"
"Yeah, it's me. Um…me and Kate…is the Professor with you?"
He blinked, starting to feel a bit…scared, "No…"
"What are you talking about?" Rose rolled her eyes, "She's right there. You haven't let GO of her since you saw her."
"Rose," the 10th Doctor actually cut in softly, "Not…not right now."
"You don't mean ME do you?" the Professor asked, glancing at the 11th Doctor, "There's…is my…my future self there too?"
The 11th Doctor sighed, "Yes, yes. Or she was," he looked at the portal warily, "I'm…not sure where she's got to just now…"
The Professor blinked, looking at the portal as well. That woman, the woman who spoke before this Clara girl, she'd sounded…happy, confident, sure of herself, strong…it…it couldn't be her. She couldn't imagine regenerating into something like that. She was just…she wasn't that strong.
The 10th Doctor looked over at her, seeing the Professor starting to bow her head a bit, and he knew where her mind had gone. He stepped away from Rose and moved to the 9th Professor's side, only for the 11th Doctor to tug her away, as though wanting to keep HIM away from her as well.
"You've got your own," he reminded the man, before reaching out and tugging the Professor into his arms, "It's ok," he whispered, "Whatever regeneration happened," he looked at his future self, "I was there for you, wasn't I?"
The 11th Doctor nodded, "Yes, you were," he smiled at the Professor, both of them assuming she was upset to learn she regenerated, and not that she'd regenerate into an impossible thing, "You always will be."
"Look," Rose walked over, the 11th Doctor stiffening, but being unable to really do anything as the Professor, his last self's Professor, was in the man's arms and not HIS, "What 's going on? What is that thing?"
"Proffy?" the 11th Doctor looked at her.
She frowned, "Who?"
He winced, "Sorry, I meant…Professor, want to take that one?" he smiled encouragingly at her, knowing that, no matter where she was in her travels with Rose, she'd need encouragement.
"Go on," the 10th Doctor encouraged her, "You know what it is."
She sighed, "It's a…um…" she glanced at the 11th Doctor when he shot a glare near her…near her but not at her, and turned to see Rose looking away, clearly having been making a face of some sort behind her back, "It's a fissure in time."
"Correctamundo!" both Doctors cheered, before looking at each other with an "Oi!"
"Who's that?" Clara's voice called, "Who are you talking to?"
"Myself," both Doctors stated.
"No but…there's other people there, aren't there?" Clara continued, "Granny said to use my eyes and notice everything, can't really do that when I can't see you, but my ears are working just fine. There's two other girls with you, isn't there? I recognize one…"
The 11th Doctor smiled, "Brilliant!" he cheered up to Clara, "The Professor's um…9th incarnation," he told her, "That's one voice."
"Um, who's she?" the 10th Doctor whispered to his future self.
"That's Clara," he remarked, "Have you not been listening? I called her Clara just before."
"I um…" the Professor hesitated, "I think he meant is she a companion?"
"Oh," he smiled, "Right, well, yes, I suppose you could say that. Kate refers to her as Susan-point-2 though."
"What?" the 10th Doctor shook his head.
"She's sort of like…my adopted granddaughter," he smiled, "Mine and the Professor's," he shot Rose a look at that as the girl's eyes widened.
"Ok," Clara called, "But who's the other one? I haven't heard that voice before."
"What?!" Rose cried, almost offended. She knew there was always a chance that she wouldn't be with the Doctor forever but…that was like hearing confirmation.
"It's been 300 years," the 11th Doctor remarked, knowing he couldn't tell them what Rose's fate held in store and…he didn't want to.
Rose, what would happen to her, what she'd do…it would all have a hand in leading him and the Professor to the place they were now. And he was happy, he had a wife, he had a Bonded, he was going to have a baby with his Bonded, he had an adopted granddaughter, an adopted goddaughter, a real daughter, he had…everything he ever wanted. And everything Rose would do…he couldn't bring himself to feel badly that he'd not tell them about her fate in Torchwood.
When she was lost to Pete's World it had allowed him and given him the courage to tell the Professor how he felt, when she'd returned, it had allowed him to see her for what she was, human. It had disillusioned him from the wonderful person he'd built her up to be in his memories, and let him see her for all her flaws. Flaws he couldn't forgive. The things she'd say about the Professor would also help him, it helped him treasure the Professor more than ever, and it truly helped end any feeling at all he might have had for Rose. How could he truly love the Professor with his whole hearts if even the tiniest sliver still felt even an iota of that sort of care for Rose? It had erased that, it had freed him in a way, made it so the Professor could have his whole hearts, and that was a treasured gift.
"Do YOU want to turn into Cassandra?" he added with a bite.
Rose looked away at that, she felt like…he wasn't telling her everything, but at the same time she didn't want him to. This man…he just couldn't be the Doctor, not HER Doctor, he'd NEVER treat her this way. He'd never treat her like…like she treated the Professor she realized.
"It's Rose, Rose Tyler," the 10th Doctor called up, curious to see what that Clara's girls reaction to the name would be.
"Who?" Clara asked, and they could almost see her shaking her head, despite not knowing what she looked like.
"Past companion," the 11th Doctor waved it off, making the Professor and the 10th Doctor look at him in slight confusion as to how…careless he was being with Rose, 'THE Rose's' name.
"Hold on…when did she come in?" Clara wondered, "You told me all about Amy and Rory, and Martha, and Donna and, Mickey and…"
"Clara," the 11th Doctor cut in, perhaps letting her give away a BIT too much information just then, but…a small part of him WANTED Rose to know that he valued those other companions over her, even Mickey the Idiot ranked higher than her in the people he talked about and made sure his companions knew about.
"Right, sorry," Clara spoke, "Um…where are you?"
"You…didn't tell her about me at all?" Rose asked quietly, actually sounding hurt by that.
The 11th Doctor didn't even glance at her, "There was nothing to tell," before he shouted back to Clara, "England, 1562!" he told her, having had enough time to acclimatize and sense out the year and location.
"Can you come back through Doctor?" another voice called, Kate "We…can't seem to locate the Professor and I'm sure the sonic would be beneficial…"
The 11th Doctor swallowed hard at that, the Professor looking down at his hands as they clenched into fists, seeing his body language, seeing how…upset he was at that notion. She…couldn't help but feel a bit…happy that, apparently, in the future, she was…more important to him than she was now.
"Physical passage may not be possible in both directions," the 11th Doctor called, "It's…ah!" he touched his head where the fez was still resting, "Hang on. Fez incoming!" he tossed it through and waited…
"Nothing here," Clara told them.
The 10th Doctor frowned, "So where did it go?"
"Sorry about that," the Professor glanced at the fez in the man's hands, the Doctor's hands, the War-Doctor as a few people had called him during the war.
"It is perfectly fine my dear," he nodded, brushing the dust off the fez.
The Professor frowned as she eyed him a moment, before she glanced at THE Moment, at the box, at the device sitting on top of it, and her eyes widened. This was the Doctor…before he activated it! And then she felt her hearts break as she realized why he hadn't realized who she was, this was the Doctor after he'd been told she'd died.
It was a giant mess, really, that entire debacle. The Daleks had spread tell that she had died in battle, a tale that the Doctor had heard. He'd…lost it at that point, had gone to the Vaults, to get the Moment. She hadn't actually died, but then SHE'D heard that he had disappeared, that he'd been attacked by Daleks and gone to the Vaults herself to try and find him. Only to then be attacked by the Daleks that had been lying in wait for her to arrive. She'd been shot at by them, overwhelmed, had fallen into their trap. She'd been too late to get to the Doctor, now she knew before he took the Moment, and had been forced to teleport out, regenerated halfway across the planet, alone. She'd managed enough sense of mind to rip the chip in her neck out mid-regeneration so that the High Council couldn't trace her or track her. It had healed with her regeneration and she'd run, run for a shuttle, needing to get off the planet, needing to get allies to help, needing to stop the war once and for all. It had been horrible, to regenerate and realize what she'd become.
"Right, well," she swallowed, "I'll just be going now," she turned and pulled her sonic blaster out, tweaking the settings to a sonic disruptor, ready to try and reverse what HER Doctor had done so she could get back to him.
"What are you doing?" the man stood.
"Need to get back to the Doctor," she murmured, being sure that he would hear her. If she could tempt him with meeting another incarnation of himself…maybe it would buy her time to think of a way to stop the Moment from being used. She knew what it did to the Doctor to have to use it, she knew how she herself felt to know that her own creation had had a hand in the end of the war…it was something she wanted to avoid very much.
"Did you say the Doctor?" the man's eyes widened as he walked over to her.
She smirked at him, "Oh yes, care to help?" she nodded at his sonic, "Two are better than one."
He blinked and looked at her before pointing his red-tipped sonic at the portal, the two of them working on opening the connection back.
"Ok," the 10th Doctor sighed, glancing at his future self, "You used to be me, you've done all this before. What happens next?"
"I don't remember," the 11th Doctor admitted with a wince.
"How can you forget this?"
"Not much of the Doctor are you?" Rose muttered.
"Hey, hang on," the 11th Doctor pointed at her, "It's not my fault. HE," he pointed at his past self, "Obviously is not paying enough attention."
"Um…" the Professor began, "Why don't you just…reverse the polarity."
"Brilliant," the 11th Doctor smiled at her, winking, taking no small amount of joy in the glare Rose sent him and the less than pleased look his own past self gave him either. Good, the man deserved to feel jealous and upset. Maybe he'd realize exactly what the Professor had been going through that entire time!
God, how had he been so blind?! So stupid!? The entire time he'd been drawn to the Professor, he'd been remembering more and more how much he loved her yet…his stupid sense of loyalty to Rose, to 'the Companion who helped him after the war' had struck him. It never should have been like that, not ever. It should have been the Professor, only the Professor, from the beginning. The girl who had needed him, who had been so afraid, who had stood aside and made herself miserable so as not to get in the way of what she thought was his happiness with Rose. THAT was the true difference between the women, the Professor…she truly loved him with everything she had. She would give him up if it meant seeing him happy.
Rose…Rose clung to him so much that even in a parallel world she had tried to get back to him and released the Daleks in the process!
He took a breath, trying to calm down. He knew that, he'd rather have the Professor, HIS Professor here with him than to not know where she was, even if it meant she'd be forced to deal with Rose. And, he supposed, it would be better. His Proffy was quite the little confident woman, she would have no qualms with giving Rose a piece of her mind and, perhaps that was what her past self needed. He remembered how quiet this version of the Professor was, how non-confrontational she'd been with Rose. She, of all people, needed to see who much more confident, how much stronger she'd become in the future.
And he really did need his wife there to make sure he didn't kill Rose.
This was…vaguely coming back to him now, exactly what was happening, why he was there, why he had kissed Elizabeth. It was like, being there, seeing it happen, was giving him bits and pieces of it. It had been just after the incident with Chloe Webber, they'd just been in the TARDIS when the alarms had gone off, mauve, a Zygon ship had crashed, and they'd gone to investigate. Elizabeth, upon seeing him, had become quite enamored, or so it seemed, he was under the impression it was the Zygon. It had actually been the Professor's plan that she and Rose stay in the background while he got closer to Elizabeth, gather evidence that she wasn't who she claimed she was as that was really the only one Elizabeth would talk to. He hadn't enjoyed it at all, when Elizabeth had tried to 'court' him herself, but he'd gone along with it, proposing to her only to prove it wasn't her, that the Virgin Queen, the woman who needed no man, was an alien. She would NEVER need a man at her side.
He hadn't actually thought it was really her.
Rose hadn't been quite so thrilled with the plan either, he did remember her being naturally cross and naturally bitter and short and distant with him during that particular adventure. He remembered a brief moment, an overheard conversation where Rose accused the Professor of doing it to spite her, of pushing the Doctor (him) into Elizabeth's arms so that he wouldn't end up in HER arms. The Professor had gotten very quiet and said something that had made Rose stop. He hadn't known what it was, till they'd been dancing at their wedding in Elizabeth's court after Mars. He'd caught a glimpse of her mind as it drifted, it was vague and he hadn't really thought much on it till just now. But she'd countered with Rose in telling the girl, why would she push the Doctor away from HER as well, it hurt her just as much to see another woman kissing him as it did Rose.
"Well come on then," the 10th Doctor nudged him, the two of them pulling out their sonics and flashing the portal.
"It's not working," he remarked.
"You're um, both reversing the polarity," the Professor offered, trying to ignore Rose's narrowed glance. She knew the girl got annoyed when she helped the Doctor, as though she were only doing it to show Rose she was smarter than her when really all she wanted to do was help the Doctor.
"Yes, got that."
"She means there's two of us," the 10th Doctor rolled his eyes, "I'm reversing it, you're reversing it back again. We're confusing the polarity."
The two men dropped their arms when a young woman dropped through the portal, landing in a small crouch, a woman in a white skirt, with a jean jacket and strawberry blonde hair. She looked up and beamed, "There you are!" she cheered, before jumping up, the 11th Doctor running over to hug her tightly.
"I knew you'd find a way back," the 11th Doctor laughed, before pulling back to kiss her soundly, the 10th Doctor and 9th Professor staring with wide eyes as Rose's mouth dropped open. The 11th Doctor grinned as he pulled away and looked at her.
"Who's she now?" Rose shook her head.
"This…is the Professor," the 11th Doctor introduced, moving his arms around her to rest his chin on her shoulder, "MY Professor mind you," he sent a mock-glare at his past self as he and the 9th Professor stared at her.
"You're…me?" the 9th Professor stared at her, stunned, the woman was…gorgeous, and beaming, and…seemed so strong, "How?"
"A lot of work," the 11th Professor remarked, "And…quite a few kisses from this one," she nodded her head to HER Doctor, "Does wonders for the personality," she winked at her past self.
"You regenerated?" the 10th Doctor had to ask, it was one thing to hear her talking and know it was a different woman, it was another to…to SEE that he'd failed in protecting her and she'd regenerated again.
"Trust me, it was a VERY good thing," she smiled, before glancing over at a rather stunned Rose, "Rose Tyler," she shook her head, "And the luck just gets worse."
"What do you mean?" the 10th Doctor frowned, glancing between her and Rose, what had Rose done? What could she have possibly done that made them BOTH so disheartened at her appearance.
"More to the point," the 11th turned to her, "How DID you find a way back?"
The 11th Professor just pointed at the portal a moment before a man stepped through, the War-Doctor himself.
Rose frowned and blinked when both Doctors pulled their respective Professors behind themselves. The 11th Professor rolled her eyes at that while her 9th self just smiled softly, touched by the action.
"Anyone lose a fez?" the War-Doctor asked, holding it up.
"You," the 10th Doctor breathed, staring at the man in horror, "How can you be here?"
"Who's he now?" Rose asked, moving to stand between the Doctors, only for the 11th Doctor to step a few paces away from her, his eyes still on the War-Doctor.
"Why is HE here?" the 9th Professor wondered, peeking out at the man from behind her Doctor.
The War-Doctor looked between them a moment, seeing them all looking a bit stunned, except that woman, the one in the skirt, "Good afternoon. I'm looking for the Doctor."
"Well he's certainly hit the jackpot," the 11th Professor smiled.
The 10th Doctor looked at her, she was…so different than his own Professor. Not that it was a bad thing it was just…different. He felt himself starting to smile at that, she seemed…happy. And she'd implied it was HIM that had made her so happy. And that meant the world to him to know, that she'd become this happy, confident woman because of him. He…he really was trying to keep things neutral between the Professor, his Professor and rose but…he saw what that was doing to the Professor. There were so many things that kept causing setbacks for her and, he couldn't help but feel, if he'd just been a bigger presence in her life, that maybe it wouldn't set her back quiet so far. He really did need to sit Rose down and talk to her about how she treated his best friend, she needed ALL their support at the moment, not any more snide comebacks he knew Rose was dishing to her.
It…bothered him, how Rose saw only competition in the Professor instead of how truly traumatized she was by everything dealing with the war and the Krillitanes.
"Good," the War-Doctor nodded, "Right," he glanced at them all, "Well, who are you all? Oh, of course. Are you his companions? Has he started taking on more than one?" there were five of them, that was…a record even for him even before the war.
"His companions?" the 11th Doctor looked quite offended by that.
"They get younger all the time," the man remarked.
"The old man prefers the company of the young, doesn't he?" the 11th Professor remarked wisely, "Keeps him spry."
"Oi!" the 11th Doctor squeezed her middle gently, "YOU keep me spry enough," he muttered, "Honestly, I've never had as much a work out as keeping up with you."
"Which is good," she smirked her dangerous smirk, "YOU were the one who was worried about your stamina. Shall we try to build that up a bit more? I know some…rather excellent techniques."
He smiled at her, nuzzling his nose to the side of her neck as she giggled at the sensation, "I love your techniques."
"So a…married couple then," the War-Doctor remarked.
"What?!" Rose looked at him, scandalized, "What do you mean married?!"
"I almost forgot how she can screech," the 11th Professor murmured, before smiling at the War-Doctor, "You noticed. Well done."
"Not quite as much a feat as before though," the 11th Doctor reminded her, "We removed the perception filter, remember."
"What perception filter?" the 9th Professor asked, squinting at them, as though trying to see it.
The 11th Doctor grinned and picked up his Professor's left hand with his own left hand, showing them their wedding bands glinting in the sun.
"You married her!?" Rose gaped at them.
"Well…isn't that wizard..." the 10th Doctor murmured, staring at the rings a long while before glancing at his Professor, both of them starting to sport a bit of a pink tint to their cheeks.
"Best day of my life," the 11th Doctor smiled at her.
"Well," the War-Doctor cut in when he saw the pink and yellow girl start to open her mouth again, "If you could point me in the general direction of the Doctor?"
The Professors just looked at their Doctors, the men standing there shifting and glancing at each other, before they reached into their Doctor's pockets and pulled out the sonics, holding them up and flicking them on for the War-Doctor to see.
"Really?" the War-Doctor looked alarmed at the prospect that the two men before him might be him.
Actually…he was more alarmed by the one in the purple than anything, that man…the one who had…had married someone else. It just…couldn't be true! The Professor was dead, who else would their hearts ever agree to marry besides her. They'd joked of it on Gallifrey, that they should be Bonded and then married in an Earth ceremony, they did both love the Earth. But she was gone and…to see the man in the purple coat so…cozy and fond with another woman. He felt like he was betraying the Professor.
How could he have moved on so quickly?
"Yeah," the 11th Doctor nodded.
"Really," the 10th Doctor agreed.
"You're me?" the War-Doctor stared between them, horrified, "Both of you?"
"Apparently," Rose muttered, crossing her arms and looking at the 11th Doctor with a glare, she wasn't sure she really believed THAT one was the Doctor.
"Even that one?" the War-Doctor had to follow her suspicious gaze to the 11th, of all of them THAT was the one he had the most difficulty believing, that one that had married someone else.
"Yes!" the 11th Doctor huffed.
"You're my future selves?"
"I think we've covered that," the 11th Professor remarked as her past self just looked between the three Doctors, rubbing her head. She had to smile at her past self, she could only imagine the headache she must be getting at the moment having three Doctors around. She remembered the Doctor's last self usually gave that very of her quite a few.
"Am I having a midlife crisis?!" he shouted, taking a step forward, only for both men to grab their sonics from the women and hold them up like weapons, though he DID notice the one in the purple had also grabbed the woman's arm, as though holding it down though she didn't make a move to…well, move, "Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols," he watched as the two men slowly lowered them, but both continued to look at him warily, "Look like you've seen a ghost."
"Still," the 10th Doctor tried to make light of it, though they could see him move closer to the 9th Professor, "Loving the posh, gravelly thing. It's very convincing."
"Brave words, Dick van Dyke," the 11th Doctor countered.
"If you're going to insist on using the sonics as weapons," the 11th Professor cut in, glancing at her past self to see her look over her shoulder, as though hearing what SHE heard as well, "You may want to drop them, we have company."
And a moment later a troop of soldiers ran up, one man rushing to the head, all of them aiming spears and swords at them as the Doctors pulled the women back behind them, forming a sort of triangle around them.
The 11th Professor rolled her eyes and moved to HER Doctor, tapping him on the shoulder, "Doctor…you DO remember what I'm capable of yes?"
"Yes," he nodded, "And that's why I keep you back," he winked at her, "Can't have you showing me up against myself eh?" he laughed, turning his head to kiss her quickly before focusing on the men again.
"Encircle them!" one of the men ordered, stepping forward, "Which of you is the Doctor? The Queen of England is bewitched. I would have the Doctor's head."
"Well," the War-Doctor glanced at his other selves, "This has all the makings of your lucky day."
"I think there's three of them now," they could hear Clara murmur through the portal.
"Oh hello Clara!" the Professor cheered.
"Are you completely mental?" Rose looked at her, "We're surrounded by men with swords and you're not even trying to cooperate!"
The 11th Professor looked at her, "Are you completely without faith in the Doctor, Rose? We're surrounded by men with swords when you know very well we've been in worse spots and he's always taken care of us," she smiled a bit and glanced at her past self, "He always will," she added.
"There's a precedent for that," Kate spoke up as well.
"What is that?!" the man demanded, staring at the portal in slight awe and fear.
The War-Doctor glanced over to see the two of him with their sonics out once more, "Oh, the pointing again. They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?"
The 11th Professor laughed, "I see where River gets it from."
"Who?" the 10th Doctor glanced back at her.
"Adopted Goddaughter," she shrugged.
"We…we adopt quite a lot, don't we?" the 9th Professor had to ask.
"More than you realize," the 11th Professor laughed, "The TWO of you," she added pointedly for Rose, who glared at her.
She knew she should feel badly for rubbing it in so to speak, for being a bit short and spiteful with Rose but…the girl deserved it. All she'd put her past self through, all she'd do in the future, it was just…she hadn't been able to stick up for herself when she had first travelled with Rose, she'd let the girl say and do awful things to her. But SHE was here now and she could, well, stick up for herself now, quite literally really. She just wanted to show Rose that, no matter what, SHE and the Doctor were going to happen no matter what Rose tried, they would be together. They were Bonded, they were married, they were expecting a child. The relationship they had was forged centuries ago, more than a millennia ago, and it was stronger than ever.
No one, especially not some human, would tear that apart.
"That thing," the man called, pointing at the portal, "What witchcraft is it?"
"Ah, yes!" the 11th Doctor pointed at him, "Now that you mention it, that is witchcraft. Yes, yes, yes. Witchy witchcraft. Hello? Hello in there. Excuse me. Hello!"
"How's the…wicked witch of the well doing!?" the Professor called, emphasizing the 'Well' so that Clara would know they were talking to her, a reference to Caliburn House, "Clara?"
"Hello?" Clara called back.
"Clara, hi, hello," the 11th Doctor laughed, "Hello. Would you mind telling these prattling mortals to get themselves begone?"
"What he said."
The Professor laughed at that, "Perhaps with a tiny bit more color."
"Right…" Clara cleared her throat, "Prattling mortals, off you pop, or I'll turn you all into frogs?"
"Ooh, frogs," the Doctor waved his hands at the men surrounding them, "Nice. You heard her."
"What's he doing?" Rose asked the 10th Doctor, not sure if his future self had apparently gone mad or something, well madder than normal.
"He's trying to come up with a clever way to not need me to attack the guards," the 11th Professor called, glancing back over her shoulder, "Honestly, SHE worked it out," she nodded at her past self, "You DO remember what I did during the Wire incident yes? She's realized I've got more control now."
The 10th Doctor looked at the 9th Professor as she glanced away, realizing she HAD worked it out but hadn't said. He frowned, they'd been doing better lately, trying to get her to be ok with thinking. But that last trip, meeting Chloe Webber had really done a number on her, having to come in contact with a remnant of her father…it had really set her back in her strength and confidence..
"What's going on?" Clara called with a small sigh.
"It's a timey-wimey thing," the 11th Doctor responded.
"Timey what?" the War-Doctor looked at him as though he were insane, "Timey-wimey?"
"I've no idea where he picks that stuff up," the 10th Doctor tried to sound innocent.
"Give it a few adventures," the 11th Professor waved him off with a smirk.
Suddenly the soldiers fell to their knees as Elizabeth walked up to them through the trees, "The Queen!" they called, "The Queen."
Elizabeth smirked as she saw them, though her smirk tensed when she saw how close the blonde and the brunette girl were standing to the 10th Doctor, "You don't seem to be kneeling. How tremendously brave of you."
"Which one are you?" the 10th Doctor frowned at her, not sure if she was the real Elizabeth or a Zygon, "What happened to the other one?"
"Indisposed. Long live the Queen."
"Long live the Queen!" the soldiers shouted.
"Could you…scan her?" the 11th Doctor asked the Professor quietly, so quietly only her 9th self heard.
"We can't," the 9th Professor answered, "Um, shape-shifting DNA takes too long to sift through and spot the differences when it's masked as human."
He nodded, "Right, right yes…" that would explain why he'd needed that ridiculous detector he'd seen his past self standing before the Elizabeths with. The Professor, while able to scan quite a number of things with a touch, sometimes things that could mimic or replicate other DNA made it a bit harder. It could take her a bit longer and it wouldn't be proper for her to stand there shaking the Queen's hand for a full minute.
"Arrest these men and their women," the Queen ordered, "Take them to the Tower."
"That is not the Queen of England, that's an alien duplicate!" the 10th Doctor shouted.
"And you can take it from him, 'cos he's really checked," the 11th Doctor smirked.
"Oh, shut up."
"Venom sacs in the tongue."
"Seriously, stop it."
"Trust me mate, better kisser right here," he put his arm around the 11th Professor, "Seriously, the things she can do with her t…"
"Doctor!" she cut in, starting to blush, "Please," he started to smirk, thinking he'd finally gotten to her and made her flush like she always did him…only for her to give him a mischievous smile, "I'd rather he discover that on his own," she winked at him, "Spoilers," he laughed, "And besides, we really DO need to go to the Tower."
The 11th Doctor frowned, 'Why?'
She rolled her eyes playfully, 'Kate? Where's her office dear?'
His eyes widened, "Ah, yes, brilliant!" he beamed, kissing her quickly, "Love the Tower."
She pouted, "I thought you loved ME?"
He laughed, "Always you, only you," he whispered, kissing her again, before spinning to the guards, "Breakfast at eight, please. Will there be wifi?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?" the War-Doctor asked, seeing him doing that as he pointed at the various men.
"Yes!" he flung his hands out before shaking his head, "No."
"Come on," the 11th Professor smiled, "We demand to be incarcerated in the Tower immediately…"
"With our co-conspirators Sandshoes, Grandad, Whisper, and Thorny."
"Grandad?" the War-Doctor looked offended at that as the 11th Professor laughed, Clara would be quite confused by the end of this, wouldn't she?
"They're not sandshoes," the 10th Doctor rolled his eyes.
"Yes, they are."
"Who are you calling thorny!?" Rose demanded.
"The Thorn in my Side," the 11th Doctor countered, shooting a glare at Rose.
"What about you?" the 11th Professor looked at her past self, "Alright there?"
The 9th Professor just shrugged, "I AM quiet, I do whisper a lot..."
"Silence!" the Queen shouted, "The Tower is not to be taken lightly. Very few emerge again."
The 11th Professor laughed at that, 'How many times have we been there and escaped?' she asked the 11th Doctor quietly.
"Think this is funny do you?" Rose turned to the Professor, "We're being taken to the TOWER!" she knew she wasn't the greatest at history, but she knew what the Tower was like at his point, a torture palace.
"Yes and, as the others have surely worked out by now given their silence," the 11th Professor countered, "We asked to go there because we have a plan involving it," she told her quietly.
"Right like YOU have a plan," Rose crossed her arms, "You barely made it through the USS Madame de Pompadour without Mickey holding your hand, didn't even realize where we were, and you expect me to believe…"
"Actually," the 10th Doctor cut in, "She um…she always has been able to come up with plans rather quickly."
The 11th Professor turned to her, "What IS your problem with me Rose?"
"Dear…" the 11th Doctor tried to pull her away.
"No," she turned back to her, "I want to know. I clearly haven't done anything to you at that point in your travels, I KNOW I didn't. Events in the future haven't happened yet for you to meet me again, and this is the first time I am meeting you, so tell me Rose Tyler, what have I done to you?"
"Enough chatter!" the Queen shouted, "Guards, seize them."
The 11th Professor rolled her eyes and moved to grab something as the 11th Doctor sighed, stepping back, "Here we go…" the War-Doctor and the 10th Doctor looked at him, confused.
But the Professor just pulled out her blaster and fired it into the air, making the men stop, "Five minutes and then you can get a seizy as you like."
The Queen swallowed, a hand on her heart at the sudden and rather alien, futuristic weapon the girl had used, "Five minutes is agreeable."
The 11th Professor nodded and turned back to Rose, "What is it?"
Rose glared at her, "You made him hate me!" she snapped.
The Professor stared at her a moment and blinked, "The arrogance," she muttered, seeing exactly the makings in Rose that would lead her to inadvertently set free the Daleks, "Have you ever stopped to think in that little human mind of yours that it might, quite possibly, be something YOU did that turned him against you?"
"Like what?" Rose challenged.
The Professor gave her a disbelieving look, "Alright then. Like insulting me after I died, like belittling me in front of my husband, like tearing apart the TARDIS, like murdering the Doctor's best friend, like…oh, I don't know, being so immature and so desperate that you tore apart the walls of the Universe and ended up releasing the Daleks from the Time Lock! How about THAT for 'like what?'"
Rose blinked and stared at her, "You're…you're lying," she murmured, actually startled at what the woman was saying, "I…wouldn't do that…"
"You would," the 11th Doctor agreed, a hard note in his voice that had the 10th Doctor looking between him and Rose, stunned and alarmed the girl really WOULD do all that.
"Time changes us," the 11th Professor remarked, "For me, I got better, for you…worse," she shook her head at Rose, "I didn't even know that half of what you said about me for years, but it was enough time for it to fester in him, to boil to hatred," she nodded at the 11th Doctor, "So no, I had nothing to do with YOUR actions," she stared Rose down, "All I ever tried to do Rose was see him happy, you just wanted to see him yours," she shook her head and looked over at her last self, standing there with her arms crossed, seeming disturbed, "What is it?"
The 9th Professor looked at her, "We…carry a…gun?" she breathed, unable to believe that. After the war, after all they'd been though, why…WHY would she EVER pick up a weapon again? Why would she do that?
The 11th Professor just looked over at the 11th Doctor, he nodded and looked at his watch, "Oh look…5 minutes," before he headed to the Professor and took her hand, "I believe we have a date for the Tower?"
She smiled, "Not the worst one we've been on."
"Come on, you lot," the warden of the Tower shoved them all into a small cell, the three women and three men that the Queen had ordered imprisoned, "Get in there."
"Ow!" the War-Doctor stumbled as he was shoved.
"Here," the 11th Professor moved to help him.
"I'm fine," he pulled his arm away, crossing them, making her frown. He was acting…not as light as he had to her when she'd appeared in the portal.
She glanced over at the door as the Warden shut it and headed off, waiting a moment before shaking her head. She glanced at her past self to see her staring at the door in confusion too before she caught her eye and put a finger to her lips, winking, wanting to see how long it would take the men to realize.
"Well then," the 11th Professor remarked, picking up a nail on the floor, "Time to get us out yes."
"No!" the 11th Doctor rushed over, taking the metal from her, kissing her fingers quickly, "I'll do it."
The 11th Professor rolled her eyes, "It's a nail dear, I can handle it."
"Leave it to me though," he winked at her, moving over to a brick on a column and starting to scratch numbers into it, "Three of us in one cell? That's going to cause some nasty anomalies if we don't get out soon."
"What are you doing?" Rose asked the man quietly, actually flinching as it as she saw him stop what he was doing at the sound of her voice, saw the expression on his face harden.
It was hitting her now, all that the Professor had claimed she'd do…if…if she really DID do all that, murder his best friend, release the Daleks, and just…be even more terrible to the Professor than now, well…she could understand why he was so cross with her, why he…hated her. And she was right to, the Professor, she hadn't ever done anything to her, anything to insult her or to try and steal the Doctor away. She really had kept her distance and she'd tried to see it like that but it was hard when…the further away the Professor moved the more the Doctor went after her.
"Getting us out," the 11th Doctor said, "We just said that, have you not been listening?"
The 9th Professor looked over at the War-Doctor as he tried to sonic the wooden door, "The sonic…" she called to him, "It won't work on that, it's too primitive."
"And it's wood," the 11th Professor added.
"Shall we ask for a better quality of door so we can escape?" the 11th Doctor asked her with a laugh.
"Oh the only thing we invest in better quality is handcuffs," the 11th Professor joked, making him blush and turn back to the etchings.
"Why do you have…" the 9th Professor began.
"You shouldn't ask that," her future self looked at her, "Believe me, your Doctor…he's not ready for that just yet."
The 10th Doctor cleared his throat, realizing exactly what the handcuffs were for, "Ok…so the Queen of England is now a Zygon. But never mind that. Why are we all together? Why are we all here? Well, me and Chinny, we were surprised," he glanced at the War-Doctor, "But you came looking for us. You knew it was going to happen. Who told you?"
The War-Doctor glanced back at him, pausing when he saw the hologram of the 1st Professor leaning on a column beside the 10th Doctor. She smiled, putting a finger to her lips. The Professors though, caught his gaze and looked in that direction for a moment before turning back to him.
"Oi, Chinny?" the 11th cut in before he had to answer.
"Yeah, you do have a chin," the 10th Doctor remarked.
"It's a rather lovely chin," the 11th Professor patted it, which made him beam and stick his tongue out at the 10th Doctor.
The War-Doctor shook his head and turned back to the door, "In theory, I can trigger an isolated sonic shift among the molecules, and the door should disintegrate."
"We'd have to calculate the exact harmonic resonance of the entire structure down to a sub-atomic level," the 10th Doctor shook his head.
"Even the sonic would take years," the 9th Professor agreed.
Rose was silent, looking at them, seeing how…smart the Professor really was. It was like…it was hitting her just then, in a room full of Time Lords how…human she was. She was barely keeping up and even with the Professor being so quiet, well, one of them anyway, she was still…clever. As clever as the Doctor.
"No, no," the War-Doctor sighed, "The sonic would take centuries," before he moved to sit on a bench by the door, in the middle of it, "Oh, we might as well get started. Help to pass the timey-wimey."
"I could actually get us out easy," the 11th Professor remarked, casually leaning against a stone pillar as the three Doctors looked over at her.
It was...odd to see how different she and her past self were in terms of stance. They were standing in the same manner, their arms crossed, slightly leaning on the pillar beside each other, but the Professor was casual, smiling, leaning, confident, her arms crossed playfully, a smirk on her face, whereas her past self seemed to be more hugging herself, her grey sweater wrapped around her, shifting a bit, her head only slightly bowed, tense, frowning.
"I bet she could as well," she nodded at her past self, "Both in vastly different ways of course."
"Would your way perhaps involve..." the 11th Doctor began, smiling.
"No, it doesn't involve me kicking down the door," the 11th Professor laughed, laughing more when she saw him pout at that. She walked over to him and took his hands, stopping his etchings a moment, "You're very obsessed with my legs, you know."
He just grinned, looking at her softly, tugging her closer to wind his arms around her, "I'm very obsessed with ALL of you," he corrected, his eyes trailing down her, "Especially that stomach of yours."
She smiled, "Well enjoy it while it's still flat."
"Oh no," he shook his head, "No, no, no, I will be...overjoyed when it's bigger," he brushed his nose against hers, "I will always love you, any shape, any size, any age, any personality. You're my Proffy," he chuckled when he saw her roll her eyes playfully at his little shortening of her title, "You're my wife, and I will always love you, no matter what."
"Sorry," the 10th Doctor cut in on their moment, just before his future self could lean in to kiss her, making that Doctor groan and bow his head, resting it on the 11th Professor's shoulder as he shook his head before she nudged him and they looked at him once more, the 11th Doctor winding his arm around her waist, "But-but-but..." he started to stutter, making Rose frown as she saw him getting flustered, his eyes wide, "Did you just say...while it's still flat?"
The 11th Professor smiled, feeling her Doctor wind his arm around her more to rest it, his fingers splayed across, her stomach, "Yes," she nodded, holding back a laugh as she saw her past self look up at her shocked, "Yes I did."
"And-and-and-and-and you don't mean like a-a-a-a-a a Slitheen's hiding inside you?"
"Oi!" the 11th Doctor frowned, "I'll not have you call my child a Slitheen!"
It fell completely silent at that admission, "Child?" the 9th Professor breathed.
The 10th Doctor looked at the 11th Professor, "You're...you're..."
"Pregnant," she nodded, absolutely beaming, "Yes."
"We're..." he began to glancing between him and HIS Professor, "We're having a baby?"
"Well not YOU exactly," the 11th Professor laughed, "WE," she nodded at HER Doctor, "Are though, yes."
Rose frowned as she looked between the 10th Doctor and 9th Professor both of them staring at the 11s in shock.
The War-Doctor looked at his future self with a sad expression, the man was…so happy, but it broke his hearts to know that he'd be happy without the Professor, that he'd move on to that woman, Poppy he believed he'd heard the 11th Doctor call her. He was…glad that he would have that sort of future, that he'd be happy, but…he'd always imagined it would be with HIS Professor.
"Go on," a voice said beside him and he looked over to see the hologram of the Professor sitting next to him on his left, "You can ask them. It would make sense, talking about children," she looked at him sadly, "You NEED to know."
He took a breath and looked at them, "Did you ever count?"
"Count what?" the 11th Doctor looked over with a smile.
"How many children there were on Gallifrey that day."
And the smile dropped. The 11th Doctor gave the 11th Professor one more squeeze before he turned back to his etchings, "I have absolutely no idea."
"Liar," the hologram called.
"How old are you now?" the War-Doctor asked.
"Ah, I don't know. I lose track. Twelve hundred and something, I think, unless I'm lying. I can't remember if I'm lying about my age, that's how old I am."
"Four hundred years older than me, and in all that time you've never even wondered how many there were? You never once counted?"
"Tell me, what would be the point?"
"2.47 billion," the 10th Doctor glared at him, for how he could do that, how he could forget.
"You did count!" the War-Doctor called.
"Oh my God," Rose breathed, she…she'd never thought of that, of the actual event, of the war, of Time Locking the planet to end it. All those people that were still on the planet, the…children. All those children. It was no wonder he and the Professor were so affected when children, like Chloe, were in danger.
"You forgot?" the 10th Doctor strode over to him, "Four hundred years, is that all it takes?"
"I moved on," the 11th Doctor defended.
"Liar," the hologram remarked.
"Where?" the 10th Doctor scoffed, "Where can you be now that you can forget something like that?"
"I don't think he forgot," the 9th Professor murmured, "They're going to have a baby, a child…if he thought about that, if he…remembered that…you know what it would do to him."
The 11th Professor sighed, "Reports were sent to the Academics," she told them quietly, the Doctors looking at her, "Of every single casualty, the statistics dropped into their heads with their orders. Every statistic…a comparison of the general population, broken down by gender, by age…every single man, woman, and child on record for them to see the numbers dwindle," she looked at the 10th Doctor, "You knew the final count. Imagine having to watch it fall."
Rose closed her eyes at that…she…hadn't known that. She…she really didn't know a thing about the Professor, about what she'd endured during the war, that training the Doctor told her about. All she knew as it was harsh, she had no idea…to have that information forced into you, to see the number of children dropping…it must have been terrible. She felt sick now, for the Professor to regenerate, to travel with them, to have come from the war and to realize all those numbers were 0, to have known their final tally, to have fought so hard to save them…and them be just…gone. She'd have been solemn too.
The 10th Doctor fell quiet, "So…it's for the child then?" if it was that reason…because of the guilt, having their own child and not wanting to taint the joy of it with the burden of remembering that…
"Spoilers," the 11th Doctor murmured, NOT wanting to talk about it anymore.
"No," he shook his head, "No, no, no. For once I would like to know where I'm going."
"No," the 11th Doctor turned to him, "You really wouldn't," he glanced at him and the 9th Professor, "Neither of you."
"Why do you say that?" the 9th Professor frowned, "Why do you look at me like that?"
"No reason," he turned back to the etchings as the 10th Doctor frowned at him.
He could guess, he might not be an Academic but he WAS clever, he could guess what the man meant. The Professor that had travelled with his future self…wasn't the NEXT Professor, there was one between and…whatever it was about her that led to the future Professor they were seeing…it wasn't good. It made him realize though…that future him, he really did care for the Professor, any Professor, loved her…as much as HE did.
"I don't know who you are, either of you, any of you," the War-Doctor muttered, "I haven't got the faintest idea."
"I told you I would show you your future Theta," the hologram spoke, "They're you. They are what you will become if you use the Moment to Time Lock Gallifrey. The man who regrets," she nodded at his 10th Self, "And the man who forgets," and his 11th, "The moment is coming. Me. You have to decide how you will use my device."
"No," he whispered, not now, he…he needed more time.
"No?" the 10th Doctor looked at him and he turned to see him and the two women, the brunette and the strawberry-blonde looking at him, the other blonde girl leaning on the wall to the side, lost in thought.
The 11th Doctor laughed and his past self turned to him instead, "Is something funny? Did I miss a funny thing?"
"Sorry," the 11th Doctor remarked, "It just occurred to me. This is what I'm like when I'm alone," he smiled at his Professor, "Thank god that hasn't happened recently eh?"
She smiled and glanced over at the War-Doctor, eyeing him a moment before she walked over to him, "Mind if I join you?" The man didn't seem inordinately pleased but he gave her a brief nod. She smiled and made as though she were going to sit on his left, before looking at the space and turning to sit on his right instead.
"Something wrong with that seat?" he wondered idly, trying to at least be polite to the woman who would be important to him.
She smiled and shrugged, "Can't sit there when it's taken, can I?"
The War-Doctor stiffened and looked over at her, "What did you say?"
"The seat," she nodded to his left, where the hologram was sitting, "Is taken, isn't it?"
The War-Doctor looked at her and back at the smirking hologram, and back, "You can see her?"
She laughed, "I created her," she told him, "Course I can."
The War-Doctor blinked and stared at her, "You…but if you…you created…" he trailed off, shaking his head as he just…kept…staring at her, feeling tears in his eyes, "You can't be her…" he breathed, "She…she died…" his voice broke, the crack enough for the others to hear as they looked over.
"I survived," she told him, "Barely, but I did," she gave him a small laugh, though they could hear the tears in it as well, "You know it would take more than a war to take me down eh?" she nudged him.
But he caught her hand and just held it, looking at her as though he couldn't believe she was there. He looked down at her hand, letting out a shuddering breath as he felt it…real and solid in his hand, NOT a hologram, "Professor?" he looked at her again, "It's…" he choked on the word before he gently reached up to touch her face, almost reverently, "Is it you?"
She nodded, feeling her hearts break a bit at the truly…stunned expression in his eyes, the war between hope it was her and devastation that it had to be a trick because he KNEW she was dead, "Yeah," she swallowed and nodded to the side, "Her too."
"It can't be though," he whispered, looking between them, starting to breathe hard as he shook his head.
"I can prove it," she murmured, before reaching down and pushing back the sleeve of her jacket, showing him the bracelet.
He let out a breath, letting his hand fall away from her face and to the jewelry, lightly tracing it, before he reached into his pocket with his other hand…pulling out her bracelet from his pocket and holding it beside hers, it was the same. He looked up, his head snapping up to her, "It really IS you…isn't it?"
She smiled, "Hello."
His jaw trembled as he tried to hold it in but…she was THERE! She was alive! He couldn't stop himself from reaching forward and hugging her tightly, "I don't believe it…" he whispered as he held her.
She nodded, "I know," she murmured, before looking over at her past self, "Oi, you, get over here," she laughed.
The War-Doctor pulled away and looked over as the 9th Professor hesitantly made her way to him, crouching down on the ground before him. He reached out and took her head in both his hands, "You're as beautiful as ever," he told them, tears falling from his eyes as he didn't cry but was just…overwhelmed, "Look at you," he looked between them, "You're alive."
The 9th Professor put a hand on his as he dropped it to his lap, just holding it as the 11th Professor put her hand on his shoulder, the man…overcome with joy.
Rose just stood there, watching them…she could see it in the War-Doctor's eyes, she'd seen it the entire time and she…she hated to admit but when he'd been a bit short with the Professor she'd hoped it meant HE didn't like her and that there was a chance that the future might change and he would continue to dislike her. She hadn't thought it was because he didn't realize it was the Professor. She could see it reflected in his teary eyes, the…joy, the absolute joy he felt at seeing her alive. She hadn't…really seen it when HER Doctor had met the Professor again, the girl had been regenerating and his back had always seemed to be to her but…from this angle, she saw it, she saw how happy he was.
She looked at her Doctor, he was always happy like that when the Professor was happy, she realized, he was just happy when she was around and sad when she wasn't. It wasn't like with her, the things that made HER happy sometimes made him distant or short, like…when she'd wanted to rescue her father in the past or how she wanted to see him in the parallel world. The things she wanted to be happy…they were hardly ever the same thing HE wanted. And the future him, he HAD to be happy with her, they were married, he clearly loved her very much, and they…they were going to have a baby. Just looking at the man when he even glanced at her…she could see how happy he was.
"Happy crying," the 11th Doctor shook his head, glancing over his shoulder at that, "Humany-wumany."
The War-Doctor sniffled and looked away, "Do you have to talk like a child?" he asked the man, here was an absolutely wonderful moment, beautiful, touching, and he had to make a comment like that, it was almost as bad as timey-wimey! "What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown up?" he watched as both men's expression fell as they looked at him, "Oh, the way you both look at me. What is that? I'm trying to think of a better word than dread. What, do you think I'd hurt her?" he nodded at the Professors.
"It must be really recent for you," the 10th Doctor remarked.
"The Time War," the 11th Professor explained.
"The last day," the 11th Doctor added, "The day you killed them all."
"The day we killed them all," the 10th Doctor corrected.
"With my Moment," the 9th Professor looked down.
"It's history for them," the hologram spoke, mirroring him as she stood before him, in between the two Doctors as he sat between the two Professors, "For all of them. They think it happened already, they think you've just escaped it. They don't know you can still change your mind."
"I don't talk about it," he muttered.
"You're not talking about it," the 10th Doctor rolled his eyes.
"There's no one else here," Rose muttered, frowning, just…feeling left out. The Time Lords…they each had their Professor, and the War-Doctor…he didn't, but she knew, even HE wouldn't want her. He would want his own Professor as well. That was the cycle wasn't it? That was reality. It…would never be her, would it? It would be, and always had been, the Professor for the Doctor.
The two Professors glanced at each other and exchanged a small smile at that, a secretive smile that had the War-Doctor smirk to see.
"You know…I think it's the same screwdriver," the hologram spoke and he looked up to see her watching as the 10th Doctor flipped his in the air, "Same software, different case."
"Four hundred years…" he murmured.
"I'm sorry?" the 10th Doctor looked at him as the Professors smiled more.
"At a software level, they're all the same device, aren't they?" he held up his sonic, "Same software, different case."
"So…" the 11th Doctor frowned.
"I thought…" the 9th Professor began a moment, before quieting, "Nothing."
"What is it?" the 11th Professor looked at her.
"I just…thought he'd be a bit…quicker, is all," she shrugged, "You're older than me, and you're sharper than me…"
"Well he's always been a bit slower than us," the 11th Professor laughed.
"Oi!" the Doctor shouted, all of them.
"You can't think as fast as me," the Professors countered, laughing.
"It would take centuries for the screwdriver to calculate how to disintegrate the door," the War-Doctor stood and turned to it, flashing it, "Scanning the door, implanting the calculation as a permanent subroutine in the software architecture and, if you really are me, with your sandshoes and your dickie bow, and that screwdriver is still mine, that calculation is still going on."
The 10th Doctor looked at his screwdriver, "Yeah, still going."
And the 11th Doctor flicked his open, "Calculation complete."
"Same software, different face," the Professors said, all of them this time as well.
"Hey," the 11th Doctor cheered, "Four hundred years in four seconds. We may have had our differences, which is frankly odd in the circumstances, but, I tell you what, boys. We are incredibly clever."
"Wait for it," the 11th Professor remarked as they turned to the doors…
And Clara ran in, nearly toppling in really.
"Who's she?" Rose breathed, pushing off the wall, not quite as much…bite in her words as before.
"Hello Clara," the 11th Professor stood.
"Is she the latest Companion?" the 9th Professor asked.
"Got it in one," the 11th Professor nodded as Rose stared at Clara.
"How did you do that?" the 11th Doctor looked at her, all three of him with matching confused expressions.
"The door wasn't locked," the two Professors stated.
"What?" the 10th and 11th Doctors looked at her.
The 11th Professor nodded, "There was no click of a lock when the door shut."
"And you didn't think to tell us?" the 11th Doctor frowned.
She smiled and walked over to him, taking his hands, "And let you miss having your fun with your sonic?"
He shook his head at her, pointing like he was going to say something, before running a hand through his hair and turning away, "Yes, hello Clara."
"So…" Clara stared at the two other men and the brunette woman, "They're both you, then, yeah? And…and she's you?" she asked the Professor.
"Yes," the Doctor nodded, "You've met them before. Don't you remember?"
"A bit," she nodded, glancing at them, recalling them from the time tunnel, "Nice suit," she called to the 10th Doctor.
He grinned, "Thanks."
She looked over, spotting the blonde woman staring at her, "Is that Rose?" she asked.
"Hi," Rose offered her.
Clara frowned, seeing something…different about the woman, she didn't sound like the one who had been shouting at everything before, "Hello. Clara Oswald."
"Right…" she turned, to the three men, Rose's small smile fading at how that was…it.
The first Companion after the war and…nothing. But she supposed she should have expected it. The future Doctor clearly didn't care for her, why would he talk about her? After all the things she'd done to him, she couldn't' blame him. She'd…she'd done the same with Sarah Jane, hadn't she? Built herself up to be so special and so important, the first and only…when there were hundreds before her and there were sure to be ones after her. Clara…all she saw her as was another companion. And really…that was all she would ever be wasn't it? Shame on her for thinking of more with the Doctor.
"Hang on," Clara blinked, "Three of you in one cell," she gestured at the Doctors, "And the two most brilliant women ever," and the Professors, "And none of you thought to try the door?"
"We did," the 11th Professor held up a hand with the 9th Professor, "Just didn't want to spoil their fun."
"The door should have been locked," the War-Doctor frowned at it.
"So why wasn't it locked?" the 9th Professor wondered.
"Because I was fascinated to see what you would do upon escaping," Elizabeth spoke as she entered, "I understand you're rather fond of this world. It's time I think you saw what's going to happen to it."
Elizabeth led the small group through the Tower, to the lowest level, "The Zygons lost their own world," she explained as they went.
"Yes, we know," the 11th Professor cut in, "It burnt in the first days of the Time War."
"Yes, a new home is required."
"So they want this one?" Clara frowned as they entered a small room with a few Zygons working below, a set of 3D landscapes set up before them, the paintings from the Gallery.
"Not yet. It's far too primitive. Zygons are used to a certain level of comfort."
"Commander," a Zygon walked over, Clara, Rose, and the 9th Professor grimacing at the yellow slime on its teeth, the horrid breath, and the overall…appearance of them, "Why are these creatures here?"
"Because I say they should be. It is time you too were translated," she ordered, before smirking at the Time Lords, Clara, and Rose, "Observe this. I believe you will find it fascinating."
They looked over, watching as the Zygon put its hand on a glass ball, light and energy surrounding it before it just…vanished.
"Where'd he go?" Rose frowned.
"There," the 11th Professor pointed at the landscape that Kate had worried about, the one she'd shown them was missing a shadowy figure. And they could see it…the figure appearing in the portrait, the Zygon!
"That's him!" Clara gasped, "That's the Zygon in the picture now."
"It's not a picture," the 9th Professor stated.
"It's a stasis cube," her future self agreed.
"Oh no…" Clara groaned, rubbing her head.
"What?" Rose looked at her.
"Just wait for it," Clara sighed, watching as the Time Lords began to speak with each other, she should have expected this with two sets of Doctors and Professors there and an extra Doctor.
"Time Lord art," the War-Doctor nodded, "Frozen instants in time, bigger on the inside, but could be deployed as…"
"Suspended animation!" the 10th Doctor cried, "Oh, that's very good."
"The Zygons all pop inside the pictures," the 11th Doctor realized, "Wait a few centuries till the planet's a bit more interesting…"
"And then out they come."
"They've been stored in the paintings in the Under Gallery…" the 11th Professor added.
"Like cup-a-soups!" the 11th Doctor cheered, "Except you add time, if you can picture that."
"Nobody could picture that," the 9th Professor frowned.
"Right," he pointed at her, "Forget I said cup-a-soups."
Clara shook her head, "Ok, new rule, only one set of Proctor can talk with each other at a time."
"Proctor?" all five Time Lords looked at her.
"Well it's not like I know your names!" she countered, "So it's got to be your titles."
"Um, bit bigger picture here," Rose cut in, getting them back to task, "The world is worth conquering now, isn't it? That's why you two," she nodded at the 11s, "Are here right? Because the Zygons are invading the future from the past?"
The 11th Professor nodded, "Yes."
"And do you know why I know that you're a fake?" the 10th Doctor walked over to Elizabeth.
"Is it a fake?" Clara whispered to the 11th Professor, making her way over to them.
"This is the Doctor, dear," the 11th Professor whispered, "What do you think?"
"That he's about to make a fool of himself, like normal?"
"Oi!" the 11th Doctor pouted.
"So…not much has changed then?" the 9th Professor joked.
"Oh more than you would believe," the 11th Professor smiled…happy.
Rose glanced at her, crossing her arms, but more…in comfort than anger or attitude. That look…she'd never seen the Professor that happy before. It was…wasn't that a horrible thing to realize? That she had never ever seen the girl smile that widely or look that happy or be that…comfortable around anyone? She knew she'd played a large role in the Professor, her Professor, not being happy or feeling secure, she really…she'd been a right monster to the girl hadn't she?
"Because you're such a bad copy," the 10th Doctor continued, oblivious to the small conversation that went on behind him, "It's not just the smell, or the unconvincing hair, or the atrocious teeth, or the eyes just a bit too close together, or the breath that could stun a horse. It's because the real Elizabeth would never be stupid enough to reveal her own plan. Honestly, why would you do that?"
"Perhaps because it's not her plan?" the 11th Professor called.
"Because that IS the real Elizabeth," her past self added.
The 10th Doctor blinked and looked between them and Elizabeth, the Queen giving him a look that he knew meant the girls were right, "Ok. So, backtracking a moment just to lend context to my earlier remarks."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, "My twin is dead in the forest. I am accustomed to taking precautions," she pulled a dagger from a garter on her leg, hidden under her skirt.
"Nice," the 11th Professor remarked, lifting the side of her own skirt o reveal her holster, "Perfect spot to hide it."
"These Zygon creatures never even considered that it was me who survived rather than their own commander," Elizabeth continued, "The arrogance that typifies their kind."
"Z-Zygons?" Rose frowned, not quite sure what the woman was speaking of exactly.
"Men!" Elizabeth rolled her eyes.
"And you actually killed one of them?" Clara stared at her.
"I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman," Elizabeth smirked, "But at the time, so did the Zygon. The future of my kingdom is imperilled. Doctor," she turned to the 10th Doctor, "Can I rely on your service?"
"Well, I'm going to need my TARDIS," he muttered.
"It has been procured already."
"Ah," he smiled, "Brilliant."
"But first, my love, you have a promise to keep," Elizabeth moved seductively towards him.
"Ok, enough of that," the 11th Professor walked over to the queen, behind her, touching her hands to the sides of Elizabeth's temples and closing her eyes…the woman slumping forward moments later with her and the 10th Doctor catching her.
"What did you do?" Rose asked, watching as they laid Elizabeth down.
"Erased her memory of all of us, any of us, being here," the Professor smiled, standing up and brushing off her hands, it was like what she and the Doctor had done with Donna, "Easy peasy."
"But…" Clara shook her head, "What about that letter? If Elizabeth forgets we're here…how do all the paintings end up in the Gallery, what about that letter for the Doctor?"
The Professor smiled, "It was never from the queen," she remarked, pulling it from her pocket and tossing it to Clara, "MY handwriting," she winked, "Now, if you two," she gestured at the War-Doctor and her Doctor, "Could be so kind as to carry Elizabeth to her chambers and place her on her bed to sleep, I'll go write that letter, YOU," she pointed at the 10th Doctor, Rose, and her past self, "Should go get your TARDIS ready, it shan't take a moment."
Clara laughed, "Grandmum makes the best plans," she smiled, jogging to head after her, the other Time Lords and Rose watching them go.
"Always could think faster than me," the War-Doctor remarked.
The 10th Doctor looked up from preparing the TARDIS to see the doors open and his past and future self walk in with the Clara and the future Professor, "You've let this place go a bit," the War-Doctor remarked.
"Ah, it's his grunge phase," the 11th Doctor waved him off.
"He will grow out of it though," the Professor reassured him as she walked up the ramp to the console, moving immediately to the monitor...only to freeze when she saw what was on it, the Gallifreyan symbols flying across it. She let out a breath and looked across the console at her past self, blinking before she looked down, reading the monitor again, making sure she was right...and feeling her hearts break at the realization of what it said...
"Don't you listen to them," the 10th Doctor patted the rotor, when an alarm sounded and he got a small shock.
"The desktop is glitching," the 9th Professor called as the walls lit up to reveal white round things in them.
"Three of us from different time zones," the 11th Professor stated.
"It's trying to compensate," the War-Doctor agreed.
"Hey, look," the 11th Doctor grinned, spotting the walls, "The round things!"
"I love the round things," his past self smiled.
"What are the round things?"
"If you could focus?" the 11th Professor called as she moved to the console, the five of them getting to work as Clara and Rose looked on, "The friction contrafibulator needs to be stailized…"
"Here," the 9th Professor pulled a lever, "There!"
They looked around to find themselves standing in the 11s TARDIS, "Why this one?" Rose asked, not recognizing it.
"Three Time Lords is more than two or one," the 11th Professor shrugged, a hand resting on her stomach.
"Oh, you've redecorated," the 10th Doctor looked around, before grimacing at the more mechanical nature to the TARDIS desktop, "I don't like it."
"Oh," the 11th Doctor let out an offended noise, "Oh yeah? Oh, you never do. Listen, we're going to the National Gallery. The Zygons are underneath it…"
"No!" Clara called, "UNIT HQ. They followed us there in the Black Archive."
The five Time Lords stared at her, serious.
"Ok…" she began slowly, "So you've heard of that, then."
"What's…what's the Black Archive?" Rose frowned.
But the Time Lords ignored her, rushing around the console, practically dancing around each other, as they tried to get through…
"Got it!" the 11th Professor shouted, hitting a button and picking up an audio feed.
"In the event of any alien incursion," they could hear the young scientist that had been set to inspect the dust speak, "The contents of this room are deemed so dangerous, it will self-destruct in…"
"Five minutes," Kate cut in, as an alarm sounded and they could hear a countdown begin, "There's a nuclear warhead twenty feet beneath us. Are you sitting comfortably?"
"You would destroy London?" another Kate, probably a Zygon spoke.
"To save the world, yes, I would."
"You really think so? Somewhere in your memory is a man called Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart. I am his daughter."
"Science leads, Kate," the 11th Professor called, "Remember that?"
"Is that what you meant?" the 11th Doctor agreed, "Is that what your father meant?"
"Doctor?" Kate spoke, "Professor?"
"Space-Time Telegraph," the 11th Professor told her.
"A gift from me to your father, hotline straight to the TARDIS," the 11th Doctor added.
"We know about the Black Archive."
"And we know about the security protocol."
"Kate please…" the 11th Professor breathed, "Please tell me you are not about to do something unbelievably stupid."
"I'm sorry," Kate called, "Switch it off."
"Not as sorry as you will be," the 10th Doctor added, "This is not a decision you will ever be able to live with."
The room fell silent at his words, the War-Doctor stiffening, looking over at the doors where the hologram was standing, leaning against them, solemn.
"Kate, we're trying to bring the TARDIS in," the 11th Doctor frowned, "Why can't we land?"
"I said, switch it off!" Kate ordered someone.
"Kate, please," the 9th Professor tried to speak, "Listen to us…"
"The Tower of London, totally TARDIS-proof," the 10th Doctor frowned.
"What?!" Rose's eyes widened at that.
"How can they do that?" Clara shook her head.
"Alien technology plus human stupidity," the 11th Doctor muttered, "Trust me, it's unbeatable."
"We need to find a way in there, but we can't land…" the Professor murmured.
"We don't need to land," the War-Doctor looked back at them.
"Yeah, we do," the 10th Doctor remarked, "A tiny bit. Try and keep up."
"No, we don't. We don't. There is another way," he walked up to the console and picked up the glass ball they'd taken from the Zygons, "Cup-a-soup," he smiled holding it up to them…before frowning, "What is cup-a-soup?"
"Brilliant," the 11th Professor smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Oi!" the 11th Doctor frowned.
The Professor rolled her eyes playfully and headed to him.
"Look away," Clara called, covering her eyes.
"What, why?" Rose frowned.
And then she got her answer when the 11th Professor grabbed him by his lapels and pulled him in, kissing him soundly for…quite a few minutes, before she pulled away, smiling, "Better?"
The 11th Doctor nodded dumbly, "Uh huh…"
She smiled, patting his cheek, before turning to make a call, glancing at their past selves as they waited for it to be picked up, "What?"
"You just…and me…" the 10th Doctor muttered, gaping as though HE had been the one kissed (which in a way he was), the 9th Professor blushing beside him.
"Oh yes," she nodded, "All the time," she winked at him before the call picked up.
"McGillop," the man answered, the same man she'd heard as she and the 11th Doctor had left the painting of Gallifrey Falls.
"Take a look at your phone and confirm who you're talking to," the 11th Doctor called.
"But…that's not possible. I was just…"
"You were just talking to us," the Professor nodded, "We know. Time travel and all."
"Listen, we need you to send the Gallifrey Falls painting to the Black Archive," the 11th Doctor cut in, "Understood?"
"Understood, sir," the man replied, "But why would I take it there?"
"Because it'll save the Earth," the Professor smiled as they all got to work, getting the TARDIS ready.
Within the painting, Gallifrey falls, five figures stood, three Time Lords, two Time Ladies, and an old blue box that held two humans inside.
They turned as time began to move around them, a Dalek approaching them with a cry of, "Exterminate!"
"Oh honestly," the 11th Professor rolled her eyes, whipping out the sonic blaster, already set to cannon level in preparation for this scene, as she blasted it back with one deft bolt, driving it back in an exploding mess, right out of the glass of the painting and into…
The Black Archive, the five of them stepping out as the Dalek died.
"Hello," the War-Doctor greeted as they came to a stop before two sets of Kate and her two scientists, him standing in the middle, the Doctors on either side of him with their own Professors on either side of them.
"I'm the Doctor," the 10th Doctor stated.
"And I'm the Professor," the 11th Professor added.
"Sorry about the Dalek," the 11th Doctor winced.
"Bit of a mess," the 9th Professor apologized.
"Also the showing off," a voice called behind them as Clara and Rose made their way out of the painting as well.
"Now then…Kate Lethbridge Stewart!" the 11th Professor strode forward, putting on her 'mom' voice, as River sometimes called it when she chastised her, "What in the name of sanity are you doing?"
"The countdown can only be halted at my personal command," Kate told them, "There's nothing you can do."
"Except make you both agree to halt it," the 10th Doctor stated.
"Not even three of you."
"Don't forget us," the 9th Professor held up a hand, waving, "Hello, Kate was it?"
"You're about to murder millions of people," the War-Doctor reminded her.
"To save billions," Kate defended, "How many times have you made that calculation?"
"Once," the 11th stated, a hard note in his voice, "Turned me into the man I am now. I'm not even sure who that is any more."
"You tell yourself it's justified, but it's a lie," the 10th Doctor agreed, "Because what I did that day was wrong. Just wrong."
The War-Doctor glanced at the Professors, standing there quietly, knowing that while it had been their device, it had been HIS actions. He looked towards Clara and Rose, seeing the hologram standing beside them.
"And, because I got it wrong, I'm going to make you get it right," the 10th Doctor continued.
"How?" Kate scoffed, watching as he and his future self pulled two chairs up and sat down, crossing their arms and putting their feet up on the desk at the same time, casual.
"Because…any second now, you're going to stop that countdown," the 11th Professor crossed her arms, "Both of you, together."
"Then you're going to negotiate the most perfect treaty of all time," the 11th Doctor agreed.
"Safeguards all round, completely fair on both sides," the 10th Doctor nodded.
"And the key to perfect negotiation?" the 11th Doctor pointed at the 9th Professor.
"Um…not knowing what side you're on?" she asked, not entirely sure this plan would work…
"So," the 11th Doctor smiled, "For the next few hours, until we decide to let you out…"
"No one in this room will be able to remember if they're human…" the 10th Doctor grinned.
"Or Zygon," the 11th Professor smirked.
"Whoops a daisy!" the 11th Doctor cheered as he and his past self jumped onto a table, aiming their sonics at a memory device implanted on the ceiling, the War-Doctor helping as the Professors smiled on.
A bright light filled the room and moments later the 2 sets of humans looked at each other and the countdown, just reaching 7 seconds, "Cancel the detonation!" the two Kates shouted, stopping it at 5.
"Peace in our time," the 11th Doctor grinned at that, clapping.
"Well done," the 11th Professor smiled up at him, proud.
A short while later would find the Kates negotiating as the Doctors stood over them, helping as Clara and Rose watched on, with the 9th Professor staring at a wall of photos of the Doctor's past companions. The War-Doctor was sitting to the side, sipping tea, when the 11th Professor moved to sit before him.
"Enjoying it?" she nodded at the cup.
"It's delicious," he smiled at her, the joy in his eyes at seeing her alive just…overwhelming.
"You know…you always talk about that day, the day the war ended," she remarked, careful with her words, "Or you will…after you do it," she gave him a look.
"You don't seem to think I have done it," he remarked, just as carefully.
"Because you haven't," she said simply.
"You're very sure of yourself."
She glanced over her shoulder at the hologram of herself, standing before his TARDIS, all three set up to the side, and back to him, "She's programmed to activate only BEFORE the Moment is used," she reminded him, "I know you Theta," she reached out and touched his hand, "You've always been so rash and quick and jumping head first into things with no plan at all. I couldn't risk you doing that with the Moment if anything, if the worst, ever happened. So I made her, to try and give you time to think. To give you a way to see…the consequences of it," she eyed him, "You'll regret it, every single day, for the rest of your life, and you'll want to change it."
"Do you see him," he nodded to his future selves, "The both of them, saving all these people because he couldn't save ours? How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think? Humans and Zygons, here, working together in peace," he shook his head, "I've seen all I needed. The moment has come."
She watched as he stood up and headed for the hologram, the two of them disappearing through another portal. She frowned, closing her eyes, "No…" she whispered, "You haven't seen…everything."
The War-Doctor stood before the Moment, set up on a crate now, on top of the box, waiting for the button to be pushed, the button that would Time Lock the planet.
"Theta…" the hologram appeared before him, "Are you SURE about this? You push that button…no more Time Lords. No more Daleks. If you do this...the Time Lock WILL be impenetrable. It will NEVER be broken. I know, I made it, it's impossible, even for you and all your 27 brains."
"27?" he looked at her, but she waved him off. He sighed, "I was sure when I came in here," he nodded, "There is no other way."
"You've seen the men you will become."
"Those men. Extraordinary," he smiled, looking at her with tears, "They have YOU. You survived Kata…that is…that is truly all I needed to know, to do this," he looked at the button, "I push this…and they can be the Doctor, the Doctor I am not.
"You're still the Doctor, Theta. You ALWAYS will be, no matter what."
"No," he shook his head, "Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame, whatever the cost."
"And sometimes," she reached out, placing a hand just above his to stop him, not touching him, knowing she couldn't, "People can fall in the fires of war. Sometimes…it can burn all the good out of them," she eyed him a long while, "Remember when we were children, when we used to play in that old TARDIS, plan our adventures. Remember when you kept failing your pilot's test, you thought the TARDISes were against you."
"They were," he defended lightly, sniffling.
"You just wanted a fun ride," she countered, "You wanted people to know when YOU were coming, you wanted to be the man that helped people, that brought them hope. And you DO, Theta. You and that…that funny wheezing noise…" she smiled as that exact noise began to sound behind him.
He looked at her, shocked.
"Did you REALLY think I would ever let you do this alone?" she laughed.
The War-Doctor looked back, following her gaze over his shoulder to see two TARDISes set down, the doors opening for both hims and the Professors to step out, their own companions with them, "Go away now, all of you," he turned back to the Moment, "This is for me."
"These events should be time-locked," the 10th Doctor looked around, "We shouldn't even be here."
The hologram smiled, sitting on a crate in the back, none of them knew what was coming, did they?
"So something let us through," the 11th remarked.
"Or something's different about this," the 11th Professor commented
The 9th Professor, however, just stared at the moment, "I…I never thought I'd see it again…" she whispered, "The last time was…" she shook her head, when she'd placed it in the Vault for the last time.
"Go back," the War-Doctor pleaded, looking at his two selves as they came to stand on either side of him, across from each other over the Moment, "Go back to your lives. Go and be the Doctor that I could never be. Make it worthwhile with your Professors," he looked at them as the Professors moved to stand before him, across from him, "Please," he whispered, "I don't want her to see me do this."
"You don't want us to see what you've become?" the 11th Professor asked with a scoff, "Sorry, you got to see us during the war, you'll know what we'll do, what we have done. It's only fair we see you as well."
"All those years, burying you in my memory," the 10th Doctor murmured.
"Pretending you didn't exist," the 11th Doctor sighed, "Keeping you a secret, even from myself."
"Never from me though," the 9th Professor remarked.
"Pretending you weren't the Doctor," the 10th Doctor looked at him, "When you were the Doctor more than anybody else."
"You were the Doctor on the day it wasn't possible to get it right," the 11th Doctor offered him a small smiled.
"But this time…" the 10th Doctor placed his hand over his past self's.
"You don't have to do it alone," the 11th Doctor added his hand as well.
"Thank you…" the War-Doctor whispered.
The two Professors looked at each other, hesitant, watching their Doctors carefully as they all stood there, before the moment. Clara and Rose held hands in the back, both of them with tears in their eyes as they watched on.
"What we do today is not out of fear or hatred," the 10th Doctor breathed, "It is done because there is no other way."
"And it is done in the name of the many live we are failing to save," the 11th Doctor agreed.
The 11th Professor shook her head, "Don't," she called as they moved to do it, "Please…don't."
"We have to…" her Doctor looked at her.
"No…not yet," she shook her head, "Not…not until you understand, WHY I don't want you to."
"What is it?" he frowned, seeing tears in her eyes, "Is it…witnessing it? Seeing it happen instead of hearing about it?"
"I wish, but no," she swallowed hard, "I really never wanted it to come to this," she whispered, before turning to her past self, "Do me a favor…close your eyes," her past self eyed her a moment before doing that. She reached out and covered the girl's ears, she didn't need to experience this. THIS would set her back more than anything ever could.
She swallowed again, and took a breath, "Interface…show them what the war does to people…" she let out her breath, "Show them me."
The light around the room faded, "What's happening?" Clara gapsed.
"Oh my god…" Rose breathed.
Before them a projection played, showing them the war…but not just the families escaping, not just the Daleks attacking…but the Professor. They stared, watching, stunned as they saw her fighting, truly battling to the death on every front. They watched her striding through the battle fields, striking down opponents that got on her way, ripping out the throats of beasts with her bare hands not caring of the blood that coated her, firing massive weapons at the Daleks, dropping bombs, snapping a little boy's neck, cutting down humanoid soldiers with swords, and…so much…so much blood on her hands, so much destruction in her wake…and all the while, her face remained neutral.
"Enough," the War-Doctor called, unable to bear it, he hadn't seen her actually fighting, actually DOING all that attacking and planning and…slaughtering, all the destruction she had caused.
"Everything the war touched…" the 11th Professor began, "Tainted it, soiled it. Everything about me," she looked at them, tears in her eyes, "Everything I am…was born in war. Everything I will ever be, will be founded in that. I…I can't escape it, the war…has been buried in my soul, it can't be removed. Everything I had was destroyed by it. My home, my family, my hearts and soul and mind," she looked at them, pulling her hands away from her past self to hold up her wrist, "Even this…the purest thing I had, the thing I protected with everything I had…was covered in blood. Everything…except the Moment," she looked at it, "It is…all I have left that has not been corrupted by the war," she looked at them, "Don't do it, don't let it win, don't let it corrupt you too."
"We're already corrupted from it," the 10th Doctor whispered.
"And you have the chance to change that," the 9th Professor pleaded.
Clara frowned and stepped forward, "Those images…" she asked, "Were any of them recent? Like…they were just happening? Are all those people still alive?"
"Yes," the War-Doctor nodded.
"They're still alive, and…you're going to burn them?" Rose breathed, finally seeing the true soul of the Doctor, what he was capable of if pushed too far.
"There isn't anything we can do," the 10th Doctor looked at them.
"He's right," the 11th Doctor took his Professor's hand, "There isn't another way. There never was. Either…either we destroy our people or let the universe burn."
The 11th Professor smiled, "You wouldn't."
"How do you know?" he had to ask.
"Because if you do that…I will lose my Doctor, I will lose everything, you…and the Moment…at once. And you wouldn't do that to me. And do you know why?"
"Because YOU…are a doctor," she laughed, reaching up to touch his face, "Do you remember that promise you made, when you decided to be titled that?"
He nodded, "Never cruel or cowardly," his 10th self spoke.
"Never give up, never give in," the War-Doctor added.
"Never harm, or cause harm," the 11th Doctor whispered.
"This will harm…everyone," the 9th Professor murmured.
The 10th Doctor looked over, seeing his future self staring into his Professor's eyes and…starting to smile, "You're not actually suggesting that we change our own personal history?"
The 11th Doctor spun around, excited now, "We change history all the time. I'm suggesting far worse."
"What, exactly?" the War-Doctor asked.
"He's had four hundred years to think about this," the 11th Professor laughed, wiping a tear from her eye, "And he's had me with him for 300…I've got a plan."
"There's still a billion billion Daleks up there, attacking!" the War-Doctor shouted as the 11th Doctor soniced the Moment off.
"Exactly!" the 11th Professor cheered, "Part of the plan!"
"Because there's something those billion billion Daleks don't know," the 11th Doctor grinned, "Because if they did, they'd probably send for reinforcements."
"What?" Rose asked, looking between them, lost.
"What don't they know?" Clara frowned, making Rose feel better that she wasn't the only slow human there.
"This time…" the 11th Doctor grinned.
"There's five of us," the 11th Professor finished.
The War-Doctor stared at them a moment, as did the other Time Lords.
"Oh my god!" the 9th Professor gasped.
"Oh!" the War-Doctor pointed at them, "Oh, yes, that is good. That is brilliant!"
"Oh, oh, oh, I'm getting that too!" the 10th Doctor cheered, "That is brilliant!"
"That's my beautiful Bonded," the 11th Doctor grinned, kissing his Professor soundly.
She laughed as she pulled away, "It's the TWO of us," she reminded him, "We've both been thinking about it for centuries!"
"Oh that is wonderful!" the War-Doctor laughed with joy, "She didn't just show me any old future, she showed me exactly the future I needed to see!"
"Told you," the hologram winked at him, "Never could think as fast as me."
"Eh?" the 11th Doctor looked at him, "Who did?"
"Oh, Professor I could kiss you!"
"Oi!" both Doctors glared at him, pushing their respective Professor's behind them.
"Interface," the 9th Professor called, "Show yourself."
The two Doctors looked over, staring open-mouthed as the Professor's first incarnation stood before them, "Hello boys," she gave them a small wave before disappearing, the Moment shutting down completely.
"So what are we doing?" Clara cut in, not as bothered by the appearance of the Professor's 1st self as she'd seen it before, "What's the plan?"
"The Dalek fleets are surrounding Gallifrey, firing on it constantly," the 11th Professor explained.
"The Sky Trench is holding, but what if the whole planet just disappeared?" the 10th Doctor grinned.
"What?" Rose shook her head.
"The Daleks…they'd…fire at each other instead," the 9th Professor explained.
"They'd destroy themselves in their own crossfire!" the 11th Doctor cheered.
"Gallifrey would be gone," the War-Doctor nodded, "The Daleks would be destroyed, and it would look to the rest of the universe as if they'd annihilated each other."
"Seriously, it is REALLY hard to follow you when you do that," Clara told them.
But Rose shook her head, "Where would Gallifrey be though?"
"Frozen," the Professor said.
"Frozen in an instant of time, safe and hidden away," the 10th Doctor nodded.
"Exactly," the 11th Doctor pointed at him.
"Like a painting," the War-Doctor winked.
"Another one!" the general's second in command called as the High Command of Gallifrey stood in their control room, another message coming in from the Doctor.
"Are you sure the message is from him?" the general asked.
"Why would he do that?" the general frowned, seeing the hologram of 'No More' change to 'Gallifrey Stands' instead, "What's the mad fool talking about now?"
There was a crackle of static as they looked over to see a hologram, like a monitor, appear in the air above them, "Hello, hello!" the 11th Doctor called, waving at them.
"Gallifrey High Command, this is the Doctor and Professor speaking," the 11th Professor joined him.
"What!?" the general gaped, "You're alive?!"
"Takes more than the Last Great Time War to kill me," she smirked.
"Hello!" another monitor flickered on with the 10th Doctor and his Professor as well, "Also the Doctor and Professor. Can you hear us?"
And a third monitor came on as well, of the War-Doctor, "Also the Doctor, standing ready."
"Dear God, three of them," the general breathed, "All my worst nightmares at once."
"Really?" the 11th Professor smirked, "Best dream I ever had."
"Oi!" the 11th Doctor blushed.
"Focus!" the 10th Doctor called to him.
"General," the 9th Professor turned to him, "We have a plan."
"We should point at this moment, it is a fairly terrible plan," the 11th cut in.
"And almost certainly won't work," the 10th Doctor agreed.
"I was happy with fairly terrible."
"Sorry, just thinking out loud."
"Look," the 9th Professor explained, "We're flying the three TARDISes into your lower atmosphere."
"And shall position ourselves at equidistant intervals around the globe," the 11th Professor added.
"We're just about ready to do it," the War-Doctor reported.
The general frowned, "Ready to do what?"
The Doctors glanced at each other, before the 11th spoke, "We're going to freeze Gallifrey."
"I'm sorry, what?!"
"Using our TARDISes," the 10th Doctor added, "We're going to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in time."
"You know, like those stasis cubes?" the War-Doctor tried to help.
"A single moment in time, held in a parallel pocket universe," the 11th Professor nodded.
"Except we're going to do it to a whole planet," the 11th Doctor agreed.
"And all the people on it," the 9th Professor let out a breath.
"What?" the general shook his head, "Even if that were possible, which it isn't, why would you do such a thing?"
"Because the alternative is burning," the 11th Doctor said solemnly.
"And I've seen that," the 10th Doctor spoke, a grim note to his voice.
"And I never want to see it again."
"We'd be lost in another universe, frozen in a single moment," the general argued, "We'd have nothing."
"No," the 9th Professor shook her head, "You would have hope."
"And right now, that is exactly what you don't have," the 11th Professor remarked, "Because right now…I'm on a shuttle headed off the planet, the last Academic alive and I'm not fighting the war any longer."
The general shook his head, "It's delusional. The calculations alone would take hundreds of years!"
"Way more than that," she scoffed.
"Oh, hundreds and hundreds," the 11th Doctor agreed, "Not even Proffy could think that fast with her 27 brains…"
"27?" the War-Doctor called, hearing the familiar words.
"But don't worry," the 10th Doctor grinned, "I started a very long time ago."
The general's eyes widened as more and more monitors popped up, "Calling the War Council of Gallifrey," the first Doctor ever spoke, "This is the Doctor."
"He's been doing this all his lives," the 9th Professor smiled.
"Good luck," the 2nd spoke.
"Standing by," and the 3rd.
"Ready!" the 4th called.
"Commencing calculations," the 8th reported.
"Soon be there," the 5th added.
"Across the boundaries that divide one universe from another," the 7th laughed.
"Just got to lock on to his coordinates…" the 6th muttered.
"And for my next trick!" the 9th Doctor appeared as well, pulling a lever.
"I didn't know when I was well off," the general breathed, completely stunned at the sight of all 12 Doctors before him, knowing that the Professors weren't there, she'd been held on Gallifrey all her lives, "All twelve of them!"
"No, sir," another voice spoke and a 13th monitor flickered on, a man glaring at them as the pulled a lever, "All thirteen!"
"Sir!" the second called, "The Daleks know that something is happening. They're increasing their fire power."
The general swallowed hard, "Do it, Doctor. Just do it Professor. Just do it."
The Doctors all looked at each other, before grinning, "Ok," the 11th took a breath, "We're ready. Geronimo!" he shouted, pulling a lever.
"Allons-y!" the 10th Doctor cried, doing the same.
"Oh, for God's sake," the War-Doctor scoffed, before joining in, "Gallifrey stands!"
There was a bright white light as the TARDISes surrounded the planet…the entire thing disappearing in an instant…all the Daleks firing at each other through the gaping hole…obliterating themselves in the process…
The Time Lords stood in the National Gallery, having tea, the three TARDISes lined up by the wall, as Clara placed the tray that had the tea down. She looked over, spotting Rose standing in the back, looking at a portrait, but she knew that it was really just her being distracted. She sighed and walked over, "Everything alright?' she asked the girl.
"Yeah, yeah, fine, everything's…" Rose glanced at the 5 Time Lords, seeing how…happy they were, "Alright."
"You know, the Professor told me once that that's just secret Time Lord code for not really being alright at all. What's that matter?"
Rose sighed, "It's just…the Professor and the Doctor, they…get on with you great."
"Yes…" she nodded slowly, "And that's…bad?'
"No! No, it's good, it's…it's really good, um…" she took a breath, "Is he happy?" she looked at the Doctors and the Professors, "With her? Does…does the Professor make him happy?"
Clara nodded, "Yeah, more happy than I've ever seen anyone. Why?"
Rose let out a breath and looked away, "I thought…once that…I could make him that happy but, I just realized…I never would be able to, would I?" she looked at Clara, more…resigned, than anything, as though she'd come to a…deep realization, "It would always be her," she rubbed her head, "I was so…bitter to her, so jealous and…harsh. I treated her terribly Clara," Rose looked away, "I just…I never gave her a chance and…now he hates me," she shook her head, "He's really going to hate me in the future, and…it'll be my own fault."
"You feel guilty now, don't you?" Clara guessed, "Knowing what you do?"
"Yeah," Rose nodded, "I just…I see how happy he is and…I feel like I kept him from that and…I see how much…better she feels and I feel like I was the reason she wasn't like that earlier."
"So…make it up to them, somehow," Clara shrugged, "I'm sure you could think of a way."
Rose just sighed, eyeing them, short of telling the Doctor that the Professor loved him and removing herself from the picture…she couldn't think of anything else. And she wasn't ready to go.
"Yeah…one day I will," she promised herself, before they headed over.
"I don't suppose we'll know if we actually succeeded," the War-Doctor remarked to the others, "But at worst, we failed doing the right thing, as opposed to succeeding in doing the wrong."
"Life and soul, you are," Clara chuckled.
"What is it actually called?" the 10th Doctor eyed the painting of Arcadia.
"Well, there's some debate," the 11th Doctor shrugged.
"Either No More or Gallifrey Falls," the 11th Professor sipped her tea.
"Not very encouraging, is it?" the 9th Professor frowned.
"How did it get here?" Rose wondered, eyeing it.
"No idea," the 11th Doctor said, a bit shortly, but Rose just sighed and looked away, knowing she'd treated her Professor much worse.
"There's always something we don't know, isn't there?" the 10th Doctor smiled.
"One should certainly hope so," the War-Doctor stood from where he was sitting, "Well, gentlemen, it has been an honor and a privilege."
"Likewise," the 10th Doctor smiled.
"Doctor," the 11th Doctor nodded at him.
His smile turned soft as he looked at the Professors, "And my Professors, always there for me, even from the start and keeping me out of trouble," he smiled at them, reaching out to take their hands, "I shall miss you both most of all," he felt tears prickling his eyes, "I won't remember this, will I?"
The 11th Professor shook her head, "The time streams are out of sync."
"None of us," the 9th Professor gestured between her and the 10th Doctor, "Will be able to retain it."
He sighed, "So I won't remember that I tried to save Gallifrey rather than burn it. And I won't remember that you live on," he swallowed hard and nodded, "I'll have to live with that. But for now," he nodded, taking a breath, "For this moment, I am the Doctor again, with my Professor at my side," he smiled, "Thank you," he turned to the TARDISes, "Which one is mine?" he joked, before heading into the only one that looked like it had been in a war, "Ha!" he stepped in and disappeared moments later.
"We really won't remember this either, will we?" the 10th Doctor turned to his Professor, before glancing at his future self, "So you might as well tell me."
"Tell you what?" the 11th Doctor asked.
"Where it is we're going that you don't want to talk about."
The 11th Doctor looked at his Professor before sighing, "We saw Trenzalore."
"What's…Trenzalore?" Rose asked, stepping closer.
"It's…where we're buried," the 11th Professor added, "Apparently, we die in battle among millions."
"Really?" the 9th Professor blinked, "US?"
"That's not how it's supposed to be," the 10th Doctor frowned and shook his head.
"That's how the story ends," the 11th Doctor sighed, "Nothing we can do about it. Trenzalore is where you're going."
"Oh, never say nothing," the 10th Doctor smiled, "Anyway, good to know my future is in safe hands. Keep a tight hold on it, Clara!" he pointed at her.
Clara laughed, "On it," she saluted him.
"Are you alright Rose?" the 9th Professor asked when she saw Rose hesitating to follow them to the TARDIS, looking at the 11th Professor.
"What?" Rose looked at her, shaking herself from her thoughts, "Yeah, I'm fine," she nodded, following them to the TARDIS.
"Trenzalore," the 10th Doctor muttered, "We need a new destination, because I don't want to go."
The 11s watched sadly as he entered the box, he had no idea what was coming, all the Companions who would go, how HE would go, how she would go…so many endings.
'But so many more beginnings,' the Professor reminded him, catching his thoughts as she took his hand, placing her other on her stomach, making him smile as the 10th Doctor's TARDIS disappeared.
Clara walked over, seeing them turn to look at the painting, "Need a moment alone with your painting?" she asked them.
"How did you know?" the Professor smiled.
"I know my grandparents," she nudged them, joking, "You'll be alright?" she asked.
"Yeah," the Doctor nodded.
Clara gave them a smile and moved to pick up the tray of tea, heading for the last TARDIS left, "Oh, by the way, there was an old man looking for you. I think it was the curator."
They watched as she stepped into the TARDIS, looking back at the painting, "When were you going to tell me?" she asked him.
"Tell you what?" he wondered.
"That I died during the muscle augmentation procedures?" she asked him, "That I regenerated?"
He swallowed, "I thought you knew."
She shook her head, "You knew I was humoring YOU Theta, about your regenerations, I genuinely didn't know."
She likely wouldn't have if she hadn't seen it on the 10th Doctor's monitors. He sometimes ran small tests on her, to make sure she was healthy and that none of her setbacks affected her physically. She'd seen it on his monitor, the Gallifreyan symbols, the muscle augmentation was affecting the results of the test and he'd gone through his records that he'd taken of her own operation. She'd died, she'd regenerated, an entire life she hadn't known she'd lived. Well, why would she? Rassilon was firm in his rules about regeneration of the subjects, she should have been killed.
But she supposed since she didn't display any outwards signs of the regeneration affecting her, retaining much of her mind and personality, they hadn't considered her a danger. She should have realized it though, she had been the only one that required 2 operations. They'd just told her she'd had a bad reaction to the medication they'd given her, that it had to be stopped mid-process. Apparently it was because she'd regenerated.
"Well, no point in worrying about it now," she shrugged, "We're still even, we're still…12s now."
He smiled, relieved she wasn't upset about it, he really HAD thought she'd known.
"Maybe we should get new titles," he remarked, "After this…I feel like a new man, knowing I didn't burn the planet," he smiled, "What about…the curator. I'd be great at curating. I'd be the Great Curator. We could retire and I could do that, be the curator of this place. What do you think?"
She smiled at that, "Why don't you ask yourself," she nodded behind him.
He froze and turned around, spotting an older version of his 4th self standing there, silver haired, leaning on a cane, "I never forget a face," he remarked as he stood and walked over to him, the Professor remaining sitting on the bench before the painting, smiling as she watched them.
"I know you don't," the 'Curator' nodded, "And in years to come, you might find yourself revisiting a few. But just the old favorites, eh? You were curious about this painting, I think. I acquired it in remarkable circumstances. What do you make of the title?"
"Which one?" the Professor called as the man turned and smiled at her warmly, "There's two, aren't there? No More or Gallifrey Falls."
"Oh my dear Professor," he laughed, "I thought YOU would have seen it," he chuckled, "That's where everybody's wrong. It's all one title. Gallifrey Falls No More. Now, what would you thing that means, eh?" he looked at them.
The Doctor's eyes widened, "That Gallifrey didn't fall. It worked. It's still out there!" he laughed, grinning and ran to the Professor, pulling her up by the hand and kissing her in celebration, just…beyond thrilled that it had worked!
"I'm only a humble curator," the man spoke, chuckling as they pulled away, "I'm sure I wouldn't know."
"But where is it?" the Professor frowned, "I'm sure we would have noticed a planet randomly appearing out of nowhere…"
"Where is it indeed?" the man smiled, "Lost. Shush. Perhaps. Things do get lost, you know. And now you must excuse me. Oh, you have a lot to do."
"Do we?" the Doctor grinned, winding his arm around the Professor's waist as the man nodded, "Is that what we're supposed to do now? Go looking for Gallifrey?"
"Oh, it's entirely up to you. Your choice, eh? I can only tell you what I would do if I were you. Oh, if I were you. Oh, perhaps I was you, of course. Or perhaps you are me," he smiled, "Oh, I think congratulations are in order as well," he glanced down at the Professor's stomach as he shook the Doctor's hand.
"Thank you very much," the Doctor beamed as he kissed the Professor's cheek.
"Or perhaps it doesn't matter either way. Who knows, eh? Who knows?" he tapped his nose and winked walking off.
The Doctor looked at the Professor, his smile fading a bit when he saw her expression a bit…sad, "What is it?"
She shook her head, "Gallifrey's out there…but that means…so's the High Council, so's the Master, so's ever bit of darkness that consumed the planet," she looked at him, "I want to find it as much as you," she murmured, "But…" she placed his hand on her stomach, "We need to be careful, and we need to be ready for what might come if we do."
He swallowed hard, he'd almost forgotten about what their people had turned into, "Well then, we'd best get started on a plan right away."
She laughed, "First though…I believe there's a desk in the Tower that we're supposed to have been given," she smirked, "Want to go find it?"
He grinned widely and took her hand, running back to the TARDIS with her as she laughed happily.
"Clara sometimes asks the Professor and I if we dream. 'Of course we dream,' I tell her, 'Everybody dreams.' 'But what do you dream about?' she'll ask. 'The same thing everybody dreams about,' is what the Professor says, 'We dream about where we're going.' Clara always laughs at that. 'But you're not going anywhere, you're just wandering about.' But you know, that's not true. Not anymore. We have a new destination. Our journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone's. It's taken us so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last we know where we're going. Where we've always been going. Home, the long way round."
To be continued...in...Reproduction! Lol, I mean that literally, the Christmas special will be the last chapter of Reproduction ;)
A/N: Ta-da! Woo! I might have missed a few little errors but I'll be going through it periodically through the month to fix them :) I hope you enjoyed this.
I know that 10 says that he's 904, I just tweaked it a tiny bit. He and the Professor STILL get married in Elizabeth's court later, but none of them remember this happening ;) And I feel like we finally got resolution for Rose in how she treated the Professor and for the War-Doctor in how his Kata is alive :) I hope the tweak with the Moment and the hologram worked out as well, I figure, with her knowing the Doctor like she does...she'd be prepared for this :)
And did you like that twist? The Professor's ALSO at her 12th body }:) I know that the Doctor in the show (according to spoilers on the Christmas special) is actually his 13th self. But until they announce that, I'm going to keep it here as 12, just for now. I may edit it when we find out whether the Doctor is aware of that or discovers it in the Christmas special ;)
I'll try to answer any questions posed in reviews at the Christmas special for Reproduction ;)
I hope you enjoyed it ;)