by Fizzix [Reviews - 3]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Fluff

Author's Notes:
Yesh, highly dialogue based. (This is NOT because I can’t write descriptions.) Originally, it was all dialogue, no quotation marks. I liked it that way, but thought if I posted it here like that I would get a Dalek sent my way. If a quotation mark seems to be missing, and one starts the next paragraph, that’s the same person talking – it’s not unused in proper literature, often in long narrations. (If you knew this already, just don’t hurt me, I suspect there are some who don’t. I just enjoy using this format.) 83 1/4 years comes from the figure 30,000 days, an approximation. The speaker who used the figure impressed upon me the shortness of human life. (Written way before I knew when s3 was coming on Skiffy, and even before I got fracking spoilers about it.) *Now with fixed line breaks!*

“83 1/4 years.

“On average, they only get eighty-three and a quarter years. How long do I get with Rose? She’s already twenty — that’s a quarter of the average human life span. With me, they can be less — often live less than normal.”

The man looked up. “How many have you had?”
“Oh, it’s not that I don’t remember them, but it’s better not to count.”

“Sir, if you fear for her, remember this: ‘Time, once wasted, is ne’er returned; carry no regrets and make use of what you get.’ It’s no good to you if you lose her and she doesn’t know.”

“That quote, whose is it?”

“Founder of fizzix.”

“I met him once.”

“It wasn’t a he — the founder of fizzix, Fizzix, as it were, was a female.”

“Oh, I met her too. Never mind.” He sighed, bringing back to mind the reason he was here.

“If you don’t tell her before you lose her, you’ll never get the time back, you know.”

“Doctor, if only you knew…” He trailed off, not continuing the sentence, but clearly wanting to.



“If you can’t tell your psychologist, who can you tell?”

“Rose.” A moment passes, and the tension in the room slowly fades. “ — Anyway, it was just something about Time. You wouldn’t believe me.”

“You’d be surprised.”

“Occasionally, but not as often as I used to.”

“You’re avoiding the question.”

“It’s always fluid. Never set — wasted time can be returned if one is really careful — or at least these days it can.”

“If time is fluid, can’t it always have been returned?”

He’s catching on fast, he thought, but sighed. “No — there used to be a group of people, all pomp and circumstance, law and order. They got in the way.

“They’re gone now, supposed victors in a war of Time.”

“I’ve heard rumors of such a group, and also that they were gone. You say it as fact.”

“I was there.” It was an automatic but grudging response that suited his last incarnation more than this one.

“Not human, then. Either that, or not sane, and that’s something I can’t quite believe about you.” He pauses, letting the weight of that sink in. “How do you know you’re the last?”

“I can tell,” he said, gesturing at his head. “There’d be a sign if I wasn’t.”

“And you’ve never been wrong?”

“Recently, I’ve been more wrong than I’d like — that’s why I am the way I am today.”

“You changed?”

“Completely. Didn’t change the fact though — they’re gone.

“Thought the others were gone, too. Found another, and it killed itself. We went on afterwards, Rose and I; eventually we met them again. Their leader took her hostage. There were half a million of them. I rescued her — sent her home. She came back and killed them all. It was killing her, that power. I took it from her, she lived. I died — became who I am today.”

“Doctor, what if I was able to tell you that you weren’t alone?”

I’d think you mad, he thought. After a moment, he stiffened. “When did I tell you my name?”

“You didn’t. It doesn’t take much to deduce it, though. When I introduced myself, you stiffened. Even though John Smith is a common enough name, you were surprised to meet someone with it. If it is not your own, you use it often enough — but not more than you go by Doctor… you refused to address me by name or title until a few minutes ago.” The man looked him over, and paused before continuing. “But, hypothetically speaking, what would you do if I told you that you weren’t the last?”

“I am though. I was there.” I’m the reason I’m the last..

“You thought you killed all the Daleks, too.”

His eyes narrowed. “I didn’t tell you about the Daleks.”
“You did.” With the demeanor of someone retelling a story to the storyteller in review, he continued. “You said that you found another, after you thought you killed them all. It killed itself, the two of you moved on. Half a million Daleks were found outside the Solar system. The Emperor took Rose hostage, she killed them all, and you regenerated.” He shifted in his chair, crossing his leg at the thigh.

“Okay, but no, that’s not what I told you.”

“It’s what happened.”

His silence didn’t contradict the other man.

“You’re not alone.”

“No, I’m not. I have Rose.”

“You’re not the last.”

“Nope. I’ve got the old girl, hanging about with me.”

“You aren’t the only Time Lord left.”

This time, his silence was a confused one. “They’re all dead. I am the last.”

“You don’t check, you wall off that section of your mind from the emptiness and the pain and the loss. You wouldn’t notice if there were any left, even if there were. Which there are. I’m telling you, Doctor, you are not alone.”

It’s true — his last self had walled off the raw hole that had been left in his mind after the Time War. He’d never had reason before to check — he knew they were all dead. “Empathic? Telepathic? Highly perceptive? These aren’t the kind of things I make a habit of telling people, and I don’t recall telling you at all.”

“I know in the way that you thought you knew that you were the last.”

“I would have known.”

“I’d been killed, was just before regenerating. I wasn’t on Gallifrey. Technically, I was dead. You were the sole surviving Time Lord at the time. The shock was too bad for you — you didn’t check again.” He didn’t even try to explain what the Doctor had gone through to confuse him beyond recognition of the fact that he was indeed not alone. “Either just before or just after regeneration yourself, you didn’t bother checking again. Through the course of your last incarnation, you’d blocked it off, and this one hadn’t bothered to check.”

“I don’t know who you are, or what you are doing here.” He was disturbed and irritated, and anger was creeping into his voice. “I doubt your story, and demand that if you are to continue making such claims, you back them up somehow.” He was standing now, and was ready to leave the room.

“We all have varying degrees of telepathic strength. You can verify my story.”

Reluctantly, he walked back towards where he’d been sitting before, standing behind the other man’s chair. He cleared his throat, and held his hands over the other’s temples, uncertain whether or not he should go on. A silent nod from the other convinced him, and he closed his eyes, touching his fingertips to the other’s temple.

The first thing he saw was the man’s regeneration — it had been delayed unnaturally, much as his seventh had been. The truth of the statement proved more than one thing, because the man had regenerated, proving he was Gallifreyan. His surroundings also did not look to be anywhere on Gallifrey that the Doctor recognized. “Where were you?” He wasn’t sure why he’d asked, and he’d not meant to, really, but now that he’d said it, he realized he really did want to know.

“A planet that the Daleks had deemed unimportant, deciding instead to shift resources to the main front. I was dead while Gallifrey burned — I wasn’t consumed. It may have taken a regeneration, though, another one prior to regenerating, but I won’t know until it’s too late, I’m afraid. I’m lucky enough as it is. I’m still early on, third, possibly fourth incarnation, depending on whether it took one.” He sat passively, not objecting to any memories, leaving them free rather than forming barriers to entry. He’d reflexively stiffened at watching his own death and regeneration again, but otherwise showed no emotion.

As he opened his eyes, he removed his hands from the other’s head, moving around to sit in front of him. “And the others? TARDISes aren’t meant to be manned by one, but you’re the only other.”

“You yourself know it can be done with one.”

“And she rarely listens to me. Land in the wrong place, wrong time, wrong universe upon occasion. You were alone?”

“Yes, but the TARDIS I had nearly died from the shock, and when I say nearly, I mean the only thing that worked was the doors for the longest time. I spent a century to get her to go anywhere, and it was 21st century Earth she chose. It was too much — the last thing she did was change, Chameleon Circuit made her a desk, and she died.”

The Doctor stands again, moving over to the desk in the room, running his hand over its corner. He looked at it, considering. “I’m sorry.” He looked sadly back at the other. “Had you been with her long, before?”

“Not really. We’d only just gotten to know each other properly.”

“And you took up psychology?”

“At a stretch, I could always figure out what was wrong. Never had the scare of alien accusations — stay away from physicians, move around before anyone notices I don’t age.”

“You never had a way to contact me, did you?”

“Not really. I suppose it was possible, but you weren’t ready.”

“You were a psychologist before the war, weren’t you? If not professionally, you at least practiced.”

“It’s true. It’s always fascinated me, the way the mind works. Rogue elements, though better at heart than the rest of society, outcast and put on trial; megalomaniacs, seeking control of the universe and any cost; values of non-interference, good in concept, though murderous to enforce. Almost made me wonder why we had the TARDISes, if we weren’t to use them, but I never questioned that. Not until it didn’t matter.”

A silence sank between them, mutually relapsing to silent thought.

Suddenly, the Doctor broke the silence. “You could come with me, you know.”

As though he had foreseen this (and, indeed, he could have) offer, he shook his head. “She’s yours, and you need to figure out your relationship. And you’ve still got a while on you yet — keep going.

“Don’t depend on your TARDIS to reclaim time for you — use your allotment well and you can be content with what you’ve done to prevent entropy taking over the universe. A stitch in Time saving Nine will do you no good if it brings havoc.”

“Thank you. Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No. Travel far, and well. But if you could keep the universe in one piece, I’ll take it as a favor.”

The Doctor smiled, and stepped into the battered old Police Box. A minute or so later, the grinding sound of dematerialization signified his departure, and the Psychologist just smiled sadly at the site where the last living TARDIS had just been.

Guess who debated about the ending for forever and a half? Lemme know if it was good, yes?