He knew what he had signed on for when he insisted that the Doctor bring him along. He knew that it was a suicide mission and that there would be no returning from this for either of them. But Fitz could not bear to be left behind this last time. He had never really been that brave of a person or considered himself terribly loyal or heroic. But the thought of the Doctor going off to die by himself was the most horrible thing he could imagine.
The Doctor had practically begged Fitz to change his mind and allow him to bring the man back to Earth before this mission. But his biggest weakness had always been allowing for freewill and Fitz had made up his mind.
But now as the TARDIS approached the Dalek line, Fitz began to wonder what he had been thinking. The Doctor was about to destroy them, the Daleks, and Gallifrey, all for the sake of peace for the rest of the universe.
If he had stayed behind, he could have been one of those that the Doctor was making this sacrifice for, rather than a victim. Fitz wondered if maybe it would have been better for the Doctor to die alone rather than knowing that another was dying uselessly at his side.
Fitz stood next to the Doctor as the Time Lord became stoned faced, flying his ship directly into certain destruction. His hand hovered in the air above the lever that would release the energy from the eye of harmony, creating a destruction wave that would wipe out everything in that little corner of the universe. The younger man looked up into the Doctor’s eyes and saw a tear begin to fall.
“How can I do this again?” the Time Lord whispered. “I’ve only just gotten them back. How can I possibly be in this position again?”
Fitz shook his head. It must just be fate that decided that the Time Lords were to end. The Doctor had been forced to bring his people to an end once already to save the rest of the universe. He had fought so hard and suffered terribly to bring them back once. Now he had to literally pull the trigger all over again and this time there was no possibility of bringing them back.
Suddenly the Doctor closed his fist and slammed it into the console beside the lever that he had been preparing to pull. “I can’t! I can’t do it again!” he screamed.
Fitz jumped but quickly recovered. In his heart, he wanted so much to agree with the Doctor, to let him take the both of them away from here and let whatever will happen, happen. But he knew that this was the real reason that he had to stay here with the Doctor. Fitz realized then that it just wasn’t the thought of the Doctor dying alone that had made him decide to come, but the thought that the Doctor might falter.
‘Fitz, my boy’ he thought to himself. ‘Maybe there is a trace of hero in you after all.’
He gently reached out and put his arm around the Doctor’s shoulders. He could feel the Time Lord shuddering with pent up sobs. Softly he laid his hand over the Doctor’s fist and lifted the hand up. “This is beyond us and Gallifrey,” Fitz reminded him. “If not here and not now, then it will have to be somewhere else or allow the whole universe to suffer under the Daleks.”
The Doctor blinked back his tears and looked at Fitz. He stared blankly for a moment before he realized that Fitz had opened his hand and placed it over the lever again, keeping his hand on top.
“Why did you stay, Fitz?” he asked hollowly as he continued to stare at their hands.
Fitz sighed, “I think that I knew that you would need help. I think that I had already decided a long time ago that I was going to die at your side. With as many scrapes as we have gotten into, it was only a matter of time.”
“Time,” the Doctor muttered. “I have carried the title of Time’s Champion and now I am about to tear her to shreds.”
“She’ll recover. It is better that it comes from you than the Daleks.”
A slight sad smile pulled at the corner of his lips before he said, “Thank you Fitz. Though a part of me is hating you for this, it is the right thing.”
“Together?” Fitz said.
They closed their eyes and both pulled as one on the lever that ended it all…
Oblivion gave way to a strange numbness, which gave way to a burning pain, which subsided into a terrible ache. The Doctor slowly opened his knew eyes and saw the burned and charred interior of his ship. Wires sparked randomly and support beams were lying about like some child’s scattered tinker toys. He groaned in agony as he moved.
Slowly memory of what had just happened returned. As he began to lower his head to his hands as everything began to hit him, he noticed that his hands didn’t look right. He had regenerated.
“Oh god, no,” he breathed. “No, this shouldn’t have happened,” he said a little louder as he began to look about the room wildly. “I should be dead!” he screamed almost accusingly at the surrounding air.
A soft moan came from his left and he looked. Lying there beside him, pinned beneath a girder, was a burned and battered Fitz. The Doctor knew at a glance that there was nothing to be done for the man and yet he went into immediate action.
“Fitz!” he cried as he began to shift the debris from his friend’s body and cover his gushing wounds with his own hands. “Oh god, Fitz! What have I done?”
“Doctor?” Fitz croaked as he cracked one eye open. The other was too badly damaged to even consider using.
“Fitz, it’s me. Hold on. I’ll get you out of this.”
Fitz slowly shook his head even as the Doctor began to gather him in his arms. “Don’t,” Fitz whispered. “Just… let it be.”
“Fitz…” the Doctor cried. “Fitz, why did you stay with me? Why couldn’t you go home?”
“You needed me,” he whispered as his eyes began to slide shut.
“No!” the Doctor cried at him. “Don’t you dare! I need you now too. More than ever.”
“I’m sorry Doctor. Please, promise you’ll find someone else. I can’t be there anymore for you.”
The Doctor clutched Fitz to him as he sobbed, “Fitz, please don’t leave me. I don’t know what to do now.”
“Carry on,” Fitz sighed and slowly the last air left his body. He went limp in the Doctor’s arms.
How long the Doctor clung to the body of his friend, crying for not only his loss, but the loss of all of Gallifrey, it would be impossible to say.
What felt like both an eternity and only a few moments later the Doctor slowly and reverently lifted Fitz from the scorched floor and carried him deeper into the TARDIS. His ship had sustained considerable damage, but she would pull together, as he knew that somehow he would too. But at the moment, he could hardly believe that he was able to continue breathing.
The Doctor somehow found the cloister room in his stupor of grief and laid Fitz’s body out on a stone bench. Once he had witnessed the TARDIS breath life back into two of his friends in this room, but now the energy that was used to do that was completely spent in demolition rather than reconstruction. There was nothing left for Fitz.
The Doctor stood over Fitz and stared at him for a while longer, wondering how he was going to keep going now when he had been so sure that death had finally come for him. He was alone now more than ever before. Not even a whisper of the connection with his planet that he had been able to feel before remained in his mind.
The silence was excruciating.
He wandered away from that room and began to pace the corridors without thought or purpose. There was nothing here for him. Nothing outside his ship either. He was homeless, friendless, and now with out an enemy. The Daleks were defeated, the Cybermen had been crushed long ago, the Master had been eaten by his TARDIS, the black guardian along with the white would surly be far too busy trying to put the ragged pieces of time back together now to deal with him.
There was no longer any point to his existence. He just… was.
He finally stumbled back into the control room and his nearly unseeing eyes slid over the dark leather jacket that was crumpled in the corner near where Fitz had left it earlier. Unthinkingly, the Doctor went over to it and lifted it.
He pulled it up to his lips and let two more tears falls from his eyes and onto the jacket as he whispered, “I promise, Fitz. I’ll carry on. I’ll find someone else.”
He took the jacket with him as he went to find some better clothes to change into. Black was to be his new color, if only to commemorate his friend’s sacrifice.
Fitz Kreiner… the savoir of the universe.