The Doctor returned to the TARDIS after dropping off his friends and former companions on Earth. He would miss them; Sarah Jane, Martha, Jack and Mickey but they had lives to return to here. In the TARDIS he had companions and one biological meta-crisis to sort out. With the exception of Jackie, who was eager to see Pete and Tony, the day would not have a happy ending for any of them.
He clenched his jaw as he swiftly walked up the ramp to the console. Donna was talking to the meta-crisis him and Rose and her mum were no where to be seen. Probably freshening up or making a pot of tea. They Doctor would need something much stronger than tea once this was all over.
"Donna," he asked when there was a lull in their conversation, "can I have a word with him...alone." She looked at him with slight dismay and then her brow furled slightly.
"Oi! Be nice to him, spaceman," she warned the Doctor as she shook a finger at him. With that, she reluctantly left the control room but not before giving him another stern look.
The duplicate Doctor stood tall with his chin lifted slightly in defiance as the Doctor walked over to where he stood. The Doctor slumped a tiny bit and stuck his hands in his pocket. For a moment they just stared at each other in wonder; the meta reached up to touch the Doctor on the cheek.
"It's like looking into a mirror," he said quietly and dropped his hand. The Doctor nodded slightly and noticed that his twin looked slightly younger than he was now. The hand had been in stasis since it was cut off in the sword duel with the leader of the Sycorax. It made sense that this new Doctor would look more youthful. Suddenly, the Doctor felt very old and tired.
The Time Lord straightened up with a look of resolve on his face. The other Doctors expression tightened in anticipation of what would likely be a rebuke (Here it comes, he thought).
"You can't stay here," the Doctor said quietly.
"Why not?" This was not what he had expected the Doctor to say at all. However, he had a strong feeling the Time Lord would not want him around. He shoved his hands into his pockets and frowned at the Doctor.
"It would never work out. You are part-human now; an unpredictable human male. Your emotions are stronger, more dangerous. Your Time Lord self cannot counteract the aggression and impulses you have."
"As if you are not impulsive?!" the meta sneered and poked the Time Lord in the chest, "You have just as much anger in you. I should know!"
Both Doctors heard a sudden hum and click. They looked around and noticed that the TARDIS had sealed them in the control room. She knew what was coming and did not want anyone hearing the impending explosion. The Time Lord turned back to his twin with a low growl.
"You didn't think the situation through!" the Doctor shot back, raising his voice, "there were options, it did not have to end the way it did!"
"What, you were hoping to sign a truce with Davros and have a tea party?" the meta's eyes brightened in anger and he laughed harshly, "It. Would. Never. Have. Worked! The Daleks cannot be reasoned with and you know that!"
"You didn't give me a chance to try!" the Doctor shouted as he ran a hand through his hair in agitation.
"Yes, I saw how well your negotiations were going," his twin countered. He put a hand on his chin like he was thinking, "No, wait! Remember the Time War? Committing genocide with our people and the Daleks?" he gave the Time Lord a terrible look.
"You know full well that I remember!" the Doctor spat.
"The Daleks came back, they always come back and they would have destroyed all life in the universe this time!" The half-human Doctor was spitting in anger, "how is my destroying the Daleks any different than what we did then?!"
The Doctor opened his mouth then shut it quickly and glared at his twin. The Oncoming Storm was roiling in his eyes but he doubted the other would be intimidated by it.
"My mind is made up and that is the end of the matter!" the Doctor roared back with his 'I have spoken' defiant look. With that, he stomped over to a small storage cabinet and flung the doors open.
"So, your just going to leave it at that, yeah?" the meta growled in frustration, "Deciding my fate and who else? Donna, Rose, Jackie? Haven't you decided enough peoples fates by not giving them a choice? I never realized how much of a self righteous prick I was." He ran both hands through his hair in frustration as he turned his back on the Doctor. With a huge sigh, he turned back to look at the Time Lord.
"And what about Rose?" he whispered quietly as he felt his heart shudder in his chest. He knew the arrow had hit its mark when the Doctor stiffened and froze. The love they had for her had been unbearable at times.
"I have no choice," the Doctor whispered sadly.
"Of course you do, you are just too much of a coward to figure it out." The meta ran his hand through his hair, deflated, and watched as the Doctor rummaged in the large cabinet. He was pulling an assortment of items out and dropping them into a paper bag. Shutting the door, he walked back to the meta-crisis and held out the bag. His hand was shaking slightly and he had a haunted look in his eyes.
"You will need these," he said softly..
His twin took the bag and looked inside. A thrill ran down the length of his spine and he shuddered. He saw all the parts he would need to make his own sonic screwdriver; there was even an extra battery pack. In a daze he dropped the bag carefully into a jacket pocket.
"Thank you," he murmured gratefully. He stood tall and looked around the control room with regret. "Since I cannot stay, can I at least get a change of clothes and some toiletries? That is the least you can do for kicking me out."
"Of course," the Doctor murmured, nodding his head. The meta-crisis walked towards a wall and the doorway opened to the interior of the TARDIS.
Another wave of sadness washed over the Time Lord but he could not change his mind. He was about to do the hardest thing he had ever done; give up the woman he loved. He couldn't watch her age and die, he just couldn't. He knew that the meta loved her because he was the Doctor. They would work it out and hopefully have the life he could never have.
With a big sigh, the Doctor walked over to the console and entered coordinates into the computer. He could feel the resistance from the TARDIS to go there and he gently patted the surface.
"It will be all right, old girl. Someone needs to be happy in the long run (and it won't be me, he thought)."
He heard a tiny popping noise and looked around the room. There was a spot of light on a coral strut and he moved over to see why it was there. He stopped, stunned at what he found and closed his eyes. "You brilliant, beautiful creature, you," he murmured and opened his eyes.
Highlighted by the light was a coral bud the size of a deck of cards. He reached up with reverence and gently removed the warm, pulsing piece of the TARDIS. The TARDIS hummed in response and he smiled.
"Yes, it's the perfect gift."
He heard voices and dropped the coral bud into a pocket. This would help to sooth some of the pain for what he would have to do to his beloved Rose and his doppelganger. He hoped that they would forgive him one day. Now, if only he could find a way to lessen the hurt for what he needed to do to save Donna.