A/N: Hi guys! Sorry, I know it has been a while but it was the holidays and for once I was doing my best to enjoy myself and live a little. However, now I am back to work and know that I have kept you all waiting for this chapter for too long. I hope that you enjoy it.
Kari was with the Doctor, supporting him, with a worried look on her face. It seemed like the Master had held her back to protect her, but she wasn't entirely sure. "But… I did this." The Master called as everyone hurried out of the room, screaming and rushing to get away. "I get the credit. I'm on your side." The look that was on Rassilon's face was one of pure smugness.
With everyone that was running out, there was one person running in. Wilfred Mott. He saw a technician, stuck in the nuclear bolt. The older man went straight over and into the glass unit, pushing down the big red button, releasing him and unknowingly trapping himself. "Wilf, don't!" The Doctor called to him, hoping he could hear him and was listening. "Don't!" It was too late. The man who had been trapped was making a break for it, running away from whatever was going on in that room.
The Master still wasn't sure he fully understood what was going on. Kari had been right, he wasn't listening, he hadn't been paying attention when really he should have. She really had been trying to help him, and he was only just now realising it. "But… this is fantastic, isn't it? The Time Lords restored."
"You weren't there…" The Doctor told him, hoping that now he would finally listen. "In the final days of the War. You never saw what was born. If the Timelock's broken, everything's coming through, not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child." The more the Doctor spoke, the more worried the look on the Master's face became. He was starting to see just how badly he had messed up. "The Could-have-been King and his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres. The War turned into hell. And that's what you opened, right about the Earth. Hell is descending."
No, he wasn't going to admit that he had been wrong, that he had made a mistake. "My kind of world." The Master simply replied, trying to take it all in his stride. He couldn't back down, not now, not after everything he had done and been through. There had to be something good for him out of all this, it had to be worth all the pain and hurt he had caused Kari and the Doctor.
Kari knew that he didn't really mean it, she could feel it, he was worried, and a little scared. There was a voice inside telling him just how much of an idiot he was for not listening, especially to Kari. "Just listen! Because even the Time Lords can't survive that." The Doctor said, trying to get him to see the bigger picture still.
"We will initiate the Final Sanction. The end of time will come, at my hand. The rupture will continue until it rips the Time Vortex apart." Rassilon announced, still standing there in all his glory.
Now the Master was even more confused. "That's suicide." He said to Rassilon, before looking towards Kari. She gave him a very fierce glare back, warning him that she was not going to take this from him or Rassilon. He could see that she was struggling to contain herself.
"We will ascend…" Rassilon told him, holding out his arms. "To become creatures of consciousness alone. Free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be."
Kari was a breaking point now. "You see now?" She said, looking at the Master. "That's what they were planning in the final days of the War. We had to stop them." He needed to understand, he needed to listen to her, to join them, to change his ways, to make things right again.
Unfortunately, that was not what happened. "Then, take me with you, Lord President." The Master said, holding out his own arms. "Let me ascend into glory."
A growl escaped Kari's mouth as she stood up and turned to face him. "Are you kidding me? After everything? After all of this? After everything that has happened, you still want to be a part of this?" She shouted at him, her temper finally getting the better of her. "It was him!" Kari yelled, holding her hand out and gesturing towards Rassilon. "He is the one that planted that god forsaken noise in your head. He has made you think that you were going mad for all those centuries. And yet here you stand, asking to go with him? With the one who has changed you from a kind, caring person into someone so selfish and full of rage and jealousy." Now that she had started, Kari just couldn't stop. "You had a chance to end this, to stop all this from happening before it had begun, but you just wouldn't listen would you?"
The Master wasn't sure how to respond. Kari had not been this angry towards him in a very long time, not since long before he had turned into the man he was now. "Yes, but I…"
"No! No buts!" She was not going to let him interrupt and get away with it. "Stop trying to save your own skin."
Rassilon had been watching the exchange, and he knew that it was time for him to intervene. "The Lady Angel has always known this, yet she has waited until now to tell you." He said, looking at the Master. "What does that say?"
Kari quickly spun around and glared at Rassilon, knowing that he was trying to stir the pot some more. "Yeah, you can shut it." She spat, causing the Master to go wide eyed. "I do not give a damn about you, Rassilon." That seemed to cause a little bit of commotion from the Time Lords standing with Rassilon. She was being disrespectful to the President. "You have caused him so much pain and suffering, all to save yourselves. Do you know why he has been so misguided? Because of you! He is brilliant, a total genius, and if things had been different then I know that he would have been travelling the stars and doing such amazing things. But you took that from him."
There seemed to be a hint of amusement on Rassilon's face now. "You dare speak to me in such a manner and defend the monster who has not only tried to kill you, but to kill the Doctor?"
"You're the one that made him act like a monster!" Kari shouted, finally letting some energy from the time vortex flare. "I have alway known that there is good inside of him, always. He has never tried to hurt me, not intentionally. Not before today at least. But that wasn't because of him, that was you. Controlling him."
"You are a monster yourself. An abomination." Rassilon spat at her, clearly not impressed with the way she was speaking to him and treating him. "The Timeless Child and the Child of Time." Upon hearing that, Kari's eyes widened a little and a smirk spread on Rassilon's face. "Ah, so you do know. Two children, lost. Would they really turn against those who saved them?"
Kari's head was reeling now. She knew exactly who he was talking about when he said the Timeless Child, but she wasn't sure she wanted to admit who this Child of Time was. "Saved?" She asked in disbelief. "You didn't save them, you used them. They saved each other. And they will always save each other." She told him, gaining more control over the time vortex that had been building the whole time she had been speaking. "Leave. Now."
The smile that was still on Rassilon's face told her that he had no intention of listening to her. "No." He said, before opening his glove. In a split second, Kari had moved. She had seen where his eyes had locked on to, she had seen where he was aiming, who he was going for, and she threw herself in front of him, letting the time vortex finally run free to protect them both.
The Master stood there in shock, as Kari stood before him, protecting him as Rassilon used the energy from his glove to try and hurt him. "What are you doing?" He asked, unable to believe that she was protecting him.
She wanted to roll her eyes at him, but she needed to focus. "What does it look like, you idiot? I'm trying to save you! Or do you want to get roasted by Rassilon?" Kari asked, letting out a breath, and along with it some of the energy from the vortex.
The Doctor was unable to do anything, he was caught in the middle. If he moved, he would be hit. He had seen how much Kari was trying to defend the Master, but she had always been like that, she had always believed that he could be good, that he could do better. Now he was finally starting to understand why she was like that with him, why she always saw the good in him and never found it in her to hate him.
"You cannot stand against me, Angel of Time." Rassilon called. "Your power is not great enough." All those words seemed to do was make her more determined. If she could get rid of Rassilon, send them back without the Gate being destroyed, then the Doctor wouldn't need to regenerate. He would have more time. She would have more time with him. She could save the Doctor and the Master. The one she loved more than anything, and the one she wanted so desperately to save.
"I have the whole of time and space." Kari told him, pulling on the time vortex more, pushing it out and towards him. "I have people I love, people I care about, people I want to protect. No matter how much of an idiot they may have been." The Master rolled his eyes, knowing that the last part had been directed at him. "And I will protect them, with everything I have." With that, she gave one massive push, sending as much as she could towards him, causing the Master and the Doctor to shield their eyes.
The light was blinding, the time vortex energy and the energy from the glove clashed. Then there was a loud crashing sound, the light becoming so unbearable that everyone had to shield their eyes. The tension in the room grew as everyone waited to be able to see what had happened. The Lord President, Rassilon, was down on one knee, seemingly exhausted. Kari was on her feet, but soon fell backwards, the Master quickly catching her in his arms.
"Why did you do that?" He whispered to her, holding onto her, checking that she wasn't hurt. Even he was filled with fear, seeing her stand up to Rassilon like that to take him on. The Master wasn't sure she was going to be able to do it, but she had.
Kari smiled at him as she gripped onto his arms tightly, trying to keep herself upright. "Because I always have, and always will believe in you. You are worth saving, Koschi. Just promise me something…" She whispered something to him, causing him to look at her with slight confusion. "Prove to me that you can change, that you can do good. Trust me."
The Doctor had seen the Master hold onto Kari, and in this moment he trusted him to look after her. She had been right, he had never intentionally hurt her and he didn't believe he would start doing that now. But his own rage was filling him. The Oncoming Storm burning inside. He got to his feet and aimed the gun that Wilfred had given him at Rassilon. "Choose your enemy well. We are many. The Master is but one." He said getting back to his feet, but stumbling a little. He couldn't appear to be weak, he couldn't let them see that what Kari had done had actually had an impact on him.
The Master didn't like the way that Rassilon was trying to pin it back on him. "But he's the President. Kill him, and Gallifrey could be yours." The Doctor turned, the gun now aiming at the Master, who had now set Kari gently on the ground, only semiconscious. She had used up far too much energy but wasn't out cold yet, like she normally would have been by this point. "He's to blame, not me." Then realisation dawned on him. "Oh, the link is inside my head. Kill me, the link gets broken, they go back. You never would, you coward. Go on then. Do it."
"Save him, Doctor." Kari called to him, hoping that he could hear her. Yes, she was weak, but she wasn't entirely out of it just yet.
It seemed that the Doctor had heard her as he quickly turned around again and aimed the gun back at Rassilon. "Exactly. It's not just me, it's him. He's the link. Kill him!" There was his instinct to just save himself again, something that Kari had just pointed out to him as well.
"The final act of your life is murder. But which one of us?" Rassilon said, still trying to get inside the Doctor's head. But the Doctor knew exactly what he had to do.
The Doctor spun around once more, the gun gripped tightly in his hand. "Get out of the way." The Master raised an eyebrow at him, before reaching down and grabbing Kari, pulling her with him as he threw himself to one side. The moment they were clear, the Doctor fired the gun at the diamond, sitting in a special unit, powering the link. "The link is broken. Back into the Time War, Rassilon. Back into hell." He called, a breeze picking up around them as the link began to close and the Time Lords were pulled back.
While the Doctor was facing him, the Master was checking Kari over one last time. "Is it true? All this time have you really just been trying to save me?" He asked her in a hurry.
Kari gazed at him. "Of course it's true. No matter how much I hate the things that you have done I do not hate you. This was never you." In response to her words the Master reached down and held her face gently between his hands, before lightly kissing her forehead. Confusion spread across her face as he just smiled at her.
Rassilon wasn't finished with the Doctor just yet. "You'll die with me, Doctor." He said, holding up his glove, ready to use it against the man that had ruined his plans. The Doctor had long been a thorn in his side, him and the Angel.
It seemed that the Doctor had accepted his fate. "I know." He replied, preparing himself for what was to come next. He just hoped that Kari would be safe, that she would be okay and not hurt from all of this. Right now he knew that she was exhausted, both emotionally and physically, but he couldn't stop this from happening now. He was putting all his trust in his old friend to care for her.
To his surprise a voice called out from behind him. "Get out of the way." The Master said, rubbing his hands together. The Doctor stepped away from him, and saw Kari safe over to one side. "You did this to me!" The Master shouted at Rassilon as he used his own energy to attack the man. "All of my life!" He fired at him once more. "You made me! One! Two! Three! Four!" He fired on each count, his life force burning up quicker, the skeleton face appearing. But Rassilon was back on his knees, only his staff keeping him from collapsing completely.
Then, in a blinding flash of light, they were gone. The Master and the Time Lords. Gone.
The Doctor lay there on the ground, glass still surrounding him. "I'm alive." He said, not believing that he was safe and unharmed. "I've… There was…" He looked over at Kari and saw she was trying to pull herself together. Yes she was weak, but she smiled at him sadly. "I'm still alive." At that he started to sob, glad to be alive.
Unfortunately, his joy was short lived, as both he and Kari heard a knocking. To be more precise, a rhythm of 4 knocks. Upon hearing that, and seeing the Doctor's face drop, Kari stumbled over to him as quickly as she could to help him get up. Everywhere was aching now and she knew that she was going to need a good sleep after this, most likely one which lasted several days.
The knocking was coming from Wilfred, stuck in the nuclear bolt control chamber. They both looked over at him. "They gone, then?" The old man asked, feeling a little awkward. "Yeah, good-o. If you could… let me out?"
Kari held onto the Doctor's hand tightly and squeezed her eyes shut, tears starting to leak from her eyes already. "Yeah." She replied, knowing that the Doctor was feeling more than just disappointed.
"Only, this thing seems to be making a bit of a noise." Wilfred told them, not realising the situation that he had gotten himself into, or the seriousness of what was going to happen next.
The Doctor pushed himself up, taking Kari with him. "The Master left the Nuclear Bolt running." He explained as they walked over to where Wilfred was trapped. "It's gone into overload."
Wilfred didn't like the way that both Kari and the Doctor were looking at him "And that's bad, is it?"
The Doctor didn't want to tell him the truth, he couldn't face it, not yet at least. "No… because all the excess radiation gets vented inside there. Vinvocci glass contains it. All five hundred thousand rads, about to flood that thing." He was trying so hard to keep it together, to hold back his emotions. Yet Kari could feel them, each and everyone one. He was so disappointed that he was going to have to die, that he hadn't made it. The joy and relief he had felt for those few moments was replaced with such sadness and despair.
"Oh. Well, you'd better let me out, then." Wilfred didn't know the severity of the situation, he had no idea that it was him. He was so innocent and oblivious to it all.
Kari swallowed the lump in her throat. "Except it's gone critical." She told him, trying to block out as much as she could. Her own emotions were getting too much for her, having the Doctor's there as well was not making things any better. "Touch one control and it floods."
"Even this would set it off." The Doctor added, holding out his sonic screwdriver.
Finally, it dawned on him just how bad the situation was. "I'm sorry." The old man said, seeing the tears in Kari's eyes. "Look, just leave me." He didn't want to be the issue, or the one to cause pain and suffering. He didn't want to be the reason why the Doctor died.
"Okay, right then, I will." The Doctor said, wandering around a little, trying to pull himself together. "Because you had to go in there, didn't you? You had to go and get stuck, oh yes. Because that's who you are, Wilfred. You were always this. Waiting for me all this time." The gates were opening, and his emotions were breaking through. Kari could feel her hearts breaking. Being there and seeing it all with her own eyes was a thousand times more painful than she ever imagined it would be.
Wilfred had made up his mind. "No really, just leave me. I'm an old man, Doctor. I've had my time."
"Well, exactly. Look at you." The Doctor said, not trying to be mean, or get angry with Wilfred, just trying to find a way to express his emotions. "Not remotely important. But me? I could do so much more. So much more! But this is what I get. My reward. And it's not fair!" He called, swiping some things off from a nearby desk. "Oh… Oh… Lived too long."
Kari knew what he was going to do next, and she grabbed a hold of his hand tightly, getting him to stop, to look at her. "Doctor I… I just…" Just what? What could she say to him? That she always knew that it was Wilfred and not the Master? There was nothing that she could be able to say in that moment that would make any of this remotely better.
The Doctor placed one of his hands on the side of her face, the cuts still red and coated in dried blood. "It's not your fault, Kari. I promise you, I know you couldn't have stopped this." He told her, not wanting her to blame herself.
"I love you, Doctor. This you and the next. Every single one of you." Kari told him, choking back the tears. "You will always be Doctor Sexy, the one with the really great hair." She added, running her hand through his hair. "Don't ever, for a second, think that you changing will stop me from caring about you." That was one of the things he had been most worried about. Their relationship had been rocky in his previous regeneration and he didn't want them to go through that again. The two of them now, together, they were in such a wonderful place, he didn't want that to change.
The Time Lord could see just how hard she was trying to keep it all together, to not fall apart when she knew that he needed her. "I love you too." He told her softly, before reaching down and gently pressing his lips against hers. Something was telling him that this was their final kiss, that he would never kiss her in that way again. Kari would still have moments with him, in his past, but this was his last with her. And it hurt him so much.
When the pair of them broke apart, the Doctor started to walk towards the chamber and instantly Wilfred knew what was going to happen. "No. No, no, please, please don't. No, don't! Please don't! Please!" The man begged, feeling so guilty that he was the reason the Doctor was going to die. That he was the reason Kari was standing there with tears streaming down her face and such sad eyes.
The Doctor placed his hand on the metal hand of the glass door to the chamber. "Wilfred, it's my honour. Better be quick. Three, two, one." He pushed the red button, releasing Wiflred who dashed out as quickly as he could, going and standing beside Kari.
Kari gasped and fell to her knees, the pain that the Doctor was feeling flooding through her as well. They hadn't even thought about that, about the fact that she was going to feel this just as much as the Doctor was. All she could do was watch him crumble in agony as the radiation flooded him, destroying each and every cell in his body. She watched and waited until the lights in both chambers went out, the whole thing finally shutting down.
Wilflred looked as the Doctor moved, sitting himself up. "Hello."
The Doctor looked at Kari, checking she was okay, then at Wilfred. "Hi."
"Still with us?" He asked, as Kari took a step closer to the chamber.
The Doctor used the glass side to help push himself up. "The system's dead. I absorbed it all. Whole thing's kaput." he explained, before pushing the door. "Oh. Now it opens, yeah." The moment he was out, Kari threw her arms around him, knowing that there was nothing else that she could do now apart from comfort him and be there for him.
The problem was, Wilfred didn't understand what was going on, what was going to happen next. "Well, there we are, then. Safe and sound. Mind you, you're in hell of a state. You've got some battle scars there." He said, as the Doctor ran his hands down his face, the cuts and bruises all just… vanished.
Wilf looked at him in shock. "But they've… Your face… How did you do that?" He asked, having no idea what had happened or why, but the Doctor's face was now completely healed, so were his hands.
The Doctor looked down at his hands, then at Kari. "It's started." She gave him a single nod, the sadness in her eyes growing by the second. Yes, she did love this man, she loved his face and his hair and just everything about him. But that didn't matter, because she knew that the next man that he would become would be just as wonderful as he was.
"Come on, time to go." Kari announced, knowing that they needed to get Wilfred back to his family, to check on Donna and make sure that she was okay.
They headed to the TARDIS in silence. Kari was gripping the Doctor's hand as tightly as she could. She would stay with him until the very end. She was going to stay with him until she was pulled away, knowing that she would be back with him moments later. At least she hoped that it would be only moments later.
When they landed, they saw Sylvia, Donna's mother standing there at the door, waiting. "Oh, she's smiling." The Doctor said as he saw the woman standing in the doorway, looking at them, giving them a wave. "As if today wasn't bad enough. Anyway… Don't go thinking this is goodbye, Wilf. We'll see you again, one more time."
Wilfred looked at him in confusion. "What do you mean? When's that?"
The Doctor just looked at him. "Just keep looking. We'll be there."
"Where are you going?" He asked, starting to panic a little. He knew that things had been bad, he was just worried about the Doctor and Kari and what they were going to get up to next. He cared about them, about both of them.
"To get my reward." The Doctor told him, before stepping back into the TARDIS with Kari.
There was silence between them, neither of them really knowing what to say to the other. But there was something that was bothering Kari a little. "You saved him." She said quietly as they both wandered around the console. "Why did you save him?"
The Doctor stopped and looked at Kari. "Because that is what you have been trying to do for centuries. Kari, you always saw something else in him, you always knew that he was capable of being so much more"
Kari nodded at him, knowing that he was right. He had told her that before, or he would tell her that again. He would save Missy because she would have saved her. The Doctor was doing it because of her, because of what she saw in the Master. "I just hope that now he can see that he is worth so much more." Kari said, knowing that there would be a change in him eventually.
But there was something that was bothering the Doctor, something that had been said that he didn't understand. "What did Rassilon mean, about the Timeless Child and Child of Time?" He asked her, going and standing beside her as she rested against the console, the exhaustion starting to get a little too much for her.
"I can't, Doctor. It's something in our future. I know of it, but that's all at the moment. But I promise you it is nothing to worry about, okay?" She couldn't let him know, she couldn't give him any kind of idea that she knew exactly what it was about. It was a long way in his future, and it involved more people than just her. "Now come on, you want to get your reward, and I really need to rest."
Those seemed to be the wrong words to say as a sharp pain flew through her head. "Looks like your time is up." The Doctor said sadly, holding back the tears.
Kari didn't want this, she didn't want to go yet. She needed to be there for him, to help him, to support him while he visited all those that this man had travelled with. To save them all one last time, to see them. "No, I can't go. Not yet." She pleaded, trying to hold it back. Kari knew that was a bad idea, she had done that before and it really didn't end very well for her.
The Doctor could see that she was struggling. "Kari, it's okay. You can't stop this, you have to go."
"I'll be back, Doctor. I promise you, if I have to leave then I will be back. By the time you have gotten your reward I will be here waiting for you. I will not let you go through this alone." She told him, still trying to hold the time vortex back. She wasn't ready, she had to say goodbye to him properly. "When you come back I'll be here, a much younger me as well."
She tried not to let a sob out while the Doctor let out a small chuckle. "I wish you could come with me."
Before she could answer or even attempt to respond, Kari felt another soaring pain. She was holding it back for too long and her body was already weak and exhausted. "I love you so much, Doctor."
He wrapped his arms around her, seeing that this was something that she was struggling to deal with just as much as he was. "I love you too. Goodbye, Kari." The Doctor whispered to her, causing Kari to relax a little.
"Goodbye, Doctor." She managed to choke out, before the time vortex took over and she was pulled away from him. It was the last thing she wanted to happen, because she so desperately wanted to be there for him, to stay with him and help him. Yet she knew it was always going to be this way, because she remembered what happened when she arrived. A younger Kari was going to arrive in an empty TARDIS, with a song filling her ears, the song that was being sung to the Doctor. Instead she just had to hope that wherever she ended up, the Doctor would be there, and she could finally get some rest.
A/N: I had so many different ideas float around for this one. Yes, there was the idea that Kari would regenerate just like I have that idea at another point in time. I actually remember the first time I watched this episode, I had fallen down the stairs the day before and was unable to walk, couldn't even move really as I had hurt my back so badly. I was in tears.
Anyway, thank you all for the reviews. They are one of the reasons that I keep going. It's nice to know that people still read this and enjoy it. I guess if people gave up on it then I would too.
Moving forward, there is lots more to come! I am working away on the next episode now and I can not wait for David Tennant and Cathrine Tate to make their appearance once more on our screens! I am so looking forward to it. The whole regeneration has given me so many more ideas.
I'm going to stop now, or I will keep on rambling. So until the next time,