This is a work of fiction. I do not own/know anyone who is responsible for Doctor Who. This was created all in good fun.

Every Song Must End

The thrumming sound of the time rotor filled the otherwise silent control deck of the TARDIS. The coral glowed its usual golden hue, and at any other time it would calm him, but now it just makes him melancholy.

He can feel it; the end is closing in on him, like a wolf's jaws snapping shut. Okay, bad metaphor. Also the use of the words "bad" and "wolf" are not helping him either. Leaving her on that beach at Dalig-ulv-Stradn - again... 'Course, this time he'd stayed with her - sort of.

He can't help but feel a bit jealous of his metacrisis self: a whole life with Rose Tyler and a human life at that; getting to wake up next to her, chips, a mortgage, that whole domestic life he always claimed that he just wasn't interested in. Well, that wasn't the whole truth, if he's being honest with himself. He always thought, since he'd first started running that he'd never do domestic again, that he'd never feel that way, to give up the traveling, the adventure waiting out in the furthest reaches of time and space. But then there was Rose, back when he'd been all ears and a leather coat and she changed him in a way he would never have thought possible. She'd told him she'd stay with him forever once, and he believed it.

Then there was Canary Wharf. Truly, he believed he'd never see her again and the anger and frustration he'd felt had been witnessed by both Donna and Martha. Donna had been right, of course, he did need somebody to stop him. Wanting to tell her that that somebody was currently residing in a parallel universe, completely closed off from him had seemed too much information for a first meeting, however.

Imagine his complete shock when he turned that fateful day, standing on a street under a sunless sky to see her, grinning from ear to ear, and his hearts thumping furiously out of hope, amazement, fear and the sheer impossibility of her standing there.

And in the end, he left her on that Norway beach in the parallel universe with his human counterpart, the only one of them who could tell her how they both truly felt for her. His human replica was far better suited for her, he figured; he had the courage to do things he simply could not, whether it be risking both universes to travel between them or simply telling her he loved her.

Time was winding down, slowing, stretching itself out as it does within a black hole, a feeling nearly imperceptible to every other life form, but not a Time Lord. No, never a Time Lord, always sensitive to the fluxes of space and time. It's a feeling he was not totally unaccustomed to; he's felt it before. Nine times before, to be exact. He has one more person he wants to visit - has to visit.

He sits back in the jump seat, stretching his long legs to rest on the control panel of the TARDIS. The fabric he holds in his hands still carried her scent: honey and something indescribably Rose. It had been the shirt Donna had waved at him on her first impromptu trip on the TARDIS, Rose's button down blue and purple affair. She'd first worn it on their little excursion to New New York on New Earth. Worn it when he'd first kissed her... well, second kiss, if you counted the first at all; also he had a new face and body. Also, she's been more Cassandra than Rose but he still had it. He'd kept that shirt after Donna'd discovered it, unable to part with it after these last few years, as if it would be disrespecting her memory if he merely tossed it to one corner of the TARDIS' wardrobe.

The TARDIS touches down as he shrugs into his trench coat, slipping the shirt into his coat pocket as he makes his way to the doors. He steps out into the cold winters' night, snow dusting the ground and there it is, lit up bright like a Christmas tree, the Powell Estate. He rounds the corner and there she is, all purple and yellow. And this is it, he's nearly gone now, this version of him. His song is almost over but he can't leave, not yet. Pain shoots through him and he stifles a groan of pain as she walks past.

"You alright, mate?"

He looks up at her, all fresh faced and concerned. "Yeah," he replies.

"Too much to drink?" she smiles a bit near the end of that question.

He stands a bit straighter now. "Something like that."

"Maybe it's time you went home." She suggested.

"Yeah…" He could feel his hearts breaking as her words hit home.

A smile graced her face. "Anyway… Happy New Year."

"And you." He wished back to her as she turned, continuing on her way. Then it occurred to him, "What year is this?"

She turned, looking slightly startled. "Blimey, how much have you had?"

He shrugged, feeling a little sheepish.

"Two thousand and five, January the first."

He faltered a moment. "Two thousand and five…" Her nod confirmed. "Tell you what: I bet you're going to have a really great year." He tried to smile but it felt forced, tight.

She grinned a bit at this stranger's antics. "Yeah?"

He kept the smile painted on his face.

She turned to go once more but turned back to flash him a full smile. "See ya." And she turned and jogged the short distance to the stairwell door. He watched her as she made her way up the flight of stairs and turned to leave, the pain crushing. It was coming soon, his song's finally. He only had to make it back to the TARDIS…