You can feel it; the pull of your own universe. It tugs at your hearts, tells you the doors are open, tells you to come back home. You find that you can't deny it. It's an irresistible pull, tantalizing and tempting, whispering and pleading at you to come back. Come back, Doctor. It's letting you go.
So you send everyone out of the TARDIS - Jack, Donna, Jenny, Astrid, Martha, even the cats (Rose will take care of Nebula, you know, and Cat has Donna; you let them out into the bedroom after everyone's gone) -, just for a bit, you say. Maintenance, you say, and that everyone should go down to the Lux for dinner. You'll be by. You don't promise, though, and you suppose that makes it all right.
You know what you're going back to, and it's almost enough to change your mind. You'll never see Astrid again; that brave girl who had so much love to give you. Jenny... you hope that one day she'll find you. Donna... and you can't think about her without your hearts clenching tight. You hope she stays -- stays with Jack, with Peter and Jenny, and that she's happy. Happy remembering everything she'd done. Something more than you could ever give her, back in your own universe.
When you're sure they're all gone, you pick your battered journal up off the wooden desk in your seldom-used castle bedroom. You run a hand over the cover one last time, remembering, before opening it to a blank page -- past pages and pages of love and arguments, boredom and elation, memories and people you'll never see again. It almost hurts to take a breath to speak.
Well, now! One year, six months, twenty-two days. That was getting to be a record. Remind me never to take the shortcut through the Vortex when I'm going to New York. ... So, um, right. What to say... goodbyes were never really my forté.
You speak quickly. You don't want the others returning to stop you.
Thank you, I s'pose. I may not have had the best time on this rock - goodness knows few of us have - but it was definitely memorable. ... Even though I imagine I won't remember any of this. So, memorable given the chance of memory. Anyway, as I've said before, it could always be worse, and I was lucky enough to get stuck with some brilliant people. Some total idiots, too, don't get me wrong, but for the most part... I'll miss you lot. Or I would, if I remembered you. Who knows! Maybe we'll meet again. You smile at that. Maybe you will, somewhere out in the universe. Maybe the castle will up and bring you back again. That, at least, would be better; a fresh start, not a year and a half's worth of memories of day-in, day-out Paradisa. A year and a half of stagnancy, linearity that you're sure has driven you more than a little bit mad. You could start fresh.
And... everyone from my universe... past companions, past selves, past enemies. You have no idea how happy I am to have spent this time with you. I've half a mind to take the lot of you with me, but I quite like the fabric of the universe intact. It's a nice universe; it's where I keep my things. So... thank you. Never stop being brilliant. And they're sincere, those words. You were all safe here, for a time. The dead returned. The impossible happened. For a year and a half you had a life you never thought you'd have; a life that wasn't fleeting. A life where you had more than a short time with the people you cared about. Taking a breath, you continue.
And that goes for the friends I've made here, as well! You're all fantastic. Really. There are some of you I'd like to take on a trip, but I imagine your universe might need you back for some reason or another. How many of these people would you like to take with you? Too many, you think. Too many important enough to name. But you have to go it alone, you know. Back to New York with Martha. Back to the Valiant with the Master. Back to travelling the universe with Donna, back to losing her. Back to being alone. Back to knowing that the companions you love so much helped to save the universe - every universe, even Paradisa, you think -, that you were all together again for one final, shining moment, but you'll be by yourself.
Everything, in essence, will be back to normal. You can't stay. Part of you wants to, but you know you can't. You need to be free again, even if it means facing what's ahead. You've already been doing it for centuries.
So! Now I head back to the pink, sandy shores of Colrox 3 or summink all by me onesies... it's been fun, Paradisa. Fun and terrifying and frustrating and impossible.
With that, you close the journal, set it on your desk where you remember finding it all those months ago. You linger just for a moment as you turn to go. This is it. No turning back, now.
And as the TARDIS slips back into the Vortex, back into its own universe, and as time begins to correct itself, you savour those final memories as the corners of your mind get darker.
You don't notice when it goes black. You don't notice as the memories slip away entirely.
((ooc: Megan, I know I forgot the Master, but he obstructed the plot. B| Or... Ten took him with. Take your pick. :P
Uhhh, yeah, judging by how hard this was for me to write, we can safely say that Ten isn't going anywhere anytime soon. :]))