A day was beginning, on present-day Earth; a beautiful sight, enjoyed by many all over the world. However, the figure sitting on the rooftops, high above everyone else, simply couldn't appreciate this moment. As he fiddled with the screwdriver in his hand, turning on and off the blinding blue light at the end, the Doctor only had one trail of thought.
He had been wandering alone for some time now, but it wasn't the same as having a companion; someone there to pick up on the small details you've missed and interpret everything in a beautifully unique way. He then went on to thinking about the companions of his past. Fiery Donna ... caring Martha ... brilliant Sarah ... Rose.
The Doctor sighed, as the memories came flooding back. However, every amazing memory came with the almost-unbearable reminder of how each and every one of those companions had left him. He began thinking of his past incarnations and the people lost along the way, going as far back as to one of the first times a companion had died for his. He sighed again, his messy, brown hair coming forth and covering his eyes. Oh, Adric...
Continuing to wonder, the Time Lord stood up and began pacing. What could he do? The answer was simple, but would be very difficult to achieve. Simply, stop interfering with history? Then, it came to him. The Doctor remembered vaguely marrying the first Queen Elizabeth, during the time he had spent with this appearance. Why not go back to Tudor England, live out his days with her and program the TARDIS to go to Sarah Jane, so she could travel instead? Satisfied, the Doctor began to leave.
“Stop right there.”
A voice rang out and held such command, that the Doctor stopped and turned. Behind him was a man, tall and confident. He had grey hair and wore a jacket with red underlining, over a simple combination of trousers, shirt and waistcoat. Even though the Doctor thought he had never seen this person before, he seemed familiar in face and air, so much so that the Time Lord felt like he was greeting an old friend.
They stood, looking at each other, until the Doctor couldn't contain his curiosity.
“Who are you?” He asked the familiar stranger, standing before him. The figure merely looked him up and down, before replying.
“Someone who knows you very well.”
“Impossible. No-one knows me that well.”
“Well, I do. And, I know what you’re planning on doing. That’s why I'm here; to stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life. Look at the sky.”
As the person said this, the sky seemed to form into a painting, every magnificent colour moulding and blending into one another. It was as if the Doctor had taken off a blindfold, as he stood and stared at the view, mesmerised. So mesmerised, in fact, that he hardly noticed the man walk over and stand next to him and continue to speak.
“Beautiful, isn't it? The whole of time and space, yet one of the most amazing sights is here, on Earth, a level 5 planet. I can see why you would want to spend eternity living here. However, I can’t let you do that.”
Surprised, the Doctor turned to the figure and asked, “Why not? You said it yourself; Earth can be one of the most brilliant planets, when it wants to be. Who wouldn't want to live here?”
“It’s not that. But, has it occurred to you what will happen to the other aliens who ‘visit’? The Daleks won’t retire, just because you have.”
The Time Lord brushed this off, without a second thought.
“Sarah and her son can save the world. I'm not the only one that can stop all of those aliens; therefore, doesn't that mean I'm not needed?”
A sigh of exasperation could be heard, before the man said, “They already do their part for the planet. Remember the Bubbleshock Scandal, the one that had been cleared up by the time you got there? They were the ones to sort that out.”
Suddenly, settling down didn't sound like the best thing in the world, after all. What about the other time zones, the ones they couldn't get to? Or the other planets, far away, but in just as much danger? Why did retirement appeal to the Doctor so much, anyway? It could prove to be very boring, with the only excitement coming from helping the English army. However, there was still a hole in his heart, which was holding the Doctor back.
“What about those people, all those lives ruined, because of me? How many deaths could come from me carrying on, interfering with history even more than I have so far?”
“How many more lives could be saved? Just because you don’t see the people suffering, doesn't mean it doesn't occur. Yes, there will be more people who will leave you, I’ll give you that, but you know what? They’re happy.”
It was beginning to feel like a weight was being lifted off of the Time Lord’s shoulders. He looked at the sky once more, obviously contemplating, before turning to his TARDIS, which stood nearby.
Maybe, you’re right,” He said finally, “Maybe I should carry on. You know, wibbly wobbly, timey wimey things to do, brilliant people to see.
When he turned back, the stranger was nodding approvingly. He studied his face for a second, before it hit him; the look in this man’s eyes was very familiar to the Time Lord. The wise look, hidden behind all of the child-like wonder, from seeing the universe and wanting to learn more. The Doctor walked over to his TARDIS, but paused at the door and asked the question he already knew the answer to.
“I’m not going to remember this conversation, am I? Doctor?”
He didn't look at his older incarnation, yet he already knew the expression on his face.
“Not exactly,” He admitted. “But, you will still have the same conclusion in your mind. You may not know why, you may not know how, but you will understand that the universe needs you, their Doctor. But, do you want to know how I know this? Because, I remember it happening, myself.”
As the two Doctors went to their time machines, they bid each other a silent goodbye and left with a mutual understanding of one another. Straightening out his pinstripe suit slightly, the Doctor looked around his console room.
“Right, where to now?” He thought to himself, yet he already knew the answer.