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The last human goes to die. Set during 'New Earth.' TARDIS POV. Part of my TARDIS 100 series. One shot.
For Megan. I know she'll probably never read this (she's not a Doctor Who fan,) but I dedicate this to her anyway.
The Lady Cassandra O'Brian Dot Delta Seventeen. The last human, or so you called yourself. You were so happy to boast about that. You never considered anyone else to be human. It was like a pure-bred poodle not considering any other dog breed to be canine.
I remember your mind very clearly. The brief time you were inside me probably didn't provide the best representation of your mind, but at the same time it was more than enough. You were amazed at my technology and still slightly in denial about your death. You thought you would live forever, that you were invincible, especially after the events of Platform One. I saw you considering making another jump into the Doctor or Rose, but I put a stop to that.
"Don't you even think about it," I warned you. "You're lucky the Doctor is even giving you this chance, granting you this last wish. Be grateful."
The Doctor knew where and when you wanted to go. When you were in his body, he looked into your mind. You were too distracted noticing all his new parts to feel it. Then he locked you out, didn't let you access his memories or knowledge. I reached into the Doctor's mind to double check that you didn't do any lasting damage. He smiled a special smile that was just for me.
"Please make sure Rose is okay," he asked me. "She was inside her brain and body a lot longer than she was in mine."
Rose Tyler. She really was more human than you could ever wish to become, Cassandra. Because of you, she had a migraine which I had to help sooth. She was lucky not to suffer serious brain damage from all the time you were in there suppressing her mind. Rose felt more love and pain than you ever did in your spoiled, sheltered life.
No, wait... you did feel pain, but pain of a different sort. You reflected on it as you shivered in Chip's weak body. The whole reason why you strove to be better, to be 'pure,' was because you were lonely. Your friends and family all left you behind gradually over time. It spurred something inside you, an idea in your brain that the only way to win them back was to be good looking; to be thin and smooth. You didn't realise that was really why you underwent all those hundreds of surgeries. You used them to escape the emotional pain. I need to be flatter. I need to be smoother. One more operation, then they will like me. Then they will love me. But they never did love you, Cassandra.
Even during those last few minutes you were suppressing those feelings, making excuses, lying to yourself. I knew the truth, but there was no point in explaining it to you. Perhaps, if he asked, I would make the Doctor understand later.
The Doctor noticed you shivering and brought you a long, black hooded cloak. It was to become your death shroud. It was interesting and a little sad to watch you realise that you really were going to die. You became afraid, and started to cry. I helped calm you. "Everything has its time and everything dies. That includes you, the Face of Bode, the Doctor, Rose, even me. No one is exempt. The best thing you can do is face it calmly and bravely."
The Doctor found a few spare minutes to speak with you. Rose went to her room to freshen up and get rid of the last remnants of your essence from inside her. The Doctor asked you if you were okay.
"I keep hearing a voice in my head," you said.
"That'll probably be Chip," the Doctor assumed.
"No," you argued. "It's not Chip. It's...something else."
The Doctor shrugged. "Probably the TARDIS then."
"Your ship gets in my head?"
"Yeah, but it's nothing to worry about."
"Where are we going?" you asked.
Rose came back in then and it was time for me to land. I could tell you were quickly running out of time. You barely had enough strength left to walk on your own, yet you refused any help. The Doctor eased me in a smooth, gentle landing in a corner of the room in which that party you remembered so well was held. The Doctor stepped out first with you and Rose following.
I kept track of you as you realised where you were. I found your other mind, the one of you when you still had your human body. You were very social, the life of the party. You didn't realise it, but many of the others there secretly hated you, though they were too polite to say so.
Even still, you were glad the Doctor had brought you here. You thanked him.
"Just go, and don't look back," he told you. Rose, who had realised there was more to you than just lipstick and skin, wished you good luck.
You walked into the room and up to your past self. You interrupted her conversation by saying her name - your name. "The Lady Cassandra."
She mistook you for a waiter. Arrogance. You would have that for the rest of your life. "I'm sorry, I don't need anything right now. I'm fine, thank you."
"No," you insisted. You had to do this now. There would never be a second chance. "I just wanted to say you look beautiful."
Your past self looked at you, taking in your somewhat bizarre appearance. In truth, she was touched by this stranger coming up to her and telling her this, but she assumed you didn't really mean it. "Well, that's very kind, you strange little thing. Thank you very much."
You saw in her eyes that she thought you weren't genuine. "I mean it," you told her. "You look... so beautiful."
Now she knew that you meant it. She hadn't heard someone speak that genuinely to her in a long time. Little did she know that was going to be the last time. "Thank you," she whispered.
That's when you failed. Your life flickered and died as Chip's body gave up. You keeled over into the arms of your past self. She was alarmed, worried. "Oh my Lord. Are you alright? What is it? What's wrong?" But by now you were gone. She became frantic. "Someone get some help!"
One person stopped and asked "who is he?"
"I don't know," Cassandra admitted. "He just came up to me. I don't even know his name. He just collapsed. I think he's dying. Someone do something! I've got you, sweetheart... it's all right...There you are... there you are, I've got you... it'll be all right. There, there, you poor little thing... "
No one helped you as your past self sat on the floor cradling Chip's body. From then on, you were on your own.
In the minds of the Doctor and Rose I saw sadness. Rose never expected to feel sorry for you, but now she was close to tears. The Doctor looked on solemnly, knowing that your cycle had ended. You were put to rest.