He should have known she would find him. Saying his good byes and setting his friends free was supposed to mean he didn’t have to cross their paths again. They would be safe. Sure, he would miss them but his feelings were irrelevant. They would be better off without him. It was smarter to let them go now than wait for something horrific to take them away. Again.
But the universe was a fickle friend. All it had given him and it chose to keep reminding him of his faults. His failures. And he had failed Martha more than most. She looked good, though. Strong as ever. That had to be something. His feet carried him slowly forward until he knew she could see him.
His pain wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t her burden. So the Doctor smiled in that soft way he always did.
He steps out the TARDIS doors and crunches snow under his shoes. It brings a nostalgic smile to his face. There is always something beautiful about a proper snow. Luckily, this planet has plenty to spare. For a moment he just stares off into the horizon, remembering. Listening.
The Ood are singing.
A song of welcome, of remembrance, of such beauty it tugs at the Doctor’s hearts. It has been too long.
He doesn’t need to turn to hear his companion behind him. A quick glance through the corner of his eye at that blonde head of hair and he smiles.
“Listen. Isn’t it amazing?” The awe in his voice contains his volume to little above a murmur. He doesn’t want to drown out the song from the Master’s mind. “Ood Sphere and what you’re hearing is the true song of Oodkind. Around the year 3900 the human race shows up and takes one of the kindest, most peaceful peoples in all of creation and enslaves them with hardly any effort at all. In 4126 I was given the honor of setting them free. Only one hundred years later and they had rebuilt their homes. Their planet. Made it look like humans had never even been here.”
The tone of his voice dips and he frowns, uncomfortable but knowing there’s a light at the end of the story. “They called me back. Showed me their bad dreams. Told me of you. Of the prophecy that should have taken my life. Sent me to find you. To stop Rassilon.” He sighs. “And now here we are. And they’re singing again.”
A crunch of snow startles him out of his musings. His smile returns. The lone figure in his blue coveralls and embroidered symbol is one he knows so very well. “Ah! Ood Sigma! Still looking great after all this time. I’ve brought someone to meet you. This is the Master. My friend.”
He taps the side of the screen and the image doesn’t change. It’s still just a jumble of information, more like someone had fun drawing on it with a stylus and their eyes closed. He should be just outside the Flaxon nebula in time for the bicentennial meteor shower. Regardless of levers pulled or buttons pushed, nothing changes. In frustration he bangs on the side of the screen and it immediately goes black. His eyes widen and he frantically tries every control at his disposal.