10 ▹ Sayonara, Old Friend
Jack left Violet on the TARDIS not too long ago after giving her the 51st century medicine from her house, and more for when that runs out. That was almost an hour ago, and the young half-breed has been sitting alone in the blue box since then, waiting for Martha and the Doctor to finish up finding out about the Macra. Her patience has just about reached its limit, and her boredom is beginning to morph into an ugly beast.
Sighing, she picks up at atomising gun and straps it to her belt, locking the TARDIS with the key around her neck before wandering off into the desolate city, heading for the senate hall where she knows someone is going to die. It takes a longer amount of time than she expected, but she still reaches the hall before either the Doctor or Martha, finding the Face of Boe in the room surrounded by what remains of the senator people of New Earth.
Crouching down in front of the Face of Boe, Violet places her hand on the glass, her forehead following suit a moment later. “Hello, old friend. I’m not sure if we’ve met yet.”
“We have met, Violet Jones,” the voice echoing in her mind replies. “We met on the day the Earth died.”
“I had forgotten about that. I travelled for centuries after that day, and my memories have begun to blur together over time. I’ve lived a hundred lives after all, but you know that, don’t you, Jack?”
He laughs, the familiar octaves resonating in her mind. “For a half human you are perceptive, and you pay attention, little love.”
“Don’t forget that I’m half Gallifreyan as well. Being perceptive comes with the territory.”
Violet continues to talk with the Face of Boe - with Jack - about Torchwood and Ianto until the Doctor and a cat woman appear in the hall. She listens to them talk, more like argue, until the lights are turned on, illuminating everything, including her and the glass tank in which what remains of Jack are held.
“Who’s we?” the Doctor demands. “How did you survive?”
“He protected me,” the cat woman informs. “And he has waited for you, these long years.”
“Doctor,” the Face of Boe greets, making Violet turn to witness the Doctor hurrying over to them.
“The Face of Boe,” he exclaims, honey brown eyes wide with delight, but, as they move from his old friend to her, they turn confused. “Violet?”
“I knew you would come.”
“Old friend, what happened to you?”
“Failing,” he informs, sadness resonating in his voice and echoing throughout Violet’s heart as she realises what she is about to witness - the death of her best friend and first love.
“He protected me from the virus by shrouding me in his smoke,” the cat woman informs. “But with no one to maintain it, the City’s power died. The under-city would have fallen into the sea.
“So he saved them,” the Doctor deduces.
“The Face of Boe wired himself into the mainframe. He’s giving his life force just to keep things running.”
Violet watches and listens with her heart continuing to grow heavy. She doesn’t want to be witnessing this, but she knows that she has no choice, and that it is what the older being wants - to be around his friends when he finally dies. Her eyes begin to burn as she rests her head against the glass of the Face of Boe’s tank, her body beginning to quake as silent sobs threaten to become loud, painful sounds.
“Yeah, hold on, not now.”
“I give you my last... breath.”
Power comes back to the mainframe and a cry leaves Violet as she watches her friends’ eyes close, no more sounds of breathing coming from his mouth. The Doctor does what he has to and commands the cat woman - Hame - to care for the Face of Boe; to keep him alive. He sends a fleeting, worried look at Violet, knowing that the younger Time Lord knows who the Face of Boe is, but doesn’t push it and continues on his way.
A giant crack appears in the tank and Violet flinches back as Hame calls for the Doctor. It shatters, and the three of them lower the Face of Boe - Jack, to Violet - to the ground, the half-breed cradling the giant head as best she can while the cat woman tends to him as best he can. The Doctor kneels beside his old friend and rests his hand on him. A little later, Martha runs in and sees all the skeletons, instantly horrified and thinking the worst.
“Over here,” the Time Lord calls.
“Doctor! What happened out there?” The woman runs over and stops in her tracks. “What’s that?”
“It’s the Face of Boe. It’s all right. Come and say hello. And this is Hame. She’s a cat. Don’t worry. He’s the one that saved you, not me.”
“My lord gave his life to save the city, and now he’s dying,” Hame murmurs.
“No, don’t say that,” the Doctor admonishes. “Not old Boe. Plenty of life left.”
“It’s good to breathe the air once more,” the former Human muses, dark eyes glancing up to Violet’s tear-stained face.
“Who is he?” Martha asks, crouching down.
“I don’t even know,” the Doctor informs, eyes flickering over to Violet. “Legend says the Face of Boe has lived for billions of years. Isn’t that right? And you’re not about to give up now.”
“Everything has its time,” the being reminds. “You know that, old friend, better than most.”
“The legend says more,” Hame states, making Violet bite back a snarl.
“Don’t,” the Doctor reprimands. “There’s no need for that.”
“It says that the Face of Boe will speak his final secret to a traveller.”
“Yeah, but not yet. Who needs secrets, eh?”
“I have seen so much. Perhaps too much. I am the last of my kind, as you two are the last of yours, Doctor, and Violet.”
“That’s why we have to survive. All of us. Don’t go.”
“I must. But know this, Time Lord and Time Lady - you are not alone.”
The Face of Boe lets out a final breath and his eyes slide closed. Hame weeps loudly, her head bowed and her shoulders shaking, and the Doctor bows his own head, eyes closing as he places his hand on the old friend dead on the floor before him. Martha watches on with sadness in her eyes, but it’s Violet that is the most affected by his death. She screams out her misery and her head falls forward, hands coming up to cross over her chest as her body tilts forward, lips still parted in a silent scream, sound no longer escaping.
Violet curses the Face of Boe in a lost language that even the Doctor has trouble understanding - it was one that she and Jack learned centuries - no - millennia ago when they travelled together. She repeatedly hits what remains of her friend and cries wordless sounds until hands encompass her wrists and pull her away from him, making her cry harder and fight her captor. That is, until she is wrapped in arms and held against a familiar chest.