The Man Who Regrets : Doctor Who [1] ✓

36 : Forest of the Dead (Part 5)

Hours later, the sun is up and over four thousand people are crowded around the teleport stations, desperately wanting to get home after a century of being stuck inside a computer. Violet stands watching the mess, leaning against the wall due to her inability to stand upright without support for extended periods of time. The Doctor and Donna aren’t too far away, but their backs are to the fray.

“Any luck?” the Time Lord asks.

“There wasn’t even anyone called Lee in the library that day,” the sassy, redheaded British woman sighs. “I suppose he could have had a different name out here, but, let’s be honest, he wasn’t real, was he?”

“Maybe not.”

“I made up the perfect man. Gorgeous, adores me, and hardly able to speak a word. What’s that say about me?”

“Everything. Sorry, did I say everything? I meant to say nothing. I was aiming for nothing. I accidentally said everything.”

“What about you? Are you alright?”

“I’m always alright.”

“Is all right special Time Lord code for really not all right at all?”


“Because I’m all right, too.

“Come on.”

The Doctor and Donna start to walk out just as Lee stands on the teleport pad. He sees her and steps off the pad when Violet waves him over, the male making his way through the crowd until he’s only a few metres from the woman of his dreams.

“Donna,” Violet says. “Turn around.”

The woman does just that, eyes widening when she sees Lee. Donna rushes over to him and throws her arms around him, holding him tightly as his arms make their way around her middle, holding her against him. Violet smiles at the two, but there’s a tint of misery to it after losing her wife today. An arm sneaks around her waist and pulls her against a tall, lean frame, and she rests her head against the Doctor, fighting the burning in her eyes that tells of another bout of tears threatening to begin.

Minutes later, the four walk down the marble steps only three walked down the day before. The Doctor puts River’s diary on the balcony rail, and Violet fights her urge to pick up the blue book and read it cover to cover.

“Your friend, Professor Song. She knew you in the future, but she didn’t know me,” Donna muses. “What happens to me? Because when she heard my name, the way she looked at me.”

“Donna, this is her diary. My future.” The Doctor taps his fingers on the cover. “I could look you up. What do you think? Shall we peek at the end?”

“Spoilers, right?”

“Right.” He puts River’s sonic screwdriver on the diary. “Come on. The next chapter’s this way.”

They walk back up the stairs, but don’t get too far before the Doctor runs back for the screwdriver, tugging Violet behind him. Donna and Lee follow behind the two.

“Why? Why would I give her my screwdriver? Why would I do that? Thing is, future me had years to think about it, all those years to think of a way to save her, and what he did was give her a screwdriver. Why would I do that?” He turns the screwdriver around, revealing a neural relay with two green lights on it. “Oh! Oh! Oh, look at that. I’m very good!”

“What have you done?” Donna asks.

“Saved her,” Violet says with a smile as he runs off.

The half Time Lord picks up River’s blue diary and carries it, limping, back to the TARDIS alongside Donna and Lee, who are walking hand-in-hand like a real couple. The three walk into the blue box as the Doctor rushes to the central computer to save River - to give her a life with those she came to The Library with, and to just give her a life in general.

Violet tucks the book into her back pocket once she’s on board and then pulls the monitor around, watching everyone outside and waiting for the Doctor to return. When he does return to the Reception, he stops and stares at the TARDIS. He slowly raises his arm and snaps his fingers, opening the doors to reveal Donna, Lee and Violet waiting inside. He walks inside and snaps his fingers again, closing the doors.

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