𝟘𝟜𝟡 ▹ 𝔼𝕟𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕋𝕚𝕞𝕖 (ℙ𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝟚)
A LITTLE LATER, THE Doctor and Violet stand on a small cliff, the former sniffing deeply and the latter trying to understand the painful cry that has arisen in her mind. The sound of hitting an oil drum in a rhythm of four beats and a rest startles Violet, who hears it first, and then the Doctor hears it.
He runs through piles of girders on the dockside, his wife half a step behind him, until they see the Master up against the skyline. The Master does his Incredible Hulk impression then leaps into the air, the Doctor and Violet giving chase. The Master waits for them on a pile of girders, and his skeleton briefly flashes.
“Please, let me help,” the Doctor pleads. “You’re burning up your own life force.”
They run again, then Wilfred appears in the Doctor’s way. “Oh, my gosh, Doctor. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“Out of my way,” the Doctor snaps, but stops when he realises that the Master is nowhere to be seen.
Violet hisses breath out through her clenched teeth and she begins to feel crowded, surrounded by unknown people - obvious friends of Wilfred. Their voices turn into a cacophony of indiscernible pitches and Violet closes her eyes, trying to block out the cheerful voices that make her mind spin. Having to find the formerly dead Master is already taking its toll on her already weakened body.
“Wilfred?” the Doctor asks, his tone saying that the older man may be in some trouble.
“Yeah?” Wilfred asks.
“Have you told them who I am? Who we are? You promised me.”
“No, I just said you were a doctor and that she’s your wife, that’s all. And might I say, sir, it is an honour to see you again.” Wilf salutes.
Violet groans in annoyance as the people decide that they want a photo with her husband, giving Wilfred a disgusted and disbelieving look. Her irritation grows as they have trouble with the camera, and it morphs into something animalistic as one of the women, Minnie, gives the Doctor’s bottom a squeeze. She almost rips the old lady off her Doctor at that, but it’s only a few seconds later that the photo is taken and everyone is shuffling onto a minibus.
Violet reluctantly climbs onto the minibus, her blue-grey eyes scanning the elderly people on it, clutching the Doctor’s hand tightly. The older Gallifreyan reciprocates the squeeze, but only briefly as his ancient eyes become muddled with confusion at the situation they’re both currently in. The minibus drops the Doctor, Violet and Wilfred off at a cafe a few minutes later, the former still swimming through his confusion.
“Come on, then. Here we are, hurry up. Bye. You behave, bye.” Wilfred stares after the minibus drives off. “Over here, come on.”
“What’s so special about this place?” the Doctor asks. “We passed fifteen cafes on the way.”
When they’re seated, Violet has a steaming Chai Latte in her grasp, the hot air coming off it fogging up her glasses every few seconds. She huffs out in annoyance and takes her glasses off, folding them and sitting them on the table, sipping her coffee and watching as the steam slowly dries until she can see through them again.
“Oh, we had some good times, didn’t we though? I mean, all those ATMOS things, and planets in the sky, and me with that paint gun,” Wilfred regales, but he turns serious after a moment. “I keep seeing things, Doctor. This face at night.”
“Who are you?” the Doctor asks, staring deep into Wilfred’s blue eyes.
“I’m Wilfred Mott.”
“No. People have waited hundreds of years to find me and then you manage it in a few hours.”
“Well, I’m just lucky I suppose.”
“No, we keep on meeting, Wilf. Over and over again like something’s still connecting us.”
“What’s so important about me?”
“Exactly. Why you? I’m going to die.”
“Well, so am I, one day.”
“Don’t you dare.”
“All right, I’ll try not to.”
“But I was told. He will knock four times. That was the prophecy. Knock four times, and then...”
Violet looks out the window and goes still, seeing someone she hasn’t seen for a while.
“Yeah, but I thought, when I saw you before, you said your people could change, like, your whole body.”
“I can still die. If I’m killed before Regeneration, then I’m dead. Even then, even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away, and I’m dead.” The Doctor stops and gives Wilfred a look. “What?”
Wilf has spotted Donna outside in the street getting out of her car. “I’m sorry, but I had to. Look, can’t you make her better?”
“No, but you’re so clever. Can’t you bring her memory back? Look, just go to her now. Go on, just run across the street. Go up and say hello.”
“If she ever remembers me, her mind will burn, and she will die.”
They hear Donna speak to the traffic warden. “Don’t you touch this car.”
“She’s not changed,” Violet says.
“Nah,” Wilfred says with a smile. “Oh, there he is.”
Lee meets Donna in the street and Violet smiles, watching the two interact - one a stuttering mess and the other a somewhat headstrong control-freak.
“Lee McAvoy,” Wilfred says cheerily. “They’re engaged. Getting married in the spring.”
“Another wedding,” the Doctor muses.
“Hold on, she’s not going to be called Noble-McAvoy? That sounds like a bad joke.”
“No, it’s McAvoy-Noble.”
“Right. Is she happy? Is he nice?”
“Yeah, he’s sweet enough. He’s a bit of a dreamer. Mind you, he’s on minimum wage, she’s earning tuppence, so all they can afford is a tiny little flat. And then sometimes I see this look on her face, like she’s so sad, but she can’t remember why.”
“She’s got him.”
“She’s making do.”
“Aren’t we all?”
“Yeah, how about you? Who have you two got now?”
“No one. Travelling alone. We thought it was better, but I did some things. It went wrong. I need...” The Doctor starts crying and Violet takes his hand, knowing exactly what he means.
“Oh, my word. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, and you.”
“Look at us.”
“But don’t you see? You know, you need her, Doctor. I mean, look. Wouldn’t she make you laugh again? Good old Donna?”
Donna and Lee drive away.