56 : End of Time (Part 9)
Not time passes before the TARDIS is parked outside the Noble’s home once again. Sylvia runs to the front door and sees Wilfred and the Doctor come out of the TARDIS, a smile growing on her face. Violet smiles at the monitor and walks over to the door of the blue box, leaning against the entrance and listening to the temporary farewells.
“Oh, she’s smiling. As if today wasn’t bad enough,” the Doctor teasingly complains. “Anyway, don’t go thinking this is goodbye, Wilf. We’ll see you again, one more time.”
“What do you mean?” Wilfred demands. “When’s that?”
“Just keep looking. We’ll be there.”
“Where are you going?”
“To get his reward,” Violet informs with a sad smile before walking back inside the TARDIS.
The Doctor follows her soon after and the Time Rotor is up and running as they head to an abandoned factory where Martha and Mickey Smith are running from explosions; fighting off a Sontaran. Violet stays inside and monitors everything on the screen, a warm smile growing on her face when she sees the two dark-skinned former companions and hears their conversation.
“I told you to stay behind,” Mickey sasses.
“Well, you looked like you needed help,” Martha retorts. “Besides, you’re the one who persuaded me to go freelance.”
“Yeah, but we’re being fired at by a Sontaran. A dumpling with a gun. And this is no place for a married woman.”
“Well then, You shouldn’t have married me.”
A Sontaran - Commander Jask, apparently - is on a catwalk behind them with a clear shot, when the Doctor hits him on the probic vent with a hammer.
“If we go in here and down to the factory floor, and down past that corridor, then he won’t know that we’re here,” Mickey strategises.
“Mickey.” Martha sees the Doctor on the catwalk. “Mickey.”
The Doctor waves his farewell to the couple and heads back to the TARDIS. Violet smiles at the loving couple as they hug to the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising only moments later. They head to Bannerman Road - near Sarah Jane’s house - for a farewell of sorts to his oldest surviving companion and her son. Violet watches as the young Luke Smith is on the phone, walking around without paying attention to where he’s going.
“That was the maddest Christmas ever, Clive,” Luke says to Martha’s father on the phone. “Mum still doesn’t know what happened. She got Mister Smith to put out this story saying that Wi-Fi went mad all across the world, giving everyone hallucinations. I mean, how else do you explain it? Everyone with a different face-” Luke crosses the road without looking, and the Doctor drags him away from being run down. “But it’s you! You’re…”
The Doctor walks back to the TARDIS and Luke goes running to Sarah Jane. She hurries to the door and witnesses the Doctor and Violet waving goodbye as they duck back into the familiar blue box. The next actual destination is going to be more hands-on for Violet, and she feels tears stinging her eyes at the thought of who she is about to see.
They park near an alien bar and head inside, noting that it’s complete with Raxacoricofallapatorian, Graske, and a little Adipose. Violet makes her way through the crowd to where Jack Harkness is drinking alone, that Murray Gold song is being sung in the background. He doesn’t notice her approach, too caught up in what appears to be drowning his sorrows, and Violet wonders exactly what has happened, because the immortal man doesn’t drink.
She walks up behind him and slips her arms around his shoulders, her lips brushing his ear. “You’ve let your guard down, Jacky Boy.”
Jack almost jumps out of his skin at her voice, his head snapping around until his reddening baby blue eyes are staring right at her. “Vi, what are you doing here?”
“I came to see you, of course. Why? What’s happened?” It’s then that she remembers what she read in River’s journal. “Oh, Jack. I am so very sorry. I didn’t realise…”
He doesn’t let her finish. He places his drink down, removes her arms from around him and swivels around in his seat, pressing his lips to hers in a kiss she hasn’t felt a certain way about in months. Tears mix into the kiss and Violet pulls away from him, her tongue darting out and catching the tears lacing her lips; the tears that came from both her and Jack.
The barman puts a piece of paper in front of Jack. “From the man over there.”
Jack looks over and sees the Doctor, his blue eyes widening in understanding. “He’s dying. Isn’t he?”
Violet smiles sadly and kisses Jack briefly once more before saying that she’ll see him again and walking over to her second husband, leaving her first to drown his sorrows however he pleases. The paper given to Jack reads “his name is Alonso” in the Doctor’s messy handwriting, and it confuses the immortal until a young man in Edwardian naval uniform sits next to Jack.
Jack salutes the Doctor and winks at Violet then turns to the young man. “So, Alonso, going my way?”
“How do you know my name?” Alonso asks.
“I’m kind of psychic.”
“Do you know what I’m thinking right now?”
Violet smiles as the singer sings “my bad, bad angel, you put the devil in me” and then she turns and walks out of the alien bar, the Doctor following a step behind her. She’s had her fun for now, and the next stop is all on the Doctor - the daughter of Joan Redfern; the woman he fell in love with when he had to be Human in 1913. She watches everything with a sad smile on her face, knowing the life he - John Smith - gave up to save the world.
He’s not crying when he walks back into the TARDIS, a signed copy of Joan’s life story in hardcover format in his grasp, but Violet knows that he’s remembering the time he was Human. The book is placed on the console as he makes his way around it, pressing buttons, turning knobs and flipping switches as he takes himself and Violet to the tail end of Donna’s wedding. The bells are ringing for the end of a wedding ceremony as Violet and the Doctor leave the TARDIS. Donna and Lee are married, and that’s all that matters.
Violet watches with a smile as they all cheer and photos are taken, her mind remembering the three weddings she’s had in her 400 years alive. Her hand slips into the Doctor’s grasp and she holds it gently, reassuring the man that everything is going to be alright no matter what happens; no matter who he becomes within the next few hours.
Sylvia sees the Doctor, Violet and the TARDIS just outside the lych gate and says something to Wilfred. They go over to them.
“And here you are, eh? Same old face. Didn’t I tell you you’d be alright?” Wilfred says with a wide smile. “Oh! They’ve arrested Mister Naismith. It was on the news. Crimes undisclosed. And his daughter. Both of them, locked up. But I keep thinking, Doctor, there’s one thing you never told me. That woman. Who was she?”
“I just wanted to give you this. Wedding present,” the Doctor says, avoiding the question. “Thing is, I never carry money, so I just popped back in time, borrowed a quid off a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was. Have it, he said. Have that on me.”
Sylvia is nearly in tears at the mention of the name and Violet gives the older woman a somewhat comforting smile, but it has a bitter, agonising edge to it. It drops seconds later as the two head back over to the rest of the wedding party where photos are still being taken. Wilfred gives the envelope to Donna, who has a bit of a rant about it, but accepts it nonetheless. He turns salutes the Doctor and Violet before they leave.
The final destination makes Violet feel numb, and it’s not just from the snow or the ice cold wind, but from where they are - Powell Estate. It’s near where Rose used to live, and there’s something familiar about this time period to Violet, even though she was only four when this time first came around for her. Both Violet and the Doctor are hidden around a corner as the past version of Rose and her mother talk.
“I’m late now. I’ve missed it,” Rose complains to her mother. “It’s midnight. Mickey’s going to be calling me everything. This is your fault.”
“No, it’s not. It’s Jimbo,” Jackie retorts. “He said he was going to give us a lift, then he said his axle broke. I can’t help it.”
“Get rid of him, Mum. He’s useless.”
“Listen to you, with a mechanic. Be fair, though. My time of life I’m not going to do much better.”
“Don’t be like that. You never know. There could be someone out there.”
“Maybe, one day. Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year! Don’t stay out all night.”
“Try and stop me.”
They walk in opposite directions, Jackie heading back to their mutual apartment, and Rose crossing in front of where Violet and the Doctor are standing. He’s forced to support himself against the icy wall, unable to really stand on his own right now, and Violet is hovering by his side, waiting to see if she needs to help him. Rose turns when she hears the Doctor grunt with pain.
“You all right, mate?” the blonde calls.
“Yeah,” the Doctor replies.
“Too much to drink?”
“Something like that.’
“Maybe it’s time you went home.”
“Anyway, Happy New Year.”
“And you. What year is this?”
“Blimey, how much have you had? 2005, January the first.”
“2005. Tell you what. I bet you’re going to have a really great year.”
“Yeah? See you.” Rose runs off.
The Doctor staggers painfully back towards the TARDIS, Violet helping him, one of his arms around her shoulders as she helps support his weight. Once they’re on board, he moves away from her and hangs his trenchcoat over one of the support beams in the console room. Golden energy streams from his hand and he sets the TARDIS going, flying it up into space.
“I don’t want to go,” he says brokenly.
Before she can say anything, the golden energy Regenerates the Doctor, flying from his hands and head and starting a lot of fires in the TARDIS. Violet yelps and wraps her arms around the same support beam he threw his jacket over, eyes trained on one of the people she loves. He turns into a gangly male with a long fringe of hair dangling over one eye.
He pats over his body and tugs on certain appendages. “Legs. I’ve still got legs. Good. Arms. Hands. Ooo, fingers. Lots of fingers.” He runs his hands over his face, checking everything. “Ears, yes. Eyes, two. Nose, I’ve had worse. Chin, blimey.” His fingers run through his hair. “Hair. I’m a girl! No. No. I’m not a girl.” He pulls strands down so he can see the colour of his hair. “And still not ginger. And something else. Something important. I’m, I’m, I’m-”
The TARDIS is plummeting back down to Earth and he has a wide grin on his face. Violet rolls her eyes and runs to the console, holding on tightly, fingers linked with the new Regeneration of her husband. He looks over at her with bright hazel eyes and his grin widens.
Turning his gaze back to the console, he holds on tightly. “Ha, ha! Whoo hoo hoo! Ah! Geronimo!”