"Where are we?" Jenny asked as she and the Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS.
"Cardiff, 2061," the Doctor sighed, looking at the building across the street sadly. "Donna Noble's nursing home."
"What happened to her?" Jenny asked as they started walking towards it.
"She saved the universe. But in doing so she took on all of my memories and some Time-Lord DNA. It was too much for human brain to bear."
"So she died?"
"She would have, if I didn't wipe her memories. I was able to save her...but she forgot everything about me and our adventures."
"She doesn't even remember me?"
"No. If she does remember, then her mind burns up, and she dies. When I saw her on Pandloria, I thought they had captured her and brought her for real, because she acted like her mind was burning. That's why I thought she was real."
As they reached the front doors, a grey haired man ran around the corner from the back, nearly running into them. The Doctor steadied him, blinking in surprise.
"Are you alright?" Jenny asked.
"I can't do it," he gasped in a Scottish accent. "I can't."
"It's ok," the Doctor said soothingly. "You don't have to. That's why I'm here." The man looked at her in surprise. "Go before they catch you. And mind you get into the right TARDIS."
"Thank you," the man nodded, and darted off again.
"Who was he?" Jenny asked.
"That was me," the Doctor said. "Another one of my regenerations. I stayed in the nursing home with Donna from the time she entered to the day she died. Only I left when I realized she was dying."
"And she didn't remember you because you had a different face," Jenny realized.
The two of them went inside, where the reception lady pointed to a sign in sheet. The Doctor smiled as she saw that Bill Potts had signed in to see John Smith earlier that morning. She wrote down that they were there to see Donna Noble, but suddenly paused when she had to fill out her own name.
"What's wrong?" Jenny whispered.
"I don't have a pseudonym anymore," the Doctor realized. "I used to go by John Smith but now that clearly doesn't work."
Jenny thought for a minute. "Why don't you put Joan?"
"Joan...Joan Smith. I like that." She grinned and wrote it down. "Right. Joan and Jenny Smith to see Donna Noble."
The Doctor led the way down the halls until they got to Donna's room, where she lay sleeping on the bed. Her wrinkled face was tense, and it appeared she was having trouble breathing in spite of the oxygen tubes. A heart monitor beeped softly nearby, and an IV was hooked up to her thin arm. The Doctor stood at the foot of the bed and sighed.
"She was my best friend, you know. Well, my human best friend anyway. We had the best of times me and her. Oh the sass that woman commanded. But she was sweeter than anything on the inside. She saved my life on so many occasions. She supported me, she stood by me in tough decisions. You know she comforted me after you died. She was always extremely understanding. She's been through a lot. Donna Noble, the most important woman in all of creation."
Slowly, Donna stirred in bed and opened her eyes weakly. She frowned, confused.
"Who are you?" she demanded crossly.
The Doctor smiled gently, and went to sit next to her. "It's alright, Donna. You know me. You've just forgotten."
"My memory is in perfect shape thank you very much." She sounded just the same, albeit a little weaker.
The Doctor pulled the IV tube closer and increased the dosage. "Let's give you a little more morphine, shall we?"
"Don't make me call the doctor," Donna threatened.
"There's no need for that. I am the Doctor."
"Then how come I haven't seen you before?"
"You have, I promise." The Doctor smoothed the silvery grey hair back from Donna's eyes and placed her hands on either side of Donna's forehead. "Let me show you."
Donna started to protest, then gasped suddenly. She saw it all. The Racnoss, the adipose, Pompeii, the Ood, Sontarans, the Wasp, Agatha Christie, Ghandi, the Sycorax, the Library, the Shadow Proclamation, and the Daleks. All of them flashed before her eyes, and with them, the Doctor and the TARDIS.
"I'm in my wedding dress!"
"You fought her off with a water pistol! I bloody love you!"
"I'm waving at fat..."
"You're not mating with me, sunshine!"
"You've got a box, he's got a ferrari!"
"I mean a wasp that's GIANT."
"Donna, human, no."
"Oi, watch it spaceman!"
"The universe has been waiting for me."
"Doctor..." Donna cried shakily.
"I was always there Donna, I never left you," the Doctor whispered, opening Donna's mind to more memories.
The lottery ticket at the wedding. She could see the Doctor, standing with her mum and grandad, and she could hear them talking.
"I just wanted to give you this. Wedding present. 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."
"Oh, don't tell me it's a bill. Just what I need right now. A lottery ticket? What a cheap present! Who was that? Still, you never know. It's a triple rollover this week. I might get lucky."
"Hello, I'm Dr. Smith," the mysterious man in a Stetson and a bowtie said, beaming. "I'm here to tutor your daughter."
"Thank you, I'm a total idiot, I feel like I can't help at all."
"No, no don't say that. You're brilliant, just in other ways."
"How do you know that?"
"Because we're all brilliant. We just have to find it."
The woman at the park, who always seemed to be there when Donna needed her.
"Are you alright, mate?" she asked, sitting beside her on the bench.
"Just a little emotional," Donna confessed. "My daughter's gone off to uni. The house feels so big and empty with her gone."
"I thought you looked like you needed a friend. I'm...Polly. Polly Smith."
Finally, the fiesty old Scotsman at her table who kept getting her into trouble at the nursing home. Never a dull day with him. He had kept her out of depression.
"Hallo, I'm new," he said. "John Smith, at your service."
"Donna Noble," she sighed wearily. "You don't seem old enough to be in here."
"Yes, well, neither do you," he pointed out.
"Stop it. I'm ancient. Do you have any family?"
"That's why we're here, isn't it?" Donna grumbled. "A place where people go when they have no one else to turn to? A place where we come to die."
"I don't look at it that way. Everyone else just does it wrong."
"Alright, then, what it should it be like?"
"It's a place where we come to live."
"That's rubbish. Look around."
"Like I said, they're doing it wrong. We're about to die, yes, but doesn't that make you want to live a little?"
"What are we even living for?" Donna sulked.
"Well, for starters, I heard Mrs. Poppy keeps a bottle of brandy in her room," he whispered. "And if we time it right, we might be able to break in and pinch a sip."
"It's you," Donna breathed. "It was always you."
The Doctor took her hands away and smiled softly. "Hello again."
Donna gasped, grinning nonetheless. "I remember you."
"Of course you do," the Doctor said lightly. "I'm unforgettable."
"You said your name was Polly."
The Doctor laughed. "Oh yeah. I completely blanked on a name, so I chose one of my old companions. I got a new one now: Joan Smith. I think I'll stick with that one. Oh, by the way, look who I found."
"Jenny!" Donna exclaimed. "Oh of course. Of course she didn't regenerate. There was no way the progeneration machine could replicate that part of Time Lord DNA, it's too complicated. It was the Source."
"Ohh," the Doctor realized. "That makes a lot of sense actually."
"Mystery solved," Jenny smiled. "That was smart."
"Of course it was smart," Donna scoffed. "I'm brilliant. I've got Time Lord brain again."
Suddenly she gasped and closed her eyes painfully; the heart rate machine beeping urgently. The Doctor turned the morphine up again, trying to blink back tears.
"Well that feels nice," Donna moaned sarcastically.
"I'm sorry," the Doctor said. "I wish it wouldn't hurt you. I just wanted you to know..."
"Thank you," Donna whispered, reaching out and holding her hand. "For everything. It's been an honor."
"You're my best friend, Donna Noble," the Doctor cried. "The most important woman in the galaxy. The honor is mine."
Donna smiled. "I wouldn't trade it for the world," she whispered.
The Doctor stood and kissed her forehead gently as the last, long tone rang out. When she pulled back, Donna Noble was gone. Gently, Jenny linked arms with her mother and pulled her away. The Doctor felt like the world went in slow motion as Jenny led her out of the room and medics rushed in. Memories flashed through her own mind.
"I'm in my wedding dress!"
"Yes, you look lovely, come on!"
"Sometimes, I think you need someone to stop you."
"You came to the TARDIS, and then you found me again."
"Just save someone!"
"In the whole wide universe, I met you for a second time."
"Planet of the hats, I'm ready!"
"Donna, stop talking about yourself like that, you can do this."
"Donna, by the way. Donna Noble, since you didn't ask. I'll have a salute."
"But it's Sontaran, it needs three fingers."
"You've...you've got three fingers."
"Someone has been drawing us together for such a long time."
"Because you're special."
"You are...oh, you really don't believe that do you?"
"Donna. I'm a human being. Maybe not a Time Lord but every bit as important as one thank you very much."
"I was going to be with you...forever."
"Have a cuppa," Jenny said, gently prying open the Doctor's hands to receive the forgotten cup of tea.
"We're back in the TARDIS," the Doctor realized. "How'd we get here?"
"We walked," Jenny said, leading her down the hall to a cozy little room filled with couches and beanbags. "I suspect you're in a bit of shock. Now sit down and drink up."
"She's gone. I can't believe she's really gone..."
"Not forever," Jenny said gently. "You can always visit her again in your next regeneration."
"I suppose that's true," she sighed, sipping her tea. "You know sometimes I hate being a Time Lord. You lose so many people along the way."
"Is there ever a point where you stop regenerating?"
"I was supposed to, two regenerations ago. But the Time Lords gave me another set so I could defeat...well, lots of bad people actually."
"Do you think I'm immortal?" Jenny wondered, leaning her head against the Doctor's shoulder.
"I'm not risking it. I don't want to know that badly."
"I don't seem to really age. That's why they called me the Timeless Child."
"Right. Well we know regeneration is out of the picture," the Doctor thought aloud, pulling on her ear. "The Source brought you back once, but I doubt it'll bring you back a second time."
"The scientists never could figure it out."
"Whatever they said about you, don't take it too seriously. They did get a lot of things wrong. I only know two things about this whole situation: you're my daughter. And you're alive." She shifted and smiled down at Jenny. "And it's wonderful. So I, for one, don't want to waste any time. We never know how much time we get with people, although hopefully it's more than our last encounter."
"I hope so, too," Jenny said, practically shining with happiness.
The Doctor downed the rest of her tea determinedly. "Right. That's finished. You ready?"
"For what?" she asked eagerly.
"To see the TARDIS. Save the universe."
"And run?" Jenny teased.
"That too," the Doctor grinned.
"You know I've seen some pretty amazing things when I've traveled out there," Jenny said. "I may have seen things even you haven't."
"Ooh, I doubt that," the Doctor said.
"Wanna bet?" Jenny said. "Teach me how to fly the TARDIS, I'll show you."
Author's Note: Well, we've reached the final chapter. Thanks everyone for reading this story! I know it was short, especially if you read Alons-y. But I hope you enjoyed it. Let's hope that one day something like this will actually happen on screen! If you've enjoyed this story, please favorite and/or follow me, and check out the other stories on my page.
P.S. Also, check out this freakin' BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING tribute to Donna Noble by Margarita Life. It's what inspired me to do the flashback sequences. Seriously, it never stops giving me chills. ( watch?v=OmqWFYt8Tok)