Chapter Twenty-Five

Happily Ever After

It was funny how a little castle storming can bring a whole community together. It was quite heart warming to see the Big Bad Wolf helping the three little pigs take a few of the captures Trolls to the nearby jail. Although it was slightly bewildering to see Snow White fussing over the grumpy little dwarf who had caused the whole mess in the first place.

'You know, it's funny how we weren't even needed.' Ashley said to the Doctor as they emerged from the woods and into the small village where the TARDIS still stood, waiting for their return. The ice had melted now and puddles scattered the street. There was still a single icicle hanging on the side of the TARDIS, but it was dripping like a tap. 'I mean,' Ashley continued, hopping over one of the many puddles. 'We went on one hell of a trek, you know? At least I did. You got a first class flight both ways.'

'Oh, it felt more like economy.' The Doctor replied. 'Although there was an awful lot of leg room.'

Ashley smiled. 'Although it makes you wonder whether or not they would have done anything if we hadn't got Arnie off his lazy behind.'

The Doctor nodded in agreement, but then stopped and put one hand to his head. 'Oh, damn!' he cried.

Ashley looked at him in alarm. 'What is it?'

'We didn't go to see the gingerbread house!' he cried in disappointment. 'You can't come to Fanallasoratia without visiting the gingerbread house!'

'I don't mean to be a grouch, but I think I've had enough of fairytale stuff for one lifetime. Actually, I think I've had enough of it for five lifetimes.' Ashley walked ahead, shaking her head. 'I probably won't be able to even look at horses for a long time.' The Doctor caught up with her and slung one arm casually around her shoulders. 'Well I suppose we had more fun than anyone could ever have at the gingerbread house.' Ashley said. 'Dragons, Trolls… There's some Lord of the Rings geeks who would kill to see that.'

The Doctor chuckled. 'And we didn't even go to see the Shire.'

Ashley turned and looked at him in bewilderment, but he only winked. The conversation ended there as they had reached the TARDIS. The Doctor took out his key and pushed it in the lock, but then stopped and examined the wood panelling. He turned and looked at Ashley, frowning.

'Don't tell me those scorch marks are off you.'

Ashley raised her eyebrows. 'What scorch marks?'

The Doctor pointed a finger at two almost invisible black marks on the door. 'That better come off.' He said, warningly.

'It was frozen solid!' Ashley insisted. 'I didn't really have much of a choice. The bloody thing is covered in scratches anyway.'

The Doctor held the door open for her and she began to go inside, when a shrill voice cut through the air. Both of them looked around to see Rapunzel hurrying over to them, waving her hand in the air as if she was flagging down a cab.

'Oh Doctor!' she called. 'Doctor! Wait a moment!'

'Inside, go inside now,' the Doctor whispered harshly, pushing Ashley.

Ashley smirked. 'What, inside the TARDIS?' she teased, holding onto the door and blocking his escape. 'But Rapunzel is coming over. We should really say goodbye you know.'

'Go inside!' he whispered with more urgency, but it was too late. Rapunzel arrived, smiling broadly.

'Where are you going?' she asked. She inspected the box. 'Is that a lavatory?'

The Doctor frowned. 'No. We're off now. You know, places to go, people to avoid and all that.'

Rapunzel looked confused. 'But I thought we had an agreement.'

The Doctor glanced around. 'I'm sorry?'

'You're the last hero in the land,' Rapunzel said with a frown. 'Which means that we have to get married.'

The Doctor rolled his eyes. 'Oh not this again. Look, Rapunzel. You're a lovely girl and that but… well, I'm just not the marriage kind of person, okay? And plus. I would need a Visa.'

Rapunzel frowned deeply. 'Then what am I supposed to do?' she demanded, stamping her foot. 'I'm a princess without a prince! That's like… that's like a rabbit without…'

'Big ears?' Ashley offered, half smiling.

Rapunzel pointed at her. 'Exactly.'

'Why do you have to marry a hero anyway?' the Doctor asked. 'I'm sure there are lots of very nice men around. Like, oh I don't know… blacksmiths.'

Rapunzel almost choked on the insult. 'Blacksmiths?' she spluttered. 'Are you insane?'

'Orlando Bloom was a blacksmith in Pirates of the Caribbean. He got it on with a princess.' Ashley shrugged.

'Keira Knightly wasn't a princess,' the Doctor informed her. 'She was like… a governors daughter or something.'

Ashley frowned. 'Oh, right. Well I never really paid much attention to the storyline anyway. I used to fast forward to all the Johnny Depp parts.' She nodded and winked to Rapunzel. 'You should marry a pirate.'

Rapunzel's bottom lip stuck out. 'What about my happy ending? I'm going to be the only princess in the whole of history who has a miserable life. I had a better life in that tower!'

The Doctor shrugged his shoulders. 'Well then you're just going to have to retrain a whole new bunch of heroes.' He replied. 'Then marry the one you like.'

Rapunzel began to complain, but then stopped. 'So… you're saying that now that there are no professional heroes left, we just need to pick new ones?'

The Doctor nodded. 'Well, yes I suppose…'

'So,' Rapunzel tested, frowning. 'If I take say… a handsome young man who works on a farm that might just be quite nearby the castle and have my father knight him then… I could marry him. And that would be okay.'

The Doctor smirked. 'I don't see anything wrong with that.'

Rapunzel nodded, satisfied. 'Well it's a good job really.' She sniffed at the Doctor. 'I don't think our marriage would have lasted very long anyway, taking in mind your peculiar penchant for going in small boxes with other girls.'

The Doctor blushed slightly. 'Well, it's not really small…'

'And plus you're too skinny.' Rapunzel finished with a sigh, signifying that the conversation was now boring her immensely. 'Well, I suppose I should thank you both for sorting this big stupid mess out. Even if neither of you really did anything useful in the end.'

The Doctor and Ashley exchanged bewildered glances. 'Well, um… thanks.' Ashley replied.

Rapunzel half nodded. 'Well, goodbye Doctor.' She eyed him up and down once more and then sauntered away, head held high.

The Doctor turned and grimaced at Ashley. 'I've never liked princesses that much,' he told her. 'High expectations.'

Ashley smiled and noticed something past his shoulder. 'Hey, look at that.' She pointed up towards the sky. The Doctor turned and followed her finger, and then grinned at the sight of the dragon flying by, three smaller dragons weaving and ducking around it. 'Aww,' Ashley smiled. 'Kind of makes you almost forget that it nearly killed us.'

The Doctor smiled and nodded. 'Come on then, in we get. Before something else kicks off.'

'So I take it this is a happy ending?' Ashley asked as they went inside the TARDIS. 'I don't think I've ever been part of a happy ending before.'

The Doctor beamed broadly at her as he closed the TARDIS doors and bounded towards the console. He grabbed the lever and replied, 'Oh, it hasn't ended yet.'


A/N: I really wanted to say 'and they think it's all over...' but that would be silly :P Anyways, sorry if some people think this ending has been rushed but, well it was going on for far too long. I can't remember the original ending I had planned, but the thought of cute Bambi-esque deer ramming Trolls around just kind of made my day a little :D Thanks to everyone who has been reading and reviewing, I know I didn't reply to a lot of them but I have a crappy memory and my brain tells me that I've actually replied, when I haven't. I am really really grateful though, you're all uber awesome :D

EDIT: I know I said the next one would be Degeneration, but I'm having a bit of trouble with it. The trouble being that I can't finish it lol! So the next one will probably be called The Angel's Eye :P Sorry, I'm uber indecisive lol.