The TARDIS landed in the laboratory set up by UNIT. Captain Magambo, Professor Taylor, and a few soldiers were already waiting for them. The Doctor walked over to them. "Hello, Captain Magambo. And Professor Taylor, good to see you again."
The Professor's eyes shone bright with excitement as he quickly hugged the Doctor with a stronger grip than one would expect him to possess. "Oh, It's good to see you too, Doctor! I've so much to tell you..."
The Doctor, desperately trying to pry himself out of the Professor's arms, said, "Um... right. Very good. Can you please let go; you're wrinkling my suit."
Professor Taylor let go, saying, "Oh, yes. Of course. Anything, Doctor."
"You've developed quite a fandom, Doctor," Romana whispered to him with a chuckle. The Doctor gave her a nasty look in response.
"Romana, this is Captain Magambo. Captain, this is Romana. I'm leaving her in charge."
"Honor to meet you," said the Captain. "Any friend of the Doctor's..."
"Oh," said Romana. "Pleased to meet you. I'm sure we'll get on quite well." She then turned back towards the Doctor. "I'll contact you as soon as we make some headway," Romana said.
"You're not staying with them?" Martha asked the Doctor.
"No," said the Doctor.
"You're kidding, right?" said Romana. "The Doctor would go mad staying in one place for so long. And, anyway, he hates other Time Lords."
"That's not true... completely. It's just that they're always trying to vaporize me."
"Don't be ridiculous," said Romana.
"It's true," said the Doctor, emphatically. "Why do you think I rarely ever returned home? Gallifrey was statistically the most dangerous place for me to land, excluding Skaro."
"I thought it was because you couldn't even get the coordinates right."
"That only happened once," the Doctor said with a frown. "And my coordinates were right; it was an internal problem."
"But how can you say you dislike your own people?" asked Jack.
"What?" said the Doctor. "You like every... Never mind."
"I remember once," mused Sara Jane. "We landed on some planet you hadn't set the coordinates for, and you immediately ran outside raving like a mad man into the sky at the Time Lords to leave you alone. I'd never seen you so upset."
"How do you know it was the Time Lords?" asked Romana. "I mean, why would they make you, the notorious renegade?"
"Well," said the Doctor. "For one thing, it wasn't the right coordinates. Second of all, we landed on the planet Karn. Third of all, we ran into Morbius. Fourthly, it's always the Time Lords."
"I don't think..." started Romana. But the Doctor continued.
"They're always interfering with my affairs. Making me do their dirty work. Half of my regenerations have been connected to the Time Lords in some way or other."
"Really?" said Romana. "I know your second regeneration..."
"And my fourth was caused by the Master. My sixth by the Rani. And my eighth by the Time War."
"Wait," said Romana. "Which regeneration are you on now?"
"Great Rassilon," she said. "At this rate, I'll be a widow before I even get to be a bride. I mean, I know you're six hundred years older than myself... but nine regenerations!"
"Well," said the Doctor. "At least I don't throw mine away like you do. I'm always dying when I regenerate (except for my second, but don't get me started)."
"Well, you're always managing to get yourself into trouble. We can't even go on vacation without your being rapidly aged or something."
"Yeah, that was the second of three times that happened to me. The first, by the way, might have had a hand in my first regeneration."
"You see," said Romana. "You never learn."
"Well," said the Doctor. "What do you want me to do, run away in fear all my life?"
"Oh no," said Romana. "I swear that I could never take another second of that 'randomiser.'"
"Oh God. That was the worst idea I ever had. I can't believe I was ever worried about the Black Guardian. I haven't heard from him in centuries."
"Well," said Romana, smiling. "Maybe it wasn't so bad. If it weren't for the Black Guardian, we never would have met. Do you remember how much we hated each other? And just think... once Gallifrey is secured and the Time Lords settled down, we'll hold a Presidential Resignation Day. Then our wedding. Oh... it seems too far off."
"You kidding," said the Doctor. "We'll be married quicker than you could say 'Rassilon's Rod.'"
"I'll see you soon," the Doctor said. "I've got to bring everyone else back home."
"Goodbye, Doctor," Leela said.
"Goodbye, Savage," said the Doctor, hugging her. He shook Andred's hand. "Glad to see things have worked out so well between you two."
"Thank you, Doctor," Andred replied with a smile.
"So long, Doctor," said Romana. She then turned to his Companions. "It was nice to meet all of you. Oh, and Jenny, I'm really looking forward to getting to know you better."
"Me too," said Jenny. "My family seems to be growing by the minute."
"Oh," said the Doctor, suddenly remembering. "There's something wrong with her regeneration cycle. If someone could look into it..."
"Oh, certainly," said Romana. "We might need a tissue sample. And someone will need to write up her biodata. Why don't you come this way for a moment, and we'll get you all settled." Romana ushered her to a group of Time Lords clustered in a corner of the room.
"Do you need a permit for a TARDIS?" was the last audible sentence coming from Jenny before she was out of earshot. To which, the Doctor silently groaned.
He was startled from his thoughts as Susan approached him. "Grandfather, before you leave. I've been wondering...?" she started.
"Yes?" he questioned.
"What ever became of Barbara and Ian?" she asked.
"Barbara and Ian?" said the Doctor, with a look of puzzlement on his face, then his eyes suddenly went wide. "Oh, that's right! You had already left. They went home; back where they came from... Well, 1965 is close enough, I suppose."
"You finally brought them back?"
"Not exactly. Actually, they went in, of all things, an abandoned Dalek ship."
"A Dalek ship!" said Susan, wide-eyed. "How could you let them?"
"Believe me, they had already made up their minds. Nothing I could do to deter them."
"But what happened to them?"
"They made it back to London. Aside from some explaining to do at their disappearance, they were quite happy. In fact, they got married within a year of their return."
"Married?" Susan smiled. "Really? Oh, how wonderful."
"Yes, Mr. And Mrs. Chatterton... has a nice ring to it."
"Chesterton," said Susan.
"The name was Chesterton, not Chatterton. You never could get his name right."
"Yes... well," said the Doctor, with a furrowed-brow. "I would have remembered if it had been worth remembering."
"Is that what happens after we leave, Doctor?" asked Mickey, suddenly identifying with this unknown Ian person. "You forget us? Move on to the next person?"
"Oh, no," said Susan. "Don't think that. Ian and Grandfather never quite got along so well. Always arguing with each other. Though, I suppose one doesn't really like being kidnapped."
"Kidnapped?" gasped Martha. The Doctor chose to ignore her.
"Well, it might have been a rocky start," he said. "But we were on quite friendly terms by the time they both left. In fact, I was very sorry to see them go."
"Oh, Grandfather." Susan touched his arm lovingly.
"They had a son, I believe. And Ian even..." the Doctor suddenly ran back into the TARDIS, and just as quickly emerged, holding a book in his hand. "Wrote this: 'Adventures in Time with Dr. Foreman.' Loosely based on our travels, very loosely. Two school teachers are invited to one of their student's homes for tea, where they meet her inventor grandfather. While showing them all his latest invention, a time machine, they are accidentally transported back in time and must try to get back home."
"I've read that book!" exclaimed Jack. "We had to read it in school. It's a literary classic. They made a film based on it, but it never really held up to par, in my opinion. But I can't believe it; that was supposed to be you?"
"May I see it?" Susan asked. The Doctor handed her the book. She quickly flipped through it in just several seconds. "Very interesting. I see he used our excursions with the cavemen, the Aztecs, and Revolutionary France. Quite a nice plot, happy ending... But totally wrong."
"I don't know," said Jack. "I kind of like happy endings. So what if it rewrites history?"
The Doctor ushered everyone back into the TARDIS, waving one final goodbye to the Time Lords. With a last look at his surroundings, the Doctor heaved a contented sigh, feeling the happiest he had been in a very long time. "Humans," thought the Doctor, with an enormous grin. "Always twisting stories to suit their own fancies... When will they learn?"