And here is ending #2! This ending is kinda short, but I like it all the same.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who or anything affiliated with it, even though the Master is definitely waiting for me in an alternate universe somewhere. Now it's just a question of getting one of us to the other universe. Anyone got a TARDIS?
The light faded away and Donna Noble collapsed onto the floor. The Doctor was frozen in place. Wilf and Shaun were staring, but the latter quickly knelt beside his wife to make sure she was still alive.
The Doctor was staring at Donna with disbelief and realization. This was why everyone had always mistaken them for a couple. This was why that woman knew everything about him, why she had told him everything was going to change... But this, this was how Donna came back to him.
"Doctor, don't tell me that's-" Amy started.
"It is, it's her."
"But how is that...?" Rory was dumbfounded.
"I don't know," the Time Lord answered numbly.
"She looks different," Wilf said. "Is this the same process that happens to your people?"
"Yes," the Doctor answered, still stunned by what had just happened. "But... her memory of this life is gone. She won't remember a single moment of it."
"What do you mean?" Shaun demanded, jumping up and marching straight up to the Doctor. "You've done something to her, what is it?"
"She's regenerated!" He replied harshly, gesturing wildly with his arms. "She's a different person now. Different memories, different face, different body, different voice, different everything! Her memories are my memories now." This was mad. He was angry, how could he not be? For Donna Noble to die was one thing. For her to die and be replaced completely by someone who was so very not her, was... unbearable. "She won't want to stay here," he finished, looking at Shaun seriously. "I have to take her with me."
"Oh no, you aren't taking her away from me, she's my wife!" he said angrily.
"Not anymore she isn't." He paused, waiting for this statement to sink in. "She doesn't remember anything about you or her family. All the information in her head, it's too much for this little planet. She can't stay here. But I won't let anything bad happen to her, I promise," he added seriously.
"And how do you know she won't remember anything?" he demanded.
"Because I know her!" The Doctor responded, almost angrily. Angry at himself, angry at the situation. He began to pace and run his hand through his hair. "Look." He walked to Donna and snapped his fingers. Glowing yellow particles began to float around his hand. "These are nanogenes, tiny, medical robots," he explained. "This is how I knew she was remembering, but I couldn't just let them fiddle with her brain, she would have forgotten everything since the day she was born-"
"Well she did that anyway, now didn't she?"
He ignored the man and flung the golden particles away, watching them disperse. "This was the only way to keep her alive," he insisted, continuing his pacing. Nervous, angry, confused. "I know who she is, who she will be, and she's... She's dangerous."
"He's right, we all three know her," Amy interrupted, crossing her arms. "Nothing bad happens to her, I can tell you that much. But if she stays here, we can't promise you'll all be safe." Rory nodded to the man, confirming what Amy had just said.
"Take her, Doctor," Wilf said softly.
The Doctor stopped pacing and looked to Donna's grandfather. He kissed his granddaughter's forehead and stood from his kneeling position next to her. "She always wanted to travel with you. And even if she can't remember anything, at least she'll get what she wanted in the end."
"Are you serious?" Shaun was incredulous. He was trying to kidnap her!
"I can take her somewhere she'll be safe. Because she doesn't remember you anymore, Shaun. She doesn't remember Wilf either, or her mother, or your wedding, or anything like that." The Doctor cautiously approached Donna's form, unconscious on the floor. "To her, none of that ever happened. Her mind is human again, but with my base memories, as if she traveled with me for a long time as the person she is now, rather than the person she used to be. Your Donna is gone now. I'm sorry."
"Okay, fine, so what are you going to do with her then?" he demanded, a bit less harsh.
"I'm going to take her with me, where she will be safe. Her mind will be all jumbled when she wakes up, she'll need someone who understands it all to take care of her. I promise I will protect her with my life," he said, watching Shaun's face. He felt relieved when the man numbly nodded his agreement. "If something impossible ever happens and she does remember, I swear on my life I will bring her back to you."
The Doctor carried Donna somewhat awkwardly outside to the TARDIS. Shaun followed them and kissed his wife goodbye before the three time travelers finally made their way back inside the ship.
The Doctor danced around the console, hitting buttons and flipping switching with his foot, while his shoe was temporarily forgotten in a corner. The TARDIS whirred and carried them away. He was still angry, but there wasn't exactly anything that could be done about it now. The woman he was carrying had to come from somewhere, after all. Perhaps if he'd known...
But that was a two sided coin. If he had just let Donna die, then Donna, his Donna, would be buried six feet beneath dirt. Dirt, he scoffed internally. Her reward would have been darkness and earth, though she deserved so much more. He couldn't have just let her die. She didn't deserve death either; she deserved the entire universe. So that was what he would give her.
"Come on Rory!" Amy grabbed her husband's hand and dragged him up the stairs and into another room of the TARDIS.
"What, where are we going?" he demanded.
"These two need some alone time!" she answered, and their voices faded away as they disappeared into the bowels of the ship.
The woman in his arms stirred. The Doctor looked down at her to see her looking back up at him.
"Hello," she said, a bit unsure.
"Hello there," he answered with a smile.
"Where am I?"
"In my TARDIS," he answered. Her hair was tickling his arm.
"TARDIS?" She blinked, tasting the word. "Why does that word sound familiar?"
"Maybe you've been here before," he offered.
"Have I?" Her voice was soft and musical.
"Oh I think so," he said, gently putting her down on the floor. Her legs were a bit weak, but she managed to stand on her own power all the same.
She looked around the TARDIS, both amazed and interested. This place was familiar, as was this man standing next to her. So very familiar... "Who are you then?" she asked him.
"I'm the Doctor. And you are?" He wondered if she could even remember her original name. There were layers and layers of information in her head, waiting to be remembered. He was fairly certain that she would become accustomed to many things very quickly, given the information in her brain and the intelligence that she had oft proven.
"I'm..." She paused. "I don't know. I'm not sure if I even have a name. I don't remember it if I do." She held a hand to her forehead, as if it hurt a bit. It wasn't quite pain, exactly, more like a clouded mind. She shook it in an attempt to clear it.
"Well that won't do at all, now will it?" he asked, pulling the TARDIS's screen around so that she could see it too. "According to my magnificent ship, your name is-"
"River Song," she read aloud, rolling the name across her tongue. "Hm. I like it."
"Good, that's good!" The Doctor said, flipping switches here and there once more, pleased that she could read the screen without trouble. "So, River Song, fancy a TARDIS driving lesson?"
There was an old human saying that advised one to always wed their best friend if they wanted marital happiness. Perhaps they had been on to something after all.