Two people carried a third person into a small blue box - actually a really rather epic Time Machine known as a TARDIS. One was a woman. She was tall, leggy, and beautiful, red-headed, her hair a fiery cascade down her back. Her name was Amelia Pond, though she preferred Amy.
The other carrier was a man. He was called Rory Williams - normal face, normal eyes, normal everything; except his heart. In his heart was the heart of a guardian, a warrior, a hero, a lover, a man who would stand by Amy - the woman he loved more than… well, anything - until death itself came to claim him. Which technically, it had. Twice.
Today though, death hadn't come for Rory Williams. Today, Death was visiting someone else.
That someone - a twenty six year old man in face, a fifty year old man in tweedy dress sense and a nine hundred year old man in actuality - was the Doctor. Time Lord, Time Traveller, hero, scientist, genius.
And also dying.
As a hero, he tended to go adventuring around the cosmos, fighting alien monsters and villains and being pretty sort of marvellous. Usually, despite most of his foes being armed to the teeth, he was lucky enough to avoid being shot at. Not today though. Although he had once again (of course) saved the day, a stray Cyberman (Cybermen - now they hadn't caused him to regenerate in a while) got a pot shot in while his back was turned. So now here he was, semi conscious on the floor, and whenever he woke up, there was screaming involved.
"I don't know what we can do for him," Rory said as they carried the Doctor up the TARDIS stairs, up to the console. As they reached the console, the Doctor's screams began subsiding, and he looked for a moment as though he was almost sleeping. Any looked at Rory, half fear and half hope in her eyes.
"Maybe it's healing him," she suggested.
"Nope," a new voice said - the Doctor sat up suddenly, eyes wide awake and staring at them, a small smile on his face. "It's started is all. Hello!"
"You're ok!" Amy smiled, as the Doctor pulled himself up. He looked at her, gave a smile, but said nothing.
"Started?"Rory asked. "What's started?"
"Well," the Doctor said, "depends on your point of view."
He stared at his hand for a moment as if expecting it to do something, shook it a couple of times and then looked at Amy.
"You don't like the bow tie, do you?" he asked.
"Um… no," she said, confused.
"Well, that's good, cos in a few minutes I'm going to go off it," the Doctor said, a wistful look in his face. "Bow ties are cool."
"Go off it? Why?" Amy asked.
"Um..." the Doctor said, looking faintly embarrassed, "well, I'm sort of… just a bit... well, dying. Ish."
The exclamations that Amy came out with were barely repeatable. Rory was silent, as Amy started panicking.
"There's no medicine?" he asked, as Amy's sobbing subsided slightly. "No way to help you?"
"Actually, there sort of is, Rory," the Doctor said, smiling slightly. Amy stopped sobbing, and looked at him half in hope and half in annoyance.
"There is?" she said. Then she smacked him in the arm. "You scared me then!"
The Doctor's smile was somewhat melancholic.
"Well, there's a sort of side effect to this cure," he said. He absent mindedly ran a hand along his face. "You know, I'll miss this chin."
Something clicked in Rory's head, like the final pieces of a puzzle.
"You didn't know what you looked like," he said. "That day with Prisoner Zero."
"Well, that's the side effect," the Doctor says. "When my body is dying, it turns into a whole new body. I regenerate my entire form."
"Which makes you look different," the Leadworth nurse finished.
"And act different," the Doctor added. "And sound different and act different. This is my Eleventh body."
"But you'll still be you," Amy stated, a hope not a query. The Doctor smiled at her, and then tapped the side of his head with one of his long fingers.
"Up here I will," he said. "Where it matters."
A moment passed. The Doctor raised a hand… and it glowed.
"I remember that," Amy said. "The glowing."
The Doctor's sad smile remained. He raised his other hand. Then he looked at Rory.
"Been good," he said, smiling at them. He started glowing, his skin golden in the light. "I got a song routine, last time, you know. Ood an their singing."
Rory blinked. "Vale," he said to his friend. "Vale Undecim. Cetus quod tener. Vecis advebo. Vale."
The Doctor smiled at his friends one last time.
"Romans," he said. "Good language."
"Least I could do," Rory replied sadly.
"Thanks," the Doctor smiled. "Both of you. For everything."
And then the glow started building up. Rory and Any stepped back. The Doctor's face looked put one last time.
"Geronimo," he said.
A golden fountain of light, cascading from his arms and collar like water, burst out, sprinkling the entire console room with light. Little bits of what could only be described as fairy dust started flying around the console room, bouncing off the walls.
And then it was over. A new man stood in the place of the Doctor. Amy didn't know where to begin with describing him.
"Well," he said, raising a hand and touching his face. "Hair, check, eyes, check, ears, check, chin, smaller, bow tie..."
The new Doctor's hand rested on the bow tie. He smiled.
"Cool," he said.