Hail and Farewell
For Nicholas
(Set in my RRAU)


It was a stereotypical day for this sort of thing, minus the rain. Even though it was midday, the clouds were heavy and thick. Hardly any sunlight was able to get through. One would think that it was dusk instead of nearly three in the afternoon.

Per instructions from the will, two services were rendered. The first was for more of the public affair, and was earlier that morning. This second one was for immediate family. Ironically, this seemed to include a gaggle of people that didn't seem to be related to anyone, either in their personal looks nor fashion sense.

Sarah Jane Smith stood in between two of the unlikely fellows. One was exceedingly tall, with a mop of white hair. The other was nearly as tall and had a curly brown mop of his own that was rather unruly. Both men had an arm around her back.

The curly headed one looked around at the motley crew, recognizing some. The others were difficult to look at. However, he leaned down to whisper a question to Sarah. "Is it my imagination, or are there two of that me over there?"

Sarah smiled sadly, looking at the brown pinstriped man and his twin in matching grey garb. "You'll find out someday, Doctor."

"Mmm," he mused. While watching them, the one in the grey looked over and wagged his finger at him, shaking his head. He overheard the one in brown stripes whispering to the double, 'I did wonder about that for a long time,' to which the double nodded, 'I know.' The one in brown looked to the one in grey. 'Still don't...' The grey garbed one held his hand up and wiggled his fingers at him, which got a 'Seriously?' out of the brown garbed one. The grey one shushed him with a finger to his lips.

Standing next to the tall grey headed one, was a rather short fellow in checked trousers and a fur coat. Before he had the chance to sniffle, the tall one put a hand on his shoulder. "Oh, thank you," he said, taking the handkerchief that was offered, clearing his nose.

To his left was an elderly gentleman with a cane. "I find this to be a perfect example of man, to have had such a profound effect on me that I would come in every iteration of myself. Hmm?"

Of those present, the various Doctors and doubles all nodded to that assessment. "His character was without reproach," the one in checked trousers said.

"Of that there can be no doubt," the tall one agreed. "Splendid fellow."

The curly mop with the scarf was next. "His achievements in this life were only surpassed by his ingenuity, as well as the ability to put us in our place."

Next to him, stood one in a cricketer's kit. "Well, he was marvelous that way, wasn't he? To be schooled in things he didn't understand, only to become a father figure to us all."

The most outlandishly dressed one spoke next. "Oh, yes. And when he wasn't distressed over bullets never working, he had the common sense to knock us in the head. Bless him."

The short one next to him leaned on an umbrella. "The most fascinating thing about him was his capacity to learn, adapt, and grow. And not once did he truly doubt us."

"He just accepted us for who we were, no matter what we looked like," a gentle looking man said to his right. "Oh, how I'm going to miss his cheek." He pulled a handkerchief of his own out and blotted his eyes.

The man in leather next to him placed a hand on the gentle one's shoulder. "He picked us up when we were down," he said boldly.

"And kicked us in the head when we were rude," the two identical men said.

A man in tweed spoke next. "Never once did he show us anything less than his spectacular common sense."

The others kept their own counsel, as they had nothing more to say. All of them held up their right arms towards the casket between them all. Their fists went flat, and they all spoke at once. "Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Isthi sauto pistos: To thine own self be true."

As one, seventeen men saluted him from around the casket while nine others did the same from a respectable distance. Some shed tears, others were stoic, but in the end... the Doctors in all of his incarnations and iterations said their farewells to the man that changed their lives forever.

The Thirteenth Doctor stood fast. "Five Rounds Rapid!" Behind him, nine different versions of his brother held up five shot revolvers... and emptied them in the air.