Hello and welcome to the last chapter in my story. Sad, I know. But anyway, let's finish the story.
Chapter 14: Transformations and Salutations
The sun was setting over Treasure Town, and on the beach, the Krabbys were once again blowing their bubbles into the air. Rachel and the Doctor stood on the shore, watching this amazing spectacle.
The Doctor smiled. "It's pretty, isn't it?"
"Yes," Rachel nodded. "Nobody knows why the Krabbys do this, but it's lovely anyway." She turned to look at the Doctor. "So, a Time Lord, huh?"
"Yep," the Pikachu replied. "I'm not like you at all."
"I kinda figured you weren't," the Raichu chuckled. "Back at Mt. Bristle, when I gave you that Pecha Berry, I thought I heard two hearts beating in your chest. I figured it was my imagination at the time. But it was only when the Prozonites found it on their scanner that I realized the truth."
"Yeah, it's quite funny when you think about it." The Doctor looked at the sunset again and just for a moment, Rachel could see a hint of loneliness in his eyes. Then he turned back and said, "Come on, let's get back to our friends."
As they set off up the beach, Rachel thought about all that had happened. For the rest of the day, the Doctor and his companions had stayed to help the Pokémon restore their lives. Rachel, Ignatius and the other Exploration Teams aided them in any way they could, helped by the Pokémon held captive by the Prozonites. During that time, Jack learnt that Eliza and Byron wished to retire from adventuring and make a new home in Treasure Town. Feathers and Kerry meanwhile planned to return to their respective Homesteads and help their friends to restore their lands.
At the same time, Sarah and Luke were happy to hear that Minka and Leander were planning to join the Exploration Guild as a new team, calling themselves Team Smith in honour of their friends. Alcazar and Dendron had agreed to help other Pokémon parents find their missing children.
Zubat meanwhile had reunited with his teammates, Koffing and Skuntank, and explained how Rachel and the Doctor had saved him and helped rescue the others. Team Skull apologized to Team PokéHeroes for bullying them, and Rachel and Ignatius forgave them.
So now, as the sun began to set over the sea, everyone had gone to their respective places, until only Ignatius, the Doctor's companions and the Sprites were left standing outside the TARDIS. As the Doctor arrived, the other small Legendary Pokémon had flown over, carrying the Doctor's odds-and-ends with them. Soon the transformed Time Lord had returned them to his pockets, saying how he'd felt naked without them.
"Right," the Doctor called out. "We'll be off then. Don't worry about my friends, Sprites; I'll give them a lift home."
"There's just one problem, Doctor," Martha interrupted. "I don't know if you noticed, but we're not exactly ourselves."
"She's right," Sarah agreed. "We are still Pokémon. We wouldn't be able to fit in with the others back on Earth."
"My team's gonna have a fit when they see how I've changed," Jack added.
"Don't worry, guys," the Doctor beamed. "I'm sure the Sprites will be able to help you change back… with a little help of course."
With that, he entered the TARDIS and guided his companions and the Sprites inside. Rachel made to follow, but Ignatius held her back. So they stood by the doorway, looking into the impossible room. They watched as the Doctor spoke to Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf, pointing to the central column. Then the Sprites flew up and each placed a hand on the glowing pillar and held out their other hands over the Doctor and his friends.
At once, their bodies began to glow with a yellow light, so bright that Rachel and Ignatius had to cover their eyes. The light grew upwards before fading and Rachel opened her eyes again and gasped. Where before there were a Pikachu, a Treecko, a Growlithe, an Eevee, an Espeon and a Buizel; there now stood six human figures: a man in a blue suit, brown coat and red trainers; two dark-skinned people, one boy, one girl; an older woman with an arm round her young boy and a handsome young man in a blue greatcoat.
"Oh my Arceus," Rachel breathed.
"So those are humans, huh?" Ignatius whispered.
"I used to look something like that, yeah," Rachel replied.
The man in the blue suit stepped outside and knelt down next to Team PokéHeroes. "You see now? This is what we really look like."
"Doctor?" Rachel gasped. "But… how…?"
"The Sprites may have been able to turn my friends into Pokémon, but they didn't have the power to turn them back." A smile crossed the Doctor's face. "Fortunately, the TARDIS had a photographic memory of everybody that passed through her doors, so they used her powers to restore me and my friends back to normal." Then he turned to Rachel. "She could change you back to a human if you want…"
Rachel gasped but then she caught Ignatius's eyes and shook her head. "Thanks for the offer, Doctor, but I have a friend to think of. If I became human again, it would break his heart." She then put her paw into the Infernape's hand.
Ignatius gulped. "How did you…?"
"I've always known, silly." Rachel chuckled at her friend's stunned look and so did the Doctor.
"Seems like you've made your choice then," the Time Lord beamed.
"Will we ever see you again?" Rachel asked.
"If you're lucky," the Doctor replied, looking up to the darkening sky. "If I do see your friend Dialga in the Time Vortex again, I'll come running."
Rachel flung her arms around the Doctor's waist and he rubbed his hand over her fur. "Don't forget about us, okay?" she sobbed as she broke her hug.
"I won't," he replied. Then he got to his feet and went back into his ship. "Oh, and stay out there a moment; you'll love this."
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor turned to the Sprites. "Thank you for helping me out."
"It was our pleasure, Time Lord," Mesprit smiled.
"Now we shall return to our homes and watch over the land," Uxie added.
"Doctor, be careful," Azelf then said.
"I will," he nodded.
"No, Doctor, I mean it." Azelf's face suddenly became serious. "Your time is running out. The White Point will shine once again and it will return from the darkness. Remember, Doctor, your life will end when he knocks four times…"
The companions let out a gasp of horror. Then Azelf turned to them and smiled. "But don't forget your friends, Time Lord. You have made good ones over your life. Find some way to thank them…" With that, the Sprites flew out the door and into the night.
"Doctor, what did he mean?" Sarah asked.
"What's the White Point?" Luke added.
"'When he knocks four times'?" Martha turned to Jack with concern. "You don't think…?"
"Nah, it can't be." Jack shook his head. "He's dead, remember, and his body was burnt."
"What's returning from the darkness?" Mickey asked.
The Doctor was just staring out the door, a look of fear and doubt on his face. Then he shook his head and turned to his friends. "I'm sure it's nothing," he said airily. "Anyway, it's time you lot were taken home." He went up to the console and began to pull switches and levers. "The Sprites tell me they took you at about 8:30pm. So I'll take you back to 8:35pm, so it seems you were only gone for a short while."
Outside, Team PokéHeroes watched with amazement as, with a grating rumbling roar, the blue box faded into thin air. "Farewell, Doctor," Rachel breathed. "Good luck on your travels…"
The Powell Estate, London, Earth 2009 Time: 8:35pm
The TARDIS landed in the courtyard of the estate, and Mickey and Martha stepped out into the night.
"Don't think anybody saw us leave, do you?" Mickey asked.
"No," Martha replied. "It happened in your apartment, so no-one saw anything."
"Well, Mickey, are you going to ask her?" the Doctor asked from the doorway.
"Ask me what?" Martha said puzzled.
Mickey sighed and turned to his friend. "Martha Jones, we've been through a lot together… Stopping the Daleks, saving the world countless times and now after this, well… this might be tougher than anything I've done…" Then steeling himself, he pulled out the ring box from his pocket, opened it and bent on one knee. "Martha, will you marry me?"
Martha let out a gasp of amazement. "Oh my god," she cried as she saw the ring. "Yes, yes I will!"
"Good for you, Mick," Jack called out.
"Congratulations, Martha," Sarah added. "You've got a good man to be with…"
"And we know who to thank for that," Martha smiled. She turned and flung her arms around the Doctor. "Thank you, Doctor, for everything!"
"You're welcome, Martha Jones," the Time Lord replied as he broke the hug. "No wait; soon you'll be Martha Smith, right?"
"Yes, and none of this would be possible if I hadn't met you." Martha let Mickey slip the ring on her finger and then she grabbed him in a hug and kissed him.
With a smile, the Doctor closed the door and the two alien hunters watched as the TARDIS faded into the night…
13 Bannerman Road, Ealing 8:37pm
In the attic, K-9 and Mr. Smith had been scanning the town for Sarah and Luke. They had been worried when Mesprit turned them into those fox-like creatures and flown away with them. Then a loud grumbling roar rang out in the room – a noise that K-9 instantly recognized. He turned round and saw the TARDIS appearing before them. Then the door opened and a figure that the robot dog remembered well emerged.
"MASTER!" K-9 called out.
"Hello, boy," the Doctor beamed, bending down and rubbing his robot pet's metal head.
"K-9, are you there?" Sarah's voice called from the TARDIS. Seconds later, she and Luke came out and smiled with joy.
"WELCOME BACK, MISTRESS," K-9 said as he trundled up.
"Where have you been?" Mr. Smith asked. "We've been looking for you all over the surrounding area for you."
"It's a long story, Mr. Smith," Sarah sighed. "But we've rescued the Doctor in the end."
Then a new figure poked his head out the TARDIS door and took in the sight. "Is this where you work, Sarah?" he asked in an American accent. "No offence, but it seems a bit cluttered."
"Now Jack, be nice," the Doctor berated. "Your place isn't much to look at. I do remember seeing it on the computer."
"All right," Jack sighed as he stuck his head back in the door.
Sarah and Luke chuckled to themselves then Luke noticed the clock on the wall. "Oh no, it's getting late and I have to finish my homework." He gave the Doctor a quick goodbye hug and then ran down the stairs.
The Doctor smiled. "Life goes on, eh, Sarah?"
"Yes," Sarah sighed. "In a few months time, he'll finish school and be off to university."
"They grow up so fast," the Doctor said.
"Not fast enough for me," she replied. Then she turned to the Doctor. "Will you be alright?"
"Yeah, I will," the Time Lord said. "And you?"
"As long as I've got Luke, Mr. Smith and K-9 with me, I will be."
The Doctor then threw his arms around Sarah and squeezed her. Then he turned to the two machines. "You'll look out for her, won't you?"
"AFFIRMATIVE, MASTER." K-9 nodded his head and wiggled his ears.
"Of course we will, Doctor," Mr. Smith agreed. "Good luck with your travels."
With a smile, the Doctor entered his ship and moments later, the TARDIS disappeared…
Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff 8:40pm
In the centre of the square, the TARDIS arrived and Jack and the Doctor stepped outside and headed for the waterfall nearby.
"See that?" Jack pointed to an ordinary paving stone in front of the tower. "Your ship landed here and left a trace of its perception filter. Now we use it as an emergency escape hatch or as an entry whenever Ianto loses his keys. Watch…" And he jumped onto the stone.
"It won't work on me," the Doctor told him. "But I'll take your word for it."
Just then, Jack heard a loud ringing in his ear and switched on his headset. "Hello?"
"Jack, it's Gwen," a voice replied. "Where have you been? I've been trying to get to you for half an hour."
"Um, it's complicated," Jack said. "What's the problem?"
"Something's interfering with the television set," Gwen explained. "Rhys checked the aerial but it hasn't changed. I called Ianto and he's got the same problem.
"Hmmm, sounds like some Tryskites are in our airspace again," Jack told her. "Okay, you and Ianto get to base immediately and bring some tin foil."
"Okay, see you soon, Jack." And she hung up.
"Well, I've got work to do and so do you." Jack held out his hand and the Doctor shook it. "You take care of yourself now."
"I will," the Time Lord nodded. "Keep up the good work, Jack. Cardiff needs heroes like you and your team."
With that, Jack pressed a button on his wrist pad and the slab sank into the ground, taking the captain down into the Torchwood Hub. The Doctor turned and walked back to the TARDIS.
Inside his vessel, the Doctor threw his coat aside and ran his hand across the console. His mind was filled with the memories of the friends he had made in this adventure. He thought of Rachel and Ignatius working for the Exploration Guild, of Mickey and Martha and the new life they would be sharing, of Sarah Jane looking after her son Luke, and of Captain Jack and his team fighting for the future on behalf of the human race.
Then he thought of Azelf's parting message and of the other warnings given to him. I think your song must end soon… It is returning through the dark… The Gate is waiting for you… The White Point will shine once more… And then, Doctor, oh then… he will knock four times… Don't forget your friends, Time Lord…
"I won't, Azelf," the Doctor promised silently. "I won't." He had made a lot of good friends in his life; some stuck around for the ride, others went back to their lives. But they all reserved special places in the Time Lord's hearts – and he would never forget them.
With that in mind, he pulled down the lever and sent his TARDIS on its way, to adventures new…
And there you have it. My story has come to a close.
My thanks go to all the people who read and reviewed this tale; especially to Cylon One for noting the errors in my texts and informing me of them. Thank you, Russell T Davies for bringing back the Doctor, to David Tennant for making his portrayal of the Time Lord the most enjoyable to work with and to Matt Smith, best of luck with your new series. Hope it's as good as your last one.
Thanks for reading this. Goodnight (or goodbye, depending on your time zone)