Doctor Whoof: Vale Decem Equis
Andrew J. Talon
Disclaimer: This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the property of Hasbro, while Doctor Who is the property of BBC. Please support the official release.
Author's Note: This is not a beginning nor an end to a story. It's more of a bridge in the overall Doctor Whoof fandom metaverse for all the Doctor Whoof stories assuming a number of similarities between them. If it fits for your story, use it. If not, don't. You can write up to it, or write after it. Either way, consider it a gift to Bronies and Whovians alike.
The Doctor had never died thanks to radiation poisoning before, and frankly he could understand why. Not even ten minutes had passed, and already he felt the burning sensation from within. It was contrasted by the fiery energies of his regeneration, desperately billowing up inside him and trying to get out. But he couldn't give into it. Not yet. Not now.
The room at the palace the Princess had insisted he stay in was well guarded, but if he wanted to he could have escaped. Even in his condition, he could get out of anywhere. Defeat anyone.
Save for himself. He couldn't help a dark laugh at that fact.
After all... I got myself into this, didn't I? Or maybe Derpy did... Twilight certainly had a hoof in the whole thing... Don't get me started on the rest of them.
He'd thought The Great Time War had almost completely destroyed him. He'd regenerated into a form like a walking corpse with a thousand yard stare. Then that wall-eyed pegasus had burst into his life, showing him the wonders of the universe. And that annoying purple unicorn had come in right after, letting him rediscover what it was to have fun and friendship through her.
It was for these two that he hadn't run, because he knew deep down that their paths would have to cross again before he finally went. Before he died.
He looked up as Twilight Sparkle burst into the room, relief all over her face. She galloped to him and hugged him tightly, her smaller body slamming against his hard. Derpy flew around and hugged him from the other side, wings and hooves wrapped tightly around him. The Doctor chuckled and managed to hug them both back.
"I... We heard you were in trouble... Then there was all that insanity with the Master and planets appearing in the sky and... And..." Twilight hugged him all the more tightly. "Oh, it's so good to see you again."
Derpy was far more practical. She handed him a muffin with a smile. "I baked it myself."
"Thank you Derpy," the Doctor said. He bit into it, savoring both the taste and the pegasus's smile. Twilight reluctantly let go of him, which let him finish off the treat.
"So... So, does this mean we get to travel again?" Twilight asked with a big smile.
"It might..." The Doctor continued to smile oddly. Derpy frowned, and studied him carefully. He suspected she already suspected what was going on. She was so much more insightful than she really let on. Twilight frowned.
"Well, depends on me, I guess. Who I'll be in the morning." The Doctor turned to look out the window and hummed as he saw the setting sun. "Well, not really morning at this rate. More like the early evening. A few hours, give or take."
"What are you talking about?" Twilight asked flatly. Derpy became very still, her wings drooping. Her ears followed and she sighed.
"What? What?" Twilight demanded. The Doctor turned around with his sad smile.
"I'm sorry Twilight. I'm so sorry... It was either let Hayseed get caught in the Master's radiation bomb or... Or me."
"... But... But there's got to be something we can do!" Twilight said emotionally. "A-A healing spell, a cure, something!"
"He is doing something," Derpy said softly. "He's putting it off."
"What? What is he doing?" Twilight demanded, already at the Doctor's side and examining him closely with her magic. The Doctor smiled.
"Well... Time Lords have a little trick. We can avoid death by regenerating. Unfortunately..." And here the Doctor felt pains again. "Unfortunately, when we do it, we... Change."
"His appearance, his personality... It will all change," Derpy said. "He will still have the same memories but he'll be..." Derpy shook a little, but she kept herself together, "different."
"... So you mean... You'll stop being who you are now," Twilight said. The Doctor chuckled and shrugged.
"Yeah... I might have two heads when I come out of it. Or no hair. Might turn into a big, hairless ape, how would that be?"
"This isn't funny Doctor!" Twilight said angrily. "You never told me this would happen! You never... I don't..." She closed her eyes and took deep breaths, trying to calm herself. Derpy walked over to her sister Companion (though sometimes the Doctor wondered if they considered each other more rivals than that) and rested her hoof against her side. Twilight looked over at Derpy with shining eyes, before she nodded.
"I... I need to... To do some things," she said. "He doesn't leave," she added with a glare.
Derpy saluted Twilight with her hoof. Twilight glared back at the Doctor, before she galloped out of the room. The doors closed behind her. The Doctor sighed, and looked over at Derpy.
"So... Want to pop over to Barcelona again? The-"
"The planet, not the city," Derpy repeated with a sad little laugh. She shook her head. "No... I don't think so Doctor."
"Well, worth a shot," the Doctor sighed, sitting on the bed. He looked down at the floor. "This is something I should handle on my own, you know."
"I was there for the last one," Derpy pointed out, hovering over to his side and resting a hoof on his shoulder. The Doctor snorted.
"I didn't have a lot of choice then, did I?"
Derpy shook her head, and bumped hers against his. "Nor this time either," she said with a smile. "Except, knowing Twilight, it'll be something good."
"... She loves me, doesn't she?" He asked.
"We both do, stupid," Derpy said. "We're even willing to forgive you for running off on your own like a big fat muffin-deprived baby."
"Twilight had her friends, you have Dinky... I felt like I would just be holding you back," the Doctor explained. He smiled. "What more could I have contributed to the defeat of Nightmare Moon, mm? Or your beautiful daughter?"
"She could have used a father," Derpy said. The Doctor hunched his shoulders together.
"... I'm not the type to settle down," the Doctor said. "Never have been... Probably never will."
"I know," Derpy said with a smile. She nuzzled him. "You wouldn't be you if you did."
"... Might have been nice," the Doctor said after a thoughtful, sad pause.
"Yes... Might've," Derpy agreed, as the two smiled at each other in mutual understanding.
The pegasus and the Time Lord pressed their hooves together, holding onto each other in silence as time passed. The sun slipped behind the mountains and cast the whole room in a deep purplish glow. It suited Twilight Sparkle as she entered the room while looking like she'd waited outside of the doors for some time to keep herself calm.
"It's time... Come on," Twilight said softly. The Doctor rose and, with his two Companions flanking him, walked into the hallway and down the steps. Twilight bumped him every so often to guide his course, and he gave her a smile as long as he could bare to look at her.
Eventually they came to the grand ballroom, which was filled with ponies of every age and description. On the stage, musicians were set up and waiting expectantly. In front of them stood Princesses Celestia and Luna, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Hayseed. Standing in the doorway out to the gardens stood the TARDIS. The Doctor looked around in amazement, but held his questions until they had trotted up to the stage.
"Hey Doc," Rainbow Dash said in a subdued tone.
"Doctor," Applejack greeted, her posture one of frustrated helplessness.
"Doctor!" Pinkie Pie smiled, with the air of someone trying to cheer up a terminal patient.
"Doctor," Rarity greeted solemnly and formally.
"D-Doctor," Fluttershy said, already struggling to hold back tears.
"Doctor," Hayseed said, snapping a salute to the Doctor.
"Doctor," Luna said, sniffling.
"Doctor," Princess Celestia finished, wearing a sorrow filled smile.
"What... What is all this?" The Doctor asked, feeling faint. His hooves began to glow, but with a grunt he forced his regeneration back for another few minutes.
"Everypony here is here to sing you... Sing you to your rest," Celestia said. Despite her age, there was still sorrow in her eyes. Like the princess and goddess she was though, she held it in for the sake of others.
"Twi organized it, called us all here," Rainbow said quietly.
"Oh yes... And... And we are all here to... To sing," Fluttershy sniffled. Twilight was trying very hard not to break down next to him, and Derpy, while outwardly calm, was struggling inside. The Doctor knew this, knew her so well.
Brown Smith... Wouldn't have been that bad a life, with you two around for it, would it? He thought. But as he always reminded himself, he couldn't pretend. He couldn't afford to, and neither could anyone else.
"It... It'd be pretty lousy of us to just let you go on without anything special, huh? I-I even baked you a cake!" Pinkie Pie said. She jumped off the stage and pushed said sugary confection forward on a cart. She pulled off the covering, revealing a small, sloppily frosted TARDIS-blue cake with a brown candy figure of the Doctor upon it. "See? It's you..."
"I... Thank you Pinkie Pie," the Doctor said with a genuine smile. "It's fantastic... But I... I will have to leave before you are done. It's safer if I do it in the TARDIS, far from all of you."
"Then we will sing anyway," Princess Celestia said. "You've done so much for us Doctor... This is the least we can do. Please... In this moment..." She rested a hoof on his shoulder. "Know you are not alone."
Twilight and Derpy's forelimbs wrapped around him from either side. The Doctor looked between them, and then back up at the stage. His eyes were wet with tears as well.
"... Thank you," he whispered softly. Celestia nodded, and looked to the orchestra. They began to play, a soft, mournful tune that rang out over the ballroom. Hayseed's eyes were filled with tears but stoically he endured, holding his salute, and Rainbow Dash and Applejack both emulated him. Fluttershy took several deep breaths, but with the support of her friends, she closed her eyes, spread her wings and began to sing.
"Vale Decem~... Ad aeternam~..."
Her beautiful voice filled the ballroom, and the Doctor found himself smiling at Twilight. She forced herself to smile back despite the tears running down her cheeks. A look to Derpy and he saw she was stoically crying, both eyes on him. It wasn't easy for her and the Doctor couldn't help the swell of feeling this caused inside him. He trembled, and took a few deep breaths to hold back the regeneration and the pain of the radiation poisoning, even as both rose with his emotions.
"Di meliora~..." Fluttershy was having trouble going on, which is when Rarity added her voice to support her.
"Vale Dece~em," they sang together, slowly joined by the voices of the Princesses. Fluttershy determinedly resumed. The Doctor shuddered, and began to pull away.
"Di meliora~a... Bea~a~ati~i..."
"I... I can't... Any longer," he said.
Twilight's forced smile fell away, and she continued holding on. Eventually though, Derpy's hoof on her shoulder allowed her to slowly let him go. As he began to stagger his way towards the TARDIS, the crowds parted as everyone began to sing-Even if only to hum the tune.
"Vale Decem~... " Fluttershy determinedly led the singing, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash holding her. Rarity's beautiful voice rose with theirs, keeping them going.
The Doctor stumbled, and Twilight tried to move forward to help him but once more she was stopped by Derpy. She looked at Derpy, almost betrayed. The pegasus shook her head, and gestured with a flip of her head towards the Time Lord. He slowly pushed himself back up onto all four hooves, and resumed his walk to the TARDIS. He entered it, and closed the door behind him. He forced himself to the control panel, and started it up.
"Alis grave nil~... Ad perpetuam memoriam~m~m..."
The TARDIS ascended, and Twilight broke from Derpy's hold to gallop out just as it left the grounds. Twilight looked up and watched the blue box shrink, growing more and more distant. Derpy soon joined her, standing at her side with her wall-eyed gaze fixed upon the same target.
"Vale Decem~m~mmm..." Fluttershy's siren like voice broke through the air, as other voices rose up, seemingly aiding the TARDIS in it's climb.
"Gratis tibi ago... Ad aeternam~..."
Up in the TARDIS, the Doctor made one last circuit of the control room, checking that everything was in order. The last thing he wanted his new incarnation to deal with was a busted TARDIS. For a moment, the temptation to just plunge the ship into Equestria, end it all with himself, arose. The Doctor shuddered, and pictured his Companions. No... He would see this through.
"Nunquam singularis...!" The orchestra rose, as did the voices of the crowd. Twilight was sobbing almost hysterically now, supported by Derpy. Their other friends crowded around save for Fluttershy, who was now leading the singing as the Princesses supported her.
"Nunquam... Dum spiro fido!" They sang together, both shedding tears as the emotions of the night rose with them. The stars and moon seemed all the more beautiful for it, twinkling and shining high above in the vast sable sky overhead.
"Vale vale vale vale vale vale vale vale vale~...!" Fluttershy crescendoed.
As far away as he was, the Doctor could still hear the singing. It, combined with the images of his companions, their friends, the Princesses, old Hayseed, the Master, the Time Lords, the Daleks, all of it... With damp eyes, he spoke.
"I don't want to go," he whispered to the empty TARDIS.
Words failed the singers, down to raw emotions in musical form now as the Doctor clutched his stomach. He trembled as the regeneration energies manifested, his brown skin pulsing with energy. Taking deep breaths, tears dripping down his cheeks, he still held on, still fought against the inevitable.
Far below, the TARDIS began to pulse like a lighthouse beacon, a golden light in a sky filled with white ones. Twilight blinked back her tears, watching.
"Wh... What's happening?" She asked.
"He's fighting it," Derpy said softly. She closed her eyes as the tears continued. "Please Doctor... Let go..."
Twilight closed her eyes as well. "Goodbye... Doctor. Please... Let it go."
Within the TARDIS, the light dimmed down to nothing. The interior was pitch black for what seemed like an eternity. Then, the Doctor reared back on his hindlegs, threw out his forelimbs and with a silent cry he burst into fiery energy.
It exploded outwards, shooting through the windows and lighting up the sky as though dawn had come early. Within the TARDIS, support struts fell and fires ignited, as though to form a funeral pyre for the dying Tenth. In the maelstrom of energies usually kept hidden beneath the human facade, the Doctor's face could still be seen, the Tenth still holding onto his shape. Slowly... Surely... His form vanished, and the light diminished.
Within the broken, destroyed and fiery interior of the TARDIS, a new stallion fell to all four hooves, looking confused and bewildered. He spun around, taking in his surroundings quickly. He then looked down at his new form.
"Legs! Still got legs, all four of 'em! Good!" He cried. He held up his hooves and examined them. "Hooves, not bad, not bad..." He ran them over his face. "Ears, eyes, nose..." He snorted. "I've had worse, chin... Eh, forget the chin..." He gripped his new mane and his eyes bugged out.
"I'm a filly! No!" He looked himself over, even down between his legs. "No! I'm not a filly! Phew!" He grasped a lock of his mane and pulled it down to his eyes. He groaned.
"Oh! And I'm still not ginger!" He let go of his mane and rubbed his new chin, as the TARDIS sparked and groaned around him. "Something... Something I'm forgetting, something important..."
The TARDIS rumbled and shook, and he was thrown off his hooves into a pile of debris. He rose out of it with a bright smile.
"Aha! That's it, that's it!" He galloped over a fallen support beam to the control panel and examined it. A spinning Equestria was below, but coming up fast.
"I'm crashing! Haha! WOAH!"
The TARDIS began spinning, and the artificial gravity, according to the readout, went to "shake and bake". Grabbing on tightly to the courtesy railing, the new Doctor shrugged and grinned. He spotted one of the few pieces of the control panel that wasn't on fire or a wreck, and quickly dialled.
Below, Twilight Sparkle was wiping her eyes when she heard a loud beeping, and everypony there looked around. She then looked over at Derpy, who held in her hoof a cellphone the Doctor had given her. She eyed it, then smiled and shook her head.
"I think he's all right now," she said.
"Wh... What makes you say that?" Twilight asked. Derpy held up the phone. A text message was displayed, that every one of Twilight Sparkle's friends got a good look at.
"... 'Geronimo'?" Rarity asked incredulously.
Twilight Sparkle broke into a smile and laughed. "Hahahahaha! … Ah... Whoever he is now... He's certainly got a flare for the dramatic." She looked back at the night sky. "Do you think we'll... We'll ever see him again?"
Derpy smiled mysteriously. "Only time can tell with him..."
A pause, then...
"Oh, really. You had to make that joke?" Rainbow Dash groaned.
"I liked it!" Pinkie Pie laughed.
"You would," snorted Applejack.
"I-I did too," Fluttershy admitted softly.
"Well, that's what you've got to do for these sorts of things!" Pinkie Pie declared. "Remember the happy things, and the good things, and have a party!" She grinned at her fellow ponies. "What do you say? We've got all the attendees, and the cake too!"
Twilight Sparkle sniffled once more, before returning Pinkie Pie's smile. "You know what...? You're right Pinkie Pie." She looked up as Princess Celestia, Luna, and Hayseed came out. "A change like this is sad, and moving... But life goes on. Sometimes, you have to let go of a friend to meet somepony new. And if the Doctor can do it... Then so can we." She smiled at her mentor, who returned it. "How is that for a report on the magic of friendship, Princess Celestia?"
"I think it's wonderful," the Princess said. She looked at them all. "Well... Pinkie Pie is quite right. We have a cake just waiting to be eaten inside. What do you think?"
"I think, your Majesty, that that's a right proper idea," Hayseed said. He turned and threw a wink back at the young fillies. "Allon-sy."
He trotted off. Twilight and Derpy looked at each other, and giggled.
"Allon-sy!" They chorused.
And somewhere in Ponyville, a little filly would soon get her bedtime prayers answered... By a mad pony in a magic blue box.
ONLY THE BEGINNING...