AN: Hey readers, sorry for the delay! I had too much for one chapter, so I split it into two smaller chapters (15&16). This is the last chapter, so thanks for sticking with this absolutely absurd story! It's a little rough, but I had this idea for a while, and I just had to get it out. I might write a sequel (there's a bit of a cliffhanger, mwahaha), but no promises. Anyway, thank you once again for reading (even when it got a little too absurd/badly written), and enjoy! - Magpie
"You're not coming back?"
All the ponies looked disappointed, but none more so than Ditzy. Even Twilight seemed upset that the Doctor was leaving them.
"This isn't my world, girls. Our world," he corrected, nodding at River. "Our universe needs us. As much as I love it here, I can't abandon my home. I'm pretty much the only thing keeping it safe." He smiled sadly as he said, "Besides, you lot have your own protector here." He nodded to Celestia, who shook her head slowly.
"No, Doctor. The Elements of Harmony are what protects this world." She turned her attention to the six girls. "You are the most important ponies in Equestria, girls. Don't let anypony tell you differently." She nodded at the Doctor and River. "But you have inspired us, Doctor, River; inspired us to new heights. Equestria may never know what you've done for it, but I will carry it always with me."
He bowed his head slightly towards her. It was clear he had said his piece. Though the ponies muttered amongst themselves, they did not argue. Ditzy was silent, her eyes focused on the Doctor.
"Doctor… thank you." Twilight said, slowly making her way to him. "I'm sorry that I didn't trust you before… I didn't know what to make of you both." Her eyes turned to River. "But now I see that you are…" she swallowed. "Well, you're amazing. You've done things that no pony in history has ever dreamed about. And you took us with you. Even if things didn't go as planned… it was amazing. Thank you so much, Doctor." She held out her hoof as if to shake, but the Doctor beamed at her and threw her into an awkward pony-hug.
"Thank YOU, Twilight Sparkle."
The unicorn shyly turned towards River. "I'm so sorry that I was rude towards you. I realize now how strong you are, how smart and willing to sacrifice…" She looked up her bashfully. "Could you forgive me?"
River smiled, the euphoria produced by Equestria probably to blame. "Of course, Twilight." She also tried to hug the girl, but failed, still unused to the whole four-legged thing. Twilight smiled, though, and River was happy to have one less enemy on her list.
The other ponies rushed to thank the couple, albeit in different styles (Pinkie produced confetti from nowhere while Fluttershy muttered something about the hat). Slowly but surely, the ponies funneled out the door into Ponyville.
All but one.
"Doctor. You can't leave me here."
The Doctor still had his head bowed, and River saw his eyes screw up as if in pain. "Ditzy," he muttered. The couple looked up to see the gray pegasus half-glaring at the Doctor through watery eyes.
"Please, Doctor. My life here is nothing. I've lost job after job. My family hates me. I don't have friends."
"I'd say you just made six amazing friends, Ditzy." River said gently.
The pegasus made a frustrated tisk. "They'll forget about me in a week. Everypony does."
The Doctor remained silent, staring at the floor. River nudged him slightly with her hoof.
"Please…" Ditzy muttered, starting to cry.
Suddenly, the Doctor sprang up. "Of course we'll take you with us!" he cried as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "How could I leave you? The best companion in the universe!" He threw her into a hug before she could even process his enthusiasm.
"Of course! Sure, it'll make the hole in between worlds harder to close, but it's nothing I've not done before!" He ran over to the console, fiddling with controls. "Go get your things."
Ditzy stopped short. "No. It's a trick. You're just going to leave me."
River looked between her husband and her friend. She honestly had no idea what he was up. Penny in the air, she thought, an old catchphrase of hers. The look between the two others lasted for a seemingly impossibly long time. The Doctor slowly moved to the pegasus. He stopped inches from her.
"I. Will. Never. Leave you."
The pegasus stood startled for a moment, but then a slow grin formed across her face. "Really?"
"Of course!" he said, back to his jovial self. He galloped back to the controls as Ditzy ran for the door.
Once she was out, River turned to the Doctor. "How are you planning on pulling this one off?"
"I've done it—" he was cut short by Ditzy bursting back in through the door.
Without question, the Doctor and River galloped towards her and out the door. Ditzy wordlessly pointed to an unconscious pony on the ground beside the TARDIS.
"Did you hit her?" Ditzy asked. The Doctor put his head to the cream earth pony's chest, listening for a heartbeat.
"No, that's impossible, I turned the guidance on, the TARDIS would've avoided her." River breathed, watching the Doctor examine her.
Suddenly his frenzied movements stopped. "Oh." His eyes were riveted on her flank. He seemed to have forgotten River, Ditzy, Ponyville, or breathing.
"Oh?" River asked, trying to peer around his head. Then, she saw it. Suddenly, her mind echoed with the TARDIS's stolen voice. "Yes, it's her."
River Song had faced down Daleks barehanded. She had traveled in the time vortex completely naked, and landed in the middle of a battle fleet. She had seen the end of the universe, even caused it a few times. She had almost lost the Doctor several times, had killed him twice, and had seen only a little recognition in his eyes. But none of those times had she felt fear like this; nothing like this terror that gripped her as she saw the stirring earth pony's cutie mark.