Chapter 9: Death of the DoctorDonna
Grounds of the Beckwithshaw Hotel, Outskirts of Harrogate, England, Earth, Winter, 2010 A.D.
Twilight coughed something fierce as she and Shaun landed in the snow. A shower of cold snow and hot water fell down upon them as they tried to get off the now soggy ground. Both Twilight and Shaun were soaked to the core and were simultaneously freezing their rear ends off and being chilled to the bone. Twilight looked up at the humongous geyser towering above her.
"What...the hell?!" asked a weakened and dazed Shaun.
"Just another last-second Doctor plan. Thank Celestia it managed to save us," Twilight sighed. Shaun began looking around frantically.
"What happened to Donna and your friends? And...where the hell did that worm go?!" Twilight suddenly began looking around too.
"They have to be here somewhere."
Donna picked herself off the mushy ground. Derpy had landed next to her and was following suit. Donna looked towards the Beckwithshaw Hotel which was surrounded in an aura of snow and geyser water. It looked beautiful in the glow of the full moon in the winter nighttime sky.
"That's one way to get out of a jam," Donna said as she shivered in the cold air.
"I guess," said Derpy as she stood up. The geysers were now slowly beginning to die down. "Where's the Doctor, Twilight, and...er-"
"Right! Shaun. Where is he, the Doctor, and Twilight?" Donna looked around and shrugged her shoulders.
"They're around here somewhere. What I'm mostly worried about is where that worm and your mother went." Derpy suddenly gulped. That's when they heard a groan from nearby. Derpy and Donna looked to see the Doctor pick himself out of the snow and slowly begin trudging over to them.
"Hello there!" he said with a cheeky grin. Derpy and Donna ran over to him.
"Nice work, Doctor!" said Derpy. The Doctor presented the Sonic Screwdriver to them.
"Ah, it was nothing! I figured that there were a lot of water tunnels down in those icy tombs. All I had to do was heat up the water, build up some pressure, and there you go: a quick escape!"
"That's all good Doctor, and it's nice to be outside and all, but where's the worm and Derpy's mother?" Donna asked. The Doctor was about to reply when the ground underneath them began to shake. The Doctor and Donna found themselves flying up into the air as Jimmy the worm emerged from the ground beneath them. Derpy, meanwhile, was captured by Jimmy's hands. Derpy tried to break free but Jimmy was holding onto her tightly. The Doctor and Donna looked up to see Jimmy slowly bringing Derpy closer and closer to his mouth. "DERPY!"
The Doctor aimed the Screwdriver up at Jimmy but Jimmy proceeded to swing his giant tail at the Doctor. The Doctor tried to dodge but the tail was faster than he had expected it to be. The Doctor flew through the air and landed in a patch of snow quite a ways away. Donna tried to run to his aid but Jimmy began attacking her with his tail as well. She managed to dodge two attacks but was soon taken down by the worm. Derpy was still trying to break free.
"LET GO!" Derpy ordered. Jimmy snarled in response.
"No. You have lived long enough, Ditzy Doo. You've been a pain in my love's side for long enough. The best thing for my love isn't her reunion with you but your demise. Once you are gone, my love will finally have peace. I look forward to seeing what a failure of a child like you tastes like," Jimmy said in an even colder voice than normal. Jimmy's tongues extended from his mouth and wrapped around Derpy. Derpy could feel her heart race as she was drawn closer and closer to the rows of sharp teeth within Jimmy's mouth. She looked for somebody or somepony to come to her rescue: the Doctor, Donna, Twilight, or even Shaun. There was nobody or nopony coming. Was this the end? Was Ditzy Doo/Derpy Hooves going to meet the end of her life here at the mercy of a mutated worm from an alternate dimension? Derpy tried to break free from the tongues. The tongues only grew tighter the more she fought against them. Jimmy opened his mouth wide and prepared to bite down. Derpy was ready for the end when suddenly something white flashed past and cut straight through Jimmy's tongues. Jimmy let out a cry of pain as his tongues were cut. Derpy broke free and flew into the air. She looked around for her savior. Her savior was climbing up Jimmy's side. Derpy had to do a double-take. Dahlia Doo was climbing up Jimmy's side and was stabbing away at his body with her sharp, icy spider legs. Jimmy began to scream and cry in denial. "Why, my love?! Why?!"
Dahlia had a crazed look in her eye...but almost in a loving way. She looked like a mother bear fighting to protect her cubs. Her eyes were no longer red and were instead glowing with a bright, blue color.
"You will not hurt my Ditzy! You will not touch my Ditzy! I will die before I lose her again!" Dahlia cried as she continued to stab away at Jimmy's body. She sounded like a madpony. Derpy could tell that her mother had gone totally insane, even more so than how she had previously been, but she was insane in a motherly way. Derpy was in shock. She didn't know what to think.
"DERPY!" called a familiar voice. Derpy looked down to see Twilight and Shaun running in her direction on the ground below. They were making sure to keep a fair distance away from Jimmy. "LOOK OUT!" Derpy looked just in time to see Jimmy lunging at her. Derpy dived towards the ground to avoid Jimmy's attack. However, she ended up accidentally smashing into a mound of melting snow. Derpy looked up to see Jimmy preparing to attack again.
"STOP!" ordered Dahlia as she climbed onto Jimmy's face and stabbed one of his eyes. Jimmy yelled and began attempting to attack the crazed Dahlia. Dahlia proceeded to blind Jimmy by stabbing his other eye. The giant worm yelled angrily as it slowly began to die from blood loss. In a desperate attempt, it began gnawing at Dahlia's ice cage.
"I made you what you are...and so I shall destroy you!" Jimmy screamed before driving one of his teeth into Dahlia's body. Dahlia let out a shrill groan as her pony body was ripped away from the cage that she had been biologically bonded to. Before Jimmy could finish Dahlia off and eat her, he finally began to give in to his injuries. The giant worm fell to the ground with a loud boom. The wounded Dahlia rolled out into the snow.
Everything was silent. Derpy, Twilight, and Shaun watched as the dying Jimmy slowly melted away into blue sludge. Within seconds, there was nothing left of the worm. The wounded Dahlia, however, remained. She called out weakly for her daughter.
"Ditzy...Ditzy...Ditzy...please," she cried. Derpy stood there and stared at her dying mother. She didn't know what to feel or what to do.
"Go to her," said the voice of Donna Noble. Derpy turned to see the slightly injured Donna and Doctor approaching them. Donna looked at Dahlia, sighed, and then turned back to Derpy. "Believe it or not, there was actually a time where I think she genuinely loved you through and through." Derpy looked at Dahlia and wished to believe it...and, to an extent, she did. "Go to her." Derpy nodded before slowly approaching Dahlia.
The snow around Dahlia was painted with blood now and Dahlia was close to her end. Derpy stood over her. Dahlia looked up at Derpy and smiled weakly.
"My Ditzy. My little Ditzy. I am so proud of you," Dahlia cooed. Derpy tilted her head. "Mommy has been bad. She has been bad and there's nothing she can do to make up for it. I...I don't expect you to forgive Mommy. But...don't ever think that there wasn't at least one point in time...where I didn't see you as my little Ditzy." Derpy could feel herself tearing up. Why was she tearing up? She had hated this mare for years. And yet...she felt sad.
Derpy leaned in closer to her mother and said, "I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive you for everything you did to me."
"Why did you save me?"
"Because you're my little Ditzy. I never wanted you dead. I wanted the perfect daughter. But, in turn, I became the mother from hell."
"You were a horrible mother. I may never be able to forgive you for that...but...you...you still risked your life for me. You're still my mother. My dad saw goodness in you somewhere...if only...if only you had been able to find it." Dahlia smiled sadly up at Derpy.
"Come and give Mommy one last kiss before she goes to visit Daddy." Derpy felt an odd sensation wash over her. She slowly bent down and gave Dahlia a kiss on the forehead. Dahlia smiled as she looked up at Derpy. "Goodnight, Ditzy."
"I love you."
"I...I love you too." Derpy didn't even know if she meant it entirely. What she did know was that this was one of the few times, and the last time, in her life that she would be close to her mother. For just these few seconds, she looked at the mare before her and saw not a demon or a witch or a monster...but her mother. Derpy felt tears build up in her eyes. "I...I love you...Mommy." Dahlia smiled and let out one, last, long breath. Then her face became still. Her eyes became dark. Her skin became colder than what it originally had been. Derpy bowed her head in unsure respect as a few tears rolled down her cheeks. Her mommy was gone. She had gone to visit Daddy.
Outside the Beckwithshaw Hotel, Outskirts of Harrogate, England, Earth, Winter, 2010 A.D.
Nobody at the hotel knew the truth behind what had led to the geysers the previous night. Some swore that they saw a giant creature out on the grounds around midnight but these rumors were quickly forgotten. The only people at the hotel who knew the truth were Mr. and Mrs. Temple, and they weren't telling anybody anything.
The morning sun of Christmas Day shone down from the sky as Donna and Shaun, with luggage in hand, made their way over to the blue box hidden away amongst a cluster of trees. Donna knocked on the front doors. A familiar chestnut stallion in a blue suit answered the door.
"Hello there, Temples!" the Doctor chuckled.
"Merry Christmas, Doctor," said Donna.
"Merry Christmas!" The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS and was followed by Twilight and Derpy. The Doctor and Shaun exchanged polite nods. The Doctor then turned back to Donna. "I assume that you explained everything to him."
"That would be correct. He's now up to date with all of our adventures, Doctor."
"Giant wasps and living darkness...no wonder none of this freaked you out," Shaun chuckled as he kissed Donna on the cheek. Donna chuckled before turning to look at Derpy, who still looked quite down.
"How are you holding up?" Donna asked. Derpy shrugged her shoulders.
"We buried her out on the grounds. Out on that hill over there," Derpy said as she pointed towards a hill on the edge of the grounds. Twilight wrapped a foreleg around Derpy.
"I...honestly don't know what to say," said Twilight. Derpy gave a sad chuckle.
"Neither do I." She looked towards the sky. "I wonder if my Dad and Mom are together."
"I can't say anything for sure. But, maybe, her sacrifice for you counted for something," said the Doctor.
"I...hope." Derpy put on a small smile and fell silent. Everybody and everypony there felt that it was time to change the subject.
"There's been something I've been meaning to ask," said Twilight.
"And that is?" asked the Doctor.
"That energy that kept spilling out of Donna. What was that?" Donna looked at her hands and felt her head. Jimmy's message flashed through her head again.
"You are returning and it shall die," he had said.
"You are returning and it shall die," said Donna.
"What was that?" asked the Doctor. Donna felt her head again and tried to think of a complicated thought that only a Time Lord or Time Lady could think of. Nothing happened.
"I think I get it now."
"Get what?!" asked Twilight.
"That energy...it was the DoctorDonna."
"Twilight, when you touched me as I began to remember, you caused a bunch of energy to spill out of me. That released energy was powerful enough to stop the blizzard."
"Yes. I remember."
"I don't think the energy stopped coming out. Something was leaving me. I could feel it. That energy was what was left of my Time Lord subconscious...I think."
"I understand," said the Doctor. "Twilight's magical energies opened up a mental doorway of sorts to let the Time Lord energies within you out. Thus, all of that energy that kept spilling out of you."
"It's dead, Doctor," said Donna. "The subconscious is gone and I have a fully human mind back. The DoctorDonna is dead." The Doctor walked up and placed a hoof on Donna's shoulder.
"The DoctorDonna may be gone but it's still nice to have Donna Noble in its place."
"Thank you, Doctor." The Doctor and Donna hugged each other one, last time.
"So where are you two going now?" asked Derpy. Donna and Shaun looked at their luggage.
"Probably back to good, old London. It'll be nice to get home after all this," Shaun replied. Donna smiled and then looked at the TARDIS. She smiled sadly and sighed.
"It still looks the same," she said. The Doctor looked at the TARDIS and smiled.
"It also looks the same on the inside as well," he said. Everybody and everypony was quiet for the moment. An idea flashed in the Doctor's eyes. "Donna...how would...would you be interested in taking a quick trip in the TARDIS?" A familiar lust for adventure appeared in Donna's eyes. She looked like she wanted to say yes but she looked at Shaun and shook her head.
"I...I can't. I have a life here on Earth now and-"
"Donna...go with them," Shaun said suddenly. The three ponies and Donna looked at Shaun in shock.
"I don't want to be the one to hold you back from an opportunity like this, Donna. You've waited long enough to see the Doctor again and I can see that you miss those days of traveling around with him. Go with him."
"What about you?" Shaun looked at the TARDIS and shook his head.
"I'm not ready to go touring all of space and time inside a police phone box. Maybe one day...but not today."
"Shaun...are you sure?"
"Yes. Go with them. I'll still be here on good, old Earth waiting for you." A smile appeared on Donna's face as she rushed forward and gave Shaun a passionate kiss. She then turned around to face the Doctor, Twilight, and Derpy.
"So...is that a yes?" asked the Doctor.
"Of course!" Donna said happily as she grabbed her luggage. The Doctor clapped his hooves and the TARDIS doors opened.
"Welcome back on board the TARDIS, Donna Noble!" Twilight and Derpy smiled at each other as they helped load Donna's luggage in the TARDIS. Donna turned to face Shaun.
"I'll be home soon. I promise."
"Have fun!" Shaun said.
"Until we meet again, Shaun Temple," said the Doctor with a polite nod. Donna, Derpy, and Twilight waved goodbye as they boarded the TARDIS. The Doctor followed them inside and closed the doors. Shaun took a few steps back and watched as the TARDIS slowly disappeared into thin air. Once the blue box was gone, Shaun picked up his luggage and turned towards the road. He gave a smile of relief as he looked out upon the white horizon of the morning.
"Merry Christmas," he sighed.
To be continued...