Chapter 6: Always With Me, Always With You
"Doctor?" the pegasus's voice was filled with concern, "Doctor, what's going on?"
The Doctor looked at his body. It was glowing an amber color. He knew what was going on all too well, "I-I'm regenerating…." His words were sad and distant.
"But that's good right?" Derpy asked, tilting her head as one of her eyes drifted to the side.
The brown stallion was hesitant to respond. "Yes," he began, "and no."
Derpy gave a puzzled look, "But you'll get better, right? Right?"
"I never told you this for a reason Derpy….but regeneration is completely random. It was astronomical odds that I became a pony to begin with. Regenerating as one is just the same. And…." the Doctor didn't want to continue.
"And?" the grey pegasus pushed on.
"I might not remember you."
A frightened look came across the mare's face. "Wh-What?"
The Doctor's body was emitting more energy, "It's a complete random chance I have been able to keep many of my memories up to now, and it's unknown if I will after I regenerate. It's just one of many aspects of the curse of the Time Lords. Now go, I don't want you to get caught up in the regeneration process."
"I'm not going to leave you, Doctor. I didn't against the Cybermen and I won't now," Derpy's voice was strong, however, her eyes had a few tears.
The stallion's face was in pain as he looked up at the mare, "Derpy, dear….please….go. This won't be pretty….for either of us…."
Derpy tried to speak but her she was tripping over her words, "B-But….I don't want to leave you."
Forcing a smile to his face, the Doctor raised a hoof and lightly touched the mare's chest, "You're always with me….just as I'm always with you."
Derpy grabbed the Doctor's hoof with both of hers, she struggled to hold the tears back, "I'll never forget you, Doctor."
At that, she placed his hoof down and retreated to a safe distance. From behind a fallen log, the pegasus looked over at the Doctor. She saw that he was glowing more and more by each passing second. Finally, what seemed to be light of all colors of the spectrum flowed out from the Doctor's body. It sounded as if thunder was roaring from his body and mixed with the sounds of anguish from the stallion. The light was becoming too intense for Derpy to look directly in the direction. Shielding her eyes with her front limbs, she waited for the regeneration to stop. All she could hear was grunts of pain from the Doctor.
Finally, the violent ordeal was over. Looking at the scene, the pegasus saw a bipedal figure where the Doctor once was. Gliding over to the body, she observed the body. Looking closely, she saw the figure was wearing a white shirt underneath a brown coat, black slacks and a red bow tie. His skin was pale and the top of his head had brown spiky hair. The mare leaned her face close to the Doctor's, sniffing him. Her nose was right, it was her Doctor still, just different body.
Suddenly, the eyes of the Time Lord opened to the pegasus leaning in on him. "Well, hello there, little pony! How are you doing?" He sat himself up.
This caught Derpy off guard and she pulled her head back. "D-Doctor? Do you remember me?" she spoke nervously, failing to stop the tears from her eyes.
The Doctor shook his head, "I'm afraid not, dear."
More tears formed in the mare's eyes. She threw her front limbs around the Time Lord in a hug. She sobbed quietly.
"Why are you crying? You really shouldn't cry," the Doctor spoke, caught off guard by the hug. He wrapped his arms around Derpy and continued, "You seem so familiar, and yet I can't say why."
Breaking the hug, Derpy told the Time Lord to follow her to his TARDIS. She led him the phone box where he thanked the pony and patted her on top of her blonde mane. She smiled as she watched him enter and close the door. After it was closed, she turned around and began to cry again. Derpy couldn't bear to watch the TARDIS disappear in front of her, so she trotted slowly towards her home.
Inside of the TARDIS, the Time Lord who had kept his composure began to breakdown. He also was crying. Walking to the hat stand where the scarf was, he grabbed a part of it and felt the soft fabric between his fingers. He spoke aloud, his voice crestfallen, "I'm sorry I had to do that, Derpy….I didn't want to see you cry like that, but….if I didn't, you would want to come along….and we both know what could happen….and if it did….if something happened to you….I'm sorry, my dear…."
When Derpy returned home, Celestia's sun had set and Luna's moon had risen into the sky. Entering her home, she saw Dinky on the floor of the main room. She was drawing what looked like a blue rectangle flying through space. The unicorn filly looked up to her adoptive mother from her crayon art.
"Momma? Are you okay?" Dinky asked with concern.
Wiping a few tears from her eyes, Derpy replied, "Yes, dear. Mommy's just sad, that's all."
"Where's Mr. Doctor?" she asked innocently.
Derpy was hesitant to respond.
"Did he have to go away?" the filly was piecing the puzzle together. Her mother nodded as a few tears rolled down her face. "Oh, okay." After a pause, Dinky continued, "You can always see him though."
Derpy was confused by her daughter's remark, "What? How?"
Dinky smiled, "The Doctor told me that if I ever wanted to see him again, all I have to do is look up at the stars in the night sky and wish really, really hard and he will be there."
The blonde pegasus smiled at her daughter, "I think it's time for bed. For the both of us."
Both of the ponies got ready for bed and said their good nights to one another. They retired to their rooms for rest.
Derpy, however, couldn't sleep. What Dinky had said to her kept her awake. About how if one looked at the stars and wish hard, the Doctor will be there. Derpy crawled out of her bed and trotted out onto the balcony. The night air caused the pegasus to shiver. She looked up to the many stars that dotted the sky. A smile appeared on her face as she thought of the many adventures she and the Doctor had. Closing her eyes, she made a wish. She wished hard.
Opening her teary eyes, Derpy saw a shooting star fly by in the night sky.