Derpy bucked the door of the TARDIS again, but to no avail. The police call box held strong against the constant blows. Many had tried to break through these doors before, all ending in failure. The gray pegasus knew she would never be able to break through the doors, but she wasn't going to let that stand in her way. She had been on too many adventures with the brown stallion she knew as the Doctor to let him go without a fight.
"Doctor!" she cried out. "Let me in right now or Celestia forbid, I will…I will…well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I promise you it won’t be pleasant!” Derpy started pacing in front of the doors, then flew up twenty feet and launched herself at them. She slammed into the doors face first, crumpling to the floor. “Ow. Not your smartest move, Derpy,” she thought to herself. But still, there was no sign the doors would open to her. After what seemed like hours of pounding on the doors, Derpy finally collapsed, too exhausted to scream anymore. Tears stained her muzzle as she tried to figure out what she had done wrong.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Derpy perked up at the sound of the voice coming from inside the blue box. "It is time for us to part ways, Ms. Hooves. The situations we are facing are becoming more and more dangerous and I'm afraid that any chance of your survival in the long run would be impossible. I don’t know what I would do if I lost you forever."
Derpy knew the Doctor was speaking the truth, but it wasn't one she was willing to accept. "You told me that impossible things happen every day," Derpy replied solemnly. Her throat burned as her tears fell freely. "How can I go on with a normal life after all of the things that you have shown me?"
When the Doctor replied, Derpy could hear the strain in his voice from the tears that he must have also been shedding. "That's easy, my dear. Be amazing. Be wonderful. But above all, be you. I have seen you stand hoof to hoof with the Master, free planets from the tyranny of the cyberponies and still make it home in time to tuck young Dinky into bed. The best days of her life are ahead of you, and I would never forgive myself if you missed a single minute of them. You have the most amazing adventure ahead of you. You were just side tracked by a crazy, old stallion."
Derpy smiled and thought of Dinky. Soon she would be starting magic kindergarten and she would need her mother's full attention to grow into the mare the Doctor showed her. Finally accepting the truth, Derpy needed to ask one last question.
"Will I ever see you again?"
After a short pause, the Doctor responded. "No." The Doctor's reply was short, but Derpy knew that nothing more was needed to be said. With that, Derpy heard the familiar sounds of the TARDIS as she looked up to watch it slowly fade away for the last time.
"Goodbye, my Doctor."
When the TARDIS was gone, Derpy could finally see where the Doctor had set her down for the last time. Ornate chandeliers hung from the high ceilings, casting a soft glow on the somber scene. Along the walls, stained glass windows depicted scenes of six mares triumphing over a chaos god. The throne room to the palace in Canterlot was easily recognizable to any pony and Derpy was glad that it was at least empty for her farewell. That wouldn't last for long as the doors opened to reveal two guards, entering and walking up to the gray pegasus.
"Ms. Hooves. Please come with us."
“I’ll give you both a muffin if you just let me lie down here for a few years,” Derpy quietly pleaded. When she got no response, she stood up, mentally cursing her sore muscles. “So much for bribery. You ponies used to be fun 400 years ago.” Derpy silently followed the guards through the halls of the palace. It wasn't the first time that Derpy had been escorted by palace guards, but she had always had the Doctor with her to provide a safety net if needed. Now she knew that she would have to depend on herself when danger arose. The guards led her to one of the smaller ballrooms in the castle and stood in place by the doors, signaling for her to enter.
What she found inside caught her off guard as one of her eyes immediately looked off in a random direction. Gathering her senses, she looked into the ballroom to see about a dozen ponies milling around, talking, laughing, and for some, crying and being comforted. It reminded her of some of the meetings she took Berry Punch to. Though the scene seemed a bit bizarre to the pegasus, it was the two ponies closest to her that gave her the real shock.
Derpy could feel the tears start again as the young filly ran towards her and leapt into her open hooves. "My little muffin," Derpy cooed as she nuzzled her daughter. Minutes ago she had been wondering how her life could continue without the Doctor, but holding Dinky once again made forget that she ever worried.
"The nice princess was telling me all kinds of funny stories and I told her the stories you tell me at bedtime and she said I was the best story teller ever!" Derpy's thoughts briefly drifted back to the future she saw about Dinky's successful career as a fiction writer when the other pony Derpy recognized walked up.
Although Derpy was briefly distracted by her daughter, seeing Princess Celestia approach reminded her of her present location. Immediately, she set Dinky down and bowed as low as she could. The Goddess of the Sun approached the mother and daughter pair and bowed her head. "Dame Hooves, you should know by now that you do not need to follow such formalities around me. After everything you have done for this country, it is I who should be honoring you." Everypony quieted down and turned to watch their princess bow before the new arrival. Celestia smiled as she saw how flustered the gray pegasus was getting from all the attention. Playfully, she nudged Derpy to bring her back to focus. "Your daughter was telling me some amazing tales of adventure. She has quite the imagination," Celestia said, giving Derpy a knowing wink.
"Wh...what is all this?" Derpy stuttered as she looked from the ponies in the room to the white alicorn standing before her.
"This is a sort of club that I started a few decades back to help ponies like you who have travelled with the Doctor," Princess Celestia explained. Derpy was about to interrupt when the princess held up a hoof. "Before you ask, yes, I have known about the Doctor, his travels and his companions for some time. Although I do not always condone his actions, I know that he is a force of good for this world. In fact, I have had the chance to travel with him on occasion and I know what it can do to a pony's mind, seeing things so extraordinary and beautiful that a simple life no longer feels adequate. Here, with permission from the Doctor, I have gathered his companions to meet and share with one another their stories. I'm hoping that by showing each of you that you are not alone that you be able to better adjust to a simpler life."
Derpy looked down at Dinky who was busy playfully chasing the princess's flowing tail. Once she was able to clear the last of the tears from her eyes, she looked up to Princess Celestia. "If there is one thing the Doctor has taught me, it's that there is nothing in life that is so simple that it can't be made extraordinary."
"Wise words indeed, Dame Hooves. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I can see why the Doctor favored you as a companion." With that, Princess Celestia bowed once more to the pair and turned to mingle with some of the other ponies in the room.
Derpy set Dinky upon her back and went to meet and learn about the other companions. "The other thing the Doctor taught me," she thought as felt her daughter curl up and drift off to sleep, "is that life is never simple, but nothing is so impossible as long as we keep love and friendship in our hearts.”