The TARDIS whirred to a halt. Derpy looked at him, still a little scared.
“Is it over, Doctor?”
The brown earth pony looked down at her shaking form and smiled. “Yes, Miss Hooves, it’s over. Take a look for yourself.”
He pushed open the door. A quiet Ponyville night lay outside, the warm glow of the TARDIS’ lights spilling out into the street.
Derpy took a tentative step out the door. The ground was solid. She looked back at the Doctor, half-expecting the nighttime scene to vanish and to find herself swept up into another adventure.
“Go on then,” the Doctor said teasingly. “Next time I need help saving a planet from an infestation of Cyberponies, I know just the mare to call. But for now, your place is here. Dinky needs you, and the mail isn’t going to deliver itself, you know.”
All this was true, but Derpy secretly wished that the Doctor would stay with her in Ponyville. She felt … calmer when he was around, despite all of the craziness that followed him.
Words were never her strong suit. She wanted to tell him how much she needed him. How much she loved him.
But all that came out was, “When … will I see you again?”
He stepped out beside her in the cool night air. “When I am needed, my dear Miss Hooves.”
She felt a warm kiss on her cheek, held there for a long moment. He drew back, and she looked at him, her eyes moist.
“Doctor, I … I … you ...”
He placed a hoof on her lips. “I know.” His voice caught as he spoke. “My dearest Derpy Hooves … when you are a Time Lord, like myself, you must make sacrifices. Sometimes, you must give up something … somepony … very precious to you. Not because you want to, but for her own safety. Maybe she has friends who would miss her. Maybe she has a filly who needs her. Maybe …”
He looked up at the sky, a tear running down his cheek. “Maybe … I wish more than anything in the world that I could stay here with you. Maybe I would be the happiest stallion in this universe if I could just spend one night here, with you, not running around on an adventure, not saving millions from destruction, but just cuddling with you under these beautiful stars.”
He nuzzled her cheek, softly. She felt his warm breath on her neck. “But, Miss Hooves, I must do my duty to the billions of inhabitants of billions of worlds. Nopony else can do what I do. They need me.”
She sobbed quietly. “Alright, Doctor. I understand.” This was far from true. She didn’t, couldn’t understand.
He stepped back into the TARDIS, putting a hoof on the door. “Goodbye, Miss Hooves. I … hope we meet again.”
“Goodbye, Doctor.” The door closed. The machine came to life, disappearing into the night.
Derpy jumped into the air, soaring above the rooftops, the sounds of the TARDIS growing faint behind her. “You said I would see you again when you were needed.” She looked back, wiping away a tear. “Well, I need you.”
I'm pleased with the way the shading and highlights turned out on this piece. Lemme know what you think!
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