And here it is: the conclusion! Whether you enjoyed that or not, the next fanfic I’ll post will be the MST3K version of “Masque of the Baron”. It’s funny. 😉
The Masque of the Baron
Episode Ten: Epilogue
The late afternoon sun shone blindingly off the Seine, causing Terri to turn away from the bridge railing. She smiled at her companions. Adam smiled back. The Doctor was still staring off over the river, an incomprehensible emotion in his eyes. Terri wondered how he could stare so long at the sun and not blink.
A child’s disappointed cry caught Terri’s ear. She turned towards the sound. A little boy was staring up with tears in his eyes, watching a yellow balloon float up out of sight.
Before Terri could do anything, the Doctor had stepped away and was striding towards the child.
“Did you lose your balloon?” asked the Doctor.
The little boy nodded, mutely. He stuck his finger in his mouth.
“Did you lose your family, too?” asked the Doctor.
The little boy nodded again, the tears beginning again.
“There, there,” said the Doctor, whipping out a handkerchief and wiping the tears away. He looked up and around, eventually spotting something. Terri followed his gaze and saw a frantic Frenchwoman running across the square at the end of the bridge. “Is that your maman?” the Doctor asked the little boy.
The boy nodded. The tears were gone and he was smiling now.
“Well, let’s go to her, shall we?”
The boy’s face lit up with joy. The Doctor had to run to keep up with him. Terri stifled an affectionate chuckle. By the time the Doctor had reached the boy’s mother, he was out of earshot, so she turned to Adam.
“Well,” she said.
“Well, what?” asked Adam, leaning back against the rail.
“I wonder what happens next,” she replied. “I . . . I’m going to miss him, Adam.”
Adam smiled. “Somehow, I don’t think he’ll be gone for long.”
Terri chuckled. “I know what you mean.” She turned, gazing at the little Time Lord, rapidly conversing with the little boy’s mother. “I wonder . . . ,” she began, musing to herself.
“Wonder what?” asked Adam. Terri started. She had not realized that she was thinking out loud.
“I wonder what it’s like,” she replied. She turned back to Adam. “Being him,” she added.
Adam nodded cryptically, but did not answer.
“I mean . . . he seems so lonely sometimes. And the things he’s seen, the things he must have done to be the way he is . . .”
Terri was very surprised to see Adam shudder. He closed his eyes and turned away. “Yes,” he said. There was a curious weight to his voice. Suddenly Terri remembered who Adam really was and felt her heart grow cold.
Embarrased, Terri turned to face the river again. The sun had gone behind a cloud and was no longer blindingly bright. “I wonder what it’s like, travelling from world to world all the time . . .”
“You’d better not say, ‘boldly going where no one has gone before.'” said a voice at Terri’s elbow. She jumped, startled.
“Doctor,” she said, turning around and fixing the little Time Lord with a glare. He grinned winningly back at her. Terri found herself smiling too.
“Well,” said the Doctor. “It’s time to say good bye.”
Terri met the Doctor’s eyes. And all of a sudden, she knew that she couldn’t say good bye. Not yet.
“Doctor,” said Terri, “I . . . I don’t know how to say this, but . . .”
A grin broke across the Doctor’s face. “Of course you may,” he replied.
Terri frowned. “But you don’t know what I was going to say,” she protested.
He smiled fondly at her. “But the TARDIS did,” he replied. “I think she’s lonely. If you want to travel with me, you are more than welcome.”
Terri wondered for a moment if it was the Doctor who was lonely and not his ship. But she knew better than to ask.
“I would love to!” she replied, grinning from ear to ear. The Doctor smiled happily back at her.
“If I might ask . . . ,” said Adam.
“I’m sorry,” said Terri. “I didn’t mean to ignore you.”
“I was just wondering what I’m supposed to tell everyone else while you’re off travelling the universe.”
“Oh, dear,” said Terri. “I hadn’t thought about that.”
“Don’t worry,” said the Doctor brightly. “The TARDIS is a time machine, isn’t she? When you want to come home, just tell me and we’ll come right back here and now. You won’t have missed a thing.”
Terri grinned happily. “Deal!” she replied. She stuck out her hand. The Doctor shook it vigorously.
“So,” she said, turning back to Adam. “I guess I have to say goodbye too, now.”
“Only for you. I’ll see you again tomorrow,” replied Adam. “Unless you decide not to come back at all.”
Terri could not decipher the emotion in his voice. “Don’t worry,” she replied. “I’ll come back.” She bit her lip, then stepped close to Adam. “I’ll miss you,” she said. “You know that, don’t you?”
He smiled back at her. She felt very relieved. Impulsively, she threw her arms around him. She hugged him for some time. “You take care of yourself, Methos,” she whispered.
“Ahem,” said the Doctor. Terri stepped back. “Good bye,” said the Doctor, extending his hand to Adam. Adam took it. “I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
“Good bye, Doctor,” replied Adam. “And good bye Terri. Try not to have too much fun.” He smiled once, then turned and walked away across the bridge. He did not turn back.
“Well, Terri,” said the Doctor. “I think it’s time we were off.” And he set off towards the TARDIS.
Terri grinned. “Where to first?” she asked, following.
The Doctor grinned back at her. “Perhaps a relaxing visit to the Eye of Orion. Or a pleasant dip in the seas of Tiberius III. Or . . .”
“Doctor . . .,” said Terri. They had arrived at the TARDIS. “Why don’t you just decide for me?”
The Doctor grinned at her. “All right!” he said, holding the door open for her. Terri shook her head, chuckling, and walked past him into the TARDIS.
The door closed behind them. With a shake and a rumble, the battered police box slowly faded from reality. A moment later, it reappeared.
“Blast it,” said a voice from within.
“Now what?” asked another voice.
“I have a better idea,” replied the first voice. “Why don’t we let the TARDIS decide?”
—*** T H E – E N D ***—