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'You chose to change. He chose to die.' Joan's final moments with John Smith. Missing scene from 'Family of Blood',
Note: Though this scene was quite deliberately missing from the episode, that doesn't need to stop me writing it in any way. I hope I've done it justice.
Feedback: Yes, please.
What Choice Is There?
"What are you going to do?"
It's a simple question, and they both know the answer.
John looks at her, as if drinking in the final sight of her, and then turns his eyes on the watch in his hand. "What choice do I have?"
His other hand searches for her shoulder, and Joan lets him pull her against him.
She then takes the hand and entwines her fingers with his. He rests his chin on the top of her head. Joan can't see his face now, just the hand holding the watch. She doesn't want to see anything else. But there's also the feel of their hands entwined and the steady throb of John's heartbeat, when the explosions outside don't drown it out.
A finger moves, and the watch springs open. There is light, of a warm golden colour that still feels so very cold. An explosion outside robs her momentarily of her hearing.
Quiet returns, and now the heartbeat is different; still steady, but there is a double thud where there used to be only one. The hand in hers has turned cold. Now it lets go, brushes some hair away from her face and comes to rest on her temple. Joan thinks she hears a murmur, possibly someone saying 'sleep well', and then all is darkness.
The next thing she knows, it is dawn, and there is peace. She has been laid in one of the beds in the cottage. Did the Doctor do this? She doesn't know.
John is dead. This she knows. She is a widow again, and not yet even married this time.
Martha enters the cottage briefly, to say goodbye. Maybe the girl says other things as well, Joan can't remember. She's still waiting for news from someone else. Someone who will hopefully not be so cruel as to leave her like this.
He is not. But as the being wearing John's body leaves again, she clutches the book -- the one reminder of John Smith she has left -- and wonders whether this wasn't actually the greater cruelty.