She tried to open her mouth to speak, but no words came out. The whole room was spinning and blurring out of focus. All she could see was the small, sleeping baby in Adrian’s arms.
“This doesn’t make sense,” said the Doctor.
“I tried to tell you earlier. Adrian showed me when we were in the shed-TARDIS dimensions. In the console room.”
“But how?” said the Doctor, looking from Caroline’s shocked face and then back to the baby.
“It was the good people - the good Apparites - that took the baby.”
“But why?” said the Doctor.
“Because it was humming with power. If she had carried the baby to term then it would have ripped her and itself apart, doing who knows what else damage.. The energy released in child labour is just…phenomenal. Even at the normalist of times.”
“You’ve got clever with your words,” said Danny, frowning at his brother.
“I’ve had time to…I think.”
Caroline frowned. “But it was never there,” she said slowly.
“You forget that they’ve got time energy running through them. They made it appear that you’d never been pregnant.”
Caroline shook her head. “But…I just don’t…”
“Why didn’t you just explain this to Caroline?”
Adrian shook his head. “Communicating between both worlds back then was…limited.”
Caroline slapped Adrian across his face.
The shocked lad simply stared at her. “Anyway,” he continued, “we took the very, very small, unborn baby and placed it in an incubator in the TARDIS where it was able to grow to full term. Harmlessly.”
The Doctor shook his head. “Even that was incredibly dangerous, young man! You placed a small, growing life within a twisted, terrifying psychic world!”
“We had no choice, Doctor!”
The Doctor simply tutted, his arms folded.
“But he is truly and completely yours, Caroline,” said Adrian, extending his arms towards Caroline.
“He?” said Caroline.
“Yep.” Adrian smiled. “It’s a boy. And technically only born a day or two ago. That’s why I originally came back. To find Danny and you.”
Caroline nervously took the bundle from Adrian. She pulled it in towards her chest. She had never thought it possible. When she had found out she was pregnant, she had been overjoyed. Over the moon. It was the best news in the world. And when she had lost the baby, it had destroyed her inside. Destroyed all of her love for the world.
And now here he was. The light she dearly needed in her life. Shining and sleeping in front of her. She smiled and turned away from the rest of them. This was her moment. A moment she had to share with just him and herself. The tears were in her eyes as she gently rocked her baby backwards and forward.
She reached out her hand and touched his forehead gently with her finger.
There was a small spark and Caroline gasped. She felt, however impossible it might be, that she had experienced the pregnancy. Her body surged and she felt herself giving birth and then the joy at seeing the baby for the first time.
She felt at one with the baby. He was hers. He was her son.
Danny joined her by her side and smiled, looking down at the baby.
“Congratulations,” smiled Danny.
Caroline looked and smiled at him. “Thank you.”
“What will you call him?”
Caroline looked at him. There was only one name she could ever call him. “William,” she said. “His name is William.”
Danny nodded and smiled. “Parker, Farrington or Fieldgate?”
Caroline smiled and laughed through her tears. “Maybe none of them. Maybe I’ll just rename us Caroline and William Smith.”
“Smith!” said the Doctor, clapping his hands together. “Now there’s a good, last name.”
Caroline laughed and turned to face the time traveller. They had been through a lot together. She had not always been the easiest person to get on with, and they had had their differences, but all of it had led to this. The most amazing moment of her life.
“Thank you, Doctor,” she said, smiling.
Outside the church was still and silent. Most of the Apparites were on the other side of town, heading towards the Victoria Mills apartment complex. But there was one who remained near the church: Brandon.
He slowly walked across the snow, the soft, white stuff crunching under foot. He had a look of determination in his rotten eyes. He knew where he needed to get to and who he needed to get to.
He reached the door to the church. It had been locked from the inside. He scowled as he touched the handle. The handle froze up and then shattered over the ground. And then Brandon pushed his way in.
Inside the crypt, the Doctor had loaded up a rucksack with some equipment from his own TARDIS. The blue box was standing in the corner of the control room and he gave it a gentle pat as he locked the door.
Jayne had also finished packing a rucksack with some essential supplies for their journey. They had both dressed in big, warm coats and woolly hats and scarves.
The Doctor smiled at Danny and Caroline as he pulled the hat down over his head.
“It’s going to be cold in there,” he said, patting the top of his hat.
“You be careful,” said Caroline.
The Doctor looked away and then back at Caroline. “Look, I don’t want to dampen the situation, but if I don’t come back -”
“Oh, come on, Doc,” said Danny with a laugh.
“Please, listen to me. If I don’t come back, I want you to get the rest of these people into the TARDIS. It’s pre-set to take you far away from here. Use it only in the most dire emergency.”
“But you will come back,” said Caroline, as she stroked William’s cheek.
“Promise me you’ll do as I say,” said the Doctor, holding up a finger.
“Okay, okay,” said Danny, “we promise.”
The Doctor smiled. “Be careful.”
“Are we ready?” said Jayne, interrupting their quiet moment.
“Yes,” said the Doctor. “Let’s get this over with.”
Matthew stepped forward, his arm extended. “Good look, Doctor, eh?”
The Doctor looked down at his arm, frowned, and then shook it. “Thank you, Mr Cole.”
There was a scream from the other side of the room. Standing there in the door to the crypt was Brandon. His arms were outstretched and cold air was coming from them.
“Brandon!” said Jayne, shocked to see her brother.
“Hello, Jayne,” he growled.
“Sit down and we can talk about this,” said Jayne, edging a little closer to the cloaked figure.
“No more talking,” hissed Brandon. “You left me in there.”
“I had no choice,” said Jayne, emotion filtering into her voice.
“You always have a choice. You should have let me out.” Brandon edged a little closer to Jayne. “Now all I care about is making my people - my people - make you pay for your mistakes.”
“How? By bringing destruction and hurt to innocent people?” asked the Doctor.
“I cannot live like this. Live like an outsider.”
“But it makes no sense, Brandon,” said Jayne
Brandon howled in pain and clasped his head between his hands. “Help me, Jayne. Help me!”
Jayne reached out to Brandon, and then his hand swiped up, grabbing Jayne around the wrist.
Jayne gasped in horror as her wrist started to turn grey.
“No!” yelled the Doctor.
He raced up to the Apparite and knocked Jayne free from the cloaked finger. Brandon rounded on the Doctor and grabbed him around the neck. He gasped as he was lifted into the air.
Cole ran to the Doctors aid and tried to push Brandon away. He momentarily dropped the Doctor to the floor, turned to face Cole and then thrust his hand through his chest.
Cole gasped as he felt his heart begin to freeze up.
And then there was a suddenly burst of light. Brandon retracted his hand from Cole’s chest and looked to where the light was coming from. Jayne, Margot and Ben were stood side by side, their whole bodies glowing bright orange. Brandon shielded his eyes against the light and screamed as he was backed into the corner.
“This is your own fault,” said Jayne as they advanced on him. “You’re not my brother. My brother was always a little bit selfish, but he would never had done something like this.”
“No!” howled Brandon.
“My brother died when that console exploded. Brandon is dead!”
Brandon let out a long, painful cry as the three Ancestors closed in on him. Brandon was set alight by the strange, glowing energy and slowly, before their eyes, his skin melted away from his skeleton, leaving a pile of gooey, white liquid. When the life had gone from Brandon, his skeleton crumbled to the floor.
When Brandon had gone, the Ancestors stepped away, their power slowly returning to within them.
Jayne knelt down beside Brandon’s remains. A tear fell from her eye, but she quickly sniffed the tears away and then turned to the others.
“Doctor, we need to go now!”
The Doctor had been tending to Cole’s wounds and looked up at Jayne. “Thank you, Jayne.”
“What about Matthew?” said Caroline.
“His heart has been damaged. It’s only a matter of time.”
“Can’t we help him? Get him to a hospital.”
“No,” gasped Cole. “No hospitals.”
The Doctor put an hand on Caroline’s shoulder. “Look after him. I need you to keep him alive until I get back.”
“Doctor, we need to go!” said Jayne, sternly.
Caroline watched Jayne and the Doctor head towards the crypt as she sat down, baby in arms, next to the dying Matthew Cole.
Strangely, he didn’t seem scared.
She took her pendant out of her pocket and put it around her neck, along with the silver cross her grandma had given her all those years ago. She turned the pendant over and over in her hands.
“When things are ready to be finished,” she repeated under hear breath, remembering her mothers words.
Next time: Will Caroline use the pendant? And what will it do? Coming Friday 22nd November.