Birthday present for radiolaires on LiveJournal, who often says that my fics have a big meta side. This time I really tried to make it so ;) Enjoy!

All throughout the first day, she wonders if she will sleep.

The thought is like an obsession, constantly nagging at the edge of her mind. She needs no sleep, she knows, not really. Nights are not nights here; days are not days, and the colours blazed so furiously bright at first, the sky and grass to their fullest blue and green—the one ideal shade of paradise, not the mix of imperfect hues that reveal a living being. Her dress is ever so white, too, and her companions' clothing. She half-expected to be blinded, but her eyes never watered.

If she ever cries again, it will be the computer indulging her needs, providing her with the human reactions she is used to. She realizes this. The same goes for sleep; she will never need rest. Without a break, however, the human mind would go insane. In her peculiar case, human-yet-more… she doesn't quite know. For the oddest reason, she keeps thinking of her husband and how little he sleeps, wondering if she will be the same from now on, as though she somehow needed the connection.

If she cries and sleeps, ages and bleeds and bends and breaks again, it will be for the computer watching over her, acknowledging her humanity, her need for failure and respite, contrasts and outbursts. Permanent indulgence; she could almost hate him for making her an ageless goddess.

She sometimes really does hate him, for what time is here. There is no time, like there are no bodies—only a computer core, with the imprint of beings once alive sealed forever into it. Time for them rushes forward at will, to indulge and distract, once more; to think of something is to be doing it, easy as breathing. Early on, it leaves her reeling, the instinctive feeling she never really called a time sense grappling into empty air, for realities now beyond her reach. Then she adapts, letting her intuition go dormant and her mind stretch out to create its very own possibilities.

She will now forever be travelling in her dreams. It is not the same, but there is no use in bitterness and regrets.

She stops resenting him, too. He could not know what he was getting her into—and for all the times when she ragefully found herself thinking he should have known her better, she also realizes that he could not not save her, choosing death over existence. Too young, when it happened, to take such a responsibility—too pained afterwards to dwell on her ending. She does wish he would visit. She misses the stupid sound of a TARDIS with the brakes on; she misses his eyes, his hands, his smiles, his forehead lines and all the things he always left unspoken, in the air between them when he looked at her.

She supposes she misses being alive. With her friends and the children, she couldn't miss being loved; yet she misses everything bittersweet, everything that ached but was worth it. There is him, of course, his shaking hands on her after a nightmare, his sullen avoidance and childish temper whenever something came to stir the age-old guilt and grief and fear within him. There are her parents' eyes, the sweet awkwardness and unexpected bursts of laughter, the suspended moments and missing things, never voiced. Even herself she misses, like she was somehow divided in two, the part that carries on looking back wistfully, both of them a shadow to the other. Once she strode the ground of many a planet, breathed foreign scents from the air, made love and drank costly wine and winked and wore lipstick and cleavages like war weapons. She does all of those things now, but not really.

He will never come and she will never stop slightly hoping he does; she will never hug her parents way, way too tight, the way she never dared; she will never be real again. She takes those facts, faces them, and accepts them. It is what it is and she always did play with the cards she was dealt.

Perhaps she is becoming wise in the end, or perhaps she is beginning to fade. She is a spirit after all, bodiless and woven into a much wider web, of connections and knowledge. She could slip deeper into the fabric of it, and lose shape. Be a whisper in the dark, a hint of kindness and unconventional thinking in a computer's elaborate processes. Or a line of data. She could still be there for Charlotte, only without a name, a face; she can never be her mother, anyhow.

She has no one to say goodbye to, no endings. Only transitions, and slowly slipping away.

She carries on, existing, thinking, smirking in the face of reality. There is no fear, and no future; there is no grief. She is there, for what it lasts, until the desire takes her to drift down to sleep.

She still comes when called.