Disclaimer: I wish they were mine, but unfortunately they all belong to the BBC.

When the drums stop

Martha tries to pop in and see Lucy at least once a fortnight, when her shifts fit in with visiting time. She usually takes a magazine, or a book - something light and inconsequential.

There is never much to say. Sometimes Lucy is fairly sensible, if quiet; she asks about the rest of the Joneses, or they talk about something Martha's seen at the cinema. Mostly, though, she stares at her visitor, as if she does not recognise her. Once or twice she asks where Harry was. Martha does not - cannot - answer that one.

She always leaves the visits feeling faintly sad, and yet also faintly grateful. Grateful that she ran into the other Time Lord, and that when he showed her the stars it had not blown her mind away.

Once, she arrives just as the corner of a brown coat is flicking around a corner, but when she runs after it there is nobody there.

From the second he heard the gunshot, Jack knew Lucy Saxon's future would be bleak. He had guessed that she was going wrong before that - wronger than him, in many ways - but had failed to stop her from shooting the Master. And, he admits, every time he makes the journey across to London to visit her, he feels kind of responsible for that.

He flirts with the nurses, of course, and the skinny young registrar. From them he finds out pretty quickly that Martha Jones is also visiting Lucy Saxon regularly. On his third visit the ward sister adds that Jack is the second person to visit that week.

"Said he was a doctor, he did," she says, walking beside him down the corridor to Lucy's little room. "Seemed sad."

"Isn't everyone always sad here?" Jack asks. "How long did he stay?"

"A while," says Sister. "She was asleep when he left."

She is not asleep today, but awake and restless and muttering about fire and darkness. Jack holds her hand, and tries to soothe her, but to no avail. So he asks about the Doctor, and her empty gaze flicks around to his face.

"What did he say?" Jack asks again.

"I can't remember," Lucy says. "I can't remember."

There seems to be no healing possible for Lucy Saxon. Or just Lucy. Her marriage had, after all, been a sham, a fraud, an impossible thing.

The Doctor leans his chin in his hands and watches her, wishing he could turn back Time again and find a different solution, one in which this frail blonde thing had not killed a Time Lord. But there had been too much meddling already in her particular strand of Time.

She has been shifting restlessly, but suddenly turns on her side and looks straight at him.

"I know you," she says.

"Yes." He nods. "Yes, I'm the Doctor. Remember?"

"You're like Harry," Lucy says. "You know Harry."


"He says ┘ he said you came from a long way away. From somewhere beautiful." She twisted the blanket between her thin fingers. "Tell me. He never told me."

And so the Doctor, leaning forwards and speaking softly, tells the girl who had loved and slain his enemy about Gallifrey. She listens with a half-smile on her face, and when he at last falls silent she is asleep, peaceful.

He pulls the blanket up and stands for a moment just watching her. Just a child, an innocent child. He wants to help.

But he cannot, and the TARDIS and the vast expanse of Time and space is calling him. He leans down, and kisses her forehead, just once, and leaves. For now.