In all 930 years of traveling across time and space, the Doctor still couldn't believe that he had never been to Seattle, Washington. He had seen London more times than he could count, endless species and planets constantly whirring past the TARDIS doors, had even dabbled around the White House, California, Florida, Utah and Area 51, and yet never had he seen the rainy city of Seattle, rumored to be so much like London.
Amy had always wanted to see the space needle. Rory, too.
Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary had happened to the Ponds, or the Williamses, or whoever they had been, for even they had been puzzled about it until the very end. They had been happy, and they'd had children when the time was right, and grandchildren. He returned when Rory died, and again five years later when Amy followed him. Their youngest granddaughter, 14-year-old Amelia, had cried on his shoulder for hours and begged him for first-account stories of the Mad Man with the Box, stories that she and her father and her siblings and her aunts and uncles had all grown up to. The Doctor told them all he could remember in the old tired body that had served him well for over fifty years – the first one he hadn't had destroyed by monsters so far – and they laughed together.
When Gloria, Amy and Rory's daughter, began sorting through her parents' things at long last (Amy had refused to let anyone touch Rory's things with such a vivacity that she even resorted to biting at one point, which had then landed her in the old folks' home), she found the dolls, the puppets, the drawings of young Amelia Pond's Raggedy Doctor, the cardboard cut-outs, ceramic pots, and Chinese paper folded in the shape of his magical blue box. They gave them to the old Doctor, and he made sure to stow them in a place of honor in the console room of the TARDIS as he prepared to leave.
"Can't I come with you?"
Running a hand through his lightly-graying hair, the Doctor turned and smiled at the weepy young girl in the drive. Young Amelia looked so very much like his Amy, with her bright ginger hair (brighter than sunflowers, he thought vaguely) and stand-offish attitude. Her long hair was falling down over her shaking shoulders as she stood along in the drive and cried, watching him ascend the single step up into the TARDIS.
"I'm an old man now, Amelia," he told her sadly, but with the same spark of life present in his eyes that had been there since the day a younger-looking man had thrown a grappling hook out from the open doors of the TARDIS and made a little Scottish girl smile despite her fear of the crack in her wall. "It wouldn't be right for you to come with me. I've been alone for a long time, and it would be strange for me to start over again with someone not even out of school yet."
"I don't care about school!" wailed Amelia, taking a few steps closer to him. "I want to see the universe like Gran did!"
Without a moment's thought, the Doctor closed the gap between himself and the girl, wrapping his arms so tightly around her that she didn't even shake when she cried into his neck. "Oh, my sweet Amelia Pond," he whispered to her as he stroked her orange curls. "You dear, dear child. I loved your Gran and your Gramps with all my two hearts, but I have to move on now, do you understand?" She sniffled and nodded against his tweed jacket, one hand absently fiddling with the bow-tie that he had been wearing all her life. She pulled back and wiped her eyes roughly, trying to find a smile while the Doctor dug his hands into his pockets.
"It's not goodbye forever, Amelia," he promised. "I might have a new face the next time you see me, but I'll still be me, checking in on things here on Earth. Until then…"
Amelia could have sworn all the money in her piggy bank that at that very moment the eyes of the most feared and respected being in all the cosmos, turned up to look into the bedroom window that had once belonged to her Gran as a little girl from a fairy tale, were sparkling with tears as he whispered words he never thought he'd have to really mean.
He stepped back into the ancient-and-brand-new blue box, waving at the people clustered in the front door and the girl in the drive before closing the TARDIS doors and flying off to his next great adventure, staring somberly at the little paper dolls of The Girl Who Waited taped to the steering console.
Seattle sounded good. He could laugh at the space needle and feel the rain on his face.