Disclaimer: I don't own them; I'm just borrowing.

He is so close to being finished.

His financial aid forms are completed. He's redone his CV. He has two glowing recommendations—both of which were sent in long before the deadline—and his grades have always been stellar. Which leaves only one thing.

The personal statement.

"From the top," says Amy in a frustrated growl from her perch on his bed, hands covering her face. "I, Rory Williams, want to be a nurse because."

"Because..." he grits out, pacing his room, "nurses... give people hope."

"Tell me more about that."

"Well, I rather like hope. Hope is a... good... emotion...?"

She gives him a Look. "What are you, four? 'I like rainbows because they are pretty. They have lots of colors.' Come on, Rory, you can do better than that."

"What if I can't?" he asks quietly, and she rolls her eyes. She's watched him have this freakout a thousand times. "What if I'm rubbish at everything?"

"You're not rubbish at everything."

"But what if I am?"

"Then you wouldn't want to be a nurse. Rubbish people only care about themselves."

He glances over at her, but her eyes are trained steadily on the ceiling. "Alright. What if... what if I said it with conviction, though? 'I rather like hope; hope's a good emotion.'"

"Rory, give it a rest."

"But what do they want from me? I want to be a nurse because I want to help people. Why else would I want to? Why does anyone one want to?"

"Then why not become a doctor?"

He freezes completely. "Sorry?"

"Oh, please," she grumbles, pulling at the hem of her jumper, "don't make this about something it's not. We're talking about you. And it's a legitimate question. Why don't you want to be a doctor, if you want to help people? Why a nurse?"

Because Doctors are all talk, he thinks, wishing he had the words to say that without hurting her. Because Doctors have to make empty promises, and believing in them only hurts you in the end. That it's the nurses who give steadfast, reliable care—who understand that sometimes fixing what is broken is more damaging than simply making someone feel better.

"I don't know," he says instead.

"You're lying."

"I'm not—"

"You are, and you don't do that. You've never lied to me. Why start now?"

For a moment, there is nothing but silence, and her eyes trained steadily on his. A challenge.

"I told you," he mumbles. "It's about hope."

"Doctors give people hope."

"They're not supposed to! They're meant to be impartial: they tell you the diagnosis and they tell you your odds and they tell you the risks. They can't get invested; it would destroy them if they did. And I can't do that. I can't be that. I can't look at someone who's sick or hurting and not... and not..." he trails off, swallowing thickly. Clears his throat and stares at his shoes. "Doctors have patients. Nurses have charges. There's a difference. It matters."

Suddenly, a second pair of trainers enters his line of vision. Before he can even start to wonder what his next course of action should be, Amy's arms are around his neck and her body is flush with his.

"Oh, Rory," she murmurs, in that way she sometimes does. The way that he thinks means I love you, though he can never quite be sure.

He kisses the crown of her head and holds her close, grateful for the gift she's giving him. (Amy's always had trouble keeping still. Moments like this are rare; have to be earned.)

"One more time," she says into his neck.

He takes a deep breath. "I, Rory Williams, want to be a nurse because..."