The quote I used in the middle of the fic is by Andrew Breton. I do not claim it, nor Doctor Who.


She is alone.

That word hasn't truly applied to her in years, but she feels like it now. She is old, wrinkled and aged. Shaun has been dead for several years now and she spends her days in a nursing home. Her personality is very much unchanged and the nurses love her company. They laugh and carry on because of her bright sense of humor, despite the arthritis that hurts her so. Her children and grandchildren are getting older, but they always find the time to visit at least once a week. She lives for those days.

At night, she asks the nurses to leave the curtains on her window open, to let her stare at the stars. She remembers years and years ago when she and Wilfred would stand on the hill behind their house and stare at the lights in the sky. The seasons would come and go, the positions of the stars just a little bit different each night. They would disappear one season, but always come back a year later.

She yearns for those stars. Turning her blue eyes on a star she hasn't seen in a year brightens her day considerably. It is like a long lost friend finally come home, even if the stay is never long enough. There is something about them that entices her to look, as if swimming in their light is all she could ever want. And the want burns in her chest like one of those stars, unexplainable tears pouring down her face because that is the only way to express the deep sense of loss she feels, though she doesn't understand why.

"All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name..."

She attempted to explain this to Shaun on many occasions, but it never quite worked the way she wanted it to. Instead she fell silent, staring up at the stars in the sky and knowing the words were there, but just barely out of reach.

On her deathbed, a man comes to visit her. He is tall and thin, hair like the crown of a cockatiel and a smile like starlight. He sits next to her bed and holds her hand.

"Who are you?" she asks, breathing soft and level, uncommon for her old age and coming passing.

"I'm the Doctor," he says, and his smile lights up her universe.

The weight suddenly lifts from her chest and her eyes light up. "...Doctor!"

She remembers, knows the name that her heart has been searching for. And she dies, burden flung into the stars and mind burning while he cries.

She opens her mouth one last time to tell him what he already knows: it was worth it.