Ten years later
There was going to be an early spring this year, Leya thought. Temperatures were already beginning to climb into the low fifties (Fahrenheit). The snow left over was gray and mushy and she had a hard time keeping herself upright.
Only feet from her goal, she failed to notice a slippery patch and would've fallen had someone not grabbed her arm.
Finally regaining her footing, she looked up to the face of her savior. And gasped.
It was the strange man from all those years ago. But he looked almost exactly the same. That flop of hair had been cut back some, the black bowtie for an electric blue one, the tweed traded for a military green overcoat.
He chuckled. "Here, Leya, have a seat."
Gently, he guided her toward the same bench they had sat on ten years ago. She couldn't do anything but stare at him.
"I bet you're wondering how many years have passed and why I look almost the same, hmm?"
She wordlessly nodded, mouth in an o-shape.
"I told you, ten years ago, that you wouldn't believe me if I told you who I was. Do you still want to know?"
She swallowed and glanced at the memorial. "I think I already do. Doctor."
That surprised him.
"After that day, I looked up the stories. Stories that the Doctor was a time-traveler, that he'd married and died on the same day. By the same woman, no less."
He stayed silent.
"But then I remembered what you said, that you had a wife and in-laws and I reckoned you wouldn't have lived to 1103 without having some kind of trick up your sleeve."
He regarded her with a curious eye. "If you've figured it out, those that arranged that meeting might very well know too."
She shook her head. "I doubt it. I wouldn't have thought anything about it if I hadn't seen your ship for myself."
He frowned at her. "But you left. Went in the other direction."
She chuckled. "I got far enough away so you wouldn't see me, then followed you. You heard me the first time, 'cause I didn't know you were there." She smiled as she remembered the amazement on her face, seeing the strange man duck into the even stranger box. "Mum was angry when I got home, until I told her about seeing the blue box. She told me never to tell another soul what I'd seen. I never did."
They sat there in silence, until–
"Sweetie, we're not gonna make that light showing unless you – oh, hello."
The new woman had a mess of blonde curls, and she was wearing a thick off-white jacket and brown pants. On her hip was a gun, still holstered, that she tentatively went to at the sight of Leya.
"I thought you said we were alone."
It wasn't so much a question as a pointed statement.
"River, Leya. Leya, River."
"Sweetie, why are you–?"
"Leya was here ten years ago, tending to my memorial," he said, inclining his head to the young woman. "It's ok, she's ok."
Relaxed, River withdrew. He sighed.
"I'd better get going. She's right, that light show only happens once a millennia and I distinctly remember her saying that if we didn't go to this one in particular, there would be a temporal calamity."He snorted. "When's that new for me?"
Leya giggled. With a wave, the Doctor disappeared. Through the branches, she caught a peek of brightest blue. As the old ship began to fade away, she closed her eyes and listened to what many described as the greatest sound in the universe.
And they were so right.
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–Jennifer R. Song