The TARDIS drifts through burning stars and the console lulls the Ponds off to sleep. The timelord paces the glass floor solemnly. The spring in his step is gone, as if night has robbed him of his joyous facade. He leans upon the railing, spidery digits stroking the metal in deep thought. Soon, they will leave. And he lets them, because his is a dangerous life, and he can’t ruin theirs any longer. A dangerous, lonely life.
Or, perhaps not so lonely. Of all the strays he has picked up over the years, the faces who have come and gone, one remains; his constant companion, the centre of his travels, his grounding force.
“Well, Old Girl,” he says to her with a tiny smile, “you’ll stay with me, right?”
The TARDIS seems to sigh as she twirls on through the sky; as if to say, “You impossibly dense man. You know I will.”