Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author's Note: Inspired by ABBA's beautiful song of the same name. I heard it set to a fallen Doctor Who actors tribute video, and figured it was appropriate for this fic.
Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart knew he didn't have long left; had known for a long time. He had accepted it long ago, and made peace with everyone he'd had quarrels with over the years. Well, almost everyone. There was one he hadn't been able to speak to in a long time, but God only knew where he was now.
Every day, he went through the routines at the home he was now living in, and every day, he waited to hear the sound; that horrible creaking and groaning sound and rush of air that signified that he would have arrived.
He'd told many stories about the man who called himself the Doctor to many people since he'd arrived in this home: to Kate when she visited, the on-duty nurses, or anyone else who would listen. He was sure that many people didn't believe a word he said, thinking he was just another senile old man, but he didn't care. He was too old to be worrying about what people thought about him anymore.
What would he look and act like when he returned, Alistair wondered. Would he be tall? Short? Old? Young? A sharply-dressed man, or would he look like a hoodlum in a leather jacket? Would they argue as much as they used to? Then he shook his head wryly at that thought - of course they would argue. They always did.
And yet… despite the fact that they had so many conflicting views on things, and that they apparently 'bickered like an old married couple', (Benton had said it once with a barely-hidden grin that Alistair had only tolerated because the man was no longer under his command), the now-retired Brigadier still counted the man among his closest friends.
The nurses must have all thought he was mad, but still they conceded to his request for an extra glass of brandy at his bedside every night. One day the Doctor would come back, and when he did, Alistair wanted to be ready.