the doctor pauses in front on his chalkboard, bringing his arm down limply by his side.
she looks up from her book, concerned, eyebrows drawn up. “everything o-“
"do you miss him?" the doctor asks, not turning around to meet her eyes but instead still facing the chalkboard.
"who?" she licks her pointer finger to turn the page.
"the old me. the one before."
her finger freezes on the page. “what?” (even though she understood the question perfectly well and he know this)
"do you miss how i was before? do you miss him?" he repeats, his voice soft despite the desperation of the answer.
she doesn’t lie. if anything, this doctor doesn’t lie anymore. he values the blunt, honest, truth, and that’s what she’ll give him.
"yes. on a daily basis. every time i walk into the tardis i expect him to be twirling with the dials."
she snaps the book shut and lets it slide off her hand and onto the floor. she makes her way over to him, leaning back against the table with open books next to him (she decides against it and pushes the books away, slides onto the table so her legs are swinging).
"but i still like you. this you. i like the way you try to be someone good and caring even though sometimes you want to snap at everyone. i like that you change your shirt every time we go out. that your hair always looks messy, like you just woke up. i like the way you write everything down now. i still like you, doctor, i…" (i love you, still do, always will) "i will always like you."
(i love you too, always will, he wants to say, but he just smiles and goes on writing.)