Jamie sat, looking out over the moor. The grass waved in the wind, silver in the moonlight. He looked up into the sky, at all the thousands of stars, and felt as though he were falling up into them, into those points of light with their secrets whispering at the edges of his mind.
They weren't just dreams. He knew they weren't. Ben and Polly he'd met for sure. He might mix up Victoria and Zoe, but he was sure they were girls he'd known. The memory of warm skin close to his was too real to deny, their beautiful eyes and pretty legs... oh, and the monsters.
He'd been out there, out in that infinite blackness with its sparkling motes of dust. And he'd faced monsters and metal beasties aplenty, all with the Doctor at his side. The funny little man who had called Jamie prince to save them all. In another world, he'd gone with the Doctor, gone with him and his strange friends into the unknown, become one of those strange friends on a score of strange planets.
This was the spot. This was the place he'd seen the little man's blue box, the one from all his dreams. That was why he was sitting here, thinking, wondering. Hoping.
The sound from his dreams filled the air.
He stood up slowly, watching the shape fade into existence in front of him, so strangely familiar. That was it then. Either he was mad, or it was all real, all true. And he didn't feel at all mad.
He was holding his breath. The door opened, light spilling out, his body casting a long shadow into the tall grass. A little man stood in the door, untidy black hair ruffled in the scottish breeze.
It was him.
"Jamie?" The face was sad, lonely, heartwrenchingly hopeful.
"I remember," he answered in confident wonder. He stepped closer, put his hands on the ancient man's shoulders. He saw the familiar white room and its console beyond, vindicating all his dreams. He watched the Time Lord's lined face begin to crumple in bittersweet relief. "Och, I've missed you, Doctor," Jamie said quietly.
They clutched one another, a few tears shed and brushed away unseen. "I thought maybe I was mad," Jamie managed, his throat going all tight.
"You're not mad, Jamie. You're magnificent, that's what you are. Magnificent."
"I should expect strange talk like that from you," he returned, letting go, one hand absently grasping the Doctor's sleeve. He was amazed at how like his dreams this felt - and how comfortable. But he'd expected a girl. There had always been a girl. One of them was much clearer in his mind's eye; she must have been the most recent. "But where's Victoria, eh? She not with you?"
"Victoria... She's... She's away at the moment, Jamie. Don't you worry about Victoria."
"Oh." He frowned. "It's nothing to do with those Time Lords, is it? I didn't like them, Doctor. I don't trust them an inch."
The Doctor chuckled a little. "No, I don't like them much either. No, she's, er.. only off studying."
He looked disappointed. "Och, studying? What for?"
He shrugged, hoping to lead Jamie away from the subject of Victoria. He couldn't confront Jamie with the facts just yet, but he didn't want to dig himself too deep into a lie, either. "Why, to.. to broaden her mind."
"Aye. I mean, yes. Jamie..."
"Don't you mean 'aye?'" the Doctor said, flashing a little grin.
"Ah, well. The thing is, I'd like you to come with me. Start the whole mad thing up again. What do you say?"
"What do I say?"
The Doctor nodded in rapt concern.
"Are ye daft, man? I say 'yes.'"
The sound from Jamie's dreams rolled out across the moor. When it faded away on the wind, there was no Jamie there to look at the stars.
He'd gone out among them.