Author's Notes:
I wrote this quickly after watching Human Nature and Family of Blood again. Hope you like my musings ...

The dark leather was cracked, the fastening long broken and the decay of virtually a hundred years evident on every yellowing page, but the characters were still as legible as they had been the day they were written; the scrawled India blue ink and the splodgy illustrations. She had turned those fragile leaves so many times, touched the written words and closed her eyes as the images danced around in her head like magic. It was so evocative, as if the author, despite claiming it to be a work of fiction, secretly believed that the impossible things were true, as if the Doctor was a genuine person who lived those adventures for real. Oh, if only that were so … if only …

But it couldn’t be entirely made up, there were truths within the fantasy, things that she knew had really happened. The First World War was described so lucidly — not of battles won and lost, of victories and glory but thoughts and emotions and touching portraits of humanity through adversity. How could the author write about future facts that were proven, and then continue on the next page with all manner of alien creatures and notions? Writing of blood and wire and what now seemed, to her, to be crude implements of warfare and then of great floating empires in the sky where monsters try and rule the universe and the Doctor single-handedly saves the day, time and time again. How did he reconcile the difference between the time that he lived in and the times that he wrote of? How did he know about his past, his present and his future in such specific detail? And how could the Doctor be responsible for so much death and destruction and still come out smelling of roses?

Ah, Rose; the beautiful girl who suddenly appeared, bringing the hero from the brink of despair and loneliness only to leave again just as abruptly, sending him teetering back to the precipice again. He had drawn her so skilfully, as if he had studied her as she slept. Her face was half hidden behind a curtain of hair; her presence felt but never wholly seen — out of her time but not. It was as if there was unfinished business, as if the Doctor had never said all the things he wished he had and that it was now somehow too late. She came across as quite young and na├»ve at first, but even in the small number of pages in which she had appeared, she matured and commanded respect, even from the Doctor. She knew she would have liked Rose — her personality was so vividly represented that she felt she knew her quite intimately - for a fictional character.

She also felt empathy with the author, how he dreamt in wild fantasies and yet in the real world was as ordinary as she. How, in his dreams he had conversed with monarchs and dictators, dined with Shakespeare and Plato and fallen in love with Cleopatra and the Madam de Pompadour. She herself had dreams of meeting this hero, the enigmatic Doctor, of sharing his adventures that were entrenched into her mind like some kind of folklore — always there, always referred to and talked about. It was strangely as if it was part of her heritage.

She hugged the tatty book to her chest, feeling the life reaching out to her, perhaps stronger than she’d ever felt it before. But it didn’t scare her; it was comforting. Her great grandmother had left her this manuscript in her will; her great grandchild named and entrusted before she was even born, as if she knew it would be important for her. How she wished she had known her and been able to ask her about it, ask her how she knew … how he knew …

She sighed as she tucked it away in the dusty corner of the attic. Maybe she’d find it again by chance, or maybe she’d go searching one day when she needed to. But for now she just needed to know that this journal of impossible things was safely stashed away, hidden within that ghastly grandfather clock that never worked but that simply refused to be disposed of. Many a time she had found it, retrieved from the dustbin or snatched from the clutches of a charity collector. Strange, given his technical and dexterous mind, that he had never tried to fix it …

She smiled at the thought of her man. It was a coincidence, but then Smith was such a common name it was hardly surprising that she had ended up with one too; a teacher, John Smith, just like her great grandmother, Joan. You couldn’t get much more common than that, but then her John Smith was a very uncommon man.

She had wondered what Joan’s John had been like — he had never described himself in the book - well, he wouldn’t need to, would he; it was the dreams and the Doctor that were important. She considered that if he had been anything like her John, then she could understand why Joan was so smitten. Tall and lean, he had deep soulful brown eyes and a smile to outshine even the brightest summer’s day. He had hidden depths that she knew she’d probably never find in a lifetime together, secrets that he’d forgotten and a past he didn’t care for. Even with the mystery and enigma that surrounded him, her handsome man, she trusted him.

He’d said he was ready to start a new life. To give up what he had known and settle down. She had laughed when he mentioned carpets, curtains and a mortgage and she wasn’t entirely sure if he was being serious. When she had suggested they tour the world together, he had laughed and hugged her. ‘A traveller,’ he’d said. ‘Trust me to choose a girl who loves to travel.’

Oh, how they’d journeyed; a voyage of discovery. He’d wowed her with his extensive knowledge and she’d amazed him with her unending enthusiasm and wonder. And they had learnt so much from each other — him about commitment and promises kept and her about horizons and vision and lateral thinking. They had surprised and enraptured each other and fallen in love …

And now they felt ready, ready to embark upon a life together; ready for the one adventure the Doctor could never have.