She dreams about him often.
Never as he was, because she’d never been able to decide what he was when she was with him. The dreams always suggest what he might have been, what he might be, at least to her.
Sometimes – always at the root of every dream, definitely front and center in some dreams – he is her friend.
Sometimes he’s her father, sometimes her lover, and that brings her out of sleep in a cold sweat every time, because who dreams about someone as lover and father both, that’s just weird, just … just weird, she isn’t going to think about that any further, thank you very much.
Sometimes he’s her victim again, lying on the floor of a strange TARDIS, and she wakes with tears in her eyes.
Sometimes … some terrible and wonderful times … he is beside her again, and they are about to embark on some journey to something terrible and wonderful. Here too, her cheeks are wet when she wakes.
Always, though – always, always – when she wakes up, she finds Ashildr’s arms, Me’s arms, around her. She feels their warmth despite the prison of her stasis.
She sleeps again.
*** ** ***
After the plague takes her children – centuries of failing to forget, anguish pushed aside but always there, a bleeding tear in her heart – she refuses to fall in love. Love might lead to marriage. Marriage, she knows, will lead to demand for sons. She hasn’t found failsafe ways to prevent a child, so no marriage.
She hesitates even to take lovers, for fear she might fall in love. She decides her sanity depends on solitude, even knowing she hasn’t been sane, as humans count it, for years.
Later centuries provide child prevention and potentially undemanding mates, but by then being alone has become sacrosanct to the point of obsession. She has also perfected the art of forgetting, leaving to her diaries all links with the past ( except the children, always the children break through the veil.)
It’s enough. She needs no one.
Then Clara’s brown eyes and smooth hair, quick mind and selfish but loving heart, rejump her own. Responsibility requires the girl’s salvation, she decides. Much to her surprise, she eventually remembers she needs salvation too. Clara provides it, her warmth steady despite stasis.
When Clara wakes, tears on her cheeks, Lady Me who was once Ashildr is there to help her sleep again.