Two Empty Glasses
February 22, 2011 was a bright, sunny day with only a few clouds in the sky. An older man with a fading, white hairline and a round stomach was lying on a hospital bed in a nursing home. His daughter, Kate, had just left him to return home and he was about ready to take his afternoon nap.
Alistair turned his head so that he was staring out of his window and he sighed unconsciously. Nearly every day ended like this one: Kate would return home and Alistair would stay awake for a half an hour and wait for his old friend. Sometimes he thought he could just make out the blue box in the sky, outlined against the clouds, but he told himself it was only his imagination.
Nurse Burford knocked on the door and opened it slightly, smiling kindly at Alistair as she stepped inside the room. "How are you today, sir?" she asked sweetly.
"Oh," the Brigadier sighed, "alright. I'm feeling a little tired."
The nurse nodded. "I'll fetch you another blanket, then." She started to turn, intending to leave, but then she stopped herself. "Would you like me to set out an extra glass for your friend?"
Alistair turned his gaze back to the window and smiled fondly. "Yes. Yes, I think so. I have a feeling that-…" He chuckled lightly and looked down at his lap. "An extra glass, please, nurse."
But, like every day since Alistair had last seen the Doctor, the Time Lord didn't show and Alistair was forced to stare at the two glasses on his bedside table. He finally closed his eyes after nearly an hour of waiting and rested his head on his pillow.
Memories flooded through his mind: Omega, the Yetis, all the adventures he and the Doctor had had while trying to thwart the Master's plans of world domination. He fondly recalled the Doctor's stubborn attitude that seemed to span across all of his incarnations and nearly laughed. Alistair found that he not only missed the Doctor, but his other UNIT friends. Jo's face came to mind first, then Liz Shaw, Mike Yates, John Benton, and finally Sarah Jane Smith. A smile slowly spread across Alistair's face and his eyes fluttered slightly.
Alistair could feel the tug of sleep at his body and another sigh escaped his lips. Perhaps tomorrow, he thought hopefully. Tomorrow. I'm sure he'll come tomorrow.
Sir Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart died in his sleep that night, peacefully and with two empty glasses by his bedside.
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