Gallis Limmon piloted the air shuttle while Marion sat in the back seat beside Lily. Nobody talked very much. If they did, Marion wasn’t sure what they would say. If Kristoph were here he would probably say, again, that it was a bad idea. And Marion was, for once, glad he wasn’t with her. Because she didn’t want him to say that again.

She wasn’t at all sure what Lily might say. She was a little afraid that she might say ‘turn back’ having changed her mind at the last minute.

“I won’t do that,” Lily whispered. “He knows I’m coming, doesn’t he? It would be cruel to let him down.”

“It’s going to be all right,” Marion assured her. “Really it is.”

Lily was disconcerted. That was an unusual thing in itself. Ever since she had known her, Marion had known Lily as a cool, unflappable, self-confident woman who only worried if there was something deeply difficult to worry about. So to see her this disconcerted was troubling.

And she had been disconcerted for several days now.

Marion had been sorting out a new batch of books that arrived for her library. Lily was helping. They talked cheerfully as they worked. It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

Marion had set aside a pile of carefully chosen books. Lily glanced at them and found they were all about travel. Most were books about space travel, accounts of explorations of various planets in the nearest galaxies. But there were also some from Earth.

“Great Railway Journeys of the World....” Lily was puzzled. “How would this book be of interest to a Caretaker. We don’t even have a railway system on Gallifrey.”

“It’s not. I got that one specially for... for...” Marion searched for an explanation. “For somebody who is interested in far off places but can never visit them.”

Lily looked at the book again and then looked at Marion, who hid her thoughts behind her strongest mental wall. She knew Lily would never deliberately try to break down that wall.

But she didn’t have to.

“Marion... Two weeks ago... you accompanied Kristoph on a journey...”

“I... accompany Kristoph on many journeys,” Marion answered warily.

“You went to see Gallifrey’s most shunned and miserable prisoner.”

“Lily...” Marion pleaded. “It’s best we don’t talk about that.”

“You think he would enjoy this book? He has never been to Earth. He can scarcely know where it is.”

“It’s very descriptive, and there are many colourful images. I thought he might find it interesting. But.... Lily... we should not speak of him. I know what happened... what he did. I know he was disowned. I... didn’t think you would want to speak of him.”

“I know Kristoph visits him from time to time. I have longed to ask him, but I know he would not... He would stick to the rule of silence. But Marion...”

“I should stick to that rule, too,” Marion insisted. “I’m sorry, Lily. You were not meant to know...”

“How is it that you are visiting again so soon?” Lily asked. “I thought he was allowed visits only rarely... no more than two or three a year.”

“Kristoph prevailed upon the High Council on his behalf. He told them that he had acted bravely when our shuttle crashed and we might have drowned. It is his ‘reward’ for a small act of courage and selflessness. I am allowed to visit and bring books for him to read.”

“He... was brave?”

There was no use holding anything back now. Marion realised it was already too late. She told Lily the whole story of how Destri had pulled both her and Kristoph from the sea and tended to them in his house.

“It doesn’t make up for the terrible thing he did all those years ago,” Marion said, finally. “But I think it shows he is... not as bad a man as people think. He saved our lives.”

“Then he has my gratitude for that action,” Lily replied. “Though there is much else that cannot be forgiven or forgotten.”

“I understand that,” Marion told her. “Oh, I do. But... talking to him that day... Lily... I liked him. I really did. Not... not the traitor from years ago. But the man he is now... I liked him. That’s why I want to do something for him.... a small thing... these books for him to read when he is alone with only his own thoughts.”

“You liked him?” A ghost of a smile passed across Lily’s lips.


“He was... always... likeable. I remember....”

She stopped. She shook her head.

“I’m not supposed to remember. That’s the point. He was disowned formally. I am not supposed to remember before the war, when we were a family, when the House of Argenlunna had an heir. I’m not supposed to remember when I used to be teased mercilessly because there were four men paying court to me and I would not make my mind up which one I wanted to marry. When I actually told... him... that none of my beaus would ever measure up to him, and that I couldn’t love any of them more than I loved my...”

The word she was going to say was ‘brother’. But it seemed to die on her lips.

“And I never have. As much as I loved Jules, my beloved husband, as much as I loved Kristoph.... as much as I love Li now... that kind of love... it never matched the love I used to have for...”

The name slipped from her lips quietly, less than a whisper. More like a breath that took the shape of a word.


“He asked about you,” Marion said. “He wanted to know if you were well.”

“Is he... well?” Lily asked.

“Yes, he is.”


“Lily... what if...” Marion began. “What if you came with me?”

“It would not be permitted.”

“My husband is Lord High President of all Gallifrey. He can permit what he wants.”

“No, he can’t. Not if he wants to be known as an honourable president,” Lily pointed out. “Don’t ask him to dishonour himself on my account. Yes... I think... to see him again... after all these years... I never did, even when he was a prisoner of the Celestial Intervention Agency. Li asked me if I wanted to see him, but I was too angry and ashamed of him. I never attended the trial. After that... I haven’t even spoken his name in all that time. He must have changed. His face, I mean. But his hearts... his soul... all that he is... I wish it were possible. Just to know... just to know how I would feel if I set eyes on him after so long. But it can’t be. Please... when you see him... tell him... tell him that you spoke of him to me. Tell him... Tell him.... No... there is nothing else to say. If he does not realise how I feel about him and his deeds, then he has learnt nothing from these long years.”

There was nothing more to be said. Lily, for her part, managed not to let it spoil the day. When they had finished with the books, they had a pleasant tea. They put it all behind them.

Even so, Marion wondered. Later, when Kristoph got back from the Capitol, she told him what had happened.

“Would she go with you if she could, do you think?” he asked.

“I don’t know. She was pretty certain it couldn’t happen.”

“The day pass is for you and a driver, and a plus one. The High Council assumed you might bring a maid or some companion. Visiting a man like Destri alone would be inappropriate. Lily D’Argenlunna is no maid. She’s nobody’s plus one, either. But if she wishes...”

“I wonder if she would,” Marion said. “There is bitterness...”

“There is more than bitterness,” Kristoph insisted. “Nobody in our family has ever been disowned. But I have seen the effect it had on Lily’s father. And when Li was declared Renegade in his absence... In both cases, the disowning was complete. Not even a photograph remains in the family home. The name is never mentioned. But fathers, mothers, sisters, they don’t forget... they especially don’t forget that a family member they once loved is gone. It truly is the love that dare not speak its name.”

“That phrase means something else on Earth,” Marion pointed out. “But do you mean that Lily does still feel something for her brother?”

“I don’t know. She has never spoken of him to me since his exile. You are almost certainly the only person who has heard his name from her lips in that time. If she agrees to go with you, then I think we’ll know the answer to that question.”

Lily had said no when Marion suggested it, first. But an hour later as they sat in the white drawing room, she changed her mind.

And now they were only minutes away. Lily grasped Marion’s hand nervously. Her usual poise and cool demeanour were gone. She was struggling with her inner turmoil.

“I’m ready,” she said as Gallis Limmon sent the signal that opened a portal through the shield. She let go of Marion’s hand and composed herself carefully. She looked more like the Lily Marion knew. She looked like a woman who could deal with anything and anyone.

She maintained that pretence as the shuttle landed and Gallis Limmon opened the door for his two passengers. She stepped out of the car in that graceful, fluid, ladylike movement that had taken Marion a long time to emulate.

They walked towards the little house. Before they reached it, though, the door opened. The man Marion knew as Destri took three steps forward and then stopped. Marion heard a word escape from Lily’s lips for only the second time in a long Time Lord lifetime.


Destri stood still. He waited until they were close. He held his head erect and kept his eyes fixed on Lily. He said nothing. Neither did Lily. But when they were near enough to reach out and touch, they both did. At the same time, they reached out to each other. They embraced by mutual consent.

Marion watched for a little while, then she walked back to the car. She had left the books and the cheese and other gifts she had brought. Gallis Limmon asked if she needed help to carry them, but she told him she could manage. She walked back to the little house. It was empty. Ruben and Lily were walking on the cliff top. They seemed to be talking. They might even have been smiling. Marion left the books on the table and put the food in the larder. She hung the kettle over the fire and prepared a pot of English tea. Destri had never drunk it before. It would be a new experience for him when he and his sister had said all they needed to say to each other and returned from their walk.