The Doctor looked perplexed. "No dreams at all, Leah? That's a ... ", he consulted his notes, flipped back a few sheets of onionskin, " ... first. I think. Unless I forgot it. Or it happened before my time. But still, at least rare." He looked at Leah, trying to tell if she was lying or telling the truth. Despite his years of association with her and his intensive training, he could never tell when she lied. Or if: it could be that she just never lied. One could not rule out such strange behaviors simply because they were unlikely. Sane people lied all the time, little lies usually, but still. Only the insane told the truth all the time.
"Why don't we switch it around then, Doctor? You tell me about your dreams, and I'll listen instead?"
Subject shows interest in the thoughts of another person. This, too, was rare, and noted.
"You know, I don't dream much. Last night, I think I dreamed about my grandmother. Let me see if I can remember what happened."
Leah sat forward in her chair, propped her chin on her hands, her elbows on her knees. The Doctor was worried he might fall into her eyes for a second, that she might swallow him whole. He banished that thought, but it returned the other way around. She already knows my name, and I don't. What will she take next?
"I'm not a young man, Leah. And my Grandmother was old when I was born; I was ten when she died. But I remember her vividly. She was born before the Change, back before the Sun hadn't forgot its place in the sky. She had lived on a farm, a little thing out in the country. I think they called it Georgia. What a strange name. The farm, that is. My grandmother was named Luann."
"Grandma Luann had a huge collection of fruits that she had put into jars somehow, from before the Change. After, of course, we couldn't really grow fruits anymore, and by the time I was born people had pretty much forgotten what it was like back then. But not Grandma Luann. Every year, at Yule, she would open up one of those jars she had left and make a pie. She'd take the fruit and drain it, and bake it into the strangest pastry. She said that the crusts were better back in the day, but I never even worried about that. Fruit! Can you imagine that? It was so sweet, I was like to die from happiness. Every year, she made a pie."
"Ten yules after I was born, ten pies I tasted, ten times we went down to visit her in the Blocks. Of course, I don't remember all ten pies, but I do remember a few. Ten pies after I was born, she ran out of jars. Those pies had kept her going, in all the long, dark times. She was one of the last people born before the Change to die, and she didn't die until she made every last pie she could. That was my Grandma."
"Last night, I dreamed about her, that's right. I remember it now. She told me a story about her childhood. I don't know if the story is true, I don't know if she ever told me such a tale when she was alive, or if it's all just a figment. But I'll tell you the story I dreamed last night, if you can help me remember it."
Leah smiled and said, "I'll do my best." She reached out and touched the Doctor's forehead with one finger.