The dream comes stiffly to him that night, like the scar-twinge of an old wound in the rain.
His pale hands touch water.
The water, pitch and thick with sludge, reviles him, rejecting the foreign body-ness of him, pitching him back toward the beach with a mighty huff, as though a fly landed in its soup.
He makes fists and tries again, diving a little further this time. Beneath the gnashing black oil, his sharp eyes find the way to her, feeling out the blueness in the dark.
“I’ll find you anywhere!” he cries, his arms outstretched, and waving wild through the muck, his body a wobbly arrow, pointing to the deep.
Then the Doctor pushes his arms out, diving farther.
Shoving the black oil away from his body, he shoots down, after the blue and the bubbles, her fish tail flying away from him, a red balloon.
As his whole being scrabbles after her, he feels the waters lift him up, pulling him from her, only to dump him in no great ceremony back on the beach.
But he kicks off his shoes, and wades in again, the bare, thick black water lapping at his naked toes, repelling him.
So he just smiles, sways forward, and welcomes the tide.