The Lonely Ones

ONE

On a little green hill in an old London cemetery, a grave with a white marble headstone was once guarded by the slender figure of an angel, whose hands covered her face as though she was crying. The angel was made of white marble, and she was very, very sad.

She called herself the Lonely Angel, because she was all alone, even amongst other weeping angels. She watched the mournful pieces of humanity as they drifted through the graveyard and she pitied them, even as she pitied herself. She was familiar with loss, although perhaps not in the same way they were.

It was strange, and yet just right, that she should fall in love with the person who was the greatest danger to her. When she watched people come and go in the cemetery, she often felt sorry for them and wished she could help them. Some of those who came back repeatedly even became her special favorites. But falling in love? No, the Lonely Angel didn't know what it was like to feel her heart beat faster when someone came close, and she didn't know what it was like to wait for someone special to appear, dreaming about them in the meantime. At least, not until the Doctor came.

When he first arrived, she watched him while she still could, noting his old, old, eyes, his drawn face, and his sharp cheekbones. Of course, as soon as he spotted her, she was stone. Marble. Her hands over her face, covering her eyes. And somehow, she didn't want to be.

Of course, she knew who he was. The Doctor, the clever Doctor who'd killed so many of her kind and who would probably kill her. Oddly enough, that didn't scare her. She just kept remembering grey eyes that hinted at stars and galaxies and pain and knowledge, and she wondered. Wondered what it would be like to meet his eyes without being frozen and touch him without sending him back in time. Would he hate her?

Almost certainly.

Oddly enough, when she was able to move again, the Doctor was gone. Not dead. And she was alive too. She didn't stop to think about why, she just remembered old eyes in an ageless face, and she hoped that he would come back.

Sure enough, the Doctor came back the next day. The Lonely Angel didn't even see him before he saw her and she was trapped perfectly still, covering her face.

She knew it was him because he stopped looking at her.

She looked up, her hands dropping from her face, and she saw the stiff, tense muscles of the Doctor's back. His head was bowed, and his hands were clenched in fists at his sides. The Lonely Angel tentatively, slowly, moved towards him, wondering why. Why would he turn his back on her? He should have no reason to. None.

She reached out nervously and placed a hand on his shoulder, trying to comfort him like she'd never dared to comfort anyone else. The Doctor flinched, but she wasn't going to kill him. She didn't like killing, and he was… he was different. He knew she was alive.

No one else treated her like she was alive.

"I don't understand." The Doctor's voice was frustrated, confused. "I'm still here, but you're touching me. Just my luck I get a faulty weeping angel."

The Lonely Angel's cold heart sank in her chest, and she pulled her hand away.

The Doctor started to turn around, and as always, her hands covered her eyes and she turned back into marble. She heard the whirring of his sonic screwdriver, and his warm knuckles tapped her chilly forehead. Then one of his fingers swiped across her cheek, underneath her eye.

"It hasn't rained recently and the dew's already evaporated, so what's this?"

The Lonely Angel could move again, and she looked over the Doctor's shoulder at a glistening drop of liquid on his finger.

"Were you crying? Really crying?" The Doctor sounded bewildered.

The Lonely Angel touched her own cheek, equally confused. She wanted to answer, but of course she couldn't.

But then, she shouldn't be able to cry, either.

"I'm going to turn around now, with my eyes closed."

She nodded, even though he couldn't see her.

He turned around to face her, his eyes scrunched shut. She tilted her head, examining his features. She felt a tiny shudder go through her, and she placed one hand on his jaw, tracing the sharp line of his cheekbone. His long, dark eyelashes fluttered slightly. She relished in the freedom to examine his face so closely, having never been able to do anything like that before.

"Why aren't you killing me? And why are you crying?" the Doctor mused, brow furrowed, eyes still closed.

The Lonely Angel wondered if there was a way she could answer. Then she smiled to herself and bent down, pressing her finger into the ground and gouging out a message in the soil. I don't want to kill you. I don't know why I'm crying. Then she took the Doctor's hand and made him point at the ground.

She felt herself turn to stone as his eyes opened and read her message.

"Why don't you want to kill me?"

When he closed his eyes again, she bent down and obliterated her earlier message and wrote again. I don't kill.

"Why not?"

I don't want to.

"Are you lonely?"

Yes.

The Doctor laughed bitterly, and his face contorted with the lips curved upward but eyes that were sad, and… lonely. Like hers.

"I'm lonely too. That's why I came here. But of course you don't want to kill anyone."

The Angel wasn't sure how to respond. When his eyes were closed, she lightly brushed her fingers over his forehead and bent down to write again.

No. But you don't want to stay.

"No I don't. You could have sent me back to when everything was better."

You aren't supposed to be like this.

"And you aren't supposed to be like this, either."

What happened?

"I'm alone, angel."

So am I.

The Doctor did not answer that, and when the Lonely Angel pulled her hands away from her face to see him, she was shocked to see a tear running down his cheek, his eyes so tightly closed that it looked painful. She reached out and wiped the tear off his cheek, staring at the dampness on her fingers.

"I want to help you, angel. I'm sorry I can't. I can't help anyone anymore."

She tentatively put her arms around him, feeling awkward but certain that this was what she should do.

She felt tears slip out of her own eyes as the Doctor's arms went around her, too.

"I can't," he murmured again. "I can't even look at you, how can I help you?"

She buried her face in the curve of his shoulder and tried not to listen, tried to pretend that he could see her and that she was not a weeping angel but a human girl with a real heart.

Maybe there was a god somewhere in the universe, because she felt her heartrate pick up.

She told herself it was just her imagination.

Maybe there was a god somewhere in the universe, because she drew air into her lungs, moved her lips.

Formed words.

"Take me with you."

To be honest, the Doctor's reaction was quite funny. He jerked back, staring at her. She turned to stone…

But she felt her head turn, and her hands clasp together.

The Doctor leaned forward and examined her closely, whipping out his sonic screwdriver to scan her.

She felt so strange. Like she was going to explode. Her heart was beating too fast, too fast. Her marble skin itched and felt too tight.

"Help me, Doctor," she whispered.

He stepped back and stared at her. "I don't know how, but you're… You shouldn't be able to talk. Or look at me. Or any of this."

She felt tears building in her eyes. That hurt.

Everything hurt.

She felt so much.

"You're alive," the Timelord said, pacing up and down, one hand tangled in his hair as if to help himself think. "I don't know how to help, I don't know what to do. The quantum lock is breaking down or something, but that can't happen. Your biological make-up would have to change completely…"

The Lonely Angel felt her skin crack and chip. With a wordless cry, she reached towards him, her heart expanding, everything slowing down… then pure white light exploded out from her as she flew into a hundred pieces, blazing, falling, pure pain and fear and all sorts of emotions ripping through her. The light was so bright, so very bright.

She collapsed on the grassy hill as the white brilliance slowly faded, leaving chunks of white marble lying everywhere.

The sun shone down on a slim, pale woman in a white chiton, curled up and trembling on the ground, shielding herself with iridescent wings.

She felt cautiously at her hair, her feathers, her human skin, and could barely believe it. Tentatively she unfurled her wings, letting in a ray of sunlight and the concerned gaze of the Doctor. She looked at him, and he looked at her, but the angel still felt the wind stirring her hair, still felt the warmth of her own heartbeat.

The Doctor reached out and took her hand to help her up. She couldn't stop staring into his eyes. "Are you alright?" he asked, looking her up and down and scanning her with his screwdriver for good measure.

"I…" She tried out her new voice, which was a bit raspy but still high and smooth. "I'm fine. I'm better than fine." She stared are her own hands, astonished by the tracery of veins on her wrists and the swirling patterns on her fingertips. Then, with a cry of excitement, she flung her arms around the Doctor and kissed him soundly, sobbing and laughing all at once. "I'm alive, Doctor, look at me!"

He grinned, tapping her nose with a finger. "You have nice pair of blue eyes, angel."

She blushed and laughed. "Thank you."

He shook his head. "I have no idea how that happened. It was impossible. But here we are." She let him stretch out her wing and scan it, muttering to himself and messing about with the feathers. "You're magnificent, angel," he finally concluded, stepping back. "I suppose you had better give yourself a name now."

She spread her wings, giving them a few experimental flaps. "How about Hope?" she decided.

"That's perfect for you. Now then, my lonely angel, how would you like to come with me? I've got the whole of time and space at my fingertips, so we can go anywhere you like!"

Hope bit her lip, thinking hard. The breeze caressed her bare arms and she shivered a little, and the Doctor put an arm around her shoulders. Then she knew what she wanted. "I want to go somewhere with lots of people."

The Timelord smiled, understanding. "Alright, I'll surprise you. Come on then, Hope, and I'll introduce you to the TARDIS."

The Lonely Angel walked with the lonely Doctor to his blue police box, feeling the wonderful prickle of grass on her bare feet.


A/N: I hope you liked this! It was written in response to a prompt on Tumblr by tardis-mind-palace that says "OH god I ship this so hard but the relationship would suck because she could only speak and move when he wasn't looking… But he would trust her enough to turn his back OH GOD THE FEELS SOMEONE FIC THIS".

Please review!