A Doctor Who Hurt/Comfort Fanfic
It wasn't two years. It was twenty. And the Amelia that the Doctor found was far from the Amy he left.
Rated K because I can't find a solid reason to up the rating.
Disclaimer: Everything you recognise from the new series belongs to Moffat. I can claim Fiona, but I'm not sure I'd bother. The 'plot' – and this AU – is my own.
A/N: So. First proper Eleven fic, and I'm sure I haven't done him a justice. Strangely enough, it was The Beast Below that made me think of this, because it's so perfect for fiction that I started thinking about what I would write for fiction. Also, working on FMM some more brought out this idea. It stems from my personal 'rationalisations' in relation to any sort of adventure I could have put before me – and this is when I wouldn't be able to give up everything I hold dear for the sake of adventure. I imagine Amy's much the same way.
Beta-read by YouGottaSingAlong. And Hannah, I didn't fix that sentence, it just bugged me too much.
He runs out of the TARDIS, grinning like there's no tomorrow, and then stops abruptly. A middle-aged, brilliantly ginger woman stand in the archway into the garden, hands folded in front of her chest, glaring at the Doctor so severely that he not only falters but takes a small step back. There is also an unmistakeable pain coming to the surface of her vaguely familiar eyes, as though someone stole something she held very close to her heart long ago, and now he has come back and is flaunting it in her face.
"Are you Amy's aunt?" he asks tentatively, rocking on the balls of his feet a small bit in his nervousness.
"No," she answers gruffly, a Scottish hint to her answer that he's sure would never be there if she were any less furious with him.
This time, his question is impossibly more tentative, a question that they both know he doesn't need to ask to know, the answer to which he's terrified to realise that he understands.
"It's Amelia," she answers, her tone a little softer now.
"A fairytale name for a fairytale girl," he muses.
"Not anymore," she corrects, a little bitterly. "It's Amelia Williams now."
"Oh," he says, and is followed by a moment of awkward silence. Next thing he knows, the woman he knew only a few hours ago as a scared little girl has enveloped him in a hug. He returns the hug gratefully, until all of a sudden, she shoves him backwards and slaps him brutally across the face.
"Ow!" he exclaims. "What was that for?"
"You left me!" she yells. "Twenty years, Doctor! I thought twelve was the worst it could get, but oh no. At least then I was allowed an imaginary friend. Not anymore. Not with children of my own!"
She smiles perversely. "Three of them. Two girls and a boy. They're my whole life now."
His innocent question brings a true smile to her face. "My eldest. She's quite taken with the Raggedy Doctor as well."
"No chance of spiriting her away while you're watching, is there?"
"Doctor!" she reprimands, half disbelieving and half exasperated. "She's not even of age yet. And if she were, I'm not sure I'd let her go. With your inability to tell five minutes from twelve years, I'm afraid I'd never see her again."
"That wasn't my fault! The TARDIS was still... was..." For the first time in this regeneration, he's truly at a loss for words. To his surprise, it's she who answers perfectly.
"Still cooking?" she suggests.
He grins again. "Thirty years and you don't forget, but I can barely remember in a few hours? What is this world coming to?"
"You're not still cooking, are you? I'm not the world's best cook, but thirty years seems a bit excessive, no matter what you're making."
He pauses for barely a second before countering with "Wine." She, however, isn't on his train of thought and stares blankly. "Wine ferments for years."
"You don't exactly look like you're made of wine."
"And you don't look like you're seventy percent water."
They're locked in a stalemate, the middle-aged mother and the practically ancient alien. Then, they break into smiles, followed by laughter. "You're not really made of wine, are you?"
He flashes her this new grin he's just getting used to. "Well, I'm not seventy percent water," he tells her. She laughs.
"No. Sixty-seven percent water."
She stares at him disbelievingly.
He stares at her, daring her to refute it.
Nothing happens for a few moments.
"Come with me," he says finally, both from the truth of the statement and as a way to break the silence. Her face falls so quickly he regrets even thinking it. The tears prick at her eyes, and he opens up his arms in the offering of a hug, which she gratefully accepts.
"I can't," she admits into his shoulder. "I have a proper life here now, a family I can't just ignore. I'm not the girl I was twenty years ago, or thirty-two." She pauses. "I'm sorry."
"It's alright," he says, even though they both can tell it isn't. "You're not the only person crazy enough to want to travel with me."
"I am, however, the only one crazy enough not to give up on you after thirty-two years of disappointment."
"I'm honoured that you believed in me for that long."
"How could I not believe in my imaginary friend who, contrary to everyone else's beliefs, turned out to be real?"
Suddenly, a girl's voice breaks into the conversation. "Mum?" A teenager, with her mother's looks almost exactly, walks into the garden. Her jaw drops. "Oh my god. You're the Raggedy Doctor!"
The Doctor is assaulted by a hug from a girl he's never met. "Hello," he says.
"I knew you were real! Knew it! Mum refused to deny it, and Dad's never directly said you weren't real... Oh my god!" She can barely contain her excitement, and her words come out as a jumbled mess. "My name's Fiona, by the way–"
Overtop of the girl's babbling the Doctor raises his eyebrows at her mother.
"I still wanted my own fairytale when she was born," Amelia admits.
"And you don't anymore?"
"Someone has to take care of this rascal," she explains. His eyes flash brightly.
Amelia shakes her head. "She's not old enough yet. I won't let her."
"I'm almost legal!" Fiona protests.
"Come back in five years," her mother suggests.
"Five years, to the day," the Doctor says, and Amelia Williams realises she's known from the moment she hear that strange sound signalling his appearance that he's going to leave alone and never come back.
The Doctor walks to the TARDIS and opens the door. He turns round and asks one last time, "Are you sure?"
Amelia Williams nods. The last dregs of Amy Pond cry out within her, but she says nothing. Her life is here now. The Doctor steps into his ship and shuts the door.
It opens again tentatively, and just the Doctor's face pokes out. "I hope you enjoyed your fairytale, Amelia Pond," he says genuinely. The door shuts softly, then the light on top begins to flash, a strange whirring sound begins, and Amy Pond stands back and waves goodbye to her fairytale.