*I do not own these characters, I've merely borrowed them. I was inspired to do this by wondering just what is causing the mysterious cracks that are following the Doctor and Amy Pond around everywhere. Also, I've explored wondering things like how did the Prisoner Zero know the Doctor was a Time Lord, or anything about the cracks if it wasn't the cause of them? And what if the Doctor had a chance to possibly change past events like leaving little Amelia behind? Would he?
Spoiler Alert: If you haven't seen The Eleventh Hour yet and don't wish for any spoilers, don't read on.
"The cracks in the skin of the Universe, don't you know where they came from?"
It knew what they dare not. The Doctor and Amelia Pond. It knew all about them. It knew things it couldn't. It knew things it shouldn't. Yet, neither thought to question it. Known only as Prisoner Zero, it was neither male nor female. It held a rather worm-like form, yet could become most anything or one under the right circumstances. And had used this talent of its' to gain fortune and destroy many beings lives. Thus, it was captured and held in a highly guarded prison by the Atraxi. Mainly because it had used a sleeping Atraxi to commandeer an entire fleet of their ships and forge them into a battle of which they had no business being. It had caused the death of many. And so it had been forced into a forever prison. Left to rot here until the end of its existence.
Until something happened.
"Doctor, are you sure this place has a bakery?" Amy Pond looked about skeptically. The place looked cold and empty. They'd landed on this bit of land, it looked more like a meteor than a planet. And they'd landed inside a hall that to Amy looked like some kind of hospital ward or something. The Doctor had insisted they come for some rare delicacy he'd been craving. Him and his food cravings!
"Uh, Well." He adjusted his bow tie and glanced around. "I wouldn't take us to the wrong place except that it seems that I have. But, since we're here, we may as well see where here is." The Doctor said brightly, grinning. Amy grinned back. "You go that way, and I'll go this way, yeah?" He nodded to her and she trotted off happily. She'd been traveling with the Doctor for some time now and was never disappointed.
She glanced back in time to see the Doctor disappear around a corner. She hoped he didn't get himself into too much trouble. She turned back and nearly ran smack into a glass wall. She blinked at it. It looked like some kind of atrium, housing some kind of creature by the looks of it. A large metal pot in the corner with water, and some strange leafage on the ground of the otherwise bare room. "Is this a zoo then? Some sort of alien zoo?" She thought out loud, wondering if it was, if it had a petting zoo.
A large, long snake and worm-like creature dipped down from its hiding place on the ceiling to stare at her. It came face to face with her through the glass. She screamed and stumbled back. "Its you!" She felt shock course through her veins. It was that creature! The one from when she first met the Doctor. Prisoner Zero! She gulped and stared in at it, willing it not to make her fall asleep and take over her form again. "But...How? How can you be?" She glanced around and saw a plate next to the glass. It read Prisoner Zero - Ward 8 - Maximum.
This Prisoner Zero was here and not executed. But she looked back at the creature that was just silently staring at her and a thought occurred to her. The Doctor was a time traveler so it was entirely possible that she was visiting before Prisoner Zero ever escaped! That must be why it wasn't rendering her unconscious. It hadn't yet met her to form a psychic link. Maybe she could prevent it from escaping in the first place. But such a thought only made another, far more intriguing thought come to fruition in her mind.
"Oh, The Doctor...The Doctor has the TARDIS!" She said slowly, staring still. "He can travel in time!" She exclaimed to the clueless creature. So why hadn't he? She could have kicked herself for not realizing it sooner, but he could have fixed all of this! Not realizing that there were serious laws of science and nature against crossing personal time lines and changing certain past events, Amy's annoyance at the Doctor's short sightedness was growing immensely. By instinct, something told her if she confronted him about this, he would say no and would do nothing. A small voice in the back of her mind warned her against any actions. She often ignored that voice anyway.
Instead she glowered at just how easy it would have been for him to fix everything. To swoop back in time and pick up little waiting Amelia Pond. To end her pain and suffering. To make her believe in people, and not-people, again. To give her something to believe in other than her own insanity. To keep her from having to go to four psychiatrists. To keep her from being scared and alone.
Well, maybe the Doctor didn't care to bother to do it, but Amy sure did! She would! She would save the little girl who needed a real fairy tale to be true, and keep her from the heartache and serious emotional damage that Amy herself had, had. She could go back and save herself! She'd been watching the Doctor steer the TARDIS for a while now. She was positive she could fly it all by herself. The TARDIS recognized her since it let her use the controls sometimes to help him. The only problem was, she wasn't sure how to get it to go back to a certain date.
"I'm going to do it." She said with a firm nod. "Amelia Pond won't have to suffer, because Amy Pond is on the case." She nearly glared at the curious creature, more out of determination than any sort of anger at it. With that, she hurried off to find the Doctor.
"Erm, Doctor?" He was staring through a glass atrium of his own, in at what looked like a twin-headed orange raccoon. "Oh, hello Amy." The Doctor smiled at her, but then looked back at the creature. "I think...We are in a prison." He sounded amused. "And if I'm not mistaken, this beast is a-Oh, and by the way, did you just scream a minute ago?" She interrupted him.
"Uh yeah, I screamed in excitement. This is just so great!" She waved it off. "Doctor, how do you set the TARDIS to a specific date?" He looked at her sharply. She flinched. She'd sounded too eager. He would see right through her plan, surely he would.
"Why?" There it came, the suspicion. He wasn't about to tell her how to go back in time, she was positive of it now. But she had to try.
Amy forced herself to calm down. "Well I want to learn. I want to be of as much help to you as I can." She told him firmly, nodding as if convincing herself as well.
The Doctor eyed her a long moment. "You're helpful enough. I'll not have you messing with her gears, she's already sensitive." He turned back to the creature again.
Amy sighed, defeated. There was no way she would convince him. But, suddenly, a new idea occurred to her. "Ah, well, that's all right. Can't blame a girl for asking." She laughed nervously, earning herself another look from the Doctor as she backed away. "I'm going to...Explore some more. See you about!" She took off at a near run. She knew he would no doubt be coming after her soon enough to see what that was all about. So she had very little time to spare.
She rushed back to the TARDIS and quietly shut the door behind her. She had remembered something. Something important. A few journeys back, the Doctor had let slip that twisting the red dial and pulling a black lever, along with pushing three certain buttons, would call up their last known destination, and doing it again would call up the one before that, and so on and so forth and that the TARDIS could hold literally thousands of back destinations. The Doctor was excellent at counting back to trips to Cardiff, even if they had been dozens or hundreds of trips back.
Amy sat back a moment and forced herself to count each and every journey she and the Doctor had taken and then the ones he'd taken without her. It was tedious work. She just hoped she could figure it out before the Doctor came back.
Luckily for her, The Doctor was currently distracted. He'd gotten into an argument with what looked like a tiny monkey, over a TARDIS key it had snatched from his pocket. The little creature apparently was one of the guard's key keepers. "Give. It. Here!" He chased after the little creature.
Meanwhile, Amy had grabbed a paper and pen and jotted down every journey, every trip, even the small ones, back to the two at the beginning that the Doctor took after first meeting her. And again. And finally she had it. His very first journey to her back yard. She was sure she had the right number. She started the motions of turning the dial, pulling the lever, and pushing the buttons, over and over in a pattern until her hand was sore. Then she went about starting the TARDIS up with the commands she knew nearly by heart, to get it to head for the next destination.
It was a very complicated ship and she wasn't sure she could steer it correctly, but she figured if she came even close, it was good enough. The TARDIS whirred to life. "Yes!" She stood back, anxious and excited, clutching one gear, than the other as she tried to steer the ship. She never once stopped long enough to let herself question what she was doing.
"Ah ha! Got it!" The Doctor grinned triumphantly as he ripped the key from the creature's hands. He stared at it happily. Until an all too frighteningly familiar sound filled the air. His eyes widened and he turned quickly, sprinting towards the sound, dread filling him with every step. "No, no, no, no, no! Amy!" He raced toward where the box was fading. He reached it just as it vanished. He stared after it, horrified. "Amy. What have you done?" He whispered softly to the air.
Amy was tossed about a bit more violently than she was used to. The TARDIS managed to break her grip on the console and thus, she wound up with a few bruises. It didn't seem to like what she'd done, as if it knew what she was doing was so very wrong. Frankly, Amy didn't care.
Soon the ship quieted and stilled. Amy climbed to her feet and rushed for the doors. She burst out eagerly.
Little Amelia Pond sat on her suitcase, her hands clasped together under her chin. The Doctor would be here any moment. He'd promised, and she knew he wasn't people so he wouldn't break a promise. Just minutes before meeting him, she felt more alone than she ever had in her life. Her parents were gone and her Aunt Sharon didn't care for her at all. She was a burden to her the woman who liked to go out to parties and and spend time with men, not care for a child that wasn't even her own. So Amelia had been on her own. She'd learned to be pretty strong and tough about it. But she was still very much a little girl. Meeting the Doctor had opened up a softer side of herself. The one that still believed in people. The wounds were there, but the Doctor, just by being there and making a promise, had already started to heal them for the little one.
She grinned brightly at the sound of the TARDIS as it re-materialized. Not once did she doubt his return. Not once did she have the chance to. It did look different, she noticed. Brighter blue, and something new on the door. She stared wide eyed, her little mouth opening slightly at the lady who stepped out of it. She climbed to her feet and picked up her little suitcase. "Who are you? Wheres the Doctor?" Did the Doctor have a wife? Maybe that was who the red haired lady was.
Amy grinned back at the little girl. "I'm Amy. And you're Amelia, yeah?" She already knew the answer. The little girl nodded. "The Doctor asked me to come get you, and take you to him. He said he'd made a promise and would never break it, so I came here straight away." She informed the happy little girl.
Oh, the heartache she was saving this child! The pain and misery. The total lack of faith in others. Amelia Pond would never have to be Amy. She could live the fairy tale that Amy had always dreamed of. She wouldn't have to see the psychiatrists or be the town joke. She would always feel loved and cherished. She wouldn't be forced to sit out here until well into the next day when her aunt had to use force to drag her inside. She wouldn't have to have her wounds ripped open and bled dry from realizing she really couldn't rely on anyone but herself. Perhaps, the Doctor truly hadn't realized just how damaged little Amelia had become when he was twelve years late. Either way, Amy was going to prevent it. "Come with me?"
She held out her hand to the little girl. Amelia smile was even brighter. Of course the Doctor wouldn't break a promise. He'd given her back her faith, trust, and security. She believed in him fully. She grabbed her little suitcase with one hand and reached for the lady's with the other.
Amy reached out and took hold of the little girl's hand. There was a sudden clap of heavy thunder that made both Amy and Amelia jump. It was unlike any thunder either had ever heard before. It resounded off nearby houses and buildings to a near deafening degree. As if the heavens themselves were sending down a protest at this moment the two girls were sharing. Amy quickly got her wits about her. "Its alright, just a little thunder, come on." She lead the little girl into the TARDIS. "I'm not scared." Amelia protested bravely. Ah, she always was a brave little girl.
At that very moment, the universe and everything within its existence started to split. Just a tiny crack, yet big enough to destroy whole worlds if left there long enough. It collided not only with space, but with time as well. A little Amelia Pond from a week ago was playing out in her yard with her friend Rory when thunder struck. Rory ducked to the ground, fearful of being struck by lightening on a very clear day. Amelia shook, but reached out to pull the little boy up, insisting nothing was wrong. Even as at that very moment up in her very own bedroom, a crack appeared on her bedroom wall. Prisoner Zero, having listened to Amy Pond and her little rant, and watching the TARDIS come and now go, and seeing the Doctor's distress as he stared at the empty air, felt a coldness wash over it that it had never felt before. It glanced over its shoulder as a clap of thunder sounded and a rip gleamed in the wall behind it. The Doctor was too busy to even notice the creature. The creature felt an internal grin. A crack. In everything. A way out. Freedom at last! Long into the future, aboard a giant ship riding on the back of a star whale, a crack appeared, and all through out the universe this crack appeared, but it was centered around one girl. Amelia Pond.
The Doctor walked around and around the spot where his TARDIS had been. Where was she? Where had she gone? The thunder alone was ominous and his nature told him she had done something terrible. "I'm a Time Lord! How could I let something like this happen?" He didn't know he was being listened to. He dragged a hand through his hair and slumped back against a wall, thinking. He noticed everything around him now. Except he couldn't notice Prisoner Zero because Prisoner Zero was already slipping through the crack and exiting this world in favor of Amelia Pond's bedroom. He did, however, notice the little sign that said Prisoner Zero, and the pieces fell together in his mind.
Little Amelia Pond stared in wonder at the beauty around her. She had always believed the Doctor when he said all of those things about the TARDIS, but now she was seeing it first hand. She hugged her suitcase to herself and smiled. "Where is the Doctor? Can I go find him?" She asked Amy cheerfully. "Maybe he is in the swimming pool!"
Amy grinned down at her younger self. Had she really ever been so innocent? It was hard to imagine, yet here it was, proof right here for her to see. She really had been sweet little Amelia. "You can explore later, first we've got to get back to the Doctor. He's not here, but I know just where he is." She messed with the console, changing the dial, pulling the lever and pushing the buttons over again in a pattern, just once. Once would be enough to get back to her previous destination. "Sit tight, hold onto something." She told the little girl.
Amelia put her suitcase down and grabbed hold of the staircase as the TARDIS whirred to life. She stared around in wonder. She was getting to go on a trip in a time traveling ship! She was going to see the Doctor again and go on adventures with him! The excitement was unimaginably wonderful. She didn't even mind when the ship nearly tossed her to the floor. She had never been more happy in her life!
The Doctor knew where he'd gone wrong. He'd gone wrong so long ago. Back when he'd emotionally scarred a seven year old child. That stinging fact wasn't lost on him and he truly appreciated it for all its depth and outstanding monstrosity. The fact that all of this was his responsibility was never far from his mind. Amy wouldn't have done this if he hadn't caused her such a painful, lonely, and confusing childhood.
But he also knew she knew better. Even without him having to tell her not to cross her own personal time line, he knew she would know it wasn't right. That changing events that were already set in motion was wrong. She was ripping a hole in the universe, and while even he wasn't entirely certain of all of the consequences, he did know it could not be. Such things could never be, or he would have gone back long ago to right the terrible wrong he'd committed against that poor, lost little girl. He was very aware that Amy was a child inside, stunted in her growth because of him. And he worked every day at helping her heal and grow from it. But this was too much.
He heard the TARDIS' engines as it returned and he didn't even look up. For what was to come would be far worse than what had already been.
"The Doctor is out there?" Little Amelia let go of the stairs and ran for the door as Amy announced they were there. Amy nodded, grinning wildly. She was lost in the moment. Feeling very much like little Amelia, she was finally going to get the Doctor back in her life as he should have been, from the very start. "Yes! He's waiting just outside those doors!" Amy said just as excitedly. She was positive the Doctor noticed she'd gone missing along with his ship, and that he would be pacing frantically outside it now or rushing right in any moment.
Amelia giggled and hurried out into what looked like some kind of corridor. She gasped. "We really have travelled!" She glanced around and then caught sight of the Doctor leaning against a wall, not looking up. "Doctor!" She rushed over to him and smiled brightly up at him. But her smile slowly faded. For the look on his face was quite dark. He didn't speak to her at all. He didn't offer her a hug, or a friendly word. "...Doctor...?" She asked uncertainly, starting to feel worried.
Amy stepped out and over to the two. "So, Doctor, I fixed that little problem you caused a few years back." She almost sounded smug. The Doctor finally looked up, right at the adult her, and the coldness in his eyes made her shudder.
"This is wrong." He spoke in a low tone. "Very, very wrong. Amelia, go back inside the TARDIS." He told the little girl, his eyes still trained on Amy. He pushed himself away from the wall and moved past Amelia without even looking at her. Amelia turned to watch him, she frowned and felt scared. But the Doctor had told her to do everything he said. "Okay." She said, wondering if he was mad at her for some reason. He sure seemed mad. She slowly stepped back into the TARDIS and looked around, biting her lip. Had she done something to make the Doctor mad? Maybe he didn't like the fish fingers and custard after all.
"Whats wrong with you?" Amy folded her arms across her chest and stared right back at the Doctor as he approached her with alarming speed. He came face to face with her.
"You don't ever, ever cross personal time lines. Do you know what crossing into established events can do? It rips holes in the fabric of space and time! You've just created a paradox. One which...I'm..I'm not even sure I can fix!" He was waving his hands about wildly in her face now. "Do you realize what you've done?! You've created something that can not be!" He was getting angrier and angrier. And the fact that he wasn't raising his voice made it that much more frightening.
"I...Didn't know." Amy felt deflated. She could see why picking her own self up in the past might be a bad idea, but she really hadn't given it much thought. "I just didn't think..."
"Exactly!" The Doctor exclaimed, exasperated. "You didn't think, and now you've gone and caused a tear in the very core of existence! You're going home. And not just little you, big you too. And this isn't just an idle threat. It is a promise." He paused, as she felt her heart drop. "Why did you do-You think I didn't want to keep my promise from before? To go back and save little Amelia Pond from years of worry, stress, and wondering if she was actually insane? You think I wouldn't have gone back gladly if I could? But I couldn't. But you did. And now look what you've done. This promise, I'm keeping. You're going home." He turned away from her.
"But Doctor-" She could very easily have cried, if she wasn't so hardened from such a rough childhood. She'd learned how not to cry, long ago. How not to show her disappointment.
"No." He spoke ever more coldly. "You're going home. Amelia Pond is going home. And then I'm going to try to straighten out this disaster you've caused, and you can hope you haven't cost billions of lives in the process! Now, come on!" He marched into the TARDIS with such a fury, that Amy didn't dare not follow.
Amelia was standing near the console, looking around. She wanted to explore, but wasn't sure the Doctor would like it. He was angry about something. That was all she knew for sure. He stomped over to the console, twisting dials and turning levers. She stepped back and watched him, her eyes wide on him. "What's wrong?" The little girl asked him innocently enough.
The Doctor sighed, still not looking at her as he worked. Amy stepped quietly inside, trying to remain calm and strong as she slowly made her way over.
"Just a bit of wibbly wobbly timey wimey, Amelia, nothing to worry about." His voice was tight, which told her it was very much something to worry about. He'd never lied to her before, why was he lying to her now?
"Doctor, please!" Amy pleaded with him, careful to keep her voice quiet even as she felt her bottom lip trembling. The Doctor shot her a dark look and then went back to steering the TARDIS without another word.
Amy stood by wanting to cry while Amelia stood by wishing she could help the Doctor feel better and wondering who the girl was and what was wrong. Instincts told her not to ask just yet.
"There we go. You stay here." He demanded of Amy who was hurt and worried. The ship stopped and the Doctor moved around the console and picked up the little suitcase in one hand, then moved to take hold of little Amelia's hand. She quickly offered it up, trusting him fully as always. "Come with me." He lead her out of the ship and back to her own back yard, literally just moments from the time when he'd last left her here. He set her suitcase down.
"Uh, but. I thought we were going to time travel? You promised!" She looked up at him and frowned. He wasn't people. He wouldn't betray her trust like the others.
He bent down to her level. "Amelia," He looked right at her. "I'm sorry. Truly, I am." He spoke the words softly, but sincerely. He was sorry for what he'd done to the little girl. And he was sorry for what he was about to do to her. With that, he placed a hand on either side of her head and closed his eyes. She watched him, confused but not frightened. Suddenly she felt blackness taking over her conciousness. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she started to fall. The Doctor quickly caught her. He lifted her up gently into his arms. He carefully laid her next to her suitcase, making sure her coat was tucked firmly around her. He looked down at her sadly.
With heavy hearts, he reached out and stroked the little red head's hair. "Sleep well, Amelia. Good bye." He said softly before turning and leaving. He'd wiped her memory. Not of him, but of Amy coming back for her, and of her going on a trip in the TARDIS and meeting up with him again. She would only awake outside to remember waiting eagerly for his return and him not coming, much as she ever had. He could have been kind. He could have wiped every memory of him from her mind. If he had, he was sure she would grow up with far less damage. But enough changes in the time line had already been done. He couldn't risk creating more. She would have to grow up not being able to believe in anyone and obsessing about the magical raggedy Doctor. That was just how it was meant to be.
With such thoughts, and of the little girl he knew needed him so much, he turned and headed back to the TARDIS, abandoning her once more. This time was different though. This time he was doing it knowingly and purposefully. This time it hurt all that much more.
Amy was walking around the TARDIS worriedly. "Why did you do that?" She confronted him the second he returned. "Why did you make her go back?! Now she's going to have twice the trauma of being abandoned on top of you breaking your promise!" She was very angry now.
The Doctor shook his head. "She won't remember a thing. Don't worry, I took care of it. And now, for you." He went to the console. Amy trailed after him.
"But Doctor...You're really not going to make me go back, are you?" She sounded so lost, much as if she really were still very much a little girl.
He did feel a pang, but his anger abated any of that. "You stole my space ship, traveled back in time, and ripped a hole in creation itself. Yes, you're going back home!"
Her eyes were wide as she looked at him, panic stricken. Her Doctor. He was leaving her. Every bit of that little Amelia came trickling in, filling her to the very core of her being. Her lip trembled and she bit it to keep it from doing so. Her fears were growing. She felt as nearly every little child feels the first time their parents leave them in the care of someone else. Abandoned. Alone. Frightened. She was most definitely damaged. But, yet, she was something else too. She was Amy Pond. A tough young woman who'd learned long ago not to rely so heavily on others for any kind of support. Being with the wonderful Doctor had made her forget that for a bit. Finally, she got hold of herself.
She crossed her arms and stuck her chin up, looking at him challengingly. "Fine. I don't care. I'll go home. Rory's been waiting for me anyway." Not that she was returning for him or relying on him at all. It was just something to say, perhaps even in the hopes of tossing a tiny bit of jealousy at the Doctor even though she knew he wouldn't care. "Do what you like!" She waved a hand at him and then kept her arms back folded into place.
The Doctor paused. He looked over at her. Anyone who looked at her would see a strong young woman who was full of life and could take anything life threw at her. Everyone could see that. Anyone, but the Doctor saw more. He saw so much more. He saw the scared little girl inside, hiding behind the tough exterior so she wouldn't be wounded any more. He saw a wounded young woman who wasn't damaged goods, but who did need guidance and help and support as did anyone. He saw the strength in her and the potential she had.
"You're not getting away with it that easily, Amelia Pond." He knew she hated it when he called her Amelia. She shot him a surprised look and then glared.
"Thats right." He said, making up his mind. "You're going to help me fix this paradox you created. And then you're going to listen to a ten hour lecture on just why crossing the time lines is a bad idea and why you won't ever do it again!" He wasn't joking. He was very prepared to make her sit at a desk while he lectured her endlessly on every precaution and danger of such a thing.
"Well alright then. Lets get to it." She knew he wasn't joking and she accepted this. She'd made a big mistake, and somehow the fact that he wasn't abandoning her again, made her realize she was fearing something else even more than being alone. She was fearing having someone challenge that belief. But she was up for the challenge if he was.
"Fine!" And off they went.
Perhaps the Doctor would always feel responsible for her. She would always be that little girl who needed him to come back, because she would always be waiting. The little girl who had won him over from the start. He knew he wouldn't be able to hold that anger for her, for too much longer. He knew her too well. Knew she would redeem herself. She always did. That was what made her, her. That was another reason he knew changing the time line was wrong. If she had never met him, or if he had come back as promised, in five minutes, and taken her with him. Yes, she wouldn't have been so damaged. But she also wouldn't have been so Amy.