A bit of a songfic, I apologize... Usually I skip right over these myself if I see them posted, but I hope mine's a bit different... song fic with plot, if you will. Also, there's only two short verses so you don't have to worry about reading verse after verse. Type into Google "Art in Manila + Time Gets Us All" and you'll get a link at the top of the page for iLike or Rhapsody or something of that sort. The song is less than 3 minutes so give it a listen to complete the fanfic feel. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who, but Matt Smith sure as hell owns my heart. I also snagged the title from Kurt Vonnegut's novel.
The TARDIS doors flung open. "This! is Titan!" the Doctor enthusiastically exclaimed.
"What, as in one of Saturn's moons?" Amy's eyes glittered with the prospect.
"No, no, no, that would be Titan IV, this is the original Titan, from the galaxy Chvolaps."
Amy's face slightly faltered. "Oh." She thought for a moment. "So what makes this Titan different from other planets we've seen?" She tried to phrase the question as neutral as possible without the unspoken "then why the hell are why here?" coming across.
"Ever heard of the Sirens of Titan?"
She gave him a quizzical look.
"Sirens are creatures that you've probably heard from mythical tales, yet they're slightly different from what you've read about. They have a humanoid-like figure yet instead of wings that come out of their backs like a bee's, their extensions are connected to what we consider our forearms and biceps. They are a sexless being, being neither female nor male and do not speak, more or less, except to sing."
Amy let the information soak into her head. She took a look around where they landed. Aliens of all sorts surrounded the two of them and she didn't see one that looked like the description the Doctor gave. "I don't see anything like that."
"Sirens only sing when they have a Muse. These Muses can be any living being, yet they won't sing for anyone. They're psychic creatures that take an imprint of your unconscious and form a song on spot. It will be a completely unique song and one you will have never heard, nor will ever hear again. Recording devices are forbidden on Titan. So as you can imagine, they have gathered quite a lot of attention from species all over the universe, getting a glimpse of their unconscious. Some cite it to be therapeutic while others wish they never were sung to."
Just as he finished explaining to Amy and got her excited for their adventure, Amy spotted one. It stood about seven feet tall and was a neutral white color. It had a humanoid-like face and its whole form from head to toe was smooth, as if it was unclothed. It looked like it could have been made out of rubber.
It approached a being that Amy didn't recognize. The Siren looked at the alien for a quiet moment. Both parties stood perfectly still. Slowly, the Siren started to sing, red bleeding out of it in a form of light. The red covered the Siren, taking on different hues all over its smooth body. Amy couldn't shake the thought of it being blood. The Siren sang of pain and horrors, describing details that nightmares were made of. Its dance was ancient and eerie, swaying its winged arms to and fro with the red dribbling out of it. The Siren slowly circled the creature. The alien that was sung to suddenly fell to the ground, overcome with emotion. When the song was finished, all of the red disappeared and the Siren walked on.
Amy gaped at the scene. She found herself not the only one watching the show. She was excited to be there before, but now she wasn't so sure. Not only could her deepest, darkest memories or secrets be thrust out in front of her, anyone who would be around would be there to witness it… including the Doctor.
"Aside from the Sirens, Titan has delicious pan au chocolat! You can't find anything like 'em in France!" He started his gangly walk away from the TARDIS, leaving Amy no choice but to follow.
After taking in the sights around Titan and finding out the local folk lore and history, Amy and the Doctor turned a corner only to be faced with a Siren. It stood right in front of Amy.
The Siren peered down at her with the most neutral expression she had ever seen.
"Amy, if you don't want it to sing, turn away."
She thought about the statement. After considering for a moment, she came to the conclusion that she really didn't have any skeletons in the closet, at least not any she could think of at that moment. Either way, maybe she wasn't good enough material to be a Muse. "I think I'm alright, Doctor. If the Siren wants to sing, let it sing. I can't think of anything I would want to hide."
She looked up into its eyes. It had something like an eyeball, yet it there was no iris or pupil. She felt something tug inside her mind which she wrote off as the Siren gaining access to her memories, and then at her heart. Oh. Right. There was that bit.
She saw the Siren's face turn from neutral to something close to empathy. It smiled a sad smile. Before she even had a chance to protest, a cord from what sounded like an electric guitar softly chimed inside her ears. It sounded like she had a pair of ear buds on, how perfectly clear it sounded. She realised that everyone in a five-meter radius around her and the Siren could hear it, too and had turned to watch. The Siren took in a breath.
Oh, time, time gets us all.
A piano gently played staccato quarter notes in Amy's ears. She internally breathed a sigh of relief. Good, so this was going to be a song about time travel with the Doctor. She could take that. The Siren repeated the line, this time with a descant harmony of its own voice on top of the original. Its voice was beautiful, and very human.
Amy glanced at the Doctor. He had his hands tucked in his trouser pockets with a small smile playing on his lips, but she could tell he was anticipating something.
There was a day
When our love was all we had
One kiss and the ocean
Swallowed us in the abyss
This song was going exactly where she feared. Out of the Siren's delicate hands came swirls of red and blue. The colours stayed separate, yet danced together to the movement of the owner's body. The face on the mythical creature was sad and heart wrenching. Were those feelings really inside her?
But you, you had to turn away
That was all you had to say
And now I've found another love
And you, say it was a mistake
Amy's eyes widened to those words. She almost wondered how the Siren could know, but the Doctor's warning of it being a psychic creature revisited her memory. She tried to give it a message to please, please, please stop. He was right there. He would know. He couldn't know. This had to stop.
The Siren had glided closer to where the Doctor was standing during the verse, keeping its eyes on the ground in its sad lullaby. The blue-ribbon light of the Siren's right arm had crawled towards the Doctor, the red of its right arm, itching its way to Amy. Slowly, it turned towards Amy and looked her directly in the eye, a conflict of feeling written on its face.
Oh, time, time gets us all.
The piano's steady quarter notes turned into eighth notes, growing in intensity as the Siren repeated the same line over, and over. Drums made a soft introduction, all keeping in theme of heart ache and unconditional love. The tap on the cymbals almost sounded like the ticking of a clock's second hand.
The song built in intensity, but never getting too overwhelming. It sounded triumphant and lost at the same time. Instead of fighting the song, Amy tried to absorb the intricate dance the Siren did, weaving the red and blue ribbons together, moving its arms in a clock-work motion while it sang long over the repeated phrase: Time gets us all. The blue and red ribbons slowly wove together and turned into purple. The purple was absorbed by the Siren, turning its white body into a royal colour.
The song quieted to conclude it, repeating the phrase one last time. The chord that rang past its voice seemed to waiver, as if it was uncertain that this was the end.
Amy's was shaken out of her reverie when the people watching started to clap in approval. The Siren stayed looking at Amy with its unreadable expression. She was wondering if it was trying to say something or just looking.
With grace and intention, it turned towards the Doctor.
"Ah, I'd rather not," he said with a smile, holding his hands up in protest.
"I put myself under the bus but you can get away?" Amy clipped.
"You chose to."
"Oh, c'mon. What's the worst that could happen?"
"Last time it was a bit… well, let's say it gathered a lot of attention."
Amy's face lit up. "Oh, really? Now you have to."
His smiling face looked up at the Siren and said, "Maybe another day," and turned away. Amy pouted and urged him to turn back around. He declined and started to make his way back to the TARDIS, the two walking in silence.
Once they were back in the TARDIS, Amy couldn't hold back any longer and blurted out, "So what went on the last time?"
He looked over her with bright eyes as he turned the lock on the TARDIS door. "Hmm?"
"When the Sirens sang to you. What happened?"
"Oh, right." He leaned against the other door that wasn't opened and looked up at the sky, sunset streaking across its blue expanse. He smiled. "There were fireworks."
"To be honest, it was really embarrassing… way over done. It got a great round of applause, though." He looked at her and smiled with his eyes crinkling around the edges. She was reminded again that he wasn't a twenty-something year old human, and instead a 900- something year old time lord. She smiled back.
In the distance, a loud screech sounded over the whole land that made Amy jump and bump into the Doctor's chin.
"What in god's name was that?" Amy gasped, rubbing her head a bit.
He rubbed the sore spot and said, "A Siren's mating call. It's about that time of year."
"Why didn't we hear them before?"
"They only do them at night. We should get going, then. A call close to us could rupture your ear drums." Amy hurried inside and the Doctor followed.
Amy supposed the song sung to her would be filed under the "Things We Don't Talk About" folder. It almost made her laugh how many instances were in that folder, all of which surrounding her and the Doctor's not-relationship. She told herself that one day she would bring that folder out and have a blunt conversation with him. No more pink elephant in the room. But that would be for another day.