Title: Dust Angels
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
A/N: Written for the Bowties Are Cool S5 ficathon on LiveJournal and the prompt: 'Eleven + River Song, ancient dust'.
Everything is dust. Not just covered in it, but turned to it. Not draped and obscured but still there; it is transformed and gone and forgotten. There are piles of it where trees and benches and perhaps an ice-cream stand should be. There is no grass; just a layer of dust half a metre thick. Grey-beige-white dust.
This is not a park anymore; it hasn't been for thousands of years. It is no longer a cosmic battlefield, either. It just is. And it is dust.
She clutches at her throat; there is tightness there, pressure.
The Doctor puts his sonic screwdriver into a pocket, scans finished. "It should be quite safe to remove your scarf now," he says. He doesn't wear one, but then, he can choose not to breathe. "See, it's heavy. Doesn't whirl." He gives the dust lawn a great kick; his foot gets stuck halfway in and he ought to upset the dust greatly pulling it out, but there is nothing. It just falls away around his boot like dry sand, heavily and quickly, as if it longs to be laid to rest again.
She shakes her head slowly and reflexively pulls her scarf a bit higher up on the bridge of her nose. There's an aching lump in her throat and she doesn't want to speak, doesn't want him to hear it.
She shouldn't be so affected. It was just history. It just happened to be her own. Well, part of her own. The entire city, the entire planet… Why had she ever asked to see this?
There are tears in her eyes; she blames the stale smell of old old horror. Of something that has not been disturbed for so long.
"We should go," she mumbles finally. "Let's leave it be."
"No, we should do the exact opposite." The Doctor grins stubbornly, defiantly. Then he looks the dust over, and she can pinpoint the moment he has the idea, because a shine comes to his eyes. "Let's make snow angels! Well, dust angels!"
"Doctor…" she says, coarsely, but it's too late.
He flops down on his back and he actually does it. Moves his arms up and down, his legs back and forth. The dust is sluggish and stubborn and apparently heavy, but it actually moves.
The end result is kind of crooked and lumpy and quite ugly, but it's given him wings and a robe and she has to smile. She thinks of all those legends, those fantastic accounts, of a man who is called a wonder, an angel, even more. She wishes the writers of those could see him now, because this is as much of an angel as he'll ever become, as much as he wants to be one.
There's a ridiculous amount of dust caught in his hair, and his beige jacket is nearly invisible. He gives her a stern look and reaches a hand up towards her; dust trickles along his fingers and arm.
She takes his hand and lets him pull her down, onto his left dust wing.
This is as much of an angel as she wants him to be, too.