On the shore by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Doctor Who or any of its characters.


A gang of mangy-looking gulls cawed shrilly overhead, winding their way in spirals above the father and daughter couple, standing on the dull, grey sand, father holding little daughter's hand tightly as the wind competed with the ducking, diving gulls for loudest distraction on a glum, cloudy day. A splash of rain dropped down out of the sky onto the little girl's cheek, signalling the oncoming storm, and the little girl lifted a hand to touch the water, which squished under her little hand and became little more than a smudge, before she was hastily scooped up into father's arms and they went running for cover, back to Mother, back to Car, as the rain began in earnest, pelting the roof of the car Mother sat in, loud as gunfire.

"Never have I seen such a dishevelled-looking pair," Mother said, as Father pulled the door firmly shut - Bang! - and Mother pulled a face. Ears!

"Oh look," she added, now, "the beach!"

Father frowned, patted Daughter's ginger head. "Oh look, glum woman sporting glower shuts herself in tiny car all alone!"

Mother's face broke into a grin, and, seeing her mother's joy, Daughter began to laugh. Mother swatted at Father's arm. "Minuscule car!" she gasped, trying hard not to laugh, and glanced over at the backseat. "If it was down to the spaciousness of that seat back there, Melody would be a lonely, lonely child."

That wiped the smirk off Father's face - so happy before that he could still make mother smile; little one laugh. He glanced at the offending backseat, dubious.

Mother bent over and picked something up that had been waiting in the foot well, by her feet. The rain was a soft patter now, and seemed to be easing. If it went on like this, it would let up soon. She hoped so, as she passed a piece of bread to Daughter and began ripping another piece into shreds.

She paused and reached over to take the slice of bread from Daughter's mouth. "For the birds, darling."

"Good," the little girl replied, licking the crumbs from her lips. Still, the mention of birds had her pricking up her ears and paying attention. Birds flew in the sky. That was so far away. She could hardly make out any detail, from that far away. It would be amazing to see them close up. To feed them.

Father patted her head, showing her how to rip the bread into smaller pieces.

Once her piece of bread had been successfully shredded, she picked up all of the pieces and clutched them in her hands, holding them out for her mother to inspect. A couple of pieces fell out of her slightly shaking, tiny hands, but she ignored them, intent on Mother's reaction, her eyes locked to her Mother's in eager anticipation. Good?

"Perfect!" Mother beamed, offering her a bright smile, a bucket-load of sunshine that warmed her cheeks and her heart.

"Birdies! Birdies hungry!"

"Oh, I'm sure they will be!" Mother said.

Daughter looked up at Father. He looked sleepy, his eyes a little sparkly and a little flat, at the same time. She smiled at him.

He smiled back at her.

"Tah," Mummy said.

Daughter dropped the pieces of bread into Mother's hands. They joined the other pieces in Mother's lap, strewn with crumbs of all colours and sizes. She clapped her hands. "Yay!"

"Yah!" Mummy returned. "Birdies!"

Daughter clapped her hands. "Birdies hungry!"

"What sort of birds are they, do you suppose, Rory?" Mother asked Father.

"Gulls, I guess," he replied, and frowned at Daughter's frown.

"Ror-ree?" she repeated, looking confused.

Mummy nodded. "That's Daddy's name, baby. Daddy's name is Rory, like Baby's name is Melody."

Melody nodded, still frowning. "Mummy name?"

"Amy. Me, Amy; you, Melo..."

"Melody!" the little girl cried. "Birdies! Birdies names!"

"The birdies don't have names, baby. At least, not in... people-speak. Me- and you- and Daddy-speak. They may well have names in bird-speak, but Mummy doesn't speak Bird. Oh dear."

"Oh dear!" Melody agreed, sadly.

Daddy sighed. "But sometimes... sometimes we don't need to understand each other's language to understand what... what someone is feeling. Even birdies. Everybody gets hungry, don't they?"

Melody nodded. Yes, Daddy had a point. She followed Daddy's gaze, to the grey day outside, the birds wheeling overhead. She squinted, leaning forward, to make them out better. She couldn't really hear what they were saying, from in here. Were they saying that they were hungry? "Poor birdies!" she sighed.

Daddy sighed again.

"Daddy sleepy?" Melody asked, and Daddy seemed to perk up, awareness returning to his dull, glazed eyes. "Ror-ree sleepy?"

Daddy laughed. Melody liked the sound; it made her smile. Daddy's laughter was good. "Yeah, hon, Daddy's a little sleepy."

Melody patted his hand. "Okay, Daddy."

A sudden gust of cold, blustery wind announced that mother had pushed open the door, smiling, hand held out, palm upwards, testing the sky. She tumbled out the door, a moment later, holding out her hand for Melody, grinning. "Come along, Ponds!" she cried excitedly. "Hungry birdies awaiting!"

Melody climbed out of the car, towards Mummy, felt Mummy lend a helping hand to plant her feet on the ground. She shot a backwards glance at Daddy. Coming?

Daddy smiled, offering a nod, and got out the other side of the car. Mummy closed the door, handing her the bag of bread to hold onto, and when she looked again, Daddy had closed his door, too, and Daddy was coming around to take her hand. Yah! Mummy smiled at her, ruffling up her hair, and they walked together down to the shore to feed the birds, the waiting birds.