The wonders of the universe were always so much more beautiful, when seen through the eyes of the young. Though for all his hundreds of years, the young were only ever relatively so. They were the grown up too fast and the never grown up at all, but they were independant and brave; they were always brave.
She was small to nearly all beings and innocent to all but a few. Delicate and devious and positively stunning in her fascination with the unknown. She loved the wibbly-wobbly, the spacey-wacey and her favourite, as much as it was his; the timey-wimey. She loved the switches and the sounds and the vworp, vworp, vworp. And oh how she loved the running. Alike, they were, in so many ways. And yet, through her eyes he only ever saw her mother.
He didn't mind.
She danced across the control room; her cheeks flushed with excitement and her socked feet sliding across the glass floor. He laughed as she spun and twirled and waved her arms about, stretching for switches that were just out of her reach and giggling with delight when he lifted her to make it easier. She wasn't nearly large enough to pilot the Tardis on her own; not yet. But the joy it brought him teaching her, was enough to wind back his centuries and make him feel like a child again. Not just in his mind, but in his body and his soul.
"Do you want to see the stars, tonight?" He whispered in her ear and she spun around on the spot, bouncing up and down with her arms out wide and excitement in her eyes.
"Oh, yes please, Daddy. Yes please!" She exclaimed, gripping his hand and tugging him towards the door. He made a show of resisting, rolling his eyes with playful mirth at the injustice of being carted around by this child.
River appeared at the top of the stairs; their eyes met and laughter bubbled up from deep inside him. So much alike, they were. River and Amelia Song. The only girls in all the universe to whom the Doctor gave everything.
"Mummy, Mummy! Daddy's going to show me the stars tonight!" Little Amelia shouted, noticing River as she made her way down the stairs towards them. "Isn't that wonderful?"
"It is, my love, but you be sure not to let go of Daddy's hand when he opens the door."
"Oh, don't worry Mummy, the Tardis would never let me fall, would she Daddy?" Amelia looked up at him, her miniture hand clutched tightly within the hold of his piano-man's fingers; a tiny little thumb drawing circles on the back of his knuckles as her wide, innocent, untainted blue eyes, looked up at him with untampered faith.
The Doctor crouched down before her. He let his hands slip from hers and he raised them to cradle her tiny face. Her skin, so soft and her hair, so tightly curled. Her eyes were so clear and adventurous and her lips the muted pink of a ruby rose after a frost. "For you, my Amelia; the daughter of the Doctor. To fall is something you will never have to fear. I will always, always come for you and the Tardis will always, always catch you. And your mother," He swallowed; his hearts pounding against his chest as he saw River appear beside him; as he watched from the corner of his eye as she knelt down by his side and pressed her hand to his, against their daughter's cheek. "she knows that better than anyone."
Amelia looked between them, fiddling with the ends of River's hair as her little hand rested on her Mother's shoulder. "Is that true, Mummy?"
River's eyes had filled with tears that would never be shed. She licked her lips, inching closer on her knees. "Yes, my love." She smiled a watery smile. "Once, a long long time ago, your Daddy made me the same promise." She raised herself up to kiss Amelia's forehead before leaning back again. She felt the Doctor's fingers curling through her own and she grinned, leaning into his side. "He will always come for you, Amelia. And so will I."
"I know, Mummy." She grinned. "Because we're special."
Amelia shrieked with laughter as the Doctor leaped into the air, swooping her into his arms and spinning her on the spot. "The most special of special, Amelia Song," River laughed and dodged as Amelia's little legs spun outwards as they danced. "and you don't even know how much."
"This much!" She exclaimed, holding her arms out and throwing her head back, stretching as far as she could reach and the Doctor laughed a deep throaty laugh as they came to a stop and he felt River's lips on the back of his neck.
"That much, my Amelia," He held her still in his arms, just studying her face with a deep reverance as he followed the feeling of River's fingers in his hair and her chin on his shoulder, with his mind; and the very ends of her hair tickling his cheek. "and so much more."
"Can we watch the stars now, Daddy?" Amelia questioned, her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and the Doctor grinned.
"Of course, my love." He carried her towards the doors, smiling at the anticipation and wonder in her sparkling eyes. "Now, hold on tight." He warned her, reaching for the handle of the doors as he felt River's chest against his shoulder, her hand pressed to his arm. Amelia nodded with excitement, always eager to see new worlds and discover new galaxies. She loved planets and clouds and the expanse of space. She loved cities choking with people, where she couldn't walk three feet without holding her mother's hand, or discover a new treasure without her father inspecting it first. And she loved the silence of space, where it was her and her parents and the endless black, warmed by the heart of the Tardis. She was a child with no rules and far too many; with no bars on her windows or restrictions on her time. Though she was protected to the point of smothering; her parents knowing that one day, the universe would discover her and there wouldn't be anywhere left for them to hide.
That day was long into the future; when she could run without holding their hands and defend herself with her mother's ferocity. With her father's brilliance. That future was unsure, unmeasured, unseen. But the universe was her's and time was their's and the laws of it, their own to bend; the last of the Timelords. And he would bend them, for her. Always for her.
"This, my Amelia," He smiled broadly, feeling River's fingers crawling across his back, beneath his jacket as he opened the doors with his free hand. He raised his arm then and wrapped it around her shoulders as he pulled her into his side and the three of them stood together, with all colours of the universe dancing before them. "is the Medusa Cascade." He raised her up, laughing as she stretched her arms out to reach for the stars and the lack of gravity beyond the doors, raised her up above them. He grabbed a hold of her ankle, catching the flecks of orange in her golden curls and remembering her Grandmother's wonder, as she'd floated among the stars in her nightie, all those years ago.
"Doctor, be careful!" River hissed, her arm holding tighter to his waist, as if grounding him with her weight, would ensure he didn't lose his grip on Amelia.
"Oh River Song," He smirked, holding tighter to their daughter's ankle as she giggled with glee and stretched herself as far as she could manage. The Doctor turned his eyes down, meeting River's and confessing with his heart and soul, within the silence of her worried mind, that she would always be safe. "don't fear, my love. I will never, not in a million forevers, let her go."
"Not even when she wants you do," She chuckled, hugging him tighter and burying her face in his chest. The Doctor kissed her hair before resting his chin on the top of her head and looking up to see the rainbow of colours and stars beyond, glowing around the almost nearly impossible child.
"No," He grinned, brushing his thumb against her tiny ankle and the fingers of his other hand, through her mother's hair. "especially not even then."