Part of my Amelia Song Non-linear Series.
All children have heard fairytales. Stories of monsters and heroes and villains; magic and mystery and extraordinary impossibilities. They were embellished and engorged with acts of bravery and stupidity and might. With passion and intrigue and romance.
Not many children have lived a fairytale.
When she told older children the stories she'd seen, the impossibilities she'd witnessed, they called her silly and mad and strange. But undeterred, she told her stories to anyone that would listen. At the corner of a market stall, she'd stand and whisper wonders into the ears of the younger children, not yet hardened with the cynicism of their parents. She told them tales of the Lord and Lady of time, and their daughter; she danced around the square with smaller children in her wake, re-enacting the way the Timelord of her stories, would dance around his controls as he took them off on another adventure.
All of the stories were written in an aged blue book, its pages torn and weather-worn, its spine ripped and the corners dog-eared. She flipped to pages with drawings of ancient heroes – a girl with red hair and a sketched profile of The Last Centurion. The little children marvelled at the drawings, at the resemblance they had to the legends they'd heard from school and from history.
They were awed that legend of the Centurion could possibly be true. They whispered their fascination that he was indeed, the father of her Lady of Time. She laughed, encouraging their interest by holding the weathered old book up to her gathering crowd and showing them a drawing of the Queen of Time herself, in all of her Royal blue glory.
She embellished the stories, adding more perils and more passion. She told them of battles won and stories yet to be lived, that had been lived before. And an almost endless circle of love and loss and love again.
Their favourite, was the stories she told of the Lord and Lady of time, and their backwards romance. The pain and the sacrifice and the love that she spoke of; and the way they fought to protect their precious, precarious love affair.
She admitted to her fans that she didn't know how it worked. The Lord knew the end and the Lady knew the beginning, but to each other, it was in reverse. That only seemed to fascinate them more and she pushed on, telling tales of how they battled and how they loved and how they challenged the very rules of time and space.
They were the last of their kind. And they ruled all of time.
Amelia gasped, the children before her staring up at her with wide eyes as she slammed her book closed and tensed. "Amelia Song, get over here right now!" A woman's voice bellowed across the square and all of the children turned, their eyes following their story-teller's to where the woman stood, her hands on her hips and her wild, untameable hair whipping her in the face as the breeze caught her curls.
"You've been a fabulous audience, but I have to be off now."
Groans of protest filled her ears as she struggled through her little crowd. But she had to ignore them, pushing on as she neared the bringer of her doom.
"I swear, I didn't show Dad." Amelia promised, handing the over-loved book back to her mother, with her eyes cast down.
"It doesn't matter, Amelia, you know how precious this book is to me."
"It's precious to me too, remember. I'm in there as well."
"And I hope you didn't read that, either!" River barked, tucking the book into her satchel before she grabbed Amelia's hand and pulled her back towards the Tardis and the Doctor, leaning up against the doors with his arms crossed over his chest.
They both froze, when the sound of children's screams of joy and laughter filled their ears and a hundred little feet rumbled down the alleyway towards the Doctor, who's eyes filled with fear and who's arms flailed for a place to stand without being tackled to the ground.
"You're the Lord of Time!" One child cried, grabbing at the corner of his sleeve.
"And this is the Tardis!" Another patted the door, the little boy's grimy fingers making the Doctor cringe with the contrast against the pristine blue.
"Amelia," River hissed and the girl just shrugged, giving her mother an innocent look.
"Excuse me," A little girl's voice was small and hesitant, reaching up and tapping River's hand. River looked down at her, meeting her large brown eyes and being unable to keep herself from smiling at the child's innocence. "You're the lady, aren't you? You're the lady from the story."
"I-" River hesitated.
"Yes she is," Amelia grinned, nudging her mother with her elbow. "She's the Lady of Time, in the flesh. And yep, the hair is real."
River rolled her eyes at her daughter and Amelia just smirked.
"Are all the stories true?" The little girl asked and River's heart melted.
"I suppose." She bent down to the girl's height. "Though I don't know how much Amelia has embellished them."
"You'd be surprised, Mother. Your stories don't actually need a lot of filler. They're pretty exciting in their own right."
"Well thank you for the kind review, dear."
"She's your mother?" The little girl gasped in awe, looking between River and Amelia, the latter of which, just grinned and nodded her head with pride. River just answered her daughter with a smouldering glare and Amelia knew she was going to hear the end of it later, when they were back in the vortex and the rest of the universe couldn't hear her mother screaming bloody murder that there was yet another planet they couldn't return to, because they were now so infamous she couldn't buy cheese without an audience.
Amelia shrugged, crossing her arms and turning her eyes to her father, who was surrounded by laughing, jumping, grabbing children, all trying to touch him and ask him questions. Half of them were trying to get into the Tardis, whilst the other half were asking him questions about Daleks and Cybermen and if he really had all the faces that Amelia had shown them in the book. She considered, for a moment, rescuing him. But settled on laughter as her mother growled under her breath and headed over to break it all up, only to get dragged into it all herself.
She let it carry-on, just until the looks on her parents faces actually started to scare her. She knew that she was in trouble when they looked at her like that. She knew that it meant no adventures for a while and bed before eleven. But somehow, it was worth it. She loved their stories and she loved sharing them and she loved that even though they were known throughout the universe, they were still so very much, her Mum and Dad and their stories were broken down to merely fairytales.
They were far too grand and ridiculous to be real, most people told her. Especially her parents, who had lived every kind of fairytale she could imagine, and even some she couldn't. She dreamed of the days that she too, could make fairytales.
The Impossible child and the Tardis, off to see the universe. She liked the sound of that. But, if it meant that her parents would be gone and their fairytales, locked up in some library; she was willing to wait a very long time, for her own.