Disclaimer. I do not own Doctor Who, River Song, or The Doctor. I wish I did. This may eventually be considered irrelevant fiction, especially since I descided to upload this less than a week before "The Wedding of River Song". Oh well. Enjoy it while it lasts!
My mother always told me I was born in prison. Not just any prison: Stormcage, ranked number one in high security. Though I was no prisoner, merely a gurgling baby, mum was. So when they took me away, she broke out, stole me back, and we ran. We ran for a very long time.
It was me and her versus the universe. We ran through the stars, never staying anywhere for long. We spent seven months in the Ood Sphere with the ancient, prophecy telling ood. A month on the diamond planet of Midnight. Nearly a year on Earth exploring tombs and deserts. It was amazing and inspiring and terrifying. My first word was run. An average person (scoff) would think my childhood was lonely, but I had my mother.
And my fairy tales.
I learned to read when I was two and stuck in a very cold dungeon with my mother and just enough light to read. However, I was being read to since I was born and it continued even after I could read quite well. We couldn't take much with us on our travels. We would gain possessions and lose them just as quickly, but that deep blue book of stories was always there. A constant in my ever changing childhood. Each story was about a man. Or was he a magician? Or was he a god? He was called the Doctor. He, like my mother and I, travelled the universe. He visited planets and species and went on many adventures. Unlike us, though, his adventures usually led to him saving the world. The universe, people. He also travelled in a blue box. Mum and I had a watch.
The actual book itself was amazing. It was leather bound, the color of a deep blue sky and contained beautifully drawn illustrations. In some stories the Doctor's appearance changed. It was as if the illustrator got tired of drawing the same man so he (or she) just drew another one. But it was always the same man. The Doctor. He captivated my mind. I dreamed about going on adventures with him. He was my best friend growing up and he was a story.
It was after my mother finished reading me one of the Doctor's stories (The Doctor and his current "companion" go to Pompeii the day before Mt. Visuvias erupts and the Doctor ends up being the cause of it). I had officially become ten earlier that day. She put the book down on the dirt floor of our current residence: A tepee. I yawned, curling up in the sleeping bag.
"Cassie. It's time for me to stop running all the time".
"What do you mean?"
"I made a promise a very long time ago that I need to live up to. I've been running from that for ten years now."
"Are you leaving me behind?" The exhaustion I had felt only moments before had disappeared and was now replaced by fear. Not the kind of fear I felt when I saw a Dalek for the first time. Not like the fear of mum and I being trapped in a tomb for 37 hours. It was a completely new fear. Abandonment.
"It's complicated sweetie."
"It is always complicated isn't it. When I asked you why I didn't have a father, you said it was complicated. When I asked you what you had done to get in prison, you said it was complicated. I'm sick of complicated!" I could feel tears in my eyes, but with all my strength I blinked them back. "What are you going to do with me?"
Mum very rarely showed much signs of weakness. Usually she was clever and charismatic and so, so strong. Laughing at danger. But when she answered me her voice was thick and broken.
"Well, first of all, I'm not doing anything to you. And second, we are going to move into a proper house on Earth, together."
"Wait, so this means you aren't leaving me?"
"It means I'm not leaving you yet."
We set off the next day, saying goodbye to the natives of Onerai, second planet in the Evelen galaxy. I held on to my mum's hand as I had done so many times before. She typed the coordinates in that ancient Vortex Manipulator on her wrist, pushed a button, and we were gone.
There we stood, in a small suburbia, directly in front of a tiny grey house that looked dreadfully dull after seeing the wonders of the universe.
"This is it?" I looked at that house like it was a sick adipose. I had absolutely no desire to go any closer.
"I thought it was quaint," Mum's voice held no hint of sarcasm, but her eyes gave off a completely different vibe. The mischief in her would scare some, but it gave me sudden excitement.
I walked up to the door. It looked so average, so human, so everything my life till then had been against. I turned the key, feeling the thud of the lock in every bone of my body. Upon opening the door, I stood, shocked into silence. It was bigger on the inside. Dazed, I ran into the huge entrance hall, that alone was the size of all the other houses on this small, Earth block. Hallway after hallway. Room after room. A person could spend a lifetime exploring it. Suddenly, I was very excited for the adventures mum and I would have in this house.
"Cassie!" Mum's voice echoed through the halls. I ran down the passages, finding my way back to the entrance hall. There she stood. My mother. I went to her.
"This place, it's amazing!" I beamed at her, but something was off.
"I have to leave now." The words, so out of nowhere, so unexpected, caught me off guard.
"NO! You said we would live here! We! How – How are we going to live here if you leave? I don't want it! Any of it! Take the house! If you leave because of it, I never want to see it again!" I could feel myself on the floor, but wasn't quite sure how I got there. The tears pouring from my eyes made my face feel raw. She was suddenly down to my side, my level. She took me in her arms, an unusually occurrence.
"Shhh. It'll be okay. I'll be back. I'll visit you. It will be hard, but you have to be strong for a while. But Cassie, sweetie, look around," I did. I focused away from my mother, from her betrayal. What I saw was a very large house, an impossibly large house, a house where it could be very easy to become lonely. "All of this house to explore. You can have your own adventures here without your daft old mum getting in the way. There are books, so many books to read. All of history to experience through them. The kitchen," she pointed to her left, "it is filled with enough food to last you a hundred years. Learn to cook! Learn to create. Sweetie, I know it will be okay." My breath was still sharp but the tears had stopped. She made a movement to let go of me, but I held on a bit longer. I didn't want her to let go. Her letting go meant being alone. I was mature for a ten year old, wise from my experiences, but I could feel the last ounces of my childhood draining with every second that past.
I finally let go. She stood up. I did as well. She kissed my forehead. Ruffled my blonde hair. And before leaving said: "Cassandra Amelia Song, don't you dare leave this house until I come back! Love you so much sweetie" Then she was gone.
I haven't seen her since.
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