A Doctor Who Fanfiction by After the Silence
Word Count: 2974
Pairing: Mentions of 11/Rose.
Summary: After the events of "Let's Kill Hitler," Amy is understandably a bit confused. Luckily, a six year old by the name of Rose Tyler is perfectly willing to give out advice. First FF fic, mentions of 11/Rose.
Notes: My first ever Doctor Who fanfiction. Please be gentle! Mi dispiace for any OOCness that occurs… It's kind of my worst fear, really, and I'm sure it's there.
Disclaimer: I'm sure there's a parallel universe out there somewhere where I or someone close to me owns Doctor Who. As it is, I will have to make do with a couple of t-shirts and a dream. Allons-y!
Amy Pond was troubled, to say the least.
Sitting on a park bench in the middle of London, she couldn't think of a time she'd been more troubled, to be honest. Sure, moving to a small English village from her native Scotland had been difficult, and yes, the night before her wedding had been a close call – she'd run off with a madman in a blue box, for goodness sake, and if that wasn't a cry for help she didn't know what was! In the months (now close to becoming years) following, there had been less 'trouble' and more outright 'danger.' Always, there was an action to be taken, something to be done. Alien mermen attempting to take over 16th century Venice? Infiltrate their camp and determine their weakness! Cracks in the fabric of reality? Discover the source! Kidnapped infant child she didn't remember ever being pregnant for? Begin the search! In her time with the Doctor, there was no thinking – only doing. That way, things made sense. That way, Amy Pond could keep living with minimal regrets.
This time, however, it was different.
Her daughter – River bloody Song, Amy noted with annoyance – was all grown up. More than that, she was Mels, the frustrating (beautiful, cool) girl Amy had spent her childhood with from her earliest years. She could never watch the little girl that was Melody Pond grow up. To do so, the Doctor said, would be to cross into established events, and she couldn't very well do that! Did she want the universe to fall apart at its seams again? And she couldn't just take over where she had left off, either, with River as her daughter. Her little girl was a woman now. More than that, she was a strong, independent woman, who didn't need or want Mum sticking her nose in where it didn't belong. Putting all thoughts of independence and grown-up-ness aside, Amy wouldn't have been able to mother River properly – she had not a clue how! She'd been Melody's mother for all of two hours back at Demon's Run, and then only to a flesh copy of her real daughter!
All this ran through Amy's head as she sat on her own, on a park bench, in some low-end area of London, at some point in the early '90s. To tell the truth, she wasn't even sure why the Doctor had suddenly decided this place, in this time period, was so important. She certainly didn't see anything urgent! Before her, a near-deserted playground, old and rusted and populated only by a few Council kids whose parents had decided to get rid of them for the day. On a climbing frame not to far from where Amy sat, a little blonde girl of perhaps six or seven years was slowly making her way up. Struggling a moment, she finally clasped a high-up bar with one little hand and another, a look of supreme victory crossing her face as she strained her muscles, swinging to the next bar. All this, Amy noted, to the horror of a young black boy standing nearby, himself only ten or eleven.
"Rosie!" he shouted, "Get down! You're too small! You'll fall!"
"Oh, shut up, Mickey!" the little girl yelled back with surprising volume, "Jus' 'cause you're too scared to do anythin' don't mean I am!"
The older boy stuttered at that, suddenly at a loss for words. A moment later, it seemed, he decided to take elevated action, grabbing hold of the girl's leg and tugging as hard as he could. The girl struggled for a moment against the downward force, but she was, as the boy had said, very small. With a yelp, she fell and collapsed in a pile on the ground. Amy started a bit, but she could not take further action before the girl herself struggled to her feet and, with a ferocity that stunned Amy more than any bizarre alien encounter ever could, slapped the boy upside the head. He began to cry. Amy merely snorted.
As the older boy slowly dragged himself off to wherever the adult in charge had settled him or herself, his attacker searched the playground for something of interest, climbing frames having apparently been a passing fad. Considering the number of objects littering the surrounding area, Amy was very surprised to see the girl's eyes settle on the young redhead herself. Skipping forward, the girl settled herself on the bench alongside Amy.
"Hello," the girl said, matter-of-factly, "My name's Rose. Who are you?"
It took a moment for Amy to reply, stunned as she was. When she did, she was pleased to note her voice came out exceedingly casual. "Nice to meet you, Rose. I'm Amy Pond."
Instead of continuing the conversation in a relatively normal fashion, Rose took this opportunity to look at Amy with an odd expression, as if she were a weird sort of bug.
"You talk funny." She remarked.
Amy looked at her, far more offended than she should have been by a comment coming from a six year old. "Of course I do! I'm Scottish! What's your excuse, then? You're one step away from choppin' off your 'h's like some barmy maid in a musical!"
Hearing this, Rose's face scrunched up tighter than Amy would have previously thought possible. Amy would have laughed, were it not for a small muttering of something that sounded suspiciously like 'meanie-face.'
"Oi! Watch your mouth there y' little… squirt!"
Rose's face scrunched up tighter, and Amy soon found herself engaged in the staring contest of the century with a six year old in pigtails. If there was ever a time she had felt more 'her age'…
It was with the passing of this thought that Amy suddenly realized two very important things: 1) that she was twenty-two, not eight, and, 2) that there was no force on Earth or any other planet inside the confines of the known universe that would cause her young opponent to give up. Amy averted her eyes, and blinked. Taking a quick glance in Rose's direction, she saw the young girl staring at the side of her head with an expression of great triumph. Amy wrinkled her nose.
The two girls – one's life having taken off in a direction she couldn't possibly have previously imagined, the other's only just beginning – sat like that for what seemed like a long while, but was really only a few short minutes. The entire time, Amy stared ahead and attempted to ignore the uncomfortable feeling deep in the pit of her stomach that told her Rose had yet to avert her gaze. To the contrary, the little girl was doing more than staring: She was examining. Once again, Amy was tempted to yell at the girl for treating her like one of the aliens she herself spent so much time studying. She was spared the annoying process of choosing which words, exactly, to say, by the younger girl's own voice.
A statement. Not a question, and not an observation. A fact. Amy looked at the girl out of the corner of her eye.
"A little." Came her trite reply, "What's it to you?"
Rose ignored the question, perhaps wisely.
"Tell me why." She demanded.
"Why would I want to tell you about my problems?" Amy said, perhaps a little too forcefully considering the age of her conversational partner, "Even if I did, you wouldn't understand."
"I'm very smart." Rose persisted, "I get top marks in all my subjects. Mrs. Johnson says I'll be a right genius if I keep it up."
Amy sniffed at her. Still, she couldn't help but be touched by the girl's plain speech. Her mum had always said (in one set of memories, at least) that talking with someone about your problems was the very best way to deal with them, even if the other person was a complete stranger. And besides, who was Rose going to blab to? The crying kid from earlier?
"Well…" Amy began, shifting uncomfortably, "Y'see, my life recently doesn't always go in the right order. So I had this kid, this little girl, who was taken away from me when she was very small. An' recently I found out she grew up to be someone I had known since I was very small, an' now I'm very confused. On the one hand, I'm her mum, an' I know it now. On the other hand, she's all grown up and doesn't need a mum, and never has. So now I dunno how to act around her, is all."
During this confession, Amy had avoided Rose's eyes. When she finally did look back, she was quite surprised to see on the young girl's face an expression so shrewd and so all-seeing that it was quite unfitting on the face of one so young. Amy found herself more than ever an object of study under Rose's intense and calculating eye. Even as she watched, Amy could see Rose mulling over the problem in her mind – a space Amy now suspected was much larger than the mind of the average six year old, let alone the average woman of twenty-two. After a long moment, during which Amy allowed herself to marvel over the girl's apparent perceptiveness, Rose spoke. When she did, her words were simple, as if she found everything she was saying to be irritatingly obvious.
"Act normal." She said, "She's the same, only now you're her mum. She wouldn't need you so much sometime, anyway. I used to need my mum a lot when I was a little girl, an' now I don't. Now I take care of things. It don't mean my mum ain't my mum. It just means my mum don' need t' act like it so much. Your place ain't so special."
After the intense thought process the girl had gone through to come to this conclusion, Amy had to admit she was slightly underwhelmed. Then again, what had she been expecting? The Dalai Lama?
"Oh." She said, "Is that it, then?"
Rose nodded. "That's it."
Despite the fact that Rose was no Confucius, Amy had to admit there was some truth in the simplicity of her words. So what if River – Mels, whatever – was her daughter? So what if she didn't need Amy as her mum? It would have happened eventually. Just look at her and her mum! Never mind that Amy had another set of memories where her mum had been erased by a Crack in the universe, the woman was still there for her wedding, and when she had moved into the little house in Leadworth with Rory. It didn't mean Amy was calling her up at all hours of the day, but her mum was still there when it counted.
"Thanks." Amy said, struck the slightest bit dumb.
"You're welcome." Rose said, convinced she had done Amy a great service, "I need to go now. My mum sent me here with Mickey's gran, an' she's blind and old. She can't be outside too long, else she'll lose her fingers as well. Then, she can't make cookies."
With that, the strange little girl who was so full of contractions removed herself from the bench as quickly as she had arrived, running over to another part of the playground where an older woman sat scolding a still-crying Mickey. So caught up in a mixture of stunned silence and confusion was Amy that she did not notice the Doctor himself popping up behind her.
"Hello, Pond!" He cried, causing her to jump.
"Doctor!" Amy yelped, "Where the hell have you been?"
"Off preventing a possible Slitheen invasion at the local greengrocers." He repied, "As it turns out, the fact that Madame Westerfield, a lovely lady from whom I have bought a great number of bananas over the years, has been momentarily replaced by an overweight university student due to her husband's flu does not mean the Slitheen have set their sights on London 14 years in advance. I'm afraid Rory's still cleaning up the mess… But that's not important! What is important is that you, Amy Pond of Leadworth, have just had the acquaintance of a Miss Rose Tyler, the wisest being I have yet had the pleasure to meet in all the multiverse!"
Amy stared at him for a moment. Seeing that he was not in any way drugged, and rather just being his usual, Doctor-y self, she allowed herself a comment.
"I thought you would say you were the wisest person you'd ever met." She said.
"Oh, Amy, Amy, Amy!" The Doctor exclaimed, "I'm afraid you have been grossly misinformed! Smartest? Yes! I'm a genius, if I do say so myself. Wise? Not in the least! Have you seen my bathroom? No, don't answer that. Now, that – that there, Pond – is wisdom unending that does not decrease with age! Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth! And also, apparently, of her mum's sock drawer, but don't tell Jackie that I've been inside her flat, let alone her bedroom, or I'm afraid the universe will just have to make do without me. I'll tell you, Pond, if there's anything in this universe more deathly terrifying than a Tyler Slap, I have yet to encounter it. Incidentally – "
"Doctor," Amy said, cutting him off, "Why did we really come here?"
The Doctor looked at Amy with a soft expression. "Isn't it obvious? I saw you were troubled and I thought, 'What can I do to help Pond get out of her rut, so to speak?' And I thought, 'Well, what makes me feel better?' And then I thought, 'Well, Rose Tyler, of course! She always knows just what to say!' So we came here, and, look! It worked!"
"So, she's a friend of yours, yeah? In the future?"
The Doctor stopped his rambling almost instantly, and looked towards the little blonde girl, who was now helping the older woman to her feet.
"Rose?" he said, "Oh, Pond… Rose Tyler is so much more than a friend. Rose Tyler is… Why, Rose Tyler is… Well, everything, to be honest. Everything bright and beautiful and worth it, all wrapped up in one gorgeous, intelligent, and, well, frankly quite astonishing human being."
"You love her." Amy said, a statement of fact.
"Well…" the Doctor thought about it, his eye taking on an even more distant look than usual, "Well, yes, I must say so. I still do, probably always will. Like: Rose Tyler, bananas, and fish fingers and custard. Dislike: Daleks and pe- well, actually, apples, this time around. I don't think I've actually tried a pear yet. Or a banana, come to think of it. I had a bit of an obsession with them, last two times 'round. I'll have to see if I still do now."
"Then why don't you go visit her?" Amy asked, direct as usual.
The Doctor's face looked pained for a moment, then moved on, back to the mask of madness he wore so well.
"I just did, actually," he said, "Just last week. I finally delivered a red bicycle that's been years in the making – more years than I'd prefer to say, really. Frankly, I think she's getting a bit annoyed with me… That's why I've got to be careful about making these visits. You never know which 'me' you might find lurking about, past or future."
"I mean," Amy said, more forcefully, "Why don't you visit her in the future, when you know her? When you've fallen in love with her?"
With these words, any trace of good humor that might have been found on the Doctor's face disappeared, to be replaced by a mournful expression Amy had seen only very rarely, when the Doctor thought no one was looking.
"Oh, Amy…" the Doctor said, "You're lucky. What you have with Rory… You're both lucky. You're young, and in love, and the universe only ever tests you. It never fully pulls you apart. Other people… They aren't as lucky as you are."
Amy didn't know what to say to that. She simply watched the Doctor – this wonderful, beautiful man she had spent so much of her life chasing after – as he stared with great emotion at a blonde six year old as she exited the park, skipping ahead of an old woman with a cane and a crying boy. Once, Amy would have envied that stare, would have given anything to be the object of such great affection. Those days were gone now, of course. Like the Doctor had said, the universe was perpetually testing Amy and Rory, pushing her to become more attached to the man she knew now she would spend the rest of her life with.
As if on cue, Rory made a loud entrance from the right, running to meet the pair.
"Doctor?" Rory said, panting, "Doctor? There's a man here, and he says he needs to speak with you. Something about… damage control?"
Within an instant, the Doctor had snapped out of his reverie and back into his usual, bubbly self.
"Ah!" he exclaimed, "And that, Ponds, is our signal to leave. Now, I believe I parked the TARDIS, what? Over that way?"
Following the Doctor on the beginning of what would quickly become a mad quest to find an out-of-place blue box on a London street block, Amy spared one last glance for the girl who the Doctor felt so strongly for.
Rose Tyler, huh? I wonder what happened to you…
"Amy?" Rory sounded, "Are you coming? Try not to fall behind. It is London, after all. Could be dangerous."
"I'm comin;, I'm comin'!" Amy shouted, marching over to where he stood, waiting, " An' you didn't say that last time we were on that one planet… y'know, with the carnivorous daffodils?"
Well, how painful was it? It's barely been edited, which is a shame, but I really felt I needed to get something up on my FF account. The 11/Rose, while not originally a part of this fic, was really quite inevitable. I simply cannot resist, I'm afraid… R&R, s'il vous plaît.