A/N: Sooo, I am a horrible, horrible tease. And I give you the prologue to "The Straight and Narrow Road," which is my rewrite of season 5 with Rose, and the sequel to "The Long and Winding Road." Nothing you recognize belongs to me!

Prologue: White Knights and Blue Boxes

When Amelia Pond was seven years old she met a madman with a box. He was odd—he liked to eat fish fingers and custard, for one—but he didn't seem mean, not like old Mr. Cooper, who yelled when you rode your bicycle in his driveway even if you were just turning around. He was really a little daft, and he said the strangest things, but he believed her when she told him about the crack in her wall, and that was more than anyone else was willing to do, especially an adult. He was going to help her with it, he really was, but then something happened to his spaceship (his space-and-time ship) and he had to leave, but he was going to be back in five minutes. He promised.

So Amelia waited. Five minutes became five hours, became five days, became five years, became ten, but she never gave up. Not even when Aunt Sharon made her go see psychiatrists (four, because she kept biting them, because they said he wasn't real and she knew better, because he promised). And twelve years after he crashed his ship that looked like a blue box into the shed—he came back. She had grown up a bit and no one called her Amelia anymore. She was dating Rory, her best friend in the whole world besides Mels, and the only other person (besides Mels) who believed she wasn't making the Doctor up, but even he believed her when she told him about the blonde girl.

It started after the Doctor crashed into the shed. Somehow she ended up back in her room, even though she distinctly remembered falling asleep outside (Amelia Pond had a very good memory). Sometimes she would catch a woman watching her—a blonde woman in a leather jacket. There was nothing like regularity about the sightings—sometimes Amy saw her once a week, sometimes every few weeks, and sometimes not for months. They never spoke, but the blonde girl would smile, and wave, and then she would disappear. Rory said she was imagining things. Mels thought she was an alien and offered to hunt her down. She was strangely protective of Amy and Rory, for all that the two of them tried to keep her out of trouble.

Amy didn't think the blonde girl was a threat any more than the Doctor had been. There was something sort of wistful and intense about her, as if she was looking for something that hovered just out of her grasp. Amy knew the feeling—it was how she thought of the Doctor, because just when she thought that maybe, maybe she'd made the whole thing up he waltzed back into her life, claiming to have been gone for five minutes. So she lied to him. After all, he'd lied to her. It seemed to make sense, except when he looked at her and spoke to her she still believed him, and all of a sudden she was seven years old again and he was examining the crack in her wall.

She thought when he saved the day, when he stood up to the Atraxi and told them to run, when he raced back to the TARDIS (which was still parked outside her house) that she'd be going with him. Then he left. Again. And she was seven years old, curled up on her suitcase, waiting for him to come back, because he promised.

Life, she realized, went on with or without the Doctor, and so did she. Now when she saw a flash of blonde hair she stopped looking, stopped trying to speak to the strange woman she was starting to believe she'd made up. She stopped listening for the engines of a space-and-time ship that looked like a blue box and never ate fish fingers with custard. She stopped running in place and tried to start living, and when Rory asked her to marry him she said yes.

It was, of course, the night before her wedding when he showed up again. She didn't tell him about the dress hanging up in her room, didn't slip on the ring that was nestled in a red, velvet covered box on her nightstand. He offered to take her anywhere in the universe, anywhen, and promised to get her back in time for tomorrow. She went with him, because deep down she was still Amelia Pond who believed in fairy tales and magic and a madman with a box.