This is the story of Amelia Pond.
And this is how it ends.
- Back at the beginning. -
Amelia Pond sat on her suitcase in her garden, with her elbow propped up on her knee and her chin resting on her hand. She'd drifted off to sleep at some point in the night, and when she'd awoken to the yellow glow of dawn it had been with a start – What if the Raggedy Doctor had come back and she'd missed him, all because she hadn't been able to keep her heavy eyelids open? But then, she'd rationalised, he would have woken her. So he mustn't have come back then. A wave of disappointment rolled over her small form, and she stuck her bottom lip out in a pout.
So much for five minutes. She'd been waiting out here for hours, curled up on her uncomfortable little suitcase filled with all the things she needed for her grand adventure. She wondered how much longer she would have to wait. It was morning now, and her parents would wake up, eventually. Amelia hoped that he came back before that happened. She determined to wait all day if she had to, because a man who could fix the crack in her wall and who had a time machine was worth waiting for, definitely.
She stared at the smashed shed, wondering again what her parents would have to say about the damage… Not that Amelia would be there to hear it. She'd be off in the blue police box with the swimming pool in the library, with the Raggedy Doctor who ate fish fingers and custard and –
A whooshing, wheezing noise suddenly filled the air, and Amelia lifted her head to peer into the blue sky, scanning for any sign of the Raggedy Man's machine. She saw it phasing in and out of view just above her head for a few seconds before it landed with a thud on the ground a few metres in front of her, clear of the wreckage of the shed and standing upright, this time. She jumped to her feet and held her breath, waiting expectantly for her hero to fling the doors wide open and tell her it was time to go.
What she got, instead, was a moment of absolute stillness, where the entire world seemed oddly silent in the absence of the time machine's wheezing noise. And then, slowly, the door opened a crack and a hand appeared, followed shortly by the rest of the body, and then the door clicked shut behind him and her Raggedy Man was standing in front of her – Except he didn't look so raggedy, now.
The torn up blue suit and tie were gone, replaced by neat trousers, a tweed jacket and a bowtie, the exact same shade of blue as the police box. His clothes were a lot more put together than they had been last night, but his face was different, too; young Amelia searched for a word to describe the expression on his face, lined and that much older looking than she remembered, but found that she couldn't quite place it. He looked tired, she thought. Tired and sad and lonely.
"Amelia Pond," he said, finally lifting his old eyes to look at her properly. The smallest of smiles lifted the corners of his mouth up. "The Girl Who Waited. All night in your garden."
Heartbroken, she finally settled on. He looked heartbroken.
A million thoughts raced through her head - He's back! But why is he so sad? I'll cheer him up, because he came back for me! What took him so long? Is that why he's sad? Oh well, he's back, he's back! -but what she heard herself saying was, "That was way more than five minutes. And what happened to your clothes?"
Without any warning apart from a quick cry of, "C'mere, you!" the Raggedy Doctor ran forward and scooped her up into his arms, squeezing her in a tight hug that both bewildered her and made her feel incredibly happy. He was still just as mad, then, she thought wryly as her woollen beanie slid off her head and fell to the ground. She could feel him shaking, and when he placed her back on her feet she was alarmed to see tears welling in his eyes.
"Why are you crying?"
He quickly rubbed his eyes, sniffed and then gave her a smile more genuine than the one he'd had when he'd stepped out of the time machine. "Crying when you're happy," he said, pushing his shoulders back and straightening his bowtie. "Humaney-wumaney."
Amelia regarded him closely. "You don't look happy. You look sad. Did something bad happen? Is that why you took so long to come back?"
The Raggedy Man seemed to appraise her for a moment, before he gestured for her to take a seat on her suitcase once again. She did so, and he knelt in front of her and took her small, mitten-covered hands in his large ones, cupping them on her lap and staring into her eyes as though he'd been waiting to see her for a very, very long time. Maybe he had, she thought with a sudden flash of clarity. It was a time machine, after all. He could have been gone for years, and only just come back to see her now…
"Would you like to hear a story, Amelia Pond?" The Raggedy Doctor asked.
She immediately brightened, nodding at him. "Is it a fairy tale?"
"I suppose it is," he said.
Amelia smiled and fished, "Who's it about?"
"It's about a magnificent girl called Amelia." The Doctor tapped her fondly on the nose and her smile turned into a beaming grin. "And her adventures with a man called the Doctor."
"Did they have lots of adventures together?" she asked eagerly, leaning forward.
"They did! More adventures than you could ever imagine," he replied, his eyes shining now not with tears but with joy. "They went to all sorts of places, everywhere in Time and Space; out to sea to fight pirates, to Venice, to planets and space ships – Amelia even saved a whale in space!"
"A whale in space?!" Amelia repeated incredulously.
The Raggedy Doctor nodded, his enthusiasm growing. "That's not even the half of it! They gave hope to the greatest painter who ever lived… And Amelia even fell in love. A great, big love that transcended all sorts of terrible obstacles."
"She fell in love?" The seven year old asked, looking suddenly wary.
He squeezed her hands and chuckled, "So Scottish."
"Well duh." Amelia rolled her eyes.
"Be quiet, you big ginge," the Raggedy Man ruffled her hair and she scrunched her face up in disapproval. "Or little ginge, as the case may be…"
Eager to hear more of the tale, Amelia peered up at him and asked excitedly, "What else did they do? Amelia and the Doctor, how does their story end?"
The Raggedy Doctor grimaced painfully, closing his eyes and resting his forehead briefly against hers. Then he planted a kiss on the top of her head and pulled back. He just looked at her for a moment, before looping his arms around her in another hug and murmuring, "It ends with a happy Amelia, right where she belongs."
When they parted, Amelia's eyes scanned his face, searching for signs of distress. He seemed a bit better now, though, and she relaxed. "Can I come with you now? Can we start having our adventures today?"
He smiled at her, a big, brash smile just like the one he'd given her when they'd discovered fish fingers and custard the night before, and she honestly thought he was going to say yes. But then he said, "Oh, Amelia. My dear little Amelia. I wish more than anything that I could take you with me right now. Come along, Pond! I'd declare, and off we'd go, jetting about and having a laugh. But I can't. Not right now." Amelia's face fell as her excitement was washed away by his words. Obviously wishing to appease her, the Raggedy Doctor hurriedly added, "But I'll be right back, I promise!"
"You promised last time," Amelia sulked. "You said five minutes and I waited all night."
"I know. I'm sorry," he said, and she could tell that he was genuine – not that that did anything to ease her disappointment. "Amelia, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to wait a bit longer."
"Another five minutes?" she asked sarcastically.
"Another five minutes," he replied with a sad nod of the head. "But I mean it, I really do. The Girl Who Waited… the wait is worth it, I promise. If you're patient, the days are coming that you'll never forget."
He squeezed her hands again, and she gave a resigned sigh. "Oh-kay," she drawled, letting him know that she was not very happy about this plan.
"I really should be heading off," he said slowly, glancing behind him at the blue police box. "Don't want to create a paradox or disrupt the timelines…"
He turned back around just as her bottom lip began to quiver, despite her best efforts to contain her emotions, because she had just gotten her Raggedy Doctor back and she really didn't want to have lose him again, not so soon –
"Can't you stay for just a little while?" She was disgusted to hear herself so close to begging, but if there was anything in the world Amelia would let her pride get hurt for, it was the man kneeling in front of her right now.
He screwed his face up at her and then gave a very exaggerated sigh, as though she'd forced him into agreeing. "Oh, okay, Pond. You always get what you want."
She couldn't contain her grin. "Thank you!" she exclaimed joyously.
"Come along, Pond." Her Raggedy Man grinned back at her, standing up straight and holding out a hand for her to take. "Fish fingers and custard?"
"Fish custard!" Amelia took his hand and followed him merrily into the house, glancing once over her shoulder at the astonishing blue phone box slash time machine sitting casually in her garden.
She knew that she would have to say goodbye to her Raggedy Man, eventually. But today he was there with her, eating fish fingers and custard and telling her the most wonderful stories about all of his adventures – their adventures, she had to keep reminding herself. Because if she was patient, he would come back, and she would get to do all of the amazing things he had told her were in the days to come.
She kept telling herself this when it came time for him to go, after a huge bowl of fish fingers and custard, and he reassured her yet again that he would be back. "Five minutes,"he said, but who knew how long that really meant. He kissed the top of her head and said fondly, "Goodbye, Amelia Pond."
For the first time in her short life, Amelia found herself at a loss for words. She silently hugged him, closing her eyes when he softly kissed her hair, and then she watched him walk back to the blue police box with a lump in her throat.
He had the door opened just a crack when she finally managed to call out, "Raggedy Man!" He turned back to look at her, one eyebrow slightly arched in question. She took a deep breath and said, "Goodbye."
She couldn't quite tell if it was a reflection from the sun or if his eyes were glassy, but he smiled and told her, "You'll see me again soon. Wait for me, Amelia."
"I will," she promised. "And then we'll get to go on all our adventures?"
"And then we get to have our adventures; The Doctor and Amelia Pond. And I wouldn't change it for the world," he assured her. He held a wand up in a wave and said, "Bye, bye, Pond."
She beamed at him, a huge, innocent smile that was full of trust and hope and love, and in return he gave her a lopsided grin and a wink. She waved as he stepped through the door, never opening it wide enough for her to see past his lanky frame, and disappeared inside. There was the now-familiar whooshing, wheezing noise that signalled his coming or going, and she watched the blue police box fade in and out before disappearing entirely. She stared at the empty space where it had been for a few minutes, letting everything that had happened sink in. And then she grabbed the handle of her suitcase, scooped up her fallen beanie, and went back inside with a new determination.
"Amelia Pond," she repeated quietly to herself, "The Girl Who Waited for her Raggedy Man."
a.n. Oh god, I had every intention of updating all my other stories this week, but the The Angels Take Manhattan feels are overwhelming and urgh no this had to be done before I could continue on with anything else. I tried my best to keep it canon and not let the Doctor give away any spoilers, and I think I did a pretty damn good job. The only thing I'm not 100% about was Amelia's parents - because the universe was reset and she had parents after The Big Bang, yeah, but then would she still have waited in her garden all night for the Doctor? I don't know, that's what I'm going with. This piece could probably be read as very Eleven x Amy, but I'm just letting you know now that I do not ship them - they are best friends, they are family, they are so many things, (all of which are what I'm trying to get across in this piece) but they are not romantically involved, in my opinion, because Doctor x River and Amy x Rory I mean, come on. How could you not? But then again if you want to read it that way, feel free. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and I hope you're not as emotionally scarred as I am and either way, please leave a review to let me know. They're very much appreciated. Hugs to you all.