Coming For To Carry Me Home
Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Doctor Who.
Author's Note: This idea came from a few requests I've had on my story 'Not One For The Diary' to write about the Doctor & young River but I don't feel like this really fits in with that story so I made it one of its own. I may leave it at just one part or I might continue- depends on how this one goes & what inspiration I have.
But, yeah. Anyway. This is my take on the Doctor's interaction with Mels. Enjoy…
Mels stumbled quickly forward, her movements erratic and her breath raged. She felt like she'd been running forever to reach this derelict old building. It was cold, dark, the wind whistled through the gaps in the boarded up windows and she thought, somewhere in the distance, she could hear the scurrying of rats but she tried to put that out of her head as she leaned heavily against the wall, throwing her one possession- a tatty rucksack- down beside her. At least it was dry and she was safe. Anything was better than another night on the streets, too scared and cold to go to sleep.
Her head span slightly and her stomach growled with hunger but she ignored it, knowing there was nothing she could do. Not right now. Right now she'd just have to survive the night. One more night. She wasn't sure how long it had been now since she'd eaten properly but she knew it was days since the little food she'd kept in her backpack had run out. When she'd been travelling through the cities she'd been able to steal from market stalls or even shops when she'd gotten up the nerve. There'd been so many people she could easily slip through unnoticed but here it was different. When you were a seven-year-old black child travelling alone through rural England people stopped and looked. People watched. And these weren't people that wanted to help, they were people who wanted something to gossip about, someone to judge. She was, as ever, all alone.
Not that this bothered her, not really. She'd never known anything but alone. Well, when she was a baby, she thought, she must have not been alone then. Then she must have been with her mother, maybe her father too. They might have held her and sang to her and she wouldn't have been cold or hungry or frightened. That was why she was here, stuck in this old creaking house in the middle of nowhere with an empty stomach and tears that she had to blink away quickly before they fell down her face. That was why she'd travelled half way across the world and risked her life more times than she could count. She was here to find her mother. To find Amelia Pond.
That was all she knew about her. Her name. From that she'd found an address and hopefully soon, hopefully tomorrow, she would be able to find her. Once she'd had a picture of her mother. It was in the room they'd kept her in in America. A picture of a smiling woman with red hair. She wished more than anything she still had that photo. That was the only way she'd known her mother was real and not just a story told her like so many of the other stories- a childhood filled with secrets and lies. But her mother was real and her mother was good. And Mels knew that if only she could find her then she would make this all better. She'd become like the children she saw in the streets- smiling and laughing and holding on to the hands of their parents. She would be happy and she would be loved.
Breathing deeply Mels sat down and pulled her rucksack towards her. From it she pulled a raggedy blanket and wrapped it tightly around her. She lay her head down on the lumpy bag and pulled the hood of her jacket tighter around her face. She bit down hard on her lip trying to stop the tears that came so often. She was so tried and so cold but she knew sleep would bring her no respite: only dreams of the monsters she'd once know. Angrily she hit her bag. She needed to stop this. Her mother wouldn't want her like this. She needed to be tough, she needed to be brave and courageous like the girl in the stories she made up. Sometimes she did that. Mels would pretend her name was actually something exciting like Destiny or Faith and that she was a daring daughter of pirates who had been sent to rescue their stolen treasure. Or else she'd be a fearless princess tackling a dragon. Or even a good witch on the run from evil wizards. But, no matter who she was, she was never afraid or unhappy. And she always managed to save the day- to beat all the odds and live happily ever after.
Mels sighed as she lay her head back down. She wanted to believe so badly that she would end up like one of the girls from her stories, that it would all be okay in the end. She pictured her mother's house: a warm fire and a bed of her own. Maybe even a teddy to snuggle up to at night. And a mother to read her stories and plait her hair. She smiled at the idea as she tried to close her eyes, to force herself to rest before she'd have to move on again at sunrise. As she did, though, something caught her eye. It was a piece of paper, just a piece of paper, but she could have sworn it wasn't there a second ago and she knew, somehow she just knew, that it was meant for her. Gingerly she stretched out her hand and pulled it closer: reading the few words that were scrawled upon it.
You are not alone.
She blinked quickly and re-read the words. She knew that this should worry her. Normally just the thought of some stranger being around would make her flee but there was something there, something unsaid, that made her feel safe. Instinctively she knew whoever had sent this meant her no harm. Smiling slightly she clutched the piece of paper closer to her as she closed her eyes and prayed for a dreamless sleep.
The Doctor watched quietly from the window as the little girl finally settled down for the night. She was so small, so fragile. He feared one good gust of wind would carry her away forever. He'd watched her for so long now but this was the first time he'd dared make contact. The first time he'd felt she'd needed it enough. He'd seen her overcome great obstacles, travel entire countries, but he'd never been truly worried about her before tonight. Even at seven-years-old she'd always seemed tougher than he had ever been. And yet tonight she lay here, only a few towns from where he parents lived, and she had the air of someone who might not get up in the morning.
That's how he knew he had to contact her. He'd decided to do this long ago now. When he'd lost River he'd known he had to go back to help her younger self. Not to interfere, never to interfere, but merely to look after her. To give her hope when she had none and a friend when she had no one. He could never be seen, of course, never interact with her directly because the second he did her programming would kick in and she would want to kill him. No matter how kind he was or what nice words Amy had said about him- that was what she was programmed to do. That was what they had programmed her to do. And he would never forgive them for it.
This little girl though, this tiny frightened creature who would one day turn into the woman he married, her he would forgive anything. Unconditionally and forever. That's why he'd sent her the note. There was nothing he could do, though he'd tried and tried to think of a way around it, to ease the pain she'd been though. That she would go through. He could never give her food when she was starving, or hold her when she was screaming and as she grew he knew he would not be able to give her the conventional family she so craved. So he had given her his words. The words that had once comforted him so when he had thought all hope was gone. He wanted always to be able to give her that small ray of hope. And he hoped that that would be enough.