Disclaimer: Doctor Who is not mine to claim. 'Tis a beautiful thing, but sadly 'tis not mine.
'Twelve years and four psychiatrists,' Amy cheerfully told the Doctor.
Four psychiatrists, she'd said.
Because nobody ever, ever talked about psychiatrist number five.
Leadworth, Nine Years Ago
Ten-year old Amelia Pond sat upon the couch, mouth set in a defiant pout. Why did she even have to go through this anyways? Four psychiatrists defeated at the hands of a tiny Scottish girl should've told Aunt Sharon that she was more than capable of handling a fifth.
Where was Mels, anyways? Probably outside reading a book. She always did that. Especially the Harry Potter books. She really did like those. Amy hadn't had the time to read those – she was too busy being cooped up in here with another shrink.
She swung her feet back and forth, getting bored already. She'd been sitting here for what seemed like hours, although Aunt Sharon would say that she was exaggerating.
'Nice picture,' a male voice said offhandedly. Amy looked up to see a man dressed in a blue shirt and….who wore suspenders nowadays? He smiled down at her, blue eyes twinkling. 'Hello, Amelia.'
'It's Amy.' She corrected him. 'Amelia's too fairytale.'
'Sorry, sorry, Amy,' he corrected himself, laughing. He spoke with an accent, she noted. Not the funny one she had that got her teased at school.
'Are you American?' she asked him, and he grinned.
'I can change my accent if you like.'
'Uh-huh.' The man made a face, scrunching up his nose as if in deep thought. The look was so strange it caused Amy to giggle. 'Is this better?' he asked, in a flawless Scottish accent.
She gaped at him, and the formerly-American-but-now-Scottish man grinned as he sat down, holding a dark green folder. 'Told you I could change my accent. So,' he held up the photograph and pointed to the figure on the left side. 'Who's this then?'
'That's Rory. He's a friend.'
'I thought boys had cooties.'
'Uh-uh.' Amy shook her head. 'Not Rory.'
'And what's he dressed as?'
She scowled. 'What's it matter to you?'
'Well, I never thought that guys were into dress-up,' he shrugged.
'He's dressed as the Raggedy Doctor.' Amy told him. What did it matter, anyways? He'd probably tell her that the Raggedy Doctor was a figment of her imagination, just like all the other shrinks. Well, he could just go stuff his –
'Who's the Raggedy Doctor?' the man asked, resuming his shuffling through the green folder.
'Just a friend.'
'A friend?' The man held up a photocopied picture of the typical child's crayon drawing. 'Do you remember this?'
'No,' Amy said, half-sarcastically. 'Am I supposed to?' Of course she was – shewas the one who drew it in the first place. But if he was going to ask stupid questions, then she was going to be difficult. Easy as that. That's how she got through all the other ones.
'Your first drawing in first grade – quite good, by the way. Have you thought about taking art as a career choice?'
She scowled again. He was patronizing her, she was sure of it. He wasn't being serious. Nobody was around her whenever it concerned the Raggedy Doctor.
'When did you meet the Raggedy Doctor?' he asked.
'During Easter. He crashed into the shed. Then ate a lot of food. Then tried to fix a crack in my wall.' It was a condensed retelling of events that she had practised many times with the four previous psychiatrists. But they didn't believe her, no matter how much detail she put into it, whether it was the evil beans or the swimming pool in the library. Who in their right mind would put a swimming pool in the library, anyways?, they reasoned. And beans certainly did not have inclinations towards villainy. No, no, it was all the figments of an overactive imagination.
So she had sat there and pouted, refusing to answer questions.
'That sounds like him.' the man nodded. 'Tall, brown hair, kinda goofy sometimes?'
Amy was taken aback, but she retained her suspicion. For all she knew, he could be playing along just for kicks. 'How did you know?' she asked suspiciously.
He opened his mouth to answer her question when all of a sudden, someone began banging on the door. She could hear Aunt Sharon shrieking.
'You let my niece out, you understand? I could notbelieve how you duped me like that, you perverted little - Amelia Pond, you listen to me, you get out of that room right now - that man is not a psychiatrist, do you hear me?'
It took a moment for Amy to understand, before she turned to the man who was not only not-American but also a not-psychiatrist. Rather than becoming terrified of him, she tilted her head curiously. 'Are you really not a psyc-' she began, before yelping as he suddenly grabbed her hand.
'Amy, Amy listen to me very carefully. Your Raggedy Doctor - he's real.'
Amy blinked. 'Wh-what?'
No one had ever told her thisbefore.
'The Doctor - he's real.' the man was speaking faster now, almost faster than Amy could comprehend. 'He's real, and don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. It might take months, it might take years, hell, it took me centuries, but he'll come back. He always does. So believe in him, Amy Pond.'
Amy was speechless as the man swiftly crossed the room and opened the window, slipping into his heavy gray-blue trench coat. Finally, she managed out:
'Who are you?'
He flashed a smile at her, a genuine one. 'Captain Jack Harkness, ma'am. And, should you ever happen to be in New York, maybe we can have a coffee together.'
And then he was gone, out the window and into that bright Friday afternoon.
She could still hear Aunt Sharon screaming hysterically from the other side of the door. But, strangely, Amy didn't care. She glanced down at the drawing on the table.
And she smiled.