Summary: "She never told me her name. She protected me from the crack in the wall. She made wolves howl when the monsters got too close." There has always been two constants in Amelia Pond's life; her Raggedy Doctor, the man who showed her the stars, and the blond woman who protected her from the monsters hiding within them. Doctor/Rose, Amy/Rory, Amy/Rose friendship.
Slightly AU, spans series 5 episodes; The Eleventh Hour, Victory to the Daleks, Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone, Amy's Choice, Cold Blood, The Big Bang.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Look After You
Everyone has an Angel. A Guardian who watches over us. We can't know what form they'll take. One day, old man. Next day, little girl. But don't let appearances fool you, they can be as fierce as any dragon. [Sweet Pea, Sucker Punch]
The first time the woman appears, Amelia is just barely six years old.
Her parents are gone. Amelia knows that. Just up and away, their memories faint in her head. She knows they were there (you don't just forget your parents, after all) but they're far away, like when she dreams something and then wakes up. All hazy and mucky and wait I did what when where?
She is alone in her bedroom, staring at the crack in her wall. It's talking to her—she can't quite tell what it's saying, but she knows it's not good.
"Does it scare ya?" a voice murmurs and the little girl jumps, turning her head to see a stranger leaning by the door.
Amelia nods slowly. She doesn't know this woman or why she's here, but something in her gut is telling her she's not a threat. The woman walks closer, inspecting the crack carefully, like walking uninvited into someone's room is completely natural. She's pretty, with long blond hair that sweeps past her shoulders and a nice-looking face. She's wearing a black leather jacket that reminds Amelia of her Aunt Sharon's new boyfriend and jeans and red trainers with the words Bad and Wolf written in curving, loping Sharpie on the off-white toes. Her eyes are dark and just a little sad.
"Who are you?" Amelia asks softly. "Can you get my mum and dad back?"
The woman turns, fixating those eyes on her, even sadder, if it were possible. "Oh, love, who I am doesn't matter. And no—I can't. But you'll get them back one day, I promise." She looks uneasily over her shoulder. "But in the meantime… don't listen to the voices, yeah? They'll only scare you. You don't need to be scared. I'll protect you."
And Amelia isn't sure why, but the thought of this woman protecting her makes her feel like the safest kid in the world. She doesn't know this woman—but she feels like she should. "Thank you," the child says softly, and the woman smiles and nods, disappearing in a glimpse of gold.
Amelia falls asleep that night and dreams of wolves howling with lights in their sad eyes and fur spun from starlight.
"You know what the crack is?" the Doctor asks her.
"What?" Amelia asks, curiously. He sees something in her eyes he hasn't yet seen in her—fear. She is actually, truly afraid of the crack in her wall.
As well she should be. "It's a crack," he answers softly. "But I'll tell you something funny, Amelia Pond. If you knocked this wall down, the crack would stay put, because the crack isn't in the wall."
Amelia's fear turns to unabashed curiosity, the kind only a child would have. "Where is it, then?"
"Everywhere. In everything. It's a split in the skin of the world. Two parts of space and time that should never have touched, pressed together right here in the wall of your bedroom. Sometimes, can you hear?" He taps the wall gently, nodding to the crack.
"A voice, yes," Amelia says softly. She looks down at her hands. "She told me not to listen."
"Who did? Your aunt?"
Amelia shakes her head. "No. She… appears sometimes, when I'm scared. Just glimpses, usually, to make me feel better." She bites her lip and turns away, staring at the floor. "The first time she came was the only time she talked—when my Mum and Dad went away. She told me not to listen. She told me the voices would only scare me, and that she'd protect me."
The Doctor frowns and kneels down in front of Amelia. "Who was she?"
The child shakes her head. "I dunno, she never told me her name. She protected me from the crack in the wall. She made wolves howl when the monsters got too close."
The next time Amelia sees her, it has been exactly one hour and twenty-two minutes since the Doctor left her in his blue box with the promise of five minutes.
She plops down beside the small Scottish child. "You should go inside, love," she murmurs, "You'll catch a cold."
Amelia shakes her head furiously. She refuses to give up on the Raggedy Man who healed the crack in her wall and who spat apples on her floor and who promised five minutes. "No, he promised. He's coming to get me."
The woman smiles—it's as sad as her eyes. "Unwavering faith. But that happens with him often, doesn't it? You'd wait lifetimes for him. I once waited five and a half hours—he always told me, wait five and a half hours. And I've been waiting for so much longer…" she sighs and trails away.
"You know him?" Amelia asks hopefully.
The woman shrugs. "Once. I knew him once," she says, "A long time ago." She turns and smiles at Amelia. It doesn't look very true.
And then she is gone, this mystery woman, in a shower of gold sparks and the howling of a wolf on the wind heralding her departure.
And Amelia promises herself that if—when—the Doctor gets back, she'll ask him about her. The woman with the sad eyes, who carries starlight in her wake.
In the end, between the grief and the joy and the betrayal of seeing him again, not to mention Rory and Prisoner Zero, Amelia—now Amy, thank you very much—forgets to ask.
All the better, in the end, Amy thinks. Her entire life people have told her the Doctor didn't exist—he was just an imaginary friend. She doesn't think she can bare it if anyone tells her the same about the woman with the sad eyes—her guardian angel, she supposes.
No, she will be Amy's secret. A glimpse of a girl who once was, who would be, who had always been—a glimpse of the girl protecting her always.
She catches another glimpse of her when she's finally let aboard the TARDIS—the blue box that'd crashed in her garden oh so many years ago—after she tricks the Doctor into letting her see all those past companions. She spies her mystery woman among the countless images, always smiling, the look in her eyes just a little less heavy. She doesn't ask the Doctor about her, though.
She doesn't ask, mostly because she fears knowing the answer.
She grows curious, after the incident with those pepper pots. Daleks, the Doctor had called them. They'd had a history—a very long history, apparently, one that spanned centuries. Later, in the TARDIS, Amy recalls what one of the Daleks had said, back at the lab in London.
"A new companion, Doctor? The last time we saw you, you had your little bad wolf. The time-child who murdered the emperor." Little Bad Wolf. The words had struck her, a chorus of wolves baying faintly in the back of her head. Where had she heard those words before?
Bad Wolf. Odd words in curling calligraphy on the toes of dirty trainers. The sound of wolves howling on the wind. The feral, wild look that shines gold in the depths of warm brown eyes.
She recalls the way the Doctor's eyes had hardened at those words, the same words that had her world spinning on its side. She'd seen the beginnings of a storm, then, beginning behind those green orbs. Hiding just beyond the surface of his carefully crafted, perfectly impassive face.
"Where did she go?" the Dalek had asked, and Amy knew that if the things were capable of emotion, it would've been feeling smug.
"That hardly matters," the Doctor had said softly, before the Daleks had teleported away. And for a moment, just a fracture of a moment, Amy had seen a glimmer of sadness—the man he may have been before the darkness. A heartbroken madman with nothing and no one.
No one except her, now.
She asks the TARDIS, during the rare moments when the Doctor isn't tinkering. She feels absolutely silly, standing there in the middle of the console room, talking to empty air.
"Um, hi," she says hesitantly. "It's Amy. But… you probably already knew that, yeah? Anyway, uh… I need—that is to say, I wanted to ask. Can I see that woman, again? Blond, tall-ish, big smile… she appeared a lot, when I saw those pictures, and—" She is cut off abruptly when a hologram flashes in front of her. It's the woman. She looks different than she did when Amy usually saw her, now that she can get a good look at her.
She's younger. Just a little younger than Amy, here, it seems. Her hair is long, falling down her back, and she's wearing a disgustingly pink Punky Fish hoodie and black sweats. Her eyes are still dark and brown, but that heaviness Amy had grown accustomed to wasn't there yet. She's not smiling, like she usually isn't, but one long look at the shape of her mouth and Amy knows her smile—a real, truthful one—would be dazzling. She's pretty in a way little girls are pretty before they grow up to become beautiful.
Beautiful like she always thought her angel was.
"Who are you?" Amy asks softly, walking up to the hologram. She knows it's not really the mystery woman, but talking like it is takes some of the weirdness out of the knowledge that she's speaking to her once-imaginary friend's sentient time machine.
It flickers slightly before replying. "I am voice interface." Her tone is flat, but Amy recognizes the voice—thick with a Cockney accent and full of warmth that seems to transcend the mechanical drone of the TARDIS.
Amy swallows. "That's not what I mean. I mean—who are you? Who had this image first?" The hologram flickers and Amy swears she sees sadness flash across her eyes, as brief and tragic as a falling star.
"That is classified."
Amy swallows. There's an undertone in the TARDIS's stolen voice—something that tells her to back off, to let sleeping dragons lie. But Amy is nothing if not stubborn, so she stands her ground and demands to know what happened to this woman, this mystery, this angel that's followed her through her adventures with the Doctor, the girl who'd traveled with him once upon a time, herself. The hologram pauses, and Amy holds her breath, thinking the TARDIS is considering.
"She promised." And despite the fact she is only a hologram, Amy can hear the choking sadness in the girl's voice, almost see the shadow of tears streaming down her face. And it's then the Scottish girl knows she's pried too deep, reached too far for answers she can't be given just yet.
Amy steps back. "I'm sorry," she whispers.
The TARDIS doesn't reply. The woman's image flickers and fades just in time. The Doctor bounds in the console room seconds later, rambling about a museum trip and how much he thinks she'll love it.
The third time Amy speaks to the woman, her eyes are clenched tightly shut and Marco's gone and she's alone with a weeping angel in her eye and a thousand more around her, and then—then—
Then there is a hand, on her shoulder, squeezing and guiding her up. A familiar voice, soft and warm, whispers in her ear. "Get up, Amelia. C'mon, love." Hands slip under her arms and hoist her up, off the cold ground. Someone is supporting her, someone who smells like vanilla and flowers and something Amy can only describe as Time. She's smelled it on the Doctor before, heady and ancient and intoxicating.
Amy swallows and wishes she knew her name, not for the first time, and probably not for the last. "It's you. What's going on? What's happening? I don't—I don't can't—where's Marco? He was here, and… I don't understand…"
"I know," Rose whispers. Why is she whispering? "Jus' get up—c'mon, get up, let's go for a walk, okay? A walk, don't run, don't panic. I'll be your eyes, alright? Jus' walk; I'm righ' next to you, every step of the way."
Amy bites back a sob and nods. She knows she's safe with her. "Amy?" the Doctor's voice fizzles from the communicator in her hands. "Amy? Is that you?"
"Doctor?" Amy yelps, and the woman's hand clasps tight over her shoulder. Calm down. Keep your voice down.
"Amy, I'm sorry," the Doctor is saying. Sorrow in his voice, sorrow at potentially losing someone else important to him. Amy's heart aches for him and she wants nothing more than to tell him about the girl currently guiding her through the forest. Another squeeze from her hand quickly dismisses the thought. He can't know. Not yet. "I never should've left you alone."
"What do I do?" Amy asks, keeping up the game of playing scared and blind, even though her eyes and safety net are right beside her, weaving her through the yard of weeping angels.
"Who are you?" Amy asks, when she knows their time together is drawing to a close. It's a feeling in the pit of her stomach. Soon, the wolves will start howling.
"I can't tell ya tha', not yet," the woman says. She sounds just like the voice interface, except for that telltale sadness. Why is she so sad?
"Amy?" It's the Doctor. "Who are you talking to? Who's there?"
There's a pause, and then; "Nobody's here, Doctor. Just me." She hopes she sounds convincing.
Apparently she does. "I just… I thought…" another pause, where Amy thinks he might be shaking his head. "Never mind. Get back to the flight deck—hurry. The angels aren't far behind you." Amy nods, even though she knows he can't see her, and reaches for the woman's hand. She stops midway when she hears the howl of a wolf. Then two, then three, and soon there are a pack of them, heralding a goodbye her angel never says.
"Wait—" Amy says in a quick whisper. She knows she's still there—she'd never just leave. "—why? Why're you doing this? Protecting me?"
A sharp intake of air, and Amy knows her protector is smiling. "Oh, Amelia Pond. You know exactly why I'm protecting you."
And then she is gone, exactly four seconds before River teleports Amy back to the flight deck.
When Amy is eight months pregnant and in her home—the home she shares with Rory, the home she swears is the most perfect thing on the planet—she sees her. She sits at the kitchen table, sipping a mug of tea. She appears out of thin air, like she always seems to do, with a wide, sad smile and stars in her eyes. She's wearing the same thing she always does—worn leather, blue jeans, red trainers with the words Bad and Wolf scrawled on the toes.
"Quite the life you have," she says conversationally, almost casually. "S'like a dream."
Amy smiles. The words strike something in her, something that's not the baby, something that makes her feel extremely uneasy. Rory is already on his feet to greet her, and Amy wonders how he knows her—she doesn't really recall them ever meeting. But there they are, hugging and chatting like old friends, so she figures it must just be one of those things that slip her mind.
They all say her name, more than once—Rory in greeting, Amy in surprise, the woman herself when she's mocking her nagging friend in a story Amy feels like she's heard before. Just as quickly as she hears it, though, it vanishes from her mind, behind a block she can't move.
Amy thinks she'll call her Bad Wolf—it's fitting, since the words seem to follow her everywhere—and it just sounds better than "that mysterious woman".
They talk for hours, it seems, about nothing and everything, none of which Amy will remember later. Then a few things happen all at once—the woman's mug falls to the ground, the vworp of the TARDIS is heard, and she stands, quite abruptly.
"I guess that's my cue," she says before vanishing.
When they wake up from the so-called "dream", Rory asks Amy who she was.
The Doctor looks at the two of them oddly. "She?" he echoes, tilting his head to the side. He can't remember any particular "she".
Amy looks away uneasily. She wants to tell him, especially if the woman she calls Bad Wolf was so important even the TARDIS had classified her information, but something in her gut tells her not to. She opens her mouth to say it's nothing, but Rory—sweet, well-intentioned Rory—cuts in and says, "She appeared in our house. I—we knew her. Talked to her for… what, hours before you showed up. Amy, you remember." He whirls around to face her.
She swallows the lump in her throat. "I remember, yeah." She recalls Bad Wolf's words—those eerily casual words, the sad eyes and the encouraging smile.
S'like a dream.
She never makes social calls—nearly fifteen years of inconsistent visits tells Amy that.
"Amy?" That's the Doctor. "Who was she? Do you know? Did she say her name?"
She was giving them the answer, as much as a part of her—a very big part of her—wanted it to not be true.
"Amy?" He's concerned, now. Probably thinks this elusive "she" is a chess piece of the Dream Lord's, even though that's the furthest from the truth he could possibly get.
She swallows the lump in her throat, praying Bad Wolf is wrong. Just once.
"I don't know, Doctor. I don't know her."
It's not a total lie.
After the events in Wales, 2020, Amy sits alone in her room in the TARDIS. It feels different—empty. Like there should be someone else there. But that's silly, isn't it?
She feels the side of her bed dip and someone else plops on next to her. "Hello," Bad Wolf says around a mouthful of food. She has an open Styrofoam container in one hand, a fork in the other.
Amy frowns, staring at the container. Chips, or so the smell is telling her. It seems far too… normal, for someone as elusive as her angel. "What's wrong?"
"Wha' makes ya think somethin's wrong? Chip?" She holds out the container expectantly.
Amy laughs, shakes her head, and nabs a chip. "You don't make social calls."
It's the longest, most casual conversation they've had. It's also the first one where they're not in the middle of some life or death situation—or maybe they are, and Amy just doesn't know it yet. But the easygoing chuckle Bad Wolf gives tells Amy that's not it. Maybe it is just a social call.
"Jus' wanted to make sure you were okay," she says, very softly. "It's hard, losin' someone. Even if you don't know you lost them." She grabs Amy's hand, "But, y'know… if you love them, and they love you, there's nothin', not even death, that's gon' keep you apart."
Amy frowns. Her eyes are stinging—why are they stinging? Her heart is clenching and she finds herself responding to Bad Wolf's words. They thrum at her heartstrings. "I don't know what you're talking about."
The blond laughs; it's light and sweet and not at all happy. "No, you don't. And that's what makes this all so sad." She pops another chip into her mouth.
And then she is gone, and Amy is alone once more.
She finds her room one day.
It's just… sitting there, across the hall from Amy's depressingly empty bedroom. A gift from the TARDIS, if the ship's encouraging hum is any indication. In all her weeks on this ship, Amy had never once stumbled upon another companion's room. The only reason she knows it belonged to Bad Wolf is because of the words—the familiar, haunting words—scrawled in hot pink marker against the white door, by the doorknob.
Amy doesn't even try to ignore it. She knows it's an invasion of privacy, but her curiosity has always been her weak point. She walks to the door and pushes it open without a moment's worth of hesitation. The first thing that hits her is the smell—vanilla and flora and… tea. The faint smell of tea permeates the air and comforts Amy right down to her bones. Despite Bad Wolf's aversion to complete answers and her general mysteriousness, she has always had the uncanny ability to comfort Amy in any situation.
Even now, the faint smell of the woman she knows causes the redhead's hammering heartbeat to slow to a steady, calm rhythm.
The second thing that hits Amy is the room itself—pale pink walls and an off-white duvet. The room is an organized messy, everything precariously placed in a way where the owner would find it in a second whereas anyone else would be looking for hours. There are all sorts of alien baubles sitting alone and dusty on a vanity, and a purplish-blue lava lamp sitting on the bedside table. Clothes are strewn everywhere, all sorts of shoes and skirts and shirts in varying shades of pinks and yellows and light blues.
This was the room of a girl who'd always meant to come back.
She feels it when the Doctor walks by. Hears his intake of breath, knows that the rage at the invasion is slowly building. She knows the second that rage dissipates, leaving in an almost-audible whoosh when she asks, "She was coming back?"
She's not facing him, but she can clearly envision his face in her mind—accepting and just a little bit vulnerable. "Yes. She promised forever." He says it easily, like it's a fact. It probably is, Amy thinks, recalling the TARDIS's words, spoken in Rose's voice, the echo of a memory.
"Maybe she'll keep it," Amy says evasively, shouldering past him to go back to her room.
She doesn't see the bitter smile cross the Doctor's face, or hear him murmur, "Not likely, Pond."
She protects Amy, even in her almost-death.
Amy can feel her. Hear her sometimes, from beyond the walls of the Pandorica. She can hear Bad Wolf speaking to her, telling her countless stories. She's protecting her as much as Rory is, helping her get where she needs to be. She talks to him during many of the years that go by, tells him her story—the mostly important bits, anyway—chases away his oncoming madness, just as she'd chased away the Doctor's loneliness and Amy's fear.
Bad Wolf tells Rory everything—and by extension, she tells Amy everything, too.
Even her name. Rose Tyler. It fits, Amy thinks—a beautiful girl protected by briars and thorns. Amy hears every story, every adventure Rose Tyler had gone through. She hears about Henrik's and Daleks and cybermen and the rift, about Captain Jack Harkness and Mickey Smith and the two faces of the Doctor she never knew. She hears a love story, a tragedy and a comedy, all wrapped up in one over the course of a thousand years, but in the end her name is the only thing that Amy can ever truly remember from her time within the Pandorica.
She is at the museum.
When the Pandorica opens and Amy sees her younger self, Bad Wolf—Rose Tyler—is there, too. She's holding Amelia's hand, a lofty smile on her face. It's the truest smile Amy's seen on her protector.
"Okay, this is where it gets interestin'," Rose mutters, walking up to help Amy clamber out of the Pandorica. "Now, I think ya know I can't stay long—I was really only here to guide you—little you—hello, Amelia—to you. Now, I need to go before the Doctor decides to show up, because that could make things very messy, very fast. And I don't think we want messy righ' now—'specially not when everythin' is so wishy-washy timey-wimey at-the-precipice-of-becoming-unreal-at-any second."
She rolls her eyes and takes Amy's hand in hers, jerking her forward rather roughly. "Oh, Amy Pond," she whispers, smiling slightly, "Mad, wonderful, lovely, brilliant Amelia Jessica Pond. I just wanted to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And I'll see you soon, okay? Soon."
Rose kisses her forehead and steps away, and this time there are no wolves howling, no shining lights, no sad eyes and no cryptic messages. There is just a grinning girl-soldier whose mission is finally drawing to a close.
"He'll see you, right?" Amy asks, before she leaves. Because she can't stand the fact that for years, ever since Amy has been a small child, this woman has been in her life, for however short a period. And the Doctor hasn't seen her, not once. The Doctor who loves her—she knows that, has known it since she heard the words "she promised".
She'd promised forever.
She has to make good on it.
Rose's smile widens. "Oh, Amy. I didn't spend the past four centuries crossin' timelines and universes just to let him go. He's stuck with me." She winks, giving Amy that cheeky, tongue-touched grin she'd imagined before on the TARDIS's hologram. "See ya."
And then she is gone to the tune of a baying wolf and a shower of pink-and-gold sparks.
He sees her at the Ponds' wedding.
Just after his mad, impossible Amy calls him back into being. Looking into the eyes of his best friend, this crazy, winsome child who'd spent years and years waiting, he hears her whisper, "She's real, too."
And then she is backing away, addressing the crowd once again, yelling, "Alright! My Raggedy Doctor arrived, but now I need my Bad Wolf, too! You're just as late as he is!"
Very faintly, the Doctor can hear Amy's Aunt Sharon mutter, "Oh, good god," under her breath. But he's not paying attention, not really—because Amy's words are ringing in his head, clear as a bell. Bad Wolf. Bad Wolf. Bad Wolf. Words that follow him throughout the universe, only this time he knows it's not just an echo of his lost love.
Because echoes can't be this clear. Echoes aren't spoken about with such assurance. And echoes most certainly don't appear leaning up against the TARDIS in pale pink dresses with wide smiles and soft blond hair tumbling down their shoulders. The Doctor's mind whirls and freezes, then whirls again. She can't be here. She can't be real—she isn't—this is just a dream—he's still in the rewind, that's it—forgot to stop—this is a memory he forgot he had—or maybe it's the Dream Lord again—got stuck with more psychic pollen…
But then her hands slip into his and her eyes meet his and she says "Hello," in that tone and he knows… he knows this isn't a dream.
She slaps his chest and chuckles. "No, you daft alien. That's where you're s'posed to say "Hello" back!" Her face softens and she smiles. "Yes, though—it's me. It's Rose. I found you." There's an eerily still silence in the room they're in—all eyes are on them, and it should be uncomfortable, but with Rose there, it just isn't. He has questions, plenty of them, but right now all that matters is the pink and yellow girl whose hands are holding his.
"Rory, Amy!" the Doctor barks suddenly, whirling on the newlyweds, "I have questions—don't think I don't—but it just occurred to me that today is your wedding, and you might not like a big blue box in the middle of your reception. I'll move it. You might need the space." He turned back to Rose and cracked a big grin, "I only came for the dancing."
Rose matched his grin, tongue peeking out to touch her teeth, laughing when he pulled her back into the TARDIS and shut the doors behind them.
Ugh, sorry about the abrupt ending. And how completely random it was—Amy and Rose are just two of my favorite companions, and I love the Doctor/Rose ship, so I had to do it.
Also, there may or may not be a sort of prequel to this, explaining Rose and her life post-JE until this fic. Not sure yet. Most likely, there will be. And maybe a multi!Doctor/dimensioncannon!Rose oneshot, too.
Anyway, I hoped you liked it. Forgive me if I got anything wrong - spelling or slang or my tendency not to use the metric system or something like that. I'm American.
Drop a review, if you want - constructive criticism is always welcome!