A Mels piece this time, because Mels has potential and I'd like to explore her more. Title comes from the song by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Enjoy!

Mels Zucker was very determined not to cry, the day she fell and broke her leg.

Be brave, she'd been told. Be resilient and tough, others had added. She had no right to weakness, or it would be taken advantage of. This world was a harsh one. People took what they wanted.

Mels wanted the Doctor, and to be strong always. (In control.)

It hurt. She could hear Amy shouting in the distance. Always shouting, she was. Mels attempted to drag herself to her feet, and fell back with a hiss.

"Stay put." Rory knelt at her side.

She didn't want to, and was hardly an obedient girl. He hardly commanded respect, either. Small and blond and fragile, he couldn't hold her down if she decided to move. Her leg could though.

"Are you hurt?" Amy had joined them. Amy and Rory, together. Amy, Rory and Mels. The pain made her head swim, her thoughts a blur. "'M fine."

"You're lying," Rory pointed out.

"Of course she's lying, stupid. Her leg's broken."

"I know. We have to make a splint," Rory said.

Amy stared incredulously at him. "No. We have to call the grown-ups."

"But we can also make a splint. I've read about it. It'll help."

"I'll go find someone. You wait until I come back," Amy decided. "The two of you."

Amy swatted Mels' head as she straightened up, and the girl growled in response. She didn't want help—she wanted to be left alone. Pain happened, it was necessary. She preferred gritting her teeth, rather than being poked and prodded from all sides.

(The anxiety rising in her throat, forming knots in her stomach—)

It was no good to call for help. None ever came, or whoever came would make things worse. Much worse.

Rory squeezed her wrist. "You're gonna be okay."

She met his eye. Rory was usually pretty shy around her, wary of her teasing, unsure. Today though, he held her gaze confidently. I'll look after you, those eyes said.

She hated that she wanted to believe that. She hated that she wished he would hug her.

"Oh, shut up, Rory," she hissed through gritted teeth.

His face fell. The tears stung her eyes, and she held them back victoriously.