A/N: Mentions of domestic abuse. This story is un-betaed. Feedback is always appreciated. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of its characters.
She was standing just outside a council estate when he first saw her, her hair a mess and, if he looked closely enough, a bruise on her left cheek. Her lip was bleeding and she dabbed at it with her jumper sleeve. He could hear shouting from one of the apartments but he paid it no mind as he watched the woman, or was it girl because it was rather hard to tell in the darkness even with his superior eyesight, slowly move away from the building.
He never meant to follow her but something about the way she carried herself intrigued him. She only walked about a block before spinning around, a defensive expression on her face. "What do you want?" she shouted agitatedly into the darkness, her Cockney accent on the thick side. "I know you're following me and I don't have any money so piss off!"
Cautiously, he stepped in the light of the streetlamp, slightly ashamed about scaring the poor woman who was already having a bad night by the looks of it. "I apologize, that wasn't my intention. I just…"
Eyes narrowing at him, the woman hissed out, "You just what? Why are you following me? You don't look like you need the money and I'm no prostitute so if that's what you're looking for you can get the hell away from me!"
"No! No, that's not why I was, it's just that, you're hurt," he spluttered out, panicked by her accusations.
"So what? I can handle it, I don't need your pity," she spat at him.
He sighed. "I've no doubt you can hold your own and I wasn't going to offer you pity, merely a handkerchief. You're bleeding, but I think you already know that." Her pulled out his handkerchief and held it out to her, but she didn't approach.
Her back was stiff and it was obvious that she didn't trust him. "I'm fine, thanks, so unless you have anything else to say please leave me be."
"You shouldn't put up with that. Anyone willing to hurt you isn't worth that kind of pain."
She looked taken aback by his words. "Why should you care? I'm just another chav off a council estate. Just some girl. I'm no one important." Her words were self-deprecating and cruel and he wondered if she was just repeating what someone else told her.
"Everyone is important. Everyone has value and you are no exception. You shouldn't let someone else lead you to believe otherwise." His words were spoken softly but the impact they had was visible on her face.
She was shocked. "I never said—"
"You didn't have to. You deserve better. They are the one that failed, not you. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent," he quoted.
"Eleanor Roosevelt," she murmured.
He smiled at her warmly. "See? You are brilliant, that I am sure."
"I don't even have my A-Levels."
"So? Intelligence is not determined by what you are taught, but by what you are willing to learn. People learn differently. They also come from different backgrounds, so don't base your intelligence on a lack of formal education." He watched her walk into the light and saw the extent of her injuries.
She had older bruises that must have been from other instances. No one should ever have to go through that. Her hair was a bleached blonde and her eyes had bags under them that were visible despite her heavy make-up. A tiny bit of blood still lingered on her busted lip.
He held up the handkerchief again and this time she took it, still wary of him. "Thanks," she muttered as she lifted the silky cloth to her bleeding mouth.
They stood there quietly for a few moments before she spoke again. "I was planning on ending it tonight but he was drunk and got angry when I brought it up. I will try again tomorrow."
"Alone?" he questioned, concern coloring his tone.
A grim smile ghosted over her lips. "No, not again. I have this mate and he's wonderful. He wants to come with to make sure I don't get hit again."
His gaze softened. "Good man."
"Yeah, he is."
"As I said before, you deserve better than this," he gestured towards her bruises and she grimaced. "Someday you'll find someone who will treat you the way you truly deserve, with dignity and respect. When you find them, cherish them."
She only smiled sadly. "Yeah, maybe."
"You will. Don't let anyone control your life. It's your own."
This time she gave him a heartfelt smile, one where her tongue just peaked out between her teeth. He smiled back. Bowing slightly, he finished, "I am afraid I must go, but please, don't ever let someone make you feel less than you are again. When the time comes, you will be fantastic. Good evening, my dear, and be wonderful."
With those parting words he bowed again and turned to leave, but her voice stopped him short. "Thank you," she whispered, her eyes shining with a few tears.
"You are most welcome and please get home safe."
With that, she turned from him and walked away, down one of the darkened streets. He watched her until she made it to another apartment building, just in case.
He realized that he never caught her name, but for some reason he knew that he didn't need to know it. Yet. Her timeline had been obscured from him, but that just meant he might meet this woman again. He should be worried about not knowing what her future held but he had a good feeling about it. A very good feeling.
He smiled and wished her luck before disappearing down another side street where a large blue box stood.
A blue box with the words "Police Public Call Box" in glowing white letters at the top.
He took one last look at the barely visible building that the blonde woman had entered, a wistful expression crossing his face before vanishing inside the box. Within moments, the box had disappeared without a trace.
Far away, in another galaxy completely, that same man strolled through his amazing blue box wondering just what his future held as he remembered the young woman with the bleach blonde hair and charming smile.