Characters: Amy, Rory, Melody Pond 1 and 2, Amy/Rory
Summary — A collection of mini stories set after The Angels Take Manhattan.
AN — This is a way to capture all the tiny ideas I had after seeing the episode. Should be ten or eleven of them in total, but I’ll keep it open-ended.
Parts 1 to 4, Parts 5 and 6 & Parts 7 to 10 (previously posted)
The Art of Remembering
She’d watched the film with Rory in the 21st century and loved it. She remembered that it was first thing one morning in August 1974, but not the exact date. It didn’t matter, though. If she had to go down there every day for the entire month, she was going to be there with Melody to witness it. It only took seven days in the end.
They emerged from the subway and strolled the couple of blocks to the near-finished towers, just as they had each day previously. But this morning when she looked up—the wire. She hoisted Melody onto her hip and kissed her cheek in excitement. “It’s today!”
Melody clapped her hands.
Soon after seven, the dancer appeared. “Melody, look!”
Melody pressed her warm cheek to Amy’s and followed the line of her mother’s arm pointing out the tiny black figure stepping tentatively into the space between the towers. “I see him, Mummy.” Amy squeezed her daughter and they watched, mesmerised, as he made his way out to the furthest point between the two buildings.
A crowd had started to gather around them, and someone said. “You should get the kid out of here. What if he falls?”
“He won’t fall,” Amy said with certainty, not moving her eyes from the spectacle high above their heads.
The man lay down on the wire, his outline serene as though he were floating. Melody’s fingers danced at Amy’s neck as she gazed up, bewitched.
“When people and things are gone they still live on, but only in our memories,” Amy said. “So it’s important that we remember them well, remember them at their best. I want you to remember today, Melody.”
Melody turned away from the scene above to nuzzle Amy’s cheek with her nose. Her breath was warm and she placed a soft kiss next to her mother’s ear. Amy kept her eyes fixed on the wire walker, more out of necessity than desire now as her eyes prickled with unsheddable tears. If she wasn’t sure before, she was certain now—Melody would remember.
She stepped onto the drain grate and adjusted her cap, eyeing Charlie as he screwed the ball into his mitt; he had a look in his eye like he had something to prove. He was always the first to point out how much smaller she was than the rest of the seven-year-olds on the block, and now he’d just witnessed her knock the ball out of the scrapyard five times in a row and he’d be damned if he was going to be the sixth boy to scale the fence and fetch it.
She knew she was smaller; she didn’t need to be told. Her mum and dad explained that it was because she was different. She was special—part Time Lord. That was cooler than being tall any day. But she was under strict orders to tell no one, so Charlie would have to get his comeuppance by means of sporting humiliation.
She tapped her bat on the grate for luck then took a steady stance. Charlie spat, and then readied himself to throw. His left shoulder twitched—it was going to be a low one again, so she calculated the precise angle of impact to give it the best distance. He drew his arm back and gave it all he was worth. All he was worth would not be enough.
The silence was broken by the sweet woody sound of perfect contact between bat and ball. They watched it soar out over the rooftops, and Melody didn’t bother trying to hide how pleased she was with herself. Her pride was short lived though, as a crash of glass sounded from the street. There was silence for a long moment as the children stood and listened, then the back door of the deli burst open and a red-faced butcher—more belly than man—barrelled out in their direction, baseball in hand.
The other children tore off in various directions, desperately climbing over walls and squeezing through holes in fences to get away, but Melody stood her ground. She wanted her ball back. She had her sincerest apology ready to go, but the man didn’t give her the chance to use it before he yanked her roughly by the elbow.
She dropped her bat. He held the ball in front of her face with his chubby hand. “Was this you?”
She struggled to get free but he had a tight grip. “Let me go.”
“Who do you think you are, hitting balls in the middle of the neighbourhood?”
She tried to kick him into letting her go but he lifted her by the arm, sending a bolt of pain up to her neck and down to her wrist. “Who’d you steal the ball and bat from, huh?”
“I didn’t steal anything; my dad gave them to me.” She whined in pain as he squeezed her arm harder and boomed with laughter.
“Yes, I did,” came the steady voice of her dad as he came through a gap in the fence. “Let her go, please.”
But the ape didn’t let go; he swung her about a bit. “This yours?”
“Yes she is, now let her go before I do something we’ll both regret.”
The butcher laughed again. “I’d like to see you try, old man.” He dropped Melody and she fell to the ground and held her elbow. “Here, take your half-breed,” he said.
Melody’s breath stopped in her chest. She had been good; she hadn’t told anyone, but somehow he had found out. Her dad looked furious and tears welled in her eyes. He marched up to the butcher and without any further warning, thumped him in the jaw. The fat rippled out from the point of impact and the man fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Out cold.
Melody’s lip wobbled as her dad turned to her. “I didn’t tell him, Dad, honest. I didn’t tell anyone.”
Her dad’s shoulders slackened and his face softened as he crouched down to her and put his arms out. “I know you didn’t. Come here.” She climbed into his arms and he kissed her elbow. “Are you okay?”
She nodded and smiled as he picked her up and started to carry her away on his hip. “Wait, Dad. My ball and bat.”
“Ball and bat, right.” He turned around, swiped them up from the ground and handed them to her.
She took a long look at the heap of man over her dad’s shoulder as he carried her away. “Dad, will you teach me how to do that to someone?”
“Definitely… if you promise to use it only as a last resort.”
She hugged him and kissed his cheek. Her dad was the best. “Promise.”