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. I finished the final two at last. Sorry for ending on such an angsty note.
Parts 1 to 4, Parts 5 and 6, Parts 7 to 10 & Parts 11 and 12 (previously posted)
Amy was glad she hadn’t seen her own name on their headstone; she liked not knowing who would go first. She hoped, like she assumed most people did, that it would be her. Most people didn’t know what it was like to be the one left behind by death. She did, and she’d had her fill of it, so she hoped that this time she might be spared it. She could live without him, but she really didn’t want to.
Time was neither cruel nor kind as it marched on towards his eighty-second birthday, but before he could even reach it, the deal was already done. That day, after the diagnosis, he had stroked the tears from her cheek and smiled, “Life is terminal, Amy. We knew this was coming.” She wanted to beg him not to leave her, but it would be unfair to have him make a promise he couldn’t keep, so she buried her face in his shoulder and clung to him instead.
Some months later, she pushed the door to his former study and current bedroom open and let Melody walk in ahead of her with the cake slice and candle. “Happy birthday, Daddy.”
Rory adjusted the tube at his nose with a shaky hand and moved to sit up. Amy strode over and caught him under the arms. “Let me, you daft old fool.” He gave her a withering look as she propped his pillows so he could sit and then kissed him into smiling. She settled in next to him on the bed as Melody put the cake down on the adjacent dresser and climbed up on his other side. She fetched the plate again.
“Help Daddy blow out the candle, Melody,” Amy said. Melody loved blowing out birthday candles, almost as much as she loved being seven. Fifteen years in a row now. Someday soon she’d want an eighth birthday. Amy shut her eyes; today wasn’t for such thoughts.
Melody puffed out the candle. “Want some cake, Daddy?”
Rory shook his head; the doctor had told him not to take solid food.
“Here,” Amy said, reaching across to take a small piece of the chocolate icing from the top. “A taste won’t hurt.” She put the tip of her finger into his mouth for him to taste his cake, and he sighed happily. “Thank you,” Amy said, “we baked it ourselves. Didn’t we, Melody?”
“Yup.” Melody set to work eating the cake and Amy put her head next to Rory’s, stroking his cheek and looking into his eyes. He always had such beautiful eyes, and even now they were beautiful, filled with love.
“Done!” Melody said, with a mouth still full of cake, and slid the plate back over to the dresser as she chewed and swallowed.
She settled in next to Rory and he turned his head to look down at her as she started to relay the story of baking the cake. He stroked her little arm with his fingertips and listened about the dropped egg and the vanishing chocolate.
Amy smiled. Rory was right. Life was terminal, and she wasn’t going to waste a moment.
Time to Part
Melody watched as her mum washed her face for the third time in a row. She was trying to pretend that she wasn’t crying. Her mum had never hidden her tears from her before. Melody’s stomach flipped at the unknown implications, and her mum finally dried her face, burying it in the towel.
“I didn’t see you standing there,” she said with red-rimmed eyes.
Last week was Melody’s eighth birthday. Since her Dad died, staying seven didn’t seem right anymore. Her mum brought her out for dinner in a proper restaurant and for gelato afterward, all the time wearing a painted smile.
“What’s wrong, Mum?” Melody asked, and her mum put the towel down.
“Come down to the kitchen and we’ll have a talk over a cuppa.”
Melody stared into her empty teacup, unable to raise her gaze to her mother on the other side of the table. “When’s Anthony coming?”
“Saturday,” her mum said simply.
Melody hadn’t seen her younger brother in almost a year. He’d moved to Texas go to university and ended up staying when he got a job. They had been seven together for a year, but he just kept growing up, and eventually left her behind. Now he was coming back to take her away from the only place she had ever known as home.
“Will I be going to live with him and Angela?” Melody looked up at last.
Her mum took her hand across the table. “No, love. You don’t belong with them.”
“I belong with you.”
Melody’s mother’s eyes welled with tears again, and thankfully this time she didn’t try to disguise it. “Yes you do. And you will be with me, but not here. Not any more.”
Melody blinked as she searched for some sense in her mother’s words. “But you’re sending me away. That’s what you said.”
“Remember how I told you that Dad and I are not from here?”
“You’re from the UK.”
“Yes. But that’s not all I meant. This is not when we’re from. This is not when you’re from either. You were, or will be, born in hundreds of years’ time. You were brought back through time.”
Melody could feel her jaw slacken. It felt as though a particular jigsaw piece was slotting into place in her memory. She had always assumed that the things she recalled from babyhood had been odd due to her being so little, but no. She had been remembering correctly all along. The pod, the bright lights, the funny man, and the blue box. She had so many questions for her mother, but her thoughts were interrupted before she could pose any of them.
“Your Dad and I, we were born in 1989. Eight years ago.”
Melody’s gaze snapped back to her mother. “You’re sending me to be with you and Dad as kids.”
Her mum nodded. “The best place for you is with me, and with your Dad.”
“But you won’t know who I am.”
“No we won’t. And you must never tell us.”
Melody could feel her lip start to quiver so she bit it until it stopped. “Then how can you know it’s the best place for me?”
Her mother reached out and cupped her cheek. “Because, darling, I remember.”