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Emily [userpic]
by Emily (malana)
at July 31st, 2010 (04:48 pm)

Title: It's Left Me Blind
Author: myconstant
For: glassbomb
Beta’d By: fashionweeks
Word Count: 1759
Rating: PG
Summary: This time, she’s the one that doesn’t keep her promises. She won’t be there when he turns around.
Author’s Note: This pinch hit is for glassbomb and is a solid month late (apologies!). Fic takes place after Cold Blood, but contains vague spoilers for the finale. Prompts included at the end. Hope you enjoy!

Amy Pond is alone.

In an empty tearoom, she sits and reads and rereads lines of Ovid in the dim light of an antique lamp.

She finds a Van Gogh print beneath a torn map of the Dreading Sea on R-342 and hangs it on the wall. The irises do nothing to brighten the room.

Six thousand years prior and four dimensions to the left, she’s playing hopscotch with alien children on the second planet of a far off solar system. The Doctor folds his newspaper along the crease and gestures wildly for her attention. He catches her eye as she’s balancing on one foot, reaching down to scoop up the pink pebble in the box marked 4. He says something about examining that gorgeous shrubbery across the square and she dismissively waves him off.

“I’ll still be here,” she says more to herself than to him, and Amy Pond doesn’t know it yet, but it’s a lie.

This time, she’s the one that doesn’t keep her promises. She won’t be there when he turns around.

In the tearoom, her chair is next to a wide window with a view of a city street. Beyond the glass are sleek stone buildings wet with the afternoon rain, cars parked haphazardly by the curb, and sidewalks scattered with people in trench coats holding umbrellas.

When she first opens her eyes and finds herself displaced in time and space, she trips on a pile of lacy decorative pillows lying idly on the floor and surveys her surroundings from the floor. She tries to throw open the front door, hunter green with a brass handle, but no matter how hard she clutches at the knob, it doesn’t give. At the wide window, she shouts and hits the glass with her fists like a prisoner in a proper cell. Her eyes search the avenue for the Doctor, but the corners are hopelessly devoid of blue boxes. A little boy glances up from beneath his umbrella as he passes and then says something to his mother, but the end of his sentence barely penetrates through the glass. She inhales sharply because the words are foreign and unfamiliar and unsettling for a reason that isn’t apparent just yet.

Then the truth crashes down upon her like the Earth upon Atlas’s shoulders and then she can’t breathe. The math is simple:

The translator microbes in the TARDIS aren’t working because the TARDIS can’t translate to where she is.

Amy Pond is alone. She will wait.

In a moment of anger, she imagines him on his knees next to the console, hands grasping at his cranium, gasping and sharply exhaling and pleading with his mind to hurry and put the pieces together. He always keeps her waiting.

She blinks, feeling guilty, and forces herself to not think about him. She’ll do that tomorrow. A young man with short light brown hair and a down vest brushes his hand across the shop window, but her gaze is fixed on her lap and she misses him. He’s gone when she looks up.

The cage binds:

The carpets are not hiding trap doors leading down into the damp earth below, the cupboards are not portals to Narnia. The chandelier is only a chandelier; the white wallpaper with faded fleur de lis accents hides a normal wall beneath and nothing more.

Time is irrelevant and it scares her more than the idea of a room with no exit.

Here, days are the same as hours that are the same as minutes that are the same as seconds. A clock with five hands sits on the desk across the room and incessantly ticks, but the arrows never move. Outside, the sky never darkens, the people never go home, and the rain never stops. Inside, she never grows tired, never grows hungry, never feels anything other than her own heart beating. She makes herself tea, but that’s out of desperation for routine. She doesn’t drink from her cup and tries to fight resignation with Roman poetry.

Tempus edax rerum. Time devours all.

Smart bloke, that Ovid was.

She watches the rain trail across the windowpane and people in the street and wonders if this is the universe’s version of the princess locked in the high tower, waiting for the errant knight to emerge from the fog.

“I never liked Rapunzel,” she tells no one.

River Song walks with something that resembles purpose, a bright red umbrella partly obscuring her face. A mobile is crooked between her shoulder and her ear and she gestures with her hands, lips twisted upwards into a smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Amy watches and silently chants something that resembles a plea.

Then, River Song turns on her heel and stares right at where Amy hovers behind the glass. Her heart is thrashing and she shouts River’s name, but her hope is misplaced and she strains to hear the quick staccato of high heels on the wet pavement as River walks away. There is no recognition.

Amy considers the cracks in time and wonders if she’s ever existed, if this is the net result of not running fast enough.

She considers the Daleks and wonders if they killed her when she wasn’t looking, if this is all that’s left.

She briefly considers the Doctor and wonders if this prison masquerading as a tea parlor was meant for him, if there was some kind of cosmic misunderstanding.

There are other things: psychic pollen, perception filters, time loops, time tracks. There are things she’s forgotten, things that she’s missing, things she will never know.

She wishes she had paid more attention, but is not sure if it would have made much of a difference.

She toys with the idea of burning it all down.

It is increasingly looking like the most viable option.

The door to the shop groans open, Amy’s head snaps up from her book, and it’s nothing like the movies or on telly. She doesn’t cry or shout his name or say the things she’s suppose to say (you’re late, took you long enough, you found me). She doesn't ask the obvious questions, but instead crosses the room, frames his face with her hands and rests her forehead against his. It's been a long time.

His skin is cold with rain and it’s familiar, but strange. His eyes drift shut and she knows there is no triumph, no victory. She’s drawn to the rips and tears in his clothing, the missing bowtie. She hugs him then and he sways. The thought that he might collapse and then change occurs to her and she clings to him, all too conscious of the countless things he will never explain.

She asks about monsters, aliens and machines. Asks if they need to run and frowns when he shakes his head against her shoulder. It occurs to her that he should sit down and her frown deepens when he complies without fighting.

“Are you all right? What happened?”

“I’ve missed you,” he replies.

“Doctor, shouldn’t we-”

“No, not yet. This is important.”

She flattens the hem of her skirt and expects an oration on her importance in the universal sense of things or a speech on cause and effect. Perhaps even something that resembles apology. Instead, he tells her about a planet with an orange sky, red earth, and white snow. He tells her about its rotation, coordinates in space, the composition of the atmosphere. He tells her that this planet doesn’t exist anymore, that it’s been reduced to a memory, a chapter in a history textbook.

He speaks slowly, hesitantly as if he’s walking a tightrope high above the ground, and she thinks this man in front of her cannot possibly be the same as the one she left behind.

“Why are you telling me this?” Her voice is thick in her throat. “Doctor-”

That’s when he looks her in the eye, the first time since he’s walked through the door, since she was lost, and she wishes she could hate him. She wishes he wasn’t so indirect, wishes that he could have simply said, I’m from the future, you can’t come with me. It hurts more, realizing it this way.

A pause.

“How are you here?” she asks.

“I already knew where to go.”

“And where are you now?”

“Searching the stars. I don’t stop.”

Another moment and Amy thinks he looks slightly golden sitting there. An image of bright yellow sparks disappearing into the still night air of her backyard fights its way into the forefront of her mind. She hopes she’s just imagining things (Never ignore a coincidence, he will say one day, unless you’re busy).

“I have to go,” he says to the ceiling.

“But I can’t,” she adds, mostly out of the need to hear someone say it. “You haven’t found me yet.

He rises from his chair, she thinks he might be trembling. She gets up too. There is a story here and although she’s barely following the plot, she has enough faith to imagine that one day, there will be an ending.

His fingers tangle themselves in her hair and then rest on her shoulders. He kisses her then, and at once, he’s given her something to live for and something to run from. It’s one last effort at atonement, a promise of what is to come, and maybe his only way of saying goodbye. Regardless of definition, he pulls away before she can process what has just happened and he turns to leave.

“I don’t think I’ll ever really know who saved who,” he says to her before shutting the door gently behind him.

She doesn’t watch him walk down the street.

It’s not a long time before the Doctor she knows breaks down the hunter green door with something that resembles a bassoon, all elation and charm and laughter. She sprints from her chair and crashes into him, burying her face in his neck as he spins her once, twice. The sense of familiarity is overwhelming and she’s incapable of forming complete sentences. He exhales her name, followed by a fast explanation she only half follows (temporal anomalies, breaches in the Time Vortex, the translation of infinity into a particularly gloomy segment of 125th Street on New Galdron), and for once, Amy Pond knows exactly why she’s crying.

He presses his lips to her palm and says, “Let’s go,” and they run out into the empty street, his fingers laced with hers.

She leaves the front door open behind them.


Prompt 1 The Doctor tells a story
Prompt 2 Amy knows how to dance
Prompt 3 The Doctor and Amy cannot stop holding hands (for whatever reason)