Genre: Angst, Explanation
Pairings or Characters: Melody Pond and ?
Disclaimer: The Doctor and all other characters mentioned do not belong to me. No profit made from this work, no infringement intended.
Summary: It wasn't all monsters and maniacs. She had one faithful angel. Well, that's what she liked to call him.
starjargon at 21) Ageless god
A/N- I'm… not even sure where this came from. Angsty. Enjoy.
She had a secret angel. Well, he wasn't so secret. He'd been there as long as she could remember. He claimed to have been there since right after she was born. Maybe she should believe him. Who knows? But then again, maybe she shouldn't.
It didn't matter. What mattered was this- he always came for her. And he was nearly always around when she needed someone. When she could remember, she knew they had been teaching her. They taught her to fight. They taught her to kill. To cheat. To lie. To manipulate. To steal. He was there, too. But he taught other skills, too.
He taught her other ways to fight. But his fighting wasn't for killing, it was for survival. They taught her how to defeat, he taught her how to protect. He told her he knew tricks for mending as well, so he taught her how to heal what they taught her to hurt. He showed her how to smile when she was sad, to laugh when she wanted to cry, to believe when she wanted to break. And, oddly enough, he taught her to flirt. Not that he did it with her directly- she was just a child after all. But he did teach her the confidence and innuendo needed as he brought her along with him on practice missions, where they would carry out minor jobs in preparation for the "big one." He said she needed something to keep her going- and his silly words and the reactions they got always made her laugh.
He gifted her with the only presents she had ever received. Toys meant for fun and comfort, and not only for education. An outfit she could wear to feel beautiful in and not just to fight- or whatever it was she would do when she was conscious of doing it. And, when they were out on a new planet and she saw what she thought was one of the prettiest women ever, he bought her a big girl lipstick, so she could feel pretty too.
He told her she was special- something she was used to hearing in her dreams from mysterious creatures. But she didn't get scared when he said it. He would take pictures of her in all of her activities. When she asked why, he just replied that they were for an old friend who would want to know she was alright. And he always gave her copies- the few happy memories she had in her life. Including her favourite- the one of the woman he told her loved her more than anything else in the universe.
She asked him his name, but he would never really answer her, giving her instead something he called an alias. Said it was meant to keep them both safe a little while longer. Sometimes he would go away, but he always seemed so much older when he returned. And yet, he also seemed to barely age. She couldn't ever understand that.
She didn't really have very many sympathetic beings in her life- the headless monks were no joy, and the clerics were known more for their efficiency than their kindness. But he always smiled for her, at her. As though he was… glad she was there. One day, she got very brave and asked why he was so nice to her when everyone else was so…not. He just looked very wistful and said something about a promise and a debt to a very old friend.
He would hold her hand when they went out- not possessively like the others, but in a friendly way, like he didn't want to let her go. She trusted him, even though she knew so little about him. She only knew his alias, the fact that he was tall, kind, strong, a leader- others always seemed to follow his commands, laughed with his whole heart, and when she looked into his eyes, she saw something that frightened her. Despite his appearance, he seemed so very old, and so very sad. But he also seemed to- love her. She tried asking about his friend that meant so much to him, but he was always so evasive about that. Finally, he told her that his friend was one of the best people he had ever met. She wanted to meet them too.
She knew he couldn't break many rules when they were together, but he did try to bend them as much as possible for her, when he was around. He would tell her stories- wonderful stories of far away worlds and planets and people he had met and loved and lost. When they told her stories about how the Doctor failed everyone, he would whisper to her the dangers of hatred. He tried to teach her how to hang on and when to let go. But despite what they said, she was still just a child. She couldn't always understand his lessons.
Then, one day, he went too far. She was so, so tired. And she had disobeyed once again. She didn't know what she had done wrong, just remembered feeling scared. They had moved her to an orphanage on earth not so long ago, and she had seen the Spaceman. The whispers in her mind told her the Spaceman would eat her. She was so scared of it. She ran to him, grabbed him tightly and refused to let him go. She told him she didn't want the Spaceman to get her- please, please help her. He had always protected her when she really needed it.
That night, he snuck her to where the Spaceman was and showed her how to escape if she could manage it. She would never manage it- they were always watching her. Plus, what could she do if she escaped? He told her to remember what he had taught her- how to run and to survive no matter what, but to always try to show compassion whenever it was possible. She asked why he wouldn't just not make her go in it and stay with her so she didn't have to survive.
At this, he grabbed her head and kissed her, pulling her into one of the very few hugs she had ever felt. He held her tightly, and she felt his tears on her cheeks.
"I will be with you as long as I can. But soon, you'll have to be as amazing as I know you can be, all on your own. Can you do that for me, Melody?"
She nodded, the tears already starting to fall from her own eyes. She knew what it was to be left- knew he was saying goodbye. This one was different from the others, though. It felt more final.
"I'll try. But will I ever see you again?" The tears were uncontrollable now.
"I guarantee it. But, I may not know who you are then. And I may seem so different you won't even recognize me. But it's still me. It will always be me. I promise."
She didn't understand. He was the most important person in her life. How could she not recognize him? But she had learned long ago that he was the only person she could trust, so if he said it, it must be true.
He tucked her in that night, and told her one last story, one of her favourites- a story about a man who ran through the stars and time itself, who lost and loved and never really died. A man who made so many mistakes yet was forgiven again and again. Who had run away so very long ago from home, but had found a new one again. Who learned to grieve, but then learned to hope, and that hope let him live another day. She had heard this story many times, but it wasn't until this final moment with him that she realized the story was his own. And she decided if he could keep going, so could she- somehow.
The headless monks were in the doorway- she knew they were coming for him. He had taught her to escape, and like she'd said earlier, someone was always watching. She knew what his punishment would be. They were cruel, mean people, and she would never see her angel again.
He refused to look behind him as he tucked her in. But when he leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead, he just looked in her eyes with joy, a smile on his face despite the tears in his eyes.
"Be brave, my Melody. Be amazing. And remember- you are worth fighting for."
She was scared for him, but they only had these final moments, so she grabbed his neck tightly and gave him the hardest hug her tiny body could muster, saying into his short brown hair, "Mr. Boe- you're the very best friend I've ever had."
He hugged her back, then sang her to sleep, blocking the monsters behind him with his body. She never saw him again after that.
His head was placed in a glass jar, similar to the hand of a friend he once had. For his loyalty, that same friend managed to arrange for him to communicate telepathically with the world. He had a new life ahead of him- no longer a soldier, now a powerful being of influence and mystery. A wonderful reward for the unsuspecting hero.
When he opened his eyes, he looked at the face of the very old friend for whom he had helped raise a very small, vulnerable child, and just said, "My debt is repaid. I kept my promise, Centurion. Your daughter is going to be magnificent."