I wrote this after seeing Doctor Who’s “The Angels Take Manhattan”, but before I saw “Asylum of the Daleks” or any of the stories centering around Amy’s baby. Therefore, I did not know that *SPOILERS* Amy could not have kids anymore. But you never know, she could’ve seen a doctor in the 30s. 😉
Child of Time
(by Allison Rose)
It was a dark and stormy night. Just like in the books, River Song mused as she walked down the cobblestone streets of London. She needed to get started on a book of her own. It seemed everyone’s lives depended on this action, but River felt it necessary to do it in the company of the two most important lives she’d ever known, the lives who’d been given up to save the world, over and over again.
She glanced down at the paper on which she’d hastily written down their address. (Somehow, she didn’t feel right using all of her technology here. It seemed far too peaceful.) A flash of lightning illuminated the brass number plates on each building. Only a few more blocks to go before she got to the right place. 221-B Baker Street.
Finally, River stepped quietly into the building, escaping the heavy, pelting raindrops for the moment, and mounted the stairs.
Rory answered the door when she knocked, clad in the most comical blue pajamas River had ever seen, and a pair of glasses perched lopsidedly on his prominent nose. He looked flustered and confused, as though he’d just been woken up inconveniently from a deep sleep. Most likely he had.
“Hello, Father,” River said, smiling mischievously.
“River?” Rory exclaimed in disbelief.
From somewhere out of River’s line of sight, a familiar Scottish-accented voice said, “Hush, stupid face! You’ll wake the baby!” That had to be Amy. And as if to prove her point, a baby’s cries echoed all through the building.
“Hm,” River said in a mock-serious, mock-disappointed voice, “I never thought I’d have myself a little sister.” Wasn’t that how the eldest child always acts when they’ve been “replaced” with the new baby?
Rory sighed. “River, you’d best come on in. A lot has happened since we last met.” He held the door open a little wider as she came inside.
“Shhhh, shhhh,” Amy was whispering to the baby she held to her chest. She paced back and forth in the Williams’ living room, trying to quiet it down. All River could see of the baby at this angle was the ginger-colored fuzz on its head. This one was going to take after Mother, that was for sure.
River sat on the sofa, eyeing her parents warily. Rory had fallen asleep unintentionally on the recliner chair, and was snoring loudly. His face looked peaceful as he dreamed of who knows what, but his age showed. Same with Amy. Now she really had lines around her eyes, and it seemed they both wore their glasses full-time.
“She was born last winter,” Amy said between shushes. “Such a little blessing we never thought we’d have.”
I thought I was your little blessing, River wanted to say, realizing that did indeed sound childlike. Instead, she just asked, “What’s her name?”
“Carole Catherine Williams,” Rory said proudly, having woken up suddenly with a snort. He smiled awkwardly, clearly a bit embarrassed.
River rolled her eyes now. Parents could be so … embarrassing sometimes! But something now nagged at her insides. That name, Carole Catherine…. Where had she heard it before? Then she knew.
“Parents,” she said seriously, “there’s something I must tell you. Your daughter will one day be the Doctor’s companion. They’ll have adventures together just like in the grand old times.” At this, Amy and Rory cringed, and the baby wailed again.
“How do you know that?” Amy asked skeptically. “And how will she get to meet him?”
River offered them a picture, a full-color picture.
“Wow, I haven’t seen color pictures in so long!” Rory chuckled sentimentally.
“But who is this?” Amy prodded.
River sighed. “I think you two had better sit down.”
“I’m sitting,” Rory quipped.
“No, Amy and the baby.”
Amy sat down with the baby in her lap.
“Mother, father, you remember Cece Ryder and her friends, don’t you?”
Rory and Amy shuddered quite visibly at the memory. That bunch had been nothing but trouble. And then it hit them.
“No way!” Amy crowed, triggering even more crying. Now she bounced Carole on her lap, humming the tune to The Lone Ranger, although that show would not yet appear for a year. Nevertheless, the baby calmed down and actually smiled angelically — River shivered at that word — for the first time.
“Cece Ryder is our daughter?!” Rory was howling with laughter. “You’ve got to be kidding us, River!”
River shook her head. “No, father, I’m not.”
“River,” Amy said tersely, holding the baby closer to her, “you still haven’t explained how she gets to see him. I mean, by the time 2012 rolls around, she’ll be older than I am now!” She looked down at Carole with a pained expression, not wanting to imagine her as an old woman.
“I think,” said River, “I have an idea.”
It was a dark and stormy night yet again, quite like the night River had just visited. The wiggling bundle in her arms had been surprisingly compliant with the vortex manipulator, and didn’t seem to be in as much pain. But babies are more nimble, River reasoned.
“Take her to the Doctor,” were Amy’s last words to River before she left the Williams’ home with their baby — her baby sister — in her arms. When Amy had written her afterword in River’s book, they had chosen not to divulge anything about the baby. Too risky, River had told them. She didn’t want to cause a paradox.
Now, River stood on the front stoop of the Coldrock Home for Girls. According to the sign, it has been established sometime in the mid 1800s. River could only hope that their quality of child care had improved since then.
Leaving the baby here was going to be a bit of a gamble, River realized. Who knew if she’d ever be found, or taken in? But it had to be done. Less questions, less explanations, and no papers to sign. Hopefully Carole Catherine would have a good home some day. It definitely seemed as though she would.
The baby began to whimper softly as River set her down on the cold, hard concrete. If River knew babies, and if she knew this particular baby as well as the thought she did, she’d be all-out howling within seconds. That would definitely wake whatever souls were inside the building, alerting them to the baby’s presence.
And if River stuck around a little longer, they’d find her too.
River softly caressed the baby’s cheek before she stood up to leave. “This is not goodbye, sweetie. We’ll meet again soon, Cece Ryder.”
The baby cooed inquisitively, as if she wanted to know just what River meant.
River had to laugh despite the sereneness of the situation. “Spoilers!”