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Drifting Around

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Being tethered in the vast expanse of the universe, she decided, was fun. It was pure pleasure, being held by just an ankle by the raggedy owner of this otherworldly machine (who was not so raggedy now with his tweed jacket and bowtie) and just floating anywhere, anywhen in this vast blackness spotted with trillions of hot, white balls of fire.

This man was very, very old and very, very kind, even more so to her and it was not because she had waited for nearly fourteen years to hop in this unique phone box of his (it was not actually his but he had been with it for so long now that it was best to say it that way)

Today, Amy Pond wanted more than just being a stationary point held in space by her Doctor. Today, she wanted to roam around and feel it... have a little spacewalk by herself and just drift around and so, she proposed a little, harmless adventure to him. She was almost perfectly sure in her mind that it was going to be completely safe and she would be in one whole piece after doing it.

He on the other hand, was not.

'What if the rope breaks? Then you will drift around for real.' he said. 'Amelia Pond, you're not going to do that. It'll not be fine.'

She just put her forehead against his, looked into his eyes, determined to go ahead, kissed his left cheek hurriedly and pulled back (secretly flustered at what she had done)

'Okay, but just this once!'

And just like that, it was fine.

She squealed silently when he tied one end of the extremely long rope around her left ankle, checking and double-checking it thoroughly as he muttered something in his language. Unknowing that his long, slender fingers tickled her a little bit every time they touched her ankle, he tied the final knot. The other end went to the central tube of the TARDIS console where it had been looped around a solid three times for extra safety. Just before sending her off, he ran to the controls and pushed around some colourful buttons which she presumed to be controlling the atmospheric settings for the air shell

Maximum radius of five hundred metres, seventy-two percent nitrogen, twenty-one percent oxygen, some tiney-winey bit of other gaseous stuff, twenty-five degree Celsius - yeah, she knew that much.

She stood on the edge, the already open doors showing her the imaginary, crooked path she would take as she would fly in there. This part of space was far away from her home and in her opinion, far more beautiful. The "sky" was a magnificent turquoise with vivid magenta highlights in it and seemed straight out of fairy tales which she had loved so long ago in her turbulent, bittersweet childhood. She stood on the wooden doorstep, watching the mysterious depths of infinity itself fan out beneath her feet.

The Doctor stood behind her, watching the behind of her head as she took in a deep breath, turned to look at him, gave him her best "bad girl" smirk and playfully winked

Be careful, Pond, he wanted to say. The words died on his tongue before they could've escaped since she jumped unexpectedly early with a yell of, 'Wheeeeeee'. Damn, he had always been proud upon his sense of timing - Amelia Pond just seemed to be an exception in each case. For the first few seconds, the rope went taut and completely uncoiled itself as it sustained the impact of her jump but immediately afterwards, it became loose under the wonderful effects of zero gravitational force. He bent down a little to see her about two hundred metres below him, floating among the stars and looking quite like a star herself.

He whistled and she twisted around to wave at him, her fine red hair fanning around her pale face like a goddess's halo. He waved back as she twisted again and "swam" ahead like a tail-less mermaid, but a mesmerising mermaid nonetheless. He remembered the day when he had come to meet her very, very late (twelve years!) and she had hit him with a cricket bat (What the cricket bat was doing in her house in the first place, he could not fathom) He still remembered her trying to be courageous as she copped with the fact that her "fictional" Raggedy Doctor was back and that there was a prisoner (alien) stowed away in her house.

His mind went back to the hug they had shared just two days ago and a warm feeling spread through the entirety of his body. He told himself that it was because she was the first face that this face of his had seen and hence, she would always be special. It was absolutely nothing else. Nothing.

Amy was having the time of her life as she drifted through the brilliance of the numerous shades of turquoise intermingled with magenta and little streaks of black. She closed her eyes and thanked the Lord for sending her Doctor back to her. She even thanked him in her whispered monologue for letting her do this. She twisted around and around to see him keeping a watch on her and smiled a little. She was utterly content and peaceful as she drifted onwards and onwards and onwards to touch the ethereality encompassing her...

The Doctor looked down upon her and decided that she would be fine after all. He went to get himself a glass of water from the kitchen.

Snap!

She swore she heard something breaking. Oh dear... she hoped it wasn't her rope as she twisted yet again to see him; maybe it was a distant asteroid or a weird flare from any one of the nearby stars - her eyes widened - it was her rope. She had pulled too hard. The Doctor would kill her for embarking upon this adventure...that is, if she somehow stopped herself from crossing the air-vacuum barrier.

'Doctor!' she screamed at the top of her lungs, but he was busy hydrating himself in the kitchen and hence, could not hear her. Why does he disappear, when he's needed? she thought angrily. Why did he have to be right about everything? She would have to do something about this situation on her own. With a sigh, she brushed away her hair from her eyes and desperately brain-stormed for a much needed solution.

He returned with another rope (obviously he could just not sit and watch while she had all the fun), only to see her dangling about and shouting for him every few seconds. She was dangerously close to her death. He hurriedly tightened his own rope around his ankle, glad to have brought it. He had never known that it would be used for such a rushed emergency rescue of his very brave and very impulsive (magnificent) companion. In a haste he tied the other end, looping it around the console as fast as his hands could and jumped down to catch her from the horizon of oblivion.

'Geronimo!'

She closed her eyes and crossed her arms as she neared the barrier. There was no hope for her. She had been a bad girl by not heeding to the Doctor's advice and now she was going to die. Really, his kindness was his weakness...couldn't he have been much more strict with her and her tomfoolery? She smiled, but it was a not a happy smile. What use was now there in blaming him...she should have listened to him before throwing herself in the throes of this deathly infinity. She should have listened to her raggedy man...

And because Amy Pond was so distraught with herself (and the rope), she had not heard his shout. And because she had not heard, she could have never prepared herself for a most wonderful surprise when warm, familiar arms came to surround her from behind instead of the cold infinity. Slender fingers enveloped her hands and she sighed in sheer relief.

'Gotcha' he said. She could practically hear the smirk in his voice.

Instead of saying anything, she just turned around and nuzzled her head in the crook of his neck. She tried to ignore the fluttery feeling in her stomach as she did so and she was extremely glad that he could not see the brilliant blush covering her cheeks.

'Gotcha' she replied as nonchalantly as she could.

He kissed her forehead and murmured, 'No more free adventures for you.' She thought she also heard the words, "too precious" but that could very well have been her rich imagination.

That night, the Doctor let out a deep, sad sigh as he watched her sleep deeply from the side of her bed, tired from the day's adventure. She looked ethereal even in her sleep. They were drifters, he realised, drifting in a flurry of emotions that were confusing. They were drifters, stuck together by a universe that never wanted them to be. They were drifters and all of time and space was theirs, except they themselves for each other.

And so, the last of the Time Lords kissed all over her face, but not her lips - never her lips and quietly went away.

What else could he have done?