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Once Upon A Daughter

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Amy didn't pay attention to the show on the screen, and, really, why should she? She and Millie were only supposed to have a bit of a wind down -- get a drink, chat a bit -- before Amy headed home. But her last business appointment ended sooner than she had expected, so she popped into Millie's almost an hour early, catching her in the middle of watching some American show online.

Millie laughed over how she reacted when Amy first walked in, a reaction that bordered on being caught watching something that asked if she was 18 years old or older. “Don't ask me why, but I feel like I have to justify watching it.” It being a show about fairy tales jumping into the real world.

Amy agreed to hang around while the other woman finished watching the particular episode she had missed, and then politely half paid attention to the explanations about what was happening on the screen.

“... so the baby was lost.... Had a terrible childhood, went wild....She's an adult when she sees her parents again.”

Amy snapped upright in her chair. “Wait. What was that last part?”

Millie grinned. “All right, but don't judge, yeah?”

“No, really. What was that about a baby?”

Millie's short dark hair was a lot like the woman she pointed to on the screen. “She and her husband had a baby. Emma. She's taken away from them--” Millie jabbed a finger at the dark villainous woman who had destroyed the young family. “--well, they try to save her – anyway, she ends up in a Children's Home. Goes wild as a teenager and becomes a survivor. Tough, you know. A fighter.”

Amy watched the woman they talked about on the screen, the blonde hair, the attitude. “You said she does get back to her parents.”

“Yeah, except she's grown up. She might even be older than them, because no time has passed for them, unlike her. And they don't know they're her parents. Oi! You actually look interested.”

Oh yes. Amy was. Very interested.

“I thought you were just being polite while you thought about how daft it was.” Millie laughed again. “But I love it. I just love watching them together, being this family even though it's so – mixed up.”

Amy had stopped paying attention as she waited to see this mother and daughter, so she missed the other woman going on with, “I like how they do Mary Margaret – that's her name in this world – because she isn't the damsel in distress like they usually show her. And the father, of course, is the knight in armour. Rushing to his wife's side, sword in hand, and when you saw him trying to save the baby! It just broke my heart. You can tell the daughter gets it all from them.”

Someone named Jonathan spoke about “Holding conflicting realities in your head, it can drive you mad....” which was the only time Amy paid any attention to someone other than the two women.

I know what it's like to separated from your kid,” said with Emma's tears. Amy felt the weight of baby Melody in her arms, the scent of her newborn daughter and her sounds.

Emma's eyes were ravaged with utter pain from her abandonment, from all she missed as a child, from the parents she lost and who didn't know her. “If what you say is true,” she told the madman, “then that woman in the other room is my mother. And I want to believe that more than anything in the world.”

Then Emma saving her unknown mother only to be attacked, and Amy's nails dug into her palm, her mind screaming to the mother to do something! Which the mother did. Mary Margaret attacked him and saved her daughter.

Amy bit back the cheer and stayed glued as the two women escaped, talking about some conflict going on in previous episodes that didn't matter. Oh, but then:

You have to trust me,” Emma begged. She reached out with fumbling words until, even as awkward as they were, she bared her scarred heart to say them. Her heart sounded a lot like Mels' and looked a lot like River saying “I'm Melody. I'm your daughter.”

I have been alone. Walls up. Nobody's ever been there for me except for you. And I can't lose that, I can't lose my family!”

And the mother who didn't know she was the mother gave the daughter who was her age, or older, a watery smile. "Family?"

The look on her face... Amy once wore the same expression, the time Mels had called her Mum...

“You okay, Amy?”

She couldn't stop the feeling of resenting Millie spying on something so private. It was her and Rory and River and not Millie, who she only knew through her work anyway.

But she had to push that down. “Of course, yeah. Just – tired. Busy, you know?”

“Sure. Look, if you want, let's reschedule that drink. Go home. See that husband of yours and relax a bit.”

Amy agreed so fast, it bordered on rude. But the mobile was in her hand before she was out of Millie's house, the special number activating everything unique in the sort of connections that phone could make. She didn't bother asking when that voice on the other end was in their timelines. Didn't matter. Whenever they were was good because it was--


“Mother, are you alright?”

Oh yes, she was. She very much was. Now.

And when she finally let River hang up (not until she was pulling up in front of the house) so her daughter could pop over (“Warn your Dad first that you're on the way. So he's dressed, yeah? Remember last time.”), everything was even better.