The Golden Girl
This idea came to me while reading The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. The title name came to me courtesy of The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald. I'm actually a closet literature nerd.
Amy isn't the only one who met an impossible person when they were younger. When Rory was five he met a golden girl who watched over him all his life. She never did him any wrong and she was always there when he needed her. The girl with the golden hair, the golden eyes, the golden smile. Rory looked up to her. Even so, he never knew just how important she was. Until he did.
Rory was really hoping it would snow. He knew it wasn't winter and there was no possible way on Earth that it would snow this time of year but he wanted it to snow, he wanted nothing more than for white flakes of cold water to fall to the ground, and stick. He would be able to miss school the next day, go and see all his friends and they would all get to play together.
Rory stared out his window, sitting on his window seat.
He put his hand against the window.
Not even cold.
He groaned and stood up, walking over to his bookcase. He pulled out a book and clambered back over to his window seat. He began to flip through the pages, leaning against the window. In his book he could read some of the words.
He tried to read it aloud.
"High…" He read. "In a white…. Pa-palace, the king's- the king's daughter, the-"
He was interrupted abruptly by a presence over his shoulder.
"The golden girl."
Rory turned to see a women standing in his room. She was bathed in a golden light, everything about her shone. She wore a simple plain white dress along with no shoes and curly golden hair.
"Isn't the Great Gatsby a complicated choice for a kid your age?" The girl asked softly. She placed her hand on Rory's shoulder.
It was warm.
"Who are you?" Rory asked, all wide-eyed and curious.
"My name is Rose," she replied. Rory frowned.
"Like the flower?" He asked. She nodded.
"Just like the flower, just without the thorns."
She smiled sweetly, and it made Rory smile back.
"I'm Rory. Rory Williams."
"Lovely to meet you Rory Williams."
Rose turned around and began to look around his room. Despite her carefree attitude Rory could tell she was frantic, scared even. He wondered why.
"Can you tell me Rory Williams, where we are and what today's full date is?"
"I hit my head," Rose explained. "Still gathering my memory back."
Rory decided that answer was acceptable.
"Leadworth. Easter, 1986."
Rose's eyebrows shot up.
"Easter?" Rose turned around. "1986."
She looked wildly confused, and murmured a few things under her breath.
"But why you?" She said this aloud and Rory walked up to her, tugging her warm, smooth hand.
He tugged her down to the floor and clambered into her lap. He looked up at her.
"What's happened? You can tell me. Mum says I'm a great listener."
He spoke proudly, hoping to entice her with his words.
"I bet you are Rory."
She ruffled his hair and then sighed.
"I had this friend. He was brilliant, brilliant in every single way you could think of it. We did a lot of traveling together and then we got separated. I did my best to get back to him, and then I did get back to him and it was so exciting. But soon after I got back to him he left me at the same place I lost him. He didn't want me anymore, he had new people to take the place of me."
The boy frowned up at Rose, all wide eyed and amazed by this golden woman who had just appeared here.
"Why wouldn't he want you?" Rory asked astonished. "You're beautiful."
Rose smiled, making Rory feel warm, safe.
"Thank you, but it's a judgement on me-" Rose frowned as soon as she said that, like it reminded her of someone nasty. "The universe is equally for and against me."
"The universe?" Rory asked.
"But why you?" Rose repeated. "Why is my timeline attached to yours? It doesn't make sense."
Rory got up off Rose's lap and ran back to where his book was. He grabbed it and ran back over to her, sitting in her lap again.
"I'm bored," he stated. "And you're weird."
Rose took the book from Rory's hand.
"Should I leave?" Rose asked thoughtfully. Rory shook his head firmly.
"No I like you."
Rose smiled and gently urged Rory off her lap, turning him to face her. She put her hands on his temples.
"One day you could be in danger," Rose replied. "Or not, I'm just taking precautions."
Rory climbed into Rose's lap again, still holding her strands of hair.
"Rose, can you teach me how to braid your hair?" Rory asked. Rose smiled and nodded. As she began to lead Rory's small fingers through her hair, Rory couldn't help but think her mind was elsewhere. There was a flicker of something in her warm kind eyes that Rory figured he must be too young to understand, and he forgot when…
"You're leaving?" Rory demanded. Rose was running her fingers through Rory's hair, trying to coax him to sleep.
"I'll be back Rory, in a few years, but I can't stay around all the time," Rose explained. "Don't worry, you won't even realize you missed me until I'm back."
Rory pouted but accepted her answer. Rose's eyes glowed gold and Rory felt warm again.
"Now Rory, it's time to sleep."
Suddenly Rory was inexplicably tired, he yawned and curled up towards Rose.
"Can you tell me a story?"
"Of course Rory. Once there was a man… A wonderful man who could travel through all of time and space…"
Rory shuffled along with his friend Amy, listening as she excitedly played with her toys.
"Raggedy man to the rescue!" Amy shouted. "Hurry Rory! He has to fly in the police box!"
Rory flew the box in his hands around and Amy giggled, chasing after him, doll in hand. She pushed Rory over, sending him rolling down the hill, leaving Amy and the Tardis at the top of the hill. Rory felt a surge of fear as he rolled down the hill. Just before he slammed his eyes shut he saw a red flower.
Rory's descent became slower and slower until he stopped rolling at someone's feet. He frowned, untangled his lanky body and looked up.
He immediately recognized the women before him, her golden hair in lovely waves, as if she had just unbraided it after a long while. Her eyes were slowly returning to a brown hue and her hands were cool to touch.
"Rose!" Rory exclaimed. Rose smiled.
"Rory Williams," Rose replied in delight. Rory clumsily got to his feet, only to trip over himself and fell over a roman helmet with red frills. Rose chuckled and helped Rory get to his feet. She knelt down, brushed off Rory's clothes. She picked up the helmet and placed it on his head. It didn't quite fit and lay crooked on Rory's head.
"There we are. What's Rory the Roman up to?"
Rory blushed and tried to straighten his helmet.
"Amelia and I are playing a game," he said. Rose got down, laying in the grass. Rory laid down too, feeling the cool blades greet his skin.
"Amelia, huh? What's she like?" Rose's tone was mildly suggestive but Rory didn't notice. He was only eight.
"She's my friend. She has red hair like fire and she's bossy," Rory explained. Rose laughed.
"I had a bossy friend who always wanted to be ginger," Rose recalled. Rory looked at her with a sideways look. It was one of the few personal things she had said about herself. "I loved- love him."
"Is that what it's like to be in love?" Rory asked. "To enjoy being bossed around?"
Again Rose laughed.
"Rory, you're young. Don't worry about being in love yet. You'll know if and when you are in love with someone."
"Rory!" Amelia called from up the hill. "Rory where did you go?"
Rose sat up and looked down at Rory.
"You should get back to Amelia," she said, running her fingers through Rory's hair. Rory reached up and touched Rose's golden hair.
"But you just got here," Rory whined. "I can't forget you again."
Rose stood, lifting Rory up. He picked his helmet that fell off when he laid down and put it back on his head.
"Rory, I'll be back. I promise I'll be back okay? It won't be long now I'm sure."
Rory let his sadness remain apparent, and even though it was clear Rose was sympathetic Rory knew she wouldn't stay.
"I'll miss you Rose," Rory whispered, burying his face into her legs.
"No you won't," she replied and in a flash of golden light she was gone. Rory wondered why he'd been at the bottom of the hill so long and ran back to Amy.
Rory got home and he immediately knew that Rose was there. There was something different about the air in the house or something but he knew she was there, he just knew.
"Rose?!" He darted up the stairs, and collided into her body. He hugged her tightly and then pulled back grinning. "I have so much to catch you up on!"
He backed off a little and began to dig in his book bag, fishing out a piece of paper. He held it up for Rose to see.
"A one hundred on my spelling test-"
He went back into his bag.
"A book on nursing- I think I wanna be a nurse Rose!"
He got back into his bag again.
"And my homework for the night, already completed! Isn't that awesome?!"
Rose chuckled with a comforting smile on her face.
"That's great Rory, seems like you are doing awesome."
"I am! All A's on my report cards, Amy and I-"
"Amy?" Rose interrupted, taking a seat on Rory's bed.
"Amelia, she bit a bunch of therapists and now she goes by Amy."
Rose laughed and patted the bed beside her. Rory sat next to her and beamed up at her.
"Amy and I are still really close friends, along with this girl named Melody- We call her Mels- she plays pranks on the teacher all the time it's crazy!"
He stood up again and began to show her some more papers, pictures he had drawn of her and Mel and Amy and him and his mom and his dad. After a few minutes of it Rose had to laugh in order to even get Rory to pause.
"Slow down soldier! Why are you talking so fast?" She asked. She grasped his shoulders with her hands and gave him a comforting look. The smile on his face disappeared and he sighed.
"You've been gone for-" He scrunched his face up. "Two years? I want you to be around all the time but you aren't and I have to tell you two years worth of information in a few minutes."
A tear ran down Rory's face and he looked away from Rose.
"Why aren't you around more? Do you not like me?"
Rose got off the bed and knelt in front of him. She gave him a comforting smile and began to glow a little. Rory let himself get taken over by Rose's comforting golden light and reflected the smile back to him.
"Rory Williams, you are my best friend," Rose said. "I can't control when I get to see you, no matter how much I want to be there for everything I can't. I will be here when I can though so instead of rushing the time we have together just try your best to love it okay?"
Rory's eyes ran with tears.
His vision grew blurry and he buried his face into Rose's chest.
"Okay, okay. I'm glad you're here. Please don't leave yet, please."
And Rose didn't. She simply stayed with Rory for hours until she could manage to coax Rory to bed. Even then she had to tell him a total of three stories from her travels with the Doctor in order to coax him to sleep. Rory fought sleep like he fought the plague but eventually Rose's eyes glowed gold and he was lulled off to sleep.
Rory was at school when Rose walked into his classroom.
She was wearing a different outfit than the last few times that he had seen her. Clean jeans and a clean shirt. Her hair was in tight curls and her eyes were big and confused. Rory stood up at his desk instantly, in the middle of his teacher talking about rhetorical analysis in The Great Gatsby. Rose looked at him, still confused. Her eyebrows pressed together and she looked around the classroom wildly.
"Ma'am? Ma'am what's wrong? What are you doing here?" Mrs. Smith asked. The entire class returned their attention to Rose who looked up at the teacher in concern.
"Have you guys seen a boy, a young boy named-"
"Rory!" The teacher interrupted Rose. Everyone's attention shifted to Rory who was still standing and staring at Rose. Rose looked confused.
"Rose," he breathed. He moved out from behind his desk and hugged Rose tightly. "Rose, Rose."
Rose pushed Rory back, Rory was Rose's height now, they could see eye to eye.
"How long has it been? How old are you?"
She looked heartbroken, sad that she had missed something big.
"16, it's been five years. Five years."
Rose rubbed her arm.
"That's strange, a large leap in the amount of time of which I have seen you… Did anything major happen?" As she spoke she got more frantic. All Rory could do was shrug and shake his head.
"I mean-" He interrupted himself in order to shuffle his feet, in embarrassment. "I guess, I guess I discovered something pretty significant about myself while you were gone but I don't see how-"
Rose gave Rory a confused look and he sighed and looked to the side in annoyance.
"Fine! Okay, so I'm sorta in love with Amy but-"
"The replacement of me as one of the most important women in your life confused the energy that's tying me to you."
Rose's eyes began to glow, she seemed determined to fix what had gone wrong.
"There's no way for me to make my visits sooner but I should be able to get the energy to recognize Amy as a separate person then me and therefore to allow us more regular intervals in time- in theory that is."
"Just like that? You didn't even notice?!" Rory snapped.
"Time is different between us," Rose replied. She ran her fingers through his hair and gave him a comforting look. "What's been five years for you has been a week or so for me."
Rory narrowed his eyebrows at Rose.
"Is that why you don't… why you don't age?"
Rose gave him a short smile and even without that average Rose golden comforting light Rory felt assured that she was telling the truth.
"Not fully," she replied. "But yeah. I mean we both know I have magic but I can prove it for next time."
Rose looked around, grabbed a pen and dragged it's point across her arm. Rory's eyes widened and he lunged forward.
"What are you doing?!"
Rose's arms began to bleed and he shook his head quickly.
"This is bad, why would you do this to yourself! You could- well, I don't know what it could do but it could probably be bad but we should-" Rory began to ramble. Rose smacked Rory's hand away.
"When you are a doctor-" She stopped immediately, her eyes shutting tightly for a long moment, it seemed like she was in pain but for some reason Rory thought something else was bothering her. "When you have a medical license, then you can start nursing my body. Not until then."
Rory wrinkled his nose.
"I don't have to have a medical license to know that's bad."
"It's proof!" Rose protested. "Next time I see you, this will still be fresh and you'll believe me."
"You hurt yourself to prove-"
Rory spun around.
"Am I the only one-"
He froze. His entire class was frozen, his entire class wasn't moving. Rory turned to look at the clock on the wall.
"You froze time!" Rory blurted.
"I hardly froze it," Rose replied. "I really just removed us from the current time stream in one small millisecond-"
She stopped when she noticed the look on Rory's face.
"Okay, if it comforts you then sure I froze time but that's really just incorrect."
"What do you do when you aren't around for me?" Rory asked. Rose for once looked a little timid.
"You remember that guy I told you about? The one I had adventures with?"
"I… I'm trying to find him," she admitted. "He was my everything. The reason I am who I am today is because of him. I need him in my life and he isn't around. I have to find him."
Rory nodded slowly and then looked down at his hands.
"If that wound starts to get infected-"
Rose laughed softly and clutched Rory's hand.
"As I said it's only going to be a few days for me till I see you next. You can treat the wound if you are that worried about it."
Rory have her a tentative smile.
"Maybe I will."
Rose chuckled and then sighed.
"I can't hold this time bubble forever, and your class can't notice a large time change. So-"
"You have to go."
Rose gave Rory a serious look and nodded.
"You know I'll be back as soon as I can."
Rory sighed and gave Rose a sad smile.
"It's okay Rose. Go on, get out of here. Find your friend."
Rose smiled back at Rory.
"Don't worry I will."
She gave Rory a short wave and then ran out of the classroom, disappearing in a flash of golden light.
Rory got in a lot of trouble for ignoring the teacher when she told him to take a seat, so much so that even Melody gave him a high five for it.
He wondered why he had felt so sad afterwards.
Rory ran his fingers through his hair.
He had so many things to worry about.
Tests, debts, Amy and then his worries were gone.
All Rose had to do was appear and Rory felt even more comforted than he had before.
Rose smiled at him.
"Four and a half days."
"Let me see that arm," Rory instructed. Rose rolled her eyes playfully and allowed Rory to see it.
"Is it bad Doctor Williams?" She teased with a tongue in tooth smile. Rory laughed and reached into his pocket for rubbing alcohol and a band aid.
"First off, it's Nurse Williams. Secondly, it isn't but I'm afraid it'll be infected."
Rory poured the rubbing alcohol over Rose's wounded, and she hissed a second in pain. He then dabbed it clean with the corner of his scrubs and put a band aid over it.
"You are lucky it isn't worse."
"You're going to school to be a nurse?" Rose asked, eyeing Rory in his all of his college-student-dying-from-a-heavy-workload-glory.
"I'm in school for it," he admitted. Rose whooped excitedly for him and jumped up.
"Rory Williams! Saving people since the day he was born. You are going to be just wonderful!"
"If I pass the test I have tomorrow," Rory corrected glumly. "It's going to be difficult, and, well, I don't know if I can do it Rose."
Rose chuckled and shrugged playfully.
"I'll help you," she stated, with a confidence that surprised Rory. He blinked.
Rory smiled at Rose, and she smiled right back at him. They spent hours together, over dinner, over coffee, over textbooks. Studying, talking, getting to know one another better and better. Rory had never been more confident in his skills as a nurse.
When he woke up the next morning after passing out at nearly 6 in the morning, he wondered how come he felt so rested, he wondered how he knew all of the material he had studied so well, and he wondered why there were two coffee cups on his table instead of just one.
Rory saw Rose for once before she saw him. He smiled wildly and ran over to her. He gave her a tight hug and suddenly it was like he was a kid again.
"Four years, but I don't even care because I have so much to tell you! So Amy and I-"
"I can't stay."
Rose stood up sharply and began walking blindly away from Rory. He frowned deeply.
"Rose? Rose are you okay?"
She was bleeding in various parts of her body, looking like she was about to pass out.
"I'm fine, I just can't stay they are after me Rory."
"Rose, can we not play the pronoun game right-"
Rose grasped Rory by the arms and gave him a comforting look.
"I'm so sorry Rory but if I stay it'll just put you in danger. I'll be fine… I might be fine, just- I'm sorry."
And then she was gone.
If Rory could remember why he had run from Amy to confront a young woman she had never seen before he would never be able to explain it without worrying the Doctor.
But then again he couldn't remember.
Maybe that was for the best.
Rory sat outside of the wedding hall, drumming his fingers over the kitchen counter. He was happy, so absolutely, completely happy.
Except there was something bugging him. Something he was forgetting.
Rory went over the details in his head, again and again.
He had looked over the guest list till he had memorized the it backward, forward, and in alphabetical order but he couldn't pinpoint what was wrong.
What had he been missing?
Amy walked over to him and gave him a kiss.
"Come on, Mr. Pond. The Doctor has an adventure for us."
Again that pull. Something was missing. Rory could feel that he was missing something very, very important to him. But what?
Rory shook his head, dismissing the thoughts.
It was probably nothing. If he couldn't remember it, how important could it really be?
Rory was in the middle of a fight with Amy. A really big fight with Amy.
He stormed out. He was done, he was done with all this.
He was at a bar, drinking- drinking a lot- when suddenly she was there.
"Leave me alone," he snapped. "Leave me alone, I don't know want anything to do with you."
She touched him.
"No! NO!" Rory shouldered away her hand. "Absolutely not! You didn't come to my wedding!"
"Rory, you know I can't-"
"Can't what? Can't control when you get to see me, how often you do? On the most important day of my life you weren't there for me. Out of all the people who showed up, I wanted you to be there the most and you weren't leave me alone!"
Rose sighed, and finally Rory looked at her.
She had fresh cuts on her face, she looked like she hadn't slept in days and like she'd been through absolute hell.
"If that's what you want. I'll go."
She disappeared in a flash of golden light and for the second time that day Rory felt like absolute shit.
"Alright, so it's possible that I was wrong."
"Wrong?!" Amy demanded. She grabbed Rory's arm and also grabbed the Doctor's. "What do you mean wrong?"
"So this isn't exactly the planet Bane, it's the planet of the Bane. All too easy to mix up," the Doctor said, his voice a little bit too high. He was nervous. He laughed.
"Okay, I just have to- Any weaknesses-"
He was falling short. Around them, the large greenish pink slimey octopus creatures grew closer. They were gnarly. They were angry. The Tardis was too far away from them. There was no easy escape. They were doomed.
"It's going to be okay," the Doctor assured, but he wasn't sure. He wasn't really sure. They were going to die. They were definitely going to die and all Rory could think about was roses. Why roses?!
The Bane, as the Doctor called them grew closer and closer. Their tentacles reaching through the air. It was disgusting, it was terrifying.
"Rose…" Rory whispered. His words were speaking without him really understanding it.
"Rose?!" The Doctor snapped. "We're about to die-" He gestured wildly to the surrounding Bane. "And you are talking about flowers?!"
"No, no… Rose." Finally his brain was catching up with his obsession with a red thorny flower. "She did it! She really is out to protect me. She didn't come to my wedding because she couldn't."
Amy gave Rory a weird look and then touched him with her other hand.
"Mr. Pond? You're scaring me," Amy whispered. Rory gave Amy a comforting smile.
"You've always had the Doctor, just like Rose has always been there for me, and she can save us. I only remember her when I need her or she's around and is a bit overdue on visiting me!"
Rory felt inexplicably warm and he could feel hands on his shoulders, that weren't Amy's.
"Rory? You alright? You feel frantic," Rose said. Rory turned to Rose, glad to see the gold in her eyes. He could feel that everything was going to be okay.
"I'm in danger," he stated, entranced with Rose. Rose looked amused.
"I noticed... The Bane."
Rose's eyes began to glow more intensely.
"Rory Pond on another planet against an alien race."
A pulse of golden light was sent out and all the Bane fell to the floor limp.
"What did you do?!" The Doctor screamed, somewhat faintly. As if something was wrong with him. Rory turned to him, he was on his knees clutching his hearts through his chest with a pained expression on his face.
"They're only unconscious," Rose replied, her eyes never leaving Rory. "All alien life is currently."
"He's an alien," Rory said, only a little concerned at the news. Amy ran at the Doctor, catching him as he officially fell unconscious. Rose's gold aura flickered and her feet touched the ground. She looked almost scared like nothing Rory had ever seen in her before.
"He's…." The gold in her was gone now, her features becoming sharper and more defined. "He's alien?"
Rory nodded, looking a tad confused.
Amy laid the Doctor down on the ground, a tear running down her face. She stood up sharply and wiped the tear off her face. Then she stormed up to Rose, her body setting off Rory's danger alerts.
"What did you do to the Doctor?" Amy demanded. Rory went to defend Rose but stopped when a wrecked sob left her lips. He looked at her, mouth open. She was crying. She was smiling brightly but real tears were running down her cheeks.
"Did you say Doctor?" She brushed past Rory and Amy and walked drearily towards him. "The Doctor?"
Rose knelt down by the Doctor's unconscious body. She hesitated a moment and then took his head, breathing in relief at the touch.
"My new new new Doctor."
She closed her eyes and began to glow again, brighter than he'd ever seen her glow. Then he was back, the Doctor shot up, jumping away from Rose and the golden light.
Rory ripped his eyes towards the Doctor.
"Who is that?"
The golden light began to fade and all Rory could do was smile.
"That's the golden girl, Doctor." Rory stated. "'High in a white palace, the king's daughter, the golden girl.'"
Rose stepped out of the light and for once she looked more human than Rory had ever seen. Even that air of warm comfort she usually wore wasn't there. Somehow she was in blue jeans again and a pink zip-up hoodie with a relieved look on her face. For once she wasn't that golden girl that Gatsby thought was his but still he couldn't really get a good grasp on her. Rose was suddenly just as approachable as any other girl.
Rory looked over to the Doctor. He looked a bit like he might cry.
"But… That's impossible," the Doctor whispered. He staggered to Rose as if he couldn't get a grip on what was right in front of him. "It can't be-."
He touched her.
They beamed at one another and hugged tightly. The Doctor, he was actually crying and so was Rose. They began murmuring to one another their eyes filled with glee and tears. Amy rounded Rory and stood next to him, arms crossed over her chest.
"What's going on? Why are they acting like those girls in those 'boyfriend returns from the war' videos?"
"They used to travel together," Rory murmured. "Rose, when I was a kid, told me stories about this friend she had. This friend who loved her very much and she loved him too, but they got separated. They got seperated for a very long time. She was looking for him. She's been looking for him for as long as I've known her."
Amy looked at him.
"When you were a kid?"
"And you never told me?!" The Doctor exclaimed. Both Rose and the Doctor were staring at him. Rose smiled and kissed the Doctor's cheek, startling him into looking at her.
"It was my fault. I didn't want Rory to miss me or for the information that he knew me to one day put him in danger. I didn't know why my time hops were tied to Rory so I made it so he wouldn't be able to remember me until he needed or saw me," Rose explained. The Doctor smiled a bit dumbly and Rose glanced back at him.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Rose asked, a large stupid smile on her face as well.
"I missed you," the Doctor said. "I've missed a lot of people the last couple hundred years of my life, I've missed them a lot for a very long time and I almost never get the people I missed back."
Rose took the Doctor's hand.
"I'm back Doctor and I don't plan on leaving this time."
Their lips pressed together, as Rose sent a blast of golden light towards Rory. He stepped back at the force of the blast and then placed his hands on his chest.
"What was that?" He asked, a bit frantic. Rose pulled away from the Doctor's lips.
"You won't forget me now," she replied softly. "You'll always remember me. I finally found what I was looking for."
The Doctor smiled at Rose and she smiled back.
Amy leaned towards Rory her eyes narrow.
"Should we be concerned?" She asked. "The Doctor's never spoken of this girl before, and all of a sudden she's the long lost love of his life?"
Rory watched as the Doctor and Rose whispered quickly to one another. He tilted his head and then smiled.
"No we shouldn't. Look at them. They're happy. Let's let them be happy," he said. Amy looked at him and then smiled.
"Oh, you are getting sappy Mr. Pond."
Rory smiled at his wife.
"I guess I am."
It was rare for Rory to feel any sort of joy or hope when he was with the Doctor, especially when on another planet but for once Rory could see that the future was bright. The Doctor and Rose were happy, and everything was going to be alright.
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