timeboundpythia: (Doctor Who River Pensive)
[personal profile] timeboundpythia
Title: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Author: [livejournal.com profile] timeboundpythia
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Blanket for Series 5 & 6, particularly 'Day of the Moon' & 'A Good Man Goes to War'.
Summary: She doesn’t know where her parents are.
Notes: None.

She doesn’t know where her parents are.

The ceiling in her bedroom is scattered with glow in the dark stars, misshapen and arranged with a precision none but she can comprehend a reason for. Each night, in the moments before she sleeps, she traces different paths through the glowing green specks; imagines one scenario or another. Sometimes she’s a part of them. Sometimes she isn’t. She always makes sure to be mentioned though; it wouldn’t do for her not be thought of in these moments. They must think of her. They must.

Mostly, she does as she’s told. Everyone has trouble keeping up with her sometimes and it drives her a little crazy, but she’s told again and again that it isn’t her fault; that she is what she is and it’s to be expected. She’s told she’s allowed to quietly excel, but mustn’t draw attention to herself. She must not create a scene, because there isn’t going to always be someone there to try and fix the messes she makes. She isn’t quite sure why they tell her that, because it seems that everyone around her is always creating scenes and things are always getting broken and fixed. She understands a great deal more than she lets on.

She has been taught well, but it is more than frustrating to know that she cannot share and cannot use more than half of what she knows; what she can do. Understanding will come when she is older, they say, but she is not older now and the part of her that wants to be a child rages against the little grown-up she has become in too few years.

She waits. She eyes the gap in the crowd ahead of her and wonders if she could make it through and run, run, run all the way... home? Her routine is getting old and she is struggling at playing the normal little girl, when her mind is full of stars and equations and blurred images in technicolor that just won’t snap into focus. Grey eyes scan the people before her, searching for the red-headed figure she knows should be there.

Instead, she finds blonde curls and an adoring smile meant for her alone and she breaks through the crowd and runs right into the outstretched arms of the woman she so rarely sees; who always tells her that she’s safer here than in her arms.

Her grandmother steps out from behind her mother, looks across the playground and meets the gaze of the teacher on duty, assuring them with a single nod that this woman is no stranger. She doesn’t notice much more than that, too busy clinging tight to her mother, who is never quite the same each time she sees her. Murmurs of Stormcage reach her and she finds an image to go with them, inadvertently shared by her mother, who tries to drag it back before she can see the rain and the bare walls and the prison bars. Is that where she is when she’s gone and not with...

“I don’t know. Old Dad’s always the last to get a hug around here...”

She almost trips in her haste to reach him, her mother’s laughter ringing in her ears.

“That’s only if you don’t throw yourself at the rest of us first,” her grandmother tells him, with exasperation that sounds so false that she doesn’t know why she tries it.

“Really, Pond. I would’ve thought I’d trained you all well enough by now.”

How long will it last this time? How long will she be allowed to be herself? Hours? Days? Months? Where will they take her? What will they do?

How long will it be before she has to go back to playing pretend?

Hurry up, she tells herself. Grow up. I don’t want to be little anymore.

She hears her parents’ minds whisper the contrary, pleading with her to stay little and safe and out of the thoughts of all that’s out there. They know it’s only a matter of time.

Time, she thinks, is something that she’s going to have an awful lot of.

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February 2016

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