her-grandfather's-doctor-who

Imagine a young Weeping Angel who feels bad for the people they kill and wants to do other things with her life and go to a normal school with other kids instead of always running and sending people back in time.

One run-in with the Doctor, three failed attempts to communicate that she isn’t trying to kill him, four minutes of Clara silent and pensive, one leaf imbued with the temporal energy of all that should have been (”should tide you over until graduation”, the Doctor mutters wearily, eyes closed, developing a massive headache), five TARDIS rides and associated unexpected saving the world, seven arguments with the headmaster of an alien school in the future, and twelve hastily-written behavioral conduct and liability forms later, she gets her wish.

Enrollment goes down drastically, but her teacher, Mrs. Martha Harkness Williams, a no-nonsense human lady, simply instructs the class to close their eyes and plays icebreaker games with them, and then seats her in the back corner, telling her to let her know if she needs anything. They have an assembly about tolerance and forgiveness, and Alicia feels wanted for the first time in her life.

It doesn’t last long. Those first few months she is stared at constantly and teased, graffitied on even, and she takes to carrying around a bucket of paint with her. But worse than that are the stories angry students, and teachers, tell her. She can’t even do anything- once when she wasn’t stone, she zapped a bully to the principal’s office five minutes ago, and she is almost expelled. She cries in Mrs. Williams’s classroom during lunch period for a week after that.

One Adipose girl named Kalia corners her one day and tells her angrily about her mother and father lost to the Angels, and when she has screamed herself raw, she buries her face in her hands and cries.

The Angel, who has taken to calling herself Alicia (”noble” for her difference from the rest of her kind and an Earth name in honor of those who gave her this chance), watches the girl, heartbroken.

What Kalia does not expect is to hear Alicia say, “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry,” and begin crying too.

“Don’t look up, please,” Alicia says through her tears, and then the words flow out. “I hated it, the life I took. I wanted to throw up after when they told me where he’d gone, but I knew I’d just have to do it again if I did.”

“Who was it?” asks Kalia flatly.

“A human man,” says Alicia. “He had dark eyes and black greasy hair and wore long robes that smelled like chemicals. There was a battle. I was just-born and didn’t know what was happening- I only knew hunger. And then, he- he was gone.”

Kalia looks at Alicia, and she freezes, but the Adipose’s face only softens. Her eyes close again, and she asks, “They didn’t tell you?”

Alicia shakes her head.

“I- I would like to take your hand,” Kalia says shyly, “but-”

Alicia shoots her hand out as quick as she did with the man long ago, and grips Kalia’s little budding hand hard. Kalia keeps crying, and the next thing she knows she is surrounded by arms of soft stone.

Kalia teaches Alicia games and songs, and Alicia tells Kalia stories of places she has visited. Alicia takes to walking down the hall singing so that people know she’s coming and don’t look at her too long (by now, most of them afford her that courtesy). Kalia even helps Alicia look in a mirror, putting a piece of paper in front of the glass after a little while. Alicia thinks she looks beautiful, in a strange stone type of way.

At first they are both teased, but everybody knows Kalia’s story, and if Kalia can accept a Weeping Angel, well, that makes students and teachers alike think a little more. After the teasing come the tentative questions, and after that comes the awkward apologies for looking at her. But it gets better, and Alicia discovers she is very good at telling stories. She starts a shadow puppet theater, which is perfect because other people can look at her without looking at her, and lots of other kids join. She always voices the evil characters because her voice is best for it, but she gets to be the narrator too and she doesn’t complain, even if she does wish she could be the Doctor or Super

And when the Doctor comes to pick her up for summer vacation, she tells him that she already has plans to go home with Kalia, who is a resident of Adipose 3, and anyone the Doctor trusts, in her parents’ eyes, is trustworthy no matter who they are.

Kalia’s mother comes to get them, and Kalia calls shotgun which makes Alicia stick her tongue out, and Kalia and Alicia chatter the whole way home about how they want to be archaeologists just like Mrs. Williams’s aunt, who came to visit their class once and it was the coolest thing ever (well, it was Alicia who convinced Kalia because Dr. Song was so nice even though her parents had been taken by the Angels and talked a lot with Alicia about things she never thought she could talk to anybody about, and she was married to a past version of the Doctor, too!)

Alicia thinks that she might be the first ever Weeping Angel to be truly happy.

(The next year, when a Silent enrolls, Alicia befriends him instantly, determined (because it turns out if a Silent is looking at her she remembers him perfectly), and Kalia says that if you take the two of them, on average she looks at them both a normal amount!)