river, pond; melody, song --Chapter Two

Fiction By Julie // 9/7/2011

This story is officially AU as of 'Let's Kill Hitler,' but I'm going to take a very close line on Melody/River's original development.


"That was my fault, really. I dropped the Ibonian crystal at the wrong moment-"

He presses his finger against her lips. "No. Do you know who this is?"

"I don't know! Just because she could pass for my reflection doesn't mean I have the faintest idea who she is." She turns to me. "Who are you, exactly?"

"They call me River Song."

"Yes, but who are you?"

"Melody Pond."

"That's my name. " Her face twists like a child smelling something nasty.

"And it's mine too. I can hear the TARDIS singing our name river song melody pond my child." She narrows her eyes; he glances in my direction. But I don't have time for this. I reach inside his jacket, pull out the stethoscope I knew I would I find, and press the diaphragm to my right heart. "Listen."

He nestles the buds in his ears as I slowly move it across my chest. After an infinite minute, he took out the buds. "River, listen."

She shakes her head, but he's already pressing it into her ears. I slid the cup across my chest again. Does she recognize the beat, the slightly stronger left heart and the whispering right? Finally, she yanks out the headset and tosses it to me. "Did Madame Kovarian send you?"

Her words slip out of my mouth. "Do you think it's that simple?"

"Did she send you or didn't she?"


"Don't get smart with me! "

"Right then, ladies, I think that it's time for that flying lesson, River, and you—" He glances in my direction.

"Melody will do."

"Melody, why don't you go find something else to wear? The wardrobe is the third door on the right after you take two lefts, but don't include—"

My lips curve into a smirk. "I know where it is."


The wardrobe is an enchanted forest, with shirts, dresses, vests, skirts, pants, robes, capes, cloaks, and costumes of wool, velvet, aluminum, cotton, polyester, furs, plaids and more. I automatically pull down a vest and jodhpur, but rehang them once I realize what I'm holding. We are more than twins—the least I can do to distinguish myself is choose a different outfit.

I find a blue skirt with orange and red strips around the bottom, culminating in two frenzied rows of knots and twists that might be called Celtic on Earth, but could be anything here. A simple azure top matches nicely. To complete the outfit, I yank out a pair of hiking boots. I've never had a chance to leisurely choose clothes before—all my previous 'shopping' excursions involved guns, robots, or beasts. Sometimes all three.

"Whenever you're done…er…Melody," His voice drifts into the room like a lost snowflake. "Come down to the art gallery. Try to get this mess sorted out."

I am about to ask for directions when her memories return. "I'm ready now." Expecting to find the rambling hallway, I nearly trip over his lanky legs. "Excuse me…I'm sorry."

"Did you just say 'Sorry?'"

I nod.

"River never says sorry." He bounces like a rubber band ball. "So why do you?"

"It's a long story, and I'd rather not tell it twice." I brush past him. "How exactly did you know to find me, Doctor?"

"Quite simple really, I was passing through on my way to the Morpheusian Cluster when a sub particle explosion signaled disturbance in the sigma radiation so I thought I'd come take a look. And I opened the doors and there was River about to have something very nasty done to her. I knew I'd never hear the end of it from her parents if I let their only child be tortured so I just pulled the TARDIS alongside the platform…"

I press my finger over his lips. "She told me you were a babbler."

"Madame Kovarian?" The words slip out.

"No," I wink as we enter the gallery. "River."

River is already there, staring at a section of the Bayeux Tapestry near the Aphrodite of Cnidus. In the far corner, I see Michelangelo's cupid beside Ruben's gory portrait of Judith Beheading Holofernes.

"So, River, Melody, what's this all about?" The Doctor sits on a oak bench, fiddling with a Fabergé Easter egg from the Romanov dynasty

"I don't know, ask her!" River waves her arms. "This wasn't my idea."

"And I didn't exactly ask to be a genetic duplicate of the most feared woman in thirty-two galaxies, five solar systems, and eight timestreams!"

"River asked if Madame Kovarian sent you. You said yes. And then you said no. What do you mean?"

"Isn't this spoilers for something?" River glares at him. "That's what you say, all the time when you don't want to answer me. "

"I haven't met her yet, I don't know how it plays out. I don't think she does either."

"Excuse me, but 'she' is right here. And her name is Melody."

"If it's not spoilers, get on with it." River turns back to the tapestry. "I have things to do."

"After your regeneration, Madame Kovarian lost track of you. She sent out as many men as she could, but the trail was cold. She followed rumors, ancient legends—anything that might have been a child weapon on the run. Then you met the Doctor for the first time." I take a deep breath, reminding myself to say 'you,' not 'I' or 'me.' This is her part of the story. "Kovarian rushed to the sight as soon as she could, but it was too late. Both of you were already gone. But on the floor, she found a tangled clump of curly hair."

River twists a curl around her forefinger.

"She extracted the DNA from that hair and made me. The methods she used kept your memories intact—she wanted it that way, said it would help me track you down."

"So she did send you!" River's voice makes me shrink back.

"River, let her finish," The Doctor warns.

"She told me my job was to take down two mighty warriors—the Doctor, and River. Then she gave me a vortex manipulator and shoved me off." My head had still been spinning, trying to accustom itself to a new body, like waking from one dream into another.

"How long ago was that?"

"One year." So strange to have the same question twice in one day. "I kept traveling, trying to find you, but the Guabancexians caught me first. They'd caught River earlier, but my appearance confused them. So they thought they'd play it safe and kill me too."

"Are you going to try to kill me now?" The Doctor asks off-handedly. "Because if you are, I should warn you that the TARDIS is in a state of temporal grace that disables weapons."

"If I wanted to kill you, would I have told you that?"

"I don't know, people do strange things sometimes."

I smirk at him. "You don't have a clue what you've gotten yourself into. This little pond is deeper than you think."


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