Little hands and little fingers but big eyes that sort of look up like pools and she is far too old to be so young. She isn't like the other Timetots of her age, she is smarter, she is more creative. She is a lot like you.
"Are you my Grandfather?"
There's always the chance that you could lie. Tell her that you didn't know her, that the blood that runs through her father's veins is the same that runs through yours---and, therefore, the same that runs through hers.
"You're Susan, then?" you ask, giving the small child a once-over, "Shorter than they said you were."
The other children back away at the harshness of your voice, but she just giggles. It's a rather adorable sound, now that you think about it, but really, she shouldn't be giggling. Far too unladylike an act. Should be studying you, tossing crude comments back at you---the way grown up Timelords do. Grown up Timelords, things you understand.
"That's your ship?" She points to the Greecian column that sits on the end of the yard.
"It's a Time and Relative---"
"Dimensions In Space machines, yes." She beams. "You should call it a TARDIS, for short. It's the initials."
You snort, "Clever."
She analyzes you for a moment, before deciding: "Your hair is all white."
"Oh, you noticed that, did you. They did say you were perceptive." There's no small amount of sarcasm in your voice.
She nods a bit, "They said you were a bully and I wouldn't like you, but they were wrong. You're like my daddy. I like you."
You turn your head to glance at the guardians behind you, but your words are still directed to the little girl you're speaking to.
"They said you wouldn't like me, hmmm?"
"Yes, Grandfather. They were wrong."
A smile cracks the lines and severity of your aged face, "Yes, well, they usually are."
Your hands are wizened, wrinkled, and yet they fit so well when holding the hand of a little girl who likes you.
Together you walk away from them, away from the study yards, and towards your ship. In a fit of immaturity, she turns and sticks her tongue out at the guardians.
"You should leave him alone, you big, stupid, bird-heads!"
You laugh, loud and hard, and it feels like an old friend you thought you'd lost. You murmur something along the lines of, Come along, Susan, and the two of you vanish into the Time and Relative Dimensions In Space machine---TARDIS.
She thinks she has to protect you---perhaps she's not as fragile as you thought.
She is fragile.
Her hearts beat quickly and with ever-so-human emotions coursing through each and every artery and vein. She's sixteen, now. She loves Earth a hell of a lot more than you do, but her love for it brings you back every time. You go to Earth, save it a bit, then the two of you leave. She is a constant companion, and your friend.
She wants to stay. But she won't tell you. She's tried to close off those human emotions, deny how much she loves this silly little human rebel she's met, but she does. Oh, she does. It's been so long since you've loved like she loves him and she won't stay with him because she doesn't want to hurt you.
You haven't allowed your hearts to love in a long, long time. But you love her, this elfish-faced teenager that's invaded your life. It's hardest now that you have to let her go.
The doors are locked, and you tell her over an intercom that you won't let her in, that she will stay on this desolate world because it is with a man she loves. And love, well, it's stupid and irrational, but it's the most important thing.
"One day," you say, and you're surprised that your voice isn't breaking, "I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties."
Tears run down her face, but you push on, letting her go, saying good-bye in the only way you know how---through a wall, with a universe between you and no way for her to make you stop.
"Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."
A breath, and you push the buttons, setting your ship, the thing that you will forever call the TARDIS in memory of her, into motion.
"Goodbye, Susan, goodbye, my dear."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 766