Chapter Three

Clara listened in awe to the Doctor's story. If the Doctor hadn't told her from the outset that his story was true, she would have found it too fantastical to believe. They rounded a bend in the path and saw a wooden bench off to the side. Next to it was a Victorian looking black lamppost with an electric light in a glass lantern at the top. These lampposts were scattered along the path, providing some light for them. The Doctor sat down on the bench and Clara sat beside him while he finished his story. He was telling her about a married couple called Amy and Rory that had been banished to the past because of the angels. When he was talking about them, Clara saw the anger resurface. She was horrified that these two people had been taken from her friend in such an abrupt and callous manner. When the Doctor finished the story, he fell silent and Clara watched while he turned his eyes skyward and gazed up at the moon, his eyes misted as he stared at it. Clara put her hand on his and he glanced at her and smiled fondly.

"I'm sorry you lost them," Clara said when the Doctor returned his eyes to the heavens. "I can see why you're so angry at them. But you read the note from Amy, they ended up together, at least that's good news."

The Doctor nodded but said nothing. The Doctor had never mentioned Amy or Rory before but she sensed that they were the first in a long line of people the Doctor had lost over the years. She moved closer and wrapped her hand around him, trying to comfort him. The Doctor turned his head to smile at her and then froze as he gazed over her shoulder. Clara frowned, turned her head and gasped. Ten feet from them was the angel from the plinth. It was staring at them passively, her arms down at her sides. The Doctor got up while Clara continued to stare at the angel.

"Damn you," the Doctor growled at the angel. "Damn you all to Hell!"

"Doctor!" Clara yelled when the Doctor raised his clenched fist and ran at it.

"Damn you! You bastards took them from me!" the Doctor yelled.

He stopped short of the angel, his fist still raised, his face twisted with rage as he stared at the passive angel.

"Doctor, don't use your fists on it, you'll break every bone in your hand!"

The Doctor paused for a moment and glanced at his upraised fist. He nodded and lowered it.

"She's right. I wouldn't break my little finger for you lot," he said to the angel. "For all I know, you had nothing to do with it. But still…damn you," he muttered.

Suddenly, the light beside the bench flickered and the Doctor stiffened when it suddenly went out.

"Clara, run!" he yelled.

But two seconds later, the light came back on and the Doctor frowned when the angel was still in the same spot but now her arm was raised and pointing over his shoulder. He turned sideways and gasped when he saw another angel was a few feet away from Clara. Clara had turned just in time to stop it and she was staring at it in horror while the angel tried to menace her with taloned fingers and fanged teeth.

"Doctor," Clara said, starting to turn her head around.

"No, keep your eyes on it. Don't blink, whatever you do," the Doctor said.

He gasped when the light suddenly went out again and he cried out for Clara to run, terrified he was about to lose someone else to the angels. But then the light came back on and the Doctor was shocked to see his angel had Clara's angel in a headlock while Clara's angel had her hand on the angel's arm in the act of trying to pry the arm away. The Doctor and Clara stared at the angels in silent shock.

"This angel…is she saving us then?" Clara said, pointing at the Doctor's angel.

"I…I think so," the Doctor said. "Perhaps we should take advantage of this moment and run!"

The Doctor told Clara to run while he kept his eyes on the angels. Clara glanced at him, looked at the angels and then ran back down the path. The Doctor walked up to the angels and gazed at the one protecting them.

"Why are you doing this?" the Doctor said. "You heard me, what I said. Is this a way of making amends?"

The angels were silent and the Doctor suddenly wished they had a way to communicate. He stiffened when the light went out again. He started to move but he felt a cold stone hand against his cheek and for a split second he imagined seeing Amy and Rory again as he was jolted back into the past. But the light came on again and the Doctor was stunned. The angel still had the other one in a headlock. The second angel was still struggling to get free with both hands on the angel's arm but the angel's free hand was now outstretched and her hand was on the Doctor's cheek. The Doctor looked at the angel's face and swore he saw a loving look on the angel's face. The Doctor didn't fully understand what was going on but he knew that this angel was protecting him and Clara.

"Thank you," the Doctor said. "Thank you for showing mercy to us."

Deciding not to press his luck, the Doctor slowly moved backward away from the angel, keeping his eyes on it. Trusting that the angel was truly protecting him, he spun around and ran pell mell away from the angel, not seeing the loving look or the tears that ran down the angel's face as she came to life, struggled with the other angel to prevent her from going after them and watched her son run towards the safety of his TARDIS.

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