Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 1918
Author's Summary: They meet ten years later, and perhaps by chance—but Ace knows that she won't let this chance simply pass her by. And so she doesn't.
It's chicken soup for the soul.
In canon, Mel goes off with Glitz and who knows what happens to Ace. This fic picks up ten years later. It doesn't try to explain what happened in the interval, only that Mel is back on Earth now and Ace is running a charity. They meet by chance. Then they keep meeting on purpose.
This is a beautiful bit-by-bit romance, which grows organically with Mel and Ace slowly coming to the conclusion that all of their friends, and neighbours, and co-workers reached almost from the beginning. It's Ace appreciating Mel for her voice and crazy hair, not in spite of them. It's Mel solving problems. It's Ace making explosions. It's afternoons at the movies and walks in the park. It's the small moments which don't seem significant on their own, but, cumulatively, have more power than all the Nitro-9 in the universe. It's two people falling in love and it's beautiful.
“Did I ever tell you about the time we got stuck in a gang-controlled flat division?” Mel says quietly, gazing up at the stars.
“No. Was that after the wrecked camping trip?”
“No, that was afterwards. Before was that whole scientific mess with the lizard people and the Rani.”
“Can't say that I met her. Do you know what happened to her?”
“Nope,” Mel sighs, taking another pretzel. “She wasn't all too pleasant, either. The Doctor said that she'd dressed up like me just to trick him. Stupid voice and crazy hair and leg warmers and all that. Apparently she was very convincing.”
Ace frowns. “I don't think that your voice is stupid. Never did.”
“Oh? My hair was a mess, though,” Mel admits, with a laugh. “Then again, it was the 80's. Those were a mess, believe me.”
“I always like your hair. All the curls.” Ace reaches over and takes a ginger curl–of course, not quite as bouncy as it used to be–and pulls gently, so that it bounces once or twice. “Still do.”
“You know, I don't think that I've ever seen your hair down,” Mel observes, reaching around Ace to untie the tight braid with tapered fingers. She plays with it a little, combing out the strands until they're nice and neat. “There. See, I think your hair looks nice, too.”