Clara Oswald was eleven years old, it was currently 12:37 AM, and she was unable to fall asleep. Summertime had rolled around, and she was out of school until September. Most of her friends had gone off on a vacation somewhere, so she was left out here, in this entirely unnatural heat wave. They didn't normally get this weather, summer weather was normally mild, bearable, sometimes a bit rainy but not like this. This was ridiculous. It was hot enough that she'd been lying on her bed for the past four hours trying to sleep, and couldn't.
Sighing and rubbing at her eyes in the hopes they would stop feeling gritty (if she was going to be awake, she wanted to be mildly comfortable and awake) and wandered over towards the window, which was open in the hopes of tempting in a nonexistent breeze. Clara enjoyed watching the stars – it was her mother's tales of traveling and adventure that did it. Yes, there were so many amazing places on Earth, but the stars... So far away, so beautiful, and entirely unreachable.
Oh. A small frown came to her lips, probably rather comical on her childish features, but nonetheless, it was genuine. Stars were entirely unreachable, but that one over there looked like it was falling. No, it was falling. That was a streak of light, and it was falling towards the woods about fifteen minutes away from her house.
She wasn't stupid. She did know that a shooting star was actually just a meteorite burning up in the atmosphere and it would almost certainly disintegrate before it hit the ground, but this actually looked like a falling star, a ball of light growing bigger by the second and heading towards that forest. This wasn't a meteorite, and she couldn't sleep.
Of course, that meant she probably shouldn't go looking for it, but she went for walks in the woods all of the time during the day. But that was during the day, and her mother or her father were always with her... but she could still walk there. She knew the way.
She hopped off the chair next to the windowsill and looked back at the clock. 12:39 AM. Mum and Dad would be both asleep by this point, almost definitely. They had air conditioning in their room, so of course they could sleep comfortably... There was a fan downstairs, but the only electrical outlet in her room was behind the headboard of her bed, so the cord wouldn't fit, leaving her in stifling humidity. Weather really needed to stop going through its rebellious phase and go back to normal.
The door was already open (try and let the house air out, weather needed to stop) so Clara was able to slip down the hallway and down the stairs. She grabbed her water bottle out of the fridge, pulled on a pair of sneakers, found her dad's flashlight, and was out the front door by 12:48.
Once she started walking, she found it was nicer outside. There was a little bit of a breeze, which felt glorious. She looked up at the sky once more at a faint whistling noise, and broke into a run when the streak plummeted into the trees with a loud crash. That turned out to be a bad idea, as there wasn't that much of a breeze and it was still hot outside and she didn't run that much to begin with, so she slowed to a walk and made her way through the empty streets until she was in the woods, and then she turned on the flashlight and walked towards where the smell of smoke was coming from.
Admittedly, she was scared. This wasn't a smart idea in the first place, but she was here... She should go back. Except she could see something through the shadows, almost, but she should really go back.
Clara turned the flashlight off and crept silently forwards until she was at the edge of a clearing, peering out from behind a tree. Her eyes widened.
There was an angel lying in the grass.
It was a little bit taller than a normal person, from what she could guess, probably a man, but he looked tired and hurt. He had wings, too, big white ones with feathers and they were really big. The clearing was twenty feet across and if she took a couple steps forward she could touch the wingtips. In the moonlight he was glowing, although with the amount of light it looked as though he would glow anyway even without any light.
But he looked hurt, too. He was face-down, only sort of breathing, and he was shaking, too. Clara bit her lip. She should help him, right? Her mother always said that if somebody was hurt, then somebody else should help them.
She stepped out from behind the tree and hesitantly walked forwards until she was standing next to the angel's head, and knelt down.
"Hello?" she asked quietly. "Can you hear me?"
The angel's eyes flew open and he jerked away, wings flaring outwards like he was going to try and fly or hit her with them. Clara shrieked and scrambled backwards, cringing and squeezing her eyes shut.
When nothing happened, she opened them again.
It looked like the angel had tried to fly away, but he was too hurt. He was breathing heavily, and kneeling on all fours. His wings were more curled around him, now, but she could still see his face. His eyes were blue, and he didn't have any hair, but it only made him seem more powerful, more mysterious. He was also wearing a white sort of robe, but it looked as though it had been shredded.
"Hello?" she repeated again, quietly, not moving. "My name's Clara."
The angel just looked at her warily, but he wasn't trying to hurt her, so she started scooting forwards.
"I'm eleven," she continued, now in the middle of the clearing. "Are you an angel?"
The word was loud inside her head, and the angel- the person's mouth hadn't moved, but he was the one who spoke. He had to have been.
"Okay. Are you hurt?" There wasn't a response this time, but she was almost in front of him, now. "You looked like you were hurt."
"I am not."
She nodded, now sitting directly in front of him, and stopped moving. "What's your name?"
"A leaf is on a tree, yet it is not a tree."
She frowned. "That doesn't make sense."
"The wind blows itself, it is not blown."
"Are you hurt?"
Now the angel seemed confused. ...He said he wasn't an angel, but he really did look like one.
"That does not matter."
"Yes it does!" She nodded emphatically. "If you're hurt, someone should help you. That's what my mom always says."
"What time is it?" she asked, wanting him to clarify. He still didn't answer, so she guessed he wasn't a very talkative angel, but it wasn't a no. "One o'clock in the morning."
Oh, he wanted the date. "July 7th, 1996!" she stated proudly, happy that she knew the answer.
"Yup. Are you sure you aren't an angel?"
"Why does the mouse not cower at the lion?"
Clara shrugged, just letting the angel say the strange things.
"Do you need help to fly back to heaven? 'Cause I know somewhere you can stay until you aren't hurt and then you can fly again when you're better."
The angel seemed even more confused now, but finally he reached out and took her hand.
Clara went to visit the angel every day. There was an old cabin in the woods that nobody used, and Tommy from the ninth grade swore up and down that it was haunted, but Clara knew it wasn't because her dad had told her that it was just that nobody lived there anymore. If nobody lived there, the angel could stay until he could fly again.
She left him her water bottle, too, that night, since he was probably thirsty and she needed to get back home. But she said she'd come tomorrow.
The angel was still there on the second day, and he had drank the water. Clara had told her mother that she was going to Nina's house, who lived just down the street so she could walk there when she wanted. Of course, she was going to visit the angel, but her mother didn't need to know that.
She brought him food and more water, since it was still a little hot outside (although cooler than it was yesterday) and talked animatedly to him while he either remained silent or gave cryptic responses.
The third day she went back again, but this time with the first aid kit out of the bathroom. Her mother watched her go in amusement, smiling at her daughter's imagination. The angel didn't let her come near him with it, so she left it there for him.
After a week, he finally let her come within five feet again (he hadn't since the first night) and spoke in a way that made sense to the young girl.
"You are kind."
She smiled. "Thank you, angel."
"I am not."
"But you haven't said what you are!" she argued. "You look like an angel, and I don't know your name, so I'm gonna call you an angel."
"That's your name?"
Clara smiled again. "See! That was pretty easy. How did you get hurt, Kosh?"
"I fled from the shadows."
"But shadows can't hurt you..."
"Not shadows. The shadows." She still didn't get it, but nodded anyway. "I fell here. You are kind."
"Thank you. Do you think you'll be able to fly, soon? Or are you gonna stay here?"
Kosh didn't say anything else, even when she left and waved goodbye.
When she came back on the eighth day, Kosh was gone, but her water bottle was left on the table, and there was a maple leaf underneath it. No goodbyes, no more words, the angel... Kosh... was just gone. And that was that.
So I basically have this headcanon where Kosh somehow escapes from the Shadows and has a reason for not telling anybody he's still alive. I mean, there wasn't a body, just his suit. And technically there was a piece of his soul inside Sheridan, but maybe it was like a piece of his power that he gave to him before he ran.
I just really like Kosh, okay? And Vorlons in general. So here we have a young Clara meeting her 'angel', Kosh, outside of his encounter suit. More will be explained in the next chapter. First venture into the B5 fandom, so lemme know what you think!