I don't have much time, son.
He was falling. Fleeing.
You were right. Don't blame yourself.
He was old and powerful, but a single Shadow was his equal, and a dozen of them were too much. A candle was no match for a hurricane.
It's too late for me. I'm sorry for what I did before.
He was old and powerful, he might have been able to fight them off, maybe, but he couldn't. So he fled. That was an option, so he took it.
I wish I could have done more for you. I've got to go now, John.
No. No, don't- don't leave-
He didn't know where he was. He ripped himself out of his encounter suit and most likely vaporized his quarters, and ran. And he didn't know where or when, he just needed to escape.
It's all right, son. See, as long as you're here, I'll always be here.
He hit the ground with enough force to kill a Narn, and it hurt. There was grass underneath him, he could hear everything within a mile and instantly knew he was on an Earth-like planet of some sort, and... pain. It was new, that feeling.
He tried to breathe, but the Shadows had made him weak. Just breathe-
"Hello? Can you hear me?"
The voice was quiet, gentle, and not at all to be perceived as a threat, but nonetheless he found himself leaping backwards into a defensive position – he wasn't afraid of the voice. Vorlons were above that.
There was nothing to be afraid of, truth be told. Crouched on the opposite side of the clearing, across the small crater caused by his impact, was a little human girl, very young, even by human terms. By Vorlon standards she was infantile at best.
"Hello?" the child repeated. "My name's Clara."
He didn't respond. There were no forests like this on the current Earth, at least not ones children could enter at a moment's notice. How far had he ran? The girl started to shuffle forwards warily. A brave child, then.
"I'm seven," she continued. "Are you an angel?"
The suggestion was preposterous enough he dignified it with a response.
Yes, truly a brave girl, if voices inside her head did not faze her.
"Are you hurt?" By this point she was in front of him, and tilting her head to one side curiously. "You looked like you were hurt."
Humans could not help him. "I am not."
"What's your name?"
Perhaps a cryptic reply would keep her thinking for a moment or two and grant him silence. "A leaf is on a tree, yet it is not a tree." In other words, my name has no meaning.
As expected, a frown passed over the child's face. "That doesn't make sense."
"The wind blows itself, it is not blown." Does anything make sense?
"Are you hurt?"
He stopped again at her words. He had told her this, answered this question already. "That does not matter."
"Yes it does!" She nodded for emphasis. "If you're hurt, someone should help you! That's what my mom always says."
He shook his head. "The time?" How far had he ran?
"What time is it?" The girl paused, and he just waited for a reply to his question. "One o'clock in the morning."
Not what he meant. "Year."
"Oh!" Her eyes lit up. "July 7th, 1996!"
"Are you an angel?" the girl asked again.
"Why does the mouse not cower at the lion?" Why aren't you afraid?
"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."
And for the first time in history, a Vorlon, outside of its encounter suit, accepted the offer of help from the human and took it by the hand.
Clara brought him to an old house, made of wood. He had not realized he had ran so far... it would take time to get back. She left him a container of water on the first night, told him she had to leave, and took off. It was an old, dilapidated shelter, drafty and repulsive... He drank the water with a grimace (water was not common on Vorlon), and waited until she returned the second day. She came with more food and more water, and talked at him for five very long hours until leaving him again in blessed silence. The food was not very good, the water passable, but he was alive.
On the third day she came with a primitive human medical kit, but his wounds were not something technology from his time could fix, and he refused to let her come close. She brought it back with her when she left, and on the fourth day came once more with food and water.
On the seventh day he let her come closer and looked down at her with the barest hint of compassion.
"You are kind."
He could have been found by someone that would have attempted to keep him captive, which wouldn't have worked, but it would have been far less pleasant. This child, instead, helped him, and for that he was rather grateful. Humanity... so complex.
Clara smiled. "Thank you, angel."
He wasn't... "I am not."
"But you haven't said what you are!" she pointed out. "You look like and angel, and I don't know your name, so I'm gonna call you angel."
He wasn't an angel. "Kosh."
The girl's eyes widened. "That's your name?"
"See, that was pretty easy!" she grinned. "How did you get hurt, Kosh?"
The child was too young to know.
"I fled from the shadows."
"But shadows can't hurt you-"
"Not shadows. The shadows. I fell here. You are kind."
He wanted to make her happy – he wasn't going to be staying very much longer. It wouldn't take much longer to recuperate until he could return to a time somewhere around his own.
"Do you think you'll be able to fly, soon?" she asked. So many questions. "Or are you gonna stay here?"
I will leave soon, child.
He didn't have the heart to tell her. He placed her container of liquid on the small shelf next to the doorway and in a heartbeat he was gone.
Clara Oswald wasn't sure what suddenly prompted her to start talking, but they were inside the TARDIS and the Doctor had been busying himself for the past hour trying to "fix" the console.
"I met an angel when I was little."
The sounds of tinkering from underneath the glass floor suddenly ceased. There was a long, slightly awkward pause. "Sorry, what was that?"
She got up and meandered down the stairs, hand trailing down the railing on the side, until she could see the Doctor, who was looking at her in more than a little bit of concern.
"I was... seven, I think." She shrugged. "Couldn't sleep, and I saw a star crash into the woods near my old house. I went to go and look, and... there he was."
"He?" the Doctor prompted. "What was it? Did it hurt you?"
"I told you, he was an angel!" Clara cut in. "Well, he said he wasn't, but he looked like it. He was glowing, he had these sort of wings, and a tattered robe. I helped him to this old shack out in the woods, he stayed for a week until he vanished again... kind of forgot about it, I suppose. Always thought he had flown back to heaven or wherever he came from." The Doctor said nothing, so she continued. "I'm just mentioning it, 'cause, you think he might have been an alien? Didn't know about them then, but now..."
"And he didn't do anything strange? He didn't try to hurt you?" The Doctor still sounded skeptical, and Clara raised an eyebrow at the constant questioning.
"What, you think he was going to try and hurt me? I was seven, and he was the one who was hurt. He'd crashed into the ground after falling from the sky, and there was this massive crater." He still didn't seem convinced. "Why, what do you think it was?"
"I don't know," he said after a moment. "I just don't like coincidences like that. What did you say the date was?"
She jumped back as he leaped to his feet and ran up the stairs. "I didn't," she replied, quickly following after him. "But it was July 14th that he left. Yeah, the fourteenth. He was there for a week, so..."
"And where did you say this was?"
"Just outside my mum's old house- wait, you aren't actually going to try and find him? Doctor, I was a little girl, how can that be important?"
He only launched the TARDIS into flight, and remained entirely silent until they screeched to a halt, and he flung the doors open. Clara ran to his side, and her eyes widened as they say a glimmering, glowing light begin rising into the air above the dark woods. A flood of memories came rushing back, the little details of the conversations Clara had with her angel, ancient blue eyes and glimmering wings. The light above them was her angel, and it flew higher and higher until, when it was maybe a hundred feet up, it just... vanished.
"So?" Clara asked him. "Did that answer your questions?"
Still her friend remained quiet, and she finally turned to look at him. He seemed frozen in shock.
"Vorlon," he breathed.