It wasn't that he didn't have the money to buy flowers, but no flower shop in his area had jonquils.
But she did.
His next door neighbor, Clara Oswald, who he didn't speak to, all that much at least. She was short, but her smile and heart was large, from what he heard. She worked at a school at the minimal age of 29 or so and taught English. Besides that, she was a complete mystery that grew jonquils. He looked at the yellow flowers that were growing in her yard, examining them from his window. These flowers were always his favorite, as Amy and Rory always had them in their living room.
It was his tradition to steal Clara's flowers and place them at their grave. It had been several years already, but the untimely death of his two closest friends had broken him. He worked from his small blue home to keep himself afloat, but he hardly left the house, except for groceries and to visit them.
Today was no different, especially since it was their fifth death anniversary. Five years without his beloved Ponds, or Williams, if he was going to be technical. He put on his signature look, -the one that Amy was always amused with- the whole bow tie and tweed thing. He looked older than he really was, but it was his desired look. He adjusted his bow tie casually in the mirror near his front door before walking out of his little home. He peered next door and saw a beautiful set of jonquils growing, almost at their peak. As it was Amy and Rory's death anniversary, he slowly made his way over to his neighbor's yard, crouched down, and reached for a flower when he heard the door open from the light brown home. Uh oh.
"Hey!" His head snapped up to find a positively irritated Clara Oswald, in all her 5'2 glory. Judging by her clothes, it appeared that she had just come from work. He gulped audibly, his eyes meeting her angry brown ones. "This girl must be pretty damn important if you keep stealing my jonquils for the past five years! These are important to me, you know! It's hard to grow them to full term!"
"I-" Oh, she was too mad to even let him speak. She slammed her door closed and stormed to him, only stopping when she was several inches from him. She had a fist raised and he visibly flinched. Although her body expression showed irritation, she softened her glare.
"Show me her." She said, crossing her arms over her breasts. His delicate eyebrows shot up in confusion.
"Huh?" He managed to let out and she rolled her eyes, as though what she was asking was obvious.
"The girl! Your girlfriend, or whoever the hell you're trying to impress! I want to see this girl you like so much! You keep taking my flowers for her, so she better be damn pretty to warrant flower theft." His throat felt dry and he felt his palms grow sweaty. He wasn't going on a date, not unless the date was with his grief. But he knew she wouldn't let this go, since he had been stealing her flowers for quite sometime. He nodded carefully, standing up properly. "Go on, take the jonquils first. Can't go to your date without them, huh?" He blinked, but complied, crouching down yet again. It felt uncomfortable; usually he was lucky and she wasn't home on the times he decided to go, but feeling her burning gaze was unsettling. She was really pissed off, after all. He took several, which was normally just about four or five, and stood back up. When she seemed satisfied, she ushered for him to lead her to his supposed date. He began to walk the well-known cobble path, the only sounds coming from their shoes.
He wasn't sure how he was going to break it to her as they took several turns and walked quickly. 'Surprise! My date is actually my two dead best friends! That girl you're talking about? Yeah, she was the girl I met in uni and that's her husband! I was the best mate at their wedding and now they're gone! They should have lived! We were going to have amazing adventures! But that didn't happen! Nothing good ever happens to me!'
Good going, he thought to himself, how are you going to get yourself out of this?
Clara seemed to have noticed that he wasn't heading over to the busy part of town and frowned when it dawned on her as they took a turn she herself knew well too. In seconds, they were in front of the Angel Abbey, the grave site of his best friends. Clara's eyes partially widened.
"You..." She began, but he merely nodded.
"Yeah." He walked through the gate, passing by graves of many loved ones. Some had flowers, others did not. He held onto the jonquils' stems tightly as he finally stopped at a specific grave. His throat tightened, still feeling the presence of his next door neighbor behind him as he placed the flowers down besides the marble grave. He read the inscription several times, inhaling a few sharp breaths. Clara stood still behind him.
IN LOVING MEMORY
RORY ARTHUR WILLIAMS
AND HIS LOVING WIFE
"Hey, Pond, your raggedy friend is back for another year." He greeted cheerfully, as best as he could. Amy always rather have him happy than sad, something he always attempted to be, despite his inner turmoil. "How are you? Five years has been awhile, hasn't it? I brought my neighbor, Clara. She caught me, for once during one of the few times I leave my house. Hopefully you don't mind. Oh, and Rory, the centurion! Nice to see you again. You know, I'm never letting you...live that down, waiting for Amy at the airport on Halloween with your centurion costume on. Your dedication to Amy is astounding- very much admirable. I hope you're still doing that. Can't have Amy getting hurt after all..." He felt his chest tighten, his words feeling like heavy weights, "Oh...Christ, I miss you both." He heard Clara step forward as he held back his tears as best as he could. He didn't want to cry. He cried every time he came here.
"I'm sorry. I didn't know. I would have let you-," She tried to apologize, glancing several graves away, where her own loved on -her mother- lay. She focused back on her very much grief-stricken neighbor.
"Don't apologize. It's alright." He muttered, turning to her and peering into her eyes. One glance at her eyes, which, held so much similar emotion, reduced him to tears. Clara, on instinct, brought him into an embrace as he cried into his shoulder. "Clara, I miss them. It's not fair. The universe...it's so cruel."
"I know." She muttered, stroking his back with her right hand, while using her other to massage his mop of brown hair. "I know how much it hurts. I know."
"Who did you lose?" He managed to ask through choked sobs. She continued to attempt to soothe him. The smell of her peach shampoo brought some sort of comfort, at least. It had been awhile since he was ever in an embrace.
"My mum. She's just a few graves away. Lost her in '05. I know what it's like to be alone, all by yourself without anyone to help. I know it hurts. But you'll see them again." She noticed he was still hyperventilating, "Breathe, okay? Deep breaths." Her voice was soothing, in comparison to the nightmares he had during this month. It was a light at the end of the tunnel, something he could see and aim for. "Breathe. Okay? Breathe with me, in and out. In and out." He listened carefully to her voice as they ran through calming techniques. At this point, he was practically soaking her jumper, something he wanted to apologize for, but his vocal cords refused to work besides the constant sounds of sobs. She could hear him struggling to speak and she went through more breathing exercises. It took him a bit, of standing in front of his dead friends' graves, in the arms of a person he hardly even knew, but he managed to calm himself. He let go of her, but her hand lingered above his.
"I'm sorry. I really am. I didn't know." Clara apologized, yet again, once he wiped the tears off his face with his free hand. "I want to make it up to you, if that's alright- even if it is small. I'll buy dinner, yeah?" He looked to the small woman, who was smiling nervously. "You shouldn't deal with grief alone. Ever."
"Oh...yeah." He smiled softly, as best as he could. "Okay. I'll take you up on your offer." He looked back to the lone grave and said, "You said I'd never get a date with this on." He motioned to his outfit, "You owe me when I see you again." Clara tugged on his hand.
"Let's go, chin. Tell me more about them on the way." Clara said and he nodded, walking away from the site of his grief. Clara's hand intertwined with his was softness and kindness he hadn't felt in quite sometime. He began to tell the tale of Amy and Rory to her, as they walked on.
"I met Amelia, oddly, when I practically had rags on..."