Authors note

Another Doctor Who fic! I'm really excited about the episode tonight - the weeping angels FREAK ME OUT! :o

Hope you like this - set after the Victory of the Daleks

Amelia Pond stood at the end of the aisle, the entire church in front of her. It was filled with her friends and family, people of Leadworth she had known her entire life. At the front she could see her fiancé Rory waiting for her, a beatific smile on his face. Looking down at herself, she saw she was wearing the beautiful white dress that she had only worn once before, when trying it on in the bridal shop.

Her entire future was before her, and it filled her with a sick kind of terror.

Behind her, through the closed doors of the church, she heard the warp of engines as the TARDIS dematerialised.

Amy woke with a gasp, sitting up in her bed. She was instantly flooded with relief when she saw she was still in the TARDIS, in the room the Doctor said she could use for her own. The familiar sound of the engine groaned softly around her in a way that said the ship was just drifting gently, not jerking around the way it did when they travelled thousands of light years through space and time.

Swinging her legs out of the bed, she sat on the edge of the mattress with her head in her hands. Here was the choice she had been running away from – her upcoming wedding.

Rory had proposed to her just three months after the Doctor vanished again, having saved the world from the Atraxi and Prisoner Zero. Amy had fallen into a sort of depression that no-one could lift from her after he left, and eventually Rory had confronted her about it; he had said that she couldn't live her life waiting, and how the Doctor was coming back and how he would never leave her.

It had been a pretty speech, but all she really heard was how the Doctor was never coming back – what a perfect revenge, that she should be married. It would show him that he couldn't just run in, turn her life upside down and then leave without so much as a friendly goodbye. Even if he never heard about her nuptials, it would be a sense of closure for her, finally pushing the Raggedy Doctor out of her life.

Then, of course, he had appeared the night before her wedding as she lay in her bed fretting about what tomorrow would bring. He was still as eccentric and confusing and radiant as ever, not to mention still wearing the clothes he stole.

Half wondering if she was dreaming, she had allowed him to sweep her away through time and space. The Raggedy Doctor of her childhood, her amazing imaginary friend, had showed her the past, the future, distant worlds, space ships and adventures fraught with danger and running.

She shivered, remembering with vivid clarity the sound of dematerialising engines in her dream.

Feeling the need to check properly that she was still in the TARDIS, she made her way to the control room, pacing the labyrinth of corridors with her arms wrapped around her pyjamas for warmth.

Despite the late hour, the Doctor was still in the control room. She couldn't see him at first, but then noticed his tweed jacket tossed over the narrow railing. She found him lying on his back with his head under the console and his sonic screwdriver held between his teeth. His hazel eyes were focused on he wires as he tugged on them, obviously doing some sort of maintenance work to the TARDIS.

Without looking at her, he plucked the screwdriver out of his mouth and held the green light to the wires, which fused together. "You do have an odd habit of wandering around in your pyjamas, Pond," he said, still staring at the mess of wiring.

She smiled vaguely, remembering their adventure on StarshipUK in which she had ran around in a near-transparent nightdress, but didn't reply, being comforted merely by his presence.

Sensing something was wrong, the Doctor stuck his head out from under the console to pierce her with his timeless, bright eyes. There was a smear of oil, arching high over his left cheek, but he was still as striking as ever. "Can't sleep?" he asked, concern colouring his voice.

"How could you tell?" she replied, leaning against a railing with her arms still wrapped protectively around her.

"You're awake," the Doctor pointed out.

That wrung a proper smile out of her. "Fair point," she agreed.

"So what's troubling you?" he wanted to know, pushing himself up from under the control panel and clambering inelegantly to his feet.

"Just … bad dreams," she said, wondering how much she should reveal. A part of her desperately wanted to confide in him, but another was worried about his reaction when she told him she was engaged.

The Doctor nodded slowly, his ancient eyes seeming to see far more about the situation than she wanted him too, then he smiled. "I have the perfect thing, wait here."

With one hand braced on the railing, he swung his legs over and landed lightly on the base of the platform before vanishing through one of the doors. Amy only had to wait a few minutes when he returned, carrying two steaming mugs of hot chocolate.

"Here," he said, passing her one. "The ultimate cure for being unable to sleep."

"Thanks," she said, blowing on the top of her cocoa. "Do you sleep?" she asked curiously, gazing at him. Never once, in all her time in the TARDIS, had she seen the Doctor asleep – she didn't even know if he even had a bedroom.

"Rarely," he said, then his head tilted abruptly to one side the way it did whenever he was having a thought train. "Well, I say rarely, but actually I just need less than humans do."

Amy pursed her lips, thinking about that; the Doctor looked and acted human in so many ways, but this was one of the times where there was just something off-kilter about him that reminded her he was alien.

He flicked a few buttons on the console and led her over to the TARDIS doors, their mugs of cocoa in hand. Opening the doors wide, he guided her to sit down, so that they were sitting side by side on the lip of the doorway with their legs dangling into space.

The TARDIS was gently revolving around a nebula that was tinted the most beautiful shades of pink and green Amy had ever seen. Stars hung in the inky blackness around them, winking brightly as the blue box drifted slowly around though the utter beauty of space.

Feeling slightly overwhelmed, Amy thought about her dream – how could she possibly go back to earth, marry Rory, pop out a few kids and have a completely normal and mundane life when there was all of this beauty and wonder in the universe?

The Doctor was silent as she contemplated her future, and she knew he wasn't talking so that he didn't pressure her into telling him what was troubling her. Eventually, after working up her courage for a good few minutes, she burst out with, "Doctor, why did you never ask me what I was running away from when we left StarshipUK?"

He turned to look at her. "I assumed you would tell me when you were ready," he said mildly.

She looked down at the mug in her hands. "What were you running away from?" she asked, remembering how he had said that he too had once ran away, leading him to the life he led now.

"There was a war," he said slowly, looking out over the nebula. "The Time War. The two greatest powers the universe has seen … burning." He rubbed the bridge of his nose with one hand and glanced at her. "My entire race, my people, died. I was on the front lines – I saw everything." He paused and looked over his shoulder to the interior of the TARDIS, and then back at her, meeting her eyes once more. "I've been travelling ever since, trying my damndest not to look back."

"I'm sorry," she said wretchedly, thinking about how much he must have suffered in the War while she was worrying about a simple wedding.

"Don't be," he said. "It's hardly your fault."

"It makes mine seem really petty though," she said, taking a sip of hot chocolate and avoiding his eyes, which she could tell were looking at her.

"Obviously it's not petty to you," he pointed out, still trying to catch her eye so he could properly read her expression.

Taking a deep breath, she stared out over the nebula without really seeing it. "Doctor, I'm getting married," she said in a rushed voice. "That's why I need to be home tomorrow morning."

Still not looking at him, she felt the Doctor go very still beside her, obviously taken completely by surprise. She heard him swallow once, twice. "Right," he said after a moment, and then cleared his throat. "Right, I see. Marriage. I love weddings, I mean, I think they're great. Congratulations."

She looked over at him and saw that his face had gone blank, expressionless. He was now the one looking away, his eyes focused on some distant star. His jaw was clenched and his knuckles were white on the mug he held in a tight grip that looked like it might just shatter the fragile ceramic.

He suddenly turned and met her eyes again, looking at her as if she was some kind of puzzle.

"The question is though, why were you running away from it?" he asked, tilting his head to one side.

Amy opened her mouth, but no sound came out. She swallowed what she was going to say – that I couldn't get married now that you have come back into my life, because I was only doing it in a pathetic attempt to forget you – and simply shrugged.

"Do you love him?" he asked softly.

"Yes, of course," she replied instantly, and then bit her lip. "Well, I mean … he's a good man, and he has been very kind to me."

"But do you love him?" he repeated, having noticed her hesitation.

"Not enough," she answered wretchedly. She laughed miserably, shaking her head. "No, not enough to marry him. Poor Rory…"

"Rory? The nurse?" the Doctor asked, raising an eyebrow when Amy nodded in reply.

"What do I do, Doctor?" she implored. "How do I go back to my old life after all this?" she said, encompassing the TARDIS and the nebula beneath them in a single hand gesture.

"Maybe you don't," the Doctor said slowly. "I mean, you don't have to." He looked at her and smiled invitingly.

"What does that mean?" she asked, inexplicable hope rising in her.

"It means … stay with me."

"Forever?" she said, her breath catching slightly.

"For as long as you like," he said simply.

Amy felt a beatific smile tugging at her mouth in response to the similar hope she saw in the Doctors eyes. The chance to travel though time and space with her imaginary friend, her beloved Raggedy Doctor forever – it seemed too good to be true, something would happen to disappoint her, just like when he had said 'five minutes'.

"You really mean it?" she asked, still fighting a smile.

In response, the Doctor suddenly pawed at his jacket, feeling all the pockets until he found whatever it was he was looking for.

"Here, catch" he said, tossing her something small and silver which she caught instinctively. "TARDIS key."

She grinned and bounced the tiny key on her hand, remembering the way he had taken it back from her when they had left London. "What Churchill wouldn't give for this," she said, still smiling.

"It's about time you had one of your own," he said, looking at her affectionately.

"Thanks," she said, closing her fingers protectively around the key.

"No problem," he said, and then glanced back at the stars around them. "So, where do you want to go to next?"

This actually turned out far different to how i originally intended - i was going to have them actually going to Amy's future because she is is wondering if she would be happy, but i thought it seemed too long winded and unnessessary - this was the shorter and sweeter version.

Sooo, review?

Come on, all it takes is pressing that tiny button down there - how about you tell me your favourite colour?

Mine is green, like the new screwdriver ... and you have read this far, so REVIEW =D