"Okay, if you press this one I'm not really sure what it does, or that one for that matter. But if you twist this here it'll… I don't know what that one does either… Okay how about this, look at this… No, stop playing with my bow tie this is serious stuff."
Amy watched from a distance as the Doctor carried her daughter around the main Tardis console trying to explain what certain parts did and what the different buttons and switches were all for. He was failing badly, but Amy's daughter didn't seem too bothered in fact she was more interested in the Doctor's clothing and wasn't letting go of his bow tie in a hurry.
"Amy I think she's trying to kill me."
"Don't be absurd Doctor she's just playing." Amy said unhooking the baby's fingers and scooping her up in her arms cooing gently.
"I don't think she's very interested in learning how to fly the Tardis." The Doctor said almost sadly.
"Doctor she's not even three months old yet give her a chance." Amy said rubbing his arm gently while bestowing her daughter with kisses. "I think that's something we need to talk about Doctor, could you handle us staying with you until she's old enough to fly the Tardis?"
Honestly the Doctor hadn't thought about it before. This child wasn't his but for the month and a half she'd been alive he'd helped raise her as best he could and had just, well gotten on with things he hadn't stopped to think nor had he dared set any co ordinates in case he got tangled up in a conflict or alien battle. He looked at Amy who wasn't making eye contact, he also looked down at the baby he'd helped deliver and up until now raised and sighed. Of course he loved Amy's company, he wanted her around all the time and they had fun, more fun than he'd ever had with any of his previous companions.
But then could he really raise a baby, keep Amy happy AND continue to save the world? He doubted it. Wordlessly he sat down in his command chair and thought hard for a long while, Amy sat against the console and allowed him space to think. She knew realistically this was the end of the line for her and the Doctor, there was no two ways about it. This man had travelled unattached for 907 years what was going to change now? A baby? Surely his other companions had all gone on to have babies with their respective partners, none of them had ever brought their families up on the Tardis.
"She really likes this screen for some reason but she won't listen to me when I try to explain the thermodynamic theory behind-"
"Doctor you're babbling, answer my question."
"Amy I don't know I really don't know and it's starting to hurt my head thinking about it… Can we decide later?" He asked in an almost childish voice, he looked smaller somehow, troubled. Amy sensed that it was her who needed to be proactive and take the initiative.
"Doctor we can't keep putting this off we need to talk." The Doctor frowned and folded his arms protectively.
"But I don't want to, it's not fair of you to expect me to do something I don't want to do."
Amy took a moment to process what he'd just said. "It's important, what if there's someone out there who needs your help, I could be preventing you helping entire races of people."
"They'll manage without me they always do, that's the beauty of life you make do with what you have."
An awkward silence fell between them, the Doctor stepped closer to Amy and lent his head against hers looking down at the babbling baby who again reached out and latched onto his bow tie.
"It's okay Doctor I think I know what's best for us… what is best for her." She added looking down at her baby. "We're all but out of nappies anyway."
Amy stood and disappeared into the back after setting co ordinates for home, she knew it would be only five minutes until they appeared back into her old village, back to where she and Rory had begun to set up a life together, planned to have their babies and grow old together. But now, none of that was going to happen, ever. Rory was gone and there was no way of bringing him back.
"Amy… I've always let people down, I've always ended up surviving when others shouldn't have and I feel… I get the feeling I'm doing the same here, I feel terrible yet I know I can't stop you…"
"Doctor don't. This isn't about you now." Amy soothed gently stroking the Doctor's cheek. He lent into her warm touch, his eyes glistened in the artificial light.
"How can you go back to the life you had, knowing there's all this out there? Won't it drive you mad?" He remembered how Donna had felt when she knew he was wiping her memory, that one memory alone stung him so deep at the time it had taken everything for him to keep himself together.
"Doctor I'm strong and I have other priorities now." She kissed him once. "And you're not letting me down, you saved me. You saved us both."
She closed the door pushing him backwards out of the doorframe where he'd been stood, she didn't want to see his tears or let him see hers. She looked at her girl and smiled, she really was grateful for everything the Doctor had done for them and she would never forget their adventures or his kindness.
The Tardis had landed back at Amy's Aunts house which the Doctor assumed she'd sold, but in fact she'd kept hold of it her reasoning being that there were a lot of memories attached to the house and she was loathe to let them go with the house. The Doctor didn't leave the Tardis at first, instead he stood in the doorway thinking, watching Amy through the windows as she set up a bed for her daughter, the bedroom she chose was the one he'd first met her in years ago when they first discovered the crack and prisoner Zero. Lights went on and off for a while as Amy moved around the house until finally everything went dark and he couldn't see her anymore.
Sighing he considered returning into the Tardis and jumping somewhere but his heart just wasn't interested in listening to his head. Amy had left the front door slightly ajar, probably on purpose, but he could go inside just this once? One more time? At least she would know who he was and not attack him with a cricket bat again. After a lot of consideration the Doctor shut and locked the Tardis door and walked purposefully towards the front door, also closing and sonicking that shut behind him.
Amy listened as she heard movement downstairs and knew it was the Doctor, she hadn't heard the Tardis disappear nor would he let any other intruders take advantage of the open door, she knew if anything he would close it for her rather than leave it open. Footsteps began to climb her stairs and Amy fought hard to slow her pounding heart, she didn't really want to leave the Doctor, not yet and she knew he didn't really want her to do. Her door opened and Amy snapped her eyes closed and feigned sleep much like a child waiting for Santa on Xmas night, beside her, her daughter babbled and cooed to herself quite content with the situation.
"Shh little one, go to sleep." The Doctor's familiar voice cooed through the perpetual darkness. Amy couldn't help but smile to herself as the Doctor scooped the baby in his arms and talked gently to her until she fell asleep, placing her back in her mosses basket. That basket had been made by one of the finest basket makers in history, he remembered, and he'd made a special trip to get one. He'd already made that trip once before and felt it his duty to make it again for Amy.
Amy didn't reply, instead she continued to hold her breathing steady and slow, flicking her eyelids intermittently as though she were dreaming. After a long moment of silence, during which she wondered if the Doctor had left, she heard him move again and the ruffle of clothing. Gently the Doctor lay beside her, spooning her from the side but respectfully on top of the duvet.
She said in mock sleepiness rubbing her eyes, turning on her side so her back was sheltered by his front. He said nothing but kissed her neck several times and curled closer against her, protecting her.
"Shh sleep Amy. I'm here, we can have one last night together there's nothing wrong with that…"
There was no promise and no guarantee he would stay, but even spending one last night with the Doctor was enough. Enough to know he cared for her, enough to soothe her raw emotions.
And a big thank you shout out to everyone who helped me along the way with this story, whether it be through kind words of encouragement or solid ideas for improvement. Thank you!