I left my sports kit in the TARDIS by DD Agent
Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Sarah Jane Smith and Luke
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of its characters, or its settings. If I did, then I would have the Doctor and River together, and they could adopt Amy.
Notes: This includes spoilers for the new series, up to and including "The Lodger". Any mistakes or issues with Sarah Jane and Luke are mine, because I still haven't got around to watching Sarah Jane Adventures. Enjoy!
"Alright knees up, knees up keep your eyes on the ball!"
Amy Pond watched as the Doctor blew his whistle and muttered some encouraging words at the boys' football team he was coaching. They had been off around the galaxy again, and then all of a sudden something had come over the Doctor and he had landed the Tardis and gone for a walk. Amy didn't try and pretend she knew what the Doctor was thinking, or what was wrong with him. He had come back a few hours later and asked her if they could spend some time on Earth for a bit. Amy had complied; she had gone back and talked to a few of her friends but soon came back to the Doctor. Sometimes he talked about his other assistants; mostly he talked about their families. She knew he was happy to have her on board as he knew she felt the same way he did. He was the last Timelord. She was the last Pond.
However, while she had expected maybe going for tea and biscuits and seeing who he had formally been travelling with, she hadn't expected him to start coaching a boys' football team and actually enjoy it. But then again, she had long ago decided that nothing made sense with the Doctor, and that was half the fun.
"Quite a man, isn't he?" said a woman to her left, an older woman with brown hair and a bright smile. Amy grinned in response, looking towards the Doctor. All her life she had been waiting for him, and here he was. She had been in love with him for so long, and yet she felt like crying whenever she saw him. She couldn't explain it; she couldn't even explain what Van Gogh had said about her crying. She was still the same girl, nothing had happened to change her especially. No anniversaries of deaths, nothing. And yet she often woke up in tears.
"Well he is the Do-he's the damn best coach I've ever seen," Amy covered, looking towards the woman who seemed not to notice the slip of the tongue. When they had first started this, the Doctor had asked that she call him something different. She didn't know why, didn't ask questions. Not when the Doctor was mirroring the same look she saw in the mirror every morning - intense sadness.
"My son Luke is there, he loves football. He's a good boy; he certainly likes his new coach."
Luke waved at his mother before getting some more instructions from the Doctor. Amy saw him and grinned, there seemed to be great love between mother and son. As the training session ended, the boys moved to their parents to pick up their sports kit and head home. Amy waved at the Doctor and he grinned back. He noticed who she was standing next to, and he nodded at her briefly before jogging over to see them.
"Hello. I'm the new coach," the Doctor announced, holding out his hand to shake. He had been told by Amy that kisses to both sides of the cheek were no longer appropriate.
The woman smiled and took his hand. "A pleasure. Sarah Jane Smith, you know my son Luke already."
He grinned and tousled the boy's hair awkwardly before coughing. Amy noticed the change in him, how his back was straight and his eyes were focussed completely on Sarah Jane. "He's good at football."
"Thank you. I'm sorry; I didn't catch your name."
The Doctor nodded. "John. Pond. I'm Amy's brother, she's Amy Pond and I'm John Pond. We are the Ponds."
She groaned inwardly at his words, but just continued to smile at Sarah Jane. Eventually she and Luke went off, and Amy took the Doctor's arm. They walked back to the Tardis, enjoying the walk. Amy liked being back on Earth, but not all the time. There was no one to come home to, no one to smile and sing songs with. Why she even thought of singing, she had no idea. Once again, Amy found a tear running down her face.
"So, Doctor. If there is no grave danger, then why are you coaching a boy's football team?"
They stepped into the Tardis and shut the doors, closing off the world. The Doctor pulled off his football boots and socks, deciding that the smell would be better suited to the next black hole they found. He looked at her, not sure how to explain to her what was going on. He just decided to go for it, and tell her straight off. Amy had been lied to enough by him recently.
"The woman you were talking to, Sarah Jane Smith. She used to be an assistant of mine, came travelling with me. A very, very long time ago. Too many faces ago. I used to have lots of assistants, lots of friends. Long time ago. Which is ironic really as I'm a Time lord."
She nodded at him, not really sure how to deal with his babbling. "Now why don't you?" Amy asked.
The Doctor reached up and smiled sadly at her. "Sometimes it's just easier to travel alone. Or with an Amelia Pond. Only two options for me - she wouldn't remember me anyway, it's only River from my previous life who remembers me. Different face, different attitude. You remember the first time we met, with the fish fingers and custard? I'm different, Amy, and its only River who knows - who will know the difference."
Amy giggled, remembering the Doctor's wife. "Well she seems fairly settled, Sarah Jane, and I'm not going to be here forever you know. I may run away with some handsome alien banker or something. You should say hello to her. You're still the Doctor, Doctor, no matter what you look like."
The Doctor nodded, accepting that she spoke the truth. However, Amy's wisdom didn't last long as she planted herself in front of him, grinning. "Tell me more about you and the missus."
The Doctor continued to train the boys for the big game, not staying for any of the parent's suggestions of drinks. He kept to a basic story about him and Amy: they were siblings and had been split by their parents divorce, and later became good friends. Any details of travelling, hobbies and views on politics and culture was ignored. He was there to train the boys, and eventually it came to the final. Daleks, Angels and Vampires didn't faze him, but a team of teenagers with a football did: Amy had never seen him so nervous.
Luke was an excellent striker, and the parents cheered as he made his way down the wing to score a hat trick. The Doctor was crowing from the sidelines, and Amy joined in the cheering. She watched as the Doctor hugged Sarah Jane, and did a little dance on the spot. She tried to feel part of the Human race again, enjoy football and people but it didn't feel right. She didn't feel right, not on this soil. She felt something warm in her pocket, and dug out the Tardis key that the Doctor had given her before the match. Something was wrong.
Seeing that the Doctor was engrossed in the match, Amy jogged out of the stadium and headed back to the Tardis. With each step to it, she felt more alive, more part of it all. She went in, and thankfully managed to translate the message that was coming through. It was River, she needed them. Amy was torn, and looked at the battered pair of football boots in the corner. She didn't know a great deal of the Doctor's history, and she remembered when he had tried to act Human the last time. He loved being with her in the Tardis, their personal duo with no restraints. But this had, in some ways, been like returning home to family.
"Screw it; he'll yell if I don't."
By the time she had made her way back, the Doctor's team had won the match. Luke was hoisted on shoulders, and the parents were so happy with the outcome. The Doctor was grinning; hugging Sarah Jane like there was no tomorrow. Amy stood on the sidelines, watching him. When he eventually turned to look at her, her face said it all, something was going on and he knew where he needed to be. Squeezing Sarah Jane's hand one last time, he headed out in the direction of Amy.
"Where's he going?" Luke asked, but Sarah Jane didn't know as she watched them jog away.
Later on, they were walking home from the match. She was going to treat him to a meal out as he had done such an excellent job in the football. As they got closer to home, Sarah Jane stopped dead. In the middle of the road was the Tardis. She would recognise the blue box anywhere and even Luke stopped and grinned.
"Well where is he?"
Sarah looked to the floor, feeling once again the pangs of sadness she had had since New Years. "I don't know Luke; I haven't seen him in a while."
They heard shouting to the left and watched as John and Amy Pond ran across the road towards the Tardis. John was now wearing a suit and bowtie, and running with some purpose, reaching his hand behind to grab Amy's. She ran headfirst through the doors, and John stopped just as he got to the doors and looked at Sarah Jane and Luke standing there, watching them.
"Great game Luke!" He gave them a thumbs up. Amy started the Tardis, and went out to wave at them. "See you around Sarah Jane."
The bemused two waved them away as they materialised into nothingness. Sarah Jane took her son's arm and continued to the restaurant, happy to know the Doctor was still alive, still acting crazy and still saving the world. It somehow made her life more complete to know that he was still out there, being the Doctor.
On the way to once again save River from trouble she had caused herself, the Doctor wondered how far along their relationship would be. Would he ever have his first meeting with her? Well of course he must do, at some point. As the Tardis lurched, the Doctor pulled out a photo that the boys had taken of the team. He put it in a nestled part of the machine, keeping it safe. A memory of his trip, like the key from the flat.
The Tardis lurched once again in their destination, and the Doctor made a mental note to, after whatever harrowing and near death experience they had this time, to stop off at a black hole and deposit his socks.