Protest or Forget

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who, but I wish I did because then I wouldn't be on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what happens in next week's finale!

Disclaimer Take Two: I don't own Romeo and Juliet either...it belongs to the Bard himself (or Dean Lennox Kelly if we're going by The Shakepeare Code canon...).

Warning: SPOILERS for The Pandorica Opens. If you haven't seen it yet and you don't want to be SPOILERED, look away now...You. Have. Been. Warned...(please feel free to take a cookie before you leave!)

Dedication: This is for ConfusedinTime for being so amazingly epic last night and putting up with my angsting over certain things.

A/N: I missed The Pandorica Opens last night because I was at a party but I recorded it and watched it this morning, followed by Confidential and something the director said during interview about the RoryAmy scenes being like something out of Romeo and Juliet sparked this little angsty one-shot. I hope you enjoy!

A/N Take Two: Please remember that all reviews are greatly appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pressing the purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...Pretty please with an even prettier Time Lord on top?

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Eyes, look your last!

Arms, take your last embrace! And lips, O you,

The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss,

The dateless bargain to engrossing death!

Romeo and Juliet [Act V, Scene III] – William Shakespeare

They're just like Romeo and Juliet…only not. Something in the absurdity of the situation tells them that this can't be happening, that it's just like the Dream Lord's meddling; telling then that something is a dream and actually they're not dead, not at all. In that moment, safe in each other's arms, they're very much alive. More alive and more real than they have ever been, because they were never more than a fairytale. The nurse and the kiss-o-gram, unconventional but fairytale nonetheless.

His mind feels plastic now, tied to some unknown evil that has stolen traces of the past, but somehow he can reach through it into memories that never existed; flashes of a boy long forgotten, uncomfortable in a torn blue shirt and a raggedy brown tie. Pretending to be someone else because he loved the little redheaded girl who needed him to pretend. Her vision blurs but now that the clouds covering her memories of him have parted, she remembers their first kiss; silly innocent fourteen-year-olds, leaning awkwardly in the same direction, bumping noses and side-stepping each other, lips meeting sloppily, unsure and undemanding.

Just like Romeo and Juliet, death is not the tragedy. The true, honest-to-god, bona-fide heartbreak is that they missed out on so much. For Romeo and Juliet - just as they studied in school with their hands clasped under their shared desk – the missing was the time they could have had, the life that had been mapped out for them only to be so cruelly swept away in the blink of an eye; the swallow of a poison, the flash of a blade. For Rory and Amy - the children who never grew up but instead dreamt of blue boxes with swimming pools in the library, and the hope that one day the playtime games would become real – the missing was the time they should have had. It's a small distinction, but a vital one, because unlike Romeo and Juliet, they aren't missing what could have been theirs. They have had time beyond Time, and it only matters to them now, as the Universe closes around them; as they lose everything they always had but never really knew.

He remembers a beautiful girl with red hair, her head full of fairytales and imagination, the girl who chose him. Only he, little Rory Williams, so afraid of losing her, was important enough to pretend to be the one man she had already lost, perhaps forever. To him, it was just a story, unworthy of the telling except that it brought him to Amy. Little Amelia Pond, like a name in one of her fairytales that she knew would one day come true. She was the girl who waited, who found substitutes, whether they were papier-mâché or flesh and blood. The girl who changed her own name to forget. Because that's what it comes down to in the end, that's the true crux of their whole lives; do they protest or forget?

He never wanted to be her consolation prize, her replacement for the man in her dreams. But he was. Always. He didn't protest, he didn't stop her or argue or even ask why; in fact, for however long she needed him to, he forgot that Rory Williams even existed. And so did she. Even when his nightmare from her fairytales appeared in his life, he didn't protest. He let her run after the ball of energy that left him feeling so slow, so human, and so insignificant. This character returned again, when he thought it was safe to forget, when he thought that he had won and that the little redheaded girl with the wide expansive imagination was his. A kiss, a cake, a city of water, and the life of Rory Williams, country nurse, fiancé of the most beautiful girl in the world, was turned upside down. He met the Universe and dreamt of the quiet life of Leadworth, marriage, and a happily pregnant Amy, when the only thing he needed to surpass her Doctor in excitement and interest was a ponytail. Love came, but it was late, there in the frozen, glittering beauty of a time machine in the heart of a cold star; impossible, just like how she held him then, like she would – could – never let go.

For little Amelia Pond, life had been one long protest from the second a blue box fell from the sky and shattered her garden shed. Life revolved around the dream, the wish that the strange, beautiful Time Lord who glowed with gold dust and ate fish custard would return to show her the stars, the past, and the future. The mad man with a box. He didn't, and that hurt, but even when Amelia became Amy, that little seven-year-old girl who feared nothing but the crack in her wall never stopped believing for a second that one day, those five minutes – the longest five minutes anyone has ever waited – would be over and the man who wasn't people, who didn't even look like people, would come back for her. When that day came, she protested with a cricket bat and a pair of handcuffs and she forgot when she only needed twenty minutes to believe. She forgot that the nurse with the camera phone was actually her boyfriend; the little boy in the torn clothes, pretending to be her Raggedy Doctor, come to take her away to the stars at last. When her Doctor came back for the third time, she forgot about her wedding, about the dress fit for a fairytale princess, about the diamond ring that shone like the stars. It was convenient. A kiss, a revelation, a date, and suddenly the world around her changed again and the little boy she never considered became the man she had forgotten, and he was back in her life for her to remember – to realise – the love that had been there all along, because if life without Rory was reality then little Amelia Pond didn't want it.

There, at the centre of the Earth under a small, forgotten part of Wales, he died in her arms, the last words on his lips an apology, an admission of her beauty. In the infinite majesty of her Doctor's time machine, Rory Williams ceased to exist; the clumsy little boy in the playground, so afraid of her formidable aunt; the awkward, gangly teenager holding her hand in his sweaty grip; the long-suffering boyfriend who could hardly believe his luck; the beaming fiancé, so in love; her shining white knight with his gleaming silver sword, battling monsters for her. Rory, self-sacrificing Rory, giving himself so that she could have the man she had dreamt of since childhood. Rory, who she forgot in the blink of an eye, trying so hard to hold onto the flashing memories of a love that seemed so far away and so unbelievably lost.

Now the tables are turned and all chances to protest were lost a long time ago. Dying in his arms. Plastic and alien he may be but he is so sure, so certain of Rory Williams that it doesn't matter what he is, only who he is; he is Rory, and he loves Amy Pond. And he has just murdered her. His mind screams and he is crying, except no tears flow from his unfamiliar eyes. She remembered him, right at the end and he thought that it would all be ok, that he had found her again and they could go back to that tiny Welsh village that was supposed to be Rio, hand in hand, rings on their fingers, to wave at their past selves.

But fate is a cruel and fickle thing, and this is a future that will never exist. He holds her, there in the mud on the edges of Stonehenge, screaming at the Universe even though no one is listening. His lips are cold and clumsy on hers, taking her last breath; a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare, except that it's real and it hurts so much more than the words of any dramatist could because there is no moral at the end of this story, there is no justification or explanation; there is only mind-numbing pain that he doesn't think will ever go away.