Rory really thinks that this time he might actually kill him. He's not sure how exactly you go about killing a Time Lord, but he's fairly sure that twisting that bow-tie very tightly might be a start.

He'd been warm, and comfortable, and curled up in bed. And then something had landed on the mattress between them, bounced them awake, Amy shrieking faintly and clawing her hair wildly out of her face, Rory giving a...manly yelp.

He's just...grinning. Sitting in bed between them. Like it's perfectly normal for him to be there.

(Like it's perfectly normal for Rory to be living in this crazy spaceship-time machine, with his wife and her not-so-imaginary childhood friend, the mad alien, and whole other lifetimes of memories that shift through his dreams, the rise and fall of Empires...)

"You humans do need a lot of sleep."

Rory wonders if that's why he keeps them around, something between pets and specimens. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because sometimes, he needs to be reminded of the small things.

(But...he can't live in Leadworth now. Not knowing that there is a whole subterranean race of lizard people sleeping under the earth, or that the sky is full of other worlds. When he remembers things that never happened, or that happened somewhere, somewhen else. )

The Doctor isn't 'people', will never be 'people', doesn't know how.

But then... he's not just Rory Williams, the gawky almost-doctor, second-best and also-ran. Not any more. Sometimes, if he doesn't think about it, on the edge of dreams, he knows things.

There had been the market on a planet with a marmalade sky, and purple people-things, and some of them had wanted to take Amy, and been very unwilling to accept 'no'. The Doctor had been flailing around, unco-ordinated, and then Rory had stepped forward and delivered a couple of effective blows. He was probably just as surprised as the alien. But now he had one of their curved spiky sword things, and Amy's shriek had coincided with the clang of metal. Rory had moved, and he knew how to do this, something deep inside... (dusty parade ground, and the deep voice of his decanus...) Then the purple people dragged their wheezing comrade one way, and Amy and the Doctor had dragged him the other, and they'd been too busy running to talk about it.

(Later, he'd cut his hand deliberately, welcomed the pain, flesh and blood and not plastic. The Doctor had merely helped him bandage it up, and they had both lied to Amy, claimed it was from fixing the engine...)

Amy loves the Doctor. And Rory understands that. Her imaginary friend, hero and saviour and lunatic, the mad man with a box who chased away the monsters and ate things even Rory, in his drunken medical student days, wouldn't touch. Who wouldn't love the crazy man who looked like an adult but behaved far worse than any child? Because he's always looked the same to Amy, always been the wild-eyed gawky figure, larger than life and not quite real.

He'd tried for a career in medicine, because...he was always 'the Doctor' when they were children, her raggedy doctor. Shaped his life as much as hers. He's a gentle man. He liked being a nurse, liked helping people, making them whole again. And now he has lifetimes of violence sleeting through his dreams, muscle memory from somewhen else, and a man (man-shaped person) more broken than anyone he's ever met.

The Doctor loves Amy, too. Once, just once, the Doctor had mentioned a family, and Rory had seen his eyes, bleak and empty as a sky without stars, a world without hope.

(But hope is always the last thing, remains safe in the box, when everything else is lost...)

So maybe... he'll spend another lifetime guarding the woman he loves as she sleeps inside a blue box...

...feels a ripple of amusement, because this 'blue box' contains memories too, and that little dreaming part of him that is no-longer-quite-human finds an odd sympathy with the part of... her that is no-longer-quite-machine...

...because something in him has lived for twice the span of this angry, frightened, lonely alien, and he's been the last and only one to remember so many things, so maybe, just maybe, the Lonely God is not as lonely and unique as he fears to be.

This still does not stop him from swinging his legs out of the bed, grabbing the Doctor, arm and shoulder, and removing him bodily from the room. He knows how, and the Doctor is at least people-shaped.

"...I'll go and make some tea, then, shall I?" The Doctor says cheerfully, to the rapidly closing door.