Not mine. The Grand Moff is the best custodian of them yet.


Their first night aboard the TARDIS as a married couple, Amy and Rory wished they could stay awake forever. Amy needed to recover from spending weeks forgetting Rory's existence. Rory had been picturing this for two thousand years.

But they were both human (now), and they eventually fell asleep, curled together tightly.

Rory slept lightly, though. He'd fallen out of practice. Funny how he had a whole other life in his head that technically didn't happen, but to him, and Amy, and the Doctor, it did. Distracting. His hearing also seemed to be a bit more sensitive than they had before the plastic, though obviously not as sensitive as during; he supposed the built-in arm cannon would have come in handy if it had stayed, but flesh was much better for cuddling.

So he woke at the soft sound of crying, and noticed that the Doctor, wearing old blue pajamas that didn't fit him right, was sitting in a chair by the side of the bed. Watching them. And fighting tears.


"Sleepwalking!" the Doctor immediately said in a loud whisper. "I've been sleepwalking. Sorry. I'll go to bed now."

"I thought you didn't sleep as much as humans do." Amy started to stir, and Rory dropped his voice even lower. "And you're crying."

"Well, gotta sleep sometime. I'm still, you know, a terrestrial mammal. I've got something in my eye. Don't let me bother you. I'll be off now."

Amy murmured, sleepily but coherent, "Doctor, if you're lonely you could have asked."

"Are you crying cause you're happy, or cause you're sad?"

The Doctor stood, hugging himself, looking simultaneously ancient and about nine years old. "I've never saved the universe and my companions and myself at the same time. Since, you know. The bad...thing."

"What bad thing?"

Amy sat up and beckoned. "Doctor. You, in bed, now. Don't worry, we got dressed before we turned out the light."

Rory was only wearing shorts, but he was past embarrassment where the Doctor was concerned. "I don't mind."

After a pause, the Doctor took off his shirt. "Humans are so warm; I'd melt if I were fully clothed."

"Oh, so you've done this before, have you?" Amy took his hand and guided him to her side. Rory shifted to make room.

"Bed's big," Rory said quietly, by way of encouragement.

"Sometimes I think the TARDIS plans these things."

"Have you?" Amy nestled her back against Rory, their hands together and fingers entwined. Some of her fiery hair spilled onto the Doctor's chest, and the Doctor absentmindedly stroked it.


"Have you done this before?"

The Doctor let out a long exhale. "Yeah. Two humans aboard. One from River's time. The other one from yours. We had to save the future Earth from Daleks. It's really upsetting how they keep turning up. We got separated. She saved me, but then I had to regenerate to save her. That was the time before I met you, tenth me. My raggedy clothes were the ones he liked. He – the 51st-century man -accidentally became immortal. Long story. I failed him in…so many ways…"

"It's all right, Doctor," Amy said, reaching up tousling his hair.

"Sorry. Ramblings of an old man."

Rory cleared his throat, "In terms of my memories, Doctor, I'm older than you."

The Doctor pondered that. "So you are."

"Doctor, why is it always you that has to fix things like this? Aren't you…I mean, don't you…do you…I don't really know much about you." The moment he said it, Rory worried that he was picking at wounds.

But the Doctor just laughed softly. "My people turned corrupt in a war they fought against the Daleks. All of reality was at stake. And to fix that one, I had to destroy both the Daleks and the Time Lords."

"Oh lord, Doctor, did you have children?" Amy asked, horrified. She'd only heard the bare outline before, and not the bit where it had come down to the Doctor's decision.


Amy immediately gave the Doctor a tight squeeze and kissed his cheek.

"River's the only one who speaks my language left, you know. I suppose I have to teach it to her at some point. Or at least 'Hello, Sweetie.' And how to fly the TARDIS. And my real name. And never let slip that I know how she's going to die."

"You do have a name then?" Rory asked.

"Yeah, but your real name's a special thing. You don't share it much. Just your parents, and maybe your best friend, and then your…"

"See, I thought so," Amy crowed.

"Don't jump to conclusions. Besides, humans are a bit…"

"A bit what?" both Pond-Williamses asked.

"Well, some versions of me like apples and some don't, so, not all is lost…"

Rory handed Amy a side-pillow that had rolled off the bed. "Feel free to hit him with it."

The Doctor grinned. "Rory punched me, you know, Amy. Defending your honor. In 103 AD."

"And why were you saying things about my honor?"

"I was making sure he was human enough."

This seemed like a good time to kiss Amy's neck, so Rory did. "Something I was going to ask you about, Doctor. While I was plastic, and waiting, this bloke kept visiting me at different times but always in the same outfit. Sort of a big coat. Really handsome but with all gray hair. I think he had a Vortex Manipulator too."

"What'd he say to you?"

"Well, the first thing he did every time he showed up was flirt, which was sort of a change, I suppose, from how people usually talked to me…"

The Doctor swallowed. "Oh."

"He said he knew you; and that he could get me to a time and place to meet you because 'He's always doing it to us,' whatever that meant, but I explained I was guarding the Pandorica, and he asked me what was in it, and I said something much, much more important than finding the Doctor…"

At this point he had to pause because of the ferocious snog he received from Amy. After getting his breath back he continued,

"And I asked how he knew the Doctor, and he said you'd travelled together for a while but it didn't end well, and told me to watch out for myself. And then he turned up again and asked if I was sure I wasn't interested, because he'd always enjoyed Nestenes, and I think I hit him at that point. It's fuzzy. It had been a long five-hundred-and-sixty-three years, and I didn't quite mellow again for two hundred more, when I started getting pilgrims from the Star Cults. Then he apologized and said he was just trying to do what he wished someone would have done for him back when he was buried alive for eighteen hundred years, which was right now. I asked him if it was his idea, and he said no. And I said that was the difference. And he didn't come back."

Then the humans noticed that The Doctor was trembling. Amy quickly maneuvered him in between Rory and herself, with a limp lack of resistance from the Doctor. "Sorry. That - that was him."

"Yeah, I figured," Rory said, squeezing the Doctor's hand. "What happened to the girl? Eventually?"

"She's in another dimension. We won't see each other. But she's got a mostly-human copy of me to love, so she'll be fine. She wouldn't recognize me anymore."

Amy started rubbing the Doctor's back. "You were watching us because you had trouble believing you did it this time. Without having to give something up."

"You were crying because you were relieved." Rory reached across the Doctor and joined hands with Amy.

"Maybe sometimes the good things do soften the bad," the Doctor said.

Amy smiled and kissed his cheek. "We're going back to sleep now, but we'll be right here."

The Doctor lay comfortably pressed between his companions, and he allowed himself to think of those he lost in the name of saving the rest. And he thanked anyone who could have been responsible that, this time, everybody lived.