Death and the Pandorica

This fic is dedicated to pride1289, as a thank-you for doing fanart of my "They Think So Small" story. I've borrowed Neil Gaiman's version of Death, but you don't have to know her from prior experience to enjoy this.

It was on Day 432, when Rory the Lone Centurion had counted all the rocks around the Pandorica, memorized the strange wiggles on the prison's surface, done an approximate five thousand jumping jacks, shot holes in the walls (where did he get the ammunition from, anyway?), and done other sundry activities-of-boredom, that he realized he'd been screaming for at least half an hour now.

"Okay, Rory. Calm down. Calm down."

"You definitely should. You're attracting my little sister's attention. She's a dear, but you don't want that."

He whips out his sword. "Who's there?"

"Relaaax. I'm not here for either of you." A light appears in midair, seemingly from nothing, illuminating a young woman in 21st Century jeans and a halter top, all in black. Her skin, however, is milky white, setting off the silver Ankh she wears around her neck. She's almost as beautiful as Amy. He wonders if his plastic body can produce tears.

"I know you…" he says slowly. Her presence, as strange as it is, brings peace and calm with it. He finds his panic receding.

She smiles and perches on a rock. "I wanted to check on you, after the initial rush. I had to collect a lot of stars. And, if the Doctor's plan works, I'm going to have to put all of them back. Though I prefer that to the alternative."

He remembers her now. They've met multiple times, once in a dream, though he never thought of her while she was gone. "You're Death."

"Yup."

"Life too, though – you came when I got made plastic."

She strokes her Ankh, which he recalls is a symbol of eternity. "Memories are powerful. I had to put your soul in this body." She laughs and approaches him. "My little sister…"

"Who?"

"Delirium. Poor thing. Anyway, this sister and I can travel through time, because the rules don't apply as heavily to us, so we're the only ones who know you properly out of the family. Destiny's got a chapter devoted to everyone connected with the Doctor, though."

He feels his sorrow and fear swelling in this throat. "I'm scared I won't be able to make it."

"A girl I knew was imprisoned in Hell for ten thousand years. She came out okay."

"But I could have walked away from this."

"So could she."

He rubs his forehead and sits back down. "Is there something I can do to avoid going mad?"

"I'll ask Del to stay away from you. Oh, and I could drop by from time to time. Give you encouragement. Lend you books. My brother Dream has the biggest library in all the realms, including all the books that were imagined but not written."

He feels a smile tugging at the corner of his plastic lips. "I'd like that."

She gives him a tight, squeezing hug. "You'll be okay, Rory Williams. I promise."

When she's gone, but her warmth still hangs about him in a miasma of solace, Rory starts to whistle.