Just want to say that I don't own Doctor Who, Amy Pond, the TARDIS, etc. Anything that looks familiar isn't mine, sadly...


Amy sat bolt upright, her heart racing. She looked around, confused for a moment, until she realized where she was: the TARDIS. Of course; where else would she be? Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, Amy rubbed at her eyes, trying to erase the memory of her nightmare.

They'd been running, like they always were, she and the Doctor. She felt a terrible pain wash over her and she stumbled, falling to the ground. She cried out, and when the Doctor saw that his redheaded companion was no longer running alongside him, he doubled back and found her lying on the ground.

"Come along, Pond! We don't have time to lie down right now you can do that when we get back to the TARDIS."

And then he came to the realization that she wasn't just lying around for the fun of it. Her right side was bloodied and upon further inspection he found a sizeable gash on her hip, likely from… Well, he didn't know precisely what it was from, though he could guess at some sort of weapon.

"Doctor, just leave me here, I'll be fine. You go you have to get back to the TARDIS, where it's safe."

"Leave you? Never."

Amy tried to sit up, and as she did so, she could see the creature that she presumed had shot her, only this time he wasn't aiming for her, but rather the man hovering over her.

"Doctor, move!"

He stood and had turned around in a flash, trying to get into a protective stance, but he wasn't quick enough. The shot he received was ten times worse than hers, and it easily tossed him back several feet where he landed and remained still. She knew he couldn't have survived that not even the almighty last of the Time Lords. And so she sobbed and sobbed and screamed his name over and over, forgetting the creature of death that stood just inches away, and the pain in her side. Her thoughts were focused solely on him.

And then she'd woken. With a sigh, she rose and shoved her feet into her slippers, then began a slow shuffle out to the console room. Something about the central hub of the TARDIS was always comforting. She supposed that was why it was called the 'console' room: It was consoling.

When she finally made it to her destination, Amy was a little surprised to see the Doctor standing there, idly flicking switches with an utter calmness that suggested extreme fatigue. Amy made her way down the stairs and came to a halt beside the Doctor. He flashed her a small, brief smile when he spotted her, then resumed fiddling with dials and buttons. The look of concern that Amy wore on her face was not lost on him, but he didn't bother to question her.

"How come you're not in bed?" she asked with a yawn.

The Doctor gave her a small laugh. "I could ask you the same question, Pond."

Amy smiled mockingly at him before another yawn took over.

"Why aren't you asleep? We've got a long day ahead of us tomorrow–" he stopped and checked his wristwatch on a hunch, "today. I was thinking about going to a new planet, or finding a lost moon, or going to Antarctica… Antarctica with all the little penguins," he concluded, though the underlying weariness to his excitement completely gave him away.

"I, um…" Amy paused, unsure whether she should tell him the real reason why she was up or not. He was still her Raggedy Doctor– she didn't want to show weakness in front of him. "I had a nightmare," she replied after a moment, sighing. Best to tell the truth.

"What was it about?" the Doctor asked with a frown, and though he continued observing the TARDIS controls, Amy knew he was listening.

"I can't even remember what happened in it," she lied. "It's all really fuzzy and weird, but it still scares me."

The Doctor, who had ended up several feet away as he found new buttons to press, walked back to his companion. He took her face in his hands and gently pressed his lips to her forehead.

"Mad, impossible Amy Pond… It was only a dream."

"It seemed so real…"

The Doctor gave her a tired smile. "Go back to bed, Amy–"

"But what if I have the dream again? What if I get hurt again?"

He knew she'd been lying when she'd said she couldn't remember, but he absolutely refused to call her out on it. "Would I ever let anything hurt you?"

"No, but that's why you got hurt, too!" She realized her error, but didn't bother to correct it. Amy felt like she was seven years old again– tired and scared of something that wasn't real.

And so the truth comes out. The Doctor didn't think it could ever have been something as simple as a dream about getting hurt. He should have known all along that it had something to do with him. Suddenly he felt even more tired than he had before.

"Ah… Amy, like I said, it was only a dream. I'm fine, see?" And he took her hands in his and smushed them onto his face to prove it to her. It earned a laugh from Amy, and to him that meant success. "See? Now back to bed, Pond. I don't want to have to drag you through the hordes of pen–"

"Well if I have to go to sleep, so do you!" Amy interrupted, a smug look on her face.

The Doctor's pleasant expression vanished, and he turned solemnly back to the console, dropping Amy's hands. "I'm not tired. Time Lords don't need as much sleep as humans do."

"You are too tired! Look at you; you can barely keep your eyes open. Come on, we'll both go get some sleep."

"No..."

"Why not?"

"I can't."

"Can't what? Of course you can. I didn't mean we should sleep together, if that's what you're worried about. Although…"

"No, I just… I can't sleep," he replied, completely ignoring her 'although' and all of its underlying meanings.

"What? Why–?"

"I just can't," he replied a little stiffly, not in the mood.

Amy wasn't one to give up so easily. She grabbed hold of his wrist and tugged as hard as she could. It was a miracle that she managed to drag him several feet before he realized what was happening. The Doctor wrenched his arm out of her grip and stumbled backward.

"AMY!"

The redhead stopped and turned, looking confused, hurt, and just a smidge afraid. But when she saw the tortured, haunted look in those ancient green eyes, it immediately stopped any further protesting.

He felt awful. He hadn't meant to yell at Amy, he'd just… what? Gotten scared? The Doctor sighed and ran a hand over his face, feeling all those nine hundred and seven years now more than ever.

"Amy… Amy, Amy, oh Amy," he rambled, beginning to pace, "the girl who waited for a silly old Time Lord who is undeserving of her friendship. I'm sorry, I–"

She surprised him then– but didn't she always? He found himself in her arms, perfectly content for the first time in… a long while.

"Guess what?" she asked, her voice muffled by his shoulder.

"What?"

"Gotcha."

He smiled, remembering their ordeal on Starship UK. "Thanks, Pond," he whispered into her hair, holding onto her for all he was worth. She held him back just as tightly– she knew he needed it.

"Come on," she said softly after a few minutes, "why don't we go to the library with the swimming pool?"

The Doctor was reluctant at first, knowing Amy was most definitely up to something, but he conceded and let her take hold of his hand.

She led him through the many corridors of the TARDIS, rather surprised that she knew where she was going, though she supposed that was the old ship's doing. Amy smiled and silently thanked her.

When they finally reached the vast room filled with books (and water; a bad combination), Amy flopped unceremoniously onto the nearest couch. She patted the spot next to her, looking pointedly at the Doctor as she did so. After a time, he sat stiffly beside her, and Amy wasn't sure whether to feel offended or not.

"Purely out of curiosity… Why are we here?" the Doctor queried, folding his hands in his lap.

"Because we're going to go to sleep."

"Amy…" He didn't know what to tell her. To delve into why he didn't like to sleep, and especially at that hour, wasn't something he was keen on doing. And besides, she was his fairytale little Amelia Pond– he couldn't show weakness in front of her.

"You're going to tell me. Now, why can't you sleep?" She waited a moment for him to respond, and when he didn't, she prodded gently, "Doctor?"

He pulled his feet up onto the couch (though not before kicking off his boots, revealing polka-dotted socks) and crossed his legs, which made him look like a nine-year-old Time Lord, rather than a nine-hundred-and-seven-year-old one.

"I have dreams, Amy… Terrible dreams about all of the terrible things I've done, of all the terrible things that have happened– that can happen..."

Amy had her arms around him in a second, and he happily leaned his head on her shoulder.

"They're just dreams, Doctor; that's what you always tell me. You've never done anything terrible– I know I haven't always known you, and that you always find a way to blame yourself for things beyond your control," she added hastily before he could interrupt, "but I will stand by that statement. Always."

He didn't say anything, but she knew he'd smiled. "Would it help if I told you a story?" she asked, and felt him nod.

"Once upon a time," Amy began, "there was a clever, silly, hot madman with a big, blue box…"

The Doctor chuckled.

"He met a girl named Amy, and they ran through all the galaxies –well, not all of them, I guess, but a lot of them– and she thought that he was so old and wise. He was the last of his kind; the last of the Time Lords, so he was pretty hard on himself, always saving the universe and then putting himself down for it. So she sat him down one night in that bluest-of-blue box, in the library with the swimming pool, and she told him that he was the most wonderful man she had ever met. And she told him that she would always be his friend, even if he got them into loads of trouble, or even if she died, she would always, always be his best friend. And…" She paused. Should she? Did she dare, and risk the consequences? It was worth it in the end, wasn't it, to tell him?

"And," she began again, "she told him that she loved him."

Amy braced herself for all his wrath: about how it wasn't right, how she was Amy and he was the Doctor and it could never –would never– ever happen. But she didn't hear a sound, save for his even breathing. Looking down, Amy found that his eyes were closed. She almost wanted to cry, knowing that he hadn't heard her after she'd plucked up the courage to finally tell him, but the peaceful look on his face pushed those thoughts and feelings aside, at least for the time being. She rested her head lightly against his and closed her eyes.

But the Doctor smiled.


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