We All Fall Down
Word count: 1358.
Disclaimer: If I owned it, it would have been canon. The quotes are from Amy's Choice.
"Why would we give up all this? Why would anyone?"
Sometimes Amy thinks she is the luckiest girl in the universe.
After the wedding, things fall together perfectly. She gets Rory and she gets her Doctor; her loving husband and her imagery friend, both back from the dead before she can even realise they are gone. She kisses Rory under one of Saturn's moon's light; she fights mummies with her Doctor. And the best bit is that there are no awkward moments, no tense conversations, no pressure to bloody choose. They're both her boys and they know they each have their place. It really is everything she could ask for and more. She has her cake and eats it too!
On that particular morning, Rory isn't there when she wakes up. She doesn't think anything of it; he has always been an early bird, much her displeasure. Still, she's used to it now. So she stretches, washes up, and dresses in her favourite red blouse. Because today will be a good day; she just knows it. A day for a great adventure; a story she will remember for the rest of her life. Maybe they will even go to an exciting new planet. Hell, maybe they'll finally end up in Rio.
Only, life's a first rate bitch and has had it out for her ever since she was seven.
When she gets to the control room, she doesn't find Rory excited for Rio; she doesn't hear the Doctor rambling on about to wonders of some extraordinary new planet. No, instead she finds an extremely cross pair of boys. She doesn't catch exactly what it is they're arguing about, but she decides she will shut them up first and then figure it out.
Only things can never be that simple. Not with her Doctor. "Stay out of it, Amelia. This doesn't concern you."
Oh, like hell it doesn't!
At one point, that might have been enough to stop her – to send her away like a child put in time out – but not now. No, she has been with him far too long to put up with that sort of attitude now. And if there is one thing that the Doctor should know about her by now, it's that she never listens to what he tells her to do. She does not let him get away with things so easily.
They have argued before, but not like this. Before, one of them always gave up, backed down; before one of them was always willing to lose to keep the peace. This time, however, is different. They say things that have been building up for too long; things that they may or may not actually mean. They yell, they scream, until she is standing there so angry, so upset, so hurt, that she can't recall why it is that they could possibly be doing this to one another.
"Take us home." The words spill out of her mouth before she can think about them, but she doesn't take them back.
He stares at her for a moment, judging her to see if she really means it. She straightens her shoulders and meets his eyes. She means it alright. Because if this is who she is left with, if this is what her Doctor has suddenly become – this hard, mean, old man, who would do anything, say anything to hurt her – she does not want anything more to do with him. Finally, he nods, a strange look in his eyes, before he turns to the TARDIS.
She's still cross when they land in Leadworth. She doesn't say another word to him; she just grabs Rory by the hand and pulls him out the door. She hears the Doctor's footsteps behind them, but doesn't turn around and face him.
It's not until they are across her yard and almost to the door that she realises that Rory is not stopping her, is not fighting her orders like he should. It is not until then that she notices the relieved look in his eyes, remembers the defeated one in the Doctor's. It is not until that moment that she realises that the hard, mean, old man in the TARDIS is not her Doctor, because he would never do that to her. Never.
"No…" she whispers, refusing to believe the impossible idea that suddenly settles in the back of her mind. She pulls her hand away from Rory's as if he has burned her. He says something to her, but she does not hear what it is; her mind is racing too quickly now. "No, no, no," Amy cries and spins on her heel. She doesn't think she has ever run so fast. "No!"
She catches the Doctor as he is about to shut the TARDIS door. He spins around with slightly widened eyes when he hears her. And then he smiles. He smiles in that proud way that he reserves only for her, but it's not right; it is her smile alright, but it is too sad, too broken, too defeated. And it scares her, because the last time she saw that smile was right before the Pandorica flew away.
"Amy, Amy, Amy." He steps to her and takes her head between his hands. "I should have known," he mumbles and closes his eyes; he suddenly seems so very old. "Amy – mad, impossible, magnificent Amy – you were always clever. Clever Amelia Pond." He presses his forehead against hers.
And that is all it takes, because suddenly she sees everything: Rory's fear that she was getting too far in, the Doctor's concern that soon she would not be able to go back, their worry that she would never be able to leave. She sees their entire plan, the whole set-up, everything they did to convince her that she needed to go home. Because she had to do it; if she didn't say it, she would never go.
But more than that, she sees her Doctor. That he did it all so that she could return to her life and live as normally as possible. Even if it meant she hated him for the rest of it. She sees the man who is too lonely, too old, too kind to ever do her wrong.
"Hey," he mumbles while her mind is still spinning. "Got'cha." He presses his lips against her forehead for a moment that seems to last forever but is too quick all the same; and then he lets her go and steps back.
He is already in the locked TARDIS by the time it all catches up to her, but that doesn't stop her. "No, no, no!" She pounds on the door. "Doctor, open the door. Doctor!" She yells, shaking the door by the handle.
But he does not answer and she feels the blue box fading beneath her fingers. She feels Rory's arms grab her around the waist and pull her back; she does her best to hold onto the phone booth, but the tears blur her vision too much and she cannot see straight. But she hears it, hears the machine fade away, and she can feel her heart breaking.
"No!" She stomps on Rory's foot. It's enough to distract him and she breaks away from him and runs forward.
And for that one moment, that one breath, that one slim bit of time, she thinks she will make it. She lets herself believe she will catch him before he leaves her again. But the TARDIS slips away before she can reach it, taking her Doctor away with it again. And suddenly, it is as if she is seven, as if she is nineteen, and he is slipping away from her the moment she truly thought she had him. Because she's never been lucky enough to keep him, not for long. Only this time, it's different. This time, she knows she's lost him for good. This time, her Doctor won't return.
Amy feels her legs give out beneath her and she falls to the ground.
She does not fight the soul-wracking cry that follows.
"We have to grow up eventually."
Note: This was originally part of a larger Eleven/Amy/Rory fic I wanted to write, but changed my mind about. Still, this scene stuck out to me and I couldn't not write it. Special thanks to Muffintine for beta-ing!