We All Fall Down
Word count: 1358.
Disclaimer: If I owned it, it would have been canon.
The quote at the end contains possible spoilers for season six.
All it takes is a sentence. A single one. That's all; nothing more, nothing less. All the space creatures, the time villains, the annoying baddies who do not know when to give up; they all seem so little when compared to a single sentence. One sentence; four little words. That is all it takes to turn his entire existence upside-down and all wibbly-wobbly. It's almost funny, he supposes, in some sort of twisted way.
"I'm worried about Amy."
And so it begins. Or finishes; depends on how you look at it, really.
Rory tells him everything, every concern, every last fear. He's afraid Amy is falling too deep into their travels, that she is losing herself. He says more than that, though. Of course he does; Rory always has more to say to him.
Not that it matters. No, not in the slightest, because he already knows. Of course he does; you do not get to be as old, as wise, as experienced as him without realising these things on your own. The more time she spends on the TARDIS, the more time she spends with him, the further she separates herself from Leadworth. And the further she separates herself, the harder it will be to go back. He doesn't want her to go, but he knows that if she doesn't go now, she will not ever be able to. And he will not do that to her; won't take away the little chance of normalcy she has left. Won't do it; can't do it.
Not that she will ever go back if she knows what they're thinking. No, no, that would be far too simple, far too easy. Amy is more complicated than that; she is too bloody stubborn for that. In fact, it would only serve to encourage her. Because if there is one thing he has learnt about his mad, wild, impossible Amy, it is that you never tell her what to do. It only makes her want to do the opposite. He could drop her off in Leadworth without another word and she would find a way back, just to spite him. No, no, she will never leave, not unless it's her idea.
So they formulate a plan. It is not a particularly complex one. No, far from it, actually. It's simple, easy, but it'll do the trick.
It is not difficult, picking an argument with Rory. Even less to provoke Amy; she has always had a bit of a temper, honestly. No, those are the easy bits. The hard part, the part that kills him, is the way he treats her.
"Stay out of it, Amelia. This doesn't concern you."
He has yelled at her in the past, and the universe knows she has shouted at him before. They have little spats here and there – it is bound to happen when you spend as much time together as they do, after all – but never like this. No, usually one of them backs down. Usually one of them knows that the fighting is not worth it. Usually one of them is willing to put their friendship, their companionship, their entire relationship before a stupid fight. But not this time.
"Take us home," she says the words he has been waiting for at last.
And then, more than anything else, he wants to stop. He wants to hug her, grab her forehead and kiss it, and tell her he does not mean any of it. He doesn't want her to leave; they have been through so much, she means so much to him now. But he cannot do that. He knows he cannot. It's not right; it is not fair, not to her. Because she needs to go back now, needs to return to little, dull, normal Leadworth or she never will; because if she does not go back now, he really will ruin her life and he won't do that to her. Can't do that to her.
Once the TARDIS lands, Amy doesn't miss a beat. She doesn't 't stop to gather any of the things she has collected, does not pause to reconsider. No, she doesn't even give him a second glance. All she does is grab Rory's hand and drag him out. And he follows them; without stopping, without thinking about it, he follows them.
Because it cannot be this simple, this easy! No, not this time, not with her. His Amy – his beautiful, brave, fantastic Amy – is not meant to give up this easily. She is quick, she is clever, and she is brilliant. She's supposed to see through him at times like this. Getting rid of her is not meant to be this easy!
Only, it really seems to be.
He stops three steps outside of the TARDIS and watches them storm off. But not for long. No, not for long at all. He cannot bear the sight of seeing them leave him so easily, and he turns back before she can even reach her door. Maybe it is better this way, without a real goodbye. It will hurt less in the long run, he supposes.
He hears her before he can shut the door and spins on his heel. And sure enough, there she is, his magnificent Amy Pond. He smiles, because he doesn't have to think about it; he just knows that she has caught on. Probably not completely, but she has figured out that it was not real, not a bit of what he said. She never could let things be easy. No, not her, not his Amy Pond; simple and easy have never been her way. And as proud as it makes him, it breaks his hearts in the slightest.
"Amy, Amy, Amy," he mumbles as he steps to her and takes her head between his hands. "I should have known," he breathes, closing his eyes. "Amy – mad, impossible Amy – you always were clever. Clever Amelia Pond." He presses his forehead against hers.
And just like that, he lets her see everything; shows every last bit of his and Rory's plan. She already knows something isn't right so there's no point in hiding it now. If he doesn't tell her, she will just drag it out of Rory later and he cannot bear her knowing like that. She would murder him if he did; it won't matter how far away he is, because Amy – his brilliant, magnificent, stubborn Amy – will find a way to do it just to prove her point.
"Hey," he mumbles. He knows she won't answer. No, of course not. Not while her human brain is trying to comprehend everything. "Got'cha." He presses his lips against her forehead one last time before he steps back into the TARDIS. He doesn't dare linger; won't linger; can't linger. If he lingers, she will stop him. His Amy is too stubborn to let him go; she will fight him to the end. And he is afraid she will win. So no, lingering is most definitely not a good idea.
He has barely shut the door before she catches up. "No, no, no!" She screams and he all but runs to the controls. "Doctor, open the door." And even as far away as he is, he can hear her hands hitting the door. He starts the TARDIS up, setting the coordinates as far away as possible. "Doctor!" Her voice cracks with her scream.
His fingers tighten around the lever and he hesitates. Because it almost feels like he is betraying her; leaving her here, in this awful village. She hates it here, he knows she does. Only he knows she doesn't. As dull as it is, it's her home, it's her life. As much as it will kill her for him to do this, he knows she will survive. His Amy is too good, too bright, too strong to not survive. More than survive, really. She will live. Maybe not the way she wants, but the way she needs. And he can't take that from her; won't take that from her.
He pulls the lever and sends the TARDIS off.
Afterwards, he's not sure how long he stands there, his head bent and his hands on the controls. It is too long, too short for the Time Lord to know. Because this is it, this is the start; the start of his new time alone. It's not the first time he has left a companion and it will not be the last. But still, still… it feels like the end. The end of his time with his Amy – his brave, clever, magnificent Amelia Pond. Finally, he lets go and steps away.
With a deep breath, he walks away and into the depths of the TARDIS.
"You will see the Doctor's life change forever, you will gasp in astonishment at the true nature of his relationship with Amy, and you will cry out in horror as Rory Williams stumbles to the brink of a tragic mistake." – Steven Moffat
Note: The original plan was only to have it in Amy's point of view, but Eleven really wanted his story to be told, too. I found the quote online when I was looking up season six and knew that I had to put it on here. Thanks to Muffintine for beta-ing.