Summary: Amy Pond had plans for her wedding night. She's sure that watching her husband sleep was not one of them.
Rating: T (Because it's Amy we're talking about, on her wedding night. Although it's not quite as risqué as she would have liked.)
Author's Note: This is pure and simple h/c, because I could not resist. As always I'd love to know if you read this and what you thought about it. Any kind of reviews are great (greater than I, the lurker, ever thought they could be) especially ideas on where the mistakes are like bad spelling, grammar and too many commas, but also any other advice or thoughts. Or 'I read this' is just as fantastic.
I don't own Doctor Who. Does anyone think that I'd be writing here if I did?
Amy Pond had plans for her wedding night. They included some of the toys that the woman from the Ann Summers shop had dropped off as 'free samples' and the furry thing she had bought in the bazaar on Rigel. Handcuffs optional. Fancy dress definitely removable.
So, when the the reception began to fizzle out, she encouraged the stragglers back to their hotel rooms or into taxis. A couple of the kids had to be carried upstairs after falling asleep under a table. Great Uncle Angus was pointed in the direction Great Aunt Beryl and transport arranged back to the residential home. Amy decided to leave her father finishing one last glass of whisky and she ignored the best man snogging a barmaid in the shrubbery.
She had plans. She had a husband to ravage.
She found Rory leaning on the wall at the door of the hotel. He looked pale, although that might have been the suit. The dark rings under his eyes could have been the shadows cast from the light inside. He seemed exhausted, but he smiled and stood straighter at the sight of her.
"Are you ready to go?" she said as she threw her arms around him.
"Do you think he'll wait for us?"
"Nope. Not a chance. He's already been out of sight for too long." She pecked him on the cheek. "Let's go."
The Doctor was already in the Tardis pressing buttons and shifting levers. He looked at them thoughtfully for moment, then his face split into one of those stupid grins that she loved. The phone rang; something about the Orient Express in space and Amy knew he was giving them a choice.
Did they want to go with him? Did they still want a part of his life after all they had experienced?
Amy and Rory did not need to discuss it. It was unspoken between them. Goodbye Leadworth, Goodbye England, Goodbye Earth. The rest of the universe and time and space better be ready for them.
But it was still her wedding night. She rapidly adjusted her plans to the Tardis facilities. There was a bedroom that had a jacuzzi big enough for an elephant. The bed there would be just right for what she had planned. It would certainly be a step up from the Travel Lodge that they'd booked six months ago. Did they even have honeymoon suites?
She grabbed Rory's hand and winked at the Doctor. "Time machine, eh? So the Orient Express will wait?"
"Definitely. Off you go to bed, you little love-birds you. I'll just be waiting here if you need me for anything."
"I'm sure we'll manage."
"I mean it, Amy," he said seriously. There was no smile on his face this time. "I'll be here if you need me."
The tone of his voice should have alerted her that there was something wrong. But it was her wedding night and she had other things on her mind. She pecked him chastely on the cheek and said, "Oh my, Doctor. On my wedding night too."
"Goodnight Amy. Goodnight Rory."
"Goodnight Doctor," she said happily and skipped off to 'that' bedroom. She had to drag Rory.
The room was even more opulent than she remembered and the bed was certainly never as big as that the first time. She pushed Rory onto the edge. "Right, Roman boy. Clothes off now."
She turned her back and began to unclip her wedding dress. Her mother had already helped her loosen it for the dancing. All that remained was a clip and a long lace that could just be tugged free. She did not trust Rory with the intricacies of satin and embroidery, so did the job herself. It was a relief to be free of the thing as it fell to the floor. It was definitely not her usual style. Her mother's voice in her head said, "And don't leave it lying there. It'll be an heirloom one day." She picked it up and laid it on the dressing table.
"So, Mr Pond, let's get started."
But Rory had not moved. He was still sitting where she had left him, staring at the rug on the floor. Amy's immediate anger that he still had all his clothes on was quickly displaced by worry. It was his wedding night too. Why would he still have all his clothes on?
"Rory," she said. She knelt down in front of him so that he was looking at her face. "You're trembling."
He gave himself a small shake and focused on her for the first time. His eyes were bloodshot and he was even paler than before. "I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong. I must have had too much champagne or something. Just a bit..."
She held his hands tightly in hers, but it was not just his hands that shook. His whole body was racked with shivers. "What's wrong?"
"Dizzy. Nothing. Sorry. I don't know. I need to get some air."
He moved her away and pushed himself up to stand. He wavered for a second. Then his eyes rolled back in his head and he crashed to the floor. Amy was too slow to catch him and he cracked his head on bedpost.
When she was nine one of Aunt Sharon's poodles had had seizures. It had made her a little afraid at the time. She remembered that fear now as it multiplied.
"Doctor!" she yelled.
He was beside her in a blink of an eye. She was relieved he was there, but part of her realised that he must have been standing at the door. That could freak her out later. "What is it?" she asked in a voice that was too close to panic.
The Doctor shone the sonic screwdriver into Rory's face and waved it around his chest. It seemed to be aimless, but it must have meant something as he frowned. "Oh, Rory."
"What is it?" Amy said, even shriller than before. "Doctor?"
"Talk to him, Amy. Stay calm and talk to him. Everything will be fine."
"Do you mean that?"
"No. Of course not."
She shuffled around to Rory's head and stroked the damp hair off his face. His skin was burning under her fingers, but slick with sweat. She slipped a hand under his head to stop him banging it again, and her fingers came away covered in blood. The Doctor looked up when she gasped.
"Scalp wound. It's fine," he said.
"It's not fine!"
"In comparison to the other things that are not fine with Rory at the moment, a bump on the head is fine. Trust me."
"I couldn't stop him falling. I tried and I was too late. I really did try..."
The Doctor twisted on his heels so that he faced her. He spoke urgently. "Amy. I need you to listen. You have to focus. Rory's in trouble. Bad, bad trouble. I can make it better, but not on my own. I need your help. You need to be here with me. You can worry about the other stuff later."
"It's my wedding night," she whispered.
"I know. I know. And there will be lots of other nights, but right now you need to be here and you need to listen... Oh no you don't..."
The Doctor had stopped waving the screwdriver around and perhaps as a consequence the seizure was worse. Rory's body convulsed against her grip and he was so hot under her hands it scared her. She hated not knowing what was happening.
But she was Amy Pond. She had faced monsters, aliens and more dangers than she had realised existed this morning. She took a deep breath. "What do you need me to do?"
"Loosen off that shirt. He's burning up and that outfit can't help. And I meant it about talking to him."
Clumsily at first, she unbuttoned Rory's shirt and the hideous cravat that the woman in the hire shop had assured them was 'just what the outfit needed'. As she did so, the Doctor waved the screwdriver. It seemed to make no difference, but at least the fit did not get worse.
"Talk to him," the Doctor said tightly.
She took another deep breath and said, "This was not what I had planned for my wedding night, you numpty. I wanted you to do the undressing..."
She talked about the wedding; the way he had almost fluffed his vows and that Mrs Angelo had had to go home after sneezing through the whole ceremony and the expression on Rosie's face when Jeff had introduced his new boyfriend. She wanted to show him Arcadia and the Gardens of Troy for their honeymoon. She told him she loved him.
"Talk about Leadworth," the Doctor said. "Talk about when you were children. It's helping."
"It doesn't seem to be helping."
She looked up at him. He was almost as grey as Rory. "It is. I promise. You need to remind him which Rory he is."
"I don't understand," she said, but the Doctor did not answer.
She leaned in closer to her husband. There was no sign that any of what she was saying was having any impression. The seizure was as bad as ever and the heat had not abated. He looked like he was in agony.
She wiped the tears out of her eyes. "Do you remember the time that I pushed you off the swing and you said I did it because you wouldn't eat the fish custard? And you had your ankle in plaster for weeks. I'm sorry. I never said sorry then and I really am. And I really was then too. And you still put up with me, and you put on those ridiculous clothes and... Are you listening Doctor?"
"No. Definitely not. I'm working."
She leaned in closer to whisper into Rory's ear about the time that they had camped outside her house because the crack in her wall was giving her nightmares. And the Raggedy Doctor hair cuts they gave gave her Barbies and the adventures she took him on to find the swimming pool in the bottom of the garden. She told the most outrageous stories of Rory that she could think of. It was funny that most of them were were stories of her being outrageous and Rory being dragged along.
And eventually it seemed work. The seizure seemed to be easing. He was still too hot, but it was more like fever than fire. The muscles calmed and the spasms seemed fewer. She kissed him on the head.
"There," said the Doctor. "That should do for now."
"Well, it might happen again, mightn't it. Come on, let's get him on the bed. And you should get some clothes on."
For the first time in who knew how long, she looked down at herself and remembered that she was in her bra and knickers. They were her best 'wedding underwear', but she had not been planning on flashing them around. Certainly not to the Doctor. She pulled Rory's shirt over her head.
Together they lifted him onto the bed and into Amy's best approximation of the recovery position. Rory would have been proud, if a little surprised, that she had remembered it. She did most of the work. The Doctor was not in much of a state for physical labour. His hands were shaking almost as much as Rory's had been. He looked like he was sleeping. It might have been possible to believe if it had not been for his pallor and the dried blood that matted his hair. And he was impossibly still. She sat cross-legged beside him.
"You knew that was going to happen," Amy said eventually.
"I guessed." The Doctor hitched his legs up onto the dressing table and rested his chin on his knees. "What do you remember about before?"
He smiled. "All the befores. Your parents, Rory, the Tardis, Stonehenge and the Pandorica."
She paused to think before answering. What did she remember?
In her mind it felt like she was standing in front of a waterfall. At first the water obscured what was behind it, but as she edged closer shapes became clearer. There was a whole world beyond the water. "It's all there, isn't it," she whispered. "I hadn't realised. With the wedding and the reception and everything. It's all still there. Not just you and the Tardis. Everything."
"Don't be afraid."
She closed her eyes and felt herself pulled closer to the roar of the water. There was a wave of dizziness, then memories crashed over her.
Telling her mum that she had grazed her knee, fighting with Rosie across the street that it was possible to not have a mum and dad, getting engaged, telling Vincent Van Gogh that she wasn't the marrying kind...
The Doctor was in front of her holding her shoulders. "It's all right. It will pass. Give it a moment."
She felt sick. Seeing Rory vaporised, feeding ducks in the duck pond, seeing Rory shot, what ducks, the Daleks, the Pandorica, the Silurians, biting the woman psychiatrist who tried to maintain that there was no such person as the Raggedy Doctor, biting the same woman for saying there was no such thing as stars...
River Song, angels, Rory, the night before her wedding that lasted forever, choosing her wedding dress with her mum, choosing it with Rory's mum, Rory shooting her, a fez, a Dalek a... a...
"Make it stop," she whispered.
"I can't. I promise it will be all right. Just don't fight it."
"I know Amy. I know. I'm not going to leave, but you need to just relax and it will be over soon."
The memories did not stop. If anything they became faster; first day at school, her Gran's funeral, hitting Rosie for picking on Rory, her first period, exams, crashing Rory's car the first time she drove it...
She concentrated on the solid hands on her arms. They were cool and calloused and familiar. Safe.
Just hold on, he had said. She held on and let the rush of memories sink into her. Sunflowers, the Tardis in the ice, Vampires, Rory again, Winston Churchill, Star-whales, the little Scottish girl in the village, losing Rory, the Doctor...
The pain built up until she thought she could not bear it any more.
Then it stopped.
It left her gasping. She opened her eyes and the Doctor was in front of her. Solid and safe.
"Bloody hell," she said. "What was it?"
"Memory reintegration." He waved the sonic screwdriver around her face.
"One minute you had a brain with a normal amount of memories, the next all these other lifetimes have to be fitted in. Your brain has to make room for them so it moves some of the furniture around."
"It didn't happen in the dream world."
"That's because it was a dream, and dream memories. This is the real world, and your brain has to cope with the real memories of your parents both being alive and being gone. It's the contradictory stuff that it doesn't like, but you're young and the brain is a malleable thing. You'll be fine."
"Was that what happened to Rory?"
"It's what is still happening to Rory. What you felt was the brain integrating two lifetimes of memories. Imagine if one of those lifetimes was two thousand years long and even more contradictory. You can remember two tenth birthdays, if you think hard?"
She concentrated. There had been a party with balloons and a weird magician who had a rabbit in a hat. In one memory her father had paid the weird magician. In the other Aunt Sharon had paid him and grumbled about the rabbit droppings on the floor.
"Rory will remember three tenth birthdays. One is in Leadworth with you, one might be with you and your family and ducks in the duck pond. And another in a Roman village somewhere two thousand years ago. His brain has to sort those memories out so they make some kind of order. And that's not something that the human brain is well designed for."
"And it hurts."
"Yes." He rubbed his scalp absent mindedly. "Reconfiguration of memories is a painful process."
"Will he be all right?"
"Do you want me to be honest?"
"Then he'll be fine."
She lay back on the bed beside Rory and pulled his hand into hers. It was still too hot.
"You could sleep Amy. I'll keep an eye on him."
"I'm not sleeping on my wedding night."
"Your husband is."
"Not the same." She shuffled in close to Rory so that she was almost on top of him. Normally he would mutter at her hogging all the space in the bed. Now he was deathly still.
She must have been drifting off into a doze when she felt Rory stiffen beside her. She jerked up as the doctor did the same from the dressing table.
"Here we go again," he said. "This time is going to be worse. We used a lot of energy the first time."
It did not seem worse. In fact it appeared better; the seizure did not seem as violent. The muscular spasms were more like continuous ripples although the heat was building again..
Something about the readings on the sonic screwdriver obviously worried the Doctor though. He muttered under his breath. "Come on Rory. Come on!"
"Time is trying to information dump. It doesn't like being held back, and Rory isn't helping any more. He's exhausted. He's going to be lost in those memories unless he slows them down. The person who wakes up won't be your Rory, Amy. You have to get him to fight."
"He can't hear me."
"He can hear you. I promise. And right now that part of him is small and terrified and thinks he's all alone."
"Is he dying?"
"To be honest, yes. Probably."
"Okay, Rory Williams. I am not having you dying on my wedding night..."
She talked and talked. Afterwards she would remember very little of what she said. Instead she had impressions - Rory's hand in hers, the smell of sweat and blood, the Doctor's constant muttering and the screwdriver whirring in the background. It seemed to go on forever, until her whole existence was just to keep Rory holding back time a little bit longer.
Not on her wedding night, she thought. Not ever. I brought you back last time. I'll bring you back this time too. Even if this time it's your own fault.
Silly fool for waiting around for two thousand years. She had been in the strongest prison in the universe, created by the baddest bad guys in all creation. She had not been able to escape it by dying. What did Rory Williams think he was going to protect her from that the Pandorica could not stop?
Silly, silly fool. He was going to kill himself for a pointless gesture.
She loved the gesture though. Loved with all her heart the man who had waited for her. Perhaps, deep down, she was just as romantic as Rory.
So she would be damned if she let him renege on his vows quite yet. She was not going to let him wait two thousand years just to bail out on the first night. No way.
With the same determination that had her bite her psychiatrists and feed a man fish custard in her kitchen she decided she was going to fight for Rory Williams.
"Don't you ruddy well dare, Rory. Don't you dare. Are you going to leave me here with my Doctor? He might only be nine hundred, and that's really a bit young for my tastes now, but I'm sure I could lower my standards. I think that bow-tie is a getting to be a bit of a turn on."
She glanced up at the Doctor. He was not listening this time, or he was too busy to reply. His face was grey, and even the screwdriver was losing some of its whirr. He was holding back time himself, she realised. And if he was going to do that for Rory, who was she to shirk her duty?
"Right, Rory. Enough now. No more. The Doctor really is about to keel over, and who's going to look after him? I guess that'll be me. I'm sure I can find a nurse's outfit in here somewhere, and then who knows what kind of games we could get up to. So you'd better get yourself back here or I won't be responsible for the consequences."
She kissed him on the lips. He was still burning hot, but she did not care. She wanted Rory. Her Rory. The Rory who had followed her around as a child until she had told him to 'Bugger off you stupid English boy', then put up with her when she had followed him around out of loneliness afterwards. The boy who had dried her tears the night she realised that the Raggedy Doctor had lied and was not ever coming back. The boy who put up with the Doctor because Amy Pond wanted him to. The boy who waited.
"Kissing is good," the Doctor said quietly. "Kissing is definitely good. Keep it up."
So Amy did. She kissed for all she was worth. All those years as a Kissogram were leading up to this. Come on, Sleeping Beauty, she thought. Come on.
And it worked.
At first she could not tell that anything had changed. She was still kissing unresponsive lips, but the Doctor said. "Yes. Good. Keep going. That's it."
Then the trembling muscles stopped. The heat seemed to fade a little and she thought there was a hint of a response.
"Now you can stop," the Doctor said. "Because you might both have to breathe sometime. Soon. Maybe soon. Although maybe in a minute. Is there a record for this kind of thing? Do you need to have gills? Breathe, Amy. Take a breath."
Just to show that she could, she kissed her new husband a moment longer. Then she smiled smugly at the Doctor. She was breathless, but it was a good kind of breathless, like running a race or, well, a really good session doing more than kissing.
The Doctor was grinning. The tiredness was still in his features, but he was happy and it brought colour back to his cheeks even if it did not fade the dark rings under his eyes.
"Well done, Amy Pond. That's better. You did it."
"Is he better?"
"Definitely better. Definitely more human, less confused jumble of two thousand years of memories."
She reached over Rory and kissed the Doctor too, just for good measure. He froze and she was tempted to hold the kiss longer than necessary just to see him squirm. But he had saved Rory's life. She had no doubt about what the last hours had cost him and teasing did not seem fair. Especially as Rory might wake up and then she would have a lot of explaining to do.
She let him go. "Thanks," she said.
"Well, yes, of course, it was... well, not really nothing, but well, something and, not something that I'd like to do again, but well, important, and I..."
"Is that the end of it?"
"I think we're around 1760. The closer he gets to your time the easier it will be."
"1760," Amy said thoughtfully.
"Give or take a couple of decades."
"What happened in 1760?"
"You'll have to ask Rory. I skipped that bit. Boring. Too many boats. I hate boats."
She lay down beside her new husband. The heat from his skin was definitely less now, although he was still feverish. He had not moved, but his breathing was slower and regular. It was more like a deep sleep than the unconsciousness of before.
No-one spoke. The deep thrum of the Tardis engines lulled Amy back to the semi-wakeful doze.
The final seizure was nothing compared to the first two. It lasted a minute or so. The Doctor had barely turned on the screwdriver and it was over. Amy did not even get a chance to pucker up.
When it stopped Rory shifted a little as though to get himself more comfortable. She kissed him gently this time and he moved a little closer without waking.
"Sleeping like a baby," the Doctor said. "He should be fine now. A little bit stiff, and not up to too many energetic stunts for a couple of days. Two thousand years in 5 hours will do that to you. So you hear me Amy Pond. Let him sleep."
"Right. I'm going to get a cuppa. Do you want one too?" He jumped off the dressing table and brushed off his tux. He was full of bright energy now, but the tiredness lingered at the edges.
"Nope. I'm good."
"Fine. Because I need to get out of this suit and into something more comfortable. Preferably with elbow pads. I miss them. I always feel a bit vulnerable leaning on a desk without elbow pads."
Amy ignored the babbling as he edged out of the room. Hopefully he was going to sleep somewhere. The Tardis would take care of him, but she promised to go check up on him in a little while. You never could trust men.
She gazed at the sleeping shape of her new husband. He was... he was beautiful. She loved him. She kissed him and he shifted again towards her.
"You waited two thousand years. I guess I can wait another night."
She closed her eyes and fell asleep beside him.