Title: Of Almost Everything
Characters/pairings: Rory, River, Eleven, Amy (Rory/Amy, Rory + River, Amy + Eleven, Eleven/River)
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Rory noticed it while he was helping the Doctor ("helping", in this case, meant handing the Doctor various implements, picking up what he dropped, pressing a few buttons and keeping the stepladder from sliding all over the glass floor). It was a small blinking light on the TARDIS console. It was decidedly inconspicuous, and still... there was something odd about it. "What does this one do?" he asked the Doctor.
The Doctor, teetering at the top of the ladder while sonicing a coiling mess of wire hanging out of the ceiling, barely glanced down. He waved his least-full hand airily. "Oh, something. They all do."
"Has it even been here before? I don't think I've seen it? Is it recently... grown?"
"Of course it's been there before." The Doctor peered very closely at a particular part of wire, paying not much attention at all to either Rory or the blinking light.
Still, something felt off to Rory. (And as far as the Doctor's driving skills went... well, Rory had the bruises.) He tapped a part of the console that seemed free of things that could be depressed, nudged, rolled or flicked. "Um," he said, leaning toward the view screen, "Can I talk to River?"
"Of course you can," answered the Doctor, "but it won't do any good."
"I was talking to the TARDIS."
"You'd better not be cooking something up with her! She's very vulnerable now, I'll have you know. I bet she won't even have enough power to locate River. Very delicate mending job..."
"Yeah... five minutes ago you said the only thing you were doing up there was rewiring the toaster."
"Well!" said the Doctor. "I'll have you know that I lied."
At this point the view screen gave a merry bleep and produced a real-time feed from the library. A great many of the other little lights on the console blinked in a way that made the Doctor press his lips together, teeter even more, and wag a finger all over the place.
The screen showed River and Amy, both stone-faced, playing tic-tac-toe on an ancient gambling table. (It was a remarkably clear picture; Rory could see every little blot of ink.) They were surrounded by precariously wobbling stacks of books, a reorganising project the Doctor had started a month or so before; it was to be finished "later, Ponds".
Rory cleared his throat. "River?"
River raised her quill from an inkpot and scratched a decisive X into the wood of the table. "Yes?"
"I have a question about the TARDIS and the Doctor is... not available."
(The Doctor was waist deep in the ceiling by this point, but still managed to convey his opinion by snorting very loudly.)
"What question would that be?"
"It's about a little light."
Amy whooped suddenly and waved her quill about in a cocky way.
River offered Amy a grin and bowed her head in defeat. "Rory... Is the little light between an internal stabiliser and the gravitational analyser?"
"Yeah, I... think it is. It hasn't been there before?"
"No, I installed that two days ago."
"What!" shouted the Doctor (his voice was somewhat muffled), and immediately afterwards there were a few minor crashes and some really very impressive showers of sparks.
Rory glanced there quickly, then very pointedly looked back to the screen and tried not to sigh. "You're coming, right?"
"We're on our way," answered Amy.
The screen went blank.
"That light?" asked the Doctor, now at Rory's elbow, pointing somewhat irritably to a completely different bulb.
Rory nudged his hand to a fair bit to the side. "That light."
"Yes, well. I thought she said next to the gravitational re-analyser. You try hearing much of anything up there." He dusted himself off, activated the sonic screwdriver and scanned the little light.
Amy and River entered shortly afterwards.
The Doctor was fairly livid, which he expressed by pointing at River while staring rather menacingly. "You've put a tracker in my TARDIS!"
"It's not a tracker," said River, approaching the console. "It's a device that searches certain databases for mentions of me."
"What kind of mentions?"
The Doctor spluttered. "No, no, no! None of those! If that's the way it's going to be - Out! Out now!" He moved his arm until the finger pointed to the door.
"Let's see, first," said River, entirely calmly. "Might be only disorderly conduct."
She pressed some buttons and prodded a few others, and the screen brought up:
zzs-dd78. wanted: the doctor. last seen in the company of river song (see notices #344, #346, #7889, #56771 […]. After that followed a stylistic but definitely accurate computer-rendered picture of the Doctor.
"I hate being wanted for something I haven't done yet", the Doctor muttered and folded his arms. He was suddenly quite composed.
"Right," said River, extracting her journal out of a book bag that undoubtedly was specially made for it. She flipped through the book, skimmed a few pages, snapped it shut. "Doctor, how about we give your future self a helping hand?"
"I'm sure I would appreciate it."
"Wonderful, I'll take care of it! Although... Rory, I might need your help."
"My help?" said Rory.
"Yes," said River, and raised a brow. "I need you to wear the Doctor's clothes."