Word Count: 6219.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Timeline: Post Doomsday, post Amy's final departure. Contains no season six quotes, but one reference to the trailer/first episode.
When your tears are spent on your last pretense
And your tired eyes refuse to close and sleep in your defense
When it's in your spine like you've walked for miles
"Everything's got to end sometime otherwise nothing would ever get started."
It was Christmas the first time the Doctor ever told Amy that. At the time, they had just realised that it would be Kazran and Abigail's last night together, and she hadn't completely understood it, so she just smiled and nodded her head. It wasn't something she would normally do, but he had been upset and she didn't want to make it any worse. He mentioned it to her a second time before dropping her and Rory off on a honeymoon planet, but he ran off before she could ask what it could possibly mean. The last time he said it had been a few days before she left the TARDIS for the last and final time but he changed the subject when she asked him about it.
In some ways, Amy thinks she gets it.
In most ways, she still has absolutely no idea.
Part of her wonders if she will ever understand it. That was a bit of the Doctor's 'charm' after all: babbling on about things that no one but he understood. She began to get bits of it over time, but never all of it. She often pretended to be upset when she didn't, that she hated how much he constantly talked, but she never really minded. Because hearing the Doctor's babble meant travelling with the Doctor. And she would give up almost anything for that.
"It's this or Leadworth. What do you think? Let's see: what will Amy Pond chose?"
It takes them one month – a whole bloody month – to realise that they can't do it anymore. That they can't just move back and settle back into Leadworth. Even Rory, who has only ever wanted to a nice and quiet life in Upper Leadworth, can't do it. It's impossible. So after one (painfully long) month, they pack up their bags and move to the city. To London. They smile and tell everyone that it's for Rory's career; that there is far more to be done in a busy London hospital than a small Leadworth one. Which is, technically, true. But there's more to it than that. So, so much more.
The nurse and the kissogram? How could they ever go back to that now? After everything they've done. After all the Doctor's shown them. They can't. They just can't. So they move in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, the city life can offer them more.
The next five months pass like a dream. They find a nice enough flat; Rory gets a job at a local clinic and she even finds herself a new job. But the days all seem to blur together, because none of it feels real. She's travelled through time and space, seen everything from Weeping Angels to Vincent Van Gogh, but it's her normal life that doesn't feel right. It's ridiculous, but then again life with the Doctor always was, so why should life after him feel any different?
Only it doesn't actually feel like it's a life after him, because she's been here before. She fell asleep outside her yard on her suitcase. She watched him fade in and back out of her life after twelve long years of hoping. She saw him come back like a miracle the night before her wedding. She remembered him even after he faded out of existence. Through all the chaos in her life, he's been the only real constant.
"I always come back."
Amy knows it's stupid, it's pointless, it's foolish, because this time is different. He's actually gone this time. Said his goodbye. Moved on with his life, just like she's supposed to have. But that's the thing, he always comes back when he's not meant to. So, even though she knows it's stupid and foolish and pointless, she still waits. She waits for the day when she will hear that familiar wheezing and see that big blue box fade back into her reality.
But six months pass without so much as a murmur.
And then, one day when she's on her lunch break, she hears it. The one moment she isn't thinking about it, about him, she hears it – that wheezing, the parking breaks he has left on, and then she sees it, the TARDIS fade into a corner where nobody is looking. And when it does, she doesn't even think, she just runs. She runs faster than she ever thinks she has; she doesn't stop for crowds or people. Let them think her rude; there's only one thing that matters to her in this moment.
It all comes screeching to a halt before she can reach there because the man who steps out of the TARDIS isn't who she expects. He's taller, lankier, with hair sticking up in every direction. There isn't a bowtie or fez or tweed in sight. No, there's a suit and trainers and a long coat. And a stranger. Except he isn't really a stranger, because Amy knows exactly who he is.
"Who are you?"
"I don't know; I'm still cooking."
Oddly enough, it isn't the TARDIS that gives him away. Well, it does help, but there's more to it than that. It's the suit: the dark suit with the light blue shirt and the swirled tie. She spent so many of her childhood years mesmerized with it that she couldn't forget it if she bloody well tried. And this suit may not be raggedy, but if you take the raggedy out of the equation, all that's left is the suit. And the Doctor. The Doctor from the past. The Doctor who isn't quite hers yet.
If he were here – her Doctor, not this strange, new-old Doctor – he would try to stop her. He'd pull her away and take her as far away as he could, because there is probably some rule against it. He'd tell her that some things cannot be crossed because everything would get all wibbly-wobbly and time-whimey.
"Amy, only one thought, one simple instruction: don't follow me under any circumstance."
"I won't," Amy nodded and her Doctor turned and ran into the church.
Vincent stared at her. "Will you follow him?"
She snorted. "Of course."
But this isn't her Doctor—not quite yet—and it's not as if she would have listened to him in the first place.
So she takes a deep breath and follows him into the shop.
And she walks in on the strangest site: the Doctor sitting by himself, eating chips. Her Doctor never ate chips; never so much as mentioned them, even when he first stumbled into her kitchen, demanding every sort of food he could imagine. So while she had to fry her Doctor everything in her damn kitchen only to have him settle for fish fingers and custard, this previous version settled for a few chips?
"Oh, pul-lease," she laughed as he spat out the blue grass he had just tried. "Have you always been this disgusting?"
He stared at her for a moment. "No," he admitted. "That's recent."
It figures that she would get the odd one.
Damn Doctor, he always did have to make things difficult for her.
Amy shakes the thought from her head and orders her own chips. She doesn't waste a moment and pulls out the chair across from him. "Mind if I sit here? Everywhere else's taken."
He stares at her for a moment, a bit baffled – because, honestly, the shop is all but empty – but he shrugs and leans back in his seat. "Fine by me."
She knows that this Doctor is different, younger, before her time, but the way he looks at her feels so strange, so odd, that it's almost wrong. He's a bit curious about this mad girl across from him, but it doesn't really go beyond that. All the love, the annoyance, the pride he always held in his eyes for her is gone – has yet to come. He looks at her but he doesn't really see her, not really. And she knows it shouldn't really bother her – because it doesn't change her Doctor's opinion of her – but it sort of does.
"Her past, my future… Time travel."
Is this how River felt every time she saw him? Knowing everything, remembering everything he hadn't done yet? And not even being able to tell him? It's a bit maddening, to be honest. Because part of her wants to grab him and shake it into him; tell him everything that they have been and will be. But she knows she can't. It doesn't work that way and she should simply consider herself lucky to be able to see him once more. Even if he isn't him. The real Doctor. Her Doctor.
"I'm sorry," he breaks the silence with a voice that clearly isn't, "but do I know you?"
She smirks and pops a chip into her mouth. As disappointing as it is for him to not recognize her, to not look at her the same, it is a bit fun to have the upper hand. Knowing more than the Doctor; she could definitely get used to this. "Nope," she answers. "We haven't met." Which, from his point of view, is true.
He stares at her for a moment, studying her. She nibbles on a chip, still smirking, and meets his eye.
"You haven't asked my name yet," he says at last.
"You say we haven't met, but you come and sit beside me like we're old friends and you aren't at all curious about who I am? I could be dangerous."
She laughs. Loudly. "Right," she snorts. "Somehow, I doubt that. Besides, you haven't asked for my name yet either, you know."
He stares at her for a moment and an amused grin tugs at his lips. It almost resembles the one her Doctor gave her and it makes her heart skip a beat. And she almost expects him to laugh, to kiss her on the forehead, and call her magnificent. His clever, impossible, magnificent Amy Pond.
"I'm the Doctor."
"Trust me. I'm the Doctor."
But he isn't her Doctor and she isn't his Amy Pond. Not yet. Not anymore.
"The Doctor, eh?" She half forces a grin. "Doctor who?"
His grin grows a bit. "Just the Doctor."
"Well, Doc-tor," she pauses for the slightest of moments. Somehow she doesn't think giving him her actual name would be a good idea. She may be wild, but she isn't an idiot. "I'm – " Amelia Jessica Pond-Williams. "– AJ Williams. You may call me AJ."
His brows fur slightly. "Strange," he mutters, "you don't strike me as an AJ."
"And you don't exactly strike me as a doctor."
He laughs. "Oh, you're good."
"That was good, yeah?" She took a breath as her Doctor checked the monitor where the angel had come from. "It was, wasn't it? That was pretty good," she grinned. He didn't answer her, but he gave her this proud smile, as if she were the brightest thing in the universe, and that was all she needed to know that she was right.
"Oh," she imitates him with a playful grin, "I know."
"So tell me, AJ," the name sounds strange coming from the Doctor's lips, even if it isn't her Doctor, but she tries to ignore it. "What exactly do you do?" he asks popping another chip into his mouth and leaning back into his seat. "Because it isn't often you see a girl in a mini skirt running about the twenty first century with a gun."
She shifts in her seat slightly and she can feel the weapon pressing against her lower back. Part of her wants to bait him, because, frankly, he does an awful job of blending it. Who actually mentions that they're in the twenty-first century in the twenty first century? Could he get any weirder? But she smirks instead and says, "so you were staring at my skirt, eh?"
Her Doctor would have gotten flustered. He might have grinned at her in that idiotic way for a split of a second, but he would have caught himself quick enough and denied the whole thing. But this Doctor just frowns. "You're carrying a gun," he repeats. "And I'm not exactly the biggest fan."
She stares at him, a frown tugging on her own lips. This version's a bit touchy, it seems. "I'm a private detective." It wasn't a job she had ever expected herself to have, but it somehow suits her. She's gotten quite good at figuring things out after all her time with her Doctor. Plus it's almost exciting enough to suit her 'normal' life now. Almost.
"You don't need a gun for that."
Amy snorts. "Please. A young, attractive girl who chases after criminals? Do you have any idea how many nutters I've come across who think they can get rid of me?"
"Still don't need a gun. You can stop them other ways."
"With what? A screwdriver?" It takes all of her will to not smirk when his eyes widen and he looks a bit embarrassed. "Besides," she shakes her head, "it isn't loaded. I never carry a loaded gun. It's a, well, let's just call it a prop, shall we?"
He frown grows. "Why are you telling me that?"
Because she doesn't ever want him to think that she could forget. That she would ever hold a loaded weapon again. Not after everything that happened in America… She shakes the thought from her head. "Why not?"
"I told you: I could be dangerous."
She rolls her eyes. "And I told you that I don't believe that."
"How could you possibly know that?"
"Because," she smirks, "I'm good, remember?"
"I'm serious. You never know, I could be another one of those nutters."
"Oh, you're a nutter, alright."
She laughs and eats another chip. "So Doc-tor, what do you do?"
"Ooh, I travel a lot."
"Well, Barcelona's pretty nice," he grins as if he has some sort of secret.
What? She stares at him, confused. Her Doctor never so much as mentioned Barcelona. And of the possible places, he says Spain? "Riiight."
Amy waves him off. "I'm sure. But there are tons more exciting places, don't ya think?"
"Why? Do you travel?"
"Here's me thinking we'd just be running through time, being daft, and fixing stuff. But no, it's dangerous."
"Yup," he agreed. "Very. Is that a problem?"
She turned to him, a mischievous grin on her face. "I'm still here, aren't I?"
She grins. "Oh yeah. You wouldn't believe the places I've been."
"Oh, I don't know about that," he grins. But he doesn't know. He has absolutely no idea the places her Doctor's taken her to. "Do you travel often?"
Amy frowns. "Well, no. Not anymore. You see, I had this friend – I've known him my whole life – and we used to travel together. But," she glances down at her chips and away from this Doctor's eyes, "he's gone now."
He's silent for a moment and she can feel his eyes on her. "I'm sorry," he mumbles at last.
She shrugs. "Yeah, well, that's life, don't ya think?" She finally looks up at him. "People come and go whether you like it or not. I'm glad I at least got to say goodbye this time." He looks at her in this way that makes him look so much older than he did a moment ago and she can see it: all the age, the kindness, the pain. And the loneliness. Especially the loneliness. "You remind me a bit of him, you know. My friend," she grins a bit. "Except you're not nearly as ridiculous."
"Oh, I very much doubt that." He leans back in his chair, an amused grin on his face. He looks at her as if he knows something she doesn't, and it almost makes her laugh, because, really, he has absolutely no idea. "You'd be surprised by how many people would call me that."
Amy snorts. "Well, I believe it. Just look at you! Who dresses like that?" She thinks she might actually prefer the bowtie. Christ, did he never learn how to dress properly? Some things never change, she supposes.
"Hey!" he says in a way that almost sounds a bit like a child. "What's wrong with the way I dress?"
"Nothing if you're off to sell a few used cars." She rolls her eyes. "I mean, a suit? Really? Who just walks about in a suit and trainers?" She shakes her head. "At least you aren't the sort to wear spectacles unnecessarily." The look on his face clearly tells her that he is. "No," a grin tugs at her lips, despite her horror. "Really?"
His eyes widen and he changes the subject. "So your friend; where is he now? What happened?"
Her smile drops immediately. "Long story. It was a bad day. A lot of stuff happened," she mumbles.
"Do you miss him?"
Part of her wants to laugh. She wants to tell him that he was (is, will be. Ugh, time travel. You really can't keep it straight) mad; that he couldn't drive to save his life; that he was a bowtie-wearing-idiot. Another part of her wants to tell him to shut up, because of course she misses him. How could she not? He was her Doctor after all – her Raggedy Man, her imaginary friend come true. And before she would have done it, would have said it, but it has been six months since she last saw her Doctor. And, to be perfectly honest, despite all her hoping and waiting, she doesn't think she ever will again. But this Doctor isn't him and he doesn't understand her – doesn't know her – the way her Doctor did. Not yet, at least. It's her first chance;
Her last one.
"Every day," she admits. He nods softly, almost as if he understands, and a silence falls between them for a moment. "But," she forces a smile, "I'm getting used to it now. Some days are easier."
"But some are harder?"
Her eyes widen slightly. "How did you know?"
A frown tugs at his lip and he doesn't answer her. For a moment, she doesn't think he will. Her Doctor wouldn't have, after all.
Rory all but ran out of the Christmas snow and into the TARDIS. Amy was freezing, but something stopped her from following him and she simply stood outside of the blue box. Her Doctor looked at her, but his eyes almost seemed to look past her. And she didn't have to think twice; she knew he was worried about Kazran and Abigail.
"Are you…" she paused for half of a moment, trying to figure out how to best ask him. "Are you okay?"
"Of course I'm okay," he answered automatically; he didn't even think about it. The lie fell from his lips without a second thought. And it wasn't that he didn't trust her, didn't want to tell her. Her Doctor wasn't the sort of man to admit those sort of things. Not even to her.
But this man isn't her Raggedy Doctor.
"I lost my friend recently," he admits with a look that is so pained, so broken, so lonely that it tears her heart, because it sort of resembles the look her Doctor had the last time she saw him.
"I'm sorry," she mumbles, because looking at him, she suddenly feels so very guilty. She knows it isn't really her fault – she had to leave; it was time for her to move, for both of them to move on – and it had to come to an end at some point. But still… still. "Really, I am." And she means it, because she's Amy Pond and Amy Pond doesn't apologize often.
"Yeah, well," he straightens, "there's nothing I can do about it now, I suppose." He pops another chip into his mouth. "We used to come here sometimes." He frowns. "It's been quite a few years since the last time though, I suppose."
"Did you eat them often?" It's a strange question, but he doesn't seem to think so. Then again, he is the Doctor – the maddest man in the universe – so he's probably heard stranger things.
"Yeah, I guess we did."
A silence falls between them. It isn't awkward or tense, but it is strange. She isn't used to it. Between her and her Doctor, there never really was a silent moment. Especially on his end. All he ever did was babble; not that most of it ever made any sense. Sometimes it used to drive her mad. But not now. Now she would do anything to hear an endless ramble of his.
It isn't like that with this Doctor. But then again, she never had the chance with her Doctor; they were always busy running about, saving the universe and all. They never stopped to just sit and have chips at a shop. And even if they had, she doesn't think they would have had such a conversation. It never really suited their relationship. They never talked about their pasts, their lives before one another; it was one of the secrets they never shared. Their relationship was a bit odd like that.
But still, the silence is driving her mad and she doesn't think she can take it anymore. "Was she nice?" Amy asks. "Your friend, I mean."
His brows fur slightly. "Hold on now; I never said that she was a she. How could you possibly know that?"
"I'm not the first then? There have been others travelling with you."
"Yeah, sure… They're just friends."
"And out of all those friends, how many would you say, just out of curiosity, were girls?"
"Probably, slightly… over half?"
"Everyone's young compared to me."
"No. No, no, no. None of them. Not really. Not at all. Probably not… maybe one or two..."
Amy laughs. "Oh, pu-lease. A pretty boy like you? It was a girl alright. She was a looker too, I'm guessing."
"Hey now, I could have been traveling with a mate."
She crosses her arms. "Was it a mate?" She asks, daring him to say it was.
"Well, no… But that's not the point!"
She rolls her eyes. "Uh-huh, I'm sure." He stares at her for another moment, but doesn't say anything; she half expects him to point at her, but all he does is have another chip instead. This Doctor has an awfully strange obsession them, she realises.
"Use your eyes. Notice everything."
And suddenly it all makes sense. The hurt look in his eyes when he mentioned his friend, the same one her Doctor had when they said their goodbyes; all the loneliness, all the pain, all the kindness. How this Doctor seemed to know exactly how she felt being separated from him. They're the same man, after all, even if they are different. But her Doctor never ate chips; never so much as mentioned them. Not like this Doctor; chips to him are like fish custard to her Doctor. They're the same man alright, but they're different. So much the same, but still so very different.
Oh, it makes perfect sense now.
"You were together, weren't you? You and her." It isn't really a question.
He stares at her with wide eyes, but he doesn't ask her how she knew. He doesn't say anything, actually. He looks at her in this way that makes her feel like he's judging her, trying to determine whether or not she actually deserves to know the answer. A frown tugs at her lips and she meets his gaze, refusing to back down. In the end though, she seems to pass whatever it was he debating and he sighs softly.
"It was…" he pauses, as if he's struggling to find exactly the right word to describe their relationship.
"Complicated?" she finishes for him. She doesn't bother to wait for his answer; she already knows she's right. "Trust me," she mumbles, "I know the feeling."
Because there's River and Rory, and time and space, and age and, well, species. Because there are marriages and fixed points and all these things that have to happen. But…
"Ever fancied someone you know you shouldn't? Hurts, doesn't it?" She was talking to Bracewell, but she glanced at her Doctor. He grinned at her at her in that proud, amazed sort of way, like she was the most brilliant thing he had ever seen, and she couldn't help but smile. "But a kind of good hurt."
"Do you now?" He leans forward, his eyes searching for something in hers.
Her eyes widen slightly and she knows that he's thinking, which means he'll catch up quick enough. "So was she?"
"Your friend. Was she nice?"
Part of him looks like he doesn't want to answer; as if he's avoiding the thought all together and Amy imagines it must be hard for him to think about her now. But he doesn't and she thinks that maybe he can't not think about her. "Yes," he answers, his voice taking a certain softness to it; it's the first time she's heard this Doctor speak like that. "She really was." He smiles in this way that is so bright, so proud, so loving that it reminds her of how her Doctor used to look at her.
And it isn't that she's jealous; she's never been the jealous type. Besides, he may be the Doctor, but he isn't her Doctor. She doesn't want this man to look at her like that. He isn't her Raggedy Man. Not yet. One day he will be and he will look at her like that again. But he hasn't yet. Except now he won't ever again.
Amy's eyes widen and she tilts her head down and pushes the tears away with the balls of her hands. "Shut up," she snaps. "No, I'm not." But a fresh pair roll down her cheeks, replacing the ones she wiped away. Damn it, she thinks and tries to calm herself.
"Here," he says.
He holds out a handkerchief. TARDIS blue with little planets decorating it. She almost wants to laugh, because it's the same one her Doctor used, but she doesn't. She takes it from him and mumbles a small "thanks" instead.
"I did it again, didn't I?"
"Reminded you of him."
Her head snaps up faster than she thinks it ever has. And he gives her this look filled with so much sympathy, so much sorrow, so much wisdom and she just knows that he knows. Okay, so he doesn't know that she's Amy, the-girl-who-wait, and all the little details, but he knows exactly who her friend is. "How…?"
A small, but smug grin tugs at his lips. "Well, I am the Doctor."
She rolls her eyes. "God, are you always this full of yourself?" A smile tugs at her lips.
"Do you always have this much of a tongue?"
"You get used to it."
He grins, but pauses for a moment. Finally, he asks, "how long?"
"How did you know it was me?"
She stares at him. "Are you serious? You walked out of a blue phone booth! How could I not know?" She doesn't mention the suit. She doesn't want to give too much away.
"Right. Well, that makes sense, I suppose."
Amy rolls her eyes. "You know for such a smart, old man, you're pretty dumb."
"Did you just call me an old man?"
"Yeah, I did." She waves the topic off. "So what about you?"
"What about me?"
"How long has it been?" she asks. "You know, since her."
He frowns. "I don't think that's any of your business."
"You asked me."
"Yeah, but that was different. That's me."
"No, that will be you. Beside, he's a different you and you're not him yet, are you?"
He stares at her. "Still different."
"It is so not different!"
"My God, are you always this annoying?"
"You're not usually this difficult. So how long?"
He stares at her, a frown on his lips. Finally he sighs. "A few months, I suppose."
Amy frowned. "Really? And you're still alone. You haven't found anyone else yet?"
"Why would I find someone else?" he asks; she just raises a brow. "You don't count. You said that I'm not him. I'm guessing that means a different regeneration."
"Oi, a minute ago you said that didn't matter." She doesn't give him the chance to answer. He would probably just send them on a giant circle. "Besides, she wouldn't want you to be alone."
"You can't possibly know that."
"You can't, but I've been there before." She takes a breath. "It's been six months and he's gone. He's not coming back and I expect he's found someone else by now." The words hurt more than she cares to admit; she's been refusing to acknowledge it all this time, after all. But it's the truth and she has to let him see that or else he may never move on. "And yeah, it sucks and I'm not exactly thrilled about it, but it's better than the alternative. Because after everything he's gone through, he doesn't deserve to be lonely. He needs someone there with him, ya know?"
He's silent, as if he's contemplating her words. After a moment, he sighs with a slightly amused grin on his lips. "Oh, I'm not sure that's how she would see it. Rose was a kind of, well, she was the jealous type."
Amy can't imagine someone being jealous and travelling with the Doctor. He's so old, seen so much, done so much that he has had to have been around; she can't begin to imagine that someone jealous could handle it. But then again, she never imagined that the Doctor could be like… well, whatever it is that this Doctor is.
"Yeah, but she wouldn't want you to brood like this either."
He gives her a baffled look. "I don't brood."
She snorts. Loudly. "Pul-lease. Have you seen yourself?"
"Me? What about you?"
Her amusement drops and she glares at him. "I'm not brooding!"
"You were crying just a few minutes ago!"
"Oi, at least I'm trying to move on," she snaps. "It isn't easy, you know. Travelling about – all of time and space – and then just settling back on Earth to live a normal life. But I'm working on it. I've moved cities, I've got a new job. But all you're doing is brooding about."
"I am not brooding!"
She ignores him – you can't travel with the Doctor and not learn how to ignore his pointless babble – because it's finally clicked in her head. "Everything ends eventually," she tells him, suddenly understanding. "He told me once, that everything's got to end otherwise nothing would ever get started. I thought he was just babbling rubbish at the time, but it makes sense now. There were others before her, but if they didn't leave, you wouldn't have met her. And, not to sound selfish, but if she didn't leave, I wouldn't have met him. If I didn't leave he wouldn't have met," –River— "well, whoever it is he's with now."
"You're so sure that I'll do it."
"Well, I've lived it, so yeah."
He shakes his head. "It doesn't work like that. Time can be rewritten."
She snorts; as if she ever needs to be reminded. "Just because it can doesn't mean it will. Besides," she grins, "it's a bit greedy to deny all the rest of us, don't you think?"
"You're a stubborn one."
"Twelve years and four psychiatrists."
"…I kept fighting them."
"They said you weren't real."
"Oh, you have no idea." Just wait until he sees it for himself.
He grins a bit and opens his mouth to say something, but is cut off by her phone's ringing. It's her boss. The Doctor shrugs before she can say anything. "Go ahead." He leans back in his seat.
She stares at the phone for a moment more before sighing and accepting the call. "Yeah?"
"Amy? Thank God," Mary sighs in relief. "Listen, I need you to meet me down at Sheppard's. We've a new case."
She frowns and glances at the Doctor. "I'll see what I can do."
"What do you mean 'see what you can do'? Amy, I need you there. This case is huge. Every– "
"Alright, alright. I'll be there," she snaps. She doesn't wait for Mary's reply before she hangs up. Amy hasn't been there more than a few months, but she's already one of the best on the team. Let her be mad; Mary couldn't fire her if she wanted. Still, Amy scowls.
"That was my boss. New case. Apparently my lunch break is over."
He frowns a bit, but stands. "Just as well. I should get going, too."
"Wait!" she jumps out of her seat before he can even take a step away from the table. "I have to do something real quick. Don't leave yet. Give me five minutes."
He nods. "Alright. Five minutes. Meet me by the TARDIS."
"Thank you!" Amy grins before she grabs her bag and runs out the door.
The closest shop is less than half a block south. It doesn't take her long to get there and even less to find exactly what she needs: a small pack of custard mix. It isn't the sort he usually has with his fish fingers, but she thinks it'll do. She pays for it and then pulls a sheet of paper from her bag, scribbles a quick note, and folds it into quarters. She digs out the Doctor's handkerchief from her jacket pocket (she didn't get anything gross on it, only a few tears so she doesn't think he'll mind; he will eventually eat blue grass after all, so a few tears are nothing) and wraps it around the note and the custard, tying it at the top so that it doesn't come undone.
He's still there, leaning against his TARDIS, when she runs out of the shop. She grins at him and hands him her gift. "It isn't for you," she explains.
A smile tugs at his lips and he takes it from her. "I'll make sure he gets it," he promises, pocketing it.
Amy grins and points at finger at him. "And no sneak peeks!"
He chuckles. "Alright."
She hugs him. It takes him a split of a second to hug her back and it's a bit strange, hugging this old-new Doctor. He's a bit taller, thinner; there's no bowtie pressing against her neck or tweed scratching at her arms. It's different, strange, but not bad. She pulls back after a few seconds. "Find someone," she tells him. "I mean it. Don't be alone. You deserve that much."
"I told you, we'll see."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." She rolls her eyes, playfully. She knows that he knows she's right. He'll find someone, she's sure of it.
"Oh, and AJ, lose the gun."
She laughs. "We'll see," she says. He grins and turns to step into the TARDIS. It's only as he's about to close the door that a though strikes her. "Doctor!"
He sticks his head out. "Yes?"
"I never told him."
His brows fur a bit in confusion. "I'm sorry?"
"My friend. I never told him how I felt."
His eyes widen a bit. "I don't think – "
"Oh, shut it for a moment, would ya?" she continues without giving him the chance to finish. "Travelling with him wasn't easy, you know. Sometimes it was hell and there was so much running. And danger. I can't even count how many times I almost died."
"I – "
"But I never regretted it," she says, a smile tugging at her lips and he immediately shuts his mouth. "Not once. Because, you know, I lived more in those years than I ever did before. And I wouldn't change a thing. Not for the universe." She takes a breath and meets his eyes. "And I never told him."
"Oh," he smiles and she thinks it's the brightest she's seen this Doctor look, "I think he knows."
Amy laughs and the Doctor shuts the TARDIS door. She stands there for a long moment, listening to the wheezing sound and watching the police box fade away. Once it's gone, she reaches for her lower back and her fingers brush against her gun. For a moment she considers it, but she pulls her hand back and sticks it her pocket instead. Amy smiles, turns, and walks away. She doesn't wait, doesn't linger, doesn't hesitate any more. She's got a life – her life without the Doctor – to get to after all.
'Everything's got to end sometime otherwise nothing would ever get started.' I get it now, Doctor. Take care of yourself. – Gotcha, Amy. xo
When the space between the things you know is blurry nonetheless
When you try to speak but you make no sound
And the words you want are out of reach but they've never been so lou d
Beside You, Mariana's Trench
Note: There are so many Eleven meets Rose fics, that I felt I should write an Amy meets Ten fic. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. Eleven is my Doctor so Ten was SO hard for me, but Muffintine helped me out a lot. I know neither him nor Amy were as lively as normal, but I felt that, given the situation, they would be a bit more emo. I finished this about three weeks ago, but it took me some time to get it online. Since this only follows season five, I will probably rewrite this after Amy actually leaves.
Beta-ed by Muffintine.