Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
The Other Raggedy Doctor
When Rory Williams was nine, he went to his cousin's wedding. It was the first wedding he'd ever attended, and he'd been entranced. When he went home and to visit Amelia, he insisted they pretended to get married. Amelia had loved it, although she had made Rory dress up as the raggedy doctor first. Rory didn't mind, so long as he could still marry Amelia, and secretly he liked being the raggedy doctor, who was so wonderful and magical and different where he was plain and boring. He told her then that he was going to marry her when they grew up. Ten years later, he told her again. This time he dressed as himself, and he gave her a diamond ring rather than a Haribo.
Amelia's aunt Sharon didn't believe in the raggedy doctor, neither did any of the psychologists, teachers and eventually the social worker. Neither did Rory's parents, for that matter, who tried for a while to make him stop playing with her. It was probably the most exciting time of their childhoods, after the doctor came the first time and before they became almost-adults and discovered sex. For six blissful weeks they snuck around, Rory pretending to be the raggedy doctor needing to be saved from the evil parents, or the two of them meeting up to save the world, the village, the duck pond in secret. They were almost dissapointed when Rory's parents gave up and let him stay friends with Amelia, although they found other games to play. They always did, the raggedy doctor and the police box (Rory wanted a car, but Amy insisted on the box) could have any adventures in the universe.
When Rory was a student, wearing nursing scrubs instead of raggedy doctors clothes, and Amelia became Amy, the Doctor came back into their lives. Rory wasn't exactly surprised, the raggedy doctor was real, all the way through his childhood, and if ever he decided he wasn't real, Amelia was there to 'remind' him (usually with a swift kick) that the raggedy doctor was real, and was coming back for them. He supposed at some point it had been her, that her doctor was coming back for her, but somewhere over the years, he had become theirs. So, he wasn't really surprised, although it did feel a little bit like waking up on Easter morning to find Santa laying the egg trail.
The night before Rory's wedding, when his stag night was interrupted by the Doctor and Amy, he really wasn't surprised. It was unusual, yes, but the Doctor was always a part of their lives, it was never really Amy and Rory, or Amelia and Rory. It was always Amelia and Rory and the raggedy doctor and the police box, or Amy and Rory and the Doctor and the TARDIS. The idea that the Doctor wouldn't be there on their wedding day hadn't really occurred to either of them, although they hadn't sent an invite, or set a place for him. It was the biggest day of their lives, of course he would be there.
Two thousand years and six months later, Rory and Amy and the Doctor and the TARDIS were off again on adventures. It felt different, this time, with two thousand years of life and knowledge and an ongoing, undying love living in his soul. He didn't remember it, most of the time, he had a feeling if he did his head would burst from trying to cram it in there. Mostly what he remembered was waiting, and love. Waiting, always, for Amy and the Doctor to be ready and come back to him. Rory had always been patient.
Somehow, now, with that memory in his head and that existence sometimes itching at his skin, he felt closer to the Doctor than even Amy. Sweet Amy, who was still so young, despite the maturity they had both developed in the Tardis. Sometimes he looked at her and felt the weight of the ages on him, and she was so very, very young. The Doctor, too, when he thought about it, although the Doctor had nine hundred and nine years of memories sitting in his brain, constantly, and most of them were more than just waiting. Although, sometimes, the look in the Doctor's eyes made Rory think that maybe that's exactly what they were: waiting, running.
Rory Williams had never been special, not even after two thousand years as the last centurion, guarding a box that contained a part of his soul, and waiting for them. He'd always been a little bit plain, a little bit boring; just Rory Williams, stupid-face who wasn't even certain all the time that his wife loved him best, not with the Doctor, her raggedy doctor, with them.
No, Rory had never been the special one. So when he was the one in the middle, the one both of them wanted, the one they compromised over, that was a surprise. Amy loved them both, he knew, although he knew now that she loved him best. And Rory, Rory had waited for them both, had loved them both, all his life. Amy had been his world, but the Doctor had been a part of his existence. It had always been them, the three of them.
But it was still a huge surprise to him when the Doctor, who could kiss his wife and flirt with her, but never really went there, could look at him with dark, serious eyes, and see something worthy in him. He thought he could understand, at least a little. He was the man who waited, steadfast and loyal and always there. Two thousand years was a long, long time, even to a man who had already lived half that, and Rory knew that sometimes that was in his eyes.
Rory knew other things, as well. Things he thought the Doctor knew, but he wasn't sure Amy did. Things like how he still had memories of two thousand years of consciousness, waiting, that had never happened to a human Rory. Things like, while he could sleep, he never needed to, not even after three days on the run with barely two hours sleep a night. Things like bumps without bruises, scratches without cuts. Things like a lifelong scar from a fall at age eight was no longer marring his leg, or the wide burn on his arm from running into his Mum's hot iron was no longer there. Things like the tattoo he had inked into his arm of his Roman insignia, boxed by a remarkably TARDIS like shape and bearing Amy's name in place of a motto, which stayed in his flesh although there was no swelling, no redness or itching or scabbing. He really hoped the Doctor knew how to do something – make Amy live forever, or kill him. Because he'd spent two thousand years existing solely because he knew at the end he'd have Amy and the Doctor, and he wasn't sure he could exist indefinitely, eternally, never aging or dying without her. Although, if it meant he could spend the rest of the Doctor's life keeping him company, finally banishing the loneliness in his eyes, he thought it wasn't completely unacceptable.
Rory Williams had never been special, until Amelia Pond fell into his life, and brought her raggedy Doctor with her, and turned him into a man better than he could have hoped to be: brave and loyal and self-sacrificial, who loved two people enough to die for them, and to live for them. And he had no idea how, why, it was him. Why he was the foundation, the lynch pin, the one that Amy clung to, the one that was able to lure the Doctor to their bed. He wasn't as beautiful or amazing as Amy, wasn't as magical or enigmatic as the Doctor. He was just Rory Williams, Amy Pond William's husband, the Doctor's other companion.
For the first time in his life, Rory thought that might well be enough.