A/N: A random idea that wouldn't bloody go away from my head, so I wrote it down. This was written at 3 to 4 in the morning, so don't blame me if it sucks (which it probably does). It wouldn't let me sleep until I did. -_-
I just thought it might be a neat premise, but had no one to discuss it with and instead this came about. I've added and changed things just a bit now that I'm properly rested (and sane) so it might not be so bad.
Also Note: This is part of my 10 word Prompt challenge that I have assigned myself. If you would like to see the list of other prompts, see my profile. And if you have any ideas as to what I might add, feel free to comment or send me a message!
Anyways, review if you want. Feel free to like, love, hate, flame, scream, adore, complain, rant, etc. I don't care, just tell me what you think please!
The Doctor had been there, watching the two converse, when the great painter had told Amy of her 'sadness'. Staying silent, that was his choice, to bear enough gilt and sadness silently for both of them. Yet in that moment, the last of the Time Lords felt suddenly small compared to Vincent and his gift.
Amy couldn't understand what Van Gogh meant at the time, but he had. Oh how the Doctor had wished to tell his companion why she felt so terribly sad without the slightest realization. Every time he saw her crying unknowingly, as she passed over a shirt or vest in the TARDIS's closet, each time her hands shook when accidentally reaching to grab a third ticket or cup of coffee... it never hurt him any less.
He had believed that the burden, to remember, would stay his alone... the only being in the entirety of the universe who knew of the long gone existence of loyal, dependable Rory Williams. Yet he was wrong. Only in a strange round about way, but perhaps that wasn't so bad.
It was at the museum... the same day they had returned from seeing Vincent Van Gogh and found the present he had left for Amy; sunflowers in a vase, painted upon canvas with a note left that held meaning in their eyes alone. To the world, it could have been any 'Amy' for which the painting had been done, but they knew better. It was beautiful, and so stunning to believe that they'd changed history, even in such a small way.
At least this kindness had made Amy smile.
"The ultimate ginger." he had joked during their chat, momentarily happy at the beauty which surrounded him, before he remembered the implications of Amy's earlier statement about marriage. The Doctor shook it off easily enough, at least on the outside, lest he worry his companion. He had been ready to leave this place behind, go someplace else that Amy might like, but it was not to be.
"Come on Doctor, can we stay a while longer? We left too quickly earlier!" Amy pleaded in her lovely accent, batting long eyelashes as she held his hand in her own. He knew that meeting Vincent had only made her more interested in the display now.
There was no choice but to go along.
"Alright, but don't get lost, I won't go looking all over the gallery for you!" He said, shaking a finger at the Scottish woman as though she were still seven. "Run along Pond." Amy dashed off happily, eyes alight with fascination, but not before grabbing the bow tie-sporting alien in a quick but strong hug.
The Time Lord leaned against a wall heavily, careful to choose a post away from any masterpiece as he watched her go. Sometimes he truly felt his age... all nine hundred years. His mind drifted, thinking of life and the universe; thoughts deep enough to consume a normal man.
"Sir? I heard someone saying that there was a Van Gogh painting missing from the display?" The Doctor's ears perked up at the words of some tourist. It was the question which had caught his attention. Straightening his bow tie, he quickly joined the group, popping in with a smile.
"A missing painting you say?" He asked, eying the tour guide. "It wasn't damaged was it?" He was inches from the tour guide's face, almost as though he could scan his very mind just by standing close enough. Something here wasn't right he knew... there shouldn't have been any new paintings, just as he'd told Amy only minutes ago.
"Don't worry sir, nothing of the sort!" The man assured him. "The painting was taken off display for minor repairs to the frame it had been in. By tomorrow, it should be returned to its proper place in the museum." The guide turned on the spot and continued to lead the group through the exhibits, gesturing to each painting and explaining its history.
Immediately relieved, the Doctor was instead filled with overwhelming curiosity. If there was a painting that he did not get to see, he wanted to know where it was to show Amy as well! Perhaps she had been right after all... maybe they'd added to the pile of good things just enough to bring about something magnificent. Sneaking from the group, he wandered down the halls and passed security with a wave of his psychic paper, rather easily finding that for which he searched.
The room was locked, no one permitted to enter unless part of the restoration and repair staff. Nothing a bit of sonic-ing couldn't handle though, of course. The Doctor was inside within a minute, closing the door behind himself gently so as not to make a sound.
Dozens of artifacts and paintings filled the room, equipment all over the place. His shoes tapped lightly upon marble floor as his strides took him near. It was fascinating to see, but he wasn't here to dawdle, though it might have been fun...
"Okay..." Rubbing both hands together, eyes scanned the organized chaos. "Now if I were a painting missing it's frame because the frame is being fixed and was threfore sitting somewher frame-less... where would I be?" He picked his way around, muttering things as he looked from artwork to artifact.
"Not actually from the man, gave her a nice snogging about two years ago, I still don't see what he thought was so great about blueberry, and oh look a Vermeer! Still don't know why they haven't found the one in Switzerland yet..." To any onlooker, such words would appear to be ramblings of a mad man. But just as River had said, he liked to keep score. He'd gone to the middle of the room before finally pausing.
There were items everywhere across a long table, along with easels and chairs splayed abut his feet. This would be dangerous if he went to close. Of course, just when the Doctor thought he was safe from breaking anything, the toe of his shoe hit the desk leg and the Time Lord had to struggle to keep balance. Tweed sleeve catching something in mid turn, one elbow managed to hit something covered by a sheet.
"No, bad desk!" Managing to catch whatever it was, the sheet fell away and the Doctor immediately froze, hands clutching delicate canvas stroked with oil paint from ages passed.
It was obviously a Van Gogh to any who lay eyes upon the workmanship. The style was unmistakable, especially after their recent time jaunt to meet the man in person. But the painting was one even he had never heard of (and in the future there were some interesting paintings discovered around the world, thanks to his help). But that wasn't what made his hands tremble slightly.
It was precisely what had been painted that made him feel the need to steady himself.
"Oh Vincent..." The Doctor breathed, delicately removing himself from the death trap of objects and sitting on an empty stool nearby. "You saw didn't you...? Saw what no one else in the universe possibly could."
"Doctor! Where did you get off to now?" Amy couldn't find the strange time traveler anywhere in the gallery, no matter how hard she looked. Already one tour guide had threatened to throw her out if she got to close to another statue. "And he tells me not to wander off and get lost..." she muttered, running a hand through fiery locks.
As if taking that as it's cue, there was a low click behind her, like the fastening of a lock, and Amelia turned around. "There you are!" The Doctor was just returning his screwdriver to one of his inner pockets when Amy spotted something else sticking out from the patch of overlapping fabric.
"What's that?" She could have sworn he visibly flinched at the words, not meeting her gaze as he immediately went towards the Gallery's exit, headed for the TARDIS no doubt. Not quite wanting to leave yet, Amy was irked but followed nonetheless in his hurried footsteps.
"You look like you've seen a ghost! Don't tell me you did something again." He was silent, only walking faster. Amy only picked up her own pace and prodded him on the back. "Come on, what have you got there, and don't think for a minute that I didn't see it."
"Its just something I picked up..." he tried to wave her off, manor stiffening as they spotted the unmistakable blue box. "Come along now, get inside, we need to get moving if we're to find somewhere interesting before lunch!" The smile she received from the man was large, yet did not reach his ancient eyes. He seemed to be doing that quite often now, every time she caught him staring at her as though she'd just lost a treasured pet or precious heirloom.
"Oh no, we aren't going anywhere until you show me what that paper in your pocket was." Her eyes were on fire, face set in determination as thin arms crossed her bosom. Amy Pond had her mind made up and no one would change it.
Just inside the TARDIS door, the Doctor closed his eyes for a moment, hoping it could all just go away... but nothing was that easy. With a hollow sigh, he still refused to meet his companion's hazel eyes when the answer came. "It isn't paper... it's canvas." he corrected, voice quiet.
Amy was beside him now, eyebrow quirked. "What, you mean like for a painting?" she froze, eyes growing round and wide. "Oh my god, did you steal a painting?" she covered her mouth with both hands, glancing across his face as though searching for the answer there.
The Doctor slowly pulled a rolled up canvas from his pocket (thank god for Time Lord technology), holding it out to her. "I didn't steal it... if I'm giving it to the one it was made for." There was something in those eyes which Amy could not place as she carefully took the cylinder in her hands, entering the TARDIS as he locked the doors behind them. The Doctor stared at her, as though wanting not to miss her reaction, as she unrolled the painting.
"This is from Vincent isn't it?" She asked after a moment, voice hushed in awe. "How did he know..." she wondered allowed, "How did he know that I always loved roman soldiers?"
The painting was sort of like a portrait, depicting a young man wearing the armor of a Roman soldier of old, bronze plating and all. A centurion, by the look of the outfit. Guard and protector... or so she'd read in history. His back was half turned to them, but the head was visible enough to show slightly more than a profile view, face aglow with light supposedly cast by the painted torch which he gripped in one hand. Behind him the background was harder to see, everything too dark to make out but for the form of an almost cube-like shape, a strange design patterned in green upon both visible faces.
Amy ran a single finger across the face of the lad before something dropped upon the painting, snapping her from the reverie. "Doctor... I-It's so beautiful, I'm actually crying!" Amy said with a half astonished laugh as she wiped away the tears with her sleeve, careful not to damage anything.
"Yes... it is, isn't it?" The Time Lord was able to muster only the smallest of smiles as he too gazed upon the Roman soldier... the soldier whose face matched the awkward boy from Leadworth who'd been lost to them both. "Vincent made this for you Amy, like the sunflower painting." He pulled the canvas nearer, pointing to a small section.
Down at the bottom, and only just readable, was a message similar to the other painting, her name spelled out in dark green oil paint.. "But... why would he paint this?" She asked in confusion. "I never told him about liking ancient Rome..." she trailed off, eyes suddenly distant as once more her finger trailed across the man pictured. Another beat passed before she snapped back, head shaking.
The Doctor only took her hand in his and gently took the painting away, returning it to the cylinder for protection before stashing it back inside his pocket. "I'll find a place to hang this later." he assured her, stroking her hand in a way that made her want to ask what he was so sad about.
Instead, she decided to repeat her question. "But why paint this guy? Why for me?" her eyes were pleading for an answer, wanting desperately to understand.
Her strange, imaginary friend from childhood simply leaned in close and kissed her forehead softly. "Vincent could see things no one else could. Sometimes we loose things and don't even realize that they're gone. Maybe... he could see something in you that even you can't." With that he made for the TARDIS controls, back turned from her, something small and red being fingered in his hand.
Amy wiped away the newly formed tears and was silent, knowing the Doctor would say no more on the matter. Instead he would probably act cheerful, like nothing had happened, and take her somewhere she had always wanted to go, being nicer than usual. But there was nothing she could do about that... perhaps one day she would understand. Until then, she had her Raggedy Doctor, and that was all that mattered.
A/N: Yes this is set before The Pandorica opens, so the Doctor has no idea why Rory is in Roman gear or what the box is, he just recognizes it as Rory. I just liked the (strange) idea that Vincent could see why exactly Amy was sad (though doesn't know anything about it, he just sees this mystery man) and so painted it for Amy. Might make a follow up to this with Rory seeing the painting hanging in the TARDIS and hearing the story about when they met Vincent etc. if anybody wants it.
So please review!