Ten.

She's being ridiculed once again for her imaginary friend.

"Hey Amy, where's your imaginary friend? Off hiding somewhere in your mad head?"

Her fists clench as her blood boils.

"For the last time, he's real, you stupid twats!"

"Oh sure he is. Oh look, I'm Amelia Pond, and my imaginary friend is going to take me to see the universe!" the meanest of the girls says, mocking her with a flip of her hair.

She clenches her fist even tighter (if that's at all possible), and through gritted teeth:
"Leave. Me. Alone."

And it must have been the look on her face, or maybe the fact that the teacher was nearby, but they flounce off to another section of the playground.

Amy sits down and cries (again).

Suddenly, a tiny voice comes out from nowhere:
"I don't think you're mad."
Sniffling, she looks up.
It's Rory Williams, the boy who moved to Leadworth just a year ago.
"You don't?" she says, wiping at her nose with her sleeve.

"Not at all. If you say your imaginary friend is real, than I think he might be.
Do you want to play with me?"

The last part is a mumble.

"What?"
Rory clears his throat.
"Do you want to play with me?"

Amy smiles, a true, genuine smile (one that hasn't graced her face for quite some time), and says "Yes."
So he pulls her up using his hand and off they go.


Fourteen

They've entered the upper levels of school now; Amy's as scared as anything.
Her raggedy doctor is under wraps for the new school, but half her grade school is here.

"Hey, it's the mad girl! Tell us, Amy, did your imaginary friend drop you off at school today?"
"Piss off, Jodie! Like you know what it's like to feel anything!"
"Oh, upset you, did I?"
"As a matter of fact-"
"Amy!"

She turns around.

"Rory!"
They meet in the middle and hug; five seconds pass before the awkwardness sets in.

"Oh…I guess we'll leave the princess to her fairytale, huh girls?"
Amy turns around in a heartbeat.
"Shut up. Don't make me tell you again."

Rory just stands there stammering.
"Yeah, you'd better not mess with her!"
"Thank you Rory, but I think I was doing fine on my own."

Jodie flips her hair just like she did when she was younger, and again flounces off.

Amy turns to Rory.
"Thank you. It means a lot that you were there for me."
He nods, dumbstruck.
"Well come on, stupid face, let's go to class!"

She grabs his hand and off they go.

It's not long before he offers to carry her books to class. She refuses, of course.


Seventeen

It's prom. And of course, she's being tormented.
Rory, her lovable, just-a-friend date, stands there awkwardly and doesn't know what to do.

"Huh, Pond, I figured that your imaginary friend would be taking you. But I guess this loser had to do, considering he's not real."

Her fists clench again. "I don't know how many times I'll have to drill it through your thick skull. He's real. And Rory's not a loser."
"Thanks, Amy," Rory mutters.
"My God, you really are delusional!"
"And you're all arses."
They gasp, and Amy laughs.
"Not used to being told the truth, I see?"
"Whatever, you freak. Come on, let's leave the freak alone with her loser of a date."

Her eyes close. Doctor, please come back. Please take me away from this.

She opens her eyes. The girls are walking away, laughing, no doubt, at her.
"Do you want to go home?" Rory asks.
"No. Let's dance."

A slow number starts, and Rory pulls Amy in as close as he dares.
"He promised me, y'know. He promised he'd come back."
A tear runs down her cheek.
"I'm sure he did, Amy. But he's not here now."
"I know."

Later that night, when he's walking her to her front door, she kisses him.
"Thank you, Rory."

And he's not sure if she's thanking him for the night or for being there for her all this time, but it doesn't matter.
"You're welcome, Amy. Good night."
"Good night, Rory."

Once the door shuts and he gets back in the car, he pats himself on the back and shouts:
"YES!"

Fin.

A/N: For Lucy and Sami. Reviews are appreciated, especially since this is my first time writing for them. Title credit goes to Ron Pope's "You're the reason I come home."