a lion-hearted girl;

Initially, she thinks he's forgotten something. It wouldn't be the first time – nor would it be the last. He is incredibly scatter-brained despite the fact that his intelligence levels always outstrip anyone in the room. His mind is a mysterious, beautiful thing, she thinks with a smile as she watches that gorgeous blue box rematerialize.

He's left the brakes on again. She always feels a bit of a twinge in her heart for the darling Tardis' engines when he does that. But he loves the sound. And she supposes that the Tardis knows well enough to prevent him from doing it if she really wanted to.

"Did you forget something?" She has her back turned when she hears the doors open, picking up her bag and rummaging through it to see if she'd inadvertently forgotten she had something of his.

"Um, not exactly no. Wish I could though." Rory's voice startles her and she turns sharply, the fabric of her skirt swishing against the concrete floor like whispers behind hands in a crowded room.

"Rory.." Her voice is weak and she swallows before moving closer to the bars of her cell. He looks... just utterly lost, and she feels her heart drop to her toes. That and disappointment have always been the two expressions she couldn't quite cope with on this man's face. "What's happened? Where's the Doctor?"

"He's fine. In there - something about a plan and a laboratory – are there labs in there? – and he told me to stay put, he'd be back in a jiff. Only I think 'a jiff' doesn't mean what he thinks it means. I took us here." He looks a little proud at that and she smiles softly, stepping up to the bars and leaning against them.

"How?" She grins and he stands a bit taller, pulling his vest together over his puffed out chest and nodding.

"He programmed these coordinates in. I noticed last time, and I mean... well I've watched him do it loads of times. Coordinates, levers, taps, pull the switch." Rory shrugs and River decides to definitely not tell him he's skipped about fourteen steps in between there. Which must mean that the Tardis herself was as keen to get Rory here as he was. Lovely old girl.

"When is this for you?" She questions him gently and he sighs, shoving his hands into his pockets before getting that pained expression again.

"Bout six months since we saw you last I think. It's hard to keep track in there, you know. But Amy's –" His voice breaks and she swallows heavily, because she knows. "We thought she was her, but she wasn't. She was a clone or a doppelganger and the real Amy is out there somewhere and I just-"

She nods in understanding, looking at him evenly. "You mean to find her." She sighs and meets his pleading gaze. "And you want my help."

Rory shifts from foot to foot nervously, and stares at the toes of his shoes for a long moment. Finally he looks up and nods. "Yeah. Look, it's not that I don't trust the Doctor – I do. More than I ever thought possible. And I know he loves Amy, and would do anything within reason to get her back." He pauses and she watches as he takes a moment to wrestle with his guilt before he can continue. "But you – you're... well." He laughs slightly and pulls his hands from his pockets to run them over his face. "You're River Song. And I know you'll do anything at all. Reasonable or not. Because you – you love Amy too. And I saw you – in that control room with all those – I wonder if she was real, even then?" He trails off and she nods, standing up straighter.

"You want somebody who will fight." She is already mentally assessing which guns to take and what she should pack as he nods. Because he's absolutely correct. She loves Amy. She loves him too, but he doesn't know that yet. None of them know that yet. But they will soon.

"Yes." His voice is soft and emphatic, not at all hesitant.

"You know – this is the day when he finds out who I am." She is speaking to herself more than him, but he looks startled all the same.

"How can you possibly know that?" He is frowning and she smiles softly.

"Spoilers." She moves away now, all brusqueness and planning. She is pulling guns out of their various hiding holes, and picking out her favourite holster. "I have to change so unless you want to watch that..." She grins at his embarrassed flush.

"What? No! No, I'll just... just turn my back then, shall I?" He turns on his heel and she is stripping out of the heavy silk jacket and dress as quickly as possible. She instinctively reaches for her favourite dress, leggings and boots – easy to move around in and the skirt hides her hip holster nicely. "Thank you, River. So much. I know you don't have to do this – but I... thank you all the same."

"Yes well, so long as you explain to the Doctor that this was all your doing not mine." She walks up to bars and looks over at the Tardis. "Darling?" Rory turns in surprise, opening his mouth but she nods to the box behind him and a vibration is heard as the cell door clicks open.

"Oh. Oh. It can do that?" He is walking alongside her and she smothers a grin.

"She can do any number of things, when she's so inclined. Now then, come along Rory." She opens the Tardis doors and steps inside with a faint smile. The interior is just as bright and welcoming as always and the Tardis hums softly beneath her feet. She always feels a desire to simply close her eyes upon walking inside, and relish in the feeling of home.

Rory steps up the stairs behind her as she walks over to the controls, sliding the monitor toward her and pulling up the travel logs. "We've got a rescue to get to. Shall you go let him know I'm here or shall I?" She laughs as he waves his hands down a hall, indicating it should most definitely be her.

"Well you're his... whatever. Best you be the one to do it then." He moves around the console, suddenly deeply interested in the spinning bits in front of him.

"Fine but you owe me one." She laughs, and moves over to the left-hand staircase and starts up it. She feels his gaze follow her and she hopes that he feels a tiny bit better for having her here. She hopes he takes what comfort he can. She reaches the top of the stairs and waves over her shoulder, but is still able to hear his parting words.

"I think I'll owe you several."