As you may have noticed, I haven't written anything a really long time, so I decided to work on some drabbles to get me back into the swing of things. Then I stumbled across the 100fairytales prompts on Livejournal, and this was born.
I'm not very good at drabbles; I'm much better when I can ramble on at length. But I'm going to post these here anyway, because it's my page and I can do what I like.
If I don't get sucked back into longer projects, then maybe I'll continue with these. I'm hoping to eventually feature every possible combination of Amy, Rory, Eleven, River, and the TARDIS, because they're my OT5 forever. :)
Also, unless they deal with a specific episode, these take place in my AU headcanon between series 5 and 6, so any series-6 twist absurdity does not apply.
001. The fox as shepherd.
"Go," the Doctor says, or "Stay," and they go or they stay, because he's the Doctor, and he's wonderful.
And he saves planets and swans around and runs and hands Rory things, attach that there, don't drop it, this next bit is very wibbley; he leans on Amy in great rib-cracking hugs, don't do that to me again, Pond, you gave me quite a scare. He always knows what to do, and everything turns out fine.
And in his wonderfulness he lies to them, and he locks them in the TARDIS, and he waits days – days – to save Amy from the Silence, days that Rory spends hunched over like an old man, curled around the little blinking ember in his hand that calls and cries and begs for help in his wife's voice.
And Rory never fights, never disobeys, because he trusts the Doctor. He loves the Doctor. But in moments of alienness, when the Doctor moves at strange angles and won't look Amy in the eye, Rory finds himself reaching for her hand, as if to pull her back.
And when Amy and the Doctor each tell him to look after the other one, it isn't a difficult choice.
006. What was whispered in his ear.
The Astronaut's blast knocks the Doctor to his knees, and he looks up across the burning beach as his hands start bleeding gold. Someone is shouting – Amy, probably. "I'm sorry," he tells her, nearly a whisper, but he's sure she'll hear. She always does.
He meets her wild eyes for a second, just for a second, then can't look anymore and his gaze darts instead to River, whose eyes are cold, cold with the shock of having lost so much that loss is no longer a shock. In this second that lasts forever he can see all of the grief he'll cause her, all of the times he'll make her love, make her suffer, make her learn to fight in spite of grevious wounds. Someone's shouting, and just before the Doctor dies he watches River's lips, waiting for her to speak that last word to absolve him, that last curse to condemn him. There's nothing but silence round him now; still, if she says it, he'll hear. He always does.
He wonders if she even knows it yet, his name.
008. Sin and grace.
"You were in Stormcage," the Doctor says suddenly, as they're lying on a hammock suspended in the cavernous dark of the engine room. His voice brushes River's exposed skin like a scrap of rough velvet.
"Still am," she says. No point arguing: strange pillow talk is par for the course, with the Doctor.
"You keep escaping."
"Well, they locked me in. You can't expect a girl to stay put."
"Yes, but then you keep going back." He raises himself on one elbow, leans over her, his eyes thoughtful. "You escape, but not for good. Only to have an adventure or two with me. Why not make a proper run for it?"
There's a long silence, then the Doctor sighs. "It's all right, you don't have to answer. I know what you're doing."
River feels her lips quirk into a knowing smile, though she suddenly feels like a young, terrified, impressionable girl all over again. "And what am I doing?"
"Penance," the Doctor says. His long, bony fingers trace her collarbone like an archaeologist uncovering a shard of something ancient and precious under a layer of dust. "You want to be forgiven."
River closes her eyes. "Don't we all?"
009. The danced-out shoes.
Somehow the Doctor ends up carrying both pairs of shoes; his shiny black loafers tied together by the laces and slung over one shoulder, and Amy's bright yellow heels, because she refused to climb the stairs while wearing them and wouldn't leave them behind.
The noise of the party follows them faintly up to the top of the tallest tower. Stepping out into the warm spring night, they can see the lanterns dappling the garden below, and the white gazebo where they'd left a drunken Rory to snore in peace. The Doctor leans on the parapets and Amy settles next to him, her shoulder warm against his.
"You're a terrible dancer," she says after a moment.
"So are you," the Doctor counters.
"Not like you! I swear, it's like watching a drunken giraffe trying to get about."
The Doctor snorts with laughter. "Really, Pond, a giraffe?"
"Yeah, you're all legs and wobbly neck – oh, shut up, you know what I mean," Amy says, elbowing him affectionately.
He taps the shoe hanging against his chest. "I'll have you know that it's impossible to dance badly in these. They were a birthday present from Fred Astaire."
"Ooh, can we go meet him?" Amy asks.
"Well, I do owe him a great deal of…" the Doctor trails off at the look on her face. "All right, we'll go and see him. First thing in the morning, eh?"
But first, while they're waiting for Rory to sleep off his three whiskeys, they test the magic shoes in the console room until Amy is satisfied (though the Doctor refuses to try on her heels).
013. The magician and his pupil.
"Now don't drop them. Dropping them will create a catastrophic temporal anomaly," the Doctor says, handing Rory three thermocouplings. "It's red to yellow, blue to green, easy as cake. Go ahead, give it the old what-for."
Rory glances at the thermocouplings, then back to the Doctor. "But, I don't – I'm not sure I –"
"Oh, come on! Have some confidence, Rory!" The Doctor grabs him by the shoulders and spins him around, shoving him towards the time rotor. "Nothing to it."
Carefully, Rory extends the red coupling towards the yellow slot. Its legs unfold, reaching to connect –
"NO!" the Doctor roars. Rory jumps, nearly dropping the thermocoupling, but the Doctor is suddenly right behind him and grabs his wrist. "Not… like… that," the Doctor breathes. "Here, I'll show you."
The Doctor's hands are on his hips, moving him two paces to the left, and Rory thinks he'll let go then but he doesn't; those big hands are sliding around to the front of him, and before Rory can so much as squeak the Doctor is pressing on his abdomen, his alien skin unexpectedly cool. He's muttering "Stomach in, chest out," then "shoulders back" – Rory isn't responding, so he makes the change himself – and then he steps back, admiring his handiwork. "There, try it like that, shouldn't do too much damage," he says brightly.
He bounds up the stairs, leaving Rory too-hot and flustered and wondering whether the Doctor can possibly be that oblivious.
Something explodes up on the console, and he thinks gloomily that he probably can.
014. The youth who wanted to learn what fear is.
They're running, Rory and Amy and the Doctor, with great flaming bat-gargoyles in hot pursuit, and they're almost back to the TARDIS when Rory trips. Hitting the ground knocks his heart into his throat and he's going to die in the mud, roasted alive by ugly church decorations –
Then strong hands grab his collar and his shoulder and also somehow his elbow and he's hauled upwards. It's the Doctor, the Doctor's turned around and come back for him, and is dragging him towards the TARDIS; Rory tries to help, and manages to get his feet back under him just in time to overbalance the Doctor and send them crashing to the floor.
Amy throws the lever and the force of the takeoff sends Rory and the Doctor rolling against the stairs, and Rory can feel the bruises forming between his ribs but he doesn't care, his heart is still in his throat and he can feel the Doctor's hearts hammering at him and somehow he's ended up on top of the Time Lord, his hands braced against the floor on either side of the Doctor's head, their chests pressed together and their legs all tangled.
And he would probably have gotten up again and stammered an apology, but the adrenaline and relief and gratitude are making everything spin and so before he can think better of it (always thinking), Rory closes his eyes and jumps.
The Doctor's lips taste like space and strawberries and the most exquisite terror and joy and like nothing Rory's ever known in his life.
017. Friends in life and death.
"He won't always be like this, you know," River tells Amy over coffee on Trapper's Moon. The Doctor has dragged Rory across the street to look at a cage of dancing spiders, and Amy glances out the window at the backs of their heads.
"What do you mean, 'like this'?" she asks.
"He'll change someday," says River. "He's a Time Lord, and when a Time Lord dies –" Amy shudders, fighting that thought with her whole body, and River reaches out and touches her lightly on the wrist. "I know, Amy, but this is important. When a Time Lord dies, they… change. He'll get a new face, a new body. He'll still be the Doctor, but…" she shakes her head. "He'll see everything differently. Even you."
Amy fidgets with her cup for a moment, then looks up, and River isn't at all surprised by the fire in her eyes. "So he'll change," Amy says flatly. "What'll that matter? He'll still have me."
"Even if you don't have him?"
"Of course," Amy says, looking out the window again. Her expression shifts from defiant anger to something softer and stronger. It's a look that River knows well.
"Thank you," she says softly, but Amy is watching her Doctor and her husband, and doesn't hear.
062. Keeping up appearances.
It's been a while since she's caught the Doctor doing anything particularly strange, so Amy isn't really surprised when she steps out onto the balcony of a villa in Palermo to find the Doctor up on a stepladder, painting the TARDIS.
She pauses in the doorway to watch him, squinting in the dazzling Mediterranean sun. He's found a white painter's cap and smock somewhere, and is flinging paint with more abandon than accuracy. About a fifth of the balcony is already splattered with blue much bluer than the sea or the sky.
"Does a time machine need to be painted?" she wonders.
"No, it doesn't," River calls, from where she's sunbathing safely out of range. "It's a chameleon circuit, a disguise. The image stays static no matter what you do to it."
"Don't listen to them, dear," the Doctor says loudly to TARDIS, and plants a great big kiss right between the doors.
Rory shuffles up behind Amy in the doorway, shirtless and tousle-haired. "Good morning, all," he yawns, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her cheek. He pauses a moment, taking in the scene. Then, to Amy; "Does he realize his lips are blue?"
089. You shall see me a little while longer.
For all the years Canton had had to prepare himself, driving away from that beach was possibly the most difficult task he'd done for the Doctor yet.
They had been so young! So young, and vibrant and fearful as young people were – as he had been. Oh, he remembered so well… and now he knew origin of the shadow that had haunted Amy's face even when they had first met; he knew what Rory's careful silence had been a shield against. And he knew (one last gift from the Doctor) that he, Canton, was still out there somewhere, young and rash and about to have the greatest adventure of his life.
He wondered briefly if he should have given River or Rory a message to give to his younger self – a warning, or an instruction. But then he thought of Daniel waiting for him at home, old and wrinkly now too but as sharp and handsome as ever, and he smiled to think that things would continue on their course now, and his life would unfold unchanged.
He glanced a few times into his rearview mirror, to see his future past hanging silvery low in the sky, then turned his gaze back to the road ahead.
095. I knew you were coming.
Amy wakes on the floor of the cargo bay, breathless and burning to ashes in the harsh white lights. The Doctor is on his knees beside her, doing something frantic with the sonic, but she can't see what because there's blood everywhere – her blood, on his hands, on the screwdriver, on the floor, more blood than she thought she could hold, and it's still oozing from the gash in her side. She dimly remembers the big alien bug coming at her with a sword, but the Doctor had left –
She must have croaked his name, because he raises his head to look at her, his face chalk-white and his eyes wide. "Don't worry, Pond, I've got you," he says. "I told you I'd come back."
"Knew you would," she rasps, then shudders at a stab of pain. "Knew you wouldn't leave – the ship, the moon –"
"And you," he says – almost growls – and he stops sonicking for a minute to lean over so he's almost lying on the floor at her side. He presses his forehead to hers, soft as a kiss, and a burst of warmth drives away the pain for a moment. "Remember that, Amelia. Believe it," he breathes. "I will always come back for you."