Disclaimer: I don't own this - even I could come up with a better name than "Let's Kill Hitler."
pertaining to or constituting a residue or remainder; leftover.
Chapter One – Rory & Amy
Amy leaned wearily against the brightly colored doorway of the nursery as Melody dozed off in her arms. Neither could be blamed for their exhaustion, for the amount of work done to simply reunite a mother and her daughter was ludicrous. Of course, it hadn't actually been simple, not in the least. Then again, nothing ever was when you were travelling through time and space in a police box with a mad man. But she was back now - with an entire family that had suddenly been built around her.
The baby in her arms curled closer to her mother's bosom, her soft facial features scrunched up in a knotty expression with her eyes squeezed tightly shut before she slowly lifted her lids. She was so young and old at the same time, considering all of the trauma that small infant had lived through in her short time spent alive. Even through everything that the child and the ones searching for her had withstood, though, Melody still looked up at her mother with tired blue eyes that shone with innocence despite her suffering.
Amy met those eyes with exhaustion and worry, two emotions she had become very well acquainted with recently. Her baby, while now oblivious, would live through such terrible things, such ridiculous, painful hardships, and she couldn't help but feel as though she was the one subjecting her own daughter to her future afflictions. Melody Pond would never be raised normally, would never taste the bittersweet tang of human childhood, would never know a life outside of the supernatural, outside of abnormal, outside of constant running.
Running and running and running, something the baby had known well since the day it was born.
Melody would never look back on her childhood memories with fondness, would never remember a time without danger, could never live any way besides that of the Doctor's companions. So Amy, standing there with her weary shoulder pressed against a contrastingly bright-colored wall in a nursery, choked back a sob as a cold, wet tear drew a line of mascara down her cheek - though her make-up was already ruined past recognition. She cried for every sorrow she had kept trapped inside for the past couple weeks she had spent fighting for her life alongside those she loved for the one she loved - but mostly she cried for all the pain her daughter would face, all the pain to happen that the poor baby in her arms knew nothing about, all the tears that would hide behind Melody's wall of strength as she grew.
As she grew into River Song, the impressively courageous woman that Amy never, ever wanted her child to become. She didn't want her daughter to see the things River had, but mostly, she didn't want to imagine the things that woman had done – that Melody had done. River was by no means a good role model, let alone a good future self for the infant that now stared at her sobbing mother in confusion.
Amy slid down the doorframe, her lithe body touching the floor as she struggled to hold her baby while clutching her head in her hands. She didn't want her daughter to see her cry, see her so weak, but she had never felt such helplessness. Even when they searched for Melody when she had been taken, it had been less distressing; River's existence had served as a reassurance not a painful reminder of the baby's life to come. Now the new mother couldn't help but curl up in desperate misery. She had been through so much, so many life-or-death situations, but never had the kiss-o-gram from Leadworth been forced into such responsibility for another human being. The pressure to keep her child safe and the wave of depression that surged through her when she realized she had already failed were powerful blows to her strong front, and Amy Pond's defenses were wiped clean.
She turned away in a useless attempt to wipe her tears on the shoulder of her shirt before looking up at her husband. Rory was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, having just changed out of the Roman garb he had worn for so long during the focused hunt for the ones who had stolen his daughter. Only when Amy met his eyes did she realize that she wasn't the only one suffering an excruciating mental blow. His eyes looked down in sleep-deprived melancholy as he shared a moment with his wife – both of them trying their utmost best to remain afloat in a sea of pain.
"Rory." Her usually confident Scottish voice cracked.
Amy watched his face fall a millimeter (for how much more could it fall?) as he observed his spouse's misery. For all he had done for her - waiting 2000 years, dying so many times, crossing time and space to remain alongside her - she had been the emotionally untouchable one. Now that he found her on the floor grasped her only child and weeping, something inside him wanted to curl up beside her and embrace their sadness.
Seeing her break down was terrible, but something was shared between their eyes aside from their joined despair – seeing each other awoke their love and reminded both of them of why they had suffered through everything the world could possibly through at them for the past few weeks. The girl between them, who was truly the purest connection between the married couple, un-scrunched her tightly-knit face for only a second to smile innocently up at the two who had both simultaneously glanced down at their daughter.
In such a simple action, Melody had reminded both of them that, while who knows what pain the baby would face in the future, right now she was alive and needed her parents – whole and strong enough to handle a child.
Amy looked up, her sobs slowing as she felt a rush of shame at her unsightly reaction. "Uh…?" she asked as politely as possible while gesturing to the infant in her arms and holding her a little farther from her body.
Rory smiled lovingly at his two girls that lay in front of him before reaching for the baby. Once her arms were relieved, Amy made haste to wipe her face free of tears and smeared make-up in a quick attempt to make amends for her break down. Her husband stepped carefully over Amy's legs and into the nursery's threshold, carrying his precious cargo with grace before setting the baby gently into the ratty old blue crib. The Doctor insisted it should only be temporary, but both members of the couple felt a great attachment to the Time Lord's old memorabilia as though it were of unimaginable importance. The ancient wood creaked as the weight of the baby pushed on its legs.
The centurion in jeans then walked over to his wife in short, sensitive steps. He favored his left legs a little as he tried to make his limp seem as unnoticeable as possible; Amy made no comment, allowing him to pretend that nothing hurt him for her sake. He sat down beside her, his back touching the green wall in the room (Each wall was a different color, each equally neon – green, blue, yellow, red. The ceiling sported a brilliant purple.) while Amy leaned against the orange door frame before realizing this and scooting inside the room, pushing her husband aside as she did so. He laughed it off and kissed the corners of her eyes to dry her remaining tears with affection. She pushed his arms off her kiddingly, and, if only for a second, nothing seemed abnormal. Well, aside from the usual saving-the-world-in-a-time-travelling-box abnormal.
But nothing was normal, not even by their standards, and no matter how much they longed to stay in their blissful state, they both knew they couldn't. It was Amy who broke the peaceful silence. "We," she paused as if trying to find the right words, something she never seemed to worry about before, "have a lot to talk about, don't we?"
Rory nodded, an action only barely seen by Amy in her peripheral vision. As if to sum up the outrageous situation, he said incredulously, "River is our daughter."
Amy couldn't help but laugh at his wonder - and her own. It seemed so unbelievable, and even after all the time they'd spent knowing this and all the facts that had been tossed about that proved it, the fact that River Song was their part-Time Lord part-human child was a really hard concept to grasp. It was astounding neither of them had suffered from a mental break down - excepting the one that just took place due to a combination of relief and agony.
"Melody is our daughter," corrected Amy in a dignified voice that was ruined a little by her runny nose, "and River is Melody."
Rory sat for a moment in the silence, pondering their child's meaning, future, and every single moment of her life that lay between now and then. "Hmm," he said finally in that tone that meant he had no idea what the difference that Amy tried to point out was. She snorted a little bit, and he changed the subject, though only slightly - "Do you think we raise her?"
It was a question that both had been trying to avoid but needed to be addressed. As Amy and Rory got lost in thought fretting over their possible paternal future, the only sound to accompany them was a soft cooing of their child, a sound that was both reassuring and eerily foreshadowing. What if they didn't raise her?
They found it hard to get even the smallest detail - if any at all - clearly stated by River. She always insisted that whatever way she was raised, time could be rewritten enough for everything to work out alright. Really, though, that wasn't in the least reassuring to the young couple - they didn't want hope for something better, they wanted to be told that they would be able to hold their child for as long as they needed to and for as long as she needed to be held. Amy and Rory simply wanted the threat away from their daughter, not a vague, paradoxical suggestion to change time.
A year. They had already missed a whole year of their little girl's life and didn't want to miss a second more, whether it was the tiniest moment or a memorable time such as her first words. Maybe it was their relief and surging affection thinking for them, but they needed to know that they could be, if only a little bit, a normal family. Considered all the mystery surrounding her future – the astronaut suit, the jail sentence – who knew how much time they'd spend together, let alone whether or not it would be in any sort of normal environment.
The Doctor had done his best, rushed off into an unknown battle at the slightest glimmer of hope, but he hadn't been able to return the child to the newlyweds' arms without assistance from his companions - and it wasn't until a year after her birth, only a little less than a month in their time. He felt endlessly guilty for his tiniest mistakes made when their daughter's life had been on the line, and the emotionally weary couple couldn't help but blame him, if only slightly - especially Amy. She wanted to ignore the fact that she blamed herself for her daughter's disappearance just as much as the Doctor.
So the words that Rory had spoken with great hesitation floated in the air along with their doubts and insecurities as both of them realized it didn't need to be answered, nor could it be.
"What do we do now?" asked Rory tentatively, knowing there was no proper response. He stared pleadingly at his wife who looked back at his eyes hollowly. And then, completely unforced and natural, her face faded into a warm smile.
"Save the universe, travel time, learn how to care for a baby correctly - you know, the usual."
Rory couldn't help but smile at Amy's casual reply, and he drew her into a comforting hug - both for him and her. They were together and felt completely whole for the first time since the kidnapping of Melody. At least for now, everything was as calm as possible in the TARDIS. A relaxed mood settled over the Doctor's wedded companions.
"So," started Amy with a hint in her voice that Rory instantly recognized as teasing, "no more sex whilst exploring all of time and space in the TARDIS." She turned to him and wiggled her eyebrows, an action that wasn't quite as suggestive with the teardrops still clinging to her eyelashes.
Ignoring the subtle heat that flooded his face, Rory replied as coolly as possible, "Of course. We wouldn't want any more part-Time Lord babies."
"Yes, yes, yes, even though the experience was ever-so-fun the first time around. We must obey the rules!"
"There are rules now?"
"Oooh, the Doctor didn't tell you?" Amy asked with sudden interest, leaning closer to her husband. He shook his head. "Well, he went over an entire new list of rules for 'appropriate spousal behavior and interaction while aboard the TARDIS' with me. Sorry you had to miss it - it was splendid." She rolled her eyes at the last bit, clearly being sarcastic. "I got to sit and listen to him explain - in magnificent detail, I might add - every little thing we could and couldn't do on here. Well, as much as he could while struggling not to blush! It was worth sitting through just to see him squirm."
Rory laughed softly into his hand as he imagined the awkward Doctor, careful to avoid contact with a particularly bad wound on his palm; he would have to address that later, it looked infected. He was happy to see his wife was back to her usual, joking self despite all the pains experienced, so he did his utmost to remain positive to help her relax more.
Amy herself was purposefully acting as usual, teasing and reacting with her normal personality. It was hard, but she worked through it to make her husband feel more comfortable, which she quickly saw was working.
So either member of the couple sat beside each other next to the doorway into a nursery, both joking as though nothing had happened in a deft attempt to comfort the other. It was funny to any onlooker who could've understood what ran through both their minds.
They sweet little moment, though, was quickly shattered.
A cold, precise clacking of high heels that were evidently not the Doctor's broke their comfort. The sound echoed around the empty metal halls of the TARDIS's inner layers, getting louder and louder as proximity increased. Though neither had a reason to be afraid, both Amy and Rory held their breath.
The couple released their breath at the same moment to look up from the loud heeled shoes that had stopped right in front of them. Their daughter stood directly outside the doorway wearing a kind smile.
How'd I even write this? I don't even really like Amy/Rory... ah, whatever, they're cute.
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