Mother/Daughter Time: Amy tries to come to terms with the fact that River is her daughter and possibly the future wife of her raggedy Doctor
Note: This drabble was originally written very shortly after the events of A Good Man Goes to War. A lot has changed since then and somehow I accidentally uploaded the wrong story under this title, so here it is back up how it originally was. Sorry 'bout that.
Amy looked at her reflection in the mirror one last time before exiting the room. Lingering there for a moment-funny what constituted a moment when you're in a time machine-contemplating how the event of the past year seemed to have aged her nearly ten, if it were possible. It seemed like yesterday that she was a just a little girl drawing pictures of her imaginary Raggedy Doctor, and now she was a wife. And a mother. Even it was just for a month. She shuddered a little, as if the motion could shake away the melancholy, and headed towards the console room when the sound of muffled voices and multiple, indistinguishable objects clanging to the floor stopped her in her tracks.
"River," the Doctor's voice rang out with a tinge of frustration, "What are you doing? Stop that!"
"Don't worry, Sweetie…we've done this a hundred times. Possibly even a thousand."
"But, hey! Don't put your hands...! You shouldn't be touching that! RIVER!"
"Well, you're just going to have to lie down if we're going to do this properly."
Amy's eyes opened wide with shock as the sound of a thud and some shuffling came from around the corner. Were they...? Could they actually be…?" She was half filled with equal measures of dread and curiosity as she slowly found the courage to peek around and see what was going on, quiet as a mouse.
There, beneath the console, were the Doctor and River, lying with their bodies facing each other much too closely for Amy's comfort, their arms tangled elbow-deep in the Tardis' innards.
"River, She doesn't like it when you put those there!"
"Oh she does, believe me."
"How do you know that? And no more bloody warnings about spoilers!"
"I know because you taught me."
Amy felt a cold knot form in her stomach when River said those words. It wasn't because of the words, exactly, but because of the silence that followed. And the longing smiles she couldn't see, but knew were there. And the stillness in the room…and the closeness of their bodies…and…
"See here? This is what is supposed to be connected to the dimensional stabilizers," continued River.
"No, it's not. That's NOT supposed to be there at all. And it's NOT a stabilizer, it's a temporal influx booster whatnot and if it's broken, it's because YOU broke it, River Song."
"Alright, my love. You can believe that, if it makes you feel better. Now be a dear and go find another one."
Amy watched as the Doctor hesitated for a moment, and then gingerly slid himself out from beneath the console, parts of his body making unavoidable contact with River's. He blushed instantly and practically jumped to his feet. But still, he was smiling. In a new way.
"Ooh, that was...yes, well, um…" The Doctor was flummoxed. He straightened out his bow tie and flailed his hands about a little before pointing both fingers at River. "You stay right there," he whispered playfully before disappearing around another corner.
"And don't touch anything!"
Amy couldn't move. All she could do was stand there and study the look on River's face as she smiled and watched the Doctor leave the room. But that was the thing about River Song. One never knew if a hint of a smile meant something good, something sad, or something dangerous. It made her head spin every time she looked at her. How did sweet, angelic, baby Melody Pond come to be the mysterious River Song? How long had her and the Doctor been at this? When did they ever sleep? Do Time Lords even need to sleep? Good god…her daughter was part Time Lord!
She was still having a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that this woman, who by all rights was older than she was by "home's" standards, was her daughter. She was so very different. River was the physical embodiment of time, space, adventure, sex and raw passion from the way that she talked, to the way that she walked and the way that she dressed. Looking down at her own clothes, tights with a pair of high top Converse, a denim mini skirt and one of Rory's jerseys, she realized that she still looked like a university student; one who has had the whole of the time and space pouring through her head, who has saved Earth and Existence and countless lives, but a university student nonetheless. And now she was a mother. To the impossible River Song. Who knew the Doctor's real name and how to fly the Tardis.
"There, there now," River whispered reassuringly as she reached back into the open panel of the Tardis' central column and gently pulled out the end of a glowing, blue cable that responded with a melodic hum to her touch. "Could you pass me one of those magnetic clamps?"
The words snapped Amy out of her thoughts, startling her slightly. How long had River known that she was standing there?
"It's the silvery-looking one with the red handle."
Amy moved wordlessly across the room, her sneakers making a squeaking sound against the floor, and picked up the device from the pile of scattered, nameless 'thingys' she would never understand.
River looked up from where she was sitting and took the clamp from Amy with a playful grin. "He gets ever so cross when I play with his toys."
Amy responded with a tentative smile of her own and kneeled down on the floor besides River. An uncomfortable silence came over the room as the two women simply looked deeply into each other's eyes…one pleading for answers and the other praying to all things sacred that the other would not ask for any. But of course, it was inevitable.
"River…I need to ask you something."
River looked down at the tools in her hand as a kind of pained expression came over her. "Amy-"
"Look, I know that you can't tell us…things…certain things…a lot of things. But I just need to know this ONE thing."
"Alright. If I can tell you, then I will tell you."
"Where you happy? I mean, as a child. Did you have a happy childhood?"
Amy's own childhood, her original one, was loneliness and isolation wrapped in mystery and confusion. The odd little girl in the house that was too big. Her new childhood, the one that came after the Pandorica, was almost so brilliant that it felt like a dream, although the memories of her former one still came to her from time to time, like ghostly mirages haunting her in the night . She swore that if she ever had a child, she would do everything in her power to make things different.
"Amy," River sighed, "my childhood…it's rather complicated and if-"
"Yes, I know," Amy snapped, cutting off the rest of the sentence. There was an uneasy silence again, and Amy could see a hint of sadness creeping over River's face. "It's just that you grow up to date autons with interchangeable heads, own hallucinogenic lipstick and kill a room full of aliens in less than two minutes. Oh, and also, there's the going-to-prison-for-murdering-someone thing. Not exactly what a mother hopes the future holds for her daughter, you know. I mean, how does that happen?"
It was an exclamation as much as it was a question, and River took a deep breath and looked up, as if she was searching some internal database for just the right thing to say. "Well, when you run with the Doctor…"
River's words trailed off for a moment and she smiled wistfully at memories yet to be lived until Amy huffed, threw her hands up in defeat and started to move away. But before she could upright herself, River grasped her by the wrist and pulled her back down.
"I told you at Daemon's Run that you were not alright now, but that you would be. And so will I. I know it's not the answer you're looking for, but I'm not sure that knowing the answer will make you feel better, so just believe me when I tell you that everything will turn out exactly as it should and that and even if I could, I wouldn't change one second of my life. Not one second. Trust me..."
Amy looked into River eyes, expression was softer now, more comforting, and probably as reassuring as she could ever expect it to be, then down at the hands that were now holding hers, both fiercely strong and elegantly graceful, and fought back a tear that threatened to ruin her cool façade. For all her doubts, she couldn't argue that River would be alright because she was. She was amazing.
"I trust you. I really do. But...can you at least tell me that we'll be there for you then? When you need us?"
"Whenever it counts." River smiled and traced her thumb over Amy's knuckles affectionately.
They lingered there for a moment, well, as long as a moment can be considered a moment when you're in a time machine, until they heard footsteps.
"Well, it took me long enough, but I had to move some rather large stones with scribbly things on them. Oh, and a rather large assortment of red balloons although I can't seem to recall having had a party in the Tardis. Oh, and there were biscuits! I do love those Jammie Dodgers." He punctuated his affection for the treat by holding one up and twisting it in midair so that the two women could see the little red heart in its center, then frowned as they pulled their hands apart and stood to face him.
"What?" he asked, looking back and forth to each of them as he scratched the side of his face with a perplexed expression. God, he was adorable when he was clueless.
"Oh, nothing." Amy answered, stretching her arms out and folding them behind her as she walked backwards in the direction she came from. "We were just having a chat. I'm going to go see if Rory is up."
The Doctor shot a glance at River, who simply raised a knowing eyebrow. "Alright. You do that. Well then, where were we?" he continued.
"Oh yes! Stabilizers!"
Amy shook her head. Even when River was saying a word as innocuous as 'stabilizers' she managed to make it sound like a sexy romp on some dangerous planet where there would no doubt be shooting. And running. Lot's of running. She watched as the both of them crawled back under the Tardis' console, their bodies again becoming a jumble of arms and legs as if they were extensions of the Tardis' inner workings themselves, as naturally and as comfortably as if they had always been like that. Her raggedy Doctor and her daughter. Her daughter and her possibly future son-in-law. She could still hear their voices as she made her way around the corner.
"Oh, and look what else I found!"
River laughed in a way that Amy had never heard her laugh before. "Oh, I hate you."
"No you don't."
"You're right. I really don't, Sweetie."
Amy stopped walking just before opening the door to her room and looked back down the hallway that led to the console room. The voices were muffled now, but it didn't matter. He was River's brilliant Mad Man now and not her Raggedy Doctor anymore. He hadn't been from the moment he read whatever was written on the side of that stupid cot and even though she knew it shouldn't feel this way, Amy felt like it was killing her. She was jealous of River and the Doctor. Jealous of everything that they were and everything that they would come to be. And she was happy at the same time. At least, she hoped to be. And then she wondered if Rory would get to dance with his daughter at the wedding. If he didn't kill the Doctor for possibly having hot future-sex with his daughter. With a deep sigh, she inched forward and entered the room.
"Oi, Stupid Face…"
And the door closed.