Disclaimer: I am just using these characters for the purpose of entertainment. I do not claim to own them or any of the crazy money that comes from them.
Author's Note: So this popped into my head (as Doctor/River things have a tendency to do, let's be honest) and for it to work we have to imagine that directly after AGMGTW the Doctor ran off and defeated the bad guys, saved the day and brought back a tiny baby Melody & then the Ponds and Melody continued to travel with the Doctor. I personally don't think that's too likely to happen in reality but, hey, it hasn't been decided yet and so let's pretend it's so for this story. Deal? Great. Enjoy!
"Amy I don't know if this is such a good idea." Rory said as he sat down on the bed with a sigh, looking down at the sleeping infant he held in his arms as Amy wandered around them looking for a pair of suitable shoes.
"Of course it's a good idea, it's a perfectly fine idea." Amy replied quickly with a slight snap of annoyance in her voice. "We'll only be gone a few hours. What could possibly go wrong?"
"It's the Doctor." Rory said as he raised his eyebrows. "A lot of things."
"He's nine hundred years old!" Amy snapped.
"That doesn't mean he's responsible. Just that he deserves an award for being the world's oldest child." Rory retorted as he rolled his eyes slightly.
"Oh come on, he speaks baby for goodness sake! It will be fine." She looked at him with her puppy dog eyes and he felt his reserve melt. "Please can we go out? I would like, just for a few hours, to be with people who don't call me 'big milk thing'. If that's okay with you."
"Hey, she started it." Rory smiled as he looked down at Melody.
"That does not make it okay for you to call it me too." She said huffily as she folded her arms. "Now can we please go out, please?"
"Fine. Fine." Rory sighed heavily and Amy grinned as she ran forward to pull the door open.
"He's agreed!" Amy called and the Doctor popped his head around the door, grinning broadly.
"Brilliant." He announced as he walked towards Rory with his arms outstretched. "Give me the small one."
"Okay." Rory said quietly, still not moving. "You know where the expressed milk is? And the nappies, right? You do know how to change a nappy don't you."
"I'm over nine hundred years old, I've seen entire worlds collapse and stopped armies from taking the earth and you don't trust me to change a nappy?" The Doctor said, sounding a little bit hurt.
"It's not that I don't trust you, it's just difficult." Rory added apologetically.
"I'm sure we'll work it out. Won't we Melody Pond?" The Doctor smiled as he lent down and picked the baby up as she stirred slightly in his arms.
"Don't forget she needs a feed at nine and then she should be put straight into her cot. Try not to get her too over excited." Rory said desperately. "She has a routine."
"Feed, nine, cot, routine. Got it." The Doctor grinned broadly. "Now off you go and have fun. Do whatever you humans do. But not that. We don't need any more future-children turning up and causing havoc just yet thank you very much." He finished sternly and they laughed as he ushered them out of the door.
"Oh and don't go anywhere will you?" Rory added pleadingly as he went to close the TARDIS door behind him. "We'd quite like to come back to our daughter in a few hours not in six months when you finally reappear."
"Would I do that?" The Doctor asked in surprise. "Okay, yes, I do do that occasionally. But no travel this time. I promise. We'll just have a cosy evening in. See you soon." He said quickly as he sensed Rory opening his mouth to protest once again. Amy grabbed his arm and pulled him forcefully forward. The door clicked behind them leaving the Doctor and Melody alone together.
"Well that was, difficult. Your dad's such a worrier. You're perfectly happy with me aren't you Melody?" The Doctor crooned down at her as she opened her eyes slightly and began to look about. "Oh don't worry they'll be back soon. No it's fine she's left some with me. Well, it won't be exactly the same as when she does it because I don't have the urm… well it will be from a bottle but I'm sure it will taste exactly the same." He smiled as he rocked her slightly and she gurgled appreciatively. "I know, it's nice isn't it. That's how I feel when I travel in the TARDIS. It's like someone, some bigger force, is rocking you and taking you exactly to where you should be in the universe." He paused as she stretched and made little noises. "The universe? Well it's kind of hard to explain. Especially as I'm not allowed to take you anywhere. Hmm… I suppose I could show you like this." He bounced towards the TARDIS controls and began pressing an array of buttons with his one free hand.
He stood back slightly to admire his handiwork as balls of light shot out of the central column and swirled around them, glowing lightly and forming the image of constellations and galaxies for as far as the eye could see. The lights twisted and turned around them getting smaller and smaller and showing her the vastness of the entire universe unfolding and expanding before her eyes. He sat down gently on the floor and began to recite the names of all the new things she was seeing. She lay there, completely content in his arms as his voice washed over her and wonder shone in her young eyes as she watched the lights tumble through the air before her. The Doctor lost track of time as they sat there and it was only the alarm on his watch bleeping at him that alerted him to the fact it was time for Melody's feed and he jumped to his feet quickly, the lights disappearing as he did and the TARDIS returned to her normal design.
"Oh dear nearly missed milk time. Daddy wouldn't be happy then would he Melody?" He cooed as he walked to the kitchen and began to prepare the bottle that the Ponds had left in the fridge. "Yes well I know you wouldn't be happy either but it's okay because we're getting it now." He added as she grumbled slightly and fidgeted in his arms. "Shh, shh. It's okay it's coming." He soothed her as he bounced her gently and picked up the bottle and walked into one of the side rooms that contained Melody's cot and a small bed for whoever was settling her to sleep on if she was fussy. He sat himself down lightly on the bed and rearranged his arms so she was at a comfortable angel and placed the bottled into her hungry mouth.
"See that's better now, isn't it?" He laughed as she drank greedily, eyes almost completely closed. He watched her and felt completely content. "You are a good girl aren't you Melody? You've no idea how much you've been through and how much is still to come but you're already so strong, so brave. And you're going to become even more so as you grow up. You're going to become a wonderful woman one day." He smiled down at the little baby nearly asleep in his arms, so unaware of the destiny he knew awaited her. "I love you very much little Melody Song." He whispered gently.
"And I love you too." A voice came from the doorway and the Doctor had to stop himself from jumping and disturbing the baby in his arms as he swivelled around quickly to see figure standing in the doorway.
"River!" He gasped in surprise. "But how can you be here when… You know, you're here?" He nodded down at the baby who was now gazing about in surprise at the voices around her.
"It's okay. It's fine as long as I don't touch myself. Then the universe implodes or something." River laughed.
"Says who?" He asked suspiciously.
"Who do you think?" She laughed gently as she raised her eyebrow and watched him trying to figure out how this was all possible. After a moment or two of thought he seemed to come to a conclusion he found suitable and smiled at her.
"So does this mean you can stay?" He grinned as he stood up and walked towards her, careful to keep a safe distance between her and her younger self. He quite liked the universe and didn't particularly want it to implode.
"For a while." She smiled gently. She could never stay forever- younger self or not. That was just the way it was.
"Great!" He bounced as the looked at each other, smiling. "Your parents are out and I'm on babysitting duties. I think it's nearly time for her, I mean your bedtime though… Do you know how much this is hurting my head?" He announced grudgingly. River laughed loudly.
"Imagine how I feel. I remember that," She nodded across to her younger self "And now here I am. That's how I know it's not going to make the world implode by me being here because I saw me here when I was a baby, although I didn't know it was me. Do you know what I mean?"
"Completely. And not at all." He grinned at her. "Now let's get small you to sleep. You're getting cranky." River rolled her eyes lightly at him as he stepped back to place Melody into her cot and began to rock her softly as River turned out the main lights and padded over to sit on the bed beside him, placing her hand gently in his.
"Hello Doctor? We're home!" Amy called, laughing, as they stepped through the TARDIS door. Seeing no one in sight the couple turned to each other in confusion.
"You don't think he's actually managed to get her to sleep do you?" Rory said in awe. "Before midnight?"
"Let's go see." Amy said as she grabbed her husband's hand and they wandered over to the room that had quickly become Melody's. They pushed the door open and stared into the near darkness. Rory gasped loudly.
"He's swapped our daughter for the older version!" He whispered angrily as he looked at the sleeping couple who lay on the Bed. River was curled up on the Doctor's chest while he had one arm around her and the other stretched out so it was just touching the edge of the cot. "I knew something like this would happen!"
"Shh!" Amy said as she padded inside and Rory followed her anxiously. Amy looked into the cot and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw her baby lying fast asleep under her blankets. "She's fine look. They're both fine." Her eyes misted over slightly as she looked from one version of her daughter to another and she pulled Rory close, holding onto him for support.
"She always could twist him around her little finger." Rory whispered proudly as Amy's eyes still flitted over the bizarre scene in front of her.
"Do you think…" Amy mused quietly looking from River and the Doctor to the cot. "Do you think they ever have their own-"
"Shh mum." River mumbled sleepily as she glanced up and smiled. "Spoilers." Amy laughed quietly as they turned and walked back to their own room, safe in the knowledge that their daughter was in good hands.
Review and make me happy, please?
Author's Note Two: yes, I know. She shouldn't be allowed in the same place as herself BUT Rose did it AND Amy did it AND I'm using the theory from Harry Potter in the prisoner of Azkaban when he sees himself across the lake so he knew he'd all ready done it type of thing. So. Yeah. Timey Wimey. I think it'd be okay.