No-one really ever sees him sleep. Amy had woken up and gone to fetch a glass of water, her mouth felt dry. Then she walked into the kitchen that was nearest to her and Rory's bedroom – as far as she knew, the nearest kitchen, the only kitchen, one of a thousand kitchens – and saw him, head slumped forward on the wooden tabletop, eyes closed. This kitchen was decidedly unspaceship-like, with a red tiled floor, honey yellow walls and a ticking clock, features that combined to make it cosy, comforting. The padded and tattered chair he slept in creaked as he moved slightly, and she thought she heard him groan.
Should she wake him up? Why was he in the kitchen in the first place? He never came up to the floor she and Rory lived on.
"Doctor?" she ventured, slowly moving closer.
"Rose?" he mumbled, and then opened his eyes. For a moment his head stayed flat on the table, and he stared at her without really focusing. Then she noticed the empty bottle of whiskey, the bottle of 'Bad Wolf' whiskey that had been a wedding present, on the floor next to him, and she realised he was drunk. This was new. It also explained why he was in what she considered, if she was being completely honest, her kitchen.
"Doctor, you've been drinking. You've been drinking an entire bottle of good malt scotch, and I know it's good because some of my mates bought it for my wedding. From a small and expensive distillery. Which we will discuss, at length, tomorrow, when you're sober." As she spoke, Amy had moved behind him and hooked her arms around his chest. "But for now, we need to get you to bed." She smiled a little and shook her head as she tried to pull him up. "I feel so responsible."
"Pond, no," he muttered, resisting her attempts to stand him up. "Want to stay here. Table is the place for me."
"Table is the place for plates. Bed is the place for a drunk Doctor." She tried again to make him stand, and then sighed and let him slump. "Why are you sitting here drinking alone anyway?" Not expecting to get any sense out of him, she thought at least getting him to talk a little would wake him enough that he might get up on his own. He was heavier than he looked. Amy went and sat at the opposite end of the table and eyeballed him, raising an eyebrow. He seemed different, not just the alcohol. The only sound for a while was the ticking and tocking of the old fashioned clock, with him staring at the table, at his hands, black hair hanging over his face.
"Nearly died, I suppose," he said eventually, then leaned back in the chair, still not meeting her eyes. "A very... hectic sort of day. I wanted... you don't know."
"I don't know what?" she asked, crossing her legs at the ankles. He sighed, and then looked up, brushing at his hair ineffectually with a hand that was usually so co-ordinated.
"This... with River. Its all very, very..." Another long sigh. "I don't talk about these things. Definitely not with...mothers." He laughed, abruptly. "Jackie. A mother. You. A mother."
Amy frowned. He was only half making sense. "You want to talk about River?" She had to admit, she was curious. She didn't yet really know how she felt about the woman who was her daughter, or what her daughter would become, and her relationship with the Doctor. Her pre-ordained relationship. Up until now, he had almost seemed to revel in it. And today, in Germany, he had relied on River, on Melody, had been ready to die to protect her. Now though... confusion. Understandable confusion, but also names she didn't recognise, situations that perhaps her Raggedy Doctor had never disclosed the details of. After all, he hadn't always been her Doctor, she supposed. "Who," she ventured, when he closed his eyes again, still leaning back in the chair. "Who is Rose?"
"Don't." It was spoken quietly, and yet the way he said it scared her. Sent a gooseflesh chill across her arms and legs, making her pull her flannel dressing gown tighter. His eyes were shut, but his body seemed tensed. The word had been a definite warning, and so she would stop.
"Okay. Well, if you don't want to..." And then she was scared again. He was crying. Silent tears rolled down his long, pale cheeks, and he moved slowly forwards until his head rested on the table again, and she realised that was what he had been doing, before he slept, before she came in. He had sat, and drank, and cried tears for this Rose.
"I do." Talking into the wood of the table. "I do want to. But I can't, I never could."
"Never could what?" Amy simply didn't know what to do. She wanted to comfort him, but she felt that he could turn at any moment, as the inebriated and melancholy are wont to do. Could suddenly shout and push her away, or become nasty, say hurtful words that weren't meant, but still stung. She would try, though.
"Talk," he said in a small and miserable voice.
If he hadn't been so utterly serious and distraught, Amy would have laughed out loud. As it was, she kept a straight face and moved her chair closer to him. "Talk about what? Because you can talk to me, you know. About any nonsense you want, I always listen."
Head still down, he reached out a hand and patted her knee affectionately. This reassured her slightly, he seemed less... dark.
"Yes, Amelia Pond, you always do. 'M sorry, about this. I saw her today, at the end. Just a picture. After so long, and it still feels the same. And I..."
He suddenly smashed his head against the table, making her jump.
"I...hurt...her...I...hurt...me." Each word punctuated by a smack of forehead on wood, until she grabbed at him in a panic and pulled him back, until somehow he was clutching on to her with a desparate strength and crying again, raw sobs that tore at her heart. She had felt this when she had held Melody for the first time, after she was born, and she felt it again now, this fierce love, the need to hold and soothe, to protect him.
"Hush," she said, stroking his hair, wondering again at what all this meant. "Hush, now."
"I never told her," he choked out, the words close to her ear. "I never told her. But I always thought it would be us. Now it isn't. It has to be River. So I'll never tell her."
"Then tell me, and hush." It was what he needed, she saw that now. A confession.
"I loved her," he said in a rush, the words crowding from his mouth. She could almost see the guilt of this secret flowing from him, spilling in a fast flood of telling, of finally voicing what had been trapped in his head. Always so alone, he was, with his feelings. He was talking into her hair, which was perhaps a slight improvement than talking into the table. "I love her," he continued. "But she's gone," he said quietly. "And I loved her."
She was glad he'd got it off his chest. It must have been some long ago Time Lady... was that what they called female Time Lords? She didn't know. But yes, the Doctor had been someone else's Doctor before, had a wife, had a whole life she didn't know about. And maybe it was a shock for him to know that River... Melody... was his future, after this long lost lover, this Rose. Amelia Pond smiled, and gave him a squeeze. "You've never sounded more human, you know."
There was a long pause, then he drew back slightly until she was looking into a pair of very disdainful and slightly unfocused Gallifreyan eyes.
"Never. Ever. Let me drink whiskey again."