A/N: Wow, got an upgrade while I was gone. Fancy. Anywho, this is an idea that's been brewing in my head all summer based off of The Doctor's Wife. Because I can only ever write good fanfiction when I have something else to be writing. When I heard Rory say "I watched her die" the first time, this is immediately where my mind went in the split-second before understanding kicked in. I hope I managed to convey Amy and Rory properly and all that. Forgive any errors, please. This just suddenly had to be out of my head, and it's unbetaed, because you'd probably never see it otherwise. Imma stop rambling now. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I am not Steven Moffat. If you mistake this drivel for his brilliant work, there is something wrong with you. So no, the characters and such are not mine. You know the drill.
"I watched her die..." it's a grave confession, and he knows how it sounds in the context he says it in—he plans it that way, because he knows Amy's listening and he's tired of it being her comforting him—but it's not entirely the way it seems. He's upset about the TARDIS dieing, more for the Doctor than for himself, and there are several niggling questions bugging him, but it is by far eclipsed by something that happened just before. Or... didn't happen. He's not really sure. It barely got a chance to sink in before reality snapped back.
The Doctor, though, he's smarter than Amy—not nearly as fantastic, and perhaps lacking a good measure of the common sense Amy needs to be around to give him, but none of them are going to pretend for an instant that the Doctor isn't a genius—and maybe he'll figure it out. He's not sure whether or not he hopes he does. He certainly must want it on some level, because why else would he say it?
"...I shouldn't let it get to me, but it does," he continues, trying to talk calmly so that it doesn't all explode out of him.
She's my wife, "I'm a nurse," he finishes, and it's really close enough. Nurse, not doctor. Never Doctor. Never good enough to save her. He should have been able to stop it.
He heard a noise behind him, and his mind jumped immediately to Amy. House was out to get them, and they were separated. He ran, thinking only of the first disconnect and not of the possible consequences for himself. House could mess with time, or at the least one's perception of it, and Amy could already have gotten herself in a whole lot of trouble. A mechanical arm jutted out of the wall, and it turned to ponder him for a moment before retreating, though he didn't notice. He was frozen in shock, unable to move his feet for all his want to.
On the floor, bleeding the same blood that, behind the walls, was being bleached off of steel, was Amy. It took a second for his thoughts to arrange themselves in any sort of priority, but the very moment they had started, he was by her side. "Amy! Amy, can you hear me? Are you alright?" In retrospect, it was a stupid question, but he was panicking.
"R... Rory? Rory... the Roman?" She asked blearily, her eyes unsure and unfocused as she looked at him. The bloodstain was quickly spreading to ensure that the red plaid of her shirt would soon be completely indistinguishable.
"Yeah," he reassured, just to distract her, and possibly himself, as training kicked in. He wasn't qualified to do much, but he knew how to do a lot. "Yeah, Rory the Roman. Rory Pond, your loving Roman of a husband." He slipped the jacket off of her shoulders to keep it from getting in the way, and then pulled her shirt up.
"Not... really the time for distractions like that, do you think?" She joked weakly, and he looked her in the eyes, despite all the effort it took to tear his gaze away from the gaping hole in her midsection. He wanted to be able to do something—his mind was racing—but all he could think of at the moment was to act strong and keep from crying. The smile on his face was as sincere as he could make it, but even a heavily injured Amy would be able to see through it.
"It's always time with you."
"Well, I hate to disappoint, but..." suddenly, as if on cue, she broke out in a coughing fit that squeezed more blood that necessary out of her stomach. It was starting to pool on the floor beneath her.
"Shhh," Rory tried to calm her, ready to rip a segment off of his shirt to bind the wound until he thought of something better to do. A pile of cloth appeared on the floor, House laughing at him. He thought it was useless; that he was too far gone. He was probably right. Rory started to wrap the wound, banishing the thought. "Careful, don't exert too much. There's a hole in your stomach."
"Well... that sorta rules out anything fun."
She cringed as he tightened the bandage as much as he could without cutting off her breathing, and his heart squeezed with her. What could he do? Was there even anything he could do without other supplies? "No fun for you, then. Focus on your breathing. I'm... going to think of something. The Doctor's never let us down before. He'll be here, we just have to... just keep going until he gets here."
"Rory," Amy replied, obviously completely disregarding his words as she tried to sit up in his arms, even with the pressure he was putting on her wound.
"Stay down, A-"
"No, Rory." She was breathless, but it was fairly obvious to the both of them that there wasn't anything that either of them could do about it for very long. "Shut your stupid face about stupid things that don't matter and listen. I love you. Only you, always you. Thank you for being there for me even when I was stupid. I'm dying. Don't blame yourself. Never blame yourself, or I swear I will come back and haunt you."
"Maybe I want that," he offered, no longer resisting, tears pouring down her face.
"No, you don't. Rory, don't dwell on it. Don't let me haunt you. I don't deserve that. I'm... I'm just sorry."
"It's not your fault, either, A-" he was cut off by a tender touch of her lips to his, and he whispered "I love you." She probably couldn't hear. He just sat there for what felt like an eternity, his wife in his arms, still warm but breathless and still, sobbing. He didn't save her. He wasn't a doctor, wasn't the Doctor, and he couldn't save her. There was nothing he could ever do. He was just silly old Rory Pond, the companion's boyfriend, and even what he could do for her he didn't do on his own.
Another noise sounded from behind him, and he was inclined to ignore it. What did it matter. But suddenly his arms slipped, and it was as thought what he was holding had never been there. His eyes shot open to find that his wife's body was missing, as was even the slightest trace of blood. The scent of iron was gone and everything.
He stood up, confused, and wiped his face off, half expecting that it was a hallucination and he would feel blood smear across his face from his hands, but there was nothing.
The sound continued behind him, the drifting, uneven rhythm of sobbing matching the tune in his heart. Having lost all bearing on what was real and what was illusion, he proceeded more carefully around the corner.
Amy. And it didn't matter if she was real or not, or if she'd died or he'd died or if time had rewritten itself while he wasn't looking. Because she was just as unsettled as he was, and there was only one thing he could do. He said her name, arms open. She came running, and he relished the feeling of her liveliness in his arms. They didn't have time to stay, though. "It's messing with our heads," he told her, and he wasn't sure if that was past tense or present and he didn't want to know, "Come on, run."
It's a while afterward before the fear that his wife is just going to disappear again goes away, and then he just starts to wonder what she herself went through. Not to mention that the experience is repeated later in the day with such a surreal parallel.
The Doctor looks at him for a second with that look he always uses when he's finally gotten somebody figured out—like he knows that they're not actually talking about Idris or the TARDIS or... sexy, or whatever her name was—but it's always hard to be sure with a man who thinks as fast as the Doctor does. A man who makes up complete and utter crap practically for a living.
"Letting it get to you—do you know what that's called? Being alive. Best thing there is. Being alive right now, that's all that counts." And he thinks then, almost, just maybe, that he gets it. Because he doesn't try to tell him that it wasn't really the TARDIS or that she didn't really die or that she shouldn't have been trapped in the silly human body even for as long as she was. Maybe he doesn't know exactly what happened—maybe he does, who could ever say?—but it seems for all the world that he understands. And really, that's all that matters. Being alive. Right there and right then, alive and well and completely fantastic.
Rory Pond feels a little bit better, but one way or another, after they've broken in their new bed and Amy's gone to sleep, he finds himself sneaking out in the TARDIS library to leaf through the medical texts. He can't be the Doctor, but maybe he doesn't always have to be just a nurse.