Ten fingers, and ten toes. Really, Amy thinks, it's the most amazing of miracles, how babies know to do that – grow ten fingers and ten toes and two eyes. Oh, babies. They're amazing.
"Yes," Amy says as the girl coos and lets out a yawn at the same time. "You are the most beautiful girl. Yes, you are."
Time Lord babies, Amy had learned quickly, were strong little things. She'd had her hair pulled twice.
Amy rocks her when she starts to protest, this little girl who doesn't have to look like River or the Doctor or her grandparents, because Time Lords are funny that way. (But, Amy thinks, those are her daughter's eyes and is that the Doctor's nose? And that hair, it's red. )
The Doctor is off somewhere, doing something in the TARDIS' matrix, but Amy does think she knows he's just giving them space, because he's dragged Rory along with him.
Amy's throat is tight.
It's so fantastically unfair.
Amy squeezes her eyes shut against it all, because it hurts so very much. It's like the Doctor said, time is all over at once, and somewhere melody is being taken from her. (And she raised her, yes. She did. But she'd have done it so differently and she was y a child then. A child can't raise her own child. She was only a kid herself, she didn't have a choice, and it wasn't fair.)
No, she wouldn't change it. She wouldn't make it so that their positions were switched. She couldn't. Not possibly.
Because after everything, River Song – Melody Pond – is still her daughter. If one of them had to have their child ripped away, Amy's glad it wasn't her.
(But it means that she was the child who was ripped away, and nothing Amy can do can change that. She's grown up now, literally in the blink of an eye, and Amy can't change that either.)
She's got her, though. She's got her, and she's right here.
If there is a single, solitary proof of there being good in the world, it is that this baby, her grandchild, is safe.
But it doesn't make it any less painful.
"There are so many things I'd like to teach you, baby. And I would. I will. I'll make sure of it. I don't care if time gets all wobbly. You come from a long line of people who defy time."
She wonders if the Doctor will talk to his daughter, even now, and she'll be able to talk back. She wonders if – can River speak anything, too? Amy furrows her brow, sighing a small bit. "I can't say it's not odd, you know. It is. Your Mum is older than me. Like, a lot. I'm not even sure I want to know. And this regeneration business scares me, too. But that's all a lot of stuff you've got to learn later, not now. You're just a baby."
The little girl giggles, reaching one tiny fist up to grab at Amy's hair again.
"Oi, c'mon. Not the hair. That hurts."
She giggles and reaches towards her mother's bed, where River is sleeping. Amy bounces the child again, standing to move and pace back and forth. Her stomach clenches and twists with the simplicity of it all. It's all so easy, just to walk around with a baby in your arms. Easier than it seems it was. Oh, it's hard of course – raising a baby? That's hard. But this – it seems so easy. Natural.
Kavorian made it seem so hard, not too long ago.
"Yes, your Mum has nice hair, too." Amy whispers. "Don't ask me where it comes from. I don't think she'd like you grabbing at it, though."
"I'm open to it."
Amy turns, wincing when she realizes River's eyes are open and watching them.
"I'm sorry. Did I wake you?"
Amy frowns in the perfect imitation of a worried mother – or, she tells herself, it's not exactly an imitation, is it?
"I wanted you to get some rest."
Amy moves closer when River reaches out an arm, carefully transferring her grandchild to her daughter. Her throat tightens again. (Any more, and it's going to be impossible to breathe.)
She perches on the edge of the bed, watching River cradle the newborn. It's strange, how envious she is. She hadn't wanted to feel this envious. She promised herself she wouldn't feel like that.
But today isn't the day for her feelings.
"Tired." River blinks heavily, shifting the girl in her arms until she's all but falling asleep. Amy finds herself wondering just how she's able to do that. "Sore. Unbelievably happy." The smile she beams is extraordinarily bright. "Where is everyone?"
Amy laughs. "The Doctor's doing something with the matrix. I think he wanted to give me time. Me, you. To cope, or…"
"I'm sorry, for-"
"No. Don't you dare. I believe we've had this conversation already. And if we hadn't, we will. My life is weird, River. It never makes any sense. I expect it, you know?" Amy squeezes her daughter's hand. "So, hush. Happy day, remember?" There are tears in her eyes when she says, "Have you chosen a name?"
"Not a first one, not yet. The Doctor wants something Gallifreyan, bless him. I'd like something you and Dad can pronounce."
Amy can't help the laugh that escapes. "You don't have to do that, you know. I'm sure we'll come up with a nickname. How hard can it be?"
"You'd be surprised."
When she looks down at her daughter, it's with all the love in the world.
"I was thinking, though. For a middle name. What do you think of Amelia?"
Amy's breath catches in her throat.
"If you're alright with it, of course." River continues just as quickly as she'd started. "If not-"
"Of course I'm alright with it." Amy assures her. "If you are."
"I don't think anything could fit better."
Amy grins, but River yawns and Amy can't help but go back into that protective mode she's found ever since she learned River was pregnant.. (It doesn't help the protective side of her that she's still expecting little Melody to show up any day, or perhaps a River older than the one she's sitting with now. She's not all too sure she won't wake up tomorrow and find her daughter six months pregnant knocking on the TARDIS door.)
But linear mother/daughter relationships had never seemed to be an option for either of them, and Amy's learning to accept that.
"Alright. I'm going to let you get some rest."
She doesn't think she's ever said a more motherly phrase.
She turns away, but not before her eyes linger on her daughter and granddaughter. It doesn't make it any less odd that not too long ago she was holding Melody, and now she's grown and she's a grandmother. Most mothers say that their children grow up in the blink of an eye. Amy can claim it.
Amy swallows, turning back. She can sense it, the question about to hit the air. It makes her heart beat too fast- one single heart, and it's hard to forget that her daughter has two, that her granddaughter has two.
"I don't know how to do this."
She turns back, tears burning in her eyes. She's back on the edge of River's bed in a second, rubbing a hand down her arm.
"Oh, honey, yes you . I know you do."
River chokes back a sob, and Amy squeezes her arm.
"I know I'm not supposed to say anything, I know. But I should have known, the very first time I met you. You acted so much like a mother then." Her daughter's arm is warm underneath her hand, warm and very real. Her granddaughter is only inches away from her hands, still cradled in River's arms. She's just as real as her daughter is, and Amy could reach out and touch her if she'd liked. "I suppose it was reverse, really. But you acted like only a mother could. And I knew you were important. I knew you had to be his wife."
There are tears down Amy's face, tears she can hardly see through.
"You won't be alone, you know." Amy continues. "I told you to be brave but that so doesn't mean you have to do anything alone. I know time is never linear. I know it's hard. But you've got me, and your Dad. I'm going to try my hardest to make sure we stay linear, for the longest we can." She moves her thumb in a circular path down her daughter's arm. "And you've got the Doctor, too, even though he's hiding in all those wires right now. He can't hide for too long. He's got your father with him too, so don't think for a minute he's running away-"
Amy pauses, feeling the hair on the back of her neck raise.
"He's standing right behind me, isn't he?"
"Maybe. Ah. I can leave, if you'd like."
Amy turns to look at him over her shoulder. He's wringing his hands like she's noticed he always does when he's exceptionally nervous. It's like he's looking to her for approval. It's been awhile since she's seen that look on him.
Taking the expression as the approval he was looking for, he steps closer, still wringing his hands together.
River beams. She's positively glowing. Amy wonders if she looked like that, once.
Amy stands, but turns back quickly, decisively, and kisses River's forehead before her granddaughter's.
"You're going to be amazing,"
(She already knows.)