According to the Doctor, the bar they were currently sitting in served every type of drink that the universe had ever conceived of. Rows and rows of brightly coloured bottles filled with fluorescent liquids lined the walls behind the counter, and according to the plaque above the bartender's head, the wine cellar was dug a mile deep into Bacchae's crust. The Doctor was sipping at a peach-coloured concoction with an unpronounceable name. For all the choice in offer, Rory was nursing a Budweiser.
"Remind me, why are we here again?" he asked over the clatter of drinkers.
"Because, Mr. Pond," replied the Doctor merrily, "I ruined your stag evening and then you got swallowed up by a crack in time and space so I never really got to make it up to you."
"I must admit," said Rory, warily glancing around at the bar's peculiar clientele, "When I was first planning my stag do, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind."
"Just relax," the Doctor said, taking another sip. "You're lucky it's humanoid night – those only come once a year. You should feel right at home."
Rory hummed unsurely as a blue-skinned man winked at him from across the room.
"Anyway, I thought this was what you humans do on stag nights: pour poisons into your body for your own amusement."
Rory shrugged. "It's a long way from The King's Head in Leadworth."
"Everything's a long way from Leadworth. Leadworth is just a far-away sort of place."
Rory laughed quietly, and sipped his beer as the lights danced drunkenly across the ceiling and the jukebox played what he thought was some old alien classic until he realised that it was, in fact, The Final Countdown.
The Doctor raised his glass in a mock-toast. "A toast! To my good friend Rory, the Last Centurion, on the night before his wedding day!"
Rory smirks, and swigs his drink. "Sorry, Doctor, but Amy and I are already married."
"Play along, Pond."
Rory shakes his head fondly, and raises his bottle: "To the Doctor, and his having enough DVDs in his Tardis to keep Amy occupied for this evening."
The neck of the bottle clinked against the glass, and the Doctor necked back the remainder of his drink before Rory even put his own to his lips. He frowned.
"Steady on, mate."
The Doctor sighed, and signalled for another glass. "Live a little, Rory."
"I've lived longer than I care to remember, thanks."
The Doctor gave him a strange look, but then another glass of the peach-coloured beverage was placed in front of him and he turned his attention away.
"So how do you know about this place? Never thought of you as much of a drinker."
The Doctor frowned. "A…friend showed it to me."
He seemed reluctant to say anything more, so Rory didn't press him. For a moment, silence fell between the two men.
"So…" Rory said after a moment.
"Rory, can I ask you a question?" the Doctor replied, with an odd look in his eye.
"Er…yeah, I suppose so."
"Have I ruined your life?"
Rory almost choked on his mouthful of lager. "I'm sorry?"
"Let's suppose I never came back for Amy," said the Doctor, looking anywhere but at Rory's surprised face. "Or better yet, let's say I never met her at all. Right now, you would be at home doing normal things with normal people. You'd never have died; you'd never have waited for hundreds of years beside an impossible box. You and Amy would be blissfully happy. So let me ask you again, Rory Williams, have. I. Ruined. Your. Life?"
"Absolutely not," said Rory. "Amy wouldn't be Amy. Who's to say me and her would even still be together? Alright, I'm not saying there's bits I wouldn't change, but I wouldn't give it up; not after all this. So no, you haven't ruined my life."
"You never wanted me to come back," said the Doctor morbidly.
"I didn't think you existed."
"I ran off with your wife the night before your wedding."
"Like I said, there's bits I might have preferred to skip over…"
"I put you in danger all the time. I put Amy in danger."
Rory shrugged. "Still here, aren't I?"
The Doctor sighed deeply and downed the rest of his drink as if panicked. "You see, the thing is, I've ruined people's lives before. Too many to count. I wouldn't trust me, Rory."
"That's not your choice, Doctor."
"I want to keep people safe. But they always…" the Doctor trailed off. "Someday I'm going to put you in more danger than you'll ever forgive me for. You don't know it yet, but they do, all of them. Except Donna, maybe."
Rory frowned. "Who's Donna?"
The Doctor has begun to sway slightly on his stool. "She called me Spaceman."
Rory picked up the Doctor's empty glass and gave it an experimental sniff, and then reeled back coughing. "Bloody hell, Doctor, what is this?"
"I didn't want to go. They never want to go, so they cling on. I can feel them, all of them, all the time. I can feel them, Rory. Every time I change I think, maybe this time it'll be different, but it's all their memories, all their thoughts and feelings and personalities. They never let me forget anything. They never let me stop running. He was in love with a bad wolf and I can still feel it."
Rory tried to ignore the incoherent speech as he emptied his pocket of coins into the table. "Come on, Doctor, let's get you home," he said, using the nurse voice that he hadn't used for ages.
The Doctor smiled, an unnerving Cheshire-cat grin. "Oh, yes, the Tardis! She's a faithful old girl, isn't she?" He tried to stand up, but lost his footing and fell over onto the floor, giggling madly. "Allons-y! No, wait, I say Geronimo now, don't I…?"
Rory glanced around at where the rest of the bar was watching them with sadistic interest. He stooped down and slid his arm around the Doctor's torso and hauled him upright. "Come on, Doctor."
"I wonder if Jack's still here? No, he probably went off with Alonso. He waited for me as well, you know. So did Reinette. Why do people always wait for me?"
Rory rolled his eyes at the drunken rambling as he helped the Doctor out the door and into the cool night air towards where the Tardis was parked and the planet's three moons reflected off the water on the Time Lord's face.
"I'm sorry, Rory, I'm so sorry…"
"Don't be silly, Doctor…" Rory replied as if speaking to a small boy.
"Silly old man," the Doctor agreed.