Probably this one will have to be revised some time soon, but I kind of wanted to post this embryonic version as is. I know it starts out rough, but I'm kind of happy with it, let me know what you think.

The Boy Who Waited

In the cold and the dark of Underhenge, Rory waited.

He had no way of knowing how much time had past, whether years or days or seconds or lifetimes; just as he had no way of knowing when... if ever... the Doctor would finally arrive to pull Amy out of the Pandorica, but he knew he had to protect her until that day came, no matter what it cost him along the way. Until then, he was completely alone.

Accept for his memories.

X

All the boys and girls in Leadworth knew the little wooded area by the church was the best place to snog. The trees were few and sparsely placed and offered little cover from prying eyes, but it was, sadly, the best location available and besides, anything looks good when you're desperate enough.

Rory knew all of this (though only second and third hand), which was why he was more than a little shocked when Amelia started dragging him there.

"Come along, hurry up," she urged him.

Rory could scarcely believe this was happening. All the boys wanted to kiss Amy, especially Jeffrey. Rory hated Jeffrey. (A lot of the girls wanted to kiss Amy, too, but that didn't bother Rory so much, for reasons he wouldn't understand until much later)... still, he couldn't begin to guess why Amy would choose him.

When he later discovered it was because she thought he was gay and thus "trustworthy," it did little to diminish his initial sense of wonder at his luck.

"Well... here we are," she said when they finally reached their destination.

Rory nodded, his mouth agape.

"So, do you want a kiss?" she asked him frankly.

Rory tried not to swallow his tongue. "H... How?"

Amelia giggled. "I'm sure we'll figure it out," she assured him. "Put this on," she instructed, handing his a little bundle of cloth.

"What's this?" Rory asked.

"Put it on," Amelia repeated.

Rory looked at it. It was a battered, torn shirt. Rory's eyes widened, he was not known for being particularly clever, even at that age, but he knew exactly where this was going. "You want me to pretend to be the Raggedy Doctor," he said aghast.

"Right," Amelia affirmed. "It's a game."

"It's not a game!" Rory shouted back. "You just want to kiss the Raggedy Doctor!"

"Yes," Amelia insisted, pushing the shirt back in his direction, "so, hurry up and get dressed."

"I thought you liked me!" Rory pouted. "But this is just more of your Raggedy Doctor bollocks!"

Amelia took what might have been the first of many frustrated sighs. "Just kiss me," she insisted and leaned over to kiss him.

Rory angrily turned his head to evade her, but Amelia predicted his movement and captured his lips between hers.

Rory froze, he was actually kissing Amelia Pond. It was his first kiss, and (as he found out later) Amelia's as well, but he tried his best to make her enjoy it. Trying to communicate through unexperienced lips how much he felt for her.

After a few minutes, she finally let him go.

"That was pretty all right, wasn't it?" she asked him.

A massive grin broke out across Rory's face. "Yeah."

Amelia nodded. "Now, put on the shirt."

X

It was years later and they were stumbling over her garden in the dark, crushing Aunt Sharon's well-tending plants yet again. Rory was well-known and had been a guest at Amy's home often enough that she didn't have to sneak him in, but as she explained, it was much more fun that way.

"We'll have the place to ourselves. My Auntie's been called away for a few days," she told him. "Family funeral or some such business."

Rory thought about that for a moment. "Shouldn't you be there if it's a family funeral?"

Amy shrugged it off. "I didn't feel it concerned me," she replied frankly, "so I told her I was sick."

Rory wondered for a moment how he was meant to react to that, when Amy solved the problem by snuggling into him.

"We've known each other a long time now," she said huskily, "and there's something I've been thinking about for a while. Do you remember when we had our first kiss, back in the woods?"

Rory remembered that with striking clarity. In the intervening years, Amy had kissed several more boys (and at least one girl, while drunk) while Rory had only kissed one other girl (a friend's cousin he had been pressured to take out as a favor, also while in a state of mutual drunkness), but they always seemed to come back to each other.

At least once she realized he was straight.

"Did you want to kiss again?" he asked nervously, instantly hating himself for it.

"Well, that was one of my ideas, yes," Amy admitted, her eyes shining with typical Amy aggression.

Suddenly a horrible thought crossed Rory's mind. "You're not going to make me dress like the Raggedy Doctor again, are you?"

"Hmm, maybe later," she purred. "Right now, I just want Rory."

X

Years later, safely in a warm bed in tiny box hurdling through space, Rory's mind drifted back to the Pandorica, and all of the years he spent guarding, replaying precious memories over and over again in his head, clinging to them against all else.

He looked up at his new wife and smiled.

"Thinking about anything exciting?" she asked.

"Just that you were definitely worth the wait," he said.

Amy's smile curled up playfully. "I don't think you were waiting too long. I do believe my wedding dress is currently lying on the floor of the TARDIS."

"It is going to be hard face the Doctor tomorrow morning," Rory admitted.

"Oh, it's nothing he hasn't seen before," Amy teased.

Rory felt some of the blood drain from his face.

"Kidding," she assured him. "It's you. It's always been you."

Rory looked deep into the lovely face of the woman he waited centuries for and smiled. "Well, I'll have you know I take the word 'always' rather seriously."