Word Count: 3664
Warnings: Alcohol, vulnerable!Amy, unbeta-ed fic.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Note: Sometimes I think I get so caught up in feisty!Amy that I forget that there's a whole other side to her too. So this story isn't about Amy Pond, the girl who brought the Doctor back from the cracks of the universe; it's about Amy Pond, the girl who just lost her best friend.
I'm about to lose my mind,
You've been gone for so long…
I need a doctor, call me a doctor
I Need a Doctor by Dr. Dre
Every night after the he's left, without fail, Amy dreams of her Doctor.
They aren't always about him. Sometimes he's just there, standing beside Rory or in the background somewhere; sometimes she only catches glimpses of tweed or a bowtie or even the TARDIS; sometimes she's seven and sitting outside on her suitcase, waiting for him. But sometimes, well, sometimes the dreams really are about him. Sometimes they're just memories: all the places they've been to, adventures they've been on–Starship U.K., Vincent Van Gogh, the pirate ship, Hitler. Sometimes she dreams up her own stories–a planet of stuffed animals, a world with faeries of chaos, a space concert in the year 7016. But no matter where she goes, what she dreams, he's always there. Without fail, the stupid idiot always manages to sneak in somehow.
She tries not to think about them too much. They don't necessarily mean anything, ya know? It's probably a pretty normal reaction, she thinks. The Doctor's always been a big part of her life–he's been there ever since she was seven years old after all–and now he's gone. Yeah, okay, he said it wouldn't be the last she saw of him, but it's not the same as actually being there, travelling with him. It's different now. So, no, Amy doesn't think it's strange at all. It's a comfort if anything. A way she can still see her Raggedy Man, her imaginary friend. Her best friend.
And, for three months, she dreams peacefully of him.
Then, on the four month, it changes.
Amy jolts up from the bed, her heart racing and her eyes wide open. Her fingers clutch the sheets and her knuckles turn white. She bites her lip, closes her eyes, and tries to steady her breath.
The moment her eyes shut, the nightmare comes flooding back: America, the lakeside, the astronaut.
"Whatever happens now, you do not interfere."
And the Doctor. The Doctor's death. The dead Doctor.
Amy shakes her head. "No, stop it. That hasn't happened yet. He's fine. Still has two hundred years left, remember?" Except she knows it's not that simple. The Doctor once told her that time is constant, that every point in time happens simultaneously. So that means, out there somewhere, right now, he's– "No. Shut up, Amy."
She tosses the covers off of herself and takes a deep breath, trying to shake the thought as she leaves the room. She just needs a cup of tea, she thinks as she flips the kitchen lights on. Rory bought a new box of green tea yesterday; she can have that. A nice, warm cuppa: that'll definitely settle her down.
Yeah, she goes straight to the liquor cabinet and pours herself a glass of scotch instead. Takes a third of it down in one go. She refills the glass, but stops just short of putting the bottle away. Amy stares at it for a moment before she shrugs, shuts the cabinet, and leaves the kitchen with both her glass and the bottle of scotch in hand.
A bit of telly, she thinks, that'll calm her down. 'Course it's nearly three in the morning, so nothing's on the stupid telly. Still, she flips through every bloody channel, hoping she can find at least one thing that isn't absolute rubbish. When she doesn't, she takes another drink, turns the stupid thing off and drops the remote. It lands on the coffee table with a thud and bounces a bit until it hits her mobile.
Amy puts her glass down and picks up the phone instead. Her red mobile, the same one she's had for years. Rory hates her mobile, can't understand why she won't buy a newer model since hers is so out-dated. She doesn't care; she likes her old, red mobile. It has all her pictures from her adventures; everything from Prisoner Zero to Churchill's bunker to Monument Valley to Appalapachia. It's the mobile the Doctor triggered to work across time and space.
She slides the phone open and dials the call without thinking.
It rings once, twice, before the realisation hits her.
Amy shuts the phone immediately and tosses onto a sofa across the room. What was she thinking? She shakes her head and refills her glass. She can't call him. He has things to do, planets to explore, an entire universe to save. Because that's what the moron does–he runs around time and space. He doesn't have the time to talk to her on the stupid phone. What the hell was she thinking?
She stares at the phone and tiny part of her expects to see it light up, to hear it ring. A tiny, stupid, stupid part of her expects him to call her back. Because she wants to hear his voice, needs to hear his ridiculous voice so that she can be sure. So that she can know that he's fine and off doing the daft things he always does. And she can't help it (she's always been rubbish at helping things when it comes to him after all), she hopes. She hopes and hopes, and waits and waits for the stupid idiot to just call her back.
This time, Amy takes half the glass down in one go.
She has no idea how long she sits there, staring that the damn sofa. It could be thirty seconds, it could be two hours. She'd believe either one, honestly. Not that it matters, because, either way, he doesn't call back.
Her daze, however, is broken when front door rattles. Amy's eyes widen and she glances at the DVD clock. 3:11, it reads. There's no one that should be coming in at this hour.
The door clicks open.
She jumps up and grabs the first thing she can get her hands on–a brolly she used this morning and never bothered to put up–and takes a step towards the corridor leading to the door. "Who's there?" she calls. "I'm warning you: I'm armed, so you better answer me!"
"You know," a voice calls from the corridor, "most people usually start a conversation with a 'hello.' Maybe even a 'how are you?' or a 'nice to see you.' But usually not a death threat," he explains, stepping into the room. "Then again, you always had to do things differently, didn't you, Pond?"
Her eyes widen and she drops her brolly. "Doctor? Is that you?"
He pretends to frown. "Of course it's me. Who else would I be? Well, I suppose–"
She doesn't hear anything he says after that; she just runs. There's barely ten feet in between them, but still Amy doesn't think she has ever run so fast. She all but crashes into him and nearly sends him tumbling over. Her hands bury against her chest, the beats of his hearts pounding against them, and her vision blurs a bit.
"It's you," she breathes. "You're alright." Her voice cracks. "Oh God, you're alright."
His eyes widen and he immediately wraps his arms around her. "Of course I'm alright. I'm always alright."
Amy holds him as tight to her as she possibly can. And maybe it's the alcohol, or the nightmare she's had, or because she's barely slept, or maybe because it's been months since she's last seen him, but whatever the reason, she breaks. She starts crying.
Vaguely she hears him panic a bit, ask her what's wrong and what happened, but she can't bring herself to choke out an answer. And it's absolutely stupid, she knows, because it's only been a few months and, especially compared to the lifetime she's waited, a few months is nothing. But this time is different. She can't explain why, but it is–so, so very different. And Amy can't help it, she just cries. She holds onto him and cries and cries. She can't even tell if she's scared or upset or happy or whatever other stupid emotion she's meant to feel. It doesn't really matter though, does it? Because he's here and he's back and he's alive.
Oh God, he's alive.
She has no idea how long it is before she stops, but by the time she does, she's sitting back on the sofa. When had that even happened? She doesn't remember moving. Then again, he always did have this strange ability to carry her away without her realising it.
"Amy," he says, crouching in front of her, "what happened?"
And suddenly she feels so stupid. What the hell can she even tell him now? That she dreamt about the time she saw him die? Yeah, that'll go over well.
She shakes her head, refusing to meet his gaze. "Nothing. Forget about it."
"I'd hardly call that nothing, Pond." She knows he's right, but she still refuses to meet his gaze. "Amelia," he breathes; he takes her head in between his hands and directs her eyes back at him.
"It's stupid," she tells him. A small smile tugs at his lips, but he doesn't say anything.
She knows she should probably break away, change the subject, pull a Doctor, but she doesn't. You see, he looks at her in this way that makes it impossible for her to look away. He's worried, concerned. A part of her wants to tell him, if for no other reason than to calm him down. It's a pretty big damn part of her too, and, in the end, it wins. She's never actually been able to resist him after all. She pretends like she can, but let's be honest here: he's her Raggedy Doctor. He's had her ever since she was seven.
"I... I had a nightmare." Oh God, that sounds even more pathetic out loud. "A memory."
"Involving me." It isn't really a question, but she nods anyways. "About what?" She shakes her head. He frowns. "Amy…"
"I can't," she tries to explain.
"Rubbish. Of course you can. You can always tell me."
"No, I really can't."
He frowns and stares at her for a moment. "Is someone making you say that? Are you being threatened?"
Amy snorts. "Shut up, you know I'm not."
His frown deepens. "Then why won't you tell me?"
"Because it hasn't happened yet!" The words fall out of her mouth without her permission. But the moment they do, her eyes widen and she snaps her mouth shut. Shit! All this time she's been able to keep quiet, only to spill because of a stupid dream? Way to go, moron.
Only, when she looks at him, he doesn't look, well, whatever it was she expected him to look. Instead he looks tired and guilty and old. So bloody old that she can see all of his nine hundred years on his stupid face. And, for one brief moment, he looks at her as if he understands; as if he knows.
Then, in the blink of an eye, it's gone. There's this stupid unreadable expression on his face and any trace of it is gone. Did she even see it? She thinks she did, but he can't know. There's no bloody way that he could possibly know, right? No, she thinks and mentally shakes the though from her mind, he doesn't know. It's the alcohol. That's all, yeah?
He brings his lips to her forehead. When he looks back down and her, he smiles softly, almost a bit sadly. "Okay," he nods.
Amy doesn't know what to say after that. All she knows is that she can't just sit there and stare at him like some sort of moron for much longer. She finally breaks his gaze and glances at his crooked bowtie. Red. It's the same one he'd been wearing the first time he had ever come back to her all those years ago. God, she'd hated the bloody thing back then; she'd thought it was absolutely ridiculous. Who actually wears a bowtie? Seriously. But now… well, now she can't imagine him without the stupid thing. Because it may be ridiculous, but then again, so is he. It suits him. She has no idea how she hadn't seen it from the start.
A gentle smile tugs at her lips and she straightens his bowtie. "So now what? Are you going to leave again now?"
"Is that what you want?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I want." She rolls her eyes.
He chuckles. "Sarcastic as ever, I see."
This time she grins. She doesn't say anything else, but she taps the spot on the sofa beside her. He smiles and obeys.
He waits a beat before he looks as if he just remembered the most important thing in the universe. "Amy, where's Rory?"
"Hospital," she answers automatically. "Nightshift," she explains. She's starting to feel the scotch and her head's a bit heavy now, so she rests it against his shoulder. He won't mind, she knows.
"Right. Of course. That would make sense. Nurses do tend to work there. Well, at least on Earth. The planet Thil on the other hand…" It doesn't take him long to start his ramblings after that. The idiot always was good at rambling on about nothing. The Doctor and his rambles.
It's funny, she thinks as her eyes grow heavier, how she used to pretend his rambles annoyed her. She acted as if she hated how much he blabbered on and on, usually without even making a bloody point. Honestly though (and she'll deny it to the end!), she loves his stupid, pointless rambles. He's always had this way of going on and saying nothing, but sometimes he says so much at the same time. He's clever with his words like that, you know?
And, for a moment, everything feels normal–right–and it's almost like they're back on the TARDIS again. She sits there, listening to his babbles with her head pressed against his tweed, and it feels magical in a way that only comes with being near her Doctor, almost a bit like a dream, you know? And she can't remember the last time in the past four months that she has ever felt more at peace.
Her eyes snap open and she looks up at him. "Doctor, what are you doing here?"
He stares at her, a bit surprised at being cut off from whatever it was he had been babbling on about this time. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, why are you here? What made you come now? After all this time?" How could he have possibly known to come now when she needed him the most?
He smiles a curious smile and part of her wants to rip the bloody thing off of his face. "Isn't it obvious?" He taps her on the nose. "You phoned."
Her breath hitches. "What?"
"You phoned me, Pond. Don't tell me you've forgotten already."
A tiny part of her is tempted to tell him that was ages ago, to fool him into thinking that he was late again. And if it had been any other situation, she might have, but she can't bring herself to. "You heard that? It only rang twice!" It's sort of funny in his ridiculous way, because she spent the entire summer phoning him to ask if he had found Melody and never heard a word. But this time she rings twice and he shows up out of thin air? Typical Doctor–always doing the exact opposite of what she expects. "And you showed up here. You just thought to pop up out of nowhere rather than calling back?"
"Oi, if that's the thanks I get maybe I won't come next time."
"Shut up." She smacks him on the arm. "Of course you will. I'll call and you'll come back."
"Oh? Tell me, Pond, how can you know that?"
"Because, Doc-tor, I know you. You always come back." The words fall out before the realisation really hits her. He always comes back. Sometimes he takes too long, sometimes he cuts it too bloody close, but he always comes back. "Always."
He looks at her in a way that is a cross between pride and guilt. For a moment, she thinks he will argue, but he doesn't. Instead he lets out a soft sigh. "Didn't I tell you to stop waiting for me, Amelia?"
"Yeah, and since when have I ever listened to you?" She grins. He chuckles; she waits until he's finished before she continues again. "Doctor, how old are you now?"
"Nine hundred and thirty-seven."
Thirty-seven. That's nearly thirty years since the last time they met. A part of her is offended, a bit upset that he waited so bloody long before coming back to her. But, she tries to remind herself, nine hundred and thirty-seven is still quite a bit away from eleven hundred and three. Nearly two hundred years. He still has two hundred years left.
"I'll make you a deal, okay? I promise to stop waiting if you promise to visit more often."
He stares at her for a moment. "Pond, I'm not sure you understand what the word wait means."
"Shut up. Of course I do."
"I'm serious. If I promise then you'll expect me. If you expect me then you'll wait. And that would be rather contradictory, don't you think?" Still, he lets out a small sigh and she can tell that even he knows he'll agree to it. After a moment he shakes his head. "But I did tell you that you hadn't seen the last of me, didn't I?"
It should bother her that it's that easy, because, honestly, her Doctor's never this easy. He's always been stupid and complicated and thick headed. But, thing is, it doesn't bother her. Because sometimes, just sometimes, she thinks that things can be easy. That, even after everything is done and said, he can come back to her. That he will always come back to her.
So Amy grins and settles her head back into its spot on his shoulder. He wraps his arm around her and she feels his lips on the top of her head. She hits his leg playfully. "So what has the mighty Doctor been up to in the last thirty years? Seen any goblins or space rats or faeries?"
"Space rats? Really, Pond? Don't be ridiculous. There are no such things as space rats!" he scoffs. "Space mice on the other hand…"
She spends the entire night listening to his ridiculous stories. He tells her about the stupid space mice (not rats!) on a planet called Peynir where everything is made up of cheese, about how he's accidentally gotten himself married to famous Peruvian folk musician in the forty-third century, even about the time he accidently got himself banned from Space China for holding his chopsticks incorrectly. She sits and listens and acts as if she doesn't believe a single stupid word that comes out of his mouth, but she does.
She'll always believe him.
Amy doesn't remember falling asleep. All she knows is that one minute she's fine and talking to the Doctor and the next, Rory's shaking her awake.
"Ugh," she groans, sitting up on the sofa. "What happened?" she asks, rubbing her temples.
"I don't know. I came home to find you asleep here and this," he holds up a glass and nearly empty bottle of scotch, "was on the table." He sighs. "Amy, what happened?"
She blinks as the memories come back to her. "The Doctor!" she cries, jumping up. She moves a bit too quickly and her head protests; she tries to shake it off. "Where's the Doctor?"
He stares at her for a moment. "Amy, the Doctor left four months ago."
She glares at him. "Shut up. I didn't mean like that. He was here last night," she explains. He doesn't answer her. "I mean it, he was here! I called him and he came. I was just sitting here staring at the phone–"
"And drinking scotch?"
"–when he came."
"But you were drinking scotch?"
She stares at him, her brows furred. "Yeah, so? What's that got to do with it?" He doesn't answer her, but he gives her this look, one that is just so bloody sad, and it suddenly clicks exactly what he's implying. "No," she shakes her head. "No."
"Amy, more than half the bottle's gone."
"No! He was here, Rory!" she cries. "I know he was."
She pushes past him and picks her phone off the sofa across the room. He would have left some sort of sign, yeah? A text or something. But there's no message on her phone, no missed call, there's no note around the room, and the stupid brolly's even in the same place she left it yesterday morning.
"He was here. I saw him." But the words don't sound nearly as convincing, even to her ears. Rory puts the bottle back down on the table and steps towards her. She wraps her arms around him and buries her head in his shoulder. "I really thought..."
He hugs her closer. "I know," he mumbles.
"I called him, Rory, and he came. He came back and it felt so real."
But it wasn't. It was just another bloody dream; another stupid one to add onto her stupid list. But she had been so sure he had come back–that he would come back again. She'd believed he would. But he hadn't. He… he won't come back. He's gone. Really, actually, stupid gone.
The realisation hurts; it hurts a lot and suddenly it feels like she can't breathe. Her knees give out beneath her, bringing both her and Rory to the ground. Something inside of her break.
And Amy cries.