A/N: Spoilers through The Wedding of River Song

Amy woke, for the first time in as long as she could remember, with an overwhelming sense of well-being. The shadow of a headache lingering from the night before barely registered against it.

Then she remembered: River was home. She'd slept in the next room. And this time, finally, her daughter was really home. There was nowhere else she was supposed to be. Or had to run off to.

And no one would take her away.

Even while part of her mind was wondering how long River might stay, another part was remembering that this wasn't, really, completely true.

Because the Doctor was alive. Out there, somewhere, traveling through time and space. A mad man and his box. And even though there was no way of knowing how long it might be until she'd see him again, still...


Amy smiled.

And that's when the smell of bacon and eggs and... thank goodness, coffee... hit her senses.

Throwing back the covers carefully so as not to wake Rory still asleep next to her, Amy got out of bed. Slipping on her robe and slippers, she went in search of breakfast.

She found River, still in her own nightgown, seated at the kitchen table sipping a mug of coffee. And standing behind her at the stove, dressed in the loudest pair of blue and red plaid flannel pajamas imaginable, brandishing a spatula in one hand and a pot holder in the other...

"Hi, Mother. I'm home!"

She barely noticed the look River shot him, or her, "I thought we'd agreed you weren't going to say that." She was too busy rushing forward.

But she clearly heard what he whispered against her neck as his arms closed around her. "Gotcha."


They sat together at the garden table, heads bent together in intense conversation. His dark brown hair and bright green dressing gown contrasted sharply with the bright red and soft pink of hers.

She smiled as she watched them through the glass. She couldn't imagine a more perfectly matched mismatched pair.

"I keep thinking I ought to be jealous," her father observed as he stepped up to the window next to her. "But somehow, I just can't manage it anymore."

River took another sip of her coffee before replying. "I've never been able. Too much a part of who I am." She chuckled. "Besides, if I were to be jealous of every woman who shared the TARDIS with him..."

After a minute, he spoke again, "Can I ask you a question?"

She smiled without taking her eyes of the pair outside. "Of course. You never need to ask."

"I... It's just..."

She turned to look at him. "Yes?"

He licked his lip once, nervously, before looking her straight in the eye and asking, "How long?"

She turned away quickly, back out the window. Afraid of what he might see in her eyes. Unsure of how much to tell him. "Long enough."

"How long, River?" he repeated gently, and she could feel the concern radiating off him like a wave.

She waiting for a moment before answering, not wanting to tell him the truth but fully aware that she couldn't lie. He was Rory. Her father. He wasn't about to let her get away with it this time. And this time, she was finding she really didn't want him to. "You're still old enough to be my father... your memories, at least... if that's what you're worried about," she finally said.


She narrowed her eyes to keep them from watering. "But he," she continued, nodding towards the man outside and trying to smile through the tears blurring her vision, "Isn't exactly robbing the cradle anymore. Not quite."

"Oh... River," he repeated. And at the gentleness of his tone... the desperately needed compassion and understanding... the tears finally began to fall.

"The funny thing about consecutive life sentences," she explained after a minute, her voice only a bit shaky, "Is figuring out what to do when the prisoner fails to die."

This time, he didn't even try to speak. His hand touched her arm. Softly. In silent invitation. And, turning, she stepped into his embrace.

It was only later that she'd finally fully realized...

How desperately he'd needed her, too.