A/N: I'm sick again, and we all know what that means! (FICAPALOOZA! WRITE ALL THE IDEAS!) So this little humorous oneshot has been floating around in my head since the finale, so here you go. Let me know about any typos; I did my best at editing but I'm still kind of delirious from the meds and the illness, so I probably missed a lot. 80th FIC, WOOOHOOO!
spoilers through 6.13, 11River, AmyRory
All in the Timing
The Doctor hummed a little tune to himself as he half-walked, half-danced through the control room of the TARDIS, a mug of hot tea in each hand. He couldn't quite remember the name of the song, but he knew it was something by Sinatra. They ought to go see Frank. Lovely chap, River would like him, he thought. He couldn't help the small, smug smile that made its way onto his face as he thought of the curly-haired half-Time Lady waiting for him upstairs.
Suddenly he stopped mid-twirl and turned to frown at the still time rotor. "Have we landed?" He asked his ship. He looked at the doors, and was surprised to see sunlight streaming in through the small windows. He looked back at the console. "We have! We've landed! Where've you landed us? What for?" He knew he'd been a bit distracted after they'd taken off from the Moxx of Balhoon's Birthday Gala, but he'd made sure they were floating safely in deep space before allowing River to drag him off into the bowels of his ship.
He started toward the console to check the scanner when he was stopped by a knock on the door. "You've landed us!" He cried indignantly. "Have I upset you or something? Now is hardly the time for company!""
"Doctor?" The Doctor froze, the color draining from his face. He knew that voice. Knew it as well as his own. (All eleven of them.) That voice haunted his dreams and nightmares. He gulped, trying to work out what he could have possibly done to offend the TARDIS that would have landed him in this mess.
"You're really mad at me, aren't you?"
"Doctor? Doctor, are you in there?"
"Doctor, what's happenin'? Come on, open up!"
The Doctor swallowed hard again and moved one of the mugs into his other hand. He walked slowly to the door and took a deep breath before opening it the smallest bit, just enough to see the two people standing outside it.
"Doctor!" For the first time he found himself less than thrilled to see his Amelia Pond standing outside, Rory clutching her hand.
He put on a smile, "Hello, Ponds, lovely to see you again, always a pleasure, but I'm afraid there's been some sort of mistake, didn't mean to land just yet, afraid this isn't exactly the best time, you see-" Amy didn't allow him to finish; she pushed her way in and threw her arms around his neck, nearly knocking him over and causing some tea to slosh out of the mug and onto his bare foot. He bit back the pain and wrapped his free arm around Amy, mind still working frantically on a way out of this less-than-ideal situation.
Amy let go and stepped back, gave him a quick once-over and frowned. "Have you been sleeping?" The Doctor looked down at his terry cloth dressing gown, pajama bottoms and bare feet.
"Yes!" he said immediately. "Just catching up on some much-needed sleep. Haven't slept in about two weeks, like I said, this isn't exactly the best time. Didn't mean to land now, TARDIS landed herself." He shot a clandestine glare at the console. "Not entirely sure why, but-"
"Have you got company?" The Doctor looked back at Rory, who was eyeing the two mugs of tea.
"Ah, well, no. I was just, ah…they're for you two!" He grinned. "Yes, tea for the visiting Ponds!"
Amy frowned. "But you said you weren't expecting to see us."
His grin fell. "Right, yes, because that was a joke. They're both for me. Helps me sleep. Now, you two should really be going." He started herding his friends toward the doors, ignoring the indignant expressions growing on their faces. "If I don't get back to sleep soon I won't be able to at all, and that could be quite problematic for my health."
"Hold on, Doctor! What's going-"
"Doctor?" The Doctor felt like his hearts had plunged into his stomach at the sound of the voice carrying in from the upper hallway. He looked back at Amy in time to see her face light up.
"Is River here? Doctor, why didn't you tell us?"
"Uh, uh, well," the Doctor spluttered, panic rising in his chest, "Well, uh, it was going to be a surprise, so why don't you go back home and let us surprise you like we planned, eh?"
"Doctor, what are you-"
"Doctor, what's taking you so long with the tea? Honestly, if I didn't know so much better I'd think you were avoiding me. It's a bit chilly in here, by the way, can we turn the heat up a bit? And yes, you can take that whichever way you-"
The Doctor spun around in time to see River as she turned the corner of the stairs and came into view, cheeky grin dropping off her face the second she saw her parents standing there. She had a burnt orange bed sheet wrapped around her body, and she pulled it closer to her neck and grinned nervously. "Mum, Dad," she said shakily, "Hello…" The Doctor squeezed his eyes shut and groaned quietly before looking hesitantly back at the Ponds.
They were both clearly at a loss for words. Amy looked rather like a fish; her eyes had gone wide and her mouth was moving wordlessly. Rory's expression was reminiscent of his face when the Doctor had popped out of his stag night cake, something like horror mixed with disbelief.
Amy finally found her voice. "So that's why this was a bad time," she said, her voice weak.
The Doctor merely gulped, not sure there was anything he could possibly say to alleviate the awkwardness of the moment.
"I think I'll just go upstairs and change…" River mumbled, turning to head back up the stairs.
"That's my daughter," Rory choked out, weakly pointing towards River, who paused to glance back at him. Rory's gaze, however, was fixed on the Doctor.
Amy stumbled backwards, and laid her hands on Rory's shoulders. "Now, Rory-"
"That's my daughter," he said again, his expression shifting into something more like flustered anger. "In nothing but a bed sheet, in your TARDIS-"
Amy seemed to be recovering much more quickly than her husband. "Now, Rory, Rory, we've talked about this, and after all, he did marry her."
The Doctor's chest loosened just the slightest bit. "Oh thank goodness, we've gotten to that bit."
Rory's squirming frown tightened. "Yeah, I can see how that's supposed to be making me feel better, but the thing is, it's really not."
"Rory, Rory, come on," Amy continued pushing her husband towards the door. "Let's just, you know, give them some time to…change." She glanced back at the Doctor. "We can have a nice little visit after that."
Rory allowed himself to be shepherded out the door, but not before shaking a finger at River and declaring, "You're grounded."
"Rory, you can't-"
"And you," he pointed at the Doctor, "You, you just," but Amy had almost shoved him completely out the door, so he settled with, "We'll talk."
The doors shut behind them and left the Doctor and River in the too-quiet control room. After a moment River asked in a tone that reminded him so much of her mother, "Why have we landed?" He spun around to meet her glare.
"Wasn't me! The TARDIS landed herself!"
River groaned and rolled her eyes. "What in heaven's name did you do to upset her?"
"No idea," the Doctor replied, still feeling weak in the knees.
"It's probably something to do with the way you were piloting her last week when we were trying to get away from that Time Agent."
The Doctor scoffed, and reached up to straighten his non-existent bow tie. "He knew Captain Jack. That was enough reason for us to get as far away from him as possible."
They fell silent once more, and after a minute or so River asked, "So what now?"
"…we pick up where we left off?" The Doctor asked, looking up at her hopefully.
River regarded him dryly. "Yes, dear, because my parents barging in didn't ruin the mood at all."
The Doctor hadn't really expected another answer. "Well, I suppose we go visit your parents," he conceded.
River sighed, nodded, and then started back up the stairs. She paused, however, when she noticed him heading in the opposite direction. "Where are you going?" she asked, frowning.
"Kitchen," he replied flatly. "We're going to need something much stronger than tea."