This chapter is dedicated to Emma, aka NaviRebel16, because it's her birthday and I promised! Also, she did a review of my fic on YouTube… which I may already have mentioned… so she has my enteral gratitude! If you haven't already, you should check out her YouTube channel – JuniorFanFicCritic!
Anyway, here it is… I hope you enjoy it!
The two women were beamed up in a swirl of wind, just like Father Octavian and the other Clerics had been deposited on the beach the evening before. From there, they'd sat on hard benches in the prison ship, waiting to be beamed down into Stormcage. Evie kept sending her mother small, meaningful looks, trying to get her to fill her in on what she and the Doctor had discussed. Instead, River returned her glances with small, enigmatic smirks that frustrated her daughter.
"Mum, are you going to tell me or not?" Evie demanded, pouting.
"What?" River asked innocently.
"What you and the Doctor were talking about, Mother? What's going to happen now? Are we getting released?"
River laughed softly. "The Doctor and I were discussing our next meeting, at the opening of the Pandorica."
"I remember it well." Evie smirked.
"You should! It was only a year or so ago!" Her mother laughed. "And as for the other thing… well, we'll see."
"Eurgh! Why do you always say that?"
"Because it's true!"
"So? What next?"
"We go back to Stormcage, of course." River said with a soft smile, shooting a sideways glance at the Clerics who were clearly listening in.
Evie pulled a face, then realised what her mother was trying to tell her. She shrugged. "Fair enough."
The journey seemed to take forever, although it could hardly have been very long at all. Evie was itching to be alone in the cell with her mother and find out the real plan. The Clerics gave them a two minute warning and the women prepared themselves to be beamed down into the prison. The familiar pulsing, rushing sensation started and they found themselves standing in the Stormcage Facility once more.
"Now, Doctor Song, Miss Song." The Cleric who had handcuffed them said briskly. "In the next few days the committee will be in touch to discuss whether or not you have done enough to receive a pardon."
"Thank you." River said, not sounding entirely sincere.
He nodded and, as soon as the women's handcuffs had been removed and they were safely locked in their cell once more, the Clerics vanished in a swirl of wind. River and Evie waited a couple of minutes to ensure they were completely alone.
"So?" Evie demanded, trying desperately to make herself look more presentable. "What are we going to do? Can I have a shower and get changed?"
"When we get back." Her mother told her, hunting around under her bed. She pulled out an old battered tin and retrieved her Vortex Manipulator from inside.
"Back? From where?" The girl sighed, suddenly feeling the exhaustion she'd been pushing back crashing over her in waves. "Where are we going now? I'm knackered! The second I got back from that creepy hotel filled with horrible things, I was off running around a maze full of Weeping Angels! Can't I go to bed first?"
Her mother laughed. "That was your choice. I didn't want you to come, did I?"
"Like I was going to stay behind."
"Yes, well, now you're regretting it."
"So?" The girl asked, annoyed. "Where are we going?"
"We're going to your grandparents'." River said lightly, instantly seeing the scowl drop from her daughter's face. "I thought that would cheer you up! Come here."
Evie left the mirror and moved to stand beside her mother, slipping her arm through River's. The woman set the coordinates on her Vortex Manipulator and pressed the button, sending them spinning through the Vortex. They landed in the back garden of Amy and Rory's house seconds later, and spotted the red-head sitting at the garden table, wrapped in a blanket and staring up at the sky.
"Heard there was a freak meteor shower two miles away..." She said, not looking at them. "So I got us a bottle."
"Thank you, dear." River said, picking up the bottle of white wine and pouring herself a glass.
Evie sat in the seat on her grandmother's other side, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "Hi, Gran."
"Hello, sweetie." Amy said, smiling at her weakly before turning her gaze back on the sky once more. "So where are we?"
"We just climbed out of the Byzantium. You were there. So young;didn't have a clue who I was... Who either of us were! You're funny like that. Where are you?" River asked, taking a sip of her wine. As Evie reached for the bottle to fill her own glass, she arched an eyebrow, causing the brunette to roll her eyes.
"The Doctor's dead."
There was a slight pause while all three women took a sip of wine, before River asked, "How are you doing?"
"How do you think?"
"Well, I don't know unless you tell me." Her daughter shrugged.
"I killed someone." Amy told her, weakly. "Madame Kovarian… in cold blood."
River nodded. "In an aborted time-line, in a world that never was..."
"It doesn't matter, Gran." Evie agreed, with a small shrug. "It didn't happen now."
"Yeah, well, I can remember it, so it happened, so I did it. What does that make me now? I need to talk to the Doctor, but I can't now, can I?"
Evie and River exchanged a glance. The archaeologist put down her glass of wine and leant forward. Her daughter followed suit, resting an elbow on the table.
"If you could talk to him, would it make a difference?"
"But he's dead, so I can't." Amy said with a sigh.
River sighed and reached out to take her hand. "Oh, mother... of course he isn't."
"Not for you, I suppose. You're seeing the younger versions of him, running around, having adventures."
"Yeah, we are..." River admitted, smiling and nodding. She let go of Amy's hand and took hold of her glass once more, raising it to her lips. "But that's not what I mean."
"Then what do you mean?"
Exchanging a glance with her daughter, who smirked and nodded encouragingly, River smiled. "OK. I'm going to tell you what I probably shouldn't. The Doctor's last secret. Don't you want to know what he whispered in my ear?"
"He whispered his name." Amy looked a little confused. Evie grinned and shook her head.
"Not his name, no."
"Yes, it was. He said it was."
"Rule One?" River asked, arching an eyebrow.
"The Doctor lies."
River smiled and shrugged. "So do I... all the time."
"She does." Evie agreed, pretending to look disapproving. "It's disgusting… no example to set to a child."
Amy grinned and River rolled her eyes. "I have to, spoilers. Pretending I don't know you're my mother. Pretending I didn't recognize the space suit in Florida. And Evie does her fair share of lying as well, don't you, Miss Robinson?"
"What did he whisper in your ear?" Amy was eager to hear the truth. A faint flush of excitement appeared in her cheeks and hope sparkled in her eyes.
"Oh, that man, he's always one step ahead of everyone. Always a plan."
"River, what did he tell you?" Her mother demanded impatiently. "River!"
River chuckled. "You remember the Doctor that I shot… the one who died at Lake Silencio, the one we gave a proper burial?"
"Yes?" Amy replied hurriedly, wondering what her daughter was getting at. "What about him?"
"He wasn't THE Doctor. It was a Teselecta. They took his form to prevent him being killed." She explained. Amy stared blankly back for a moment.
"He's not dead, Gran. Dad isn't dead!" Evie exclaimed, grabbing her arm and grinning broadly.
For Evie, none of what they were discussing had happened; she had just heard snippets of information, the important bits. For her mother, shooting the Doctor had happened already, when Evie was a very young child. The young woman had always been told she'd be there, when the time came. One day, someone would come to collect her and take her to where she needed to be. All Evie could do until then was wait.
As the red-head digested the information, there was silence. Then Amy screamed with delight and her daughter and granddaughter started laughing happily. They jumped to their feet, dancing around and hugging each other. Although River and Evie had already known that the Doctor wasn't dead, Amy's excitement and relief was infectious.
"Hey?" Rory called, appearing through the back door looking a little bemused.
"Gramps!" Evie exclaimed, throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly. He returned it, dropping a kiss on the top of her head without thinking about what he was doing, his eyes fixed anxiously on his wife.
As soon as Evie released him, Amy hugged him instead. "He's not dead; the Doctor's not dead!" She informed him happily.
"Are you sure, River? Are you really, properly sure?" Rory demanded after a moment, looking at her anxiously.
"Of course I'm sure." She replied, as though it was a stupid question. "I'm his wife!"
"And I'm his daughter!" Evie reminded them joyfully.
"Yes! And I'm his... mother-in-law." Amy murmured, her smile dropping instantly from her face as she said it. She looked horrified at the realisation.
Evie started laughing so hard that she had to sit down quickly before she fell over. Amy looked at her, pulling a face of complete disgust. Rory looked a little bewildered, but River smirked.
"Father dear, I think Mummy might need another drink." River said, laughing at the situation. Then a thoughtful look crossed her face and she looked between her mother and her daughter. "Oh, I almost forgot. What's all this about you suddenly having a middle name? Evie Jessica Song? Whose idea was that?"
Evie and Amy looked at each other for a moment, before they both looked quickly down at the surface of the wooden table and took a long gulp of wine.
A/N: And that's it for Angels, Soldiers, Criminals! The next part of the story, Alternatives, will be up some time in the New Year and the last part, Faces, will be up not long after. Hopefully!
I really hope you enjoyed it and want to thank you all so SO much for reading and reviewing and subscribing and favouriting! It really means a lot! :)