Spoilers: Season 6
Disclaimer: I don't claim to represent the creators of Doctor Who. I'm am not making money off this story.
Story Notes: The whole 'Amy losing her baby' thread didn't get a whole lot of closure on the show - this is my little attempt to fix it, just a little.
"Good lord," Amy said as she checked Rory's watch on the nightstand. "It's 2:30 in the bloody morning."
She looked down at the sleeping man she was leaning over and punched him in the arm.
"Unmph," he said and then rolled over and snuggled deeper into the blankets.
"Oi! Wake up, mister. If I can't sleep why should you?"
Rory let out a loud snore.
Rolling her eyes, Amy flopped back to her side of the bed and crossed her arms. "Go figure," she muttered. She blinked her eyes a few times, chasing back the beginnings of a real sulk. It was pointless to get all miserable about it. She was awake, wide awake, and that was that.
Amy slid out of bed, pulled on her dressing gown and stuck her feet in her comfy old slippers. Maybe she could find the Doctor. Maybe he could techno-babble her back to sleep with a discussion on vortex-rotors and time-manipulators. She padded her way to the console room expecting to find him dangling beneath the console, working in the guts of the TARDIS.
She found the console room cast in diffuse light, the hum of the engines vibrated gently under the thin soles of her slippers. It was as empty as a museum at night.
"Probably gone to save the universe without us. Again." She gave a grunt of frustration.
There was nothing for it but to brew up a fresh cup of tea and then she'd have to find something to keep her entertained or else she'd go mad if she had to sit with herself for longer than two minutes.
There was a light on in the TARDIS galley. "Thank god," Amy said as she rounded the corner, then she stopped short. Instead of the Doctor, there was a woman bent over the laminate table, the fall of her curls hiding her face as she scratched away in her little blue book.
"Oh," Amy said softly, "it's you."
"Hello Amy," the woman said as she looked up. "Can't sleep?"
Amy shrugged. "You know how it goes."
"Pull up a chair, if you like. There's a fresh pot of tea - I'll fix you some. Unless you're looking for something stronger?"
"No," she said with a laugh. "Tea will be fine. Milk and -"
"Two sugars, I know. You like it sweet."
Amy sat down with a slump and rubbed some of the sleep from her eyes as the other woman busied herself with fetching a fresh mug and pouring the still warm tea from the pot through the strainer. The bitter yet fragrant aroma filled the air. "So, when did you come on board?"
"The Doctor picked me up a few hours ago," River said. "You and Rory had already gone up to bed."
"So, you had a date or something, yeah?" Amy said.
"Something like that," River said as she handed the mug to Amy.
Amy took hold of it with grateful hands and cradled the warm ceramic mug with care. She breathed in the tea before taking a sip and let the warmth suffuse her. She hadn't realised how cold and stiff she felt until the tea began to work its magic. Bit by bit her muscles relaxed and her core thawed out until she was able to let go of some of her tension and smile. "Good stuff, this."
"It's my own personal blend," River said.
"I hope it's legal."
"Of course it is. In the 51st century." River winked.
That brought a laugh out of Amy. "I don't think I want to know what's in it. But I'll drink it anyway."
River stood. "Here, let me rub your shoulders a bit. You've been under a lot of stress lately, haven't you?"
For the first time Amy registered that River was dressed in a bright red kimono belted at the waist, her bare feet peeking out from the bottom. She waved her away. "I'm alright. Mostly. By the way, did he just pick you up for a booty call?"
River sat back down and laughed. "There's not much that gets past you, is there?"
"Nope." She leaned forward. "Do you mind if I ask you a question? Is he, you know, compatible? I mean, I know he looks human, but he's an alien. I've always wondered."
River raised an eyebrow. "You've always wondered?"
Amy cringed a bit. This was probably heading into territory where it wasn't wise to go. "Not in that way. Well maybe one time I did, but not seriously. I mean, I was just, you know, curious. You've gotta wonder that in all those years he's traveled with all those companions and he's never.. you know..."
River laughed again, her eyes sparkling. "It's okay. I know what you mean. To be honest, I don't really probe him about his past relationships, but for your information, he definitely is compatible. If you know what I mean." A secret smile played over River's lips and her eyes grew distant and distracted.
"Okay, enough of that line of questioning," Amy said. "Probably shouldn't have gone there in the first place. There really are things a mother shouldn't know about her daughter and her best friend."
"You did ask," River said with a smirk.
Amy considered River for a moment. "I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all."
"About me and the Doctor?"
"Oh, god no. I had you two figured out the first time I saw you together." Amy gave River a sly look. "I don't expect you've been to the Byzantium yet?"
"You know you want to say it," River said with a laugh.
"Oh all right." Amy giggled a bit behind her hand. "Spoilers."
"There. Doesn't that feel better?"
Amy drew in a sigh and looked at her impossible daughter. "Not really, no."
River closed her diary and moved it to the side. She leaned forward in her chair and looked Amy in the eye. "Tell me."
Shaking her head, Amy said, "The thing is, I know you're my daughter, the baby girl I gave birth to. And I know you are my best friend from when I was a child. And I also know that you're River Song, the Doctor's mysterious time-traveling special friend. But I can't reconcile it all. I don't know how to fit all the pieces together."
River nodded. "I can see how that would be difficult for you."
"For crying out loud, I'm your mum. And I don't feel like it. I don't feel like a mother."
Shifting in her seat, River reached over and grabbed Amy's hand. "You know I'm a little different, because of the time-vortex, right? Well, I have a very good memory, not perfect, like the Doctor's, and there are bits missing where the Silence took away whole swaths of my early childhood, but my very first memory is of a face, your face. I saw you and felt, well, the only way I can describe it is peace."
"But then you were taken from me."
"I don't remember much of that time because of the Silence. There are flashes. Some less pleasant than others." River grimaced. "But I held on to that memory of your face. I knew you were my mum. And I never told you about what the Doctor did when I was stuck in that orphanage."
"What do you mean?" Amy frowned.
"He... left me things. He never showed himself, but I know now it was him. There were toys, little trinkets. And photographs. Photographs of me, which was a little creepy if you think about it, but to a little girl who was watched over by monsters, it was a sign that my guardian angel was looking over me, too."
"He gave you that photograph of me. Of us, when you were a baby. I remember seeing that there."
"I believe he did. It was... It was my most precious possession."
Amy covered River's hand with her other and squeezed. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. If I had known. If I knew, nothing would have stopped me from getting you out of there."
"I know," River said, her voice hushed.
Amy blinked a few times, then wiped the back of her hand across her eyes, dashing away the tears that had begun to form. "I couldn't save you. He couldn't save you."
"You didn't need to. I saved myself. You being there gave me the diversion I needed to escape the suit. I regenerated, and then I came to find you."
"It's so hard to believe. You were already years older when you came to Leadworth as Mels, but yet you and I were the same age."
"A little gift from my Time Lordy DNA. I can control my aging to a point. I was eleven for a number of years."
"God, I wish I could do that," Amy said with a hiccup.
"It does come in handy."
Amy couldn't help the bubble of laughter that came out. "I remember the first time I saw you as Mels. Your hair was a complete mess, your socks didn't match and your jumper was two sizes too big for you. You looked like such a lost little thing. So much for what I knew."
"But I was lost," River said. "I'd found you and Dad, but you were children. I didn't have a plan once I'd found you. And you came up to me and said, 'Hello, my name's Amelia Pond. Come with me', and then you took me home, fed me bacon and ice-cream and dressed me in your own clothes."
"Oh my god, I did, didn't I?"
"You were such the little mother. And it was exactly what I needed."
"Would you change it? If you could go back and prevent the Silence from taking you in the first place, would you do it knowing it would erase your whole existence?"
"I can't change it, not even if I wanted to, so why go there?"
"But if you could?"
River shook her head. "There are... rules. It would be a paradox for me to interfere in my own timeline. I suppose if I had a paradox machine... I suppose then I could. But would I?" River was silent for a moment, her eyes wide as she looked at Amy. "I suppose if I met that little girl in the orphanage, I'm not sure I could tell her no. But from here, from this perspective, I couldn't tell her yes."
Amy dropped her gaze. "I'm sorry. It was unfair of me to ask you. You see, there was this woman who had to make a similar choice. It was me or her. In the end she chose me, but not without a fight."
"I've lived so much, seen so much. And there were little moments of joy in amongst the pain. And more that I can't remember, and don't want to remember. But there was you and Rory. And then there was the Doctor. I suppose, in a way, he made the choice for me. He could have taken me out of that orphanage at any time, but he chose not to."
"Did he have that right?"
"Yes. You'll know soon enough, mother. But yes, he did, and he does. And it's good enough for me."
Amy answered her daughter with a smile. It was the least she could give. "Then that is good enough for me." She stretched and yawned. "I think your tea has worked some magic of the sedative kind. I might be able to get a few more hours of sleep."
Standing, Amy reached over and tucked a stray curl behind River's ear. Then, on a whim, she leaned over and kissed the other woman on the forehead.
"I love you, mum," River said.
"I love you too, daughter," Amy said.
Amy padded her way back to her bedroom, the thing that had been gnawing at her finally put to rest. Just as she reached her door, she heard the Doctor's voice floating down the corridor.
"River, are you going to be much longer? I'm getting cold and these cuffs are chaffing."
"Gah! Now I'm going to have to scrub my ears out," Amy said as she let herself into her room.