Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who.
This is set before River tells Amy and Rory that the Doctor's still alive, and after the Doctor saw Martha, Mickey and Jack at the End of Time.
Martha Jones-Smith pulled into her drive way and noticed the place next door had a car in the driveway. Ordinarily, this would not be odd. The main reason this was so strange was because – well, because there had been no one living there in years. Someone had bought it when it had gone up for sale three or so years ago, only a week or two after she had moved there with Mickey, but had never moved in.
She shrugged, stepping out of the car and was immediately hit by the overpowering smell of wet paint. She looked around for the source and saw the freshly painted door of next door – it was a deep blue with four panels. 'TARDIS blue,' she thought with a wistful smile and walked inside.
"You're serious?" asked Mickey as Martha put the kettle on. "It was TARDIS blue?"
"Bet it means something," said Jack. "A former companion or something." Jack had dropped by early this afternoon, shortly after Martha had arrived home. They had been introduced to the new Torchwood team – who had buggered off quickly afterwards, even Gwen, eventually – and Jack had decided to hang around for the night.
"You're on," replied Mickey. "Five dollars."
"Seven and a half."
Martha rolled her eyes at the boys' antics. "I think we should go meet them," she said to Mickey, pretending she had not heard them.
"I'll come," said Jack immediately with a suggestive grin. Mickey let out a short laugh.
"Alright," he said. He grabbed his coat off the kitchen counter. "Let's go." The three trooped out the door, leaving the long since forgotten kettle behind, still boiling away.
"I don't want to knock," complained Martha. "It's still wet."
"There's the knocker," pointed out Mickey.
"Still have to touch wet paint," she replied grumpily. Jack rolled his eyes slightly, reaching out and knocking. His knuckles were covered in the blue paint.
"Knuckles, Mickey Mouse?" he asked Mickey with a wicked grin. Mickey shook his head and Martha opened her mouth to save her husband when the door was opened.
"Hello," said a red headed woman, voice accented. She was wearing a slightly too large jacket over jeans and a t-shirt.
"Hi, I'm Martha Jones-Smith," Martha greeted. "I live next door. This is my husband Mickey, and our friend - "
"Captain Jack Harkness," said Jack, holding out his hand.
"Jack," warned Martha.
"I was saying hello! You've been spending too much time around him," complained Jack, his hand making a small gesture to the coloured door.
"Or we know you to well," Mickey grinned.
The woman looked amused by the banter. "Amy Pond – Williams. Pond-Williams. This is going to take some getting used to…" she muttered. "Do you want to come in?"
Martha nodded. "I know how you feel," Martha told her. "It took me ages to adjust, too. I kept signing myself Martha Jones."
Amy smiled as she moved aside to let them in. "Rory and I have actually been married for a year now, but I still went by Amy Pond until just a few days ago. Rory and I came to a compromise on the last name issue by me using both names." She pitched her voice louder. "Rory! We have visitors."
A man came down the stairs. "Amy, have you seen - " He stopped short. "Oh. That's where it went," he said, eyeing her jacket. Amy grinned at him.
"Come meet the neighbors," she invited. He nodded and started down the stairs again as Amy turned back to Martha. "This is my husband, Rory," she told them.
Martha went, once again, through the introduction process again, laughing quietly as Jack started flirting with Rory, who looked so completely uncomfortable. Amy, too, laughed as she watched her husband awkwardly fend off the advances of the captain.
Eventually – after Jack's flirting subsided – they made their way into the living room. Amy settled into a large arm chair beside Rory as Martha, Mickey and Jack sat in a three seater. They chatted easily for a while, Mickey and Jack dropping continuous hints about the colour on the door. Neither of the Williams seemed to notice this, or at least they were very good at hiding their surprise at the importance of a colour.
It was almost half an hour later when Jack leapt to his feet, his eyes locked on to the corner of the room. Martha and Mickey followed suit only a half beat later. To Martha's surprise, Amy and Rory had their reflexes just as honed and were on their feet before Martha was, despite being in a much more awkward position. The two spun to look at what Jack was staring at.
Its skin was a grey colour, and it seemed to have no mouth. Its skin clung to the skull, and she could clearly make out all of the bones as it breathed in a shuddering breath. Despite the suit it was wearing, Martha could not help but think of Harry Potter and the dementors of Azkaban.
"What are you?" demanded Jack in his loudest, most commanding voice. "What business do you have on Earth?"
"We are the Silence," came the wheezing reply. "We wish to speak to the Ponds."
"Williams," came Rory's quiet, automatic correction. Amy looked as if she wished she could give him a sharp glare, but refused to look away from the alien. Martha glanced around to see –
Why was everybody glaring at that spot on the – oh! Martha was flooded by the memory of meeting the Silent only a second before.
"What do you want?" spat Amy. To the others, she said, "Keep looking at it. Whatever you do, do not look away. You'll forget you ever saw it." To Rory, "Centurion. I'll remind you." Whatever the cryptic word meant, Rory clearly understood and backed away, his eyes fixed on to the creature as he left the room, footsteps the only signal he was still walking.
Rory's footsteps stopped. "Centurion!" shouted Amy. The footsteps restarted, and it sounded as if he was running. "What do you want with me?" asked Amy evenly.
"Silence has fallen." The words hung ominously in the room as silence reigned.
Amy broke the silence finally. "I know. I was there. You don't need to tell me."
"You will try to stop it. When you see the Time Lord again - " Martha sucked in a shocked breath " – you will try to warn him."
"No." Amy shook her head. "No. I know I can't." Amy pursed her lips, looking impossibly sad. "I saw what happened when River tried to stop it. A fixed point in time cannot be rewritten, or all of time disintegrates."
"You have created a paradox for someone you love before."
Amy tensed. "How do you know about that? It never happened. Not now that…" she trails off, shaking her head as if to rid herself of a fly. The Silent did not reply. "Oh. No doubt some of your agents were in there, am I right?" The Silent still did not reply.
"Leave my house," ordered Amy. "If you know of that incident, then you know what I am willing to do to stop someone from harming the people I love. Obviously I could not stop the Doctor's death. But I might be willing to take retribution." Martha longed to stare at Amy in disbelief, or say something, but she had a feeling she should not interrupt this confrontation. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jack look away from the Silent to gaze at Amy in disbelief, then blink in confusion. He glanced around again and once again spotted the Silent.
The Silent stared into her eyes for a long moment. Amy glared back, body as wound as tight as a spring, refusing to back down. Footsteps sounded at the door and Rory moved into view. Swinging at his side was a Roman-looking sword.
"I didn't have time to gear up completely," he said. "But I'm sure you know of me."
"The Lone Centurion," rasped the Silent. Vaguely, Martha heard Mickey exclaiming, "I thought that was a myth!" "And the Girl Who Waited," the alien finished.
"I know what you are capable of," said the Silent. "I will leave you in peace." And the Silent, much to Martha's shock, walked away.
Amy sunk on to the couch. "I can't believe that actually worked."
"I think it might have something to do with him not wanting to be gunned down with a machine gun again," quipped Rory as he sat down as well.
Amy gave him a side-glance. "D'you think they remember that?"
"Maybe." Rory shrugged.
"The Doctor…" Martha swallowed hard. "He's dead?"
"You know him." Amy looked at her in surprise.
Mickey nodded. "We – we've all travelled with him," he said quietly.
"You mentioned a couple of times, Martha, Mickey, that the Doctor saved you from a Sontaron but didn't actually come talk to you. He did the same with me, except he hooked me up with a guy…" Jack's voice trailed off. "Do you think that was when -?"
"In his brown trench coat and his suit," murmured Martha, nostalgia welling up inside her.
"The Doctor doesn't wear a trench coat." Rory looked confused.
"At least, not our Doctor." Amy elbowed Rory. "Regeneration, remember? River explained it to us, after – you know."
"What does your Doctor look like?" asked Mickey. "If it's Big Ears…" Jack smiled slightly at Mickey's name for the old Doctor.
"He has floppy hair," described Amy, "and he wears bowties and tweed jackets and braces."
"And fezzes and Stetsons," continued Rory.
"At least, until River shoots them off." Amy smiled wistfully. "Oh, I miss him so much."
"We all do," murmured Martha. "I don't think we'll ever really stop. And not just him, but all the people you meet while travelling with him. Shakespeare…"
"The Madame de Pompadour," added Mickey.
Jack opened his mouth to say something before closing it again with a sly smile.
"Vincent Van Gogh and Elizabeth the tenth…"
"Hitler…" came Rory's voice, "…and then punching him…"
"Slitheen pretending to be – wait, what?" Mickey stared. "You punched Hitler?"
Rory nodded. "And put him in a cupboard."
"And all because our time travelling, brainwashed daughter threatened the Doctor with a gun." Amy gave a soft laugh as she remembered the incident.
"This is a story I have to hear," said Jack, settling back down on to the couch. Martha glanced at him in disbelief. "What? The best way to remember the Doctor has always been to tell our stories – to recount every adventure, every time the TARDIS swerved off course. Now that's he – now that he's actually gone, that should be more important than ever." There was a slight pause. "Mickey, you owe me ten dollars.
After a long moment, Rory nodded. "Telling stories is one of the most important things in the world. Once, when I was plastic and the entire universe was unraveling, the only reason it was still there was because of people telling stories."
There was silence. Finally, Amy said, "If we're going to tell the story of the day we met Hitler, I really think we should probably start way back when I met River for the first time, don't you think?" she asked Rory. "I mean, it really wouldn't make sense without them knowing River's timeline."
Martha sat back in the couch, cuddling into Mickey's side. It would be good to hear tales of the Doctor again, and good to tell her own.