"Come out, cowards, and face your death!" shouted Leftenant Smythe as he and what was left of his men arrived at the barn.
"Cowards?" the Doctor called down. "Who's cowering? This is strategy!"
"So is this." Smythe nodded to some hay bales on the side of the barn and his men went to gather kindling.
The Doctor ignored this. "I'm only counting ten men there, Smith. You had thirty against thirteen and they whittled you down to ten?"
"They were slaughtered for their troubles," he sneered.
"Aye, but they took you down with them!" said Jamie proudly. "Can you not just admit that the English don't know how to fight and go home with what's left of your dignity?"
"We'll see how well you swine fight when you're burning." said Smythe as the men piled kindling at each corner of the barn. They lit it and lined up at the entrance. "You have a choice, Doctor. Burn to death slowly in your hideaway or come out and we'll grant you the mercy of a quick bullet."
"I think you're too narrow minded to see the other options here," said the Doctor.
"Options?" Smythe barked. "Escape is impossible you fool!"
"See, now there's a word I don't believe in." The Doctor and Jamie climbed down from the loft as the smoke started to enter the barn.
"What do we do, Doctor?" asked Amy.
"Don't worry. I have a plan." he said. Then he added, "Really this time. I just need time to prepare. Amy, send the women to the windows, but give me your TARDIS key first."
"What are you gonna do?" she asked as she handed it to him.
"I'm going to call the TARDIS. Rory, your key too."
Rory handed him his key. "How?"
"Normally I can't do this unless there's a major time anomaly, but with enough keys tuned to the TARDIS's frequency I should be able to summon her here." He put his key, Rory's and Amy's together and pulled a rubber band from his pocket to bind them together. He soniced them and they began to glow and pulse.
As the Doctor went to stand in the middle of the barn Amy rallied the women. "Alright, ladies, this is it! Un-shutter the windows at the front and give them hell!"
Crouching for cover, the women aimed their guns out the windows at the redcoats and began firing. Amy handed the women packets of gunpowder and bullets so they could reload.
The redcoats began to fall. Not having cover like the women they were vulnerable when they reloaded.
"It's not working!" shouted the Doctor. "The signal's not strong enough!"
"Oh!" Jamie cried realizing something. He reached into his sporran and pulled out an old TARDIS key. "Will this help?"
"You still have it," said the Doctor amazed.
"Didn't know what it was when I couldn't remember you, but I knew it was important."
The Doctor smiled wide and kissed Jamie quickly on the mouth. He took the key and bound it to the others. Slowly, the sound of the TARDIS began to fill the room. Jamie looked around as the interior of the TARDIS began to materialize around him and the Doctor. When it was finished Jamie couldn't believe his eyes. "It looks all different!"
"I'll give you the tour later, right now we have to get everyone inside." The Doctor opened the doors and rushed out "Amy, Rory, everyone. Get the injured inside we have to go!"
The flames were getting bigger and the smoke was filling the barn. The women came away from the windows with Rory and Amy and began carrying the injured into the TARDIS. Some nearly dropped them when they saw the interior, but pushed aside their amazement out of panic.
"NOOOO!" Smythe, the only one of his troops left alive, had bounded in through a window, in a crazed rage. Being among the flames made him look even more mad, as if his hatred had taken form around him. He charged at the TARDIS and the people not yet in it, but Rory still had his sword ready and rushed to parry. Smyth was stunned for a moment, as if still reaching obstacles at this point was unthinkable. "Don't be stupid, boy. You don't look like a soldier to me."
"I may be out of uniform," said Rory and he swiped expertly at Smythe, blade just barely blocked in time. "But I'm still a soldier." He ducked, swung around in back of Smythe and brought his sword down as Smyth rolled out of the way by just a hair. "Centurion, actually," Rory continued as Smythe stood and the sword fight began in earnest. "And I didn't survive the fall of Rome by just sitting around." He said as he continued to fight. Smythe was just barely keeping up with him. "Nor any of the many wars Britain has seen since then. I survived by fighting. I reckon I've seen far more action than you ever will," He knocked the sword out of Smythe's hand and Smythe fell to his knees, the tip of Rory's blade at his throat.
"In god's name," Smythe gasped. "What army did you fight for?"
"I fought for my wife." said Rory proudly.
"Rory." The Doctor came over. "Everyone's inside." He laid his hand on the one holding the sword. "You can let him go."
"I know," said Rory lowering his weapon. "I wasn't gonna kill him."
The Doctor smiled. He should have known. Rory was better than that. They entered the TARDIS, leaving Leftenant Smythe to escape the flames on his own.
The TARDIS materialized back in the village and everyone helped the injured outside.
"That's a mighty strange box you've got there, Doctor," said Henry in awe. "How can such a thing be?"
"Oh, that would take time to explain. Just accept that it is."
"Well, whatever it is it saved our lives. Thank you, Doctor."
They shook hands and Henry left to attend to his people.
"What happens now, Doctor?" asked Jamie.
"That's up to you," said the Doctor. "Do you want to say here, or, maybe…come with me?"
"Travel with you again? In the TARDIS?"
"If you want." The Doctor dared to hope.
"Aye, I'd love that!" Jamie hugged him in that completely encompassing way only Jamie could and the Doctor laughed.
"But what about River?" Rory asked, seeming as if he wondered if he should ask it at all.
"What about her?" asked the Doctor.
"We're not blind, Doctor," said Amy. "We can see there's something more than friendship here. River's your wife and our daughter."
"And I love her very much," said the Doctor. "But our marriage is a little more open than we originally let on. I mean, you should see the things we get up to with Jack. Together and separately." Then he thought about it. "Actually, no. You're her parents; you shouldn't see that."
"Yeah, I didn't need to know that," said Rory.
"So, she's gonna be okay with this?" asked Amy.
"Yeah. I can divide my time. She's taken far more advantage of the open-ness of our marriage than I have."
"So you're married now?" asked Jamie.
"Yes. Is that okay?" the Doctor asked tentatively.
"I don't know," he said. "Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned, but I don't think I'm comfortable with that."
"Do you still want to travel with me?" The Doctor feared that he wouldn't.
"Of course!" he said quickly. "But maybe, just as friends for now."
"That's fine. You're one of the best friends I've ever had."
"You say that about everyone," said Amy.
"Do I? Well it's true every time I say it."
"Now, Doctor," said Amy. "About that spa…"
"Ah, yes, Astaria!" said the Doctor.
"Astaria?" asked Jamie.
"Oh, yes, Jamie. You'll love it. I think we could all use the rest."
They headed inside and set the course. As the engines whined and the TARDIS entered the vortex, Jamie felt like he was back where he'd always belonged.
- THE END -