Mels was sunk into the low sofa of the Ponds' living room gazing up at Amy dubiously. "What?" said Amy, putting her hands on her hips and staring down at her friend. "You don't think it's a good idea?"
Mels didn't answer; she put her hand on her forehead and rubbed a horizontal line, still giving Amy the same look.
"Well, you're wrong. It's a brilliant idea." Amy crossed her arms and turned her face to the side haughtily.
"It is not 'a brilliant idea'. In fact it's probably one of the worst ideas I've ever heard," said Mels, speaking at last and pulling herself up to prevent being swallowed by the overly-soft couch cushions.
"Why? Why is it such a horrible idea to want my friend — our friend — to be happy? It's not like he gets much of a chance around here; it's hardly a 'buzzing hotspot'. How is Rory supposed to meet a nice fit, bloke in Leadworth?"
Mels dropped her face into her hands and grunted, "Urgh! Fine!"
"I knew you'd come around! Right, so I've already laid the groundwork…"
Mels was growing increasingly impatient with Amy and Rory. Rory, not brave enough to act, and Amy completely blind to the fact that she was in love with him. It was bloody obvious — any idiot could see it, if they just looked. Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that Mels knew the end of the story: that Amy and Rory would fall in love, get married and make — well — her.
Either way, the signs were all there. Like, Rory taking off his jumper making his top ride up, and Amy drooling at him. He'd even catch her drooling and not once think: 'Hey, Amy's checking me out, she must think I'm hot'. No, because that would make sense.
It was usually at this point that Mels would bury her face in a pillow and scream into it in frustration. She could easily have a word with them — 'You two: you fancy each other, you should snog, get married, have a baby' — but she resisted. They had to get there on their own, and they would, eventually.
Knowing that they would wasn't making it any easier for Mels to watch this latest chapter in the never-ending saga of the 'Almost-Ponds'. Amy had convinced herself that Rory was gay, of course, what else would he bloody be? Surely not the obvious: attainable and in love with her? No, of course not.
Mels took out her mobile and rang Rory whilst Amy stood in front of her, listening. "Rory, mate. Here, me and Amy are going down to Gloucester tonight for a few drinks, are you up for it?"
"You want, me, to come with you and Amy again…what? Why?" Rory stammered out.
"What do you mean why? Because you're our mate and we want to spend time with you, is why."
Mels could hear a long pause on the phone followed by, "Right."
Mels looked at Amy and shrugged. "Convince him," Amy mouthed. Mels approached Amy and turned her around and pushed her towards the door. "What do you say, Rory?" she spoke into the phone as she closed the door in Amy's — still silently arguing — face.
Mels lowered her voice. "Sorry Rory, she's out of the room now."
"Is this to do with what I told you last week? Oh God, Mels, you didn't tell her did you?" She could hear him throwing himself back on the bed in torment.
"No I didn't tell her, and to be honest, I'm pretty annoyed that you would think so little of me."
"I'm sorry, I just… "
"I know, I know. But look, come out with us tonight; get your glad rags on. You never know what might happen."
"But I have lectures in the morning."
"I have community service in the morning; you don't see it stopping me."
"You really should take that more seriously, you know?"
"Yes, Dad," she sang, smiling to herself. "You'll come though, yeah?"
"Okay, but I'm going to leave before midnight," he stated resolutely.
"Great. See you soon then, Cinderella!" she laughed and hung up.
"Amy!" she shouted out through the door. "He's on."
Amy burst through the door again. "All systems are go!"
Oh God, thought Mels, if these two divs aren't made for each other, I don't know who is.
One week — practically down to the minute — after Rory, in an unprecedented state of utter inebriation, had broken down in abject tear-strewn anguish all over Mels' favourite jacket, they were all back at the scene of the crime. This time, Amy was not snogging some ape, but talking to the perfectly nice, lovely, gay, Colin — her friend from college.
Mels was glad not to have a repeat of last week. Watching your Mum have her arse felt up by some Neanderthal whilst your Dad wept on your shoulder, telling you how much and for how long he's been in love with your Mum, was not something she ever wanted to relive. Not to mention the fact that she had to go and break said-Neanderthal's nose for upsetting her Dad. This wasn't going to be pretty either, but hopefully there would be less snot to contend with.
Amy took Colin's hand and led him back to Mels and Rory. "I knew this was a mistake," whinged Rory, eyeing the handholding. Mels nudged him with her elbow.
"Rory, this is Colin," said Amy.
"Eh, and what am I? The cat's mother?" asked Mels incredulously.
"And this is Mels, Colin. She's a very angry young woman; stay on her good side," warned Amy, smirking at her friend.
"It's not Colin who has to worry about my sides," she said, glaring at Amy but unable to fully conceal a smile.
"Colin," said Amy turning back to him, "Rory is training to be a nurse, tell him Rory."
"Eh, I'm training to be a nurse."
Amy nodded, feigning an interest briefly before turning to Mels. "Mels, let's go and get some drinks for everyone." Mels rolled her eyes and allowed Amy to lead her away.
"What do you think?" asked Amy excitedly when they arrived at the bar.
"Colin and Rory, Rory and Colin. Don't they look adorable together?" Amy leaned an elbow on the bar looking dreamily over at the awkward pair.
"Adorable isn't really what I would call it, uncomfortable more like."
Amy smacked her on the arm. "Give them a chance." Mels watched as the two men talked politely, there was a lot of nodding and then some laughing. "See?" said Amy.
Oh, Amy, thought Mels. Then it happened, Colin touched Rory on the arm and left his hand there. Rory slowly turned his head to look at the hand and then at Colin quizzically. Colin's hand retracted sharply and he said something briefly before turning to march over to the two women, leaving Rory in a state of visible bafflement.
"What the fucking fuck Amy? I thought you said he was gay?" Colin spat.
"What? He is gay," replied Amy.
Mels glanced over to Rory, who was looking over at her with a questioning shrug. She indicated for him to stay put.
"No, he is definitely not," continued Colin.
"Well, Colin, did you actually consider that he might not actually fancy you?" said Amy crossing her arms, "Hm? No, I thought not. Because everyone fancies Colin, don't they?"
"Whatever Amy." Colin threw his hand up in front of her face. "And you, what the fuck are you finding so funny?"
Mels realised that she was grinning widely. "Oh nothing, but you're right, he's not gay," she said.
"Shut up Mels, he is gay," Amy interjected.
"Is this all some sort of joke at my expense?" asked Colin, looking over and back between the two. "Or is it a joke at his expense? That poor fucker, having you two specimens for friends." He threw them a pitying look.
"Oi!" Mels suddenly shouted, "Say what you like about me, but leave the ginge out of it. She's the best fucking friend you could have and you don't even appreciate it. Now piss off before I get really angry." Colin made a weak attempt to puff up his chest before realising he was beaten and sloping off, muttering to himself.
Mels felt a hand on her shoulder. "What was that all about, eh?" Her body relaxed again as Amy rubbed her back soothingly.
"Sorry. He was being a prick."
"He was just upset, Mels," Amy said, giving her shoulder a comforting squeeze. "Look, Here comes Rory, not a word about what Colin said, okay?"
"What's going on?" Rory said, sauntering over to them at the bar.
"Sorry Rory, Colin had to leave," said Amy in a consolatory tone.
"Okay?" replied Rory, wondering why she thought he would care. "Well," he said, looking at his watch, "it's nearly midnight, so I think I'm going to hit the road. Enjoy the rest of your night."
Amy's hand shot out and held him by the forearm. Mels watched as Amy's thumb stroked his skin and she looked him in the eyes. "Stay a little bit longer."
Rory searched her face and swallowed. "Yeah, okay."
Mels held her breath and wished she could evaporate to give them privacy. Amy looked away shyly and Mels noticed the slight flush in her cheeks. "Great, you can give us a lift home later so," Amy said, breaking the spell.
Rory just nodded his acceptance, looking thoroughly gutted, as Amy strode off back to where they had left their coats. Mels sighed resignedly and then ruffled Rory's hair telling him, "Next time, maybe?"