Cause and Effect

The history of the universe is littered with seemingly random events – apparent coincidences or misunderstandings – the fallout of each generating ripples across time. Most were harmless, but some initiated unstoppable series' of events leading to the near destruction of reality itself. Rarer still were those that lead to the near obliteration of reality on several occasions. This is an account of one of those events.

"Hurry up, I'm waiting," said Amy, standing in her underwear next to the bunk bed. She had one hand on her hip and was drumming her fingers impatiently.

"Yeah, just a sec," said Rory, rooting through the drawer after having lost all of his clothes, apart from his trousers, into a pile of wedding garments next to the door. He began emptying the drawer contents out onto the floor "No, no, no!"

"Don't tell me, ugh, Rory!"

"How is this my fault?"

"It's the man's job to bring the condoms, everyone knows that," she ventured.

"Well normally I would, but we left in a bit of a hurry," Rory replied, kneeling down by the drawer and looking up at her.

"Ugh, I can't believe we just got married and we don't even get to consummate it."

Rory got to his feet and approached his wife. He put his palm over her flat warm stomach, wrapping his fingers around her waist and buried his face in the crook of her neck. "Shit."

"Well, you could go ask the Doctor…" she said stroking his hair and running the backs of her fingers lightly down over his chest.

He thought about it for a minute, playing out the painfully protracted conversation in his head. "Even if he did have some and gave them to me, I don't think I'd be physically capable of using them by the time I got back."

"So what then?"

"We'll just have to nip into a chemist's next time we're somewhere that has chemists'."

"So no consummating?" Amy's lower lip jutted out adorably.

"No, I mean, the consequences…what if…and then if there was something wrong."

She stroked his back tenderly and kissed him. "I know. But you know, it's probably a safe time for me and if we, you know, don't lie down, it'll be all right and we won't need to worry."

Rory was a nurse, he knew the sex standing up method of contraception was bollocks, and he knew that Amy knew it too. They had both been in that sex education class together, with him blushing furiously and Amy filling everyone in on the finer details she learned from a magazine. "Amy…"

"It's our wedding night, the one and only either of us will ever have. And we have a ladder." She cocked her eyebrow at him. The permanence of the sentiment made his resolve falter. Well, that and the ladder.

"Are you sure it's a safe time for you?"

She ran her hand down his chest, pausing at the waistband of his trousers. "Pretty much."

Rory went and pulled on a t-shirt. "I'll be back in a minute."

"Oh hello, I thought you two were tired, all that dancing, can't say I'm surprised. Your aunt Margaret is quite the handful on the dance floor, I was hanging on for dear life." The Doctor chuckled. "So are we ready to go? Orient Express?"

"What?" said Rory, blinking at the torrent of words. "No, we're still 'tired'." He made exaggerated air quotes. "But I was just wondering if I could ask you for a loan of something…well not a loan so much as a, ehm, gift?"

"A gift?"

"Erm…well…" said Rory blushing down to his toes, trying to remember why he was doing this. "I need something so that I can sleep…with Amy."

"Oooh! Right! Yes," said the Doctor looking at Rory very seriously. "Cup of hot milk? That's soporific for humans if I recall correctly. Do you want me to, eh, get you some?" The doctor indicated over his shoulder with a thumb.

Rory stared at him, unable to comprehend the doctor's difficulty understanding him. "No, not that kind of sleep, the other kind…you know…" He exaggerated a cough "…you're following me?"

The Doctor nodded sagely and then said, "No."

"Urgh," said Rory running his hands through his hair in frustration and then letting them drop to his sides with a slap. "Sex, Doctor, sex. I need something so that I can have sex with my wife – Amy."

He observed as the Doctor turned scarlet from the tips of his ears to the tips of his fingers and likely beyond. They stood in awkward silence, the combined exothermic properties of their bodies capable of heating a one bedroom flat in Norwich for a week.

The doctor finally broke the tension by flinging words at it. "You need a gift? A sex gift? Well I don't know what the custom in Leadworth is, but on the third moon of Syrabim there's a tradition where the female presents the male with the right lower limb of his mortal enemy, but I doubt that's right, and anyway you don't have a mortal enemy, unless…" His hand flew to his right leg protectively.

"Or, or in the Furoemus system where the man gives the woman a glass jar filled with his seeds, or is that… no, definitely seeds. I'm sure I could find something in the hydroponics bay, just give me a few minutes," he said and then tore off down the corridor leaving Rory standing slack-jawed by the console.

Rory took a deep breath, turned on his heels and climbed back up the stairs to his room. He carefully opened the door and closed it again behind him before turning to Amy.

"We-" Amy began.

Rory cut her off with a finger in the air. "I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to answer, 'yes'."

She nodded.

"Are you positive that this is a safe time for you?"


"Okay then, but standing up, just in case."

"Well, it took me a few minutes but I figured out what you were driving at." The Doctor's voice came up the corridor towards the empty console room. "Honestly Rory, if you wanted a prophylactic you should have just said so. I found some in one of the bathroom cabinets but I'm not sure of the dates because, you know, timey-wimey…Rory?"