Rating: Hard R
Characters/Pairing: Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory Williams, TARDIS (Amy/Rory; Amy/Rory/Eleven; Rory/Eleven)
Genre: Het, Slash, Sci-Fi, Horror, Dark Fantasy, AU
Word count: 13,642 (WIP)
Warnings/Spoilers: No Spoilers, Alternate Universe, Dark!fic, Death!fic, Angst, Language, Suicidal Ideations/Attempts, Canon Character Death, Explicit Sexual Situations, Dub-Con, OT3, Violence, Blood, Gore, PTSD, Mental Breakdown, Hallucinations
A/N: This fiction started off from an idea/prompt from my dearest themuslimbarbie who dared to ask 'What-If?', then tossed it my way to see if I could do anything with it. It took awhile, but when the idea finally slotted into place, this Verse was the result. I don't really think this was what she had in mind when she passed the idea on, but I certainly hope she enjoys it (this one is for you, A, honey!)
I will say, I never really intended this Verse to even happen, but Rory and the Doctor insisted, so here we are. This series is still a WIP and for once, I have only the vaguest ideas of how it goes - I am letting the characters walk me through and tell the story. That was how this series started, so I find it fitting to let them tell me the 'Story That Never Was'.
The first five 'sections' are unbeta'd, so please forgive any errors, fails and omissions. Also, keep in mind there will be Explicit Content in some of these chapters - there will be warnings/notes posted for each chapter, but the main bulk of warnings can be found here. The rest of this fic has been subjected to the tender beta mercies of my Good Girl lonewytch (thank you, dearheart!) before being submitted to the tender mercies of You, my lovely Readers. I certainly hope you love this tale as much as I do.
Summary: There was once Three (the Doctor, Amy and Rory) but after a lovely picnic and exploration of a peaceful planetoid in the middle of a forgotten sector of space goes terribly wrong, there are only Two. Staggered with sudden, inexplicable loss, Rory and the Doctor try to find a way to move on, only to be hindered by their own grief, horror and misunderstandings. Obsessed with Amy's demise, the Doctor can't let go of the past (that should never have been) and he searches for a way to set things right, even as Rory struggles to live with his loss and find a new life for them in the wake of his wife's death. But it is hard to hold on to someone who sees himself as a means to an end. Death, obsession, love and the past drive them forward, even as they push for different fates. This is The Tale That Never Was...
Disclaimer: Not mine, nope! All the wishing and pleading with the PTB have not changed this. The wonderful Doctor and His Companions still belong to BBC, BBC Worldwide (and for now) the epic S. Moffat. So please no sue - just having fun here!


The Unthinkable Series

'Unthinkable: If I Could Trade (How I Would)'


A/N: Written for who_contest's Prompt: You Can't Win Them All.

A/N2: First Place (Winner) at Who Contest


~Prologue~

Sleep was a thing of the past.

It had been two days, two days since they had lost her and all Rory could do was mourn. He walked in a haze, everything snapshots of before and after. Everything to bright, too loud, too surreal.

And then there was the Doctor.

He had often thought it would be him clinging to the lifeless body of his wife, bathed in her blood while the Doctor cajoled and pleaded and fought to get him to the safety of the TARDIS. Instead, it was just the opposite. If the Doctor had been a fraction of a second slower, it would have been Amy he would be dragging away.

But he couldn't resent the Doctor for that. He couldn't. Not when pain and horror was etched into every line of his body, shining bleak and raw from his eyes.

His begging was the hardest to hear. It was somehow worse than the choked sounds Amy made as her life bled away slowly from the wound in the back of her head.

All he could think was how grateful he was he could see her face as shining and beautiful as it had always been.

And how grateful he was that he hadn't lost them both.

But he was going to. He could see it.

Death wrapped itself around the Doctor's soul and there was no way for Rory to rip it free. He could see it settle over him, make itself a part of him; their combined pain soaking into the Time-Lord's mind and making itself at home - burying deep, eating through like an infection.

"Get up!" The Doctor screamed, his hands slicking maroon madness through her hair, her eyes seeking them out - relief and apology and forgiveness swimming in their depths and it hurt too much to look at her and know -

"Run! Come on, Amelia - don't do this! Get up!"

His howls of anger and grief could be heard over the thudding screech of engines overhead. Chaos and destruction raining down around them as the airships came in for another assault - the moans and cries of the dying and half-alive like white noise in Rory's skull; his head, his heart too numb to process anything beyond 'Leave. Leave now. We'll all die.'

He didn't want to die. He didn't want Amy to die (though she was already dead.) He didn't want to the Doctor to die. His last lifeline, his last hope - the last good part of them left. The smell of burnt flesh and scorched rock imprinted itself in his memory as he grabbed the Time-Lord by the arms, physically hauling him away from the lifeless body of his wife -

Oh god, Amy! Oh god! I'm so...oh fuck - I'll save him, I'll save him, I promise -

The horror around them narrowing to the struggling body in his arms, the familiar smell of stardust and Doctor grounding him, calming him enough to undertake the monumental task of getting the Time-Lord back to safety. The Doctor's shrieks had become a series of hoarse barks, his eyes on Amy until they could see her no more.

He knew he should have been the one to fall apart. They both should have been blasted to bits on the battlefield - the battlefield the Doctor had said (before falling eerily silent), that should never have been. Timelines had been reset...again. And the collateral damage was Amy. And if he didn't watch him, the Doctor as well.

He found the list.

Wandering the corridors, trying to make sense of an empty bed, he came across a list in the hallway - the edges tattered and crumpled as if it had been balled in someone's fist; ink smeared and too, too fresh. A series of names. None of them he knew - except for one. Scrawled over and over and over again, the pen that wrote them getting bolder and bolder as the names were stroked out in the Doctor's prim copperplate: Adric, Jack, Amy, Amy, Amy, AMELIA -

He knew then, he was going to lose him.

He couldn't lose him, too.

The Doctor had been so quiet, when they had finally reached the TARDIS. He stayed quiet and still as Rory examined him, his face turned away, refusing to look him in the eye. He seemed dull - gray around the eyes and mouth and so, so faded and old. Rory hated that look. He hated that he was calm, that he couldn't quite get that Amy was dead one mile away, her gorgeous red hair a tangled mess of maroon, her eyes open, staring endlessly at the cracked sky above. He couldn't wrap his head around it. But he could watch the Doctor. He could stay with him and keep them both breathing. Keep Amy alive in his heart.

He could do that.

It was too silent.

The TARDIS sighed under his feet, her hums subdued and mournful ever since -

Then She held her breath and he knew...

He raced through the stretch of corridors, feet skidding across the floor as he entered the control room, the door open and -

"So beautiful," the Doctor was saying, his voice a tired croak of sound and he was crying; silent, weary tears that spoke of too much, even as he said little. "I could reach out and touch them, Rory. I could - "

"Doctor, please get back inside," Rory whispered, voice calmer than he felt, his one lone heart galloping away at the endless black of space beneath the toes of the Doctor's boots, the alien's body leaned out too, too far for his liking.

"I could fall forever," the Doctor mused, sounding almost like his old self for a moment before he turned haunted eyes to his last Companion. "Would you like that? You could help me...you could get -"

"I don't want that," Rory rasped, fear shaking through his veins, his very skin humming with electric horror. "Amy wouldn't - please...Doctor - step back inside -"

"You could go home again," the Doctor gasped, eyes squeezed tight as if looking at Rory caused him pain. "But she can't, can she? I have taken everything...I could fall -"

The Time-Lord blinked in Rory's direction and for a moment, fierce, burning hate lit Rory up from the inside. How dare the Doctor walk away (AGAIN) - while Amy, his beautiful wife was -

The Doctor nodded, contentment, sorrowful peace smoothing the lines away from his eyes - so young, so very, very old and he started to tilt -

Rory grabbed him, his movements so quick he didn't even know he was going to make them until they had already happened, the Doctor wrapped firmly in his grip. He expected him to fall limp, to let himself be led away - but was surprised at the fight he had on his hands. The Doctor growled and sobbed in his beautiful, musical language, body twisted so he was always in the open door, trying to push Rory away from him, even as he tried to use him as a means of leverage.

"Please don't," Rory gritted, trying and failing several times before he got a firmer grip in the man, locking him in a hold that the Doctor couldn't break, the both of them weeping now - one in defeat and the other in abject fear and loneliness. "I can't - Amy wouldn't -"

"She's dead," the Doctor hissed, trying to make him angry, trying to goad him into doing what he had attempted to do himself. "She's dead, Rory - and I killed her...I kill everyone, everything - do you not understand that?! If I had been just one step behind...just one -"

It had been a headshot. The Doctor wouldn't have come back from that. Amy certainly hadn't.

Rory slumped in the doorway, holding the Time-Lord so tight he could swear the man's ribs creaked - relieved and terrified when the Doctor clung back, letting Rory rock him as they held each other against the expanse of the void beyond the doorway. They sat there for a very long time, their grief and pain keeping them so, so far apart, even as it held them closer than ever. A lifetime later he led the subdued and (once more) silent Time-Lord back to his bed, curling up with him on top of the covers, arms wrapped around the last thing he could call home.

"I can't lose you, too," Rory murmured into the back of his neck, eyes aching with two days worth of shed tears, his voice scratchy with loss and terror. "We only have each other, can't you see that?"

The Doctor didn't reply.

Rory didn't know if he was even there anymore.

He held him close, mind drifting to the list of names -

So, so many

- in his pocket, his heart aching with all that he had lost and all that he could lose, even as he held it right in front of him. The universe was a lot less sure, was a lot colder without his Amy - but it would not be worth living in if the man in his arms succeeded in what he had been trying to do.

He would have to be more vigilant, ease the ache by keeping the Doctor safe. It was what Amy would want. It was what he wanted.

Sleep was a thing of the past.

The night was still long.

But his bed was not as empty.