Author's Note: Quotes in italics are taken directly from the television show. Enjoy!


Prologue

Time, it was the most beautiful thing in the universe and the most terrible. She used to dance through time, floating, twirling, laughing. Now it held her down and poured through her aching head — tick tock, tick tock. Every moment Amy Williams lost a little more of her soul.


Chapter 1: The girl who had to say goodbye

She stared at her hands, hands that would never again be grabbed by the Doctor as he pulled her towards adventure or away from harm. She had said her goodbye only a few seconds ago, and as the Doctor faded from view she doubted she'd ever see him again. As she turned towards her husband and their new life she couldn't stop herself from glancing wistfully over her shoulder one last time.

As the days turned into weeks then months Amy spent a lot of time staring at her hands. They accused her of letting go of the Doctor, letting him sacrifice his happiness for the safety of his friends. They accused her of selfishness for running off with him in the first place on the eve of her wedding. Her hands missed the pressure of the Doctor's fingers intertwined with hers. Sunlight glinted off her wedding ring and Amy dropped her eyes in shame. How could she be pining for the Doctor when she had Rory? Loving, wonderful, Rory, her husband, and the man she promised to never leave.

She should have been happy. Everyone told her how lucky she was. She had a husband who adored her, a loving family, beautiful house, and a totally impractical car. The Doctor gave her all of those things. He sacrificed himself to reset the universe and restore her family, reunited her with Rory when she ran away the night before her wedding, handed them the keys to a new house and a new car, and left to keep them safe.

She was happy, she insisted to herself. She just missed the doctor. It would fade in time. Except it didn't. Rory tried to introduce her to friends from work, he brought home newspapers with jobs circled in blue ink, and invented any reason he could think of to get her to leave the house and garden.

Three months after the Doctor left Rory came home from work to find her staring listlessly out of the front window. He knelt down next to her and gently picked up her hands.

"Amy, I need you. You are my entire life, and it kills me to see you like this."

"I'm sorry," she whispered, "so sorry."

"I know you need time to grieve. He was your best friend. I miss him too, but he wouldn't want you to give up on having a life to sit at home and stare out of the window."

Amy turned and looked at Rory, really looked at him for the first time in three months. He'd aged. There were worry lines that she'd never seen before and, "Oi, is that a grey hair?" her own voice surprised her. It was a shadow of its former self. The lines around his eyes relaxed and he smiled at her. She slipped off her chair and leaned up against him. She was hurting him, and it was wrong. She promised herself that she wouldn't be so selfish anymore. That she would take care of her husband. The boy who waited needn't wait anymore.

After that conversation she kept her days busy cleaning, cooking, and gardening. Amy threw herself into household tasks with an intensity that left no room for thought. She'd been able to cook since a young age because Aunt Sharon often left her to fend for herself . . . no, that was the wrong life, her mother had taught her to cook, but she rarely had because her mother loved cooking for her. Now she cooked like it was an obsession, but she never made fish or custard.

After a few weeks of acting the perfect (albeit frenzied) housewife she let Rory coax her away from the house. She started applying for jobs and joining Rory and his coworkers for drinks after work. It was during one of those nights out that a well-dressed stranger walked up to her at a bar, handed her his card, and said, "you should model."

Amy rolled her eyes. "I bet you say that to all the girls."

"No, just the ones who could model."

"Sure you do," Amy snorted. "Anyway you're wasting your time." She waggled the fingers of her left hand at him. "I'm married."

"Seriously, I'm not hitting on you. I'm a modeling scout. Call my office in the morning. You are exactly what my client is looking for."

Amy turned towards the dartboard where Rory was lining up for a shot, the tip of his tongue sticking out of his mouth in concentration. "Hey, husband!"

He startled just as he let go of the dart, and it hit the target dead center. "You're welcome," yelled Amy, "now get your stupid face over here. This guy won't leave me alone."

"What guy?" asked Rory.

"This guy." Amy gestured to the now empty seat next to her. Rory walked up to her and teased, "Are you seeing things Mrs. Williams?"

"Nope," said Amy triumphantly, "I can prove it. See he left his card!" And she waved the business card in Rory's face.

Rory examined the card and then darted back to his coworkers, Amy trailing behind him. He ran up to a stunning, middle-aged woman and shoved the card in her hand. Amy caught up and quirked an eyebrow at him.

"Amy," said Rory, "Iris used to model. I bet she can tell us if your scout is a fake or not."

Iris turned the card over. In his haste Rory had handed it to her backwards and upside down. "He's a legitimate scout," she said, "and not just that he's one of the top model scouts in the UK."

Amy still looked skeptical. "Then what is he doing in Leadworth?"

"Only one way to find out," said Rory. "You'll have to call him."