This story is dedicated to the Australian Nerdfighters, because they are a brilliant beyond brilliant bunch of people, and I cannot even express all my feels.

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. It's sad, but I'm coming to terms with it.

Chapter 1: A misunderstanding

"River!" he heard Amy squeal, a mere second after she disappeared through the doors of the TARDIS. The Doctor smiled, stepping outside and locking the door behind him, and turned, to see his wife disentangling herself from a hug from her mother, and sauntering towards him, smiling lightly.

"Hello, Sweetie," she called.

When she reached him, she threw her arms around him. "Where are we?" she whispered.

"We've done Demon's Run and Area 52, if that's what you mean." He nibbed her earlobe playfully and placed his hands carefully in the middle of her back, glancing quickly towards Rory, who was wearing his best protective-father face.

"Mm, good, I was hoping for an older version." She caught a bit of skin on his neck between her lips and drew breath. Hard. He gasped, glancing over her shoulder again, towards Rory, whose face was growing red as he glared at the Doctor.

"Mm—Uhh—River! I have a suspicion that your father is less than pleased with the length of this hello."

She laughed, throwing back her head. "What d'you say we really give him something to be less than pleased about, then, sweetie?"

The Doctor frowned, turning over her words in his head, and before he knew what had happened, both his hands were on River's backside.

Amy was trying not to laugh as she stopped her husband from launching himself at the Doctor, and River was laughing hysterically, with a firm grip on the Doctor's wrists, as each of his hands remained clenched—in surprise, he would later claim—on her buttocks.

When the Doctor was done shuffling his feet in the dirt and avoiding eye-contact with Rory, and Rory's blood pressure and facial colour had returned to normal, and River and Amy had dragged themselves off the ground from their fits of laughter, the Doctor spun around, walking briskly towards the three of them.

"So where to, Ponds?"

River and Amy exchanged an excited look which made the Doctor immediately regret asking.

"Shopping!" they shouted, and ran toward the TARDIS. As she passed, River slipped her hand deep into the doctor's trouser pocket to retrieve the key, winking at him as she took hold of something else that definitely wasn't the TARDIS key. He gasped and lunged forward in surprise.

When he had regained his composure a few seconds later, he turned to see Rory standing outside the doors of the TARDIS, his expression unreadable.

"You remember I have a sword, don't you, Doctor?" he asked seriously.

"Of course… Rory the Roman, the Last Centurion, a thousand years older than even me; how could I forget?"

Rory took one look at the grave, thoughtful look the Doctor was giving him, and laughed. He clapped the Doctor on the shoulder, sympathetically. "She takes after her mother, like that," he smirked, indicating the Doctor's pocket.

"She started it," he muttered. "She always starts it!" he defended himself.

Rory laughed. "Ponds!" he shook his head, "They always do."

He turned to enter the TARDIS, but turned back when he felt the Doctor's hand on his shoulder.

"Rory," he started carefully. "I was wondering if, when we get there, you might help me with something."

Rory frowned, looking hesitant, but agreed.

"What do you think of this one?" the Doctor called across the store.

"I don't know," Rory answered, considering the small gold ring the Doctor held between his fingers.

"I'm hopeless at this!" The Doctor wailed, frustrated. "Give me an intergalactic alien war any day!"

Rory shot him a sympathetic look from the other side of one of the many heavily-alarmed glass cases in the jewellery store. "No man is, mate."

They continued wandering around the store, Rory with his brow furrowed, and the Doctor muttering to himself about silly Earth wedding customs, as he stared through sheets of glass at not-particularly-precious metals moulded into circles, adorned with jewels, and sold to humans for ridiculous prices.

"Oh, Earth," he chuckled to himself, gazing around at the earnest looks on the faces of the other men in the store.

Suddenly, the realisation of what he was doing wrong hit him like a ton of bricks. He ruffled Rory's hair in excitement. "I'm looking in the wrong place! Come along, Pond!" he exclaimed, striding towards the exit to the store.

"Doctor, wait, you've still—"

"No time to lose!" he called over his shoulder as he walked. "Back to the TARDIS to – "


The Doctor stared around in surprise as the sirens blared loud in his ears and everything went red…and then not red…and then red…and then not red… And everyone seemed to have stopped what they were doing and was staring at him. Why were they all staring at him?

The last thing he saw before being knocked to the ground was Rory standing by the counter of the store, in a fit of side-splitting laughter.

The Doctor sulked in his chair, his arms folded and his bottom lip sticking out far enough to catch flies, as a barely-composed Rory recounted the story to River and Amy, who were both roaring with laughter.

"It was just a misunderstanding!" The Doctor protested hotly.

"And the look on the security guards' faces, when they tased him five times and it didn't work!" Rory continued, as though the Doctor hadn't spoken, "Oh, it was great!"

"But what were you looking at in a jewellery store, anyway, Doctor?" Amy asked, curiously, looking expectantly at her best friend.

"Oh, he was looking for a chain for his sonic," Rory jumped in casually.

Smoothly, the Doctor agreed, expanding on his friend's lie. "Yeah, I wanted to get a wrist-strap for it. You can do all sorts of tricks with a sonic screwdriver on a wrist strap! Wrist straps are cool!" he babbled excitedly, nodding eagerly.

Amy rolled her eyes at him, while River simply shook her head fondly, before mother and daughter began discussing the shoe store they had discovered that day. The Doctor strolled over towards Rory, on the pretence of checking the TARDIS scanner screen.

"Thanks for covering for me," he muttered gratefully.

"Always here for you, Doc," Rory smiled back.

"You didn't have to tell them about the arrest, though!" he muttered indignantly, glancing towards the women, who were still chatting.

"You were handcuffed by five security guards! How could I not repeat that story?" Rory laughed again at the memory of the afternoon.

"Handcuffs," he whispered, glancing towards River, and smiling slyly. "Now there's an idea."

Luckily, Rory was still busy laughing at him being arrested for trying to steal a ten thousand pound diamond wedding ring, and didn't catch the Doctor's personal musings.

In case you guys missed it, the Doctor's "Rory the Roman…how could I forget?" line was supposed to be a joke…because the reason he was a Roman to begin with was because he was erased from time and forgotten…. No? Oh, okay. (You know your jokes are bad when you have to explain them…)

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