Two chapters left of this story :) hope you've enjoyed it so far.
Amy was happy to see Rory again, much happier than Rory was to see her. The TARDIS had barely materialized before the door had been thrown open and Rory had to open his arms in order to catch the mess of flowing red hair, which was his wife.
Rory's heart broke a little as he looked over Amy's shoulder, and into the TARDIS, his eyes meeting the Doctor's, Amy's Doctor. The wrong Doctor, who was currently staring at Rory and Amy with sorrowful eyes and his hand on the leaver that Rory knew with start the wheezing sound and make the Timelord disappear.
"Don't you even dare."
Amy let out a surprised sound, letting go for Rory to look back at her Doctor, fury quickly finding its way to her face, as she saw what he was about to do.
"Doctor, get your arse out here!"
The Doctor quickly removed his hand from the leaver, but hesitated to get out of the TARDIS, if Rory didn't know better, he'd say that the Doctor was scared. But the Doctor was never scared. He was rash, confident, arrogant, and brilliant and so much more, but never was he ever scared of anything.
"Now," Rory said his voice firm as he looked the Doctor straight in the eye, "I want to speak to you Doctor."
Amy looked slightly confused, but quickly forgot it again as Rory's words made the Doctor finally decide to join them outside. The red-haired Scot quickly left her husband's side to join her best-friend, shoot Rory a brilliant smile that used to leave him dazzled and confused, as she dragged the Doctor inside, already starting her tale of what the two friends had been up to as they were travelling without him. She trusted Rory to follow her inside their house.
Rory hesitated a bit; he knew that he had to follow, for he needed to talk with the Doctor, to sort this entire ordeal out. But he no longer felt compelled to simply trail behind Amy, follow her lead. It wasn't Amy who made his feet move in the end, it was that fleeting look the Doctor shot over his shoulder, mournful and sacred somehow, beckoning Rory to come inside.
"Perhaps you can tell him later," The Doctor interrupted Amy's tale as soon as Rory had closed the door behind him, ignoring the put-off look the redhead shot him, instead focusing on fixing his bowtie and running his hand through his hair, looking slightly flustered.
"I do believe Rory and I have some talking to do."
"About what?" Amy had to know, she always did, "and can't it wait?"
"I don't think it can, Pond." The Doctor looked terrifyingly serious as he spoke, his eyes trailed on Rory even though he was speaking to Amy, making the girl huff and cross her arms.
"Rory?" The question was clear, 'are you really going to let him do this?', she expected him to tell the Doctor to wait, to let Amy finish, tell him that Rory really wanted to hear everything Amy had to say before they spoke. Only Rory didn't this time.
"I'm sorry Amy." He wasn't.
Amy let out another huff, and Rory was certain that if she didn't feel like she was too old for it, and if she didn't know it wouldn't be any help, she would have stomped her foot as well.
"Fine!" she said, tossing her hair away from her face, "talk!"
"Alone." The Doctor said, and Amy's jaw fell, because she knew as well as Rory that the Doctor was hers, not his, and the Doctor shouldn't want to be alone with Rory at all.
Rory didn't say anything, he simply turned about and walked upstairs, trusting that the Doctor would follow him, and that Amy wouldn't.
He went into his and Amy's bedroom and sat down on the bed. He hadn't been there for long before the door opened and the Doctor stepped in, closing it again behind him.
"No bunk beds, I see." The Doctor tried to joke, faking a disappointed look.
"Doctor," Rory said, trying to make the Doctor stop.
"Too bad, I like bunk beds, bunk beds are cool."
The Doctor, who had been walking around, touching their stuff, mumbling about bunk beds and slumper parties and all sorts of stuff that Rory knew, was simply to delay their conversation, stopped dead in his track and looked at Rory, his eyes wide and bright.
"I prefer to stand actually, never been very good at sitting down," the Doctor rambled, "too much energy, too much to do, always something new going on!"
"Fine, don't sit, just shut up and listen." Rory's patience was wearing thin, and the Doctor seemed to be able to sense that, as he finally shut up and focused all his attention on the human male in front of him.
"You were here, when you and Amy left." It wasn't a question, but the Doctor answered it anyway.
"Yes, I was, well not me-me, but it was still me."
Rory left out a sigh of relief at the confirmation, at least that meant he hadn't been framed, or gone crazy and dreamed it all up.
"Tell me." Much like his own Doctor, this Doctor seemed to understand the meaning behind Rory's words, and started explaining:
"I regenerate when I die, change my form," The Doctor began, once again running his hand through his hair, "I'm an old man, an old man who time travels, and sometimes my streams the cross. It's complicated and very hard for even the most time travel savvy to understand, but because of what happened to you in the last few days, happened to me in my past, I already knew about it, and knew what to do, simply because I had seen the older me doing it before, as I was the younger me."
The Doctor took a deep breath and scratched his neck.
"I knew my younger self would come and see you, and I knew that Amy wasn't there when it happened, that she was away with me, so I took her and left, so it could happen as it should."
"So you wanted it to happen? Couldn't you just have stayed?"
The Doctor sighed, and finally sat down next to Rory, his warm hand landing on Rory's lanky leg, spidery fingers, that were not quite as long as the other Doctor's, wrapping tightly around the flesh.
"Some points in time are fixed, this moment wasn't, so yes, I could have stayed and changed it so it never happened."
"Then why didn't you?"
Rory felt like he already knew the answer, he just needed to hear it, needed the Doctor to say it out loud.
"Because I wanted it to happen."
The Doctor gave him a small smile and a tight squeeze around his leg, leaning slightly closer to Rory so their shoulder bumped together.
"What does this mean then?"
The Doctor took another deep breath, and Rory could feel his fingers twitching slightly, as if the Doctor didn't quite know what to do with them.
"This means, that what happen between you and I in the last few days, is very important to me, and I'm very happy that it happens."
"You never seemed like you thought I was important to you."
The question had been gnawing at Rory for a while, since he first learned his own Doctor's name. He knew that his Doctor had to be younger, because he didn't recognize Rory, or Amy, so it had to be another, earlier, version of this Doctor. This meant that it had already happened when Rory met this Doctor for the first time. How could the Doctor have treated Rory like he did, after they had spend the night together, like this?
"I cared about you from the beginning, Rory," The Doctor said, leaning their foreheads together and closing his eyes, fidgeting, as if he had a hard time saying what he wanted to say.
"You just weren't ready for it."
"And what about now?" Rory asked, his voice shaking, he was afraid to hear the answer, afraid that this was the end of it, "what happens now?"
"Whatever you would want to happen, Rory Williams."