I will never forget that night in the grass with Vincent van Gogh and the Doctor. The sky was too wide an expanse then to fit into any of our four hearts; we were nothing. I had one hand tangled up with the Doctor and the other with Vincent, and so much love for every speck of dust in the universe pushed outwards from within that I thought I might burst but for the ocean of sky which pressed down on me. I will never forget Vincent's rough fingers stroking mine as I thought that I would leave him. Even then I thought that we might have saved him.
The door of the Tardis was open and Amy sat in the doorway with her feet over the edge. She rested her head against the door frame and thought of herself and the Doctor adrift in their little boat on the celestial sea. The universe stretched out around the Tardis in all directions filled with nothing but the faint light from distant stars, crossed thousands of years to reach them — some of them already dead by now, she thought — and as she stared out into it she wondered what would have become of her if the Doctor had never come back.
There was a rustling behind her and a stillness and then, "Amy." She looked over her shoulder and the Doctor was standing behind her, one hand on the console. She looked back out to space and rested her head against the frame again. "Amy," the Doctor said with characteristic gentleness, "you shouldn't sit out here with the door open on your own." He paused and then said, "You might fall out. Then you'd just kind of float here for, you know, forever."
"I won't fall out," she said, swinging her legs a little. He shuffled a little on his feet and then walked over to sit by her, slightly hunched, his hands steepled in his lap.
"You might," he said, looking out across endlessness with her. Amy wondered then what it was when he looked out across space — did he see a black ocean with stars scattered within it or did he see something else?
Could he look out across time like this?
It takes time for light to travel through space, so when stars die they still appear to shine from the perspective of someone watching far away. Amy wondered if maybe the Doctor saw echoes of the distant future, temporally 'blueshifted' as he travelled into it — the glimmering light from moments which had shined out across time like a dead star shines out across space, which had died, which would not be there when he reached them. A temporal star had gone supernova at some point in the future; there was a temporal black hole, and moments were already falling in. She picked at a loose thread on her shirt.
"What were you thinking about?" he said, looking at her with those soft, dark eyes. He was an unearthly, beautiful creature sometimes. His eyes had looked out across all of time and space; he was eternally young and incalculably old, kind, and terrifying, and strange. Amy would never say this out loud but a small part of her was disappointed that she had not made him up inside her head — because when he had turned out to be real that was the proof that she was not as intelligent as she had once thought she might be; no, she was not bright enough to dream up someone like the Doctor.
She pressed her lips together. "The crack in my wall," she said. "And Vincent."
"Ah," he said, and crossed his arms, looking back into deep space. "Yes, Vincent."
"You know," Amy said, looking away from him, "in some ways, Vincent and I have a lot in common. Not the genius thing," she added, with a nervous laugh, "obviously but —" the Doctor looked back at her and the words caught in her throat.
"— other things," he said. "I know."
"I used to read books about him when I was a child," she said. "Vincent van Gogh, and John Lennon, and everyone like that who —" again she couldn't finish.
"Everyone," the Doctor said, "who looked at the world and saw something wonderful, something a little painful, and made something beautiful from it." He looked at her again and Amy wondered how he could be so understanding at moments like this and not at others. He had been like this with Vincent too, she realised; there were some things the Doctor just seemed to understand.
"Yeah," she said. "I think, though — I think I liked them too because they were tortured. You know? They were dark and complicated and maybe, maybe not always very nice people. But I used to dream about meeting Vincent." She paused and then added, her voice almost as low as the hum of the Tardis itself, "I used to dream about a lot of things."
"I know," he said again, quietly. "Amy —" he began but she grabbed his sleeve.
"What do you do?" she said, looking into his eyes. "What do you do when," she paused, gesticulating, trying to find the words, "when you have all of these complicated feelings in you, when you look at the world and everything is just overwhelming but you're not — but you're not clever enough to express it. When you're — you know, when you're not Vincent van Gogh." She let his sleeve go, slowly, still looking at him. "When you're just Amy Pond."
"Amy," he said gently, putting his hand to her cheek, "there is no such thing as 'just' Amy Pond."
She put her hand over his and closed her eyes. There was a long pause until Amy swallowed and then said, quietly, "I wish I could believe you." There was a wisp of her hair lying curled against their hands like the trail of an orange comet. The Doctor swept it back behind her ear, following his fingers with his eyes, and then smiled at her. "I wish we could have had more time with him," she said, wiping at her eyes with her hand, "I really, really wish that —"
"I know," the Doctor said, putting his arms around her, "I know." He held her tight and rocked her slowly back and forth as they sat there on the edge between the endlessness of space and the endlessness of the Tardis interior and thought of all the people that might never be saved.
Nobody could have saved Vincent.
I wonder if even the Doctor can save me.
And the Doctor wondered how to tell her that when he looked into her eyes he saw a black ocean — and a complex waltz of celestial bodies across it.
That there was a universe of thought contained inside her that nobody would unravel.
That she was so much more than 'just' Amy.