a/n: This is part of my 'All Roads Lead Home' universe and as such is compliant with that canon. It takes place sometime during 'The Hard Road' which will be my rewrite of s6, and this part is my rewrite of 'Bad Night,' the first of the 'Night and the Doctor' videos. Its second part will be my rewrite of 'Good Night' which follows shortly after, but for the purpose of this story happens in the same night. I will be rewriting 'First Night' and 'Last Night,' but they will be included as chapters in either 'Detours' or 'By the Wayside,' as those stories deal more intimately with River and Jenny and their stories. Also I'm totally working on 'Alternatively' as we speak, err, type. :D As usual, nothing you recognize belongs to me!
Life on the TARDIS was wonderful and terrifying, usually in approximately equal parts. Most nights, post-adventure, Amy would stumble into the room she shared with her husband, shower, perhaps celebrate their survival with an enthusiastic shag, and then drop off to sleep as soon as her head hit the pillow(adrenaline worked wonders when running for her life, but the crash left quite a bit to be desired). Other nights, when there was no running, when they played boardgames in the library (Scrabble was disallowed, as the Doctor kept trying to use alien words and they could never agree on a dictionary) she and Rory would have a glass of wine and talk until one of them dozed off (usually him). And some nights—some nights her wonderful, terrifying life was enough to drive her around the bend, and her brain wouldn't just shut off and Amy would lie awake and stare at the ceiling until what passed for morning (as the Doctor was always quick to point out that there really was no morning) on the TARDIS arrived.
Tonight was one of those nights, because try as she might—Amy could not get her life to make sense. She went over the past few years in her head, fantastic, incredible years to be sure—but confusing. Because she met the Doctor when she was seven years old and didn't have parents, and then he vanished, and then he came back, and then he vanished again, and then he came back again and took her with him, and then she met the woman she's pretty sure is his wife even if they both deny it, and then he rebooted the universe and out of nowhere she had parents and she'd always had parents, and then she watched him die except that he wasn't dead he was somewhere on the ship, and—Amy frowned. She was giving herself a headache and there was a ringing in her ears. A high-pitched, annoying sound that would not go away. Amy opened her eyes as realization hit her. It was the phone, the TARDIS phone, the one that the Doctor never could work properly, bless. She rolled out of bed as the ringing continued. Rory made a sleepy sound of discontent and Amy stroked his hair gently. "Be back soon," she whispered. He mumbled something that might have been an acknowledgement. She smiled, pressed a kiss to his cheek, and donned her favorite dressing gown.
Amy was careful to close the door as silently as she could as she stepped out into the hall. No need for both of them to lose sleep, after all. And she loved Rory more than she'd ever thought possible—but he couldn't help, not when she got like this. He'd try, oh he would try, and when it didn't work he'd be so disappointed in himself and she hated seeing him like that, especially when it was her fault.
The phone was still ringing. Amy checked the library first. She hadn't even known it was there, not until she'd lost the Doctor one night and wandered for an hour before the TARDIS brought her to the worn, wooden double-doors and the mountain of books they contained. Like most Earth libraries, the Doctor's seemed to be a sort of labyrinth. There were many paths but only one way out and if you took the wrong route you ended up surrounded by textbooks on the history of Woman Wept and completely confused. Wall sconces held ornate lamps with stained-glass shades that depicted scenes from the mythologies of various planets. There were alcoves set off to the side of various winding paths that held overstuffed leather chairs and blocky end tables and floor-lamps that cast a warm, golden glow over the room. That was where she found the Doctor the first time she was in the library, curled up on a sofa with Rose, fast asleep.
Tonight, however, he was noticeably absent. Amy shrugged and checked the kitchen next. When she first came on the TARDIS it was all chrome and polished steel and high-tech appliances, but it was different now. Homey, she thought as she let her fingers brush against the smooth wood of the table. The walls were a cheery yellow and the appliances were all twenty-first century Earth, save for the toaster (which was the Doctor's contribution and favorite appliance to tinker with when he was bored). The kitchen table, where they took most of their meals, was long enough to fit ten people, with two long benches on the sides and a chair at either end. It was also empty.
She checked the pool, the laundry room (although what exactly the Doctor would be doing in there was a mystery, as Amy was fairly sure he didn't even know how to work the washer and dryer), the observatory, the garden (and she was tempted to linger but the phone continued to ring), and the med bay before she admitted defeat and trudged into the console room.
The Doctor, obviously, was not there. Amy picked up the phone, but not before waving a fly away from it. And that was odd—there were no pests inside the TARDIS (well, not counting the driver, but he was only a pest some of the time), not ever. "Hello?" Amy said into the phone and swatted at the fly again. Her eyes widened. "Really? Of where?" Her eyes fell on a thick roll of paper—blueprints, probably, or maybe maps. A soft snort escaped her at that. The Doctor, use a map? He may be a nine-hundred plus year-old alien, but he was still such a bloke. The boy on the phone was speaking, she realized. "Which one?" She rolled her eyes at the response. "Not which Wales, which prince!" She brought the paper down with a loud 'smack' and grinned. The fly was squished.
That was, of course, the moment the Doctor chose to make his appearance. He burst through the TARDIS doors wearing an archaic-looking tuxedo (complete with tails and top hat and gloves) and carrying a goldfish in a bowl. Amy stared for a moment, as it was one of the more unlikely sights she'd seen in her time on the TARDIS, and then held the phone out. "Prince of Wales for you," she said, still trying to make sense of his outfit. "He's looking for his mum."
"Amy, Amy, Amelia Pond!" the Doctor snapped as he handed her the goldfish and took the phone. "No one answers this phone but me." She raised an eyebrow and he rolled his eyes. "Yes, and Rose, that was implied." He held the phone to his ear and Amy proceeded to study the goldfish. It was ordinary, really, just a goldfish, and she wondered what exactly he was doing dressed in tails and top hat and carrying a goldfish. An unpleasant thought crossed her mind and she almost gagged. He wasn't going to swallow it, was he? That was a thing, wasn't it, in the 1920's? And his tux, well, it could be considered appropriate for that time period. Amy didn't care how culturally appropriate it was, no one would be swallowing goldfish on the TARDIS, not if she had anything to say about it. She opened her mouth to tell him just that, but the Doctor covered her lips with his hand.
"Your mum is perfectly safe," he said in that tone that Amy knew meant he was lying through his teeth. "She's right here with me. No she can't come to the phone…she's busy." The phone beeped insistently and the Doctor grinned. "Oh, sorry, I've got another call." He pressed a series of buttons that Amy hadn't known existed and his entire demeanor changed. The Doctor went from flustered and harried to smooth and controlled in the blink of an eye. "Hello Ambassador," he drawled. "Oh, don't even try that tired old line. You turned the Queen of Great Britain into a goldfish! That qualifies as an act of war!" Even Amy could hear the annoyed-sounding chittering that came across the other line. Whatever the 'Ambassador' was saying, the TARDIS wasn't translating. "Don't worry," the Doctor replied with a smirk. "Your warrior is safe and sound in my TARDIS and he'll be returned to you just as soon as—" And then his face fell. He held up the roll of paper with the fly's remains on the end and glanced at Amy, eyes wide. "I'll call you back," he said blankly, and then hung up the phone. When he turned towards Amy his face was thunderous. "What," he gritted out through clenched teeth. "Is this?"
"I thought it was a fly!" she exclaimed.
"Billions of lives, Amy!" he shot back. "That's what you may have done, cost billions of lives!"
The TARDIS doors flew open again and a young ginger woman in a clinging green evening gown strode in. Her hair was piled elegantly on top of her head and glittering gold bracelets tinkled on her wrists as she closed the door with a click of her fingers. Amy stared, and then glared at the Doctor. "Explain!" she ordered imperiously.
"Amy!" the ginger girl exclaimed with a mischievous smile. "Hello! How are you? How's Rory?"
The Doctor cleared his throat. "Right. Yes. Amy, this is Jenny. You've met before, well, she's met you before, but her landing was a bit off—Vortex Manipulators are less than exact—and she's got the Time Lines a little turned around."
"I'll take that," Jenny said brightly and relieved Amy of the goldfish. She held the bowl at eye level and gave the fish a reassuring smile. "There there, your majesty. We'll have you set to rights in no time." But then something seemed to catch her eye, and she frowned. Her eyes flickered over the fish and a crease appeared between her brows. "Dad?"
"Hmm?" the Doctor replied, his eyes still on the dead fly.
"Dad?" Amy blurted out.
"We have the wrong fish," Jenny continued.
The Doctor's eyes snapped up to meet hers. "You're certain." Jenny nodded. The Doctor yelled something, and as it remained untranslated Amy would bet it was less than complementary. "Take the fish," he ordered, his voice crackling with irritation, "and tell River. We've only got three hours until the pet shops open!"
Amy turned back to face him as soon as Jenny disappeared through the TARDIS doors. "Is this what you do at night?" she demanded, "run off with River and your 'daughter,' and have adventures?" She cocked her head to the side. "Does Rose know about this? Does she know you've got a child?"
"What's all this racket?" a sleepy voice drifted down from the top of the stairs. Rose was standing on the landing, wrapped in her favorite red satin dressing-gown, and giving them both the evil-eye.
"Nothing, love," the Doctor said. His face smoothed into the fond smile that appeared so often when his lover did. "Jenny called. She and River ran into a bit of trouble."
"Oh," Rose answered and yawned. "Give her my love."
"Will do," he promised.
"But Doctor," Amy protested and grabbed the arm of his suit. "I need to ask you—I need to know—"
"A billion lives," he reminded her. "Now is really not the time."
"Come on, Amy," Rose called. "We'll have a cuppa and let those three go back to doing whatever mad thing they have planned."
The Doctor kissed her forehead and jerked his sleeve out of her grasp. "Good night, Amelia Pond," he said. "See you in the morning."