Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who.
Note: Some references to my story 'Early For Once' but all you have to know is that at some point Amy, Rory, and Eleven ran into Jack and Eleven insisted on not telling him anything because Ten was supposed to do that.
Brian listened patiently – though with mounting horror – as the Doctor related his tale.
"It doesn't mean much, I know," the Doctor concluded, "but I am so sorry, Brian. I tried to save them."
Brian was quiet, trying to put his whirring thoughts into words. "They're not dead, though," he said finally. "I mean, they are and that's why but…They lived to be even older than me and that's not the worst thing that could have happened to them."
"I suppose not," the Doctor conceded. "There's always something, though. No matter how careful I am or how clever the people I'm travelling with are, sooner or later it all ends in disaster and I just don't understand why. It never used to be like this."
Brian decided that now wouldn't be the best time to yell at the Doctor for putting Amy and Rory in that sort of danger since it apparently routinely ended poorly. He would have to pencil that in at some point, though, assuming that he ever saw the Doctor again.
"Your companions often meet with tragic fates?" he asked instead, not entirely sure why. It wasn't curiosity, really. How could mere curiosity appeal to him at a time like this when he had found out that he was never going to see his son and daughter-in-law again? Maybe hearing about worse fates would make him feel better about the long lives that Amy and Rory had already led.
The Doctor nodded glumly. "There was Jack who died but came back and kept coming back no matter how many times you killed him and probably won't even die for billions of years if that was even really him. There's Rose who was nearly sucked into the void but trapped in a parallel dimension and can never get back here. There's Donna who can't ever be permitted to remember our travels together or it would literally kill her. Even Martha and Mickey, who chose to stop travelling with me, both did so after they'd been changed and gone through more than one person should ever have to do. It's not so much that they chose to leave me as they really had no other option."
Brian was nodding like this all made sense to him.
The Doctor seized on that. "What? What is it? I've asked myself why a hundred times and I can never understand why this keeps happening to the people that I love."
"I can't speak for any of the others," Brian prefaced, "but I know that Amy and Rory never would have stopped travelling with you and so it would take something like this to separate the three of you. Maybe it was like that with the others and that's why it always came to that."
"It still doesn't make sense," the Doctor argued. "I gone on so many more adventures than any of them have and I'm still fine. I've never been trapped for good or…well, I have died a few times but it's been eleven hundred years so only ten deaths is rather commendable, I think."
"Eleven hundred years is a lot of experience making sure that these things don't happen," Brian offered. "Aside from that, I don't know. I only traveled with you the once and no one died then. No one except the man who was behind it all."
The Doctor nodded slowly and looked away.
The silence stretched on between them.
"I just…I don't understand," Brian burst out finally. "I don't understand why you can't bring Rory and Amy back."
The Doctor sighed. "I've explained this, Brian. The TARDIS cannot go to the city of New York because if it does so then the entire universe will probably cease to exist and that's just too much of a risk."
"Then go to-" he floundered as his knowledge of American geography failed him. "Someplace not actually in New York but close enough that Amy and Rory could reasonably get to your TARDIS."
"If only I could," the Doctor said regretfully. "But the reason that all of this started in the first place was because when we were leaving the graveyard, Rory went back and saw his grave. Then the angel touched him and because his grave was there, he must have died in the past. We know that he died in the past and so we can't change it."
"So you're telling me that if he hadn't looked at it then the grave might still be there but he wouldn't have to have died in the past?" Brian asked incredulously.
"It might have still been there and it might not have been," the Doctor agreed. "We wouldn't know and the fact that we wouldn't know is why we could have saved him. We probably would have just gone on our way never knowing that the gravestone was there."
"What about Amy?" Brian challenged. "Was her grave there, too?"
The Doctor winced at that. "Not…not at first. She wouldn't hear of spending the rest of her life cut off from your son, though, and so she let the angel send her back, too. And then the grave showed her name as well."
Brian frowned. "So wait…Her death was only a 'fixed point' after she chose to go back there?"
"I suppose you can look at it that way, yes," the Doctor admitted. "She made a decision and now it can never be unmade."
"But you didn't actually see the bodies, did you?" Brian asked eagerly as an idea occurred to him.
"Of course not!" the Doctor cried out, shocked. "Am I a grave-robber now? But I didn't need to because the tombstones said quite clearly that the both of them died in their eighties."
"Doctor, I'm not sure how familiar you are with human burial customs but just because there is a grave doesn't mean that there is always a body there," Brian informed him.
"What do you mean?" the Doctor asked, puzzled.
"Sometimes if a body cannot be recovered – maybe a plane crash or the body is donated to science or something – then their loved ones will still get a gravestone and write all the proper things on it even if they have nothing to bury," Brian explained.
"So you think that Rory and Amy's graves were faked," the Doctor realized. "I don't understand why anyone would do that."
"I don't understand why it was done initially either," Brian agreed. "But since the graves being there apparently has to happen, they would be faked so that Rory and Amy don't have to die in the past."
"But what about the book?" the Doctor demanded. "Amy reading about River having to break her own hand was why she ended up having to break her own hand in the past. Once it's written in the book, it can't be changed."
Brian stared at him for a moment. "Are you trying to tell me that the books you read are just some sort of automatic past-recorder? That if it's written down in book form that it's impossible for it to have been faked?"
"Well…no," the Doctor conceded. "But-"
"But you just finished telling me that you knew that the past couldn't be changed because you asked River to free herself without breaking her wrist and she couldn't," Brian interrupted. "But doesn't that also mean that the fact that Amy read it in the book had nothing to do with it because there just weren't any other alternatives?"
"Maybe," the Doctor said slowly. "But the afterward states quite clearly that the two of them never come back and live very happily in the past."
"And I suppose Amy can't write an afterward claiming she stayed in the past forever when actually she came back to the future," Brian deadpanned.
"Well…I…" the Doctor stopped and blinked rapidly. "You know, suddenly rescuing Amy and Rory seems a lot more plausible than it did before I came in here."
"Funny, that," Brian remarked.
"But would they really want to be rescued, even if we could convincingly fake everything?" the Doctor asked worriedly. "The afterward made it seem like they were happy just to be together."
"Then they can be happy just to be together back home where they belong," Brian replied. "At the very least give them the option. And promise them that they can just come home and not have to go travelling anymore if that's what they're worried about."
The Doctor stood up suddenly and clapped his hands excitedly. "You're right. You're absolutely right. I don't usually like being wrong but if it gives me a chance to save them…I'm going right now. No, wait, first I'm going to go get River. She's good at these time paradoxes."
Brian remained where he was seated though he did call after him. "Bring them back this time, Doctor."
The Doctor paused what he was doing to look solemnly back at him. "If it's at all possible Brian then I will. I promise."
Brian nodded reluctantly, knowing that that would have to be enough.
River didn't look surprised to see him when he knocked at her office door. She never did, though, so the Doctor didn't know if she had actually been expecting him or just refused to let herself appear surprised by his presence.
She smiled and stood to greet him. "Well, what do you think?" she asked, gesturing to her office proudly.
The Doctor hadn't actually paid any notice to the room that she was in but at the question he obligingly glanced around the room. It was very cozy, very cryptic, very…River.
"I like it," he told her. "It's much more interesting than most offices I've seen."
"Glad to hear it," River replied. "So what brings you here today? Curious how the ex-con makes out as a simple professor?"
The Doctor couldn't help but grin at that. "Oh, you could never be simple, River."
"I suppose not," she agreed but she didn't look upset. She had had a long time to come to terms with that if the idea had ever bothered her.
"Actually, I'm here to talk with you about your parents," the Doctor told her.
Immediately, she was more alert.
"I can never tell where in the timeline you are and I don't want too many spoilers but I'd like to find out if it's possible and, if so, get started on it rather quickly and so I don't want to have to take the time to consult the journals," the Doctor continued. "Have we been to New York recently?"
River nodded. "Yes and Amy and Rory were taken into the past."
"I've been by to see Rory's father, Brian. I don't know if you…Well, you would know him, wouldn't you? All those years that you were Mels," the Doctor realized.
"I always liked him," River confirmed. "He was a lot like Rory."
"I told him the news about his son and daughter-in-law," the Doctor informed her. "I really should have told Rory's mother and Amy's parents, too, I suppose but they wouldn't understand the way that Brian does. I guess I was hoping he'd be able to come up with a suitable explanation for them."
River nodded. "He probably can."
"But that's the thing, River. When I told him he started asking me all these questions about how I knew that they were trapped forever," the Doctor said, beginning to speak very fast. "Of course with the gravestone and the book there's a fixed point or two involved somehow but how do I know what it is? There was a fixed point awhile back that I thought meant that I had to die but actually just meant that a figure looked like me had to be shot and destroyed. How do I know that their deaths are really fixed points in the past and not just an elaborate trick to get the result that I want without having to change the past?"
River was smiling again.
"So it is possible," the Doctor breathed, realizing that despite what he'd told Brian and for all that he had actually come out here he hadn't actually believed that it could be done. Rory's loss and Amy's sacrifice had just been so tragic and so overwhelming that the thought that they could fix it all had just been too much to hope for.
River said nothing, just waited.
"And what's more, it's not just possible, is it?" the Doctor asked, suspicion dawning. "You…you knew."
River didn't bother to deny it.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he demanded.
"What was I supposed to say?" she asked rhetorically. " 'Don't worry, Doctor. I know things look bad now with the graves and the book and whatnot but in the future you realize that things don't have to be this way and so it's all going to be fine'?"
"I suppose not," the Doctor admitted grudgingly. "It would be easier if I could, though."
"In the past I may have been able to bend the rules by doing things like telling you that I was in prison for a murder you had yet to learn was supposed to happen but I couldn't afford to this time," River said seriously. "We have quite enough time paradoxes to be getting on with and the last thing that we need is to add one too many and just ruin everything."
"But we can save them."
It wasn't quite a question but River answered it anyway. "Try and stop us."
Amy and Rory had spent all of a month in New York before they decided that being stuck in 1938 was one thing but being expected to be American too was quite another and there was really nothing keeping them in the city they had happened to land in. Maybe their graves had been in a New York cemetery but as long as they left instructions to that effect in their will then it should all be fine.
"Are you sure that you don't want to stay here for a little while though?" Rory had asked her. "The Depression is almost over and then World War 2 is going to start. Do you really want to be back home for all the bombings?"
"No," Amy had conceded. "But I am also not staying here for the next seven years."
It being the Depression, there wasn't much going on in terms of employment but they had needed not only money to survive off of but also passage to end up back in the United Kingdoms.
Fortunately, they knew when Poland was going to be attacked and so had less than a year to wait before they made a fortune on something that no one seemed to have really thought could ever happen.
"I feel a little weird about making so much money off of a part of one of the biggest mass-killings ever," Rory admitted.
"It's going to happen with or without our getting enough money to get home," Amy said stubbornly. "And it's not like anyone would believe us if we had tried to warn them. Appeasement and isolationism, remember?"
They had really wanted to avoid London because of the bombings that were to start soon and though they toyed with the idea of going home to Leadworth, they thought that would be a little difficult to deal with and if they lived long enough to meet their own parents and perhaps see themselves born…Well, they weren't River after all.
Instead, they decided to head to Cardiff.
"Jack invited us to stop by anytime back when we met him at the beginning of the century," Rory had reminded her. "I don't think he expected us to take him up on his offer now instead of in our present but I'm sure he won't complain. Besides, he might have jobs for us."
"Alien hunting would be more interesting than whatever the 1930s equivalent of writing travel booklets is," Amy mused. "Best of both worlds, really, the exciting parts and the getting to have a normal life."
"As normal a life as one can ever have when hunting aliens," Rory said tolerantly.
"And having someone else to talk to who understands being from the future could be really nice," Amy reasoned.
And so to Cardiff they had gone.
They realized that they didn't actually know how to contact Jack but they went around loudly asking people about Torchwood for two days and then Torchwood had shown up. It hadn't been Jack but when they explained that they were friends of his – of a sort – and were looking for him they had been taken to a park where Jack was waiting.
"I guess they don't want us to see all the secret Torchwood things yet," Amy remarked.
"That or they've had some serious budgetary setbacks," Rory replied.
"We all have to make sacrifices in this economy," Jack said, hearing them. "But not quite to that extreme."
"Jack!" Amy greeted fondly.
"Hello," Rory said, waving at him.
"Well, this is rather unexpected," Jack said, moving forward and shaking both of their hands. He paused. "I feel like this is the part where someone should tell me to stop flirting."
Obligingly, Rory said, "Jack, stop it."
"Ah, there it is," Jack said, nodding. "It's been awhile."
"Thirty-some years, right?" Amy asked.
Jack nodded again. "Not that I'm not thrilled to run into the Doctor twice before he's willing to explain anything or take me to a more exciting place or anything. Really, I'm just blessed to spend time in his presence."
"You jest but that's a surprisingly common reaction," Rory told him.
Jack laughed. "Oh, I just bet." He looked around. "Where is he, anyway? He's n ot avoiding me because he doesn't want to tell me anything, is he?"
There was an awkward silence.
"He's…he's gone," Amy said finally, tightly gripping her husband's hand.
A terrible understanding entered Jack's eyes. "So," he said softly. "He abandoned you after all."
"No!" Amy burst out with surprising ferocity. "He didn't. He wouldn't. Never!"
"No offense," Rory said awkwardly.
"None taken," Jack assured him. "I would really like to believe that he's no longer in the abandoning people business. And if his treatment of me helps him come to a place where he doesn't do that anymore then so much the better."
"The Doctor, he…" Amy trailed off, unable to continue.
"Have you ever heard of the Weeping Angels?" Rory asked.
Jack looked a little irritated at that. "Oh, yeah. We go back."
"We were caught up with them and, even though we won, I found my gravestone and a stray, starving angel sent me back to 1938," Rory explained succinctly.
Jack's eyebrows shot up. "So you've been here for a year already?"
Rory shrugged. "More or less."
"And the angel got you, too?" Jack asked, glancing Amy's way.
Amy's eyes were on Rory. "I asked the Doctor to save him. He said that we couldn't, that the fact that we saw Rory's grave and that a book my daughter wrote after the angel adventure was done said that Rory died in the past meant that there was nothing we could do. And I didn't have much time to think about it but I didn't need it. If I had the choice of a life in the future or with the Doctor and a life with Rory…Well, he's my husband. I made my choice a long time ago."
"What did you do?" Jack asked quietly but it was clear that he already knew.
"I blinked," she said simply.
Rory was looking at her the way he always did when they discussed what she had done and if they had been alone…Well, there was always later.
"And so that's it," she continued after a moment. "We're going to live out the rest of our lives in this time and we're never going to see the Doctor again. That's why we're here. We hoped that we could do something interesting, maybe with Torchwood."
Jack hesitated. "Are you positive that he would come back for you if you could?"
Amy didn't even hesitate. "In a heartbeat."
Rory nodded his agreement.
"Then I think that there's a chance that that can be arranged," Jack said slowly.
Rory frowned. "What? But we just told you that-"
"Please," Jack interrupted. "I know a thing or two about faking my own death having done so…" He trailed off, counting on his fingers. "Forty-three times."
Amy whistled at that.
Jack smirked. "It's quite impressive, I agree. And with my time travel experience, I know that all that matters is that things look the same way. The way I see it, if we get you a gravestone and blatantly lie in that book then you're in the clear. We just need to find a way to get a message to the Doctor."
Amy and Rory had been listening to this with dawning hope on their faces.
"The Doctor said that he couldn't go to New York again but we're not there anymore," Amy said excitedly. "It's like Back to the Future, isn't it?"
"We could go home," Rory breathed. "We could see my parents again, your parents, all of our friends…I might even still have a job!"
"We'd have to face the prospect of travelling with the Doctor again," Amy realized.
Rory winced. "I don't know about you, Amy, but I think I'm done travelling with the Doctor, at least for awhile. Getting trapped in the past really brings home the danger of it all. And we're not getting any younger."
Amy nodded. "The Doctor didn't like the fact that I need reading glasses now and River had a frankly disturbing talk with me about never letting the Doctor see you age. It's also just not practical because unless we die young then that can't be put off forever."
"Do you think she's ever sought out therapy?" Rory wondered, a little sadly.
"I don't think that there's a therapist in the world – galaxy – who would know what to do with her," Amy answered, sighing. "And, of course, no matter how many times youdie, I never get used to it. And I always worry that next time we won't be so lucky."
"Oh?" Jack broke in, intrigued. "Do you die a lot, too, Rory?"
"Not as often as you do, I suspect, but I've had my fair share of dying since I started travelling with the Doctor," Rory replied. "I've just been very lucky and none of them stuck."
"I'm sensing a story," Jack said knowingly.
"I've got plenty," Rory assured him.
"We can go home," Amy marveled. "The Doctor can come visit, River can come visit, and we can go home!"
"Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves," Rory cautioned. "We still need to contact the Doctor and see if he thinks it will work."
"What, you can't take my word for it?" Jack demanded.
"We've seen what happens when fixed points aren't at least humored," Rory said appeasingly. "So we'd like a second opinion before risking ruining everything."
"I see how it is," Jack huffed playfully, rolling his eyes. "Now, you know that I'd love to help you contact the Doctor but I haven't had much luck or any inspiration besides waiting in Cardiff by the Rift for him to show up."
"I might have something," Amy said slowly.
Rory turned to her, stunned. "You do? How?"
"I said I'm not sure, at least not yet," Amy cautioned. "And even if I can contact a Doctor we have no idea if it will be our Doctor. Back before you joined us, Rory, Winston Churchill called us and we went to go find the British army using a Dalek and, well, it was kind of a thing. The Doctor was not pleased."
"What?" Jack yelped.
"It didn't last," Amy said shortly. "But the point is that he had a way to contact the Doctor. Churchill isn't Prime Minister yet and so we may have to wait until he is but I think that it's worth a shot."
"And with Torchwood's connections, we can actually get in contact with him," Jack pointed out.
Amy jumped up, pumping her fists in the air. "Alright then! We have a plan!"
"The question is whether to not they stayed in New York," the Doctor began. He looked hopefully at River.
"You know that I can't possibly tell you that," River said flatly.
"Why are you even here if you're not going to help?" the Doctor asked exasperatedly, throwing his hands up in the air.
"I always like to see my parents," River said placidly. "And you hate having no one but the TARDIS to talk to. Besides, I'm rather hoping for a nice conjugal visit when we're done rescuing my parents."
The Doctor did not blush at that. "It's just that New York is so big and so if they are there – which we don't know – finding them will take forever."
"Maybe they'll find a way to contact you and let you know how to find them," River suggested, taking a broad stab at being helpful.
The Doctor scoffed at that. "Why would they do that? They'd not only have to find a way to contact me but they'd have to have realized that we could save them even though I told Amy quite explicitly that we couldn't."
"Not to worry, Doctor, she knows that you've been wrong before," River said flippantly.
The Doctor was about to offer a sharp retort when the phone rang. He jumped. "Oh, I don't have time for this, whatever this is!"
"Well just find out who it is and what they want and, if they're not obliging enough to be Amy and Rory telling us how to find them, you can get around to helping them after we deal with this," River advised. "Time machine, you know."
Grumbling, the Doctor grabbed the phone. "Hello? Oh, Winston! No, of course I'm not busy. What's going on? No more Daleks, I hope? Oh, well, never mind then. You'll find out soon enough. Yes, I know that most people find that incredibly annoying. Oh! What? They did, really? Just tell me where and when and I'll be there. Thank you so much!" He hung up the phone and beamed.
"Bad news then?" River asked sarcastically.
"The worst," the Doctor retorted. "I know where and when they are."
River grinned at him. "See, that wasn't so hard."
The Doctor just made a face and entered the coordinates.
"Are you sure that you should be doing that?" River inquired idly. "You're not always the best at exactitude."
The Doctor waved her off. "The TARDIS will take us to them. She likes Rory, calls him the pretty one."
After contacting Churchill and receiving his promise to contact the Doctor, there was nothing to do but wait. That was fine as they really liked Jack and Jack seemed to like everybody as long as they weren't threatening the world.
One day, during lunch, they heard that tell-tale sound and immediately dropped everything to run outside.
The Doctor was standing in front of them, eying them hungrily. River stepped out of the TARDIS as well, looking far less eager. But then, she had probably already known that this would happen, hadn't she?
Rory, Amy, and the Doctor met in the halfway point between them in a tight hug.
"Oh, Amy, I never thought I'd see you again!" the Doctor exclaimed, his voice thick with emotion. "And Rory! I never even got to say goodbye!"
"Yeah, sorry about that," Rory said sheepishly. "All of this could have been avoided if I'd just left."
The Doctor pulled back. "Oh, Rory, it doesn't even matter. If it couldn't have been fixed then you would have suffered enough being trapped back here and since it can be fixed then no lasting harm was done."
"So it can be fixed?" Amy asked urgently.
The Doctor nodded. "It will take some doing but yes, I believe that it can be." He hesitated. "That is, if you want to."
Amy and Rory looked at each other.
"We're still in the Depression and World War 2 is right around the corner," Amy informed him.
"Do you even want to know the state of medical care right now?" Rory asked.
"I'm not okay with the current state of women's rights," Amy continued.
"Knowing everything – more or less – that's going to happen is not as interesting as you think," Rory said.
"I miss our families and friends," Amy went on.
"Did I mention that I really loved my job?" Rory inquired.
"And then there's the house!" Amy exclaimed.
"I don't really have a lot of confidence that I'll be able to keep passing myself off as a bloke from the 1930s," Rory concluded.
"So that's a 'yes' then," River noted.
"That's a 'why aren't we gone yet'?" Amy corrected.
"Well we still have to order that tombstone and have River write and publish that book," the Doctor told them.
River pulled a manuscript out of her jacket. "Already done."
"You work fast," Rory said admiringly.
"I was motivated," she replied. "Now all we need is for Amy to make up some nonsense about being happy in this time with Rory so that the afterward the Doctor read will still be there. Then I'm sure we can leave the details to Jack here."
Jack peered closely at her. "Have we met?"
She grinned flirtatiously back at him. "Not yet."
"Hey!" the Doctor objected. "Jack, not my wife!"
"I didn't even do anyth-wait, wife?" Jack asked, stunned.
"It's…kind of a long story," the Doctor said awkwardly.
"Spoilers," River contributed.
"So let me guess, you still won't tell me anything and now you want me to help you get Amy and Rory home," Jack said dryly.
"We would really appreciate it," Amy said, smiling sweetly.
"I will absolutely make it up to you someday," the Doctor swore.
"At this point I have no idea how you can possibly do that," Jack declared frankly.
"But I have forever to try," the Doctor pointed out.
Jack sighed. "Oh, alright. Why I keep letting you do this to me, Doctor, is beyond me. That had better be a damn good explanation."
The Doctor coughed. "Yes, well, the quality of the explanation is really out of my hands at the moment seeing as how I gave it so very long ago…"
"If the past you wonders why I'm so hell-bent on getting answers, you have only your current self to blame," Jack said flatly.
"I can live with that," the Doctor said easily. "And I'll tell you what, I'll even stop by to visit a version of you that has already gotten an explanation once I'm done with this."
"So you're giving me seventy years advanced notice, huh?" Jack asked. "How thoughtful."
"I try to be," the Doctor said modestly. "Now, if there's nothing else then I suggest that we be off. I won't trust this until we're really back in 2012."
Amy linked arms with River and moved towards the TARDIS but Rory hesitated.
"Are you sure this is okay?" he asked solemnly.
"Not having seconds thoughts, are you?" River asked, surprised.
Rory shook his head vehemently. "No, of course not! I just don't think that me getting to live where and when I want is worth destroying the galaxy again."
Jack started. "Again?"
"Spoilers," the Doctor said absently. "And it will be fine, Rory." Under his breath, he muttered, "Probably."
"I heard that!"
The Doctor sighed. "Do you want to go or not?"
There were literally tears in Amy's eyes when she stepped out of the TARDIS and in front of her home. "This is the most beautiful thing that I've ever seen," she boldly declared.
Rory was smiling too as he followed Amy.
"I do good work, don't I?" the Doctor asked, pleased.
"Just don't let it go to your head," River warned him.
"Me?" the Doctor asked rhetorically. "Never."
The front door opened and Brian appeared in the doorway. "Doctor? Did everything wor-" He stopped short and just stared at the two people he had thought were lost to him forever.
"Amy! Rory!" he exclaimed, not moving but seemingly unable to tear his eyes away.
"Hello, Dad," Rory said, smiling at him. He shook his head. "I think I'm starting to understand how River feels."
Brian's eyes snapped over to River. "You're lucky that I'm so thrilled to have you back, son, otherwise we would need to have a long talk about the fact you never mentioned to me that I have a granddaughter."
Rory's eyes widened. "How did you…?"
River smiled innocently at him. "I, like everyone else, honestly believed that you two were lost to the past forever and thought it only right that Brian here should be aware of the family he did still have."
"You didn't believe it for a second," Amy accused. "You're River; you know everything."
River laughed. "I appreciate the vote of confidence, Amy, but really. I had no idea."
"Do we believe her?" Amy asked the Doctor.
The Doctor shook his head.
"I didn't think so," Amy said, tossing her hair back.
"Thank you, River, for finding a way to do the impossible and let us come back," Rory told her earnestly.
"I would do the impossible for you any day of the week," River swore. "But this time I'm not the one you should be thanking."
Rory frowned, puzzled.
"Your father was the one who wouldn't just accept that you two were lost to time and wouldn't stop asking questions until the Doctor could see it, too," River explained.
"Dad?" Rory asked, stunned.
"What?" Brian asked, a little embarrassed. "You think you got it all from your mother?"
"And besides," River added. "At the graveyard I was promised family time and that's not something I take lightly."
Amy slipped in beside Rory and grabbed his hand. "It's times like these that I feel that we succeeded as parents."
Rory snorted. "Almost accidentally, really."
Amy shrugged. "I'll take my victories where I can get them."