Of all of the strange things that Rory Williams has done since he started flying around in a blue time machine with an 1100-year-old alien (at first because Amy was there and he didn't like the idea of her alone with said alien because, well, she's Amy, and then because he discovered that saving the world is kind of cool and real life is kind of dull after you've lived as a Roman for two thousand years and died several times over), this – planning a stag night for the 1100-year-old alien to celebrate his marriage to Rory's gun-slinging, archaeologist, older-than-him, timey-wimey, part-human-part-Time-Lord (because sometime when you shag in the TARDIS, the TARDIS has her own ideas about what should happen), so-very-much-like-Amy daughter – is one of the strangest. The fact that he's doing it at the Doctor's insistence a full two years after the Doctor-who-was-a-robot-piloted-by-the-Doctor married River on the top of a space-pyramid full of Men-in-Black-like alien things in a timeline that didn't exist in order to keep the universe from imploding or time from dying or some other such thing, seems to be the icing on the metaphoric cake.

Truthfully, it all makes Rory's head kind of hurt.

"But that's what you people do, isn't it? All kinds of mischief and revelry and shenanigans? The last time I got married was so terribly long ago and I think I'm a bit out of practice."

"Last time?"

"I'm eleven hundred years old, Rory."


"I'm quite rubbish at weddings, actually."


"I think this one turned out quite well, in comparison and all things considered. Rather splendid, I think. Minus the whole end-of-time bit."


A pause.

"So. Stag nights."

"Well yes, they're traditional, but generally, we do them before the actual wedding."

"Look around you, Rory! TARDIS! Time machine! Ringing any bells? It can be the night before my wedding every night if I want it to be."

"Of course it can."

"So. What does one DO for his stag night? Are there bananas? There have to be bananas; can't have a party without a banana."

Rory doesn't know what to do with that.

"Well, generally, you gather your mates –"

"Mates! I've got mates! Who are my mates?"

The Doctor flies around the TARDIS console, pushing buttons and pulling levers and Rory is pretty sure this is going to end up like that one time they found themselves in the middle of the Peloponnesian War (literally, in the middle – Rory barely dodged a very angry, very large Greek who seemed both confused and perplexed at the sight of a big blue box that just appeared out of nowhere) instead of in their front yard because the Doctor pulled the zigzag plotter after he pushed some buttons instead of before. Or something.

Sometimes Rory thinks the Doctor just pushes whatever buttons seem fun at the time and then hopes to end up in the right place.

"Ooo, what about Winston? Can he come?"


"Churchill, of course! You'd never be able to tell, but he loves a tango. Do you tango at stag parties?"


"Of course you do! Because it's my party and I'll do whatever I please."

"You always do whatever you please."

"Yes, well. Let's get on with it, then."

He pushes another button and pulls another lever and spins around in a circle twice and Rory barely has time to grab hold of the railing before the TARDIS lurches and hurls herself into the vortex.

Later, when he is surrounded by historical figures, aliens, a stray llama, and both his wife and daughter, Rory thinks that maybe he shouldn't have told the Doctor that stag parties were traditional after all.

He's had to drag Vincent van Gogh away from the liquor (what kind of liquor, Rory didn't know, and he was pretty sure he didn't want to find out) three times and away from Amy several times more than that, trying to ignore his mumblings about sunflowers while simultaneously wondering what happened to his life that dragging around a famous, brilliant, dead painter would seem almost normal.

Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria are having their own tea party in the corner of the TARDIS closest to the door, and Rory tries not to notice when Queen Elizabeth looks at the Doctor (who is standing next to River and smirking in that way that makes Rory really uncomfortable) and starts crying into her teacup. They are approached by a tall man (Rory can't remember his name) in a long, navy coat who smiles and calls her "Bess," and suddenly the Virgin Queen is fine again (and looking decidedly like she'd like to shed the "virgin" part of her moniker).

Rory is half-convinced he's dreaming.

And then he remembers the time that he punched Hitler and put him in a cupboard and it all starts to feel strangely like reality again (because what could compare to that, really?).

"This is brilliant!"

The Doctor is beside him, having left River to her own devices (a frightening thought), leaning over the railing, grinning like a five year old at his birthday party.


"Oh, come on, Rory! When have you seen Virginia Woolf, Abraham Lincoln, homo reptilia, Joe the llama, and Captain Jack Harkness all in one room?"


"Of course never! Stag parties are brilliant!"

"Virginia Woolf threw a bowling ball at Amy!"

"Oh, Rory. Amy wasn't actually in danger! Ginny is a terrible bowler. She comes in second-to-last almost every week."

"Who comes in last?"

"I do."

"Oh. Right. Brilliant."

"Ah well, Rory. It's not the winning that matters. We laugh and we dance and have a delightful time. Sylvia Plath is a regular hoot. And quite a good bowler, I might add."

"You don't say."

"Anyway, I think the stag party is going smashingly well, don't you? Certainly better than any of previous efforts at traditional matrimonial customs."

"Abe Lincoln tried to 'rescue' the black fellow."

He laughs a little. "Mickey? Mickey's fine. Good bloke, kind of reminds me of you a little."

A pause. His laugh has faded and he sounds not quite sad, but almost, and Rory isn't sure how to handle that.

"That's a good thing, Rory. Mickey is excellent. Beautiful, kind, brave Mickey. Saved the world, he did."

The Doctor fades a little.

"I never treated him very well."

"Oh, lovely."

The Doctor doesn't respond, and Rory recognizes the far-off look that he gets sometimes and he wonders what it means to be 1200 years old with the blood of entire species on your hands. For all of his goofiness and childishness, it must be hard to be the Doctor.

Amy said something once, after the Dream Lord, about how their light will never really combat the Doctor's darkness and maybe that's why he needs his Fez and his Stetson and his bow-tie, because if he didn't wear silly hats and make silly jokes, he'd go mad.

A mad man all alone with his box.

For the first time, Rory is truly glad that the Doctor married River. She can't chase out his darkness, she can't undo his selfish choices or give back the lives that he's taken, but she can stand with him in the darkness in a way that no one else can. He doesn't know if it's because she's part time lord or because her past wasn't as happy or as wholesome as Rory would have wanted it to be or because she's just River and she's amazing. He's not sure if the whys of it really matter.


"Yes, Rory?" He turns his head and Rory can see the years in his eyes.

"HG Wells is fiddling with the TARDIS again."

"Of course she is. Bloody woman never could keep her hands off a time machine." And he dashes off towards the TARDIS console before they're steered somewhere extremely very not good.

"Rory!" he shouts over the hum of the TARDIS and the noise of the crowd. "Dance with Winston, please! He's getting anxious."

Rory Williams has done a lot of strange things in his life. Dancing the tango with Winston Churchill doesn't even make the top ten.