Family

Amy Pond wrapped her arms tightly about herself, fighting off a chill that had more to do with loneliness that the flurries falling around her. It had been snowing for two days straight and her backyard was covered in snow so thick it would have come up to her knees. The shed that had been re-built since the Doctor has crashed into it all those years ago looked like a giant lump of white dotted with color. Glowing through the heavy blanket was a single strand of colorful Christmas lights that had become a tradition the year the Doctor had left her behind.

Little Amelia, desperate for her raggedy man, for someone to take her away from the stupid little British town and her stupid aunt, had refused to stop believing that someday hewould come for her. So, despite her aunt's protestations and despite the hopelessness of it, she'd insisted they hang a string of lights around the roof of the shed, not for Santa, but for the Doctor.

After all, he'd crashed there once; maybe he just needed help finding her again.

But year after year, he'd disappointed her.

She still hung them though, clinging to the hope that the mysterious stranger would come back for her one day.

And then… he did.

The Doctor returned, saving her (and the world) from space monsters and a life of monotony, once again promising to take her away. Once again though, he left her waiting, just as he had when she was a child.

When Christmas rolled around after the Doctor left, she thought about leaving the shed bare for the first time in years. In the end, she'd put them up and taken them down three times before deciding to leave them, telling herself that it was for her and not the Doctor.

Now it was Christmas Eve and she was standing just outside her patio door, shivering in the cold as she stared at the twinkling lights on the tiny shed.

"He's not coming back, is he?" Amy didn't turn around, just listened.

Stepped up beside her, exhaling a plume of white breath into the dark night. "How did y-"

"I heard the door open, doofus."She gave him the tiniest quirk of a smile. "You're not exactly Mr. Stealth Man."

"Oh. Right." Rory shifted his weight from foot to foot, nervously. "It's cold out. Why don-"

Amy silenced him with a questioning look. She'd asked him a question and he hadn't answered.

"No, I don't think so." His tone was matter of fact, borderline sterile.

She sometimes wondered if Rory still thought about the Doctor and their one glorious adventure together. A tiny part of her thought that he did, but the rest of her was convinced he didn't. After all, he was stable and dependable whereas the Doctor wasn't.

She nodded; there was nothing to say because she agreed with him. Instead, she just hugged herself more tightly as the cold night air bit at her cheeks.

"But… but that's ok, right?" Rory's voice was falsely bright. She looked over at him, curious to see the expression on his face. He looked cautious, like he was scared of what he was about to say. For some reason, it made her heart ache just a little bit. "Cause… we're together now. We have each other." He exhaled deeply again, a great puff of nervous energy. "We're family."

Family.

There was more truth in that word than she'd ever realized.

He was her family. The Doctor was just her fantasy. And when it came down to it, she could count on family to always be there for her, no matter what.

Smiling softly, Amy lifted her hand to look at her engagement ring. It wasn't the largest stone, and even still, she knew Rory had barely been able to afford it, but it was perfect. Placing her hand on her fiancé's cheek she whispered, "You're right. We're family."

Rory's responding smile was enough to light up the night and make her forget, just for a little while, about the raggedy man and his blue box.

Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- Erin: Thank you so much for the beta. *hugs*
- Reviews are love.