I loved the "Snowmen" Christmas special and Clara is definitely growing on me. But something ticked me off. She got a key, right off the bat. Boom. He meets her. Key. My Ponds never got a key, so I decided to circumvent canon and make things right. Allons-y
Because You Never Needed One
They hadn't said anything to me. Either one of them. They'd been in the console room for a full 9 minutes and 18 seconds and neither one of them had spoken so much as a word.
10 minutes. 10 full, bloody minutes now.
"Ponds..." I was surprised at how tentative my voice sounded. "Are you cross with me?"
"No." Rory said at the same time Amy gave an emphatic, "Yes!"
All cleared up there then.
"What did I do?"
Amy strode over to me, arms crossed, eyes narrowed.
"I thought we were close. I thought we were mates. Actually I thought we were family."
"We are!" I protested. This was serious, apparently. Very serious and I was absolutely clueless. I reached out to touch her but she recoiled. Rory walked over to stand behind her and put his hand on her waist.
"The story you told us last night..." Rory said.
I scanned my memory. A story. Yes, I'd told them a story about Donna and the whole ATMOS debacle. A pretty good yarn if I recalled. What was I missing?
Amy rolled her eyes and scowled at me angrily.
"He doesn't even know."
I ran a hand nervously through my hair.
"No, I don't, help me." I said with exasperation.
"The friend you mentioned, Donna." Rory began. "You told us you gave her a key to the TARDIS. You've never given us a key to the TARDIS. Not ever. Never even mentioned it. We talked about it last night in our room and yeah...it upset us both a bit."
Oh God...I hadn't even thought, hadn't considered. Of course they were hurt. They didn't understand.
"No, it upset us more than a bit. What you don't trust us? After everything we've been through. Everything we've done together. All the times we've saved each others lives and you don't trust us? Or do you just not love us as much as your other friends?"
My hearts shattered a little at the accusation. I'd made a mess of things, yet again. Stupid, thick Doctor.
I turned back to the console and started to leave the Time Vortex to look for a safe place to set her down.
"I can make this right." I muttered to myself.
"He doesn't even care." Amy said softly and I thought I heard her sniffle.
"Of course I care. Just give me a moment to explain."
The familiar wheezing sound that signaled the TARDIS had landed filled the room and I hurried over to the door.
"Come along, Ponds."
"What, are you kicking us out? Because we questioned you?" She asked.
This had truly shaken them both and I felt awful about it.
"Amy! No, never. I...I just want to show you something."
Reluctantly they approached me.
"I noticed something strange about you, Amy the first time we ran off together. Tell me, have you ever had a problem getting into the TARDIS?"
"That's not the point, Doctor-"
"Just answer the question."
"No, unless you did something with your screwdriver like when we were trapped with House or something. No, I've always been able to get in or out."
"What about you, Rory?"
He looked contemplative trying to figure out where I was going with this and failing.
"No. I don't suppose I have."
I unlocked the door and we all looked beyond it. Outside was damp, sandy beach and what appeared to be an endless ocean lapping at its edges.
"Where are we?" she asked.
"Doesn't matter. I'm the only one who's supposed to be able to get into the TARDIS without a problem without a key and no one else should be able to enter without a key given by me and without my permission. Step outside for a moment. I want to show you something."
They looked at me warily but they still trusted me. I watched as they stepped through the door and stood facing me, their shoes sinking a bit into the sand.
"Now stand there. Just for a moment. Trust me."
I stepped back inside and shut the door.
"Doctor!" Amy cried.
"It's alright, Amy, Rory, trust me. Now listen. I'm locking the door."
"Why?" Rory called.
"Because I want you to open it."
I turned the lock knowing the click was audible on both sides.
"Now," I called to them. "Open the door."
They hesitated for a moment and I stepped back. My hands shoved in my pockets I watched as the latch turned and Amy easily pushed the door open.
She and Rory looked again at one another confused and finally to me for explanation. I couldn't keep the smile off my face.
"You locked it and then you unlocked it." Rory said.
"I did no such thing. She unlocked it, the TARDIS unlocked it for you."
"I don't believe you. Rule 1." Amy said.
"Quite right. Rule 1, The Doctor lies. So, lets try another experiment. I'll even go out with you this time. And look. I'm leaving my screwdriver here." I took it from my pocket and set it on the floor.
I stepped out onto the beach and they eyed me dubiously. Taking out my key I pulled the door firmly shut behind me and locked it.
"Now, Rory, give her a snap." I said holding up his hand for him.
"Snap your fingers."
Rory looked at me and I put my hand encouragingly on his back.
He snapped his fingers and the TARDIS doors swung open.
Both Ponds gazed at me.
"I don't understand. How are we doing that?" Amy asked.
"Come inside and I'll explain."
Their anger had abated and I exhaled as we all ushered back into the TARDIS.
"You know who else doesn't have a key? My wife. Your daughter. Never had a problem just popping in though, has she?"
They looked at one another again and it was clear they hadn't considered that.
"Like I said, Amy. I noticed something strange about you. From the moment you came with me the TARDIS seemed to like you. More than that, she seemed to knowyou. Has there ever been a door anywhere here that you couldn't open? Any record, any information she wouldn't pull up for you?"
"When I was stuck, boarding with Craig, you did research, you pulled up schematics, you landed her! And Rory, Idris spoke her dying words to you. From the start she's been trying to tell you both who you were, where you were going and who you were to her."
"What are you saying, Doctor?"
"I'm saying that you two are the parents of the Child of the TARDIS as she always knew you would be. She's known who you are since you came into my life. You're family, just like I am and she's treated you as such, always."
I approached them and put a hand on each of their cheeks. My beautiful, beloved Ponds.
"I never gave you a key, loves, because you never needed one. You're home."
I watched as the understanding bloomed on their faces and after planting a kiss on both their foreheads I returned to the console to get us moving again. Amy's arms circling around my waist from behind moments later surprised me. As did Rory's warm hand on my shoulder.
"Sorry I went off on you like that. I- we didn't know." she said.
"No, we didn't." Rory added quietly.
"It's alright. I just can't stand to have you both angry with me." And I couldn't, I hated it. They were my mates, they were my family.
"Pick a planet, Doctor." Amy said with a grin. "Pick some place fun and exciting. We'll go change and be right back."
"Change?" I asked.
"Umm yeah, we sort of wore clothes we couldn't run very well in because we knew it would tick you off." Rory said.
I looked them up and down and now that he mentioned it they did appear rather formal.
"It was Amy's idea." he said quickly.
I chuckled a bit and waved them away. "Fine, off you pop. Hurry back."
They started to walk away and I watched them as I often did. Then Amy stopped and turned suddenly.
"Sexy?" she called out addressing an undetermined space in front of her. "Thank you. We think of you as family too."
I smiled as I felt the TARDIS pulse a friendly, warm response back to them from the console beneath my hand.
"We love you." Amy added before they resumed their exit.
"Doctor?" Rory called over his shoulder.
"That 'we love you' bit, that was for you."
My voice left me and I could only sort of stammer a reply as a blush crept to my cheeks. Of course they did. Of course they loved me as I loved them. But it was always so very, very nice to hear. Excitedly, happily I started to stride around the console pressing buttons and pushing levers, setting a course for the unexpected. First we'd pick up River and then...who knows. But this called for something exciting, something brand new, an excursion, an adventure with just the family and me.