A/N I wanted to have at least some sort of nod to Rory, but I'll admit it didn't really go anywhere. Oh, well; as hard as I ship Rory/Amy, Pondstiel is basically impossible when he's around. This is the last chapter, by the way. Thanks for everything, and I hope you check out my other stories!
Thanks to Guest and Whispering Darkness
Disclaimer I don't own Doctor Who/Supernatural or any associated characters, events, etc.
It takes three days for Castiel to recover—sixty-two hours until he's gone from the verge of death to perfectly normal. And once he is on his feet again, he won't talk about it—he only brings it up once, the first time he comes out of his room, murmurs a few words to Amy under his breath—"I am sorry that you had to see that," nothing more. She barely has time to open her mouth, to try and say that there was nothing wrong at all with having to help him and the only bad thing he did was go and get himself stabbed in the first place—but then he brushes past her, towards the Doctor, instead, exchanges a few low, terse sentences that she can't quite here with the Time Lord.
And neither of them give her any explanation beyond that. It's clear enough that the Doctor understands much more about the origins of Cas's injury than she does, but he refuses to tell her, only changing the subject every time that she attempts to bring it up. She does know, though, that it must have been something massive, because after the incident, after the most terrifying night of her life—he doesn't leave anymore. Before, he'd merely flitted in and out of the TARDIS, but now he's a constant presence, and she decides that she likes it that way. It makes her feel safer, to be able to keep an eye on him at all times, and just to know that there's an angel at her back.
The Doctor notices.
He takes her aside one day, to a small, dusty corner of the TARDIS's massive library, where their words will be muffled behind thousands of silent pages. There's something odd about the way he carries himself—uncharacteristically nervous, delicate, and he practically guides her movements into a plush chair shoved against one of the high shelves, seemingly unable to keep his hands to himself.
"Doctor," Amy half-laughs, "are you alright?"
He pauses for a long moment, clasping one of her hands in both of his, and takes a slow, deep breath. "I'm about to do something huge," he says quietly, "and I'm not sure whether it's the right thing."
"You don't sound like yourself." She leans forward intently, rubbing his fingers, and tries to meet his eyes, but his gaze is cast determinedly downwards. "What's wrong? Tell me."
"…I've noticed the way you look at Cas." He says it all at once, biting out each of the words, and then pulls back, standing up and shoving his hands into his pockets with swift anxiety, like he's waiting for her to process his words or something of the like.
"The way I look at him?" she repeats, frowning. His words hit some sort of wall in her brain—they don't make any sense. "What—what do you mean? I don't—I mean, I look at him like anyone else…"
"Amy. It's alright. I just want you to know… you deserve to know…"
"You're scaring me," she says, not even aware of the prickly emotion rising up inside of her until she says so. "What am I supposed to know? I don't get it—I don't look at him! I mean, I…"
"You have a husband," he says quietly, steadily, and it's like the other words she was intending to speak dissolve from her lips.
"I have a what?" Did she inadvertently marry some alien during one of their recent trips to foreign planets? She racks her brains, but can't come up with any interaction that could be a foreign marriage ritual—she doesn't think, also, about how something is boiling in her stomach, tapping around the edges of her throat with fierce, ripping nausea—it's just faint enough to lie below her notice, stirring the surface without puncturing it.
"A husband. Or at least a fiancé—you never did manage to get married."
"I don't—who?" she asks, blankly. "And what does this have to do with Cas?" A thought occurs to her then, jarring and alarming, and she can feel a flush collecting over her cheeks as she voices it. "I'm not married to him, am I?"
The Doctor laughs. It's not humorous, not animated; only a low, dry chuckle and a slight upwards tilt of his lips. "Don't be ridiculous, Pond."
"Who, then? I think you're—"
"His name was Rory Williams, and the two of you were ridiculously in love with each other."
The name is a single quick, harsh punch to her lungs, forcing her breath out, stinging furiously and then vanishing moments later, with only a ghost of an ache left behind. By the time she manages to form a coherent thought, it's nothing huge—the name sounds familiar, but only distantly, like a primary school acquaintance that she never got to know all that well. It is a fairly average name, though, so perhaps even that doesn't mean anything.
"I don't know a Rory Williams," she says, her scowl deepening. The name is disconcertingly non-foreign on her tongue, but she dismisses it.
"You did. He got erased from time, Amy, sucked into one of those cracks, the first time that we met the Silurians, back on 2020 Earth. Only a few trips before the one when we met Castiel."
"I don't know a Rory Williams," she repeats, even though her mind is screaming something else entirely—no, no, no, please no. "I never had a husband—what are you talking about? Why are you saying this?"
"I'm saying it because it's the truth, and it's about time you remember. I know, I know, I know this is hard for you, and I'm so, so sorry, but I won't let you keep forgetting any longer."
"I'm not forgetting!"
"Then why are you crying?"
She opens her mouth to protest, to ask him what he's saying, of course she's not crying, but then she tastes salt, just the faintest tangy bite. No, no, but she can't stop herself from reaching out and touching her cheeks, and it's there, hot dampness just like the Doctor said, but—
"No." She shakes her head, finds herself on her feet—and her legs are quivering, barely holding her up, but she ignores it, turning away from the Doctor, who has one hand half-outstretched in concern, his face fallen. "No, I never had a husband, I don't know anyone named Rory, and stop—just stop it!"
And he does stop. He doesn't bring it up again, but now she finds that she can't look at Castiel at all, because apparently that led the Doctor to whatever stupid thing about some man named Rory, and for the rest of the day, she won't speak to either of them, but instead locks herself in her bunkroom, runs her hands through her hair over and over and tries to find a way to make the senseless tears stop. She pays no regard to the Doctor's tentative knocks on the door, and not Castiel's concerned attempts to speak to her, either.
By the next morning, she's somehow taught herself to forget all over again, and for that she's grateful.
"You never told me about a Jack Harkness," she insists, folding her arms as the Doctor flips a series of coordinates into the TARDIS.
"Yes, well, there are plenty of friends of mine I've never told you about, but I figure it can't hurt to introduce you to them," the Doctor replies cheerily. "It certainly turned out well enough with Cas, right?"
At the moment, Castiel is standing silently in a corner, watching the two of them with quiet but interested eyes. Amy cocks an eyebrow and throws her gaze in the angel's direction instead.
"What about you? Has he introduced you to any Captain Jack?"
Cas shakes his head minutely, and the Doctor laughs.
"Never, but I can't wait to see just how that will work out."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, Jack, see, he's a bit…" the Doctor shrugs in attempted avoidance, half-wincing and wringing his hands together. "A bit forward. He likes… well. You'll really have to see it for yourself."
"I guess," Amy agrees, utterly confused. The Doctor's expression is still lighthearted, though, so she figures that there's nothing extreme that he isn't telling her—nothing that she should be worried about. "He's human, right? Not an angel or anything?"
"About as human as they get, other than one little thing." The Doctor spins a final, rather unnecessary-looking wheel on the motherboard of the console, and the TARDIS lurches to life, taking them from the shores of a sixteenth-century African coast to what he claims to be modern day Cardiff.
"One little thing?" she prompts.
"Well, he's a bit… immortal, see. The accidental work of one of my former companions, incidentally, but it's done good for him, so I'd call it a happy mistake."
"Immortal?" Amy repeats in disbelief. "What do you mean, immortal? He just… he can't die, or…?"
"With our luck, you'll be able to see for yourself by the time we leave," the Doctor replies, seemingly only half-joking. The landing noises of the TARDIS gradually fade away, and then he springs up, rushing over to the door. "Come along, Pond, Cas—yes, perfect landing, old girl! Cardiff, Wales, 2006." He thumps the side of the TARDIS appreciatively as he kicks the door open to reveal what indeed appears to be a Cardiff plaza, a brisk wind blowing wadded-up newspaper and dead leaves over the bricks. A tall, sleek fountain punctures the ground only a few yards away, sheets of water streaking its dark length.
Amy follows as the Doctor hops out, Cas at her heels. It is indeed a rather cold day, and Amy wraps her arms around herself, gripping her elbows—she doesn't see how Castiel notices her shivers, or how he half-extends one of his arms towards her before drawing it back with abrupt haste.
There are a lot of thing about him that she doesn't see.
"He works for a place called Torchwood, see," the Doctor explains, swinging his arms as he walks along and raising his voice to be heard over the rushing breeze. "I'm not extremely fond of it, but he's with a nice enough lot, and he has the right ideas most of the time, even if Torchwood as a whole tends not to."
"What don't you like about it?" Amy has to walk at double time to keep up with him, her legs moving easily from all the practice she's accumulated over her time with him.
"They're violent," the Doctor explains shortly. "And awful at dealing with aliens. Not that you can expect much more of humans at this point in time, I suppose. Ah, well, they learn eventually."
He pauses once they reach a sidewalk, tipping his head up and squinting into the air as if waiting for something to fall out of it, or perhaps for a portal to open up. "The problem," he continues, as if only discovering this now, "is that since I've never been here before, I can't say I'm entirely sure how to get to the Torchwood headquarters. It's somewhere around here, but beyond that…"
Amy stifles a giggle, glancing back towards Cas, who even has a slight appreciative glow in his eyes. "You don't know where it is?" she inquires disbelievingly, turning back towards the Doctor.
"Yes, well… before, he sort of… jumped on the TARDIS, to phrase it in the most literal way possible, and got killed in the time vortex, but that wasn't much of a problem for him…"
This time, there's no way to suspend her giggle. It's all pretty ridiculous, and she's about to ask more about this supposed immortality when they're interrupted by a neatly dressed young Asian woman, who approaches the Doctor tentatively, raising a hand in greeting.
"Excuse me—did I hear you mention Torchwood, by any chance?"
The Doctor beams immediately. "You did indeed. I'm the Doctor, this is Amy and this is Castiel—we're looking for Captain Jack Harkness, any chance that you know him?"
Her eyes widen in surprised understanding. "The Doctor? He's mentioned you several times… he's out right now, though, can I deliver a message?"
The Doctor's face falls slightly, but he perks up again moments later. "No matter, I've got a time machine—when do you think he'll be back?"
The woman's jaw drops slightly, but then she pulls it back up, apparently deciding not to question the Doctor's mention of a time machine. She glances briefly over Amy and Castiel before answering. "Not until late tonight, probably. He said he might be at the Retro Bar, though, it's close—you could check in there in a few hours…"
"Perfect. We'll see him there, then, thank you for your help, miss…?"
"Toshiko Sato." Smiling shyly, she extends a hand, which the Doctor shakes with great enthusiasm.
"Absolutely brilliant to meet you, Miss Sato."
"And you, too. Really, Jack's always going on about his friend the Doctor… it's an honor, really."
The Doctor smiles like a five-year-old with candy, and Toshiko glances over his shoulder, giving a small wave in the direction of Amy and Castiel as well. Amy returns it, while Cas gives a short nod.
"Right, then, back to the TARDIS!" The Doctor wheels around, looping an arm around each of their shoulders, and begins marching them back towards where the blue box waits in the corner of the street. "Now, wasn't that just wonderful? Much kinder than I'd expect of a Torchwood employee, she was."
"She was sweet," Amy agrees as they burst into the TARDIS. The Doctor wastes no time in dashing over to the console and flipping the needed switches, sending them across town and a few hours into the future.
"Retro Bar, she said, right?"
"Yeah. It sounds like a… lively place." Amy leans against the wall as the TARDIS takes off.
"Oh, well, he's a lively person."
"Hopefully he will not be overly intoxicated by the time we find him," Castiel mutters under his breath.
The Doctor makes an odd noise somewhere between a laugh and a whine of protest. "Have a bit of faith in the man! He can probably take quite a bit before he begins to get drunk. And, anyways, we're going pretty early in the night. He won't have had time for more than a beer."
"Are we spending the evening there, then?" Amy inquires. "Do you even drink, Doctor?"
"We'll have to see. And occasionally—Earth liquor doesn't do wonders for me," he explains, scowling slightly. "It really is disgusting stuff, I've got no idea why you humans love it so much…"
"Only some of us." Amy shrugs. She likes a glass of wine now and then, she supposes, but alcohol overall isn't particularly appealing. "What about you, Cas?" she questions, glancing over towards where the angel has assumed his usual quiet position in the corner.
"I have tried alcohol a couple of times. It was not all that impressive."
"Agreed," Amy grins, and as the TARDIS lands, she's the first one to fling the door open and peer outside. She's greeted by a blaze of rainbow lights, so bright and intense that she hesitates in alarm. There's music, too, the heavy beats shaking the very foundation of the TARDIS, and bodies everywhere, oh, hell, "You've landed us on a dance floor!"
"Oh, are there dance floors?" the Doctor queries excitedly, his voice barely audible. He hurries out eagerly, and Amy follows at a slightly more cautious pace, Cas backing them as always. Amazingly, none of the crowd seems to have noticed the police box landing in the middle of them—whatever the Doctor said about it being the beginning of the night, it's rowdy enough in here to be four in the morning.
"How are we supposed to find Jack in here?" Amy half-shouts over the din. The Doctor is weaving through the swaying bodies seemingly without effort, and she's mumbling out a million apologies as she pushes people aside to reach him. It's quite a crowd in here—plenty of dyed hair, piercings, tattoos, skimpy outfits. She doesn't mind that much, but a glimpse over her shoulder shows her that it's just the opposite for Castiel—his limbs are full of so much tension that he's moving almost robotically, his eyes wide and his mouth set in a thin line. Lights dance over his face, morphing his blue irises to green and magenta and yellow and casting the hollows of his cheeks and neck into deep shadow. She's never seen him more out of place, but it's almost endearing.
Rather than answering her question, the Doctor keeps pressing on, and they move slowly around the wide room, a large portion of which is dance floor. A bar stretches along the far wall, and they gradually make their way over there—Amy realizes after a moment that the Doctor actually seems to be purposefully moving towards one person, a rather stunningly attractive man in a long, dark grey coat who's chatting with the bartender, his face split in a wide grin and a glass of unidentifiable liquid held between his fingers.
"Jack!" the Doctor calls out, and the man glances over in surprise, which almost immediately morphs to delight.
"Doctor!" he replies, then murmurs something to the bartender before hopping off of his stool and hurrying over, his arms wide. "Fancy seeing you here! How'd you find me, then?" His voice is American, she realizes with slight surprise; very distinctly so.
"We checked by Torchwood, a lovely young woman directed us here—Miss… Sato, I believe?"
"Yeah, she's one of mine. Wonderful worker, that Toshiko." His eyes rove over the Doctor's shoulder then, touching Amy and Cas in turn. "These two with you?"
"Oh, yes—my new companions. Amy and Castiel, she's human, he's an angel."
Jack's dark eyebrows rise, and he laughs lowly. "No kidding, he's an angel. How are you doing, gorgeous?"
Cas blinks his wide, dark eyes, glancing rapidly back and forth between Jack and Amy as if seeking explanation for the flirtation. Amy snickers, and the Doctor just groans.
Jack shrugs ruefully, but still keeps an eye on Cas as he turns back to the Doctor. For some reason, it causes a slight heated prickle along Amy's neck to see him eyeing the angel like that—it's probably nothing, though, and she brushes it off absently.
"Anyways, what made you decide to come pay me a visit, huh?" Jack asks.
"Oh, just thought it might be nice—it has been a while, after all, and I thought you ought to meet Amy and Cas."
"It's spectacular to meet them both, I'll give you that," Jack chuckles, his tone slightly heavier than platonic appreciation. Amy suspects that she's starting to see what the Doctor was talking about when he mentioned 'forwardness.' "Now that you're here, though, go ahead and have a drink, why don't you? The dance floor's open, too."
"Don't let the Doctor dance," Amy interrupts; "it's just embarrassing."
"Embarrassing is what this place is all about," Jack contradicts, gesturing towards the waves of brightly colored, far from modestly dressed people. "He'll make himself famous."
There's something about Jack—he's kind, in a playful sort of way, and Amy can't help but like him, despite his embarrassing flirtatiousness. So when, moments later, he extends a hand and requests, in a jokingly formal manner, whether he can "have the next dance," she accepts without hesitation.
He takes her hand and leads her into the midst of the party—despite herself, she can't help but feel almost at home here. She's been to countless bars like this, after all, back in her kissogram days—she practically lived for nightclubs. Her body automatically moves to the beat of the music, twirling about, and Jack's good, too—he spins her with ease, and she's laughing, her feet skating rapidly over the floor.
"You're good," she calls out loudly, and he grins back at her, the multicolored light dancing over the whiteness of his teeth.
"So I've been told many times. You're not too bad, yourself."
"I've had practice," she returns smoothly, spinning under his arm. It's not any sort of organized dancing—the music is chaotic and rapid, and most people on the floor are moving about on their own, but Jack and Amy manage to form a sort of quick-paced partner dance, weaving back and forth.
"Maybe you should show that angel how to be a bit more lively, then," Jack suggests, drawing her into his shoulder and nodding towards the bar. The Doctor has vanished, presumably to join the dancing—Amy internally winces at the thought—but Cas still stands there quietly, his eyes down, looking almost depressingly dismal next to the energy contained in everyone else.
Her voice softens slightly. "Well, he… he does his own thing, you know. He's shy, and kind of awkward, so… I just leave him alone most of the time, I guess."
"Shy and awkward?" He twirls her out again, and for a moment they're joined only by fingertips, before he reels her in once more. "Sweetheart, there's a reason for that."
"What do you mean?"
"You mean you actually can't tell?" He laughs loudly, shaking his head. She raises her eyebrows, ducking under his arm and spinning him around.
"Can't tell what?"
"That guy's infatuated with you, ginger. The way he looks at you when you're facing the other direction, oh, man." He shakes his head, still chuckling, and she slows down, her hand dropping from his for a second. For no apparent reason, her heart is suddenly thudding with alarming intensity, and she sneaks another glance at Castiel, silent and attentive in the corner, waiting, just like always.
"What… really?" She can barely hear her own hushed voice, but apparently Jack can.
"It's pretty obvious, I have to say. That's a fantastic display of naïveté you've got going on there, sugar—one of the best I've seen, and I've had to work with Owen Harper and Tosh Sato for years."
It's like the ground is spinning below her feet. Suddenly, it's all coming back to her—the way he always avoids her gaze, responds to all her inquiries with soft, short replies; how he'd apologized for her finding him back when he was stabbed; the fire in his eyes when he rescued her from the Silurian, the very first night they met.
"Well?" Jack prompts. "Is he padding after something he's never gonna get, or do you fancy him a bit, too?"
Rather than answering, Amy finds her feet carrying her across the dance floor, her head and stomach spinning. She doesn't know what she's about to do—she only thinks about the next step forward, until she's within feet of him, and his dark, brilliant blue eyes shift around to focus on her. He opens his mouth like he's about to say something, and she still doesn't think, but instead reaches up, winds her hands behind his neck, and kisses him as hard and fierce as she can—not for long, only enough to feel his immediate stunned stiffness begin to relax, for his hand to come up and brush along her shoulder, for a small, relieved breath to coast out from between his lips, touch her own. Then she pulls back and gets a good look at him—he's completely flushed, his eyes wide and confused, but there's also a sort of amazed light to them—blissful.
"Alright, you idiot," she laughs, taking him by the hand and pulling—he follows her easily as she turns around, her red hair flying, and marches back towards the riotous mass of people. "Come dance with me."