"You know she's going to kill us for this, right?" River asked quietly as she and Rory snuck up the stairs to Amy's bedroom.

"It'll be worth it," Rory responded. "Shh... quiet now..." He pushed open the bedroom door. Amy was sprawled on the bed in the moonlight. She hadn't even changed out of her shorts and jacket.

Father and daughter tiptoed around the room, setting things up, gritting their teeth and wincing every time Amy snorted.

Finally they were done, and tiptoed back out of the room. Rory shut the door carefully, wincing as the lock clicked quietly.

They sneaked back down the stairs to the kitchen. Only breathing openly when they reached that cool tiled room.

"Dad," River said, turning to him with a look of admiration. "I'm impressed. I'd never have thought you had it in you."

Rory shrugged. "A guy's got to have some blackmail material."

"She's never going to let you get away with it," River said, as she pulled down the ingredients to start making a midnight batch of brownies.

"Me? What about you? You helped," Rory said as he set the kettle on the stove.

River grinned evilly and patted the butt of her sidearm. "I'm meaner than you are. She wouldn't dare try to get me back."

"You hope," Rory said. He set out teacups on the tray, three of them, because he didn't think it would take long.

It took longer than expected. The brownies were done, and Rory had his laptop open and tuned to the monitor feed from the camera upstairs. They watched as Amy slept.

"You know," River said, as she licked chocolate off her fingers, "you have unplumbed depths." She gave him an admiring glance as she blew over her hot tea to cool it. "I'd never have guessed you liked living on the edge like this."

Rory swallowed his brownie. "I can't let her have her way all the time. She'd mow right over me. Maybe next time she'll think twice before disappearing for three days without telling anyone."

River set her cup down. "The Doctor..."

"She wasn't with the Doctor," Rory cut in. "I'd get that. She just took off for the weekend and didn't tell anyone where she was going. Not even me. I was worried sick. And I couldn't even call the cops in case she was with the Doctor."

River winced.

"Amy is a bit of a free spirit..." she said, tapping her nail nervously on her cup.

"I know that," Rory reached over and laid his hand over her fidgeting one. "Don't worry, honey. Mum and Dad aren't fighting." He grinned. She twisted her hand and clasped his, smiling back. "Besides," he said, taking another brownie. "This will remind her next time to leave a note."

There was a sudden pop, and a shriek from upstairs. Rory's laptop started flashing stop motion images as the camera he'd set up upstairs started taking snapshots. The pops and shrieks escalated.

"RORY!" Amy's voice screamed down the stairs.

On the monitor, the camera captured images as Amy rolled over in her sleep and popped one of the paint-filled water balloons they'd filled the room with. It caught her jumping, her mouth gaping in a scream, a splash of red fountaining behind her, the next showed a different awkward position as she fumbled off the bed and directly onto a purple balloon, she fell backward, legs inelegantly in the air, and smashed a yellow balloon with an impressive 3D splash pattern. Paint spattered the bed, the walls, her torso, legs and hair.

There was a stutter and a thump as more balloons popped, and more pictures flashed. Arms and legs flailing, hair whipping around, stupid expressions caught in freezeframe. The door slammed open with a loud bang as it hit the wall. Amy's growl thundered down the stairs like a prowling tiger.

Rory immediately posted the video to youtube. He ripped the memory stick out of the computer and tossed it to River. "Insurance!" he yelled.

River kissed it and saluted him with it. "I'll make copies!"

Amy slammed into the kitchen, covered head to toe in multicolored paint, glowering. River hit her vortex manipulator.

Sometimes it was best to stay out of parental arguments.

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