For a moment, Amy didn’t know where she was. The room was big and white, and she could hear the low hum of the lights and other, more faraway sounds she didn’t recognize at all. This wasn’t home, and it wasn’t the TARDIS, but then where—
Then the baby cried, and she remembered.
She was—she didn’t know where she was. Somewhere. Not home. Not the TARDIS. She tried to sit up straighter, but her arms and legs were heavy, and she could feel the dull ache of pain running down her back and thighs, all concentrated tightly in her lower body. She looked down at her arm. The IV was still there, its tube running out of her arm and up to a small machine installed at her bedside. A drip, or whatever they were called. Rory had corrected her about it dozens of times, and as she thought of Rory she felt a fresh pain in her heart that had nothing to do with giving birth.
She glanced around the room, because the baby was still crying and she needed to know where she was. Her gaze fell on the cot almost at once, sitting just a few feet away from her bed. It was a good-sized thing, made of heavy glass or plastic, and she was there, tiny and pink, wrapped in white blankets, crying and flailing and kicking. Amy could barely sit up, but she tried to anyway, because someone had to do something, and she was her mother for God’s sake.
She heard a hiss and turned to see a door sliding open. A woman in a dark camouflage uniform and a long white coat stepped in. She glanced at Amy before walking over to the cot and bending over the baby. “Good to see you’re awake, Mrs. Williams,” she said as she picked the baby up.
“It’s Pond,” Amy replied icily. “Amy Pond.” Her words slurred a little, but she glared at the woman anyway. “And she’s mine.”
“Indeed she is, Mrs. Pond,” the woman said, hardly missing a beat. Amy scowled at the hint of condescension in her tone, but the woman ignored it. “She’s due to be fed, if you’d like to. You are allowed.”
Amy wanted to bristle at the “allowed,” but the woman stepped closer, the baby still in her arms, and she found herself nodding instead. She wanted to hold her baby.
It was awkward and strange, the whole business. The woman introduced herself as Dr. Hallis, and she helped Amy with everything in a crisp, professional manner: how to hold the baby and feed her and do the million things she’d never thought about doing because she’d always thought that motherhood was years away from her. But here it was—here she was, small and alive in her arms.
And Amy knew as she looked into her small, pink face that she wouldn’t trade her for the universe.
The Doctor had said they were coming for her, that they would find her. But three days had passed and even with a bloody time machine they hadn’t shown up. Where were they? The Doctor might make her wait, but Rory wouldn’t. Rory would never make her wait, and she knew Rory would make the Doctor come after her right away.
So why weren’t they here yet?
She didn’t dare ask her various caretakers what was going on. She knew they wouldn’t tell her anyway. They didn’t even seem to acknowledge her most of the time, as though she were merely an incidental part of whatever they were doing to Melody.
(She wondered sometimes, in the dark of what passed for nighttime here, what might have happened if the Doctor hadn’t figured it out. If they’d succeeded at whatever they were trying to do here. Would they have dropped her back into her life, unaware that she’d ever been pregnant, unaware that she had a child somewhere in the universe? Would she even have noticed that something had happened? Would Rory? Would anyone?)
But she wondered with every hour where the Doctor was. Where Rory was. They had to be coming for her and Melody. They had to be.
When they were alone together, Amy told Melody stories about Rory and about the Doctor. After Dr. Hallis or some other military doctor brought Melody back from the tests they kept saying she needed, Amy would sit down with her in her arms and talk about the Last Centurion and the Vampires in Venice, the Angels of Byzantium and the Cracks in the Universe, spinning the stories out into fairy tales. She knew in the back of her mind that Melody couldn’t understand, not yet anyway, but she kept telling them, because they were as much for as they were for her daughter.
“Your father’s coming for us,” she said one afternoon as Melody grew drowsy after a meal. “He’ll come right across the universe for us, just you wait. He’s coming.”
As the days went on, the promise became a mantra that she repeated not only to Melody but to herself. She had to believe they were coming, because otherwise she and Melody had nothing left.
Then the lights turned on all at once, all of them, and Amy looked up on reflex and screamed.
The Silent stood by the door, its breath low and rattling, its dark eyes staring right at her. It did not move, did not step towards her or even raise a hand, but it did not need to. Amy backed away, right up to the bed, clutching Melody to her chest, only faintly aware that she had begun crying again. But she didn’t dare look away to comfort her, because she knew, she remembered as she stared at the thing by the door, what would happen if she looked away.
You’ll forget if you look away, she thought. Don’t look away. Don’t. Don’t.
Her mind raced as she tried to remember: was there a pen in here, a marker, anything she could write with? She had to warn herself. She had to remember somehow that they were here. How could they be here? This whole base was crawling with human beings—shouldn’t the Doctor’s message have gotten to at least one of them, even this far into the future?
As Amy edged around the bed, determined to make it across the room to the cabinets and find something to write with, the Silent spoke.
You are Amelia Pond.
Melody cried harder, and Amy rocked her a little, trying to calm her. She looked the Silent in the eye, as much as its gaze—its whole presence—made her skin crawl and her stomach turn. “Yeah, what’s it to you?” She nearly tripped when she made it to the corner of the bed, but she kept her footing, continuing backwards, staring fiercely at the Silent.
Your part in this is over.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” As she stared at the Silent before her, she recalled bits and pieces of every other encounter she had had with them. She remembered vaguely—very vaguely—something from America. She remembered being bound in that dark room, that awful face very close to hers, and a voice telling her that her part would soon be over.
She is ours.
Amy froze. “What?”
She is ours.
She held Melody closer, trying to ignore her cries, because she couldn’t do anything right now. She couldn’t look away, not even for a second. “She’s mine!” she shouted, and Melody cried harder.
The Silent stepped forward. She is ours, it repeated. No matter where she goes, she will always be ours. And she will bring the Silence.
And then it raised a withered hand, and the lights flickered and flashed, and Amy screamed and turned away—
She slept fitfully, waking several times from dreams that frightened her, though she could never quite recall what they were about.