"Something's not right here," said Amy.
"I'm sorry?" Rory asked. "What's up? This place looks pretty perfect to me."
He had a point. Liara Major was a planet devoted to the pursuit of pleasures, be they mental, physical, or spiritual, and it was beautiful. They were surrounded by golden sand and gleaming brightly-coloured buildings, both stretching out to the horizon in every direction. The sky overheard and the sea below were a deep, gorgeous purple, and twin suns cast bright, warm light all around.
The world had everything, as the had Doctor had attempted to inform them, blushing wildly before shoving them out of the TARDIS doors and instructing them to have a wonderful time and not tell him anything about it.
So far, no spaceships had crashed, and not one single person had tried to kill them, so this was already by far their most peaceful honeymoon trip. Amy couldn't be happier. She was staying in a beautiful city with her beautiful husband -- now there was something that was fun to say -- and she was enjoying both immensely.
Unfortunately, her spidey sense was tingling, and she couldn't ignore it any longer. Something really, really wasn't right here, for it all it seemed to be a paradise. She was reminded strikingly of Starship UK -- hidden corners where everyone was very carefully not looking, and the sense that people were afraid but trying to hide it. They'd been briefed by concierge when they'd checked into their hotel that the government was cracking down on several smuggling rings at the moment and they might be stopped and searched at any time. But the receptionist had scanned them and told them they didn't seem to be carrying anything contraband so they should be fine.
Amy found it was quickly becoming easy to tell who the locals were, and not just because they barged their way through tourists taking photos of the scenery. Visitors were happy and carefree, but the native population was tense and on edge, whenever they thought no one was looking.
"Can't you see it?" she asked Rory.
"Not really, no."
"Is that because you honestly can't or because you don't want to?"
Rory sighed. "Okay, fine. But couldn't we have at least one non-adventurous honeymoon trip? Or at least, one that's only adventurous in the fun ways." He waggled his eyebrows a bit in a way that was more adorable than alluring, but he had a point. Amy grinned smugly; last night had been very adventurous indeed.
"Well, keep an eye out, okay? Maybe there's a way we can help."
Rory took her hand. "I love you, revolutionary wife of mine."
"Yeah, you do," Amy said, and tugged him in for a kiss.
After that, Amy got a bit distracted by the beach, and also cocktails, especially when they led to her having a lapful of Rory being extremely pretty and distracting, and so political concerns slid to the back of her mind for a few days.
On their sixth day, they were sitting on a bench eating ice cream when Amy caught the sound of a muffled argument. She looked over and saw three people arguing with a lone woman, who was slowly backing away. One of them grabbed her and pushed her into a wall, quickly and methodically searching her. Plain clothed police officers, then, in all likelihood. After a few minutes, clearly finding nothing, they let her go, continuing their patrol while she melted into the shadows.
Amy waited until they'd turned a corner and tugged Rory's hand, hurrying over to where the woman was still standing, hunched in a doorway and looking unhappy.
"Hi," Amy said quietly, walking up to her. "We saw what happened, are you okay?"
"Yes, fine," the woman said, forcing a smile. "They're just doing their jobs."
"Do you need help? I'm Amy, this is Rory - we're not from around here, and something's been bothering me about this place for days. If there's anything we can do, just ask."
Rory nodded his agreement. "We're dab hands at overthrowing oppressive governments and all of that."
The woman gave them a sceptical look. "Freelancers? Well, I guess I can't afford to be picky these days." She sighed. "My name's Ji, nice to meet you. If you want to help, meet me by the waterfront steps at first sunset, there'll be a few of us there."
"We'll be there," said Amy.
Ji didn't seem too convinced, but nodded to them both before disappearing into the city.
"First sunset's not for hours yet," said Rory, "what do you want to do now?"
Amy grinned and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him in and kissing him soundly. Rory's mouth opened up for her, a small, pleased sound at the back of his throat showing that she could still take him by surprise. She laced her fingers through his belt loops and tugged him close, steering him until he had his back against the wall.
"Mm, that's better," she murmured into his ear.
He laughed. "Breaking the rules is such a turn on for you."
"Nope, not really."
She nipped lightly at his neck, licking his skin and fully intending to leave a mark. She slid her hands up the back of his t-shirt, her palms moulding themselves against his sun-warmed skin. Rory sighed happily and caught her face in his hands, bringing her back for an eager, messy kiss, his hands tangling in her hair and stroking the line of her jaw.
She eased her knee between his legs, widening his stance and pressing up against him. Rory let his head thud back against the wall, then he froze.
"Uh, Amy? There are people watching us."
She turned around. "Huh. So there are. Is that a problem? We're in one of the exhibitionist zones so we're not going to get into trouble or anything. What do you think?" She batted her eyelashes. "We can go back if you like, but the hotel is far, and there is this lovely wall right here."
"I'm not sure 'lovely' is the word I'd use. Convenient, I'll give you."
"Well all right. So. Staying or going?"
Rory looked behind them again and bit his lip. "I guess if we're not about to get arrested or anything, we could stay."
He sounded hesitant, but Amy recognised the look in his eyes from many years of experience. He was keen on the idea but embarrassed about it, so needed a little encouragement. She was good at encouraging. She dipped her fingers beneath his waistband, lightly stroking across the top of his hips.
"It is on the list," said Rory thoughtfully.
Ah, the list. Amy had started a wishlist long ago of things she'd like to try one day. They weren't all sex-based, but plenty were, and Rory had always dismissively called it her "sexcapade" list. That is, until he started being a part of said "sexcapades", and then he changed his tune. The list lived in a notebook in Amy's bedside cabinet on the TARDIS, and "in public" was a bullet point on the fifth page, which Rory had put a tentative tick next to.
"Come on," she whispered, "let's give them a show."
Rory laughed and kissed her again.
As the first of Liara's suns started to dip down into the sea, Ji was down at the waterfront just as she had said. There were six of them sitting in a semi-circle on the steps, and as Amy and Rory walked up to them they appeared to be talking about a recent sporting event. Ji looked up and beckoned them over, and as Amy walked closer she felt a buzz around her, not unlike walking through a forcefield or something.
"Communication camouflage," Ji explained. "Projects sound outward so we can't be overheard."
Amy's eyes widened, impressed. "Cool!"
"Yeah, well, it's one of the only advantages we've got. This is Kal, ze invented it --" Kal, who was small and unassuming save the bright green streak in zir hair, waved at them, " -- and these are Delowe, Ren and Masha."
"Hi!" Amy beamed. "I'm Amy, this is Rory, and we may not be from around here but we'd like to help."
Delowe was sceptical. "And what exactly can you do to help?"
"Well --" Amy glanced at Rory.
"It depends, really," said Rory. "But we're pretty experienced at this sort of thing, so. What do you need? What are you trying to do?"
"We're death penalty abolitionists," Ji explained. "The way things work here, everything's permissible, provided it's overseen by the state. Anything else and they come down on you hard -- far too hard. It's wrong, and we're trying to stop it. There's an execution scheduled for tomorrow for a smuggler, an offworlder who probably had no idea what he was getting himself into, and all of our limited legal channels have failed so we're going to bust him out."
"Love a jailbreak," Amy said, leaning in closer to Ji. "What's the plan?"
"Oh. Well, we're still figuring that bit out."
Amy looked around the group. "Have you lot managed to actually break someone out?"
"Only once or twice." Ji sighed. "It's a bloody nightmare. Once we get them out I've got a place they can stay and we can help them get off world, but it's getting them out that's the tricky part."
"Well then, maybe you could use a couple of freelancers after all," said Rory.
"Oh god," said Rory, adjusting his armour. "This really was the best we could come up with, wasn't it?"
"Stop fussing, it'll be fine." Amy adjusted his cape so it hung properly from his shoulders. "And you know how I feel about Romans."
"Yes yes, you can rip off all my carefully-assembled uniform later."
"Don't tell me you're not enjoying this even a little bit," said Amy, running her hands over the slinky cat burglar outfit she'd picked out for the occasion.
"I'm enjoying you," Rory allowed, "but you know me, I like the quiet life."
"You're such a liar. Come on, Roranicus, let's go be heroes." She picked up the papers Kal had forged for them and linked her arm through his, heading out towards the prison compound.
"Remember the plan?" Rory muttered as they walked up to the huge wall with its tiny and heavily-guarded door.
"Of course I do, stupid. Get in, get the prisoner, get out, it's not that complicated."
Rory groaned. "Don't say that, now we're buggered."
She jabbed an elbow in his side. "Shut up!" She coughed quickly to regain her composure and get into a more executioner-y frame of mind as they walked up to the guards.
"Pond and Pond, executioners for hire," she said. "We're here for the prisoner." She flashed some ID at them, not wishing to doubt Kal's handiwork but missing the Doctor's psychic paper something fierce.
One of the guards took a long look at it and then nodded, stepping aside and pulling a lever. The doors creaked open to reveal a long, dimly-lit corridor. Amy just managed to resist the temptation to hold Rory's hand as they stepped inside.
She tried to stomp down the corridor as impressively as possible, the tap-tap of her boots ringing out in the silence. She felt movement beside her as Rory rested his hand on his sword. Yeah, they'd be fine. They'd definitely been in worse situations than this - just last week, in fact. No problem.
The guard tapped in an entry code - 59118739, Amy muttered to herself, drumming it out against her leg - and the door slid open.
"Just ring the bell when it's done," he said. "Pull the rope if there's any trouble."
"Oh, there'll be no trouble," said Rory, putting on his best badass voice as he squared his shoulders a little.
Amy tried not to laugh.
They stepped inside, momentarily disorientated by the bright light of the cell.
"Well," said a voice that was both American and strangely chirpy, given the circumstances, " if I'd known my executioners were going to be drop dead gorgeous, I would've put up less of a fight!"
"Um," said Rory. "Thanks?"
Amy blinked. As her vision adjusted she took in the stark, bare room, and then the man sitting cross-legged on a bench in the centre, who was beaming up at them and saluting him with a drink. She caught the distinctive whiff of hypervodka, and there were three empty glasses beside him.
"No but really, you two are the hottest executioners I've ever seen. Do you take dying men's requests? Because I can think of quite a few." He stood up, surprisingly steady on his feet. "Captain Jack Harkness, and may I please be of service."
"Er, no servicing," said Rory.
"Not yet, anyway," Amy added hastily, never one to rule out an option. "As it happens you're in luck, we're here to rescue you!"
Jack beamed. "Well in that case, you two are definitely in my top five lists of hottest rescuers ever."
Amy pouted. "We don't make top of the list?"
"Hey, if you want to work your way up to the top all you have to do is ask."
"Er, right, okay, can we maybe save the flirting until later?" Rory said, shuffling from foot and foot and looking anxiously at the door. "Only I'm guessing we're going to have trouble any second now and I was planning on getting out of here alive, personally."
"Yeah, that works for me," said Jack, clapping Rory on the shoulder. "What's the plan, Centurion?"
Amy reached out for the button and dived into her cleavage to retrieve a small silver device, twisting it to activate it. "This should disable all the electronics within 100 feet," she said. "On my mark, run!"
"Direct approach, I like it," said Jack.
"Shut up and get ready to move, mister, we're seriously going out of our way here."
"Yes ma'am." Jack saluted.
Amy pressed the big red button by the door. They waited a moment, and then as soon as the door started to open Amy activated the electrics kill switch, grabbing Jack and Rory's arms and pulling them out into the corridor. They collided with the guards, but in the darkness they had the upper hand, and a couple of well-timed punches from Rory left the guards sprawling on the ground.
"Sorry," said Rory, "really very sorry. You should maybe consider a new career though."
"Come on!" Amy yelled. "Let's get out of here before the backup generator kicks in."
They ran for the exit, a slice of light in the darkness, and made it out through the gates just as alarms started blaring behind them and emergency security measures started gearing up.
"This way!" Jack led them all over a ridge and into a labyrinth of tunnels. "There's a whole network of these under the city. Figured they'd come in handy sooner or later. He led them through a maze of twisting passages until they reached a dead end. He knelt down and moved some rocks aside to uncover a small box. "Vortex manipulator," he explained," always good to have one stashed away somewhere."
"Nice thinking," said Amy.
Jack punched in some coordinates and pulled a face. "Oh, fuck, I am not sober enough for this, but here we go."
They landed in a back alley in the centre of the city, colliding into each other.
"Oh, that does not get any better with experience, does it," Rory said, clinging onto Amy.
"Not so much. All right, let's get the good captain here inside."
Amy and Rory swung Jack's arms over their shoulders and half carried him towards Ji's safehouse, as Jack's adrenaline wore off and the alcohol kicked in again.
Ji opened the door and hurried them inside as soon as they got there. "Wow, you actually did it!" she said. "I'm very impressed."
"Yeah, well," said Rory, slightly out of breath as he eased Jack down onto a bed as gently as possible and automatically put him in the recovery position, " this is a one-off, I'm afraid. We're leaving the planet tomorrow."
"You've done more than enough," said Ji. "When word gets out about this, it'll cause ripples, give people courage to start speaking out. This is huge."
"Yeah?" Amy smiled. "And you can help them do that."
"Yes, yes I can." Ji clapped her hands together. "I'm sorry, I know it's not safe for you to go back to where you were staying before, but I haven't got much space here."
Rory shrugged. "We can shove him up, it'll be fine."
Ji tilted her head, watching Jack as he lay sprawled on the bed, snoring lightly. "Well, I hope he doesn't give you too much trouble." She picked up her jacket and headed for the door. "Nice outfits, by the way."
Amy preened. "Thanks!"
Rory yawned. "God, I could sleep for a week." He looked Jack over. "He definitely could."
"I'm kind of hoping he doesn't," said Amy. "He seemed fun."
"He's a con man."
"Like I said - fun!"
Rory rolled his eyes. "Well, fun can happen in the morning. Sleep now."
"All right," Amy said softly, helping him unbuckle his armour and pile it neatly by the side of the bed until he was down to a tunic and socks. "You are the cutest Roman ever," she informed him.
Rory laughed sleepily. "If you say so."
They slid into the bed, which was wider than it was long and outstandingly comfortable, and Amy wrapped herself around Rory happily, feeling entirely content. She rested her forehead against his, smiling at him.
"Nice job today," said Rory.
"We're a good team." She smiled and closed her eyes, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Good morning, rise and shine!"
Amy frowned. The world seemed very bright. She flung an arm over her face.
"I've gotta tell you, waking up in bed with a Roman soldier and a secret agent is pretty much my idea of the perfect morning. Anyway, I've made coffee - at least, I hope I have, not entirely sure what some of those jars were if I'm honest! But it seemed like the least I can do."
Amy sat up, pushing her hair away from her face and blinking until the world came into focus. Oh, that's right. Romans, catsuits, executions, and the newly-rescued Jack, who was looking exceedingly pleased with himself as he carried three cups on a tray.
"Yesterday is all a bit of a blur now," said Jack. "But thank you. Always grateful for a well-timed rescue."
"We're good at those," Rory said, taking one of the cups and experimentally sipping it. "This does actually taste a bit coffee, excellent."
"Well, I owe you one," said Jack. "Is there any way I can make it up to you? Need a ride somewhere, get scores to settle? Sexual favours?"
Rory spluttered a bit. "No no, you don't owe us anything. Really."
Jack tilted his head. "But does that mean sex is off the table?"
Amy leaned back, looking at Jack thoughtfully. "Hold that thought," she said, and twisted to face Rory. "What do you think? Hot threesome to round off the week?"
"Are you serious?"
"I'm always serious when it comes to sex with conmen we've recently broken out of prisons."
"Hmm." Rory stole a glance at Jack, who winked. "This is on the list too."
Amy nodded. "Threesome - no strings attached", page fourteen. "It works for me if it works for you."
"I love you, a lot," Rory said, and kissed her.
"Yeah yeah, love you too." She pushed him back, clapped her hands together, and turned back to face Jack. "Well, after due deliberation we have concluded that yes, sex is on the table. Or in the bed, in this case, if you'd be so inclined."
"Believe me, I am always inclined." Jack knelt up on the bed, his back poker straight and his hands clasped loosely in front of him. "Awaiting further instructions, ma'am."
Amy nodded approvingly. "Very good. I think you should kiss my husband."
Jack saluted and slid up the bed, leaning over to cup Rory's face between his hands.
"You heard her," said Rory, and smiled as Jack's mouth met his.
Amy hugged her knees to her chest, watching closely. Jack was kissing Rory thoroughly, tilting his head just so to give Amy a good view. Rory clutched Jack's shoulders, pulling him closer and sliding his hands down to rest on Jack's arse. It took Amy a second to register that the low, desperate sound of want was coming from her.
Jack broke off the kiss and turned to her. "Aw, c'mere. I don't play favourites."
She stretched herself out next to Rory, and Jack kissed her, hot and deep and fantastic. He moaned into her mouth and then Rory was kissing her too, his mouth on any part of her skin he could reach. Jack knelt up to strip off his t-shirt, and they rapidly fell into a tangle of kissing, laughing, undressing limbs, all hands and mouths and skin on skin.
"Well, it has been a pleasure," Jack said, lacing up his boots and grinning at them, "but I'm afraid I've gotta run. Things to do, people to see - or maybe it's the other way around. But don't be strangers, okay?"
He pulled out his calling card and threw it over to Amy, who caught the little spherical hologram (mostly dominated by his face) and stored it away with a wink. "Oh, we'll be in touch."
"Definitely," said Rory.
Jack smiled at them. "You gorgeous things." He kissed them both, waved, and headed out the door.
"Well, that went well," said Amy. "Let's go find the Doctor."
They snuck out of the house and took a route through a series of alleyways back to the field where the Doctor had dropped them off a week ago. Impressively, he was actually there just as he said he would be.
Amy bounced in through the TARDIS doors and stopped dead in her tracks, causing Rory to crash into her.
"Amy, what is it?"
The Doctor bounded round the console. "Hello, Ponds! Good week? Don't want to know anything about it, mind you. There's a friend of mine I'd like you to meet - bumped into each other during the Hath Revolution, like you do, figured it would be good to catch up. Amy, Rory, meet Captain Jack Harkness."
Jack walked fully into view and gaped at them. Amy and Rory gaped back.
" ... Yeah, we've met," Amy said eventually. She looked Jack over - not a day older in the face, but the clothes had changed and so had his demeanour. "Guessing you're an older version of the Jack we saw today."
"Well if it isn't the Ponds," said Jack, looking delighted. "Blow me."
"Yeah, I just did," said Rory faintly.
The Doctor squeaked in horror. "Oh, oh no..."
"So Doctor," said Jack conversationally, "did I ever tell you the story about the executioners who didn't kill me?"
The Doctor winced. "Something about hypervodka, if I recall."
"Yeah, that's the one. This was them."
"Executioners? Amy, what have you done this time?"
"Nothing! We were undercover, all right? Helping out some revolutionaries, saving lives, just your sort of thing. And then, well." She gestured vaguely. "You know."
The Doctor sat down on one of the chairs and buried his face in his hands. "You lot are unbelievable," he muttered.
Jack laughed. "Just ignore him, the old grump. He never changes. Though I must say the babyface and braces look is getting a bit of getting used to. Not that I don't like it, but the bowtie, really?"
"Bowties are cool," the Doctor mumbled through splayed fingers.
Jack raised an eyebrow. "Apparently." He walked over to Amy and Rory, hugging them both. "It's been a very long time since I saw you last - for me, at least. What's it been for you, an hour?"
"If that," said Amy. "You don't look older, though."
Jack nodded. "Yeah, long story."
Rory shrugged. "We're not going anywhere."
"I'll put the kettle on," said Amy. "The Doctor can join us whenever he stops freaking out."
"That might be a while," said the Doctor faintly.
Jack laughed, and took Amy and Rory's hands in his.
"So what happened to you?" Amy asked. "How do you know the Doctor?"
"I met a girl," Jack began, his voice growing rich with nostalgia. "It was World War Two. I was in the RAF; she was hanging off a barrage balloon. I never stood a chance."