“God, I'm bored,” Amy said with a sigh, collapsing back onto the smooth grey pebbles.
“Me too,” Alisha agreed from her already prone position, scuffing her feet against the stones. “Did they say anything to you about how soon they'd be back?”
“No. Well, the Doctor said five minutes, but that doesn't really mean anything. One time he told me he'd be gone five minutes and he didn't come back for twelve years.”
Alisha nearly wrenched her neck whipping her head around to look at Amy. “Did you just say twelve years? Fuck that, I'm not waiting around this barmy place for twelve fucking days.”
“You won't have to,” Amy said, reassuringly enough that she almost convinced herself. Not that they'd be able to wait here that long anyway, on a far-stretching plain of grey stones here and there sloping into gentle dunes, with nothing to eat or drink but a tube of digestive biscuits and a few bottles of water. “Rory and Simon are with him this time. They'll make sure he gets it right.” She frowned. “Could still be here a few hours, though.”
“Ugh.” Alisha rolled her head back up to face the sky, which was greener than Earth's but otherwise pretty unexciting. It stretched uninterrupted from horizon to horizon, striking even cloud-watching off the list of available entertainments. Alisha picked up a handful of pebbles and let them trickle out of her hand, clicking off one another as they fell. “Could they have picked a more boring place to ditch us?”
Amy shared her sentiment, deeply resenting the Doctor's not-entirely sarcastic comment on the decision to leave them here while he and the boys went off to repair another looming paradox that he'd 'finally found a place where even Amelia Pond couldn't possibly get anyone into any trouble'. Even so, as the more experienced galactic adventurer, she felt it was her duty to keep Alisha's enthusiasm up.
“Oh come on, there's loads to do here.”
“We could . . . skip stones.”
“Off of what?”
“Other stones?” Amy laughed in agreement at Alisha's snort. “You know, there's a surprising amount of waiting involved in gallivanting through space and time. It's like ninety percent thumb-twiddling, punctuated by brief, messy spasms of mortal peril.”
“Sounds a lot like my community service,” Alisha muttered.
“I'm not very good at it, to tell the truth. If Rory's around we usually . . . well. We make our own fun.”
“I'll bet you do.”
Amy sat up and swivelled towards Alisha, crossing her legs and reaching out her hands. “Here,” she said.
Alisha flicked her eyes to look at her. “I'm not having sex with you.”
“I'm not asking you to. Just give me your hands.”
“You know, 'patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can.'”
“You're shitting me.”
“You got any better ideas?”
“About a million.”
Alisha was silently petulant.
“Look, you know if I had a telly or a Nintendo or a deck of cards or a book or a set of bollocking tiddly-winks, I'd have broken it out by now, but I don't. I've not even got enough string to play Cat's Cradle with, and can you imagine trying to play I Spy in a place like this?”
“What about Twenty Questions, then?”
Amy grinned and pointed at her. “Aha! See, now we're talking. I knew you were a clever one when we picked you up.” She wriggled her butt eagerly as she tried to get more comfortable on the lumpy substrate. “You go first.”
Twenty Questions carried them through about an hour of waiting, a third of the water and all of the biscuits, before ending in an argument about whether either cheese or ghosts qualified for 'animal' status. Twenty minutes after that, once they'd both simultaneously decided to try the stone-skipping idea after all and then looked at each other, breathing out their respective irritation in a gust of embarrassed laughter, Alisha smiled and sighed.
“Patty-cake?” she asked.
“If you want,” Amy replied.
“Yeah, alright.” Alisha dug into her coat pocket for her gloves, lavender leather with tiny flower-shaped cut-outs over the knuckles. She flexed her fingers to work them into place, then offered Amy her palms, fingertips pointing upward to the clear aqua sky.
Amy's eyes flickered over the shiny coverings. “Right, good idea,” she said, remembering what had happened when Alisha'd reluctantly demonstrated her ability by grasping the Doctor's wrist bare-handed, the way the Doctor stiffened—and stiffened—and murmured “how extraordinary” in exactly the same tone that he used for every other beautiful horrible interesting thing while simultaneously pulling her closer, nuzzling at her temple and bunching up her skirt, the way Alisha'd sighed and curled in on herself like she really wished she wasn't getting used to this, and the way Simon had stared at the ground, clenching his jaw and fists while Rory glanced from face to face looking like he doubted laughing was a good idea but didn't know what else to do, until Alisha squirmed her way out of the Doctor's arms and he blinked and blushed and cleared his throat and grimaced at her apologetically . . . Amy was grateful for Alisha's preparedness, and hoped she wouldn't need the gloves for much longer.
“Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man,” Amy started, clapping her hands together and reaching them out one at a time to meet Alisha's. “Bake me a cake as fast as you can. Roll it and pat it and mark it with a T and put it in the oven for the TARDIS and me—ow! What're you hitting me so hard for?”
Alisha scoffed. “Come on, I barely touched you.”
“Oh yeah?” Amy grinned. “Well, if that's the way you want to play . . .”
She slapped her hands against Alisha's as hard as she could and Alisha slapped back, giggling and dodging and shooting out her hands to smack Amy on the upper arm. Amy lunged forward, knocking Alisha, laughing, onto her side.
“Oi, what're you doing?” Alisha squawked as Amy pounced again, manhandling Alisha face-down across her lap and and pinning her in place with a forearm on her upper back, but not so tightly that she couldn't keep her face from grinding into the pebbles or shove off from the ground completely if she so chose. Alisha twisted to look over her shoulder at Amy, her eyes narrowed and burning with challenge as Amy flipped up the back of her coat and held her hand out over the seat of Alisha's skirt, giving her one last chance to get away before she brought her palm down with a sharp crack on her backside.
The impact ran through Alisha like a tremor and she cursed but did not try to push herself off of Amy's lap.
“You want another one?” Amy offered.
Amy gave her another spank, as hard as the first one.
“Is that all you've got?”
Amy tried unsuccessfully to scowl. “Mind your manners, young lady. I'm just getting warmed up. Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can,” Amy recited, giving Alisha's rump a good wallop with every stressed syllable. “Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a B, will Alisha have trouble explaining the bruises on her arse to Simon when he gets back? Wait and see!”
Alisha was laughing so hard by this point that Amy had difficulty landing the last few strokes, so she gave her several more solid blows to make up for it before declaring her good and spanked.
“Come on,” Amy said, shrugging her legs to shake Alisha off of them.
Alisha pushed up off her lap and sat back on her heels, wincing. She shifted her weight so that her bottom pressed directly into the heaped drifts of pebbles and sighed with relief; lumpy though they were, the cold felt good on her heated flesh. She then grunted as Amy dropped herself forcefully across her lap.
“Yeah? You sure you're up for it?”
“Oh yeah, Miss Posh. Show me what you've got.”
Alisha raised her hand and Amy closed her eyes and squirmed in anticipation, then froze at the sound of a very loud and deliberate cough.
The girls looked up to see the Doctor standing a few metres away, with Simon and Rory behind him and the TARDIS a short distance behind them.
“Rory,” said Amy. “Doctor. I didn't hear you all land.”
“The boys wanted to surprise you so I snuck up, did it River's way. Having fun?”
“Oh, you know.” Amy waggled her head without removing herself from Alisha's thighs.
“Been there a while, then?” Alisha asked politely.
“Not,” Rory started, then trailed off as his jaw did not appear to want to shut.
“Long,” Simon finished for him, his eyes similarly wide.
“Hmm,” the Doctor agreed, his face behind the fist once again covering his mouth looking more affectionate than mollified or exasperated.
Alisha looked down at Amy. “Amy, would you mind taking this inside the weird blue time machine?”
“Not at all,” Amy answered, pushing herself up onto her knees and dusting her hands on her tights. She looked sidelong at their chaps, all still staring at them from across the pebbled ground. “Then maybe, if they're all good boys, we'll think about letting somebody else have a go.”