I'm from a world that's so different From all that you are How in the light of one night Did we come so far?
He takes them to Rio.
Well, he tells her that he is taking them to Rio. She's not sure she buys it, because it's not the first time he has promised her Rio and he has yet to deliver. Over nine-hundred years old and he still cannot figure out how to drive his own bloody time machine. And it's not as if they have a manual to turn to since apparently he tossed it into a supernova, because he disagreed with it. Typical bloke. It doesn't matter whether they are alien or human; when it comes down to it, they're all the same.
The TARDIS hums as she lands and the Doctor grins at her. "Welcome to Rio, Pond," he tells her.
"I'll believe it when I see it," she says, but grins at him.
"And see it you will…" he trails off. He looks at the screen and his eyes widen. "No. No, no, no. It isn't possible. How is it possible? There would have to be some sort of gap, some sort of hole, for it to be possible."
Amy stares at him for a moment. "For what to be possible?"
He pushes a finger to her lips. "Quiet, Amy, I'm thinking. How could there be a hole? Hole, hole, hole… unless the hole wasn't a hole. Unless the hole was a crack; one last crack in space," he mumbles and his eyes widen. "But that means…" He does not finish his sentence. Instead, he drops his hand from her lips, spins on his heel, and swings the TARDIS door open.
She stares at him, utterly confused. What did he mean by a crack in space? Like the crack from her bedroom wall? That's not possible. He didn't seem concerned enough for it to be some sort of problem; rushed, yes, but not concerned. But before she can think anything of it, her eye catches the screen displaying the outside. And there is a beach out there alright, but it does not seem warm, lively, sunny, and it definitely is not Rio.
Without another thought, she spins on her heel and chases after him. The moment she steps out the door, a chilly wind catches her hair. "Oi, Doctor!" she calls; she has absolutely no intention of letting him get off with this so easily. "This isn't Rio–" she stops midsentence when she notices a blonde woman, overwhelmed and as pale as the moon, staring at her.
Well, that's new. Why is she looking at her like that? Did she catch sight of the TARDIS appearing? That would be interesting to see the Doctor try to explain. But when Amy glances to her Doctor, he does not seem concerned. No, he almost seems surprised himself. But not in his usual manner; it's almost as if she's some sort of ghost come out of his past. It's almost the same look the blonde has. But why?
"Who is she?" Amy asks. She isn't upset, she isn't jealous; she is genuinely curious and the Doctor seems to know the answer.
Blondie laughs in this mad sort of way. "You always did like gingers."
Normally that would provoke some sort of response from Amy, a bafflement, and a comment asking what is with everyone's obsession with her bloody hair. (Yes, she is aware that it's red; it's not that big of a deal!) But there is something so lonely, so broken about the way Blondie says it, that it stops Amy. Though she cannot even be in her thirties yet, Blondie suddenly seems so very old. Young and old; it's almost like the Doctor. And it leaves Amy feeling rather young all of a sudden.
But there is a bit more to it than that. Blondie – what's her name? – seems familiar. Amy hasn't met her, that's for sure, but she knows this isn't the first time she has seen her face. Only, she cannot quite figure out where from. And it's not as if her Doctor is being of any help at the moment.
"Go back inside, Amy," he says all of a sudden. His voice is a bit darkened and almost panicked, as if he's worried that she might be in danger.
"What?" she protests, because she doesn't actually think this blonde woman is a threat. "Why – "
"Amelia," he says seriously; it's not a tone he often takes with her. "Go back inside the TARDIS."
Still, Doctor or not, she's always hated being told what to do. A scowl tugs at her lips and she glares at him, half tempted to tell him to sod off, because she will do as she very well pleases, thank you very much. But there is something about the presence of this blonde woman that stops her, because Amy thinks it might be all about her. She doesn't know why, but she does not think it's because Blondie is a threat. There is something too kind, too broken, too lonely about her and it reminds Amy a bit of her Doctor.
"Fine," she snaps and pushes past him into the TARDIS; just because she understands, does not mean she is happy about it. She slams the door shut, just to warn that Doctor that he has some serious explaining to do when this is all done.
Once she's inside, she stands with her back against the door and crosses her arms. Through the door she can hear Blondie make some comment about Amy being fiery. It's not harsh or judgemental; it'is casual and almost friendly. And despite her annoyance, Amy smiles a bit. She seems nice enough.
Her smile fades quickly, though, because her eyes land on TARDIS monitor. It's not the main one, but rather one that sits off to the side. She has only used it once, but that's all it takes because suddenly she just knows where she has seen this woman before.
It didn't surprise her when he admitted that she wasn't the first one to travel him. He was over nine-hundred years old, after all; he'd been at this for quite some time. And he was a bloke and if there was one thing she could count on, it was that a bloke would always be a bloke. But his admission did, however, make her curious. Who were these other girls?
Unfortunately for her, he didn't seem to want her to know.
Unfortunately for him, when Amy set her mind on something, she didn't stop until she got it. "Well, this big, old machine must have some kind of visual record."
"No, no, no. And anyway, they're voice locked," he turned away from her and crossed his arms over his chest as if he really thought that'd stop her.
"Oh, voice locked," Amy mocked him. "So I would just have to," she shrugged, "say 'show me all visual records of previous TARDIS inhabitants'?"
"No, no, no," he grinned smugly, believing that she actually didn't understand what voice locked meant (for such a genius, he was so unbelievably gullible). "I mean voice locked; I would have to say 'show me all visual records of previous TARDIS inhabitants.'"
"Aww," she grinned playfully, "thank you," she said before she turned back to the monitor, a smirk on her lips. She heard him yell in opposition, but it was too late: they were all there, each pretty, young girl flashing before her.
It's so obvious that Amy cannot believe she missed it before. Of course Blondie used to travel with the Doctor; why else would she look at him like that? She's older, lonelier and more pained, but she is definitely one of them; Amy does not doubt it for a moment. But what was her bloody name?
She rushes to the TARDIS controls. "Show me all records of previous TARDIS inhabitants!" The space ship does not respond. "Okay, how about: show me all previous records of just her?" Not even a murmur. "Of course not," she mumbles. It can never be that easy, can it? Damn Doctor.
Not that that it is going to stop her; oh no. She all but runs back to the door, because this is something she has to see, someone she has to meet. After all, Amy deserves to know this blonde companion. She knew the Doctor before Amy; the past Doctor. What was he like? She wonders because he could not have always been this… ridiculous.
But the moment her fingers brush against the handle, she hears the Doctor and he sounds so nervous, so panicked that she cannot help herself. She presses her ear against the door. "I did... you know. It wasn't a lie. The other me, he did. I still do, in a different sort of way. You're special Rose. And I – "
"Stop," Blondie's – Rose's – voice cracks slightly. "You don't… you don't have to say any more." And her voice is so disappointed, so hurt that even Amy can tell what she was hoping to hear.
She lets the handle go, but does not move, and simply stares at the door, unsure of what to do. Amy already knew the Doctor travelled with others before her; she doesn't even doubt that some of them have fallen in love with him. But to expect him to say it? She can't even begin to imagine it. But Rose clearly did and it makes Amy wonder exactly how different the Doctor was before she knew him.
"Just…" Rose's voice lingers in the air for a moment and Amy really has to push her ear against door to hear. "I'd like to speak with Amy. For a moment or two."
"I don't think—"
Oh, like hell he'll stop it!
Rose's words are all the confirmation she needs and Amy swings the TARDIS door open. She puts her hands on her hips and she gives him a look that dares him to try and finish his sentence. "What? Am I seven again?" she rolls her eyes; as if he even had that much control of her then. "Of course she can talk to me," she sends Rose a knowing look. It's obvious that Amy has been listening, so there is no point in hiding it. Besides, it's not as if she would do it any differently if she could.
"Shut it, old man," she snaps; as much as he likes to mention his age, she knows he's grown accustomed to his young body. She steps down from the TARDIS and motions for Rose to follow her. "And you," she points her fingers accusingly at her Doctor, "don't follow us." She uses the same tone of voice he does whenever he tells her to stay put; let him see how it feels now. "We need to have a womanly chat, you know woman-to-woman." He looks at her as if he will argue, but she knows he won't. There are plenty of things her Doctor tries to stop her from doing, and usually he's right, but not this time. He has no right to stop her and she knows that her Doctor knows that.
For the briefest of moments, Rose stares at them with a slightly startled look and it makes Amy wonder if things were different with them. Did Rose never tell him to sod off? Amy can't imagine not doing it; she is his companion, after all, and not his child. He can advise her all her likes, but that does not mean she'll let him control her. But before Amy can take a step away from her Doctor, a small but amused grin tugs at Rose's lips and she follows her away from the Doctor.
Amy slips off her shoes at the shore and steps into the ocean water. It may not be Rio, but she has a feeling that, with how her Doctor drives, it may very well be closest she gets to a beach anytime soon. "Feels good," she grins as Rose joins her. "What did you want to talk about?"
Rose does not hesitate, does not dance around the subject; she answers as directly Amy asks and she's grateful. "You love him, don't you." It's not a question.
Amy doesn't bother to contain her laughter. "Yeah. Right," she snorts. And perhaps it is because she has spent too much time around her Doctor, but she does not answer the question directly. "Who could love that bow tie wearing idiot?" A smile tugs at her lips; she doesn't think she will ever understand his obsession with that awful bow tie.
For the slightest of moments, Rose remains silent. She gives Amy this look, one crossed somewhere between sympathetic and knowing, but she speaks before Amy has the chance to question it. And when she speaks, there is no judgement in her voice, no bitterness, no accusations; she speaks so gently, so kindly, so honestly that Amy cannot help but hear her out.
"You will fall in love with him," she tells her. "We all do in the end. And he will love you back, for a time. It will be wondrous and beautiful and exciting; the most passionate love of your life. But, it will end. It always does. He will change into a person so like the Doctor, so mad and brilliant and honourable. But he will no longer be your Doctor, the Doctor you loved so fervently. He will no longer see you as he once did. And it will break your heart," Rose pauses for the slimmest bit of time, but continues before Amy can think of something to say in response. "I like you Amy. You're a smart girl. I know you won't listen," she smiles fondly, as if she wouldn't expect any different. "I know I wouldn't have. But I wouldn't have felt at ease without at least giving you some sort of warning."
Amy doesn't say anything, not at first at least. Her mind is too busy catching up, because she thinks she understands Rose and her relationship with the Doctor now. "Do you still love him?" And perhaps it is a bit hypocritical of her to ask after she avoided Rose's question, but she suddenly feels as if she has to know.
Thankfully, Rose seems to be too kind, too old, too honest to not answer her question. "Yes and no," she replies delicately. "I loved the Doctor, but not the man you know him as now. He was gentle and caring and more human than he liked to admit. And he looked at me … he looked at me as if I was every good thing in the universe. Like I mattered. No one had ever looked at me like that before. It's no wonder I fell madly in love with him. He was enchanting and exciting. He showed me extraordinary things. I lived more in the years I spent with him than I will the rest of my life."
Her voice is gentle, almost loving when she tells Amy her story. A fond smile tugs at her lips and her eyes brighten when she mentions her Doctor (her Doctor, Rose's Doctor; not Amy's) and she suddenly resembles the young girl whose photograph Amy saw in the TARDIS. She seems so alive, so happy. And Amy knows there are million other questions she could ask, that she probably should ask, but there is only one that she really cares to know the answer to.
"Do you regret loving him?"
Rose stares at her with a slightly surprised expression. "No," she replies and Amy believes her. "I won't regret it for as long as I live."
Amy doesn't say anything to her at first. She remains silent for a moment and turns her gaze toward the sky behind the sea. The sun is out, shining brightly down at them, but she can see a bit of the moon off to the side as well. It's distant, a bit faded, but it's definitely there. And she thinks it is a bit strange seeing them both at the same time when one belongs to the day and the other to the night; they're a part of two different worlds, really.
But still… still, it doesn't seem wrong, seeing the sun and the moon together, sharing the same sky. Because the life of the sun does not take away from the serenity of the moon, just as the maturity of the moon does not change the strength of the sun. They do not fight, do not try to take anything away from the other; they each seem to know their place. The sky is large, vast, endless, almost. And, somehow, there is some sort of harmony between the two, and it almost seems right seeing the two of them together, sharing their sky.
"Well then," a mischievous smile tugs at her lips, "I don't have anything to worry about, now do I?" She doesn't wait for Rose's response, but she doesn't think she needs to.
She leaves her at the shore and returns to the TARDIS. Her Doctor stands there, his hands in his pockets and his eyes on Amy. He's curious, she knows, but she doesn't think he'll ask about their conversation. It's not any of his business and she thinks he knows that.
"I like her, Doctor," Amy tells him. "Don't break her heart again. Give her the goodbye she deserves."
His eyes widen and he opens his mouth to say something, but she steps inside the TARDIS before he has the chance. She pulls the door shut behind her, this time closing it with a gentle click and walks to the control system. As curious as she is, she won't eavesdrop this time. Her Doctor may not be as human as Rose's, but Amy knows her Doctor and he is too kind to hurt her again. She trusts him to do Rose right.
It is a few minutes more before the door opens again and she catches sight of Rose. Amy smiles at her, softly but thankfully. Rose stares at her with a gentle, affectionate look in her eyes before she grabs the Doctor as he's about to step into the TARDIS. Amy doesn't hear what she says to him, but her Doctor's response rings loud and clear, even with his back turned towards her.
Finally, he slips through the doors and shuts it behind him. He doesn't linger, but he does return to the control system with a smile. Without another word, he sets their coordinates and pulls the lever, sending them away.
And when the TARDIS settles down and Amy knows they're floating through space, she turns to her Doctor and wraps her arms around him. It's her way of thanking him and she thinks he knows that; they have their own way of communicating, without words. Her returns her hug and pulls her closer to him.
"Hey," she mumbles.
He chuckles and pulls her back. "Amy Pond," he mumbles as his hands brush against either side of her head, "you are magnificent." He kisses her on the forehead and when he pulls back, he smiles at her in this bright and proud way, and she realises it's a smile he saves only for her.
"You know what would be even more magnificent?" A playful smirk tugs at her lips, "Rio. Think you can manage to get us there this time, Doctor?"
This time he laughs loudly. He turns back to the TARDIS and begins pushing coordinates in as he begins his normal rambles. But as she watches him, she doesn't hear him, because only a single thought runs through her head.
"It will be wondrous and beautiful and exciting; the most passionate love of your life. But, it will end. It always does."
She doesn't know what to make of Rose's warning. Because maybe she's right; maybe it's all temporary and he will leave her soon enough, just like all the others. But maybe Rose is wrong; there is always the chance that she'll be different, that he'll stay with her for the rest of her life. There's no way to be sure, but Amy is certain of one thing:''
She will never regret it.
Joined by the gods of fortune
Midnight and high noon, sharing the sky
We have been blessed, you and I
Sun and Moon, Miss Saigon