Rory rolled over, reached for Amy and found a warm spot where his wife should be. He cracked open one eye to see Amy by the door, holding a cricket bat in one hand while peering through the small opening in the door.
"Amy, what are you doing? And where did we get a cricket bat?" Rory asked.
"Your Uncle Hershel gave us a cricket set as a wedding gift. There's someone in the kitchen." The last two words were drowned out by a sudden clatter of pans. "I think it's burglars."
Rory sighed and got up, grabbing his dressing gown. "I don't think we need them. I've two guesses as to who's in the kitchen," he said as the fire alarm went off.
His guesses were correct.
They raced downstairs to find the Doctor and River in the once-neat kitchen, covered head to foot in batter. A pan on the stove was billowing smoke, and River was armed with a fire extinguisher. Flames licked around the covered pan before being buried beneath foam as River put out the fire. "I got it, honey!" River yelled over the noise.
The Doctor pulled out his sonic. "Where's the fire alarm?"
"In the hall! By the ..." The alarm cut off. "Stairs," River finished, then peered around the Doctor. "Hello, Mum. Dad."
"What on Earth are you two doing?" Amy asked, putting the cricket bat down as Rory palmed the batteries he'd taken from the fire alarm.
"We were just at a party on Xfrit. Third century, the pinnacle of King Rufan IX's reign and one of the prime eras of art and culture on the plant." The Doctor indicated his tuxedo and the elaborate evening gown that River wore, both liberally splashed with the results of their kitchen mishap. "We got a bit hungry and decided we wanted okonomiyaki, but decided that you two should have some as well!"
"A Japanese street food," River explained as she opened a window to air out the room. "The Doctor suggested taking you two to Osaka."
"But River suggested we cook for you here!" The Doctor whisked the top of the pan off to reveal a blackened cake. He scratched his nose. "Dear, I don't think it's suppose to turn out like that."
River leaned over the pan and jabbed at it with a fork. "No, it's a little overcooked, my love."
"Do either of you know how to cook properly?" Rory asked.
The Doctor scoffed. "I tutored Julia Child myself!"
"In which incarnation?" Amy took the pan and dumped the contents in the sink so she could wash it down the garbage disposal. Or tried in any case. It made a loud grinding sound, then began to bark. "Doctor, what did you do to the garbage disposal?"
"Improved it, Amelia Pond! Listen to that disposal purr!"
"It's literally purring!"
"Right." Rory threw up his hands and headed into the hall for his coat. "The chippy a couple blocks over is still open. River, let's go get everyone some food while the Doctor fixes our garbage disposal."
"Oh, come on, Dad," River coaxed. "You can do better than that. Why don't I drive the TARDIS to Osaka and pick up some street food there?"
"It's after midnight. Your mum and I are in our pyjamas, and I don't even want to know what you and the Doctor are covered in. Let's just get you some food, clean the kitchen up, and we need to head back to bed."
"Dad." River turned pleading eyes to him, and Rory felt something in his heart twist. He had no clue as to how old River was at that moment, they hadn't synced diaries or anything yet, but he could feel his daughter wrapping him neatly around her little finger. "Please? I really want to spend some time with you."
Rory firmly resolved not to give into those big, green eyes.
Twenty minutes later
"This is called takoyaki?" Amy stuffed another ball in her mouth and chewed. "It's good! Just don't tell me what's in it."
Rory worked on his okonomiyaki, which was really quite good. River and the Doctor hadn't been kidding when they had talked up the excellent street food in Japan. They stood near a stall in Osaka on a steamy August night in 2004, the Doctor and River in their ruined evening clothes, and Amy and Rory in their pyjamas and dressing gowns. They only drew a few stares and whispers. "What's in takoyaki?" Rory whispered to River.
"Octopus," she replied, and Rory decided it was wise not to mention it to Amy.