Waking to clutter all over the house was not what Amy Pond signed up for. It was everywhere and perhaps it might have been somewhat tolerable were it actually for something. Unfortunately, this was just another one of the Doctor’s rubbish “projects” that excited him for a few minutes or hours or occasionally days until he dismissed it as rubbish and started on something else.
Standing in her nightie, Amy surveyed the scene. Their kitchen wasn’t much – a little block of space separated from the living area by a long bench. It had a unit full of the kind of gadgets which she had first thought were pretty cool (that one not only baked the cake, but iced it, too!) but now made her roll her eyes, because humankind’s foray into the stars consisted of petty advancements like automatic cake machines but they were still lugging around the same old, age-old, baggage they had foisted on her generation … which was what, about four hundred years ago now?
She closed her eyes tightly as if, when reopening them, everything would go away. While unsurprised, she managed to still be bitterly disappointed to find everything was precisely as she saw it last. Well, not exactly. It might have grown worse.
The sink was rendered useless because a long, ribbed pipe was taped to the nozzle and linked up to a colander. Each hole in the metal instrument was then linked up to tiny blue or purple cables, which in turn twisted in inventive patterns to connect to other items – among them, a few empty but unwashed tins of beans, a pair of reflective glasses and an ancient VHS player. That bloody VHS player! The Doctor was obsessed with it. Every time she happened upon another invention of his that VHS player emerged and was connected to something else in some other way. Was it ever used to actually play tapes? Oh no! And when Amy had actually found an original copy of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland on VHS in the back of a twelfth-hand shop while searching for a pair of stainless-steel coat hooks that were exactly the right size and shape the Doctor needed and dare suggest they use the VHS player as a VHS player and watch a video, the Doctor had the nerve to look faintly offended and told her it was too ‘delicate’ for that.
It was around that time Amy stopped helping him source crap for his inventions.
Amongst the prototype occupying the kitchen was also their automatic vacuum unit, newly disassembled, along with a really nice belt she’d found a few days ago. Amy gave a cry and bent down to pick it up. It was faintly slimy and all the metal had been picked off it. She threw it back down and kicked a few bits of junk out of the way on her way to the refrigeration unit. As expected, the Doctor had eaten a little and a lot of everything and there was nothing for her.
Enough was enough.
Amy didn’t expect a tidy housemate. She knew he was vague and incapable of that. She didn’t care that she had to pick her way around rubbish that he toyed with and promptly forgot about; she anticipated this. But constantly finding the kitchen an atrocity or the bathroom a crime scene every morning was just too much for her.
She banged hard on the bathroom door. “Doctor! Doctor!”
“Just be a minute, Pond!” He sang out above the sound of the water and the steam. “Just got to finish up by fingers, covered in mucky stuff.”
Oh no. She knew how long he could spend in there. He could lose hours! Amy marched into his bedroom, banged open the door, and swung her arm around the side. His coat hung from a peg. She reached into his inside pocket and withdrew a yo-yo, a piece of fruitcake and a reddish-gold rock before finding the sonic.
“Point and think,” she said aloud with almost frightening calm and determination. The door lock sprang open and Amy thrust open the door.
The Doctor saw her right away. And she saw him, and as she did every other time she burst in unannounced she made sure she enjoyed a good, hard look at his full nakedness. It was worth it every time. He was built exactly like a human man, at least on the outside, and a very well-proportioned human man at that. The first few times she had honed all attention purely on what hung between his legs, but now she preferred to soak up those other little details. She soft trail of hair between his groin and navel, the exact shape of his buttocks, the path the droplets of water took from torso to toes … all these things, and more, she willed to memory.
For his part, the Doctor cared nothing for nudity. He never seemed to care that she had seen him undressed, only that she had interrupted him and intended to distract with questions or demands. When she commented on his apparent lack of propriety, he just made that face he made when he grouped her in with the dullest of humanity. Naked bodies held no interest for him, so he said. And yet Amy noticed he never managed to walk in on her when she was indecent … even when she left the door wide open. No, he lurked outside and knocked.
And so it was that many of their conversations seemed to be had with the him nude. Amy would never, ever, tire of that.
“Showering, Pond.” The Doctor scrubbed his fingers with a small red brush. He shot her a disapproving glance from underneath wet locks of flopping brown hair. “We’ve had this conversation.”
Amy crossed her arms and pursed her lips. She gestured with her eyes toward the rest of the house, toward the kitchen. The penny would drop, sooner or later.
It did. The Doctor went back to his fingernails, obviously counting on her going away even though she never did without saying her piece. So he tried to give it some thought, what might’ve bothered Amelia today? Then he looked up, brush stalling. “Ah. Kitchen. Yes.” He quickly pushed back his hair. “Sorry, Pond.”
“Sorry?! I have to be at work in ten minutes and now I’m gonna have to buy a coffee on the way, and my lunch later, because you ate through everything again. I even bought things you said you didn’t like so you wouldn’t be tempted!”
“The Mycejian spread!”
“Is that the speckled orange stuff?”
“Oh I quite liked this. Good with chicken.”
“Good with - ?!” Oh, it didn’t matter. She shook her head quickly and rolled her eyes. “Whatever! Point is, you live here with me now. You don’t live on a magical spaceship that cleans up after you or has infinite space to muck up. And if you’re gonna eat things, you should leave me something or at least do a spot of shopping once in awhile!”
He looked deeply hurt. “I shop!”
“You brought back five bags of limoncello ice cream!”
That got a little smile out of him. A guilty smile, but ultimately one which regretted nothing. “…good stuff.”
“You were sick everywhere,” Amy pointed out. She was never going to forget the exact shade of yellow he brought up… Even so, that memory, and the Doctor’s admission, softened her. “Just … think, a bit more, thanks.”
“Yes Pond. Of course, Pond. And, ah, Amelia..?”
The gentle prompting took a moment to sink in. Then Amy coughed softly, looking up from where she had been gazing at a fat, lazy stream of water snaking its way down his thigh. She snapped her gaze to his and gave him an unrepentant smirk, then turned on her heel to allow him to enjoy the rest of his shower in peace.
Amy spent the next few minutes hurrying around the flat, trying to gather up her things. For all her criticisms of the Doctor’s habits she really couldn’t talk – she wasn’t the neatest of people, either, but at least her junk was somewhere in the normal spectrum.
Three months ago, a virus entered the TARDIS’ console. The Doctor still hadn’t really explained how it had gotten there and she was pretty sure ‘virus’ was just a dumbed-down word to give her some idea of what had happened, and the real cause had nothing to do with a virus at all. The result was that the TARDIS dematerialised before their eyes and, according to the Doctor, it wouldn’t be back for what equated to almost a full year on this planet. It had taken Amy a little while to get that information out of him. Losing the TARDIS had rendered him speechless and disconsolate for a long time.
So there they were. Marooned on Kepler-62f, one of the more successful human colonies, flung far into her personal timeline’s future. As far as marooning went it wasn’t so bad: they had the sonic and the psychic paper and were able to pass themselves off as legitimate citizens. When they could not precisely know when the TARDIS would return, the Doctor didn’t want to risk going too far. So they established themselves in Gypsum, and Amy got a job to pass the time and the Doctor …
The Doctor was impossible.
Realistically, Amy knew his very nature dictated this kind of restlessness. He mentioned to her that, during his Third regeneration, he’d been bound to Earth and he seemed to have occupied himself well enough then with UNIT. He hadn’t sought out such an organisation on Kepsix (as the locals liked to abbreviate it). Instead, his mandate seemed to be to drive her crazy in as many ways possible. Ways which included junk experiments that went nowhere, and the tendency to hold conversations completely naked…
Amy pulled on her brown aviator jacket and touched the frame by the front door. It had only been three months since they saw Vincent, but now, he’d been dead hundreds and hundreds of years. His work had not been forgotten. She tenderly straightened the print – a vase of sunflowers, with the tiny words inked nearby, just for her. Maybe they could go back and see him again right after the TARDIS came back and show him just how long-lived his works would be. They had even been moved off-world, so colonists galaxy-wide would be able to appreciate them. First masterpiece in space. She thought he’d like that.
In the bathroom, the Doctor had begun to sing. That was her cue to go. Amy widened her eyes in exasperation and wondered again how such a thing could have possibly happened, and sent a quick prayer to the universe that the TARDIS might come back to them soon.
A year was a very long time to share a flat with a madman in a box.