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As Melted Snow Forgets its Life

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It's always snowing in her dreams of him.

He, however, changes every time.  Last night he was a child, tugging at the already too-short cuffs on his Raggedy Doctor shirt, while the night before he looked the way he did the day he joined her on the TARDIS.  He'd even visited her as the one from the dream of Upper Leadworth a few nights before that (she'd teased him mercilessly about the ponytail; dream or not, it was dreadful and he should be ashamed of such a lapse in judgement).  It's like flipping through a disorganized stack of photographs, never knowing which version of him will show up next, terrified of the night she runs out of new ones and wondering if that will mean these precious dreams will stop altogether.

Tonight might be one of her favorites.  He can't be older than seventeen, and he's wearing that just-slightly-too-long haircut all boys seem to have at that age, the one he'd been so convinced made him look mysterious and rock-and-roll but really just made him look even more like the half-child he was.  Just like the child last night, this one toys with the cuffs of his jumper as he stares at her, his best friend-who-is-a-girl who has only very recently (for him), very suddenly, become a Girl, which seems to excite and terrify him at the same time.  

This is her favorite one, she decides; this is the boy he'd been when she first realized that she just might be in love with him.

“Hello, Rory.”  The words come out as nearly a whisper.

He blinks for a few seconds.  “Oh,” he says, as if he's only just realized it's him she's talking to.  “Er, all right, Amy?”  He's smiling that nervous crooked Rory smile she knows so well, and she wants to laugh and cry and scream because she recognizes it at all, because she remembers here.  Every wonky facial expression, every smell, every strangled little nervous sound, is as vivid to her as it ever was, and it kills her to know that all these memories, even the memory of having these dreams in the first place, will evaporate the moment she opens her eyes.

But not the love
, she thinks.  Never the love.

“Hey, what is it, what's wrong?”  Nervous teenager or not, Rory's always been good at springing into action the moment she shows the slightest sign of sadness; it's his caregiver instinct, she thinks, the one that will lead him, when he's not much older than he is here before her, to nursing.  He rushes to her, pressing one hand to her face as he uses his thumb to wipe away tears she didn't even notice coursing down her cheeks.  His fingers are warm, a welcome rest from the cold air and snowflakes biting her skin; she leans into them slightly, causing the teenage boy's breath to hitch at the comfortable affection she shows him with that tiny gesture.

“Are you... is there anything I can do?”  He stutters.  The moment where it occurs to him that his hand is still on her face is obvious and more than a little adorable; he quickly removes it, shoving both into his pockets as he adopts a slouch that's just so Rory that Amy cracks a smile through her tears.  “What?”  He asks, but it's no use trying to explain.

She wipes at her nose delicately with one sleeve before grabbing a handful of the bottom of his hoodie.  “Kiss me, you idiot,” she says, half-laughing even through her tear-choked voice.  

Not needing to be told twice, he does so; at first he's still every bit the teenager, awkwardly mashing his lips against hers exactly the way she remembers he used to, but then his hands move to cup her face as he deepens the kiss, and then she feels him quickly familiarize himself with their rhythm until he's rivaling the best kisses he and Amy have ever had (that we ever had at all, a small, sad voice in her points out with a note of finality).  She feels like wrapping herself up in him like a blanket, melting into him like one of the snowflakes mingling with the hot tears on her cheeks, but the best she can manage is clinging to his jumper and putting all of herself into the kiss.

All too soon, it's over, and she is left pressed against his chest, burrowing her face into the soft, striped fabric.  “I'll remember this time,” she says firmly.  If she remembers when she wakes up, some illogical part of her has decided, it's a sign, proof that the Doctor will be able to save the day and bring Rory back to her after all.  “I promise.”

“No you won't,” says Rory softly in her ear, lightly stroking her hair as he holds her against him.  “But thanks for trying anyway.”

“I'm sorry.”

“It's okay,” he says.  “I forgive you.”

She doesn't have a response to that, but he doesn't need one.  She holds him tighter, though, as if it will help her ward off morning as huddling into his warmth wards off the bitter cold of the snow.