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It Takes Time

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~Denial~

Rory couldn't believe the Doctor was real. He had been so ready to settle down with Amy, and then here comes the Doctor swooping down out of the sky with his time machine and his stupid handsome punchable face. He had thought the Doctor was a character that Amy had created for *him*. Rory had thought the Doctor was him, and then he had to go and be bloody real.

 

 

 

~Anger~

Rory was furious. The Doctor had kissed Amy. Well, to be fair Amy had kissed the Doctor, but he was still mad. He saw how Amy looked at the Doctor. She was infatuated with him, even as she was in love with Rory. Rory had never thought he would be the jealous type, but he couldn't stand it when Amy flirted with the Doctor. It was ridiculous, and Amy always looked at him like he was crazy whenever he brought it up.

He felt so out of place whenever the Doctor and Amy were in the room together. He felt unwanted, forgotten, the newbie, the slowpoke, the third wheel and he was Amy's husband for God's sake! The problem was that for as long as he could remember, Rory had wanted a home and a family, stability. But Amy wanted freedom and adventure, an escape from their tiny town.

And here comes the man in the blue box to offer everything Amy's ever wanted, just like Rory never could. He hated the Doctor, hated his smug little face and how he had just blundered into their lives and so perfectly destroyed everything he'd tried so hard to build. It was after a particularly stressful adventure where Amy and the Doctor had flirted quite a good deal that Rory managed to corner the Doctor in the library.

"You can't keep doing this." Rory said. The Doctor looked up and turned around slowly.

"Doing what?"

"You know exactly what I mean." Rory growled. The Doctor narrowed his eyes at Rory.

"For the record I didn't do anything. If you have a problem with something I suggest you take it up with Amy." The Doctor's words were light, but his eyes stabbed daggers.

"You don't think I have?! She thinks it's just a game! She thinks I'm taking it too seriously!" Rory snaps.

"I am doing my best, Rory! She won't leave me alone, I don't know how much longer I can take it!" The Doctor is pacing now, he runs a hand through his hair shakily. Rory knew the Doctor was attracted to Amy, he had seen the way he looked at her.

"Well she's my wife! Just ignore her!" Rory is aware on some level how childish he sounds but he can't be bothered to care right now.

"I'm trying! Do you know how hard she is to ignore!?" As a matter of fact Rory does, but that doesn't do anything to ease his torment.

"I waited for her! 1,894 years! Do you have any idea how long that is!?" Rory steps into the Doctor's space, bristling.

"Yes! Yes I do! I'm a Time Lord in case you'd forgotten!" The Doctor's eyes are blazing as he shoves Rory away from him. Rory stumbles but recovers just as quickly. Rory lunges forward and grabs onto the Doctor's lapels, shoving him backwards into the wall.

"Do you!? Do you really!? Because I don't think you do! As much as you say you know about time, you really know nothing at all! You skip over all the boring bits, you have no patience, but guess what!? Those are all parts of the human experience! You'll never truly understand what it means to wait, what it does to a person, the loneliness, the silence year after year as you sit alone in front of a bloody box! I waited for her, but she waited for you! I'm always chasing after her and she is always running after you!" As Rory finished his tirade the Doctor's eyes softened and he frowned.

"Oh, Rory..." Rory stared at the Doctor.

"Sweet, broken, brave Rory..." The Doctor just looked terribly sad all of a sudden. And Rory finally allowed himself to break down.

"And you... You never had to wait at all, she would follow you to the end of the Earth and you didn't have to do anything at all..." In the sudden absence of yelling the library was quiet except for their heavy breathing. The Doctor was looking at him with such a strange unreadable fondness and sadness. The Doctor's face was flushed red and just then Rory realized how close their faces were.

Rory found himself looking at the Doctor's lips and before he realized what he was doing he leaned in and pressed his lips against the Doctor's. The Doctor gasped and went stock still. Rory took the chance and slipped his tongue into the Doctor's mouth when he gasped. Then the Doctor sprung into action.

He suddenly came alive against Rory and all at once he was returning the kiss and running his hands down Rory's back, pulling him closer. Rory threaded his fingers into the Doctor's hair. Rory tried to explore every nook and cranny of the Doctor's mouth as their tongues tangled together.

The Doctor was warm pressed against the wall and Rory could feel him getting hard. This snapped him out of his reverie and he jerked back from the Doctor, breaking the kiss. The Doctor looked utterly debauched with his hair all ruffled and his face all flushed and his kiss swollen lips. Rory tried to adjust to hide his own erection. The Doctor looked at Rory with such surprise in his eyes. Rory cleared his throat.

"I, uh. Yeah." He stuttered then turned and fled from the library and the Doctor's piercing eyes.

 

 

 

~Bargaining~

For days afterwards it was terribly awkward. Rory tried to avoid being in the same room as the Doctor whenever possible. And whenever they did have to interact, neither of them could meet the other's eyes. Amy filled most of the uncomfortable silences but Rory thinks she noticed the lack of conversation between the two. Neither of them bring it up, but it looms over Rory's head like a dark cloud.

He has no idea what possessed him to go and do that. Something in him just short-circuited at the feeling of the Doctor being so close and so free for the taking. Rory doesn't know what to do, there he was complaining about Amy flirting with the Doctor, when all of a sudden he goes and kisses him. Rory feels like he's drowning in the guilt. Rory wishes suddenly that he had never met the Doctor.

If only he had just let them be, then none of this would have ever happened, and he and Amy would be married happily at home with no fascinating alien to come between them. That night he flings himself into Amy's open arms and tries to forget about the kiss entirely.

 

 

 

~Depression~

Once Rory told the Doctor that he was dangerous because he made others want to impress him. Rory meant the comment to be about Amy, but he knew because it happened to him. It happened to all of the Doctor's companions. He wasn't naive enough to pretend that there hadn't been others before them, and he knew there would be others after them.

He knew that bad things happened to those who kept company with the Doctor and he knew that he should be very afraid to even be around the man. But that was the problem. He wasn't. The Doctor was magnetic. He came into your life and threw your whole world view out of whack, and you couldn't go back to the way it was before. You could be firmly planted with both feet on the ground for years, but there was always a part of you that got left behind up in the stars, wishing.

Even if you pretended, you never really stopped looking over your shoulder hoping that one day the Doctor would appear and take you away again. Amy had been living her whole life one foot out the door, waiting for the Doctor even if she really didn't believe he would show up. Rory had been frustrated by it, but now he understood the feeling, and he just felt empty. It was so much easier if you hated him. Hate was simple. But he couldn't. He couldn't hate the Doctor.

He had spent too much time with him, seen his dark side that he usually kept hidden behind a mask of humor and quirkiness. Rory saw how sad he was, how lonely. He saw how angry he was at the unfairness of the world. He didn't know everything about the Doctor, but he could guess more than most about his past. He saw how gentle the Doctor was with children, how he tried so hard to comfort them and protect them. Sometimes he would look into the Doctor's eyes and see how very old and how very alone he was.

But despite everything that happened, despite everyone he had lost, all of the times he had been scorned and betrayed by the universe the Doctor was still so very kind. Always trying to save and protect, with a ruthlessness that scared Rory sometimes. He saw how the Doctor hated his enemies for what he saw reflected in himself, anger and violence, and how the Doctor feared that he would become the very things that he fought against.

The Doctor never wanted to hurt anyone, his very name was the healer, but he could never stand by and let other beings hurt people either. The Doctor always had to choose whether to hurt others to save the ones he loved or to be merciful and watch as the very ones he had spared destroyed everything he cared for. He saw how the Doctor chose to protect every time, and how it tore him up inside every time to do so.

Rory saw his recklessness, saw how he dove into battle with no regard for himself. Saw the look in his eyes that showed he had nothing left to lose. Because that's what the Doctor did, he ran and he fought and he saved, over and over again, never asking for gratitude. He wanted to help, and Rory knew that the Doctor was in part trying to make up for all the mistakes he had made and all the pain he had caused.

Knew that the Doctor was the Doctor's worst enemy, that he would never truly forgive himself. Rory couldn't hate the Doctor, he understood him too well. Rory felt so conflicted and confused.

He felt guilty for cheating on Amy, jealous of the Doctor for being so easily everything Amy wanted, afraid that Amy would leave him for the Doctor, overwhelming love for Amy, a concerning amount of fondness for the Doctor that he refused to analyze, useless and terrified that something would happen to the two people he had come to care about most and that he wouldn't be able to stop it.

He felt paralyzed by all of his thoughts pulling him in different directions. Amy and the Doctor had always been the ones to charge into a situation fearlessly, and they were always so clever. They could think on their feet, Rory had never been as good at that. Rory never felt brave when he was facing down whatever week's alien terror was. He would jump in front of any number of threats to save the ones he loved but he was always terrified.

There was nothing heroic about him. He just tried his best to keep everyone safe. He liked plans and stability, and he was always the one questioning whatever hairbrained scheme the Doctor had come up with this time. He liked to think he was practical, but more and more he had realized that practicality wasn't really a helpful trait when faced with these kinds of things.

For all things considered, the Doctor's plans shouldn't work like they do, but he always manages to pull through. The Doctor really is a madman in a box, but Rory has come to realize that maybe you have to be a little mad to survive what they do. Sometimes he doesn't know why the Doctor still tries to help everyone when the universe is constantly beating him down. The Doctor doesn't even like himself, he just loves life so much that he keeps on protecting it.

The Doctor's able to see the beauty in everything but himself. Maybe that's why Rory jumped in front of the gun when that lizard lady tried to kill the Doctor. Later he learned that apparently he had died and been erased from existence, only to be reborn as a Roman robot. He still wasn't sure about the details of all of that mess. But he had died for the Doctor. He saw that the Doctor was in danger and he acted on impulse, pushing him out of harm's way.

He can't lie to himself any longer, he cares for the Doctor. Just like he cares for Amy. It's shockingly similar in its feeling, and he thinks that maybe just maybe he loves the Doctor. But can he love both? Is that even right? He was raised to believe you should only ever love one person, and anything else is cheating, but can he have them both? Will they even have him after all this? He feels dark and empty. But he knows he can never respect himself if he doesn't at least make the effort. Amy at least deserves to know, and to judge him  knowing full well what he did.

 

 

 

~Acceptance~

Rory seeks her out in their bedroom. Amy is getting ready for bed, picking out her clothes for tomorrow.

"Amy." He starts unsure of how to begin. Amy stops what she's doing and turns to face him at his serious tone.

"I need to tell you something." His stomach twists with apprehension and he makes himself meet her curious eyes.

"What is it?" Amy senses his nerves and goes to him, placing a comforting hand on his arm. He hesitates and looks at her. Finally he furrows his brow and squeezes his eyes closed.

"I kissed the Doctor." It comes out fast, almost as one word. It takes her a moment to decipher what he said. His eyes are still shut tightly as he waits for her to pull her hand away in disgust.

"Oh." She finally says. Her hand stays decidedly there on his arm. Rory opens his eyes. She's looking at him with an unreadable expression, but she doesn't look upset.

"Oh?" He repeats. Rory waits nervously for her next words.

"That would explain this last week." She finally says. She seems to be thinking, her eyes going distant and considering.

"I love you, Amy. You know that. But I think I might also love the Doctor. Is that even possible?" Rory speaks earnestly and his voice catches on the last word. He swallows against the unexpected constriction in his throat. Amy is suddenly looking at him with an adoring grin on her face.

"Oh, you great bloody idiot. Get your stupid face down here." Then she pulls him in for a kiss. When she pulls away Rory is stunned.

"Of course it's possible! I love both of you two, don't I?" She smiles at the look on his face.

"So you're okay with it then?" Rory is still amazed at how well this is going. Once again he is struck by how lucky he is to have Amelia Pond in his life.

"Yes, you big doof! Now go talk it out with the Doctor!" Amy spins him around and gives him a push out the door. Rory feels like he's flying. Rory has no idea where the Doctor might even be in the ship, but he strides down the hallway confidently. He feels like he's bouncing lightly on the air. Love really is the best kind of drug.

He thinks maybe he'll check in the library, but when he turns the corner to where the library should be it is an entirely unfamiliar hallway. There is an out of place looking wooden door that stands out against the metal walls and he goes up to it. This must be the Doctor's room. The TARDIS must have led him here.

"Thanks." He pats the wall once. Then he knocks on the door. There's a brief sound of clanging about before the door is yanked open. The Doctor pokes his head out.

"Rory!" He looks considerably surprised and then his brow wrinkles in confusion.

"How did you find me?" He looks at Rory intently.

"I, uh... The TARDIS." He stutters, pointing upwards. The Doctor turns slightly away from Rory.

"Why would you do that? No, of course I'm not avoiding him! Oh shut it, you." He mutters at the TARDIS. Rory raises his eyebrows. The Doctor turns back.

"Sorry about that. What was it you wanted?" The Doctor was acting normally enough, but Rory could recognize the trepidation in his eyes. He wasn't sure how Rory was going to react, and he was nervous.

"I just wanted to talk." Rory said. Now that he was actually facing the Doctor all his previous confidence seemed to evaporate.

"Oh, uh rightio then! Come on in." The Doctor darted back into his room and Rory followed. Rory looked around, closing the door slowly behind him. It was a very large room, panelled in wood and with a chaotic theme. There were several mismatched tables covered with various machine parts around the room. Many clashing colors and patterns on the walls and carpeting fought for his eyes' attention and there seemed to be decorations picked up from every place and time period lining the room.

It was surprising and at the same time exactly what he had expected from the Doctor if he was being completely honest with himself. The Doctor was wiping his hands off with a cloth across the room.

"Dont mind the clutter, I like to keep busy. Make yourself at home!" The Doctor called out. Rory looked around and picked out a fancy looking cushiony chair to sit on. The room was kind of cozy, in a weird hoarding way. Then the Doctor made his way across the room and sat down on a long chaise lounge like thing.

"So... What did you want to talk about?" Some of the Doctor's nerves finally showed on his face and Rory suspected that he knew exactly what Rory wanted to talk about.

"That kiss." Rory jumps right to the heart of the matter. The Doctor tenses.

"Right. Yes. Well. Um, what about it?" The Doctor is keeping his face carefully neutral, eyes flickering over Rory's face trying to get a read on the situation.
For some reason this angers Rory.

"Don't do that." He snaps.

"Do what?" The Doctor looks genuinely confused now.

"That! Where you hide all of your emotions away behind a mask so nobody can hurt you!" The Doctor is stunned.

"I. Uh. You noticed?" The Doctor finally asks and he sounds so shocked.

"Of course I noticed! You do it whenever you're afraid of what other people might think!" Rory is exasperated.

"No one's ever noticed before..." The Doctor says softly and he's gazing at Rory as if he is a falling star. Something wonderful and pure. Rory stumbles under that look and the way the Doctor seems so surprised that someone bothered to look closer breaks his heart.

"Look, I meant that kiss. I had a lot on my chest but I meant it. You're a great man, and you do so much good in this world. Even if you can't tell, you touch so many lives and you've made a difference. I know you're used to saving everyone, but just this once let someone else take care of you." The Doctor was staring at Rory with burning intensity and Rory could swear he saw galaxies twinkling in those eyes.

Then the Doctor stood up and bridged the distance between the two, his mouth colliding with Rory's. It's rough and urgent, their mouths moving against each other's purposefully. The Doctor presses Rory into the chair and Rory's legs are suddenly between the Doctor's knees as the Doctor takes charge of the kiss. Rory is suddenly glad he is sitting down, because he doubts that he could have remained standing.

Rory opens his mouth and the Doctor licks his way into his mouth. Rory presses back and returns the favor, their slick tongues trailing along each other. He nips a little at the Doctor's lip, drawing a tiny gasp out of him. The Doctor pulls away and nips at Rory's neck, leaving Rory a panting mess.

Then he begins to lick and kiss his way up along Rory's jaw, sucking a hickey into Rory's neck. Rory tugs on the Doctor's hair, pulling him up to make eye contact with him. The Doctor's pupils are blown wide and Rory can only think one thing as he looks at him.

"I love you." A sharp inhale from the Doctor, who looks like he has just gotten the most wonderful news.

"I love you too."

 

 

~~~~~~

 

 

A month later Rory still can't quite believe what he's seeing when he wakes up. Amy is on one side of him, and the Doctor is on the other. Well, more like Amy has curled up in a tiny ball with all the blankets and the Doctor has draped more than half himself on top of Rory, but still, waking up to the two people he loves next to him is still such a wonderful shock and he hopes he never stops being surprised.

He watches the two of them sleeping peacefully and wonders what he ever did to deserve the love of these two beautiful people. Rory reaches out and gently entwines his fingers with Amy's, smiling when she squeezes back unconsciously. He strokes her hand with his thumb in time to his petting of the Doctor's hair.

The Doctor slowly stirs and cracks open one eye, blinking blearily at Rory, but he sighs at the soothing feeling of Rory's hand in his hair and closes his eyes again, nuzzling into Rory's chest. Amy rolls over and almost on top of Rory.

Amy blinks awake at the commotion as Rory scrambles to avoid being rolled onto. The Doctor grumbles something unintelligible and flops onto Rory more. Rory gives Amy a helpless look as the Doctor cuddles him. Amy laughs and leans over to give Rory a quick peck on the lips.

"Morning, boys." Amy smiles at them fondly and Rory feels all mushy and warm inside.

"Morning, Ponds." The Doctor mumbles against Rory's chest. Rory slips out from under the Doctor and pads out to the kitchen that the TARDIS had helpfully generated a few weeks ago. He starts the kettle and puts some bread in the toaster. When he returns to the bedroom he finds the Doctor and Amy curled up together. Smiling like the lovesick idiot he is he shakes them awake.

"Hey, breakfast's ready." Rory says. The Doctor rolls over and sits up grudgingly while Amy snatches some toast with jam from the tray. Rory presses a cup of tea into the Doctor's hands. Once the Doctor sips his tea a couple times he finally looks up at Rory.

"Good morning to you, too." Rory says, kissing him on the lips. The Doctor smiles.

 

And so Rory finally found his family and his home. Amy had plenty of adventures with her boys at her side. And the Doctor found two humans who evened him out in all the right ways, and none of them were lonely ever again.