Gasping for air, Amelia Williams stumbled into the TARDIS, her head spinning frantically to the two men who should’ve been behind her.
After a puff of smoke dissipated through the doors, the familiar silhouette of a man appeared in the doorway.
“I’m here, Amelia,” the Doctor coughed, finally coming into full view, tweed jacket, bowtie and all.
“Where’s Rory?” her question clearly alarmed her friend, whose green eyes grew wide.
“Rory! Always with the Rory!” He huffed, twirling around in circles, hands flapping about in front of him. “I thought he was with you!”
“Ugh. Doctor, if you got my husband killed, again, I swear on whatever is left of him I’ll…”
Just then, as if in record time, Rory dove into the TARDIS, bumping into the railing and collapsing to the floor.
“Owww…Gahhh…yeah, I’m here.”
Before Amy could so much as fumble to her husband, the Doctor slammed the doors shut with a groan, his face constricted as he leant against them, chest rising and falling sporadically.
“Phew. That was a close one.” Grumbling, the Doctor faced his companions, desperate.
“Yeah. Easy for you to say.” The now-panting Rory Williams rasped as his wife tended to him, looking pale. “What sort of plan was that?” he practically belted, fierce eyes directed at the Doctor.
“Yeah, what were you thinkin’, ya numpty? ‘Oh, Ponds, I’ve got a great idea, let’s go to this wonderful planet I’ve heard about, it’ll be great. Oh wait…wrong time. Oops. Ha ha. No big deal! We’ll make do! Uh oh…Did I forget to mention that I landed on the day it was taken over by a group of hostile, terrorist aliens trying to wipe out ¾ of the population with this deadly gas you’ve never heard of…And that we may be included in that ¾. And by ‘may be’, I mean are—sort of—definitely. Okay. Right. I have a plan. Actually I don’t have a plan at all, but I’ll say that I do because it makes me sound clever, and I’m a big, bad Time Lord, so I need to sound clever all the time. Even if my ‘plan’ involves sneaking into the most secure building on the planet just to reach an ancient teleport that almost certainly won’t work and oh, look, might have got the coordinates a bit off, sorry. The TARDIS is still a little further away. No problem, we can get there before the deadly alien gas catches up with us!’” Amy’s faux English accent gradually gave way to her natural one as she reprimanded her best friend. “That. Was not a plan! That, was near suicide!”
“She’s got a point, Doctor.” Rory’s index finger shot up, as if to reiterate.
“And to think all this started as one little anniversary trip. Well, that was five weeks ago!”
“I…I…uh…I just…sorry.” The Doctor rubbed his eyes, sinking into the console chair, looking pathetic. “You’re still here, aren’t you?”
Patting his arm gently, Amy relaxed, a small smile breaching her lips.
“Yeah. ‘Course. I mean, we weren’t exactly plannin’ on staying this long, but we’ve had a laugh. And more than a few near death experiences, but that’s normal for us, I suppose.” She mused, pursing her lips.
“And one lost cell phone charger.”
“Not my fault you left it in Henry VII’s ensuite.”
“It was totally your fault! You’re the one who said yes to wedding vows on our anniversary! You’re getting as bad as him.” His gaze shifted accusingly to the Doctor, who just scoffed.
“Rory! I—that was once. A long time ago. Or well—if you want to get technical, there was that one time, and then that other time, and then that—oh, never mind! It’s not like any of them counted!” his hands flew up in protest.
“Anyway…back to the point, you two.” Amy’s foot tapped impatiently as she gave her husband and her son-in-law the aptly named ‘death glare.’ “Doctor, it’s just—you seem kinda, I don’t know, a bit off or somethin’? I mean, take today for instance. You’ve always had terrible plans, but this one was particularly awful. Like, I really thought we wouldn’t make it out for a second there.” she paused, stepping closer to him. “Are—are you—okay?”
Wringing his hands, the Doctor faltered for a second, avoiding her gaze.
“I…I’m fine. Perfectly fine, Amelia.”
“If you say so…” the last syllable hung on her tongue, and she cast her husband a sideways glance, his narrowed eyes only confirming her suspicions. “Right. It’s been a long day. I could use a washing up and a change of clothes. Care to join me, husband?”
“Ah…sure. Doctor, you gonna be alright on your own for a bit?” Concern filled Rory’s voice as he examined his friend.
“Okay. Yeah, well, see ya in a bit.”
Almost as soon as they’d ventured beyond the Doctor’s hearing range (which was farther than one would expect), Rory pulled his wife aside, serious.
“You’re right. Something’s definitely wrong with him. He couldn’t look you straight in the face.”
“I’m…just…worried, you know? Like, he seems really exhausted today. I know Time Lords don’t need much sleep, but a little wouldn’t hurt, would it?” Amy sighed, placing a hand to her forehead as she leaned against the wall.
“It’s not just that. He is tired, but…I think something else is bothering him. Maybe you should try talking to him again in a few hours. He might come round.”
“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.”
“He keeps looking down at his hands. And groaning.” Rory’s whisper beckoned an eye-roll from Amy.
“I know, I can see that. I’ll talk to him, okay?” Kissing her husband’s cheek, the ginger shot him a quick wink before turning toward the console room entrance. “Stay here.”
“Right,” was the last word she heard from her husband as she quietly walked toward the Doctor.
Leant against the console, the man in the bowtie stared perplexedly at his hands, flexing one and crinkling his brow.
“Hey.” Amy’s soft greeting caught him by surprise. “What’s up?”
“Pond, I told you, I’m fi—”
“Don’t you give me that rubbish, Raggedy Man. I know something’s bothering you. So, out with it.” She cocked a brow, her hip jutting out as she crossed her arms over her chest, smug.
“Enjoying a bit of quiet. For once.” Chuckling, Amy thrust her head back, eying the Doctor. “And you’re avoiding the question.”
“Well, to be fair, it was really more of an accusation, less of a—”
“Oh, you know what I mean.” Rolling her eyes, Amelia Williams gave him the ‘Yeah-right-totally-not-buying-it’ look.
The Doctor stretched his hand again, eying it warily.
“What, sorry?” he blinked, confused.
“Your hands. You keep staring at them. Like you’re in pain or somethin’.”
“Oh.” Something in his eyes changed, like a sort of realization dawning in them. “I—ah, I don’t know. They’re just a bit…sore. Sort of…achy. It’s probably nothing.” The bitter laugh that followed his ramble left Amy’s heart heavy.
“Doctor, when was the last time you slept?”
Her question drifted amid the silence before the Doctor chortled, suddenly indignant.
“Don’t go all ‘I’m a Time Lord, I don’t need sleep’ on me. Just. Answer. The. Bloody. Question.” Amy watched the Doctor flinch under her Scottish scrutiny.
“Four weeks.” He squeaked, voice quiet and mousy.
“Sorry, what was that, couldn’t hear you?”
“I said it’s been four weeks!” Clapping a hand over his mouth, the Doctor zipped his eyes shut, embarrassed. “Sorry.”
“Yeah. And a Time Lord needs how much sleep regularly? Hmmm?”
“What was that?”
“Every one to two weeks!” his yelp gleaned an angry glare from Amy, who only shook her head.
“So, what’s the matter, then? Why can’t you sleep?”
Releasing a weary breath, the man in the bowtie trudged a hand through his hair.
“I don’t know! There’s too much to do! Sleep is boring, it gets in the way; I don’t need it!”
“Do you hear yourself? Ya sound like a bloody five year old! Seriously, Doctor, what is up?”
“Nothing! I told you; I’m fine.” But he couldn’t maintain the straight face any longer, his façade beginning to crumble.
“You are not fine! Why haven’t you been able to sleep in four weeks?!”
“Because River’s not here!” he practically roared, startling both Amy and himself. His heart hammered, the blood pulsed in his ears as he waited through the dreary silence that followed. “Sorry, I just…”
“So the last time you saw River was…”
“…four weeks ago. Give or take.” He finished, nodding.
“And why is that?” Amy’s voice was quieter, soothing.
“Well, we’ve been busy! With you two on board, I’ve gotten too distracted, you know…”
“That’s never stopped you before! You and River had your wedding night while we were still on the TARDIS, for crying out loud! Nice post-New Years’ trip, indeed!”
“Yeah but—wait, how did you know about that?” his face suddenly drained of all color. “Amy—”
“Because I had the misfortune of choosing the wrong time to come into the console room, while you were dropping her back at Stormcage, trading kisses, looking hopelessly disheveled and promising an, I quote, ‘unforgettable honeymoon ahead, as soon as I drop your parents back home.’”
Blushing profusely, the Doctor stuttered, scratching his red cheek, like a guilty child caught by his mother. Mother-in-law, in this case.
“Just—never mind. I’d rather not relive it. But here’s the point—you used to visit River all the time while we were sleeping, so that excuse doesn’t cut it. Did—did—something happen between you two?”
“No.” his hasty response only heightened the tension between them. He felt that familiar ache in his hands return, so he wrung them, trying to rid himself of the throbbing.
Another moment passed, and he looked crookedly at Amelia, who stopped staring at his hands the minute he realized she had been.
“Of course…” she muttered to herself, green eyes gleaming.
“The sad face, achy hands, lack of sleep, it all makes sense. I don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner.” A lock of ginger hair floated in her face, but she brushed it back behind her ear. Biting her lip as if to ponder something, Amy reached for the Doctor’s hand, forcing him to stop fidgeting and listen to her. “A few years ago, when—after—after I—I kicked Rory out, I—I felt the same way. I was down and sad. Lonely. Sometimes, I would—I would think about him—long for him, and—and my hands would ache, like yours.”
“But what does that have to do with—”
“Point is, I was feeling that way because I missed Rory.” She flashed him a hollow smile. “So you’re—you’re feeling that way because you miss her.”
“River, ya numpty! You know, your wife? My daughter?” her hands gestured wildly, trying to get him to understand.
His shoulders slumped then, a mixture between sadness and fear flickering in his eyes before he could conceal it.
He didn’t speak, just nodded, squeezing her hand.
“Then, what’s the—what’s the problem? Just—just go see her!”
“But what if she doesn’t want to see me?” a strangled noise left his throat, and he closed his eyes.
“Doctor, what happened?” her fingers tapped his arm, and he jerked abruptly, but not quickly enough to hide his teary eyes. “Hey. Do you—do you want to talk about it?”
Watching as the Doctor shook his head, Amy pulled him into a loose hug.
“Okay. Okay, I’ll let you tell me when you’re ready. In the meantime, why don’t we have a fun night out, get your mind off it?”
When Amy had suggested ‘a fun night out’, he certainly hadn’t expected to be waiting three hours with hardly any interaction with her or Rory.
“We’re just redecorating our room, a bit.” Amelia had insisted, after he’d looked nearly everywhere in the TARDIS for her, only to find her in the console room, where he’d started in the first place.
“Redecorating? The TARDIS can redecorate herself, there’s no need to—I—I thought we were going somewhere. To that—that restaurant. In—in London, or whatever. Still don’t see why you want to go there, anyhow. I give you the whole of space and time, and you want to go to a restaurant you could drive to in your mini cooper!” Fiddling with his black bowtie, the Doctor whined, glancing down at his suit and tails with distaste. “And why do I have to dress up?”
“Because it’s a fancy restaurant, and if you don’t mind, we’d rather not have you embarrass yourself in front of everyone. It’s for your own good alright?”
“Alright!” he’d moaned, never one to argue with his feisty Amelia Pond.
Now, three hours later, the Doctor found himself still in the console room, with no sign of his companions.
“Amy—Rory—I—I’m ready! I’ve been ready for hours! Parked us and everything. Made sure I got the right place. What’s taking so long! I—”
“Doctor—” Rory interrupted from the doorway to the console room, dressed to the nines.
“Rory—I’ve been looking everywhere for you—is it time to—”
“Actually, I—ah—we have a surprise for you, Doctor.”
“A—a surprise? What are you—what are you talking about Rory?” furrowing his brow, the Doctor scratched his head, perplexed.
“Um…just follow me.” Rory’s nervous shrug didn’t escape the Doctor’s notice, but even so, he complied, too curious to refuse.
“Rory, we’ve been traveling in circles for a good ten minutes, if you’d just tell me where you’re taking me, I could find wherever-it-is in a matter of seconds, and it wouldn’t be—”
“Ah, but then it wouldn’t be a sur-prise, now would it?” Rory muttered through gritted teeth, tired of the Doctor’s complaints.
They rounded the corner in awkward silence, passing more hexagonally-shaped designs that did nothing for the Doctor’s sense of direction.
“Rory, is there something you’re not telling me? Where’s Amy?”
“She’s—she’s in the restaurant, getting our reservations.”
“In the restaurant? Since when?”
“Never mind, that. We’re here.” Rory stopped at a TARDIS blue door, but blocked the entrance before the Doctor could get in.
“Rory, I thought you had a surprise—” he flailed, hands gesturing emphatically.
“Shhhh. It’s not time yet.” Rory’s eyes flickered to the screen on his phone, much to the Doctor’s confusion.
“But Rory—it’s been over three hours, what were you—why are you looking at your phone?” the Doctor demanded, trying to sneak a peek at the screen.
“Stop shushing me! What’s on the screen? ‘Ready,’ what does that mean?”
“It’s Amy!” grumbling, the sandy haired man gave his mobile another glance. “She’s ready!”
“The surprise!” he emphasized the last syllable. “Close your eyes. Be absolutely silent. I’m going to take you in—”
“No buts—I have a sword, and in case you didn’t know, I am now aware of your wedding night shenanigans, so I suggest you listen if you know what’s good for you!”
The look of sheer terror on his son-in-law’s face nearly broke Rory’s serious demeanor, but he managed to maintain it for another few seconds. “Don’t open your eyes until I tell you. No peeking!”
They entered the room slowly; the Doctor could feel the light flickering on his eyelids. Brushing his shoulder, Rory passed him, nodding and exiting before he could even—
“Rory,” he whispered as the door slammed behind him, “Rory, can I open my…”
“…eyes…now…” the words slipped off his tongue just as his green eyes flickered open, immediately locking onto the woman across the room. “River…” he breathed, heart suddenly in his throat as he drank her in; the way her curls tumbled across her shoulders, shimmering like sunshine, and that dress—all blue and elegant and yowzah—swaying around her body like the roaring waves of the sea. And her eyes—
Oh, no, her eyes—
She must have finally registered him in that moment because all it took was one glance in his direction, and her eyes went from confused to hurt, betrayed, then furious, like an animal eyeing its prey—
“River, I—I’m sorry—“
Too late. She’d already bolted away from him, now pressing against the door, but to no avail.
“Ugh. It won’t open!” he heard her curse to herself, clearly livid. “This is your doing, is it? And you got my parents to go along with you? Some idea of a bloody joke? Make her open the doors!” River pounded harder, not facing him.
Her words sank in, rippling to his gut before his brain caught up with the rest of him.
“I—I can’t—I’m not the one—River—“
He didn’t realize until then how dangerously close he’d gotten to her, like a zebra in the territory of a lioness.
When did he—
“I. Hate. You!” she screamed, slapping him with such force he tumbled to the ground, cheek smoldering.
“Owwwww….” Smoothing circles on his cheek, he groaned pitifully, and shriveled onto the floor. “What the hell was that for, River, I had nothing to do with this! Rory—he told me—they had a surprise.”
“Well, that’s certainly one way of putting it.” Her voice teetered off, and she reached for the doorknob again with no success. “Amy told me it was just her and Rory. We were just going to have a nice family dinner, catch up. She said you wouldn’t be around. I called her today—and she said—she said we could do that. But then I got there and the moment I saw the TARDIS, I knew something was up!”
“River…I’m sorry…I didn’t mean…I had no idea—”
“Just leave me alone. I don’t want to be here—I don’t want to talk to you.” He could hear the note of despair in her voice, and wondered vainly what he had done to infuriate her beyond what he thought was even possible. His mind thought back to their last meeting, and he tried to block out the memory, not wanting to relive it.
In an attempt to distract himself, the Doctor scoured his surroundings, noticing the elaborate space around them—a grand ballroom of some sort—sprawled with lovely streamers and other decorum. A small table sat mere feet away from him, as he now realized, no longer transfixed on River. Candles and flowers lay atop it beside two plates of—was that fish fingers and custard? A bottle of wine (for River, presumably). His hearts sunk a little—had his best friends really put all of this together for him—for them, he corrected, looking back to his wife.
He watched her intently, not missing that soft whimpering sound she tried to hide, the shaky rise and fall of her back, all signs of what he already knew—his wife was crying.
Just that realization in itself weighed heavy on his hearts, pressing down on them like an anchor till they nearly burst.
“River, what—whatever I did, or—or will do, I’m sorry…” against every logical facet of his brain, he approached her, his hand hovering over her back until she flinched, driving him away.
“Don’t touch me!”
“Okay, okay. Sorry.” He mumbled as coherently as he could, pained by her resentful attitude. “I…I knew you didn’t…want me anymore.” His voice lowered to whisper, barely audible. Thinking to the incident from a couple weeks ago, he froze, hearts racing. “River…when are you?”
A wave of silence passed between them, and he figured she wouldn’t answer, so he busied himself by staring up at the ceiling, distracted enough that he almost missed her soft response,
“Utah. Second time.”
The Doctor’s mind whirred for only a second before he realized exactly why she was so distraught, the memory of her heartbroken face after she’d kissed him for the first time coming to mind. If it had scratched his hearts then, it trampled them now, and he mentally cursed his younger self for being so bonehead stupid!
What had he said to her? “It was nice” or something? “There’s a first time for everything”? What an idiot!
“And a last time.”
River, please…I’m sorry.
“I’m so, so sorry, River. You have…every right to be angry with me for that. It was—centuries ago for me, but I still remember your face—after I—I’m so sorry.” His bottom lip quivered, and his hands drifted to the skin beneath his eyes, where he realized tears had fallen. “If I could go back, if I could see my younger self, I would strangle him for treating you so horribly and just running off like it was nothing because you deserve so much better than what that fool could give you. I was young and stupid and cowardly back then, already falling so hard for you, and I knew it. And it scared the living hell out of me, River. That’s why I ran. But I didn’t run away for long, because sooner than I could even blink, you’d pop up into my life again, and I fell harder and harder. Until I was drowning. Even before I knew who you were…I just…” tears pooled in his eyes, and he blinked them back. “I’m sorry. I wish—I could be the husband you deserve. But the truth is—I’m still that fool, dear—“
Her head turned a little, and he caught a glimpse of her own watery eyes, a reflection of his own.
“I thought…I would never see my husband again…” the bitterness in her voice rattled him to the core. “You said, the timelines—”
“I know. Our timelines—they’re back to front, broadly speaking, but not completely. No matter, though. I suppose I’m a lousy husband anyway, not much better than my-good-for-nothing-younger-self—”
“Sweetie…” she whispered, voice cracking as she grasped his hand, weaving their fingers together. He stared at her confused, mouth forming an ‘O’ shape, his hearts drumming at the rejuvenating sensation of her touch. “Do shut up.”
Before he could think coherently, she cut him off, lips covering his as she kissed him with every ounce of longing in her heart, their tears mingling together. He echoed her longing with equal intensity, deepening the kiss by pressing her closer to him, to that spot just above his hearts.
When she pulled back, they were breathless, their tear-filled eyes in sync with each other.
His thumb wiped those tiny droplets from her face, smoothing her soft, beautiful skin.
“I missed you.” Her lips trembled, and she looked away, nervous.
“I missed you too, dear.” He gave her that wobbly smile, straight from the bottom of his hearts. But deep down, he still felt that ache there, the memory of—
“Sweetie, what is it—” River stroked the hairs of the back of his neck, beckoning him closer. “I’m sor—”
“Don’t you dare.” He shook his head, cradling her hand to his chest.
They didn’t speak, just savored each other for a moment longer.
“You look tired, Honey.” She laughed, the first genuine sound he’d heard from her since they’d ended up here.
“You sound just like your mother.”
“I’m your wife. I notice these things. Seriously, how long has it been since you last slept?”
“Doctor! What’s going on with you? Why haven’t you seen me—this is why my parents did this, am I right? For you…”
“Well, my hands have been kinda achy lately, and Amy says that’s because I was missing you.” He admitted, eyes straying from hers.
“Then why didn’t you just pop by and see me?”
His mouth opened as she raised a brow, but he didn’t answer, looking down, embarrassed.
“Because—last time…last time I tried to see you, you didn’t want me. You—you made it very, very clear. And I suppose I really have no right to be upset, as long as you’re happy, I--”
“What are you talking about—I would never—”
“Have you—have you done Alpha Regys VI yet?” he blushed, clearly uncomfortable.
“Yeah.” River hummed dreamily, remembering.
“I—ah—well, the TARDIS landed me there. A couple of weeks ago, while your parents were asleep. I hadn’t seen you in a while, so I wanted to do something special. I bought flowers and everything, planned everything out—but when—when I got there, I saw you, looking gorgeous as ever in that cat suit. I would’ve even let you wear it if you wanted, but you just shooed me away, pushed me back in the TARDIS. And I just…didn’t understand. Until I took a quick peek at the scanner and saw you—”
“Saw me what?”
“I know that—that sometimes you use your hallucinogenic lipstick, and as much as it irks me, I just—I get it. But this—I thought you only kissed me like that. But I saw you—I saw you kissing him.” The last word was spoken with such vehemence, the Doctor surprised even himself.
“What’s his name? Oh—supe—no, the other one. Batman. You were kissing a man dressed as Batman. I used to love Batman, River, but you ruined him for me, and you--”
“Oh my Go—” chewing her lip, River covered her mouth, before breaking out into uncontrollable laughter. Her eyes started watering for an entirely different reason, and she glanced at her husband, giggling even harder. “You. Complete. Idiot.”
“River, it’s not—it’s not funny. This is serious—”
“Did you actually—is this why you haven’t slept in four weeks?”
“Sweetie, I would never cheat on you. Surely you know that?” her voice grew quiet, and he could see the sincerity in her eyes.
“Then what were you doing kissing Batman, eh?”
“I was—on my honeymoon.” A blush crept in River’s cheeks, and she glanced at the floor.
“On your—River, you married Batman?!” he yelped, scandalized.
“No! On my third honeymoon…with you, idiot!”
“But we’ve only had two, you can’t—oh.” Realization dawned, and he nearly slapped himself for his own stupidity. “Wait—you were kissing Batman on our third honeymoon?!”
“I was kissing you.” She rolled her eyes as if was the most obvious thing in the universe.
“Hang on, I was dressed as Batman? River, why was I dressed as Batman?!” his eyes jolted wide.
“Spoilers.” River’s entire face flushed, and she couldn’t meet his eyes.
“Why was I in a cat suit? Why were my parents dressed as a centurion and a kissogram on their honeymoon?”
“Well, I—how would I know?”
“Never mind.” She waved it off, focusing her gaze back on her flustered husband. “Hey. I’m sorry I had to shoe you away. I would’ve happily obliged, but older you—he gets jealous.”
“Yes, quite—what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” River winked, sending a jolt of energy up his spine.
“Yes. I mean, no. NO. Absolutely not. Shut up!”
“And here I thought we were having an honest conversation.” Her eyebrows shoot up, and the Doctor groaned.
“I can’t believe you actually thought that I would—that I would cheat on you! Sweetie!”
“I just…I don’t know. I wouldn’t blame you. I deserve—”
“No, you don’t. You’re my husband, Sweetie. It’s called marriage for a reason. And I don’t know about you, but our marriage means a lot to me.” Her fingers twiddled with his bowtie, and he laced his through hers, understanding, agreeing.
“Me too.” The Doctor’s eyes shimmered, and he bit his lip, nodding, trying to hold the tears back. “Sorry I—”
“No, hush now.” His hearts remembered those under a very different circumstance, but he blocked it out, blocked out her face as she connected the plug as she—no he didn’t want to think about it. And he didn’t have to, as River’s lips were now on his again, making him forget everything but the sweet, ardent love in that kiss.
He squeezed her hand, his nose nuzzling hers as he kissed her again, slowly, longingly, his bottom lip tugging hers before he pulled back, face flushed, soft smile on his face, his unspoken I love you.
She giggled, the love and tenderness in her husband’s eyes warming her heart.
I love you too.
“I suppose we have my parents to thank for this.”
“Funny, last I heard, you were about to curse them out for betraying you. Or maybe that was me. I couldn’t tell. You were very cross, that’s all I know.” He chided her, breath hot against her ear.
“Well, I’ve come around. Look at this place. It must have taken them ages—”
“Hmmm. More like three hours. No wonder they were taking so long. Look at this!” his arm motioned to the still-fresh-looking food on the table. “Ooh, they even got you your favorite salad. And wine. ‘Love Amy and Rory XX’. Aww, how sweet.”
“I agree. They really shouldn’t have. Fish fingers and custard for you…” she grinned happily, guiding his hand toward the table.
Before she reached it, soft music drifted across the expansive ballroom, shifting her focus.
“Stevie Wonder. Must have been Rory.” She mused, smiling.
“Hmmm. Shall we eat, wife?” the Doctor asked, pressing a light kiss to the back of her hand.
“I don’t know, husband. I was rather hoping for a dance first…?”
Chuckling to himself, the man in the bowtie swung her to face him, placing his hand at the small of her back. “May I have this dance, Mrs. Doctor?”
“You may, Mr. Song.” She giggled as he swished her around, sappiest grin on his face as he pulled her to his hearts. They swayed softly to the music, the Doctor taking the liberty to dip her here and there, savoring the look of pure joy on her face, the way her curls flew. “Hmmm. This reminds me of my birthday.” She told him later, still moving to that Stevie Wonder Classic.
“And I thought I was the sentimental one, dear.” He murmured, kissing her cheek. “Yeah. Fun day, wasn’t it?”
“The best. Kissing you better after all those falls. Seriously, Sweetie. You’re practically a giraffe on ice.”
“Oi! For your information—I took ice-skating lessons for two years before we went on that date. And well, I didn’t really mind the kissing. Especially considering how resplendent you looked in that dress, wife. I’d say the same of you tonight. Yowzah.” his fingers caressed that soft, blue fabric, sending shivers up her spine.
“And I could say the same for you, my dashing boy.” She kissed him lightly on the lips, lingering there for only a moment, as they swayed on, dancing into the night.
The next morning, Amelia Williams marveled at her work, watching from the doorway as her son-in-law leant forward, kissing his wife enthusiastically; one hand on her hip, the other still clasping a dirty spatula.
“Ehh Hemmm.” Amy cleared her throat, as Rory joined her in the kitchen, slightly affected by the scene.
Bless, her best friend broke apart from her daughter immediately, turning to face her and Rory and blushing like a bloody idiot.
“So, I see you two made up. Finally get some sleep?” Eying the Doctor, Amy grinned, pleased with herself, watching as the Doctor nodded and laced his arm around River.
“Thank you, Amelia. You were right.” He admitted, lopsided grin in place.
“You’re welcome. But for the record, it was actually Rory’s idea. I just helped with the execution. He’s secretly a romantic at heart.”
The Doctor and River muttered in unison, before flashing Rory thankful looks.
Flustered, Rory nodded, leaning into Amy’s touch. “Hope you two had a nice night.”
“Oh, they definitely did.” If looks could kill, Amy’s evil cat grin would be on the top of that list, the Doctor imagined. “Nice shirt, River.” Amy noted the light blue tinted flannel shirt she’d often seen on a certain other Time Lord. “Looks suspiciously familiar.”
Squeaking, the Doctor covered his mouth, eyes going wide.
“Did you remember to straighten your bowtie, Doctor? It looks a bit askew.” She continued her baiting, sending the Doctor into a near panic, Rory into another groan, and River and Amy into a fit of giggles. “Why is River wearing your shirt, Doctor?” Amy’s question generated a rather interesting scene between her son-in-law and his wife, as the Doctor looked helplessly at River, who only smirked.
“I—ah—she was cold this morning, Pond.” He declared matter-of-factly, arms crossing his chest. River only shook her head.
“And why was that?”
“Amy—” Rory started, tone warning.
“You keep the TARDIS at a relatively warm temperature, right? So why would she need your shirt to keep her warm?”
“Because she wasn’t wearing any—” the moment he realized what he’d just admitted, he slapped his hand over his mouth, face red as could be. “Shut up!”
A moment of tense silence.
“So…anyone for breakfast?” the Doctor managed, hand flailing.
“Whatever you say, Batman.” Smirking delightedly, Amy flicked the Doctor on the shoulder, watching as both he and her daughter blushed at the remark.
“I didn’t say a word, Sweetie.”
“Then how—wait, Ponds!”
“And that was not my idea.” Rory threw his hands up, eyeing his wife accusingly.
Amused, Amy stepped back, admiring the hilarious picture of her blushing son-in-law, shameless daughter, and traumatized husband.
Everything was back to normal, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.