"It's just a hand. A stone hand."
Amy makes a disappointed little moue as she leans over the case where the stone hand lays. Her red hair almost brushes the shimmering boundaries of it.
"Yeah, but I thought--." Rory tries to sound nonchalant. "I thought maybe it could be a piece of those angel things you told me about. Crying angels, or whatever."
"Weeping," Amy corrects, but her eyes are suddenly wide with delight at the possibility. She laces her fingers through his and squeezes his hand. "Weeping Angels."
They exchange a look. Then they both laugh nervously, with the same sort of gleeful fear that drives children to tell each other ghost stories and believe in murderesses lingering behind mirrors. "It couldn't be?" Amy's voice has turned breathy and the sound of it makes Rory shiver. "But it couldn't possibly--! Nobody would keep something like that, yeah?"
"Why not?" Rory says, pleased to be the one presenting her with mysteries for once. "It's just a stone hand."
Amy blinks, lashes briefly dark against her pale cheeks. When her eyes open again they widen to nearly perfect circles. "Oh my god, Rory. I think it moved." Her fingers dig into his arm. "The pinky, there, wasn't it straighter?"
Rory looks down and scoffs. The scoff comes out less than confident, sticks in his mouth and throat because he isn't sure... It might well have moved. The forefinger, he thinks, maybe it wasn't so curled, and the palm not so cupped.
"You're just imagining things," he says, telling himself he's talking to Amy.
"Maybe we should get the Doctor..."
That triggers an instant defensiveness in Rory. He blusters: "Well, maybe we shouldn't bother him with a little thing like a stone hand in the middle of a... whatever this is. Carnival. Freak show. Thing."
"Doctor said it was a market. Bazaar, sort of. I dunno." Amy wrinkles her nose as she looks around herself. "It is weird, isn't it? What sort of market would have--" she lowers her voice, the corners of her mouth curling, "that?"
Rory shrugs as if he hasn't been staring compulsively at the perfectly shaped marble. "You're probably right. It's probably nothing. Just a bit of rock. I mean, that whole bit about the Angels, it doesn't make much sense. Alien turns into stone when you see it? There'd always be ants and bacteria and that sort of stuff, wouldn't there? If it was all quantum-whateverits wouldn't all those things see it? Why does it have to be a human?"
Amy scowls, crossing her arms over her chest. "Who said it had to be a human? Doctor's not human. Maybe it's just got to understand what it's seeing."
"I'm sure ants understand what they're seeing. I mean, maybe the Doctor just made it all up and convinced you--"
"I saw the Angels, stupid! Remember?" Amy sounds as if she'd like to stomp her foot--possibly on his face--and Rory knows it's time to let the subject drop. "Anyway, we should--"
She stops, studying the case again, her eyes lowered so that he can't see the color of her irises. "The thumb. Oh god, Rory, the thumb. I swear it's moved. Don't tell me it hasn't moved!"
Rory stares, but he can't say. That's the thing of it, he thinks, his memory just isn't that good. It doesn't matter that he was just looking at it. His brain catalogued "stone hand, vaguely relaxed pose, palm up" and not much else. Even when he was puzzling over whether that pinky had moved... He had tried to memorize the new position--if it was new at all, but he isn't sure. And his brain keeps insisting that it's stone. Stone can't move. He's imagining things. Just scaring himself. This has been a silly game and now he's paying for it.
Amy's fingers dig hard into his elbow. She says, through gritted teeth, "We have to get the Doctor."
Rory rankles. "No. I mean. Obviously if it's in this place and everyone's not dead, it must be harmless. I--"
The condescending greeting has come from a hulking purple thing. It is showing lumps of knobby protrusions in what must be some kind of mouth, as if someone has told the thing that humans like to be smiled at.
"You're from Old Terra, right?" the thing oozes.
Rory is suddenly aware that he has stepped halfway behind Amy. Kicking himself mentally, he maneuvers around her, putting himself between her and the thing. "If you mean Earth--" he starts, but then Amy has stepped up beside him, her hands on her hips.
"Are you selling it? That stone hand," she says.
The creature burbles. Rory hisses, "You're not thinking of--"
"Not for a price you could pay, little human," the purple thing says.
"Really?" Amy crosses her arms in front of her. Rory says,
"Do you really think it's a good id--"
Amy sticks her chin out, steadfastly ignoring Rory. "Name your price."
The purple thing burbles again, and then stills. "One hundred thousand honers."
Amy's conviction never wavers. "I haven't got any--honers. How about something else? I've got--" She digs in her pockets. "Jewelry. This nice ring--"
"Hey!" Rory protests. The purple thing is even less amused.
"Only honers. Especially from a little earth vertebrate!"
"Well, fine then!" Amy says, crossly. "This is worth ten times that, isn't it, Rory?"
"Yeah! That's right. At least."
Rory tries to look threatening. Amy scowls. The purple thing makes an angry sounding burble and begins shifting towards more promising marks.
Amy looks at it as it oozes away, then at Rory. She looks down at the case. Her eyes start to gleam.
It's too late when Rory realizes that the case is not fixed down, and that Amy has seized it. By then she's bolting past him, shouting, "Ruuunnn!"
Rory has never run so fast in his entire life.
"Two helipods, six of those wheelie policemen-jobbers, one-two-three-ELEVEN footguards and four of those adorable little dogs. Well. Not dogs, I suppose, technically, freshies, but they do look a bit like dogs, don't you think?"
The Doctor turns away from the peephole in the TARDIS door and faces Amy and Rory. "Nicely done, I'd say! Don't think I've got a going away reception like that for years. They must really, really like you. Well, like, love, want to throw in prison, what's the difference anyway?"
Rory finally manages to halfway catch his breath. "We. There was a thing. She--. Had to show you."
"What's that, Rory? You're not making any sense."
Rory gestures wildly at Amy.
"They had this!" Amy says. She thrusts the case with the hand in it towards the Doctor. Rory stares. The fingers--he's sure they've curled up tighter!
"This?" The Doctor leans in, his expression that unique mix of concern and mockery and amusement. His brow furrows. "It's a stone hand, Pond. Bit of a statue, I'd expect. Poor thing. Out there, handless."
"But it moved," Amy insists.
The Doctor looks at her, his shadowed eyes too bright. "Did it?"
"It did!" Amy says, but then she says, "At least. I think. I mean, it did move, didn't it, Rory?"
"I--" Rory's eyes click between Amy and the Doctor. "I think it did. Yeah. I mean, at first it was like this--" He holds out his hand, loosely cupped. "--and now it's like this." He squashes his fingers together and draws them in slightly.
The Doctor frowns. "Really. Like this and then this?" He holds his hand out twice.
"Ah ha! But I didn't change my gesture at all!"
"Yeah you did," Amy says. "Before your finger was a bit straighter, and your thumb--"
"Oh." The Doctor studies his own hand like it's betrayed him. "Well, that was a mistake. That can't have moved a bit. It's just marble. See?" The Doctor reaches over, pulls the viewscreen down, swinging it over the hand.
"But you said--that's their defense! If you're looking at it, that's all it is! Stone."
"Hm. I suppose. Well. Throw it in here then." The Doctor swings a few drawers out of the console. "No, wait, in here." He opens a hatch in the floor.
Rory feels less than reassured. "You really think that'll hold it? If it's an angel?"
"Hold an angel?" The Doctor laughs. "Rory, dear boy, if it is a piece of Weeping Angel it's too late, isn't it? You two geniuses have already brought it on board the TARDIS. Brilliant thinking, of course, moment I lay eyes on you I knew you were bright as black holes. But it's not a Weeping Angel hand, so just pop it in."
Amy drops the case into the hatch. She shivers as the case hits the bottom and the field shimmers around it. Rory impulsively hugs her close.
"Right, then," Rory says. "That's done."
"Right," Amy says.
"Nearly got killed over nothing," Rory says, and laughs, only a little nervously.
"Right," Amy agrees.
"Unless," the Doctor says, "you were right after all. Then it'll suck energy from the TARDIS, regenerate hideously quickly, break out of the hatch and come kill us all." He swings his arms over both their shoulders, grinning from ear to ear. "Now off to bed, children."
"Oh," Amy squeaks. "Goodnight."
Rory doesn't sleep a wink.