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hey stranger, i want you

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He gets his first kiss when he's twelve years old and Amy's playing the Raggedy Doctor with him. "Now take me with you!" Amy demands, her hair an orangey mess because she wanted to play a monster as well, and there's a long smudge of dirt on her cheek and grass stuck to her palms, and he nods rapidly because she told him to say yes. She beams and she's the prettiest girl in all of Leadworth, and she swoops in to press her lips against his and her hair tickles his nose and then she darts away to push through the painted blue cardboard doors, and Rory's left behind.


"If the Raggedy Doctor ever came back, would you-" Rory starts, haltingly because this question has plagued him since he first looked at Amy and wanted things he was too starstruck to quite put into words. They're sixteen and in Amy's bedroom, kissing on her bed and he thinks this will never stop being the most brilliant thing to ever happen.

"What?" Amy says, pulling away enough so he's in focus, both lying on their sides and his hand is on the curve of her waist, not daring to move up or down or even slide around to splay over her back because she's terrifying and - as always - in charge. (her fingers stroke the short hairs at the back of his neck, her thumb against the corner of his jaw and she probably picked it up from an article with a title like '20 tricks to drive him wild'.)

"Um," Rory says, because Amy's staring at him, and she's going to keep staring until he spills out every single thought he's hurriedly trying to tuck back into the untidy corners of his mind reserved for things he doesn't, shouldn't want to talk about. "If he was here," Rory says, not looking at her eyes but then he's looking at her chest instead, a tight red vest top and he can see her bra strap and oh god he's blushing and Amy's smirking because she's evil and dangerously aware of the effect she has on teenage boys.

She kisses him again anyway, since his tongue is too tied to be of any use speaking.

He can't stop thinking about it, though - what would happen if he was real and if he came back for her, like she insisted he would. If she would kiss him like she kisses Rory. They don't play the Raggedy Doctor so much anymore but sometimes Amy pulls out the old shirt, blue and ripped and it almost fits him now, being ridiculously oversized when they were kids, but then she pushes him back on the bed and straddles him, overwhelming and acting like she knows what she's doing, and when she kisses him like that he's breathless and unsure and when she stops he tries to remember if she kisses the Raggedy Doctor the same way she kisses him.


"It's just snogging," Amy says, after he catches her kissing David from their class in the park. He'd had his hand halfway up her shirt and she didn't seem to mind, and when Rory ran off she didn't come to find him for two hours, eventually turning up on his doorstep and shrugging.

"It's not like we're going out or anything," she says, with a sigh that he wants to read as guilty, but he's not quite sure who she's talking about.

"Can I come in?" she asks, and Rory feels a little vindicated because she never asks, always barges in and demands and he could never, ever complain about something he adores but It's oddly nice for her to be, well, nice. For the girl who's never wrong to possibly, maybe, be a little bit sorry.

In his bedroom she takes off her t-shirt and lets him touch her through her bra, and she's pure evil and so rubbish at being manipulative that even he can see through it, but he's hopelessly in love with her and has been since he was twelve years old so it doesn't really matter.


"If he came back," Rory tries again, months later when they're under Amy's duvet, both shirtless and cuddling just because Amy's aunt is away for the night and they can; it feels like Amy's friend (never imaginary, never here) is there with them, the amount of time Rory spends thinking about him. "Would you, you know, want to... do, er, stuff. With him."

Amy laughs against his collarbone, her hair tickling his nose and he's pretty sure he hasn't stopped smiling for the last hour because he has an armful of topless Amy Pond all to himself and she's mad and amazing and the most beautiful girl in the entire universe. He wants to tell her he loves her, but every time he tries she just grins like she knows.

"Would you mind?" Amy replies, and oh, he wasn't expecting that, because Amy doesn't ask for things - she knows he'll just say yes to anything, and maybe he should worry more about that. Maybe sometime when she's not half naked and next to him, maybe.

The answer should be, possibly, yes he bloody well would mind, because they may not be properly going out but he's the only one that Amy lets sleep over and the idea of her being with anyone else, allowing anyone else to touch her like he does (hesitantly and cautiously, like trying to sneak a drink at the pub before someone notices and tells him off), makes him feel a bit like he's drowning, his chest bursting and his heart tightening and tightening.

But the Raggedy Doctor isn't just anyone else, and he knows who she would choose if she had the chance, and somehow it doesn't hurt like it should to admit that actually, he'd possibly be okay about it, because she would be happy. He feels impossibly, massively grown up, and tells her with a casualness he doesn't quite feel, "nope."

Amy say: "Good," and, "will you stop thinking about it now?" and Rory lies easily, saying yes, because he truly hopes that will be the end of it. She talks about travelling, about getting out of Leadworth and all the places they should go after they finish their GCSEs and he talks about college and about maybe training to be a nurse, blue scrubs, just a thought, something he won't tell anyone else if Amy laughs at him but she doesn't. She looks at him with wide, serious eyes and calls him her Rory and kisses him urgently, crawling half on top him so her chest is pressed against his and she holds his head with both hands, practiced and demanding and he wraps his arms around her and holds on.

"Oh, okay. Wow," he says, when she pulls back a little, tucking her face into the crook of his neck, because that is never getting old. She laughs happily, her whole body shaking wonderfully with it in a way that makes him suddenly acutely aware of how her thigh has slipped between his and she tilts her face up, lips nudging neck jawline earlobe as she whispers, "lets," and "we could," and "I want," and he agrees without hesitation because he's a teenage boy and because he's in love and because it's Amy.

She has a box of condoms in her bedside drawer, unopened, and her hands shake slightly as she tries to get her nail through the cardboard and then she just hands the whole thing over to Rory and kneels back, looking at his ankles. He leaves the box on the pillows and gathers her up instead, pressing his lips to her temple and saying, "we don't have to, not if you're not-" and she counters with, "I am, I do, we're doing this," and it's not bravado or sheer determination; "I love you," she says, and Rory's world stops, frozen and incredible as they stare at each other, Amy smiling and Rory's mouth a little slack, his eyes blown wide, until, "and I'm not saying that just to get you into bed."

The lunge forward to kiss her is graceless and a bit awkward, because Rory wants to touch every inch of her but still (still!) isn't sure if he's allowed, but she lets him say it back at last and her eyes are sparkling, impossibly beautiful in the low light from her single bedside lamp. She says, "okay, we can figure this out," and dives for him, tackling him back flat onto the mattress and he shrieks and she teases and laughs and after that it begins to work: Rory puts on the condom as Amy watches, her fingers curled around his thigh, and Amy has her hands on his hips (ready and impatient but guiding him gently) as he pushes into her, and he's too sincere to be anything but a little bit fumbling and tentative, all knees and thumbs, and then Amy tries to flip him over and be on top and instead they spill over the edge of her bed and end up on the floor in a tangle of limbs and bedsheets, bruised and giggling and yet, still, deliriously in love as he just kisses her, soft and quiet in the darkness.

"We've got forever to get it right," Amy says, nuzzling against his cheek because it's pitch black and just them, and the burst of happiness in Rory's lungs makes him feel slightly dizzy.


(Amy gets a job at the local corner shop and then as a secretary and then briefly as a pizza delivery girl and then as an assistant at the nursing home for a whole two days before she quits and then as a kiss-o-gram and for the first weeks she keeps shooting him looks like she's daring him to say something against it. Everyone else in their sleepy little circle has, but no one else gets to curl up with Amy at night, so he says he's totally cool with it and is oddly astonished to find through easy breaths that it's true.

The fact that Amy's not-imaginary friend is real is not that surprising, really, when he thinks about it. Amy is kind of magic and evil like that. He asks her to marry him a year after the Doctor appears then disappears again (magic and evil just like Amy is, which means not at all) because it's what he's wanted since he first looked at her and wanted things he was too awkward to admit, and she says yes immediately and then laughs at his face, kissing the shock away. He wonders when the Doctor is coming back to take her away, but only talks about him when she brings it up.)


The Doctor (not-imaginary, with tweed and a bow-tie, sometimes shirtless and incredibly odd but definitely not Raggedy anymore) and Amy kissing was an inevitability - a painful, horrible one that he didn't want to think about, actually, and so he spends a lot of time doing exactly that since the Doctor came whirling back into her life and crashing into his, but inevitable none the less. The low burn of jealousy a little left of centre, being strange and quiet and conspicuous - that's a surprise, and Rory doesn't have time to consider it before there's the TARDIS and vampires and running, and the Doctor might be making amends or just distracting him but it works, either way.

It takes months and months and a new universe before he kisses the Doctor, though, crowding him back against the TARDIS console after destroying the Cybermen fleet and Rory's still in the Centurion outfit, feeling a little bit ridiculous as the adrenaline wears off and then the Doctor is right there, saying, "We're almost there, we'll find her, don't worry," and he mostly wants the Doctor to keep reassuring him but the low burn has flared and grown and settled to a smoulder, crossing thousands of years and a universe without cracks and, well. There are a lot of thoughts about childhood and kissing and Amy and always being there, but mostly it's just because the Doctor is the only person who awes and frustrates him as much as Amy does.

Rory clamps a hand over the Doctor's shoulder and pushes him back until he hits the console, and the Doctor's eyes go a little wide and then Rory kisses him. His fingers digging in as he holds the Doctor still and the Doctor hesitates and flails and possibly tries to lean away for a moment before his hands slide up Rory's arms, the fingers of one brushing the short hairs at the base of his neck and his thumb touching the corner of Rory's jaw, and the Doctor pulls him in deeper.

"Right," the Doctor says, when Rory (finally, after a long, slow minute of quiet exploration) steps back. "Okay. That was... yes. Things to do, armies to raise," and he claps his hands and whirls away, and pulls Rory along with him.


("My boys," Amy says, and grins at both of them.)