Holding On

Ah, Childhood

The three people on the roof turned as the Doctor and River Song materialised behind them. Evie was partially hidden behind Amy and Rory and decided to keep it that way for a while, at least until she'd gaged how annoyed her mother was.

"Amy!" River said as her eyes fell on the red-head. "And the plastic centurion?" Her voice was more confused as she looked at Rory.

"It's OK, he's on our side."

"Really?" Her eyes widened in surprise at this information. "I dated a Nestene Duplicate once… swappable head; did keep things fresh." Behind her grandparents, Evie pulled a face of revolution at her mother's words. The Doctor looked equally unhappy with this announcement.

River glanced around, her face falling slightly. When she spoke again her tone had a hint of desperation to it. "Where's Evie? Is she…"

"I'm here." The teenager said weakly, trying to make it look as though she hadn't been hiding from the woman. She saw River relax slightly, relief spreading over her face, before she twitched slightly, fighting her natural urge to hug her daughter. Instead she put her hands on her hips and raised an eyebrow.

"Thanks for leaving me up there." She said. "How the hell did you get out and why didn't you take me with you?"

"Good to see you too, River." The girl muttered, feeling bad enough as it was, even though she didn't know what had happened. She looked at the ground, not wanting to meet the woman's eye.

"Right… I have questions." River said, business-like immediately. "But number one is this… What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?"

"It's a fez, I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool." The Doctor said. Evie had to work hard to stop herself bursting out laughing at the look of complete disbelief on her mother's face at the words. The older woman shot Amy a quick glance and the red-head grabbed the hat off his head. River aimed and fired, disintegrating the fez on impact.

"I have wanted to do that since I saw it." Evie laughed, grinning broadly at her mother. River winked.

"EXTERMINATE!" The word broke through the cheerful atmosphere, causing their faces to all display the same expression of horror. A Dalek was rising up, appearing from behind the building. The Doctor ushered them backwards, using the satellite dish to block the creature's shots. They went back down the hatch and the Doctor sealed it from the inside.

"Doctor… come on." River ordered.

He shushed her, proving that he was a brave man. "It's moving away… finding another way in. It needs to restore its power before it can attack again. Now, that means we've got exactly," he glanced at his watch, "four and a half minutes before it's at lethal capacity."

"How do you know that?" Rory asked.

The Doctor stopped at the bottom of the steps. "Because that's when it'll shoot to kill me."

River and Evie glanced at each other in horror. "Kill you? What d'you mean kill you?" River demanded angrily.

"Doctor? What?" Evie questioned, just as angry as her mother about his casual statement.

"Oh, shut up, never mind." He dismissed them both, leaping down the steps and leading the way into the main corridors.

The mother and daughter were the last ones down the stairs and River caught hold of the teenager's arm, pulling her back slightly, out of sight of the others. She looked her up and down carefully before throwing her arms around her tightly, closing her eyes and breathing deeply. Evie closed her eyes as well, smelling the familiar mixture of her mother's shampoo and perfume. It was incredibly comforting.

"OI?" The Doctor shouted from somewhere in the distance, causing the pair to spring apart, grinning and rush after the others. They caught up with them and the Time Lord shot them a half suspicious, half annoyed glare. River just shrugged, her daughter following her lead.

He didn't seem to care and just carried on with his explanation of how the Dalek came to be gliding around the museum shooting at them. He started walking again and Evie rolled her eyes, stifling a yawn. River nudged her, shaking her head sharply. He seemed to be talking about atoms now; the atoms inside the Pandorica.

"In theory, you could extrapolate the whole universe from a single one of them, like cloning a body from a single cell, and we've got the bumper family pack." He said excitedly.

River was looking pensive, the exact same pensive look she'd had on her face when Evie had come home, or rather back to their cell in Stormcage, with the word 'forever' tattooed on her wrist after a night out with some friends. When she said friends, she meant it in the loosest terms. They were really some people she'd just met. River hadn't been at all impressed and that look wasn't the teenager's favourite look of her mother's by a long shot.

Rory was shaking his head, totally confused. "No, no, no… too fast, I'm not getting it."

"The box contains a memory of the universe and the light transmits the memory and that's how we're gonna do it."

"Do what?" Amy asked. Evie thought she had a vague idea of what the man was talking about. He wanted to use the Pandorica to transmit the atoms all over the universe to stop it… dying, or whatever it was doing. A glance at her mother showed that River was less than certain it would work.

"Relight the fire, reboot the universe… come on!"

"Doctor you're being completely ridiculous!" River snapped, following him along the corridor. Evie rolled her eyes recalling how many times she'd heard that sentence tumble from her mother's mouth. "The Pandorica partially restored one Dalek. If it can't even reboot a single life form properly, how's it going to reboot the whole of reality?"

"What if we give it a moment of infinite power?" He asked, walking back to talk to her. "What if we can transmit the light from the Pandorica to every particle of space and time simultaneously?"

"Well that would be lovely, dear, but we can't because it's completely impossible."

Evie sighed, smirking slightly. "Ah, childhood." She muttered, remembering the passionate arguments that seemed to take place between her mother and the Doctor each and every single time they met.

"What d'you mean?" Amy asked, narrowing her eyes at the comment. Evie's eyes widened involuntarily as she realised what she'd said.

"You know, they're just like arguing parents." She said with a shrug, trying to make light of her comment. "Always with the arguing!"

Their attention was recaptured by a jet of light hitting the Doctor as the Dalek made its way along the corridor towards them. The Time Lord fell, River on the ground beside him, holding on tightly. Evie whipped out her laser blaster, firing off shots.

"Get back!" Rory ordered, pushing Amy out of the way and trying to move the teenager. She just glared at him, so he turned his attention to the woman kneeling on the floor. "River, get back now!"

She ignored him as well and Rory fired at the Dalek desperately, his hand acting as a gun. Where Evie's shots had missed because her hand was shaking so much in her anger at the creature, Rory's hit and the Dalek powered down.

"Doctor, Doctor it's me, River . Doctor can you hear me? What is it, what do you need?" River asked, still on the ground beside him. He pressed the button on the Vortex Manipulator and vanished. River glanced around astonished. "Where'd he go? Damn it, he could be anywhere."

"He went downstairs, twelve minutes ago."

"Show me!" River demanded, making Evie jump.

"River, he died." Amy said gently. Evie stepped backwards, leaning against the wall for support at the words. It wasn't just the news that the Doctor was dead, something she didn't believe anyway, that had knocked the breath from her lungs. It was the look on her mother's face. She knew that look; River Song was about to do something dangerous.

"We've gotta move. That thing's coming back to life." Rory warned as the Dalek started moving and talking; its systems restoring themselves. From the way River was looking at the creature, Evie guessed this was the dangerous thing she was going to do and pulled out her laser blaster once more.

"You go to the Doctor; I'll be right with you." The woman instructed them calmly. Amy and Rory didn't need telling twice, they turned and ran. Evie didn't move. "I said, go to the Doctor." Her mother told her, warning in her voice.

"No! I'm not leaving you here with that thing."

River laughed. "I think that thing should be more worried."

"I'm still not going."

River glanced at her as the Dalek whirred. Her eyes were softer as she smiled but then they hardened with steely determination. "D'you remember that time I told you to get back in the cell and you refused?" Evie nodded, wincing at the memory from when she was eight. "This time I might not remember to set the gun to the lowest stun setting."

"If you're not down there in two minutes I'm coming back up." Evie warned, raising an eyebrow before moving along the corridor reluctantly.

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