"Doctor!" Amy ran down the beach, but River and Rory were already there, already holding her back. She didn't even hear their warnings and pleas to not go any further. She only saw him. She saw his eyes wet with tears, a wispy yellow light streaming from his hands and face. "Doctor!" she screamed, louder than she had ever screamed before.
"I'm sorry," he said. Amy couldn't hear him, but she could read his lips as those magical green eyes bore into hers for the last time.
Regeneration light shot forth from the Doctor. Amy had never seen anything quite like it. So beautiful, yet so... Dangerous. She had a feeling she couldn't go near him, but she wanted to help him. She had to help him! Then, another bang followed by several more, taking the light and life from his body. The Doctor had died. The last Time Lord in the whole universe had died.
That had all happened at least an hour ago, but for Amy, it was replaying over and over, making her feel like it had only just happened. She watched as the boat floated farther and farther away from the sandy beaches of Lake Silencio, watching the flames lick the air and light up the dark sky like a giant campfire.
"Amy," Rory whispered, grabbing her hand in his, "Amy, it'll be alright."
How can he say that? Amy thought furiously, And why isn't he crying? An amazing man has died before his eyes. Why. Isn't. Anyone. Crying? River was on the verge, but she held back every single drop. As for Amy, she would still be crying if she could. Her tear ducts were completely dry, and it hurt to even try and form the tears. She had cried every last tear she had for her Raggedy Doctor.
Amy didn't respond, only releasing her hand from Rory's grasp and crossing her arms so he couldn't try again. She didn't have words. Not anymore. Amy was in complete shock. The little girl who waited all night in her garden, little Amelia Pond, was lost without her Raggedy Doctor.
She looked back out to the boat, resisting an urge to swim out there, to lay her body next to his and hold him until they were both completely eaten by the flames. How was she going to survive without her Doctor? How was the whole universe going to survive without him? Their only hero had just been killed.
"Come on," River said, quietly, unable to watch a second more of her husband's corpse burn inside a boat in Utah of all places. Amy wanted to lash out at her. How was she not hysterical? How was River's face and makeup perfectly dry, while Amy had mascara trails running down her cheeks? Because no one cared like Amy, or at least that was her assumption. He had been such a big part of her life... And he wasn't coming back this time.
The three drove back to the old '50s diner, trying to make sense of what they should do next, brainstorming on what the envelopes and the numbers could possibly mean. Amy couldn't take it though, and for the first time since the Doctor died, the redhead spoke. "Will you two shut up?" she whispered, barely loud enough for even her to hear, "It doesn't matter."
They continued talking, not hearing Amy. "He's dead." It was the first time she had admitted it, and the words felt so strange, so cold on her tongue. She looked up at them and spoke a little louder, "You're still talking, but it doesn't matter."
"Hey," Rory argued. He was worried about Amy, but right now was not the time for a breakdown. She needed to help them make sense of the whole situation. Amy knew how that complicated, old man operated, more than Rory ever did. "It mattered to him."
"So it matters to us," River agreed.
"He's dead," Amy whispered again. She felt herself losing it, but didn't even make an attempt to try and stop her sanity from slipping away. It didn't matter. She didn't have to be sane for anyone. Without the Doctor protecting them, they'd all die soon anyways. How many aliens had he stopped from invading Earth? And who was going to save them now? There was no one.
"But he still needs us," River pointed out, hoping Amy would snap out of it. But River knew how Amy loved the Doctor. She knew that this was more, and what River was feeling right at that point was exactly the same as Amy, except that River had the willpower to hold it in. "Amy, I know. I know. But right now, we have to focus."
Rory looked away, not wanting to see Amy's crazed expression anymore when his eye caught a familiar color of blue. "Look," he said, pointing at the empty table and the open invitation that matched all theirs. River rushed over to look, Rory questioned the man behind the counter, but Amy just stood there. It didn't matter because even if he had given them a job, they wouldn't be able to do it without him. River started talking about how it was the end for the Doctor, how he knew, and why he'd invite people: they were those that he trusted most. And who was the person that the Doctor trusted most? As soon as Amy really asked the question, she knew the answer. And right when she had pieced the answer together, they heard a door creak open. The three looked up and saw him. The Doctor. With his stupid bow-tie, his stupid jacket, his stupid, floppy hair, and those stupid, stupid green eyes pointing at them all with that stupid smile on his stupid face.
"This is cold. Even by your standards, this is cold!" River said in shock, not wanting to believe what was in front of her eyes. How had he escaped this time? Oh, how she wanted to hit him for what he had done to Amy. And her, for that matter.
"Or 'hello' as people used to say," the Doctor replied, cheerfully. He hadn't a clue why the three of them were there, but he assumed they, too, had been invited by the mysterious sender.
"Doctor," Amy breathed. He really had come back... He always came back! He'd told her that countless times, and yet... Amy couldn't help but wonder if this was a trick. She watched the light leave his eyes. She watched his body fall lifeless to the ground. She watched his unmoving chest. She watched his body burn on the calm waters of Lake Silencio. The redhead walked a circle around him, making sure she hadn't completely lost it. The Doctor looked back curiously, saying something about his special straw. This can't be him, can it? She touched his bow-tie. Definitely real. "You're okay," Amy let out a shaky laugh of relief, a laugh that sincerely worried the Doctor, "How can you be okay?"
"Hey, of course I'm okay," the Doctor said, consolingly, embracing his Amy Pond into a hug that made her feel ten times better. And ten times more confused. He glanced quickly at Rory and River but both avoided eye contact. What was wrong with the bunch? "I'm always okay. I'm the king of 'Okay.' Oh... That's a rubbish title. Forget that title!"
Amy just stared at him as he made his rounds and said hello to everyone, receiving a nervous hug from Rory and the slap in the face from River that she'd been wanting to give him since he first walked in from that door. He had invited them to see him die. How could the Doctor not know the pain and sadness that Amy would feel, knowing that she was right there but couldn't stop any of it?
And then, as he guided them all back to to the blue box, Amy could hear the nursery rhyme again, echoing throughout her ears. What is this? she though, squeezing her eyes shut, hoping for it to go away. The Doctor was back, so why was she feeling so crazy?
"'Tick-tock' goes the clock..." Amy's eyes widened. Why was she hearing things? This wasn't just random. This was the third time where no one had heard it and it seemed to come from nowhere. Was she really starting to lose it?
"'Tick-tock' goes the clock..."