Competitors Once More
Something was wrong with Amy Pond, and neither the Doctor nor Rory knew exactly what it was. There were some theories, though. As Amy went off to bed moaning about a headache, the two men looked at each other for answers.
"Rory, something's wrong with your wife," the Doctor stated, leaning back on the console, fingers laced with one another.
Rory was sitting on one of the lounge chairs nearby, looking quite concerned and nervous, rubbing the bridge of his large nose with one hand, the other draped over his knee. "Yeah, I noticed," he sighed, "Maybe it's stress. She just had a baby, then had it taken away to be raised as a weapon of evil, then lost her best friend, then watched you get killed by said best friend... Maybe Amy's just starting to crack."
"I lived if you don't remember. And that all happened to you, too. You're perfectly... Well, you're fine." The Doctor refused to believe that Amy was cracking. She was strong. She was a fighter, not just another of his damsel-in-distress types.
"Just take us back to Leadworth," Rory suggested, choosing to ignore the Doctor's jab. He'd gotten used it a long time ago. "It's peaceful. No one will harm her there. Nobody can handle living with danger every day."
"You can't," he argued, "But I've been doing this for centuries. And Amy... Well, Amy's different. She's special. It can't be stress." Actually, the Doctor knew that there was a slight possibility, but he dismissed it anyways. His Amelia Pond wasn't afraid of anything. Well, except for that crack in her wall. But as a 7 year old, she had just looked on as a strange man sat at her table eating fish fingers and custard, just emerging from a smoking blue box. She could handle anything, which was one of the many reasons the Doctor loved having her as a companion.
Rory disagreed. Though Amy frequently hurled insults in his direction, he knew she loved him. They'd grown up together, and Rory believed that he knew her much better than the man standing across from him, pretending to know how his wife really worked. As if Rory didn't know. The Doctor had never seen Amy at her worst, not like Rory had. He hadn't seen the tear-stained face of Amelia Pond at school the night after the Doctor left her. He hadn't seen the bags under that poor girl's eyes from lack of sleep, waiting for her Raggedy Man to come back. He hadn't seen the fights with her and her aunt Sharon, the dolls that got taken away, the cartoon drawings that got put in the trash, all dismissed as childish imaginings. He hadn't seen anything, not compared to Rory, but there wasn't any way he was going to be able to convince the Doctor of this. "Fine," the man threw his hands up in frustration, "What do you suggest?"
"I'm not sure," the Doctor admitted, wishing that he did. It would really make Rory seem a little less right. "It could be her adjusting from her Flesh avatar. She was like that for months and now she's switching back to her actual body. It could be causing some side effects. Still..."
"I feel like I'm missing something!" the Doctor groaned, exasperated at his lack of knowledge on things of late. It seemed everyone knew more than him. When did that happen? "Something so simple, yet overlooked." He was reminded of the Teselecta and his files. There was an unknown answer to an unknown question, one that would be very responsible for his death. He felt like that was what he was looking for, not the same question... But a question, nonetheless. "A question overlooked..."
Rory eyed the Doctor skeptically. He hated when the old man went off on tangents, using a thousand words to say three. It only confused Rory and made it hard to keep up. "I'm telling you," said Rory, shaking his head, "It's stress!"
"No, it's not!"
"She needs to go home!"
"No!" the Doctor shouted, growing very frustrated. The answer to the problem couldn't be as simple as stress. It just couldn't be. And he sure wasn't going to take Amy back to Leadworth just because Rory told him to. "You want to go home. She doesn't need to. There's a bloody difference!"
Rory felt a smile play at his lips, an amused smile, though he didn't feel like smiling in the slightest. He had thought that the Doctor and him were friends, but this was starting to feel like the old days when he still so insecure about Amy's love and commitment. It felt like they were competitors once more. "Are we still competing over her?" he asked, voice low and icy, "Because if you don't remember, she chose me."
"This isn't a competition," the Doctor lied. He felt it, too, but he wasn't backing down. If he lost this time, Amy would leave. And that was the last thing he wanted. "But you're only thinking about yourself right now, Rory. She doesn't want to leave."
"Yes, she does!" he protested.
"If she really wanted to, she'd be gone already," the Doctor pointed out, hoping that was the case.
Rory glared at him for a long time before saying, "Amy will want to leave someday, you know. She'll get over all of this and come back with me."
"I know," the Doctor replied, sadly, shoving his hands into his pockets. Of course he knew. All the companions said they wanted to stay with him forever on the TARDIS, but they never did. Even Rose, who he really had hopes for. She'd chosen to live the domestic life with his duplicate.
Rory's anger suddenly vanished at the Doctor's sad expression, not anticipating the man to agree, expecting another jab. Maybe he had been a bit harsh... The Doctor loves River, not Amy. Stop being so insecure. We were done with being insecure, he told himself. "Doctor, I-"
"It's fine," the Doctor raised his hand up in the air with a fake smile plastered to his face, "It's clear neither of us can agree on a solution. We're just going to have to keep an eye on her."
"I'm sure you're right. Maybe she's just adjusting." Rory just wanted to stop feeling so bad. Plus, he knew he'd receive a swift punch to the arm if Amy heard about this. "I'm going to bed too, I think. I'll see you tomorrow. G'nite, Doctor."
The Doctor nodded in reply and waited for Rory to fade into the hallway before he let the fears and guilty thoughts flood him.