And The Penny Drops
"So, you must have been thinking about it pretty hard, yeah?" Amy persisted, eyebrows raised.
"Uh, well, yes," he said nervously, swallowing hard, "Though I'm sure the TARDIS amplified it some." The Doctor turned to glare at his console, sending a message through his head that he knew the TARDIS would get, what with all her telepathic ways. Thanks, dear, he thought sarcastically, You know I didn't need your help. He could sense his ship tisking, pointing out that it was quite obvious that he would have just let Amy slip from his hands.
Even Amy had come to that realization. "Well, it's a good thing she did!" she said with narrowed eyes, her tone becoming a bit hurt, "What if she hadn't? Were you going to just say goodbye and let me leave?"
"Well, it's a bit more complicated than it seems," he sighed, not exactly answering the question because he knew it was the question Amy didn't want to hear. He was seriously going to let her leave with Rory and not say a single word. "I had my reasons. Believe me, I did."
"Really?" Amy asked, crossing her arms and looking at the Time Lord critically, "And what would those be, Doctor? Don't tell me my new home has too many doors, too." Of course she would bring up his last excuse that he'd used when the Doctor had almost admitted his feelings.
"Rory's right. You'll never truly be safe here," he answered, all too serious, "I told you before that I can't save you from everything. I meant it. I've lost many friends of mine before and they had thought the same. There might be a time when I can't save you." Older Rory's information loomed over the Doctor's head, reminding him that that may indeed happen if he weren't careful. The rescue mission at Demon's Run could have been a completely different event from what the man had been talking about.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," she sighed with a roll of her eyes, biting back an argument that she wasn't as big of a damsel-in-distress as the Doctor was making Amy seem. Until, of course, she remembered all the times she had done something and gotten herself in more trouble than the redhead would have been in had she not wandered off. "Arch enemies, hostile alien planets, mad dashes… I've been dealing with that for the past two years, Doctor. I can handle it."
"But those aren't the only things that come along with this life, Pond," he frowned. Before this got any further, before feelings were confessed outright and things became jumbled, before they reached the point of no return, the Doctor needed to know that Amy knew what she was going to give up. "You're not going to have that 'settled' life you could have with Rory here. You'll be getting rid of friends and family and any chance at normalcy in your life."
"I don't want that life. I'm not the marrying type, remember?" Amy pointed out, then shrugged, "The first one was Rory's idea. The whole Leadworth thing was his dream, not mine."
"And what about children?"
Amy was a bit conflicted on that part. The dreams she'd had when she was a little girl had never included children, mainly because of the point the Doctor was trying to make at that very moment. Kids just didn't fit into the equation on the TARDIS. If Amy had gotten Melody back, she believed that, yes, she would have settled down on Earth with her Rory and her daughter, just to give Melody the happy and safe life she had almost missed out on.
There was a part of Amy that liked the idea of having more kids, that remembered what it was like to hold her child in her arms, to feel that strange connection between mother and child, a bond that couldn't be shared with anyone else. But it was overshadowed by the other part of Amy, the part that remembered what it was like to have her child ripped from her arms and put into the hands of an evil woman raising her to be a psychopath. Amy didn't ever want to feel the emptiness and pain she had felt in the moments she had realized that she lost her daughter. She didn't want to replace Melody with a new child. All Amy wanted was Melody.
Since she was never really good with feelings though, Amy didn't mention any of that. She just quirked up a corner of her lips, gaze dropping just below the Doctor's waist and then flickering back up to his questioning, green eyes. "What?" the redhead teased, "Insufficient parts?"
"Wha- I- No!" the Doctor stammered, nervously, cheeks beginning to burn bright red, "My parts are perfectly sufficient, thank you! But that is not the point!"
"Look, Doctor," she said after she handled her giggles, "I want this. I want to be on the TARDIS. With you. It's what I've always wanted. I just… I stopped believing I could actually keep it." Amy turned her body to face his, both hands grabbing onto either sides of his head. "Now, will you stop trying to convince me to change my mind?"
The Doctor let out a shaky breath, feeling every bit of resistance crumble as the proximity between him and his companion became almost non-existent. She had chosen him. His Amy was there to stay. "Brilliant idea, Pond." Meanwhile, the two parts of his head were at war. This can't work, remember? She's human!... She's Amy. Amy from Leadworth, the girl who waited. The girl who chose me… Do you know how pathetic you sound right now? Stop thinking so selfishly and start thinking straight. Wake up, Doctor!... I think she wants me to kiss her. She keeps looking at my lips. I want to kiss her. I think I'm going to do it… What? Are you crazy?... I'm going to do it!... Doctor, wait! Don-… Geronimo! And before the smart part of the argument could convince him otherwise, the Doctor pulled Amy's lips to his, kissing her for the first time since the night in her bedroom, the night before her wedding.
The kiss was different from the first, slow and soft and sweet. At first, Amy's eyes widened, surprised that the Doctor had actually just initiated it, but responded enthusiastically, eyes fluttering closed. The Doctor's arms wrapped around her waist, feeling the crazy beating of the three hearts, smelling TARDIS oil and his cologne mix with the Amy's sweet pea and lavender. Out of all the moments he'd lived, going back and forth through time and space, this was by far the most perfect.
Then, Amy began trying to speed things up and take control, but the Doctor didn't change his pace, smiling against her lips. It was so much like how their relationship had always been, two strong personalities always fighting to be leader, to have the upper hand. It was what had always made their relationship so wonderfully combustible. His hands flew to Amy's as she attempted to start unbuttoning his shirt, stopping her from moving any further. "We're in a time machine," the Doctor murmured into her ear, deciding it was best to break off the kiss before one of them died of asphyxiation, "We have all the time in the universe."
"Oh my God," Amy gasped, breathless. Her mind was all over the place, trying to make sense of what was going on. The Doctor had kissed her. He had just properly snogged her. The Doctor, her imaginary friend, her Raggedy Doctor, her… Son-in-law. And that jolted Amy back to reality. How had she forgotten that he was married? To her daughter, of all people? Could she be any worse of a mother? And then, of course, there was Rory, who had been gone less than an hour, promising to wait for Amy to be ready. Her eyes widened and she managed to take a small step away from the Doctor, away from his arms.
He looked at Amy, confused at the sudden distance she was trying to put between them. Her heart dropped a little at the flash of hurt and worry. Why did he have to be so kind? Why did he have to make her want to close the distance once again? "What is it?" the Doctor asked, "What's wrong? Did I- Did I do something wrong?"
"What? No!" Amy cried, rushing to reassure him, her words coming out all too fast, "That was… That was just amazing. Not that that's surprising or anything. I mean, you're 908 years old! I'd be stupid if I thought you'd be at all inexperienced. Not that I did! I just-"
"Amy?" the Doctor interrupted.
"You're rambling again." He wrapped his arms back around her, taking Amy's chin in one hand and tilting her head up to look into his eyes. They were best friends. Of course, he'd know that there was something more than his companion was saying. The Doctor smiled, his eyes still a little worried, but also slightly amused. "Come out with it, Pond. What are you thinking?"
Amy sighed, resting her head on his chest. "I just snogged my son-in-law."
Understanding flashed in the Doctor's green irises, nodding. He had completely forgotten about River, too. Of course, he had always thought about the obstacles that lay in the way of him being with Amy. But in that very moment, with her lips on his and her fingers lacing themselves in his hair, the Time Lord's mind had gone completely blank. All he had been thinking about was the beautiful redhead trying to take his clothes off. "If it helps," the Doctor offered, trying to ease the guilt he knew Amy was feeling, "The validity of it is really very questionable. It was on an alternate timeline that never happened."
"Doesn't matter," she mumbled into his shirt, "She still loves you. And you love her, don't you?"
"Yeah," he admitted, "But not like with you." The main attraction to River had started out with just the mystery of her, but then the Doctor had gotten to know her. Still, the best qualities he saw in River were all qualities that he saw in her mother.
Amy nodded, knowing completely how he felt. It was the same way with Rory. She loved him. It was just nothing compared to this. "What's wrong with me?" she sighed, lifting her face back to the Doctor with a frown on her face, "Any normal person wouldn't be doing this right now." Any normal person would have left the dangers and gone to live life with their loving human spouse. Any normal mother would never have even thought about her daughter's husband like this, let alone actually living out the fantasy.
"Yeah, well you've never been one for 'normal,' have you?" the Doctor chuckled. Amy didn't change her sad look, so he mirrored her teasingly, kissing the tip of her nose. "Amy, that's one of the best parts about you. One of the many reasons I love you so much."
The redhead felt her lips turn up into a small smile. "One of the reasons?"
"Reason number three," the Doctor stated, playfully, "Always keeps me on my toes."
"Should I get a pen and write these all down?" Amy asked.
"Another brilliant idea!" he grinned, "I may just keep you around, Pond."
Amy's smile spread, even reaching her eyes. Only the Doctor could make her feel better in a matter of seconds. And as they held each other in the console room, the only sounds being the hum of the TARDIS and the Doctor's lips as he kissed her forehead, both knew that this wasn't completely figured out, that just because Rory left and River wasn't there, didn't mean they no longer existed as a problem. But there seemed to be a wordless agreement as the Doctor took Amy's hand and led her to the kitchen for a cup of tea, changing the subject back to their search for Melody. Amy stared wordlessly at the man before her, carefully pouring the hot liquid into her cup, smiling faintly as she noticed that he knew exactly the amount of honey and lemon she liked. She stared at his mouth, moving so quick as he went on and on about the Silence and all of the possible locations Melody could possibly be, his brown fringe bobbing as his head shook with emphasis on some of his words. This was the man she had chosen, and though she loved Rory and felt so guilty for leaving him after all he'd done for her, Amy knew that this was the right choice.
"Doctor?" Amy said, suddenly, interrupting whatever tangent he talked himself into. He stopped, dropping a green tea bag into her mug and a chamomile into his. There was something she hadn't said yet, at least not that she knew of. "I love you."
The Doctor set the kettle of hot water down, smiling, and handed Amy her mug. "Love you too, Pond." And with that, the Time Lord pulled his companion's face back to his, kissing her softly before pulling away to take a sip of his own tea. Amy sat back against the counter, stirring. Yes, this was definitely where she belonged.