Life Outside the TARDIS
There was no one at the door when Amy Pond opened it in response to the ring. All that she saw was a smallish package sitting on the porch, covered with unusual stamps and postmarks that she was certain no Earthly post office had ever had. It was addressed to "Amelia Pond." There was only one being in the universe who still called her Amelia.
"Rory! He's sent us a package!" she called. She didn't need to say who "he" was. Rory came out of the kitchen, his expression as mild as if she'd notified him the daily news had arrived.
"What's he want this time?"
"Don't know yet, haven't opened it," she responded, but a thrill shot through her. It had been a long time since they'd last seen him, since he'd dropped them off for their own good. She both understood and was still angry with him for it at the same time, although they had, miraculously, managed to ease their way back into what passed for a real, normal, everyday life.
"Well, open it," said Rory, with a brief flash of impatience. Amy made a face at him and saw his expression soften, ever so slightly, around the eyes, as it often did when she looked at him.
Amy did so. She pulled back the paper to reveal a book, the title of which was Van Gogh: The Life. A blue sticky note on the front said, "It's only a theory, Pond, but you know you made an impression. Be of good cheer." Amy started to smile.
"What is it?" asked Rory.
"You weren't with us yet," said Amy. "But I told you we spent some time with Van Gogh."
"Ah, yes, during the time I'd been wiped out of time," said Rory. Amy loved the way his tone seemed to imply that being erased from history was a fairly commonplace incident. "So what's this, then?"
Amy was skimming the summary on the book's dustcover. "Their theory is Vincent didn't kill himself, Rory. That he was shot accidentally and he claimed it was suicide to protect whoever it was shot him."
"I guess it could have happened." Rory didn't sound like he believed it. Amy scowled at her husband.
"I think the Doctor wants me to believe it, though," she said, running her fingers over the cover, remembering her brief friendship with this wonderful, strange man fondly. "And I want to, Rory. I want to think he wasn't in that much despair. He hurt so much, but he had so much beauty…" Her eyes went to the print on her wall that she had gotten from a poster company online. It was the Vase of 12 Sunflowers, the painting which said For Amy in Vincent's spidery lettering. Everyone, historians and books and art teachers, they all thought it had always said For Amy, but Amy remembered it differently. It hadn't said that before the Doctor had taken her to meet him. She had even read an article where several biographers argued who "Amy" might have been.
"He did that for me," she said, pointing to the painting.
"You told me," replied Rory. He put an arm around his wife. "If you want to believe this, Amy, I'm with you," he said.
"I love you, stupid."
"I know." So very Han Solo of him. Who would have known Rory, domestic god that he was, gentle nurse and quiet supporter of all her insanity, was also the most kick-ass man in the universe? Amy kissed him. "Is there anything else?"
"No other messages, no. Just a book for me, I guess," said Amy, flipping through the pages to see if the Doctor had said anything else.
"Then I will finish the dishes." Rory went back into the kitchen.
Amy slowly started to turn the pages, skimming the words but not really reading them. "Would you go? If he came back?" she asked. "And wanted us to go along again?"
"What, and risk making another Time Lord baby?" asked Rory in a dry voice.
"You know you'd go."
"Hell, yes, I would," replied Rory. "Even if our next daughter is also kidnapped and raised as a weapon and regenerates into our best friend as a toddler and then again as a dangerous jail-breaking assassin."
"And one of our best friends," said Amy, thinking fondly of her daughter. "I wonder when we'll see her again."
"Next time she can break out of jail, I suspect," Rory responded over the sound of the water.
Amy rolled her eyes, throwing herself down on the sofa and turning the book to the first page. Written over the dedication was "For Amy – All my love, River." Would she ever be just plain mum? "Do you think we would have another, Rory?" she asked. Her voice must have sounded plaintive, because the water turned off and Rory came out of the kitchen wiping his hands.
"If you want more kids, Amy, we'll have more. As many as you want," he said.
"I'll be fine," she said, offering Rory a smile. "I'll write a note to the group tonight." Rory nodded, but continued to look at her in concern. "Get back to work." His eyes crinkled a little, but he returned to the kitchen.
Their "support" group, all people who had, like them, traveled with the Doctor. Who knew there had been so many? Barbara and Ian, both former teachers; Tegan Jovanka, the flight attendant from Australia; Sarah Jane Smith, the journalist who still dealt with aliens; as did Martha Jones-Smith and her husband Mickey; there was Jo Grant-Jones and Wilfred Mott and an amazing number of others, some of whom had left on their own and others who had been abandoned, all of them struggling, still, with normal life, life outside the TARDIS. Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood had even come once, to hug and kiss Sarah Jane and Martha and, eventually, everyone else there.
Amy closed her eyes, running her fingers over Vincent's painted likeness. She missed her friend, the TARDIS, the excitement, even the dangers. Maybe especially the dangers. The Doctor had been part of her life her whole life, since the night he had landed in her garden and turned her world inside out. But she had lived without him before, all those years she spent waiting. She could wait some more. It was a different life, but it was a good one. She had Rory, and she had memories, and somewhere she had a daughter older than she was.
"Do you need help?" she called over the sound of the water running in the kitchen.
"I won't turn it down," was the pleased response.
Amy tossed the book to the sofa and ambled into the kitchen to wipe the plates.