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Emily [userpic]
by Emily (malana)
at June 30th, 2010 (07:51 pm)

Title: Something Missing
For: deluded_vision
Author: chinesebakery
Characters: Amy/Eleven, Rose, Jackie and just a hint of TenII
Summary: Amy and the Doctor attend a wedding. As guests.
Prompt: Written for galfridian who wanted "Eleven and Amy at a wedding--but not hers or his."
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Nothing beyond 5x05 - Flesh and Stone
Word count: 2,760
Beta: limesurprise

I was terribly jittery as I stepped out of the TARDIS in my pretty, uncomfortable evening dress. I had fussed in the wardrobe for ages, right until the Doctor had yelled for me to get down already and I had no choice but to comply. More than the wedding itself, it was the knowledge that he finally trusted me with something utterly personal that rendered me neurotic. I only knew the basics of his history with Rose Tyler, but the little I'd caught between the lines had been more than enough to send my mind reeling.

Even from afar, the wedding looked like a rather simple but lavish affair. A tent had been raised on the beach, the buffet looked most inviting, and the soothing sound of waves could be heard faintly beneath the guests' chatter. I tried not to feel too self-conscious about the plainness of my own wedding plans in comparison.

"Is my dress too much?" I asked once more, glaring down the front of my sleek purple number in horror. "Oh gosh, I'm overdressed. I look ridiculous!"

"You look just fine," said the Doctor, who was wearing his trademark brown suit and bow-tie. "Stop fretting."

"I can't help it. Weddings make me nervous."

"I wonder why that could be."

"Not helping!" I replied, affronted, and lightly smacked his shoulder.

I intercepted a waiter and grabbed a flute of sparkling wine before I lured the Doctor to a strategic position by the buffet, and scanned the crowd until I caught sight of what I'd been prying for: a tall man in a skimpy dark suit, a red rose pinned to his buttonhole and an elated smile stuck on his animated face. My mood lifted instantly.

"So, this is what you used to look like?" I asked. "All lanky and cute?"

"Yep. Just look at the grinning idiot. No wonder no one ever took me seriously."

Sensing our staring, probably, the groom turned in our direction. His gaze met the Doctor's and they nodded gravely to each other before turning away. My Doctor grimaced, shaking his head slightly.

"I think he's handsome," I offered, my eyes still glued to the other Doctor. "If you're into sideburns and crazy hair, that is."

"Believe me, the hair is the least of his-" The Doctor interrupted mid-sentence and I followed his gaze to the crowd where the bride was staring back in wonder.

And there she was, looking nothing like I had expected her to. She was younger than I'd pictured, pretty, but not intimidatingly so, and didn't seem to posses River's uncanny assurance. Her wide smile was the most striking thing about her. All in all, she seemed normal enough, beside the sumptuous white dress and the crown of flowers.

Rose seemed to hesitate for a moment, as if deliberating whether her vision could be trusted, before fisting her skirt in her hands to walk toward us, her eyes still locked with the Doctor's.

"You made it," she said with a toothy grin as she reached us. "I'm so glad."

The silence stretched as they gazed at each other blinklessly, until Rose took a step forward and engulfed him in a long, tight hug. I felt a sharp pang of jealousy hit my stomach -not unexpectedly- and looked away until the pair let go of each other. Would he look at me that way if our paths crossed again, years from now?

"Rose Tyler," the Doctor finally said. "Feisty as ever."

"You look nice. Not ginger," Rose beamed, pointing to the top of his head.

"Not ginger. Thankfully."

"Hey!" I interjected with mock offense, and Rose turned to scrutinize me.

"Oh. You must be..."

"Amy Pond," the Doctor interrupted. "Amy, this is Rose Tyler. The bride."

"The dress kind of gave it away," I noted. "You look fabulous, by the way."

"Thank you. So do you."

"I knew I was overdressed," I moaned.

"Amy is my current assistant," the Doctor needlessly explained.

"Assistant!" Rose chuckled. "Don't you hate that word? It sounds like you just ran loose from the dental practice."

"Or threw a hissy fit at the office and forsook the copier to escape with the first time-travelling alien who crossed my path, I know."

Rose chuckled and turned back to the Doctor. "Nice bow-tie."

I couldn't help but groan. "Please don't get him started on the bow-tie," I muttered, but too late.

"I know," he beamed. "It's so cool, isn't it?"

Rose and I exchanged a glance and said, "Alien!" at the exact same time.

When our giggles died down, the strained silence resumed. The Doctor and Rose were having a silent conversation, I knew, but I couldn't decipher their pointed looks.

"Rose," screeched a middle-aged blonde, whose face was half hidden beneath a huge -and hot pink- feathered hat, as she marched to us. "I've been looking all over for you! The photographer's about to have a fit-"

"Mrs Tyler," the Doctor cut in, an odd glim in his eye.

"Jackie," she replied automatically. "I already feel like I'm a thousand years- oh, hello," she said from beyond the pink monstrosity. She eyed him from head to toe and instantly switched to flirt-mode, her voice all warm honey. "Have we met before? We can't have, I'd remember."

"Brand new face, do you like it? Your hat, it's just splendid," he added before kissing her cheek.

She barely had time to look confused before her face grew pink with pleasure. "It's good to see you again, Jackie."

"I'll explain later, Mum," Rose said, winking to the Doctor. "Tell the photographer I'll be with him in a minute."

"I'll come with you," I said, gently steering Mrs Tyler away. "Those two need to catch up and I'm good in times of crisis. Your hat really is amazing. You must tell me where you found that marvel. And, oh, I hadn't even noticed the matching shoes!"

---

I was standing idly by the buffet with another flute in my hand when the Doctor joined me. I suspected my eyes looked suspiciously bright as I stared at the bride and groom who were swaying slowly on the makeshift dance floor. The Doctor laid a comforting hand on my shoulder, but I didn't look up.

"They look so happy," I said, my voice sounding embarrassingly shaky. "Like they belong with each other."

"A bit smug, if you ask me," the Doctor replied, taking the glass from my hand to lay it on a waiter's tray as he walked past us. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just- you know. Weddings."

"I thought they made you nervous."

"They do, but... It makes me wonder if I'll look half as blissful on my own wedding day," I confessed with a humorless chuckle.

"Amy-"

"So, how weird is it?" I interrupted. "Isn't it a bit like watching your brother getting married to your ex?"

"I suppose it is. In a way."

"Are you upset?"

"No. I'm glad he has her. The poor chap needs all the help he can get."

"Have you ever been married? Beside your stint as Mr. Song, I mean."

"Amy Pond, have I told you how gorgeous you look in formal wear?"

"Do I need to look an angel right in the eye whenever I want you to tell me the truth?"

"No more angels. You've only just stopped having nightmares."

"How do you know?"

"I know," the Doctor shrugged. "I pay attention."

I gave him a wobbly smile.

"Do you miss Rory?"

I considered lying for a second, but a picture came to my mind, so clear and precise, of Rory and I kissing on a bench after school when we were teenagers, years ago. Everything was so light and easy then, so simple. Would I have ever been content with that life if the Doctor had never come back for me? I wasn't so sure now.

"Not really," I sighed. "Is it a terrible thing to say? It is, I know it is. But it's true. I do, sometimes. I miss the comfort and the easiness of being with Rory. I miss his smile and his sense of humour. But I don't miss us."

The Doctor nodded and kept quiet for a moment. "Do you want to dance?" he asked suddenly, surprising me once again.

"You can dance?"

"Of course I can dance, no need to look so flabbergasted. Nine hundred and seven years, you'd think I'd have learned a thing or two along the way."

I laughed and held up my hand to let him lead me among the dancers. The music was slow and intimate and it felt so good to be in his arms for no reason but the pleasure of it. After a while, I gave in to the impulse and let my head rest against his shoulder. Gratefully, he didn't push me away. He only pressed me tighter to him and we stood there, barely moving, for long, long minutes.

Something clicked in my brain and I knew that was it, the place where I wanted to be. All new and yet so familiar, like we'd been dancing together for thousands of years. I breathed him in -he smelled like old books and citrus tea, so warm and comforting- and let the world fade away.

Then the beat of the music grew faster and the spell was broken. The Doctor released me and our eyes met. I tried my best to say something meaningful without opening my mouth.

Someone tapped on his shoulder. I gracefully surrendered my partner to the bride and stepped away. I needed some time to articulate my thoughts, anyway.

I walked away from the tent and took off my pointy shoes to walk on the sand barefoot. The tide was up and so was the wind, but I couldn't feel the chill.

---

I was sitting on the beach, my hands playing idly with a fistful of sand -a long forgotten childhood pleasure- when the Doctor joined me again. It was almost dark now, and the music coming from the party was deafened by the sound of waves.

"What are you doing here? I've been looking for you," he said as he sat down next to me. "No wandering off, remember?"

"Having fun, I see," I countered with a pointed look to his untied bow and messy hair. "I haven't wandered off. I've been here for a while. Just thinking."

"I'm almost afraid to ask."

So, there it was. Confession time. I grabbed another fistful of sand.

"See, Doctor, there's always been something missing. Ever since I was little, I knew something was missing. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew there was something for me to find, like the door in the corner of my eye. When you landed in my garden I thought, this. This is what I need. This madness. Good madness. It took years for me to become jaded enough to discard the memory."

"What happened to the girl who bit the psychiatrists who said I wasn't real?"

"She had phases. Lots of phases. Did you know I was a juvenile delinquent for about five minutes? Not a very good one, I got caught the first time I tried tagging the bus stop."

"Amy Pond, you little fiend! You made Leadworth's crime rate explode," he smirked, pushing my shoulder with his.

"When Rory asked me to marry him, I said no. Several times. Then I changed my mind because I pictured settling down might straighten me up. Allow me to enjoy my life the way it was."

"That doesn't sound like a very good reason to get married."

"I know. But I didn't know what else to do. You'd left again, and I didn't think you would come back this time."

"You shouldn't have doubted me," he said, sounding genuinely affronted, and I bit back a chuckle.

"What I'm trying to say is... Being here with you, is what's been missing all these years, what I was yearning for. I've found what makes me happy. I know it comes with an expiration date but for now, it's everything. And I wish I could give you back some of it, but I don't know how. So, tell me," she said, grasping his hand. "How can I do that for you?"

"You do it already. Everyday," he answered, his voice vehement.

"The same way every other assistant ever has?"

"It's not like that, Amy. I'm not a collector. You're not my assistant, you're my friend. Right now, you're the best friend I have and it counts for something. It matters. Don't make it sound like it doesn't."

"I want more. I want to be more than your typical human passenger. I want you to trust me. I want to make your life... lighter. Happier."

"I don't know what you're asking for, Amy."

"What is it that you need, Doctor? What's missing from your life?"

"Nothing. I'm fairly content with it the way it is, thank you," the Doctor said dismissively.

"You're a bad liar when your heart's not in it. If you're so content, why are we here, watching Rose Tyler getting married to someone who's almost you?"

He looked at me reproachfully and I decided to change tactics. The setting was inspiring enough.

"Let's pretend for a minute, Doctor. There's no wedding, no people, no nothing. It's just us and the waves and the stars. It's lovely here, quiet and peaceful. Just enjoy it. Allow yourself to enjoy it," I said, and slipped closer to him until we were sitting hip to hip.

"You're shivering. We should get back inside."

"There's no inside. Nothing but us."

I draped an arm around his shoulders and before I could talk myself out of it, my fingers were grazing the back of his neck. I kissed him softly, so softly, nothing like those aggressive, demanding kisses we had shared in my bedroom. There was no imminent danger, real or imaginary, no urgency, no pressure. It was sweet and emotional, and he didn't fight back this time; he didn't even try. After a minute, I inched away, but the Doctor didn't move.

"Did you like that?" I whispered, hoping to cover the sound of my heartbeat.

"No?" he replied, but it sounded like a question.

"You're a very bad liar, then."

I had kissed many people in my days. Hell, I'd done it professionally, as casual as could be. I knew enough about that kissing business to make the difference between something you did for fun and something meaningful.

I inched just a little bit closer and he kissed me this time, with the same aching softness. His finger grasped a strand of hair and smoothed it back.

"I'm not a randy teenager, Amy Pond. I'm an old man. A lonely old man. You shouldn't play these games with me."

"I'm not trying to seduce you," I insisted. "Just enjoying the moment."

"It's not a bad moment," he admitted, and kissed the side of my neck.

"Told you." My hand was smoothing the front of his shirt below his jacket when a chill passed through me. I felt it right to the tip of my fingers.

"Wait," he said, and the next moment, I was wrapped in scratchy, warm tweed.

I smiled and looked up to an almost black sky lit by a multitude of shiny lights. I gestured vaguely to the stars.

"So. Which one of those would you recommend?" I asked as I leaned back, tangling my legs with his.

"Ah, let's see. You wouldn't like this one. It smells like sewer on the best of days, and those short skirts of yours would get us jailed. Plus, the people there consider cooked mud a delicacy."

"I'll pass," I said, wrinkling my nose.

"That one, well. There's not much left of it, I'm afraid," he said, sobering up.

"Sorry," I said, nuzzling his neck.

"This one, though," he said pointing to a random white spot in the sky, "has the best mango sorbet you'll ever eat."

"Sweet. Let's go there tomorrow."

"So, there is a tomorrow. Your rules make no sense at all," he said dryly as I settled my head over his arm.

"My rules are great. And you're not allowed to complain about them."

"I should have guessed when I first met you that you'd turn into a tyrant."

"You love it."

"I tolerate it."

"You really are a grumpy old man."

"Don't say I didn't warn you," he said, and kissed me again, thankfully.

Comments

Posted by: tardis_coral (tardis_coral)
Posted at: July 1st, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)

aww, this is so great. i really like when the Doctor tells her he's not a randy teenager but an old man. it did leave me wondering what 10.5 thought about seeing the REAL Doctor there.

oh Amy, good luck with him. he's a really tough one to reign in. maybe that's why she'll do well. she won't TRY to reign him in. she'll just let him be who he is.

very sweet fic. bittersweet, too. for no one can hold onto the Doctor forever.

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