Characters: Amy/Rory (Amy/Eleven), Melody
Word count: 2,000
Summary: A long time ago in Leadworth...
A/N: Spoilers for 6x08, LKH
When they are eight years old, Amelia and Mels argue over who gets to marry the Doctor in their pretend wedding ceremonies.
The girls at school have been having weddings every day on the playground for years, and although Amelia and Melody have dismissed it up ‘til now as “complete rubbish -- let’s go play footie with the boys,” today Rory suggested they play at weddings, instead.
(This may have been because Rory has two black eyes from jumping too high to try to head the ball, and all the boys are laughing at him. He hasn’t played with Amelia and Mels in a few weeks, but when he trudges up to them by the side of the pitch and asks, “Why don’t we just play pretend instead?” Mels jumps on board. And when Mels agrees to something, Amelia always does too.)
“We could do pretend weddings, I guess,” says Rory, shaking his head so his too-long bangs will hide his black eyes, scuffing his foot in the dirt.
“Yeah!” screams Mels. “I want to marry the Doctor!”
Rory, who had been looking up at Amelia out of the corner of his eye, turns to look at Mels. So does Amelia. “Why do you get to marry the Doctor?” Amelia asks, “He’s my Doctor.”
“But you said he wasn’t even hot!”
“No but he’s funny, I like funny, he’s mine!”
“Want to hear a joke?” Rory asks Amelia.
“Not now!” the girls both yell, looking daggers at each other. The whole thing dissolves in a screaming match, while Rory sighs with the world-weariness of a pensioner and looks out on the game the boys are playing.
When they are eleven, Amelia runs away for the first time.
It’s Mels who knocks on Rory’s door. In a few hours Amelia’s aunt will call Rory’s mother, but Mels always moves faster than the adults, faster than any form of communication. Rory opens the door and Mels pulls him into the yard, whispering in his ear. He nods and they both take off running towards the stream behind his house.
“Wait, what happened --” Rory tries to catch his breath. Mels is doubled over, panting; like that’s she’s still almost Rory’s height. He reaches his arms up to the sky.
“I don’t know,” says Mels. “She’s been talking about running away for a while, but I thought she was just playing. But I just went over to her house and she wasn’t there and that suitcase that she keeps all packed and ready under her bed was missing.”
Rory nods. It’s her Doctor suitcase. He doesn’t why know where Amelia is.
Rory and Mels carve through the bushes behind his house, press through the thickets of branch and leaf that lie between his yard and Amelia’s. As they walk, Mels tells him about what she and Amelia have been up to, the games they’ve been playing, the boys they maybe-sort-of fancy. Rory nods -- Jeff, Oliver -- he’s been spending more time with them and their lot lately, not wanting to be hanging around with girls when they’re eleven years old. But as Mels talks to him, talks about Amelia, he remembers how much he misses them both, misses her.
“I might know...” Rory starts. No, he does know. He knows Amelia. “I know where she is,” he says.
Mels just follow as he leads her to Amelia’s yard, out in front of the house to the garden shed. It was rebuilt four years ago, and Amelia’s Aunt Sharon has allowed all sorts of shrubbery to grow up around it, so that he has to weasel his way through the scratchy stems. It’s a harder fight for Mels, who pushes her way through and comes out with scratches all down her arms.
Rory knocks on the door of the shed. There’s no answer. He knocks again. “Oh will you stop being so stupidly polite,” Mels says, pushing against the door with the side of her body. Amelia is there, even taller than Mels but looking so small, sitting on top of her suitcase. When she sees them she runs, out the shed and through the gap in the brush that Mels created.
Mels chases after her, but Rory just stays rooted to the spot. Amelia runs away and Rory just stays still, watching her red hair turn a corner and dance out of sight.
When they are fourteen, Rory’s mother organizes a class trip to the cinema, and Amy uses the cover of darkness to stick her tongue down Jeff’s throat.
Everyone in their two rows at the movie theater can see, and Rory clenches his armrests so hard he worries he might prize them from their plastic bases. Then he scolds himself for worrying because really, aren’t there bigger things to worry about? Maybe he should break some plastic. Maybe that would be good for him. Maybe if he would stop overthinking everything like a nervous idiot then Amelia -- Amy, Amy, he keeps forgetting she wants to be Amy now -- would be kissing someone else right now. His knucks have gone white when Mels touches him on the arm. The contact shocks him.
“The movie’s over, Rory,” Mels says. “C’mon.”
They walk out of the theater and into the cold spring air. Rory presses both of his lips together, and brings his arms to his chest against the cold.
“You like Amy,” Mels says. It isn’t a question.
Rory makes an undignified noise in the back of his throat, and twists his head to both sides so quickly to make sure no one from their class has overheard her that he has to grip his neck. Then he coughs.
“Okay so that definitely proves it,” Mels laughs.
“I don’t,” Rory says quickly. “Really, I don’t. At all. Jeff’s just a whiny arsehole, I don’t want to hear him gloating about this tomorrow.”
“Really?” asks Mels. Her eyebrows are up; she’s skeptical.
“Really.” Says Rory. “I don’t like her at all. I was fine when she was waiting for the Raggedy Doctor --”
“--Because we made you dress up as the Doctor! She was waiting for you!”
“No, she wasn’t,” Rory says. “Besides, Amy’s not even waiting for the Doctor any more. She’s just fine with Whiny Jeff.”
Mels nods, “No, Amy’s not waiting for the Doctor anymore.” Rory notices the tiny bit of sadness in her voice as she adds, “But I am.”
Rory doesn’t know what to do, he wants to offer some support but Mels speaks a moment later in the same upbeat voice she always does. “You know what we should do,” she says, “We should go shopping. That always makes me feel better!”
“I don’t have any money, Mels,” Rory starts, but Mels rolls her eyes and pulls him off down the high street. And that’s how Rory ends up shoplifting two lipsticks from the corner pharmacy with Mels. It doesn’t really make him feel better, but he is laughing at the smile she flashes him, with her upper and lower lips each painted a different color.
When they are seventeen, Mels steals a bus and Rory’s life changes forever.
Rory’s too tall for Amy’s little chairs, but he sits in one anyway and interjects at the right moments while Amy scolds Mels for tonight’s legal infraction. He was supposed to go to be early tonight, he’s got classes first thing tomorrow, it’s the very beginning of his nursing program, but when Amy called telling him they had to go ‘round the police station and pick up Mels of course he said yes.
He likes to think he’s been saying “yes” less often lately, but maybe that isn’t true. He at least thinks he cares a bit less about the whole thing with Amy, but maybe that’s just because she’s stopped snogging Jeff. School is over, he’s started his actual career track, but here he is in Amy’s room, still covered in the cut-out dolls of the Raggedy Doctor they used to play with, and he feels like he’s moving backward.
“I better go,” Rory says, “I’m on earlies tomorrow.”
“It’s alright for you,” Mels says to Amy, “You’ve got Mr. Perfect keeping you right.”
Still the bloody Doctor, Rory thinks, as he zips up his backpack. He’s got to get out of this place, it’s just full of the Doctor--
“What, Rory?” Amy’s voice cuts through his internal narrative as he goes to open the door. “How have I got Rory?”
Oh she’s got him completely, even though he tells himself she hasn’t, but he’s supposed to put up a fight on this one, yeah? “Yeah, how -- how has she got me?” Shit, Mels is looking at him in that way that’s been able to see through him since they were eight.
“He’s not mine,” scoffs Amy.
“No, no I’m not hers,” he adds, not quite matching the casualness of her tone.
Then Amy’s got her arm around him and he’s trying not to care, he’s actually really not caring because just like the million times something like this has happened before, this isn’t going to actually lead to anything. “I’d love to,” says Amy. “He’s gorgeous, he’s my favorite guy but he’s --”
Rory knows the answer to this, but when he responds “Afraid,” she says something else.
“I’m not gay,” he says. He can answer that one. “No, no I’m not.” And god, he must not be the only colossally thick one, because when Amy starts on about knowing him for ten years, and never seeing him interested in girls, Christ, she’s as clueless as he is.
Or maybe not. Amy’s calling his name as he runs down the stairs, and she’s caught up to him by the time he’s reached the bottom. She has one hand on the banister and one on his forearm and she’s out of breath and her hair has come a bit loose and he hasn’t changed at all, has he? He’s eight years old, just wanting her to tell a joke and worried -- no, convinced -- that she likes somebody else better than she likes him.
“The girl you’ve liked all this time,” Amy asks -- there’s trepidation in her voice, too, and Rory uses it to make himself strong, pulling her hand off the banister and into his own -- “The girl you’ve liked all this time is me?”
Rory likes that she asks it as a question, even if she already knows the answer. He nods. “Yes, um... yes.”
She nods back. “Okay, I didn’t know.”
“No reason you should have.”
“For the whole time?”
“Probably... does it matter?”
“I didn’t know.”
“Yeah, no reason you should have.”
“I wish I had known.”
“Oh. Okay --”
Rory is still trying to absorb the fact that they’re holding hands why Amy kisses him. There are too many thoughts. He’s never kissed someone before -- is this what he’s supposed to be doing? What does he do when she opens her lips like that okay, okay, he can do that. And one of her hands is at the back of his neck now so he has a free hand, he could sort of wave it around behind her back like a victory hand hand dance there’s no such thing as a hand dance, what even is he thinking? Rory can think just enough to bring his spare hand ‘round the small of her back and pull her against him.
Mels wolf-whistles from the second floor, jolting them from their kiss. Rory raises his head, and looks up at Mels leaning over the banister. He gets a mouthful of Amy’s loose bangs as he rests his chin on her forehead and she tucks her face into his neck, and Rory smiles up at Mels and tries to say thank you with just his eyes.