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Into the Dark (2/?)

b&w
Title: Into the Dark (/?)
Author: peonyinblue 
Rating: G
Characters: Eleven/Amy, Rory
Genre (entire series): AU post-Vincent and the Doctor, Action/Adventure, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Word Count: 4,162
Summary: Amelia Pond, the girl who waited. Waited for him. And as usual, he let the loneliness get to him and he said she could come, and now her family, her Rory, all gone. Her life, broken in his hands. Because he was too selfish, too lonely to say no.

Author's Notes: To anyone who has been waiting for this: first, thank you so much for waiting for it and second, I'm so sorry it took so long. Stupid real life. I'd much rather be doing this, but stuff got in the way. I think I should be a little bit better at getting the next pieces up more quickly, I'm going to try my hardest. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate it so much. I hope you like it.

AND, huge thank you to nicodemusfleur  for her phenomenal beta help and support. You all have to read a lot less commas because of her :)

Two weeks after she brings the note home, Amelia’s teacher tells her that she will be excused from gym to go see Ms. Honeywell, the school counselor.

Amelia goes alone, through the quiet halls of her school, to the blue door near the main office. Ms. Honeywell smiles at her and tells her to sit down in a big green armchair that is too large for a little girl. It has a pattern made up of squares on the green fabric. Her legs dangle over the side, and she can’t sit comfortably.

So, Ms. Honeywell says, I hear that you have a friend who is a doctor?

At first, Amelia is happy to talk about the Doctor. Besides Rory, no one usually pays attention to her favorite subject, and it is exciting that Ms. Honeywell seems so very interested. Amelia explains to Ms. Honeywell that she was praying to Santa because there was a crack in her wall that gave her nightmares, and she was hoping Santa could help her fix it. Then Santa sent her the Doctor, who came in to her house and ate a lot of her food (sort of) and then he fixed the crack. He said that space and time were broken, but then he fixed it. And then he had to go, but he said that he would be back in five minutes to get her.

Ms. Honeywell asks her how long ago that was, and Amelia admits that it was a year ago. But, she says, she’s sure that the Doctor is very busy, helping Santa and fixing the universe. He has probably just been delayed, but he will definitely come back. He promised.

What will happen when he comes back, Ms. Honeywell wants to know.

Well, Amelia says, I will go away with him in his box and he will take me on adventures with him. I’ll get to leave forever, and never come back.

But don’t you think your mom and dad will miss you, if you go away?

Amelia says that she has no mom and dad. Only her aunt.

Then won’t your aunt miss you?

Maybe, Amelia says, but she’s not sure.

Ms. Honeywell is quiet for a second, and then she says that she will miss Amelia, and so will her friends and her teacher. Amelia thinks this sounds suspicious, since she only just met Ms. Honeywell.

I’m going to go away with the Doctor, Amelia says. I’m sorry if people will miss me, but I’m going to go with him. He can take me outside of Leadworth, and I won’t have to be here any more in this stupid English town. We can eat fish fingers and custard and fix cracks in the universe and I won’t have to go to school or stay in my house or make Rory play with me. It will be just me and the Doctor and it will be wonderful.

Ms. Honeywell smiles and says that sounds like it would be very wonderful indeed, except maybe for the fish fingers and custard. But why doesn’t Amelia want to stay with her aunt and her friends?

They’re fine, Amelia says, but they’re not as wonderful as the Doctor.

Okay, says Ms. Honeywell.

::::

It took a good fifteen minutes of stumbling through the dark streets before the Doctor figured out where they should be.

“We need a good view, Pond,” he said, aiming the sonic at the doorknob of the building he had selected. With a click, the lock turned and he shoved the door open. The building was a bank, empty this late at night. Inside was pitch black, and the only light came from the Doctor’s sonic, illuminating his hand and upper arm in a gentle green glow.

“Stairs, we need stairs...” he mumbled as he swung the sonic around the room, turning the shadowy contents a pale, unearthly green. The room proved to be rather cavernous. Directly across the floor from the main door a row of empty teller’s booths lined the back wall and the floor in between was covered with rows of accounting desks. At the far corner was a door that seemed to be their best chance at finding the staircase.

Their footsteps echoed on the granite floor as they made their way towards the door. Amy tried for the hundredth time that night to adjust her dress and make it more comfortable as she followed the green silhouette of the Doctor. She was exhausted, she realized. Between the walk in the park, the interminable dinner, and then stumbling through the dark streets of New York, she was surprised she was still able to stand upright.

The doorway did indeed lead to a staircase and three painful flights of stairs later, Amy was thrilled when the Doctor swung open a door to a large office and announced that it was perfect. The office clearly belonged to someone of importance. The walls were lined with bookshelves filled to the brim with volumes. A large desk was off to one side, with several armchairs and a couch taking up the center of the room. Most importantly, the exterior wall of the office featured several large windows facing out into the night.

“Here we are!” the Doctor exclaimed, drawing the heavy drapes away from one of the windows, which stretched practically from floor to ceiling. “Perfect.”

“Okay then!” Amy said, mimicking his tone. “A window! Brilliant!”

He turned away from the window and smiled at her, her sarcasm lost on him as usual. “This is going be brilliant, Amy, in every sense of the word. And we have excellent seats!” he said, gesturing to the window with the sonic.

“That’s more like it,” Amy mumbled, gratefully sinking in to the arm chair closest to her. The corset still kept her spine straight, but at least she was able to slouch against the back of the chair and rest her feet. She closed her eyes and sighed deeply.

The Doctor turned back towards her and frowned. “You’re not going to be able to see anything from there, Amy.”

Amy peered at him through one open eye. “I can’t really see anything at all right now, Doctor. If you want me to move, you’re going to have to do it yourself,” she said, closing her eyes again. There was a second of silence, and then she heard a loud scraping noise from the Doctor’s side of the office.

A few seconds later, and she felt him tugging at her hands, pulling her up from where she sat.

“Oi!” she whined in protest as he hauled her up and dragged her over to a chair that he had positioned in front of the window, leading her by the arms. She sank in to the new chair and glared up at him.

“Doctor,” she started, “I appreciate your efforts, I really do. But I am exhausted, and I can barely breathe in this thing. Please tell me that we’re almost done.”

He only grinned at her and pointed out the window. “Just watch Amy. Should be any moment now.”

The Doctor moved around behind her to lean on crossed arms along the tall back of her chair. He flicked off the sonic and stowed it back in his pocket. The room was immediately plunged back in to darkness.

Amy could feel his presence behind her; could hear him breathing softly. She noticed, again, how comfortable and nice it felt, his presence in the dark. Here they were again, trespassing in some mysterious building - trespassing in every way possible really. Trespassing in time and space, most definitely not where they should be. But she was with her Doctor, and it felt perfectly right.

She did her best to keep her eyes open to the inky blackness and stay awake. Just as she was about to drift to sleep the window suddenly lit up, so bright she almost had to shield her eyes.

Through the window, the city glowed before her; a full square mile of buildings pulsating with electric light for the first time. Edison’s achievement: block after block of New York City buildings wired for the future and shining out of the darkness.

Her eyes, which had become so used to the dark, slowly adjusted and Amy could make out buildings and windows and streetlamps, all radiating brilliantly. Suddenly it hit her - how very dark the whole evening had been. The Morgan’s house; the way they had to stumble through the streets with only the sonic to guide their way; the empty bank. All so very dark, and always that way.

She stared wide eyed out the window at the incredible sight below. The Doctor looked down at her, the light catching in her brilliant red hair, a beautiful smile spread across her face. It was more than he could have hoped for. He could see her amazement and wonder; he could practically breathe it in.

The Doctor’s voice drifted down to her, barely a whisper. “I wanted you to see it - really see it, Amy. Can you imagine now? You’ve seen light bulbs before, you know electricity. But what if you didn’t? What if your whole world was darkness? What would it feel like if someone suddenly turned on a light? That’s what I wanted you to see. Because it is glorious. That feeling you have now - multiply it by a hundred. Imagine how all those people must feel - this first shining step out of the dark into a light they didn’t even know could exist. Look at how beautiful, Amy! Look at how amazing you people can be.”

She looked up at him, perched behind her. The light from the window illuminated his face, all angles and shadows, and his eyes sparkled. He was smiling in that soft way of his, the way he looked when he was overcome with joy and amazement at the human race, at the universe itself.

And she could see it.

“Thank you,” she breathed, turning to face out the window once again, her green eyes wide, and a smile on her lips.

The Doctor turned back to her, ready to say more, but in the electric light he saw a tear slide down her cheek and knew it wasn’t for the scene below. He shut his mouth, realizing hopelessly that he had nothing to say.

::::

The light that came through the window hours later was a soft, dull pinkish-orange.” It seeped in to the room, slowly soaking the carpet, the walls, the desks and chairs with its golden glow, bringing with it the soft quiet of very early morning and a fresh day.

It fell across Amy, still sitting in the chair the Doctor had placed in front of the window for her the night before. Her head lolled to one side, supported by the broad leather wing of the chair. Slowly she began to wake, taking a deep breath before squinting one eye open then the other. She shifted slightly to peer behind her.

The Doctor’s long form was stretched out on the couch, his arms tucked behind his head. When he saw that she was awake, he smiled.

“Blimey,” Amy muttered, twisting to stretch out her aching muscles before collapsing back against the chair. The folly of having slept sitting up straight wearing a corset was evident.

“Good nights rest?” he asked her, sitting up himself.

Amy only groaned in response.

“Lovely! We’d best get going then. We’ll want to be out of here before important banker man returns.”

Amy nodded and paused before pulling herself up from the chair slowly and stretching. The Doctor was already ahead of her in the hallway.

“Blimey,” she muttered again, talking only to herself. “Don’t you ever get tired?”

“Come along, Pond!” the Doctor’s voice echoed from the hallway. She laughed begrudgingly and followed him out of the building.

It was early and the street was deserted as Amy and the Doctor emerged from the bank, quietly sonic-ing the door shut behind them with a soft click. The early fall air was crisp and cool and the usually strong smell of a working city - coal and dirt, animals and brick – was momentarily chased away by the new day. In the distance, far away sounds of machinery and a barking dog could be heard.

Amy jogged a bit to catch up to the Doctor, clasping her dress in one hand and looping her other arm through his.

“Doctor, don’t you think it is a bit weird?”

“What?” he asked, stepping over a broken bottle on the street.

“I mean, nothing has happened. No monsters, no disasters -”

“You don’t think dinner last night was a disaster?” he said, grinning at her.

She laughed. “Fair enough, I guess. But usually we don’t go anywhere without some sort of trouble. Feels odd...”

“Yes, well,” the Doctor said, “not back at the TARDIS yet. Let’s not speak too soon.”

They finished the rest of their walk back to the park in silence, Amy stifling a yawn every now and then. Central Park was nearly as empty as the streets in the city and a thin fog clung to the ground, giving the trees and ponds an ethereal quality. They made their way back through the dirt paths to the small grove of trees where the Doctor had parked the blue police box the day before.

“There, see?” Amy said gesturing her arms towards the direction they came from before slumping against the TARDIS doors, “No trouble. Totally fine! Very weird.”

The Doctor was fitting the key in to the door, and he looked up at her. Amy smiled at him, but he didn’t smile back. Instead, he searched her eyes with his.

“You are fine, Amy?” he asked.

Taken aback, all Amy could do was nod. “Of course! Doctor, are you fine? You’ve been so strange lately. Stranger than the usual,” she said skeptically.

“Yes, yes, of course,” he muttered dismissively, pushing the doors open. The quiet hum of the TARDIS greeted them both as they walked in.

“Well, all right then, you bloody alien...” Amy mumbled to herself, sticking her tongue out at him behind his back.

“What was that?” the Doctor asked, bounding up the stairs to the central controls.

“First, I am getting out of this dress,”Amy said, raising her voice. “Second, I am taking a nap!”

She reached the top of the stairs just as the Doctor pulled on the lever to launch them back in to the void. As the ship lurched, Amy grabbed on to the railing to steady herself. The usual vibrating and turbulence went on for a few minutes before the Doctor flipped a small switch and the ground leveled up again.

Amy scratched at the lace encircling her neck, thinking. “Actually, you know what? First thing and a half: breakfast. I’m starving.”

The Doctor grinned. “We still have some jammy dodgers left over in the kitchen.”

She laughed. “No biscuits for breakfast! Toast and jam, please.”

“Pond, you are entirely too grown up,” he said. She only laughed before stomping up the stairs pulling at the back of her dress.

The Doctor continued to busy himself with the TARDIS controls for the next few moments, finding his ship a convenient and quiet place to sit in empty space for a while. As he was making the final adjustments, he heard Amy’s returning footsteps.

“Doctor!” she yelled. “How’s your sonic on buttons?”

“What?” the Doctor exclaimed, peering around the central column. Amy was standing at the top of the stairs, looking sheepish.

“Buttons, and maybe a few snaps? I can’t get this off,” she said leaning on the railing and raising her eyebrows at him.

The Doctor swallowed, hard. “Um, I’m not entirely sure...” he stammered.

“Doctor? Please,” Amy said. “I don’t have the energy for all the acrobatics it took me to get in to it yesterday. Just a little help?” she pleaded, turning her back to him.

The Doctor nervously fiddled with his bow-tie for a moment before starting up the stairs.

When he reached the top, he gently took her shoulders and maneuvered her in to a better position to see the problem. A tiny row of jet black buttons, nearly two dozen, ran down the back of the dress.

“Ah, yes. Well, lucky for you, I do have a button setting,” the Doctor said, clearing his throat and pulling the sonic screwdriver out of his front breast pocket. Amy could feel a gentle tickle down her spine as he slowly drew it from the base of her neck to the small of her back. She rolled her shoulders in relief as the fabric slackened around her neck and waist.

“That’s more like it,” she said, sighing with relief and crossing her arms in front of her to keep the dress up.

“Yes, well, good then,” the Doctor mumbled, nervously tossing the sonic back and forth between his hands and turning back to his machine.

“Oi! I’m not all the way out, Doctor,” Amy exclaimed. “You’re not done sonic-ing me yet,” she said with a sly grin.

“Amy, now really,” he said, giving her his best disapproving look. As usual, there was no effect. Amy grinned at him, wide eyed. “Look,” he continued, “it doesn’t do laces, I’m sorry.”

“You have fingers, don’t you?” she said accusingly, then turned her back to him.

He sighed. He knew there was no arguing with her, and anyway, he was being ridiculous, he chided himself. Just a set of laces. Lord knew she was wearing more clothing at the moment than she did under normal circumstances.

He stepped back up the stairs and began to pick at the laces running up her spine, trying to think very hard about the TARDIS’s main time-engine and its carburetors. In a few moments, the corset slackened and Amy sighed audibly. As it did a thin section of Amy’s back became visible, red where the stays of the corset had dug in to her delicate skin.

“Amy, you’re all red,” the Doctor said, surprised and concerned, running his long fingers gently across the marks before thinking.

At his touch, Amy shivered involuntarily. She didn’t mind the sensation. “Just a bit too tight,” she said. “Probably shouldn’t have slept in it last night,” she added, glaring over her shoulder.

The Doctor was still looking at her back, his eyebrows knotted with concern. When he realized she was looking at him, he backed away quickly.

“Yes, just minor, it seems... No serious capillary damage, skin is still intact,” he went on, scanning her with his sonic screwdriver briefly from a few feet away and checking the readings. He didn’t tell her that he’d completely missed and instead was looking at the health statistics of the wall behind her.

Amy laughed. “Look at you, all nervous! What’s the matter, first time you’ve undone a lady’s corset?” she said suggestively, wagging her eyebrows at him.

“No,” he said quickly, starting back down the stairs. Halfway down, he thought better of it and added, “I’m not nervous. I’m Mr. Cool.”

She laughed again, “Yeah, sure.” Then, her eyes went wide. “Come to think of it, why does your sonic screwdriver have a buttons setting, Doctor?”

He got down to the main platform and spun around to face her again, before pulling on a lever with as much authority as he could muster. He didn’t answer her.

“Whatever,” she said, rolling her eyes, and turning back towards the corridor. “Thanks for sonic-ing me, Doctor.”

As the sound of her laughter faded away, the Doctor turned back to the console and squeezed his eyes shut in frustration. This wouldn’t do at all, he knew. For so many reasons.

He pulled his sonic screwdriver out again absentmindedly, considering. Amy was so unlike any of his recent companions, particularly in her attitude about flirting. Frustratingly, his new body was so very bad at dealing with it – the innuendo and small touches seemed to trigger anything but a smooth response. Which only seemed to make her try harder.

It had been so different with the last two bodies. His ninth incarnation had enough darkness and pain to keep distance between himself and everyone. The losses of the Time War had permanently, it felt, broken his heart, and as much as that hurt it made it easy to see things in black and white. Then, every emotion he had was well buried under dark clouds. The pain kept him from feeling anything much at all besides anger.

And his tenth incarnation was just so comfortable - angry, sad and lonely, yes, but so comfortable and easy in social situations. So able to bottle up and keep away emotions like love and hate and grief, and live his life as if they didn’t exist. Again the lines were clear and though they broke open at times, when it came to anything more than rage, he had control.

Then when he regenerated this last time, something had happened - somehow, those lines and bottles he had used for so long to keep himself in check were leaking. He had banished his own people back to the Time War again, but this time it was different. If he was going to give a name to it, he might have called it closure. He had grieved them, and then been reminded of exactly why he was driven to end the war in the first place. Even though he’d done it again, this time the grief was gone and all that was left was a vague sense of sadness and bittersweet resignation. It was the way it had to be.

And now this young body, so new and alive, had a 900 year old soul that was wiser and more mature than ever before. A soul that had seen and survived sadness; a soul that was tired of being miserable. And a body, so young and so old at the same time. So new and already so scarred. It was as if he had come full circle - had lived too long and was back at the beginning, ready to be alive again.

He didn’t want to consider his own feelings. He hadn’t in so long, and that was why he had rules for companions - so there would be no thinking about his own feelings. It was too complicated, he was too complicated. And certainly, Amelia Pond was too complicated.

He sighed again, slumping against the TARDIS console and fiddling with the buttons on the sonic. The tip lit up green and buzzed, and he felt the button at the top of his shirt collar pop undone.

He groaned and clicked the sonic shut, switching the settings back to the much more innocuous blue-wire repair setting and shoving it in his pocket.

“Best make toast,” he said to no one in particular, and started off for the kitchen.

::::

“Amy,” he called out, balancing a breakfast tray in one hand while knocking on her door. “No strawberry jam, you’ve gone and eaten it all. I hope you’ll eat marmalade.”

He shoved her door open slightly and peered in. Amy was slumped across her bed, head on her pillow but feet half on the floor. She had made it in to a pair of pale green linen pajama pants and a tank top, but seemed to have fallen asleep trying to put on a pair of shoes.

“Oh, Pond,” he sighed, putting the tray down precariously on her nightstand. The plates and teacups clinked together softly.

He stood over her for a second, then bent down and gently grabbed her feet and swung them upon the bed. Amy mumbled incoherently and then curled up, her bright red hair like a halo around her head. Reaching around her sleeping form he pulled a sheet up over her shoulders. Then, pausing only for a moment, he laid his hand along the curve of her cheek, fingers gently stroking her hair.

He sighed and withdrew his hand, mentally chastising himself and pushing away his thoughts yet again. He was beginning to think that perhaps playing it safe this past trip, trying quiet for once, wasn’t the best idea. He was beginning to think that he would welcome the distraction of some alien invasion or threat, something to focus his mind.

It hadn’t been so bad visiting Van Gogh, with the Krafayis keeping his attention, and Van Gogh keeping Amy’s. The latter was the most important. Her recent bouts of silent crying, for a reason she was unaware of, worried him. In truth, he didn’t know what to expect for her. He didn’t understand the cracks in the universe that seemed to be chasing them and eroding pieces of Amy’s life. And it scared him more than he dared to admit, even to himself.

The truth was that this was one of the few areas of time-science his people hadn’t mastered. Though they knew so much, cracks in the universe on this scale were just theoretical to the Time Lords. Just fun concepts to toy with at the Academy but no one knew what to actually expect from them.

Certainly it didn’t seem fun now. There were so few things he didn’t understand, and he didn’t like the feeling.

And now not only was this theoretical phenomena actually happening, it seemed to be converging on Amy and he knew even less what to make of that. None of it seemed to make sense, and the effect on her - he could only guess.

Based on this small evidence, it didn’t seem good. It seemed very not good at all.

When he closed his eyes lately, all he could see was Amy’s face, tears silently sliding down her cheeks. It scared the hell out of him, for the obvious reasons and the reasons he wouldn’t think about.

That she remembered the clergymen after they were absorbed by the crack seemed like it could be explained by her experience time traveling, which he knew did have an effect. But that she could remember Rory for at least a small amount of time, but then lose him... it didn’t make sense. He had just guessed about her personal timeline being the cause, which was the most sense he could make out of the situation at the time, but the truth was that he wasn’t sure about any of it.

And now, although she clearly had no recollection of Rory, he was in there somewhere. Somehow traces of him persisted for Amy, but only in her subconscious. Somehow, somewhere, Rory still existed.

So while Amy forgot about him completely, the Doctor could do nothing but remember Rory. Every time Amy smiled, every time she cried, every time she did anything, his mind screamed at him to remember Rory. To remember that this woman held within her the memory of the man she loved, the man who loved her back. The man who died protecting them both.

Rory held the top position on his very long list of reasons why he absolutely had to stop thinking about Amy’s smile, her wide green eyes, the smooth skin of her back and her brilliant orange hair. He wouldn’t be the type of person to take advantage of the quirks in the universe, wouldn’t forget Rory just because Amy had.

The plates and cups clinked together as he lifted the tray and backed out of Amy’s room quietly.

A few hours later they crashed loudly to the floor as the TARDIS jerked violently and fell out of the void.


 
 

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
deadlybeauty32
Mar. 23rd, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Hi.
Soooooo...I pretty much turned into a giggling/flailing mess when Amy was all " ;D why do you have a button setting on your sonic?" Ahhh <33

I really really loved how you personified like Nine & Ten. The whole bit about the 'bottling it up' and then the emotions leaking through. Is imagery the word I want to use? I dunno. Hopefully you get what I'm saying xD

I'm going to eagerly await the next chapter ;) because you've got me sucked into this fic and there is no return!
peonyinblue
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the Nine/Ten stuff... I'm sort of obsessed with the psychology behind the Doctor, it is fun to write and try and figure him out. And I'm glad I sucked you in! I'm almost done with Ch. 3, so the wait shouldn't be too long :)
captjackspeanut
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
This is so wonderful! The Doctor and Amy feel so natural to me and it's such a pleasure reading them, you do such a great job on characterization.

Can't wait for the next part!
peonyinblue
Mar. 24th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! I try very hard to write them the way they are "in real life"... well, you know what I mean :) Thanks for reading!
tasty_kate
Mar. 28th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
YAYYY!!! An update!! I loved this chapter; I totally didn't see the lighting of NYC coming. So good! Also loved the scene of the Doctor sonicking Amy's buttons and undoing her laces. Whew! Getting a little uncomfortable there, Doctor? :D
Can't wait to read the next chapter!
peonyinblue
Mar. 28th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
Hehehee... I loved writing that scene. He's just so darn good at being uncomfortable, and I love how much Amy seems to love that too. Thanks for reading and commenting, I'm really glad you're enjoying it! :-D
lost_4198
Aug. 27th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
This was such an awesome story. I just finished reading both parts. Your writing for the characters is so spot on. I like how you wrote the Doctor's thoughts especially. Also the idea of how he felt in each body, and that he was almost ready to forgive himself and move on. Even though it kind of had not a certain ending, I would still hope at some point the Doctor and Amy would be together, since they are both so epic and fit each other personality wise. Anyways, seriously great fic. Hope to read more from you :D
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )