rumpelsnorcack: (Rory/Amy hug animated)
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Title: A Long Life (But One Worth Living)
Author/Artist: rumpelsnorcack
Rating: PG-13 generally
Characters & Pairings: This chapter: Rory, OC
Word Count: 1263 for this chapter
Summary: The story of Rory's life, from meeting Amy to death.
This Chapter: Roranicus discovers his whole life has been a lie.
Notes: Many thanks to the wonderful a_phoenixdragon and mollywheezy who have been extremely supportive through this whole process.  I've been writing this on and off for a while.  It's still not finished, but is getting there.  Not sure how many chapters there will be, but each one is intended as a short one-shot in its own right so all can be read independently.  However, they do all build together to give a picture of Rory's life, complicated timelines and all.  It's all roughly chronological, but each piece doesn't necessarily exist in the same timeline as each other piece.  So some are pre-reboot, some post, some exist in a universe which includes Mels, others don't.
Disclaimer: Sadly none of the characters are mine, I just enjoy hanging around in their sandbox.

Roranicus walked slowly through the camp inspecting his men.  For the most part they were good, respectable Roman citizens who worked hard and were well disciplined.  But there were a few who always felt the need to try it on.  It was important to keep on top of things to ensure any bad eggs didn’t cause discipline issues to rot the whole legion, so Roranicus walked the camp every day keeping everyone in check.  They were often restless and anxious – desperate to fight someone and dreaming of conquering the local Celtic peoples.

Today the inspection was even more difficult than usual.  There were rumours flying around camp that Cleopatra was coming, even that she was in fact in the sergeant’s tent right this minute.  For some reason, Roranicus thought it was unlikely for her to be here in an isolated outpost miles from anywhere with any sort of civilisation.  There was something off about the whole situation, but Roranicus didn’t spare much thought on it.  The important thing for him today was how bloody flighty it had made his men.  They were all jittery and unsettled, with small fights and bouts of rudeness breaking out far more regularly than usual.

‘Cassius, Flavius … knock it off, you two.’  Roranicus sighed in exasperation as yet another fight broke out.  He pushed himself between the two men and wrenched them apart.  They struggled to reach each other to keep up the altercation.  ‘You, Flavius; go back to your tent, you’re confined to quarters for a day.  Cassius – you come with me.’

He held firmly onto Cassius, who was trying to pull away after the other man who was not going quietly.  Instead, he hurled insults back as he marched stiff-backed away, though not daring to disobey a direct order from his superior.  Roranicus watched until he was sure Flavius was out of sight before dropping Cassius’s arm and leading him towards his tent.  As they walked, he pondered what he was going to do about this situation, but he also kept a careful eye on his companion in case he tried to get away.  Roranicus sighed.  Surely there was more to life than this?  More than disciplining men?  It niggled at him that he should be tending to people's hurts, not gearing them up to kill each other.  But that was ridiculous; he was Roman and fighting the infidel was the Roman way.  How else were they to bring civilisation and enlightenment to the world?

‘Cassius, what is going on?’  Roranicus sat behind his camp desk, fingers crossed as he scrutinised the other man.

Cassius stared straight ahead, pose as formally military as he could make it.  He was clearly uncomfortable in his superior’s presence.

‘I don’t know what you mean, sir.’

‘You’ve been picking fights with other guys all week.  Why?  You’re usually so disciplined.’

‘I haven’t been picking fights.  Sir.  I have been discussing issues with people, sir.’

The man’s eyes snaked a look at Roranicus, who made sure he looked as stern and forbidding as he could.  He wished he could allow himself to be nicer, but these men didn’t respect ‘nice’ – they respected authority and firmness.

Roranicus sighed again.  ‘What issues have you been discussing?’

‘Cleopatra, of course, sir.  It is treasonous to be dealing with the Egyptian whore, sir.’

Internally, Roranicus rolled his eyes.  It was petty stuff, but had obviously become deadly serious to his men.

‘Cassius, you’re a good legionary but this has to stop.  You’re assigned to quarters for the next two days and will do extra patrols.  Dismissed.’

Roranicus ground his teeth in frustration as the other man left the tent.  This, then, was the problem.  The camp was divided into those who believed Cleopatra could do no wrong and those who believed she was the enemy and needed to be stopped at all costs.  It was becoming ridiculous how invested each side was in its theories.

It was funny, though.  Somewhere in the back of his mind Roranicus was sure that this was all history, ancient history – and that the history had been different.  Cleopatra had never come to Britannia; and yet that was ridiculous since here she was.  Try as he might, Roranicus couldn’t dredge up where he’d got that thought from.  It swirled to the surface of his mind then faded almost instantaneously.  He heard a scuffling outside his tent and, resigned, stood to go investigate it.  He was slowed when he heard what the two men were saying.

‘You can’t bother him with it.  It’s just a daft rumour.’  There was a thump on the side of the tent as the two wrestled.

‘It’s not a rumour.  There are visitors in camp – a weird man and a woman with red hair.  I saw them with Cleopatra.  They want volunteers for something and he needs to be told …’

‘The centurion is busy.  He doesn’t need to be worried with your fancies.’

Normally, Roranicus would have gone outside, sent his overprotective sentry on his way and found out what his soldier wanted to tell him.  But today the words had started a cascade in his head.  When he’d first got here he’d had a memory, like a dream, of another life.  A life many years in the future, a life travelling the stars with an alien man … and with a woman he loved, called Amy.  Over time it had faded and he had been sure it was just a weird dream.  Until now.

His head exploded with memory and he dropped to the ground clutching his head and shaking with the agony of it.  He gritted his teeth together to try to avoid alerting those outside to his distress.  Even through his pain, he knew it would be dangerous for any of them to find him like this.  This weakness would surely be jumped on and it was important he maintained an image for his men, especially now when he knew what a façade it had all been.

Flash

A child kicking a ball to another child and forming a friendship.

Flash

A passionate kiss to the Macarena.

Flash

A blue box materialising before his eyes.

Flash

A small boy, blindfolded and ridiculed.

Flash

Fighting a fish vampire

Flash

Staring into Amy’s horrified eyes as he died …

The flashes came faster and faster, finally coming in a steady stream before finishing with an explosion of information and leaving him wrung out and gasping.  Rory rolled over, vomited once then sat up wiping his mouth.  He was shocky and disorientated, but he knew who he was now, and Roranicus, centurion of the Roman Army, was not it.  He was Rory Williams, nurse, from Leadworth.  He was engaged to Amy Pond and he was a companion to the Doctor.  He was, in short, in the wrong place and definitely at the wrong time.

He lay back down on the rough ground, carefully avoiding the ejected contents of his stomach, and scrubbed his hands over his face.  He had to work this out, figure out what he was doing here and what he needed to do to escape.  The Doctor had obviously come to retrieve him so Rory needed to make sure he was ready.  What had that legionary said?  They wanted volunteers for something?  He prised himself off the ground, limbs feeling heavy and unwieldy, and headed to his commander’s tent.  He needed to get himself back to Amy, to see Amy again, and volunteering for whatever mission the madman had got himself into seemed like the best way to ensure that happened.
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