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, Eleven
Word Count: 1267 for this chapter
Summary: The story of Rory's life, from meeting Amy to death.
This Chapter: Rory deals with Amy's death in The Pandorica Opens

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.

Rory’s world collapsed as Amy fell forward into his arms, in a parody of a loving embrace, and then tipped backwards so slowly it seemed almost like she was performing a graceful ballet move.  In some grotesque way she looked beautiful as she fell, her hair slipping off her face and her body arching gracefully.  He screamed in shock as the reality sank in – not the taunting beauty of her form as it fell, but the brutal reality of her dead weight pulling against his arms.  He had killed her, killed his fiancée, the one he loved, and everything else he’d been through until now was less than nothing.

Just moments ago life had seemed amazing, bright and hopeful.  He had the ring, Amy was beginning to remember him.  Everything was going to be beautiful.  Then his programming had kicked in and he’d become this – this monstrous being.  This plastic piece of evil.  It would have been better by far to carry on thinking he was Roranicus of Londinium than to have all his hopes resurrected so cruelly and then dashed in this most evil of ways.

Generally Rory tried to live a good life.  He tried to do the right thing by people, he tried to be nice, he tried to be caring.  He did his best to live by the idea of ‘do no harm’ and generally he was pretty proud of how he managed that.  He knew he had his faults, knew he could be insecure and jealous (and hadn’t he shown both those traits less-than-admirably when he’d first come out here to see Amy?) but he always knew that at the heart of him he was someone who did his best not to hurt others.  It was the one thing he held on to in the sea of insecurity that could overwhelm him sometimes – that he was essentially a caring, good person who tried to make the world better for others.  He grimaced as he thought of Jane.  Well, he didn’t hurt them on purpose anyway.  Today, though, his illusions of himself were ripped to shreds.

He couldn’t even fault Amy – she had just done what she always did.  She’d tried to save him.  She’d tried to get him back to himself, to help him fight his programming.  If only it had worked!  But it hadn’t; it had worked only long enough to ensure she was right there in the path of the bullet he couldn’t stop.

Gasping again at the horror of what he had done, choking down another cry of horrified anguish, Rory pulled Amy’s body into his with hands that shook so much he could barely hold her.  His eyes were almost blind with tears as he tried to hug her floppy form.  She was still warm.  She hadn’t hardened into death the way he’d seen so many others do before her.  He tried to pretend just for a moment that she was asleep – that this terrible agony ripping through him was a lie.  But that was the worst thing about being a nurse.  He knew she wasn’t asleep – none of the tiny cues he used when he checked on patients were there.  None of the signs he unthinkingly used to ascertain condition in his dying patients.  No breathing, no rise and fall of the chest, no twitching limbs, no slight coloration.  Nothing.  He couldn’t pretend any longer.  But he also couldn’t let her go.

He leaned himself back against the log she had been sitting on just a few short minutes earlier (was it really just a few minutes since he’d demanded to know which of his men had given her the damn blanket?  It seemed like hours must have past, a great gulf of time yawning between happiness and despair).  Rory was careful to ensure that she wasn’t jiggled too much as he gathered her to him.  Even though he knew she was dead, he couldn’t bring himself to treat her with anything other than utmost care.  He had loved her, still loved her, and he couldn’t allow her to fall into any of the more grotesque forms that death could take.  So he cradled her body, lying her carefully across his knee.  He couldn’t bear to put her down and admit finally that she wasn’t coming back.  So he talked to her, telling her stories of how things were, begging her to laugh at him one last time.  Close to despair, Rory added, ‘I could do with a ridiculous miracle about now,’ and looked down at her.  Perhaps if he wished hard enough someone would come and save her.  Perhaps …

A blinding light, a crackle of electricity.  The Doctor standing there in a fez and carrying a mop.

Rory knew he’d asked for a miracle but this didn’t really seem to fit the bill.  Ridiculous, yes.  A miracle?  Didn’t seem likely.

‘Rory.  Listen.  She’s not dead.  Well, she is dead but it’s not the end of the world.  Well, it is the end of the world, actually it’s the end of the universe.  Ooh no, hang on.’

The Doctor flashed away again in another blaze of lightning.  Well, that made sense of everything then, didn’t it?  thought Rory with an internal sneer – right now he needed the Doctor to do something miraculous and all he had was babble?  Typical, that was.  The one thing Rory clung to was the hope that came with the words ‘she’s not dead’ – surely the Doctor wouldn’t have said that, knowing how Rory would be hurting, if there wasn’t some hope?

Desperately, wanting more confirmation and hoping he would hear him and return, Rory called out, ‘Doctor.  Doctor!’

Just when he was giving up hope that he’d get more information the crackle came again.  The Doctor popped up, minus the mop but fez still in place, and grinned at him.

‘You need to get me out of the Pandorica.

‘But you’re not in the Pandorica.’

‘Yes I am.  Well I’m not now, but I was back then.  Well, back now from your point of view which is back then from my point of view.  Time travel.  You can’t keep it straight in your head.  It’s easy to open from the outside, just point and press.  Now go.’

Rory was confused.  None of what the Doctor said made any sense and none of it seemed like it would help Amy.  Besides, when the Doctor talked at that speed Rory always had difficulty keeping up with his train of thought.  Add this popping in and out, and the dead woman in his arms, and Rory was so far beyond his depth he couldn’t even see the shore, let alone figure out how to navigate the stream of the conversation.  Frustrated, angry and annoyed, Rory was beginning to fume when the Doctor reappeared for a final time.  Unfortunately, his admonition to put the sonic in Amy’s pocket didn’t help at all.  Rory’s heart sank.  The ridiculous miracle seemed to have come to nothing.

When the man disappeared for the last time Rory still had no idea what he had to do.  Well, apart from get the Doctor out of the Pandorica.  Holding on to that one concrete thought, the one thing in the great sea of babble that gave Rory something to do, Rory carefully lifted Amy from his knee and laid her gently on the ground.  He wrapped her blanket firmly around her.  Tears still in his eyes, but a shaft of hope in his heart that the miracle might just happen, Rory kissed her one last time before trudging into the underhenge.
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