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: 1191 for this chapter
Summary: The story of Rory's life, from meeting Amy to death.
This Chapter: The people around Rory begin to realise he doesn't age.

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 had become used to questions.  He had learned to lie with a straight face and a winning smile so people trusted him.  He was quickly absorbed into Roman life, allowed to remain one of the guards of the Pandorica as it travelled the cities and provinces of Rome.  They had fashioned a low cart with wheel axles wide enough for the Pandorica to ride on, and so it travelled, slowly, ponderously, through the countryside of the Roman Empire, a symbol of their victory in Britannia.

Rory was careful to ‘take breaks’ to sleep, but always once they supposed him to be asleep he would slip out again and sit where he could watch the box, not trusting anyone else to keep it as safe as he could.  He couldn’t sleep anyway, so he used his time to watch over Amy and ensure all the other guards were doing their jobs.

Eventually they ended up in Rome and Rory was marched to the emperor.  Dredging up his memories of his Roman childhood, Rory made the correct obeisance.  It wasn’t hard to look intimidated by this man – he had a terrifying presence.  The new emperor, Hadrian, had yet to grow into his later famed conviviality and effusiveness.  He was still trying very hard to look like an all-powerful emperor.  The rumours that floated around that his adoption as heir to Trajan had been rushed through after the old emperor’s death made him act as statesmanlike as he could to prove his claims to the throne.  The effect was very intimidating.

Rory swallowed as he looked up at the man, but thankfully he wasn’t forced to defend himself.  The emperor merely looked at him for a lengthy time, then waved his hand and sent him out.  The relieved guard with him told Rory he was now permitted to continue guarding the Pandorica.

‘What?  You got that from that?’

‘Yeah.  If you weren’t allowed you’d still be in there – and you wouldn’t be leaving under your own steam any time soon.’

Rory shuddered.  He was grateful, of course, that he was able to stay with the Pandorica but things were beginning to look very complicated.  He wished fervently that he had never crept out of his safe haven in the underhenge.

The other man looked at him with compassion.

‘Come along, sir.  I’ll show you your quarters.’

‘No, wait.  I need to … to go to the box.  I’ll just bed down beside it.’

‘Oh no.  That’s not permitted, sir.  That would look sloppy, sir.’

‘Sloppy?’

‘Yes.  The box will be displayed, sir.  It is a treasure for all Romans to marvel at.  You will guard it, but you can’t sleep near it.’

Rory sighed in frustration, but he knew he couldn’t push back.  It was too important that he be allowed to stay with the box.  The worst case scenario would be that he could be sent to another territory with a legion, leaving Amy unguarded behind him.  He swallowed his sudden fear at the thought and nodded.

Thus started the worst of his years with the Pandorica.  He grew to hate the crowds who pushed their way into the room to see the miraculous box.  He hated their eager eyes on him, their questions, their constant touching of the box.  He forced himself to stay rigid when they did so, but he held his teeth gritted and his body tense.  He never let them see how much he hated it, always greeting them with a smile and an easy lie about what he knew about the box.

‘Mum … Mum, why’s that man always with the box?  Mum?’ the whiny voice grated on Rory’s nerves but the question startled him.  If even small children were noticing that he was almost constantly with the Pandorica he needed to be careful.  It had only been a few years, yet his constant presence was being noted.  Rory swallowed.

‘He guards it, Marcus.  That’s his job.’  Rory relaxed slightly as she dragged the boy away, but it got him thinking.  He would never age and someday the Romans would notice that the guard on the box looked exactly the same now as he had when the box arrived.  He panicked slightly as he thought about what they might do to him if he raised their superstitious hackles.  He realised for the first time just how precarious his position was.  He had to do something, but what?  What could he do to stop the superstitious Romans from destroying either him or Amy’s home?

Rory mulled on the problem as he walked to his sleeping quarters.  He had to get them to see him as something more, something god-like, to ensure both his own safety and Amy’s.  But how was he to do that?  He passed one temple after another and reflexively genuflected every time he passed one which his implanted childhood memories suggested was important to his family.  With a sudden inspiration, Rory realised he had the perfect solution staring him right in the face.

‘You saw the goddess, you say, centurion?’

‘Yes, sir.  I definitely saw her.  She came in a vision.’  Rory was staring stiff backed at the wall behind the head guard.  Please, he begged in his head, pleaseThis has to work.

‘Juventas hasn’t been seen in Rome in hundreds of years, son.  You can’t have seen what you think you saw.’  The older man smiled at him with affection, clapped him on the shoulder and turned to leave.

‘Please, sir.’  Rory’s desperate voice stopped him.  ‘Let me prove it to you.  She granted me youth.  Eternal youth.  I will never grow old.  Never die.’

‘And how will you prove this?’  The older man shook his head at Rory’s words.  ‘No-one lives forever.’

‘I cannot now sleep or eat, sir.  Let me show you.  Have me under guard for a few days – I will remain perfectly alert with no sleep and no sustenance.  Juventas has blessed me and she does want me to guard the box continuously.  Please let me prove it.  I … this is my calling.  I know it.’

Something in his voice must have convinced the older man because he finally nodded.  ‘Okay, lad.  But once this is over this foolishness must stop.  You have five days.’

Rory smiled, relieved.  He knew he would convince them and now he would be able to be with Amy constantly without fear of exposure.  ‘Thank you, sir.  You will not regret this.’

With a much lighter heart, Rory returned to his post by the Pandorica.  A very bemused soldier was posted to guard him while he guarded the Pandorica and Rory was finally content in Rome.  It took weeks to finally convince the man, but eventually they could deny the evidence no longer.  He was allowed to stay with the Pandorica and given a degree of respect even his rank hadn’t afforded him before.  Rory had a place and a purpose now.  He rested his head back against the box as the guard around him changed.  ‘You’re safe now, Amy,’ he whispered to her.  ‘And I promise you’ll stay safe from now on.’

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-16 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
Gods, I love this part so, so much!! Clever Rory...the things he does for his love...

*HUGS*

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-20 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rumpelsnorcack.livejournal.com
Thanks so much *hugs* I kind of had fun researching these bits - lots of wee Roman tidbits I needed to find out :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-23 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flowsoffire.livejournal.com
Ohhh, very neat! I love the solution he found to actually turn what had been a danger into an advantage, a calling indeed :D Also love how irritating he found all the people coming to watch the box, his fear of being separated from her, and his encounter with the emperor. Very nice! ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-07 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rumpelsnorcack.livejournal.com
Heh, thank you :) I realised I had to have them allow him to stay young because ... well, he stays with the pandorica all that time and as he never changes someone someday had to mention it. And now he has a nice inbuilt reason for ages :D

(no subject)

Date: 2015-04-18 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flowsoffire.livejournal.com
Indeed! Pretty neat :D

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