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15 April 2012 @ 12:49 pm
Lost Time  
This is the first part of the fic. It's getting to be a bit long...and yes, this part is taaaame. :) Set during the two years the Doctor stranded the Ponds on Earth.

Title: Lost Time (part 1)
Rating: All Ages for now
Characters: Amy Pond/River Song, Rory Williams, Sarah Jane Smith, Sky Smith

Though neither of them wanted to admit it, Amy Pond and Rory Williams were losing their sanity over being stranded on Earth. Oh, sure, they had it all together whenever they stepped outside their house--Amy, the Petrichor model, the face of a young London, and Rory, the stalwart nurse with his brilliant mind and surprising resiliency--but inside was a different matter.

Rory swore at the teakettle when it burned him. Amy would imagine a shadow fluttering in the corner of a room and start to sob hysterically, flinging pillows at the invisible menace. They both woke sweating and screaming, tangled in the sheets with Amy already half-out of bed, insisting they heard a familiar and very missed vworp-vworp-vworp.

Amy had no strength left to keep her seams closed. She managed perfectly well at work but remained a complete and utter mess outside of it. Rory could only let her unravel--he felt if he ever opened his mouth, ever acknowledged the lack, that it would stop existing altogether, their shared past with the madman in the blue box.

They both missed the Doctor incredibly, but also River. It had been so long since they'd seen her last, and while Amy knew that traveling with the Doctor helped because it left so little time for reflection, now that she was stranded, all she could do was feverishly wish for River to show up every agonizing moment of every horrible, lonely day. Rory felt that his family had been ripped apart, and that nothing could be whole without his daughter and son-in-law. Sure, he'd wished often enough to stop traveling in the TARDIS (and to stop dying so many times along the way) but he'd never really wanted to live his life without River and the Doctor in it.

It was Amy who'd found the striking coincidences in the journalist's articles. She'd been given to reading newspapers and magazines now, trying desperately to bury herself in the common ways of the world so that she would grow to love it again, or at least tolerate being stuck for the rest of her life. And Miss Smith's subjects all seemed to revolve around rather...alien...things. Or so they seemed, for Miss Smith always had a perfectly logical, scientific explanation for each extraordinary event she investigated. And yet, Amy continued to wonder.

So it was no surprise that she eventually found herself in Ealing, on Bannerman Road, ringing the bell at number thirteen.

"Yes?" A young teenaged girl with rather wild blonde hair opened the door a crack. "What's it, then?"

"I'm here to see Miss Smith, the journalist, please."

"Sarah Jane!" The door closed again with a thump, and Amy jumped a bit, blinking.

The door opened again just a moment later. "I do apologize for my daughter, she's a bit standoffish these days." Sarah Jane smiled. "Can I help you?"

"I'm Amy Pond," said Amy, rather in a rush.

"Yes, the model. I do like your work."

"I like yours," said Amy, frowning. "It's why I need your help."

Sarah Jane's eyebrow rose. "My help? What could you possibly need my help for?"

"I..." Amy looked around. "Maybe we could not do this in the street?"

"Come in," said Sarah Jane, allowing her through.

Once they were settled in the front room, Amy opened her mouth again, but shut it again, unsure of what to say.

"Homesick for the TARDIS?"

Amy jumped, then stared at Sarah Jane, who smiled.

"Yes, well, artron energy and residue is quite visible if you're used to looking for it," said Sarah Jane. "Also, sometimes I get updates from that ridiculous man. I knew who you were the moment I saw you. So you're stuck on Earth, are you?"

"Something like that," Amy managed to reply. "He...he said it was too dangerous for us."

"When will he stop using that excuse?" Sarah Jane shook her head. "Didn't work then, doesn't work now."

"He told you that too?"

"A long time ago, when he had a much different face. But what can I help you with, Amy? You must have his mobile number."

"He won't answer."

"Ah, very firmly convinced of his own excuse."

"It's not him I need, though." Amy blushed suddenly. "It's my--my friend, and I don't know how to contact her."

"Is she traveling with him?"

"Sometimes. She has her own transport, a vortex manipulator."

"Ooh, lovely bit of tech, those. Only ever got to see one once before, and it wasn't working." Sarah Jane's lopsided smile betrayed her amusement at former adventures of some kind.

"She doesn't have a mobile. Or any way to get in touch." And I need her desperately.

Sarah Jane nodded. "I see. Well, let's head to the attic, and we'll see what Mr. Smith has for you."

Using a combination of trackers for both the artron energy residuals generated by the TARDIS and the records from the Time Agency, Mr. Smith was able to locate River's vortex manipulator and send a ping to it.

"What I have sent to River Song requires response, immediately if preferable," said Mr. Smith in his soothing voice.

"And that will bring her here?" Amy asked.

"Right here, in this room, Amy."

"Mr. Smith is awfully clever sometimes," said Sarah Jane, smiling.

A flash lit the room a second later, and River stood before them, looking for all the world as if she'd just come off a dig on some desert planet. "This had better be one damn good heist or proposition, whoever you are."

"River--" Amy managed to choke out.

River's expression changed from irritated to fearful as she swept Amy up in her arms, sitting down on the steps in front of Mr. Smith. "Amy, love, what's wrong? Tell me, if something's wrong why didn't you call the Doctor?"

"She told me she needed you," said Sarah Jane softly.

River rocked the now-sobbing Amy in her arms, holding her close. She looked over at Sarah Jane. "Aha, you must be the legendary Sarah Jane Smith."

"Legendary nothing," snorted Sarah Jane. "I'm just glad I could help."

"Amy, Amy, I'm here now, it's all right," River singsonged, continuing to rock. "I'm so sorry, love, how long has it been?"

"Too long!" wailed Amy.

"I'll be downstairs," said Sarah Jane. "Must see how Sky's getting on with her homework." She left the attic quickly, closing the door behind her. Perhaps I could craft something that would ping the manipulator for Amy to have...will have to check my inventory.

"Amy, my love, please don't," River whispered in the redhead's ear. "Please don't. I'm here. I'm sorry, my love, I'm so sorry."

"You've both been gone, we can't cope!"

"And I'm not the one who dropped you off with a useless excuse, I know." River stroked Amy's hair and kissed her ear gently. "I should have come before this."

Amy turned her head to kiss River, clinging onto her tightly, before dissolving into sobs again.

"I'll stay as long as you want me to," said River. "I promise, Amy. I owe you that."

"Then don't leave me, ever," came the muffled voice from her shoulder.

"You'll grow tired of me soon enough," said River, her voice lightly teasing. "Then I'll be off to finish that dig, and pop round again in a week or two, you'll see."

"A week or two your time," growled Amy.

"No, yours. I'm sorry, sweetie, I just lost track of where we both were for awhile, that's all."

"We're going mad stuck here," Amy whispered.

"He's an idiot sometimes, isn't he?" River tucked her fingers under Amy's chin, pulling her head back up. "Sometimes I am as well." She kissed Amy softly, willing the tears to stop flowing.

Amy sighed and let the feeling she'd missed so desperately wash over her, the contented love and comfort of River, just as she always was, finally restored to her.

"There," River whispered against Amy's lips, "there we go. I've missed you so much, my darling Amy."

"I never want to cry when I'm with you again..."

"I never want to give you reason to, my love."