He shows up out of nowhere, as he always does.
Amy’s wandered off, meandering her way through the long halls of the Delirium Archive. The Doctor’s keeping score again, fliting from this room and the next, from one exhibit to the other, commenting on every little piece he recognizes and sonicing the ones he doesn’t. He’d began the trip by talking to her, explaining how that, my dear Pond, is the oldest known vortex manipulator, but don’t go getting impressed- it’s far too crude to even be considered a time traveling device, no where near the level of my TARDIS- oh! That’s one of mine! I remember, I was so young then- barely two hundred. I assure you, the scorch marks you see on the hull were completely accidental- well, mostly accidental. That one’s mine as well. And down that hall is where the Headless Monks-
He stopped talking altogether then. Not even to tell her not to wander off, when he noticed her walking in the opposite direction of the Monks’ hall.
She had no idea where she was going, but somehow she ended up back in that room she and the Doctor had visited before- before the Byzantium, before the Weeping Angels, before River, when she was still just a child herself, high on space and time and her Raggedy Doctor.
The home box is still there, and this time, Amy pauses to actually look at it. The exhibit information explains what she already knows- that it’s a home box from an, according to them, ancient starliner- but mentions nothing more about the graffiti than that it is an ancient language, it’s words and meanings lost to time.
She’s still staring at the words, fruitlessly trying to turn the abstract symbols into something resembling ‘hello sweetie’ when a wind brushes her hair and familiar engines grind to a halt behind her.
The Doctor slowly steps out of the TARDIS, the younger, but more worn TARDIS, and slumps against the doors, his hands jutting into the pockets of his not-yet raggedy suit. “I’m going to die.” He says, as a greeting.
She almost cries. “Not completely.” Not yet, she thinks, with the bright skies of Utah shining in her mind.
The Doctor lets his head fall back against the wood, his eyes focusing on her. He’s too calm. This Doctor, she’s realized, can sometimes be even more spastic and mad then her Doctor. Seeing him so…defeated is more than unnerving. “I like this body. I like this regeneration. I like being me. I don’t want to change.”
Amy thinks of the sound of him crashing into her shed, of fish fingers and custard, of apples with faces and the crack in her wall. “But you will. You have to.”
His eyes darken and his voice sharpens. “I don’t like being told what I have to do.”
“Then why did you come here? What do you want me to say?” She can hear her voice echoing of the glass of the exhibits around her but she doesn’t care. “That you can keep being this version of you? That you can …hold the future hostage just because you like wearing Chucks and eating bananas? That there aren’t things you need to do, that people’s lives don’t depend on you becoming who you’re going to be?”
“People’s lives can change. Time can be-“
“Rewritten. Believe me, I know. I could pretty much write the book on that one.” Spoiler, the home box whispers behind her. It’s that same voice that spurs her on. “There are people you have to meet. People you’ll want to meet. People who love you, and you love them.” She thinks of a frantic kiss in her bedroom, of River’s silent tears as she poured the gasoline over his body and wiped the sand from his bowtie. “People who die for you.”
His eyes dart away and Amy sees his own life- this life, full of his own Amys and Rorys and Rivers- weigh down around his shoulders. She wonders how many of them he’s lost.
“We die for you, Doctor. Some of us over and over again. But we live for you too.”
There’s a look in his eyes, when he turns to her again, that she hasn’t seen in a long while. Not since before Venice, since before Rory joined them. And when he walks up to her and kisses her on the forehead, she does cry.
“This is probably going to be the last time I see you.” He says, wiping away her tears.
Amy smiles at him then, her fingers tugging on the pinstripe suit she’d dreamed of since she was a little girl. “It’s really not.”