Jan. 2nd, 2011

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Wedding or no--two thousand hazily remembered years as a plastic Roman or no--things can still get a bit awkward between them when Amy is out of the scene. Rory is picking at his nails for the fourth time when the Doctor says:

"Do y'wanna see a magic trick?"

"Yes?" Rory says, because Rory rarely makes a statement when he can ask a question. And so the Doctor drags him into the TARDIS, explaining that they'll be back before she can miss them (she is in a shop buying clothes for the honeymoon, well, clothes, the kind of lacey confections Rory isn't allowed to see yet and that make the Doctor's enormous wide-open face scrunch up like a crumpled tissue just on the mannequin), flipping hastily through an almanac, hauling on the controls in the usual manner, which is to say like a madman playing Rube Goldberg's idea of a pipe organ on crystal meth, staggering and stumbling and actually collapsing onto inevitably ineffably the right lever, and finally dragging Rory out in the freezing night air of what is instantly, recognizably always Earth.

"Come on, come on, we're going to miss it!" You're always running with the Doctor; always racing against time, always so strange when the man has a pocket full of it. Rory wonders if he does it on purpose, cutting it close, keeping himself moving. He wonders what might catch up if the Doctor ever slowed down.

They crest a hill, crunching over the snow--Rory is gasping, the Doctor is not, patently unfair, sometimes he misses the plastic--and the Doctor thrusts his fists over his head and intones what is unmistakably, madly, Thus Spake Zapathustra, or what Rory thinks of as the good bit frpm 2001.

"DAH DAH DAHHH DAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" And the Doctor basks in his triumph as, routinely, conventionally, always precariously, the sun comes up.

"Now that's bloody magic," breathes the Doctor.

Rory watches it. He could say but it's nothing to do with you, but he doesn't, becausein spite of all appearances, Rory isn't stupid.

Later, at a critical junction--after the Doctor realizes what was wrong with the mannequin, after they discover the TARDIS has locked itself, after he has cause to regret his regrets, when he knows what has been catching up, all this time...

Later, Rory will remark on what he's realized just now; that nine-tenths of magic is knowing something other people don't, being somewhere other people aren't, doing things no one else would do.

The other tenth, of course, is magic.

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T. Oso

March 2016

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