- doctor who
- rory, river/doctor
- prompted by raafling on tumblr: "rory realizes how much flirting with his daughter has been happening under his nose."
- title from shakespeare's julias caesar. ...sort of.
Unlike his two thousand years as a Roman, with a head full of Roman Things and the scratchy sandals and the sword and the helmet - god, seriously, the helmet - to make things tangible, which are all sort of fuzzy and there-but-not-there images of big, grey boxes, various things that tried to kill him, plastic-picking-up-static, and Amy, the dividing line between My Wife's Made Out of Yogurt and Holy Shit I'm A Dad (and my baby's made out of yogurt - oh,wait,nevermind) is refreshingly clear and obvious.
There's everything leading up to the climactic, "It's me, I'm your daughter" speech - which, he has to admit, she executed quite well - wherein "River Song" was tagged and filed as another of the Doctor's crazy friends and woman who jumps off buildings and okay, awkward flirting, time to leave and no, seriously, Amy, I'm not watching this, and wow that is a really frightening gun.
Prior to The Speech of What The Hell Just Happened To My Life?, as he doesn't ever tell Amy he calls it, River is someone Rory simultaneously doesn't pay much attention to and silently admires. She's quick, witty, afraid of fuck-all, and has this habit of annoying the crap out of the Doctor that Rory isn't above admitting he absolutely loves. After all, anyone who can bring his wife's imaginary friend down a peg - even for a minute or two - is a blessed saint in his book.
He also isn't above admitting that she confuses the daylights out of him. The way she looks at him, sometimes, or the way she takes care of Amy after a particularly grueling "adventure"; the way her voice drops when it's just the two of them, confiding in him secrets he doesn't feel worthy of knowing. And then, other times, flashing him a smirk or a wink in the middle of a moment that's just for him, like he's supposed to be in on some joke that's just theirs and he's entirely forgotten it. It makes him feel guilty, even if he can't pinpoint exactly why.
And then, of course, there's after. After the gangers and the astroid and the only person in his life - all his lives, actually - he's ever actually dreamed of strangling with his bare hands (also not something he tells Amy); after River in her fancy dress turning him down and River with her calm expression saying things like "child" and "weapon" and River - Melody, his Melody - telling them as gently as possible the hard, bitter truth that their baby's gone and that's that. No rewriting time. No do-overs. Just the mind-bending reality that their friend is their daughter is their baby is their friend is their daughter is Amy's imaginary friend's crazy wife who likes to jump off buildings and shoot stuff and song the face off the Doctor.
Which, really, is something Rory thought he'd have a bigger problem with.
In his head there are all kinds of things he really could have done without - his baby-turned-friend-turned-adult daughter being "quite the screamer" ranking fairly close to the top on his list, no surprise there. But there's other stuff, too, little things he didn't quite notice at the time - a stealthily placed hand here, a heated glance there, swappable heads (among other innuendos he'd prefer to imagine are nothing but innuendos), and so on. Stolen kisses in the middle of an escape plan, innocuous questions like, "Easter Island? Have we done Easter Island?" that for some reason turn the Doctor's cheeks bright red; a mature battle of footsies under the table and what Rory steadfastly refuses to admit might have been moaning coming from the third room down the hall from the swimming pool.
He blocks it all out as best he can - the before and after moments - relegating his fatherly duties to the occasional glower and well-timed comment about his two-thousand years as a Roman centurion and his experience with all kinds of weapons through the ages, from a broadsword to a machete. (The Doctor, for his part, takes the hints quite well, and immediately removes his smirk or his hand or whatever other body part might be touching his daughter's through accident or design.)
For all the obvious pain he's seen her go through, before (which is technically, for her, after) he can't ask her to change it. Wouldn't dream of trying. It might not have made sense when she was River Song: Archeologist and Annoyer of Doctor, but as Melody Pond? He gets it. She looks at the Doctor like he looks at Amy, and he knows it, and hell or high water he'd send the whole world into another big bang before he'd take that away from her.
Because when it comes down to it, Rory knows, death-defying adventures and ridiculous amounts of running and really, really horrible piloting aside, his childhood friend is in fact his other friend is his daughter is his baby girl, and his baby girl - for whatever reason - is stupidly in love with a time-travelling lunatic who happens to be his wife's best friend. Who happens to be his baby girl's husband. Who happens to be--
Well. He gets the point.
He really does.