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Title: Dish Soap
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Amy/Rory
Word Count: 1,048
Rating: PG-13 (one instance of salty language)
Warnings: Angst. Mentions of death in a hospital setting.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em! I just play in the sandbox.
Summary: Amy is just what Rory needs after his roughest day at work so far.
Notes: Pre-series. Just a bit of angsty, hurt/comfort-y, sort of character-studying fic. Enjoy!

No matter how many times he scrubbed his hands, it was still there, caked under his fingernails, lining the creases of his palms. He just wanted it to go away but his hands were shaking too hard to hold the soap properly and finally he gave up, slamming it down and shutting off the sink, hesitating for a second before he slammed his fist into the mirror. The glass held, luckily, but the jolt that ran through his arm was enough to steady him, to make him realize he had to keep it together at least until he got home.

Dr. Stone was the one who drove him home, no matter how many times he protested that it was fine, he was all right, he could make it. Stone insisted, saying he could pick him up the next morning and bring him back to his car, giving Rory no other option. Stone, almost always stern and disciplinary, turned unexpectedly kind eyes on him as he idled in front of Rory’s building. As Rory undid the seatbelt, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he glanced back at the older man questioningly. “Sir?”

“The first time is always the hardest, Williams. It won’t always be like this.”

It was probably a stupid move, but Rory leveled him with a cold stare, almost angry. “You mean I’ll stop feeling it.”

“Someone like you? Never. But it’ll get better. You’ll see.”

He didn’t know what to make of that, didn’t know what else he could say that wouldn’t end in rage or pain or tears. So he opened the car door and stepped out into the cold October air, the wind biting at his fingertips and ruffling his already messy hair as he fumbled in his sweatshirt pocket for his keys.

The smell of stir-fry pervaded the tiny flat, and he belatedly remembered that Amy had wanted to cook him dinner tonight, had texted him from the shop that morning asking what he wanted. Only that morning. It felt like an eternity ago.

Amy was a good cook—her aunt Sharon had never been much of one, so from a young age she’d basically taken care of the food front herself, and it showed. She was almost completely absorbed in making the meal, though as he came into the kitchen she took notice, saying over her shoulder, chipper as anything, “Hey, you—what, I make you dinner and I don’t get so much as a—”

She’d left the stove after lowering the heat, walked to the table where he’d collapsed shakily into a chair, and was leaning down to kiss his cheek, before she’d even registered that his head was in his hands, his fingers kneading almost painfully through his messy hair. She straightened, grasping one of his hands and splaying his fingers, struggling to see in the dim light of the kitchen. When she did, she put her other hand on his shoulder, her gaze still locked on his hand. “Rory, what’s this?” she asked softly, concern tingeing her voice and making it softer than he’d ever heard.

“What do you think it is, Amy?” he said flatly, not wanting to do this, the questions, the are you okay?s, the things he’d been told would come from family and friends almost as soon as he signed up to be a nurse.

She twined her fingers into his, tightening her grip and getting down on her knees, stroking her thumb over his hand. “I think it’s blood,” she said softly, “and I think I want you to talk to me.”

“Amy, I don’t—”


She got up from the floor, pulling her hand from his and putting it on his cheek, turning his face to hers. It happened too quickly for him to register it—she’d pulled him into her arms, her hands stroking his hair, her voice whispering reassurances into his ear, and suddenly he was crying against her chest.

“It was just a boy,” he said hoarsely, shuddering and wanting to close his eyes but if he did he’d see it and he didn’t want to see that again he didn’t he just fucking couldn’t. “His parents, they were driving, the road was wet, the kid must’ve undone his seatbelt, he went through the windshield… the parents were fine but the boy… there was just so much blood, Amy, he wouldn’t stop—”

Amy pressed a kiss to the top of his head, whispering. “It’s all right, it’s all right, it’ll be okay,” she soothed, before gently wrapping her arm around his shoulders and helping him up onto his shaky legs, guiding him to the sink and turning on the hot water. She picked up the bottle of dish soap, squirting some onto his hands and scrubbing it in, hard enough to dislodge the crusted flakes but somehow gentle enough to still be Amy. At any other time, he would laugh at the absurdity of it all—that apple-scented dish soap was the thing scrubbing the blood of his first fatality from his hands, that his girlfriend, the one he tried never to burden with this sort of thing, with his work life, was the one doing it for him.

She didn’t stop until the last of it was gone, until the water was tinted faintly red and a noxious green from the remnants of blood and dish soap. By now, the tears had dried in faint tracks on his cheeks and a wet circle on her shirt, and after she dried her hands on a dishrag, she gently touched her forehead against his, whispered something that might’ve been “I’m proud of you.” He wasn’t sure for what—for getting through his first loss on the job, for holding himself together even though he really hadn’t—but he took it, grabbed her hand in both of his newly cleaned ones and clasped it to his chest.

They stood there for a long while before Amy kissed his cheek and softly asked if he was up for stone cold stir-fry.

And on the worst day of his professional life, a dinner of cold Chinese food on the couch with his girlfriend and crappy television was what helped the most to put the pieces of him back together.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
Gahhh...so sweet and just perfect.

May. 7th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed!
May. 6th, 2011 11:42 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is so sweet! A bit sad, but sweet at the same time. You captured them and their relationship quiet well in this. And now I'm trying to figure out what episode your Amy/Rory icon is from...
May. 7th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
"A Christmas Carol", just after the Doctor saves the spaceship, I believe!
May. 7th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Oh, Rory.

That was lovely. <3 And you portrayed their relationship wonderfully in so little space.
May. 7th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed it!
May. 7th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
That was absolutely wonderful. So very Rory. Oh, that man!
May. 7th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Rory's definitely the type to be very affected by this type of thing, and I really wanted to show that (he and I have that in common, whether fortunately or not). I adore Rory and sometimes he doesn't get nearly enough love!
May. 8th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. *pets Rory* And I like this little glimpse into his and Amy's domestic life with her taking care of him. Amy/Rory hurt/comfort -- I like.
May. 8th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Sometimes I feel like Amy isn't given quite enough credit--she does treat Rory pretty poorly sometimes (that remark to Eleven about a snog in the shubbery right after the wedding still rubs me the wrong way), but she still clearly loves him so much and I think that's something I really like about writing/reading pre-series Amy/Rory. We never did get too much indication about the progression of their relationship from dating to engaged, so I like to think that instances like this paved the way to Rory proposing. :D
May. 11th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, so powerful! I love your descriptions and details... And Rory, poor Rory, was perfectly in character.
May. 11th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Amy was in character, too! (I *always* hit post before I'm done. :/)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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