The last thing Rory sees is her face, eyes widened in the horror of dawning realisation. He feels a touch on his shoulder, and it's the cold touch of stone.

And then she is gone.

Rory stumbles and almost falls, because he is reaching towards empty air. Something has shifted. It is still day – still the graveyard – but Amy is gone. They are all gone. Rory he knows, immediately, that he is the one that has gone.

For a moment he is frozen, then -

'Amy?' He spins around, and the word from his lips is a pathetic, desperate plea. The endless rows of headstones gaze silently back and the cold grey air whips at his skin. 'Amy!'

Waves of impotent disbelief force him to his knees, and the dampness of the ground soaks through his jeans. 'No,' he whispers, 'No.'

Blood thunders in his ears. One paradox too many. We can't ever go back.

This time, they won't be coming for him. For once, his death will be permanent – and at this a bitter laugh tears from his throat. He's alone. Rory Williams is all alone.

Amy and the Doctor in the Tardis, now everything is just as it should be, whispers the small, cruel voice in his head. It's the voice he thought he'd crushed years ago, but in his despair it returns and pictures flash before his eyes. Amy and the Doctor, Amy and the Doctor, spinning through time and space. Smiling and running, laughing and running. Planets and people and spaceships and monsters and aliens in ridiculous colours and sizes but never, ever Rory.

A spike of jealousy surges through the bands of grief constricting his chest.

'No,' he snarls. The voice lies and he won't listen to it. He knows – has always known – that Amy loves him with a devotion as fierce as his own. She will fight tooth and claw to get him back, and she'll never stop trying, not until the day she dies.

But that isn't going to be enough. Not this time.

As he kneels there, panting, on the grass, a sort of calm settles over him. The numbness muffles the sound of screaming inside his own head just enough for a trickle of rational thought to filter through.

He is alone in New York, in god knows what year. He has no money, no job, and nowhere to stay. His previous life is meaningless now – he will never be part of it again. Everyone he ever met, everyone he ever loved, is gone.

He isn't just trapped, he is lost.

Rory's future spirals out before him. After kneeling here for an eternity, eventually he will stand up and brush himself down. Then, he will walk out of this graveyard, and he will not look back. He will wander the streets until he finds a place to stay, a room, a job. He will meet new people and see new faces and new sights. He will build a life in this brave new world and he will move on – and he will never once think of what he has left behind.


Rory's eyes stray to the right, to the bare patch of ground that one day will be covered by his headstone.

Let's see how long he can fight that future.

He is Rory Williams, the Last Centurion. He is the man who waited two thousand years to see Amelia Pond again. By god he can wait fifty more - or a hundred, damn it – just to see her face - just to say goodbye. Even if he is old and withered and she is yet a child who doesn't even know it's him, he'll never stop fighting for that moment in his future.

Because he will see her face again.

The hard kernel of resolve takes root inside him and Rory concentrates on that determination. He concentrates on the memory of her – her skin and her red, red hair – and blocks out all other thoughts. The bloody Doctor himself has got nothing on Rory Williams when he sets his mind on something.

Screw the angels – they thought they could keep them apart. Well, they were wrong.

'Never,' he says to himself, voice hoarse. 'Never,' he repeats, as he forces himself to his feet. 'Never,' and it's a cry that dares the world to deny him. He tilts back his head to shout again, but the word dies in his throat –

- because there's a sudden pulsing in the fabric of reality –

-and then Amelia Pond – his Amy – the woman he loves more than the rest of the universe – is falling into his arms in a tumble of tangled hair and tear streaked cheeks. She is warm and she is alive and she is so, so real. Her body heaves with sobs but her arms are wrapped around him; she won't let him go and neither will he. He will never let her go again.

'I don't understand,' Rory whispers, clutching her face with his trembling hands. 'I don't understand.'

She is shaking as she grasps his fingers with hers, and he sees the whole of the universe reflected in the glistening surface of her eyes.

'I came back for you,' she says, her voice breaking with emotion, 'Of course I came back for you. I chose you. I always chose you.'

'Amy,' Rory whispers, and buries his face in her hair. 'Amy, Amy, Amy.'

They cling to each other in the graveyard, and who knows how long they stay there. They are both crying, but then both of them are laughing too. Want to know why?

Because time and space and the whole damn universe is never going to keep apart Amelia Pond and Rory Williams.

Oh, and believe me… it's tried.