[personal profile] locker_monster
Title: Time and Tide (1/1)
Rating: G
Word Count: 523
Characters: Rory
Timeline: Set post-"The Pandorica Opens" and pre-"The Big Bang".
Summary: Two thousand years is a long time to wait. Rory doesn't know if he'll make it.
Disclaimer: It's all owned by the BBC.
A/N: Entry for [livejournal.com profile] who_contest's "Crawl" challenge.

The universe is gone but time still marches on.

Rory would give anything to lose track of the countless hours ahead of him, but his Auton brain meticulously notes the seconds as they pass. Tick. Tick. Tick. They're like raindrops, hitting Rory's skin with hardly any pressure, but those tiny blows can add up. It's water torture, but without the water.

The seconds start to accumulate, but there are billions more to come. It's the longest countdown in Rory's life, but he endures, because he has to. He stayed to protect Amy and the Pandorica and he won't turn away from his duty.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Days turn into months, and those months turn into years, but nothing blurs together. Every hour is clear and sharp as glass in Rory's mind. His plastic body doesn't tire, but his human spirit wishes for something new. And then they come. The Romans. So starved for change, he goes with them. Rome presents different challenges, but the ticks on the clock don't come any faster.

And so it goes, on and on. Wherever Rory goes, tragedy and misadventure seem to follow; raids, floods, wars, famine, disease, death. A part of him wonders if he invites these horrors upon himself so he won't have to feel the relentless passage of time.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The journey would be easier with company, but a giant stone box is a poor companion. One sided conversations with Amy can only distract him for so long. There are rare years where Rory is joined by friends or allies on his quest, easing the mechanical pulse in his head, but those moments are much too fleeting.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

It nearly ends in World War II. Flames lick at Rory's heels as he tries to drag the Pandorica through the burning warehouse, but his great strength fails him. Every breath he takes in is like liquid fire. Overhead, the drone of the Luftwaffe grows louder. Another bombing run is coming.

He's going to die here. The inferno around him will melt his plastic form and he will slip away into oblivion. For the first time in his long vigil, he feels like he's running out of time. The seconds tumble through his fingers like grains of sand.

When he finally bursts through the warehouse doors into the cool night beyond, Rory is ready to collapse. He hauls the Pandorica to a safe distance from the fire before dropping to the ground. If he were human, he'd be hyperventilating right now, but instead he just lies there and stares up at the starless night.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The impeccable clock inside his head hasn't stopped, but it's a comfort in a way, like a heartbeat. Rory can't stop the slow march of time, but no one is meant to. Time and tide wait for no man. He finally understands that now.

The decades pass and life is almost dull for Rory. Routine, something he was sorely lacking before, takes over, until one night in a museum, when he hears a familiar Scottish voice.

Amy. She's back.

They kiss. And time finally stands still.
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