Amy woke up on Earth, again. Traffic moved outside and bright sunlight shone into the room between the curtains. She sat up and listened for any sounds in the flat. Once upon a time she'd wake to sizzling and the smell of frying bacon, but the Doctor was sleeping more these days and doing less while he was awake. Breakfast had turned into beans on toast, had withered to just the toast, slightly burnt.
The Doctor was asleep on the sofa, turned on his side with an arm hanging down, fingers brushing against the carpet.
“Morning,” she called, deliberately upbeat.
The Doctor turned onto his back. “What year is it?” he asked without opening his eyes.
“1986, same as yesterday.”
“Only one we've got at the moment.”
The Doctor opened his eyes slowly. “I remember the 1980s being a lot brighter than this,” he said. “More colourful. More exciting.” He sat up, hair sticking out at the back. “I want to change history.”
“You can't. You said the universe might blow up again if we did that.”
He waved a hand. “We can always make a new one.”
“Do you want toast?”
“No. You burn the it and you know how I feel about burnt toast.” He stretched his arms out and tilted his head from one side to the other.
“Buy a new toaster,” said Amy, tired of being blamed for the failings of technology.
“It's just doing it to spite me.”
“Doctor, the toaster is not trying to spite you.”
“Prove it.” He stood up. “Maybe I'll cut myself shaving and bleed to death. I should be so lucky.”
“Is that out yet?”
“Next year. Ah, Kylie, she's a bright spot in anyone's life.”
Amy watched him slouch off towards the bathroom and hoped this would be their last day without the TARDIS.
Money appeared from somewhere that involved the Doctor going off for extended lunches with people in uniforms. All Amy knew was it had something to do with the UN and it didn't count as changing history but “more like doing some maintenance on it.” Whatever it was the Doctor didn't like it and wouldn't talk about it any more than he had to. Sometimes the phone rang at odd hours and they silently agreed that neither of them was going to answer it.
Amy had offered to try getting a job, but unemployment was high and she wasn't even born yet. Besides which the Doctor seemed to have decided that the 1980s were going to be as kind to Amy as possible, even if that meant she spent most of her time in the flat watching daytime television.
Three weeks in and the Doctor had long ago lost what little patience he had when it came to waiting around for things to happen.
“If River and Rory turn up two years from now,” he explained, “it's not like they can pop back and pick us up this afternoon.”
“Yes. So we just have to hope the TARDIS agrees to do what she's told for once.”
“What if -”
“They're fine,” he said for the thousandth time. Amy still didn't know how he could possibly be sure of that, but it was easier to accept it than to worry about things she had no control over.
When the Doctor threw a plate of burnt toast out the window and swore at it, Amy took some money from the jar on top of the fridge and went to buy a new one.
“I'm not letting Thatcher win another election,” he announced one afternoon as the weeks turned into a month.
Amy looked at him across the kitchen table and rolled her eyes. “You said no changing history.”
“I've changed my mind.”
“At least you've got a job. You're not stuck in the flat all day,” she said more bitterly than she'd intended.
“At least you're not the government's bitch,” he countered.
“It's getting to you.”
“No,” he said flatly, “I absolutely love it.”
“Yeah, well if you weren't so backwards about letting me work you wouldn't have to be.”
“I'm not backwards about it!”
“Would it make you feel less manly? Do you like bringing meat back to the cave for me?”
The Doctor leaned an elbow on the table and pointed at her sternly. “I'm not sexist.”
Amy was enjoying the possibility of a proper argument. “You get cranky when River flies the TARDIS.”
“That's not a woman thing, that's a human thing.”
“You let Rory help you with repairs.”
“He's a nurse, he's used to thankless tasks that nobody else wants to have to do. You're just looking for a fight to liven things up a bit.”
Amy lifted her chin. “Maybe I am, does that annoy you?”
“You never used to be so irritating,” he said.
“You never used to be so easy to provoke.” She leaned forwards. “And it's not like I didn't try.”
He raised his eyebrows at her. “What's that supposed to mean?”
“You know exactly what it means.”
“Young, human, married,” he said, ticking off the list on his fingers.
“None of which have stopped you before.”
He looked slightly stunned. “How would you know?”
“Women talk to each other, Doctor. We're known for it.”
“River?” he asked suspiciously.
“She does love a good gossip.” Amy bit her lip and then said “I didn't think me being married would put you off so much. Half the time it's like you don't even want to touch me any more.”
“Don't be ridiculous.”
“You used to kiss me on the forehead. When was the last time you did that?”
The Doctor stood. “I'm going out.”
“Yeah, run away when the conversation gets uncomfortable.”
“I'm not running away,” he said, “I'm just avoiding an argument about how silly you are.”
“Remember to bring home a bison,” she called after him.
“You're right,” he said when he got back from wherever he'd been.
“Of course I am. About what?”
“The forehead thing. I didn't want to upset Rory.”
“Seriously? That's why you stopped?”
“Partly.” He stopped her question with “Shall I do it now?”
“It's a bit weird if you ask like that.”
Amy relented. “But I like weird.”
They stepped towards each other and the Doctor put a hand in her hair and his lips on her forehead. Just like old times, but why stay old? From that it was simple matter to tilt her head up until his lips were on her mouth. He gave a little gasp of surprise until she took his bottom lip between her teeth. All the men she'd been with had liked that, and the Doctor was apparently no different. Amy was good at kissing, she'd cultivated a professional interest in technique and she'd never disappointed anyone.
She gripped his jacket and let herself fall back onto the sofa, pulling him down with her. He caught himself on his hands, leaning over her.
“Amy,” he said, not quite pulling away.
“And don't call me that. I'm not a little girl any more.” She arched her back, pressing her breasts against his chest. “But then I'm sure you know that.” She placed a hand on the back of his neck. “All those lingering glances, don't think I didn't notice them.” She shifted her legs, bringing her knees up to trap him between her thighs.
When he tried to move her his hand touched the skin of her thigh and he stopped. Amy giggled and he glared at her.
“It's not funny.”
She stretched her arms above her head. “You're cute when you're flustered. That night in my bedroom gave me a lot of fun alone-time.” She moved her hands down and touched his cheek. “What about you? Did you think about it?”
His ears reddened. “Do you really think I didn't?” His fingers crept up under the hem of her skirt. “You're married.”
“So why do you have your hand up my skirt?” she asked innocently.
“Because I'm not a very nice person.”
“Of course you're nice, you're the Doctor.”
“You've just given me another reason not to do this, Amy.”
“And here's why you should,” she said, and kissed him.
“What's it like having two hearts?” she asked, lying on his chest listening to them.
“What's it like having one?”
Amy pushed herself up and straddled his hips. “Okay, it was a stupid question.”
He ran his hands up to her waist. “No such thing as a stupid question. I just don't know the answer.” He pushed up against her. “Can we do that again?”
Amy had spent quite a bit of time wondering what sex with the Doctor would be like. In all of her fantasies, however good or bad he was in bed, he told her that they could never do it again. Sometimes they did, of course, but he was always very certain that it was a terrible idea. She liked to think of it as characterisation.
What hadn't ever occurred to her was that he wouldn't want to stop.
It was like she'd thrown a switch and turned him into a normal bloke. He'd started expecting it.
“I'm bored,” he said, coming up behind her in the kitchen and pulling her hips back against his body.
“I'm making tea,” she said, shifting away.
He rested his chin on her shoulder. “I thought we were still in the honeymoon period.”
“We're not actually married, Doctor. Not to each other.”
He twirled a strand of her hair between his fingers. “No wonder there's no romance in our relationship.”
“Look,” she said, turning to face him, “this has to stop when we get back to the TARDIS. The more we let ourselves get caught up in this, the harder that's going to be.”
He leaned his forehead against hers. “But I'm bored.”
“Are you becoming a sex addict? Is that what this is?”
He moved away from her and laughed. “Yes, Amy, you've corrupted me. You and the 1980s.”
“I'm serious, this is getting weird.”
He hopped up to sit on the kitchen counter. “This is why you should never date humans.”
“So we're dating now? When did I agree to that?”
“I'm joking,” he said in a mildly patronising tone. “You seduced me,” he added, “I've been seduced.”
“I'm still making tea. Go and watch some television.”
“I've got a headache,” she said that night when they went to bed.
The Doctor watched her lazily. “Is it guilt-induced?”
“Don't go there,” she warned.
“Why not? There's an important place.” He kissed her shoulder. “I'm not going to announce this when we get back.”
Amy turned onto her back and made a decision. “Can you sleep on the sofa?”
The Doctor looked at her for a long time. “Is that what you want?”
He got out of bed without a word.
“It was awful,” he said. “I don't know how people live in the right order.” He stroked the console affectionately. “Linear time's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.”
“It was only supposed to be half an hour,” said Rory, again.
“Yes, yes, all's forgiven,” said the Doctor waving his hands. “Not your fault. Not even your fault, River.”
“Thank you,” she said with a sarcastic smile.
“It wasn't a complete waste of time,” said the Doctor. “Was it, Amy?”
Amy choked on her own breath. “No,” she said, “it was... educational.”
“Practical lessons are always the best,” said the Doctor to the room.
Amy stared at his back, suspicion building.
“He probably told you a bunch of lies,” said River. “He makes things up to prove his point.”
“I do not!”
“Yes, you do, Sweetie.”
“Yeah,” said Amy, “he does.”