kaydeefalls: tophat!amy is puttin' on the RItz (steppin' out with my baby tonight)
[personal profile] kaydeefalls
Last post for the day, I promise. And fic this time. Because everyone needs some Sally Sparrow & Amy Pond femmeslash in their life, right? (As always, also available on AO3.)


Title: used & new
Author: [personal profile] kaydeefalls
Fandom: Doctor Who
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Sally Sparrow/Amy Pond + Rory, Doctor, Larry (& canon pairings)
Warning(s): very vague spoilers for end of S6
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit, don't sue.
Summary: In which Sally and Amy save the world from sentient hedgehogs, or possibly pincushions, and accidentally have sex. More or less.
Notes: Created as part of [community profile] ladiesbigbang 2011. ♥ Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] pocky_slash for the beta!


It's not like she planned it. Sally Sparrow does try to go through life prepared, just in case, but that's only inasmuch as one can prepare for the possibility of a lightning strike, or spontaneous human combustion. Sure, there's an outside chance that it might happen to you, but statistics aren't exactly in your favor. And that's probably a good thing.

Especially if you've already been struck by lightning the once.

So no, she didn't exactly plan for a herd of sentient purple hedgehogs to descend upon Battersea Park in the middle of a Thursday afternoon while she was photographing cormorants. But while the average Londoner might have been somewhat startled by their sudden appearance, or possibly even run screaming for the police, Sally was...prepared.

Well, and also startled. But mostly prepared.

Her messenger bag is much roomier than it looks, one you've taken out all of the incredibly delicate and expensive photography equipment. Sally is able to make certain sacrifices for the general well-being of her planet in the face of invading hedgehog armies from Andromeda or wherever.

That doesn't mean she's happy about it.

She also didn't plan for two people to suddenly materialize with a burst of blue-white sparks more or less in her lap while she was babysitting the alien hedgehogs.

"Um, ow?" Sally manages, crushed between two complete strangers and the unforgiving solidness of the ground. One male, one female, both tall and skinny and possessed of entirely too many knees and elbows for comfort.

The bloke scrambles off their informal pyramid, somehow managing to kick Sally's hip in the process. "Sorry, sorry!" he says. "Shit. Sorry!"

"I'll see your 'ow' and raise you a 'what the hell'," the woman says. She rolls off Sally and flops onto the grass beside her. "Never. Again. I don't care what she says, River's toys are way worse than the Doctor's steering, and that's saying something. My insides feel all squashy."

Sally fixates very specifically on one word in that ramble. "You're with the Doctor?" she asks with no small relief, pulling herself gingerly to a sitting position. "Brilliant. Here about the alien hedgehog invasion, then? They've commandeered my camera bag."

*


Sally is quite fond of her life these days. The shop, and her photography, and Larry -- it's all quite nice. Not precisely where she'd thought she wanted to be, but then, how many people actually wind up as Pulitzer-winning photojournalists by age twenty-five? So she's a shopgirl now instead. Dreamer though she may be, Sally's still got a pragmatic streak. She's doing all right.

Every year she places flowers on Billy Shipton's grave, and wonders -- what if she'd travelled with the blue police box when it vanished around her? Who would that Sally Sparrow be?

She allows herself the indulgence of wondering just once a year, and by the time she leaves the cemetery, her eyes are dry.

*


They are indeed here about the alien hedgehog invasion. The bloke is Rory and his emphasis-on-wife is Amy, and the aliens are: "Well, clearly they're Whozits," Rory says. "From planet...Whatchamacallit. Seen 'em before. Yeah, loads of times."

"And he's usually the one who pretends to pay attention when the Doctor's monologuing," Amy confides with a fond smile.

Sally arches an eyebrow. "Okay, so what are they doing here?"

"Haven't the foggiest," Amy says cheerfully. "Probably just tourists. Or plotting to take over the world. One of the two, it all kind of blurs together after a while."

"If it were really universe-ending, the Doctor would've come himself," Rory adds, "but he's accidentally bollocksed up a peace treaty in Andromeda Zeta, so he sent us to deal with it instead."

The aliens in Sally's bag start making some disturbingly well-orchestrated chirping noises. As the humans shortly discover, this heralds an organized bid for freedom.

"Bugger," Rory says feelingly, and dives across the lawn in pursuit of a particularly adventurous hedgehog.

*


Sally hadn't realized quite how much statuary the city of London contained until she had good reason to flinch at every carved wingtip glimpsed at the edges of her peripheral vision. But that's all it was. A bit of a nervous tic. Most people who'd been through this sort of trauma emerged with far deeper scars.

Then again, who on earth had ever survived homicidal time-jumping stone angels who moved in the blink of an eye? It's not the sort of thing one can take to a therapist without being diagnosed with a whole bucketload of other problems.

Maybe that's part of why she and Larry came together. Who else could they talk to about it?

And then Harold Saxon was elected prime minister, and then -- well, Sally's not entirely sure what happened then, to be honest, but she remembers seeing a face flash across the telly, a young woman with sad, dark eyes, with words like wanted and criminal and extremely dangerous tossed about on the news, and after it's all over, Sally pops in one of her DVDs.

All of time and space he promised me, the woman says, and Sally remembers.

Larry's not the only other person in their time and place who's seen the angels.

*


It takes them a good ten minutes of concentrated effort to round the aliens up again. "Now, then, none of that," Amy informs one of the stragglers, scooping it back up as it tries to wriggle its way out of Sally's messenger bag.

It gabbles at her angrily in Galactic Nine or whatever.

"Yes, I know," Amy croons, "and it's terribly unfair that the giant human monster should do such a thing to a noble pincushion like yourself, but you're like to be eaten by a heron if you wander off, and then your High Priestess of Wee Prickly Things will blow up Earth in recompense, and then where'll we all be? Reduced to tiny bits of ash, that's where. No thanks."

Sally giggles and scoots over to help her out. "Here, let me just--"

"Ow!" Amy says suddenly, and drops the hedgehog into Sally's hands. Her eyes go very wide. "The little bugger pricked me!"

"Well, it is all over poky bits," Sally points out, and then -- "Ow!"

Sharp poky bits, as it turns out. She shoves the alien hastily into the bag and fastens it shut, then peers down at her abused palms. There are five tiny pinpricks in all, nothing to write home about. She's had worse mosquito bites.

Rory plops down on the grass beside them, frowning. "Wait, the aliens are pricking my wife now? I am so not okay with this. Here, let me have a look."

Apparently he's a trained nurse. That probably comes in handy sometimes. Sally's wondered vaguely if the Doctor is actually a medical professional of any kind.

He takes Amy's hand and studies it, then gives Sally's a quick examination as well. "No swelling or discoloration," he says, "and the marks aren't even bleeding. Some defense mechanism. I guess whatever predators these creatures have on their home planet must not be too scary, if they're put off by a bit of a jab."

Rory releases Sally's hands, which is good, because they were starting to feel weirdly tingly under his touch. She clasps them tightly together and tries to ignore the sensation. Then she wonders if maybe she ought to be concerned, because hello, alien stingers, possibly more than just ineffectual little needles.

And then she looks up to see if Amy is experiencing the same warm tingles, except when their eyes meet, Sally gets...distracted.

Amy has really extraordinary eyes.

"I ought to photograph you," Sally blurts out, and doesn't know quite why, but the words tumble loosely from her lips and she can't swallow them back. "Except my equipment's been displaced by the hedgehogs."

"Pincushions," Amy corrects her, but she can't seem to stop staring either. Her cheeks are tinged with pink -- that's a flush, she's flushed, her brilliant hazel eyes fever-bright as she gazes at Sally like she can't help it, like it's as necessary as breathing. Like if she blinks, Sally might disappear.

Sally wonders if Amy's skin feels as feverish as it looks, and she reaches out to brush her fingertips along the edge of Amy's cheek. It's hot to the touch.

"Wait, wait, wait," Rory is saying, but that's not important. Sally's hand skates down the curve of Amy's pale neck. Amy shivers, and Sally can feel a corresponding rush through her own body, like an electric shock.

Something isn't right here, but Sally can't spare the brain cells to work it through. She pushes herself up onto her knees and sways forward, her thighs bumping against Amy's, and has to grasp Amy's hip with her free hand to keep from toppling forward. Which, actually, not a bad idea, given the marvelous tingles every additional point of contact sparks in her blood.

Amy leans in and rubs her nose against Sally's, a light Eskimo kiss. Sally can feel Amy's eyelashes flutter against her cheek. "Defense mechanisms," Amy murmurs, her lips very, very close to Sally's. "Pincushions. Spikes like...strawberries."

"That doesn't make any sense," Sally informs her faintly. Her mouth is very dry; when she tries to moisten her lips, the very tip of her tongue just barely brushes Amy's lower lip.

"Strawberries," Amy whispers again. "And oysters." And then she kisses her.

Amy doesn't taste anything at all like strawberries, but that's all right.

"Sex foods," Rory says somewhere very far away from them. He sounds oddly resigned. "Aphrodisiacs. Alien defense mechanisms. Alien porcupines are making my wife hook up with another woman. How is this my life?"

Sally ignores him, pushing Amy down into the grass and kissing her again and again.

*


Sally and Larry have an arrangement. It's not an open relationship, exactly; they're both quite content with one another. It's just that every rule has an exception. Hence the Exception Clause. A predetermined list, primarily composed of very attractive celebrities, with whom, if the occasion arises, they are allowed to engage in consensual sexual activity without needing to first consult their partner.

Angelina Jolie is definitely on both of their lists.

But here's the thing: Sally is not allowed to shag the Doctor.

They've had this conversation. Shagging the Doctor is a big no, a world-changing, relationship-ending no of epic proportions, the great exception to any addition to the Exception Clause. It's right up there with Larry shagging his dozy ex-girlfriend Clarice from the Top Shop down the street on the scale of Unforgivable Offenses.

Shagging one of the Doctor's companions, however, is perfectly acceptable under certain circumstances.

*


Sally is in the process of discovering the precise texture and flavor of Amy's collarbone when she feels hands grasping her shoulders, gently tugging her up and away. She makes an inarticulate whine of protest when Rory physically inserts himself between them.

Amy doesn't seem to mind terribly, bumping her hips up against Rory instead.

"Stop that!" he says. "Look. This isn't you. Either of you."

Amy twists around to look past him up at Sally, her reddened lips curving into a wicked smirk. "I've got no complaints. Sally?"

"Fully consenting adult," Sally agrees. "My boyfriend and I have a list. Exceptions. We're good." She realizes this probably make no sense whatsoever outside of her own head, but her skin feels hot and tight against her bones, and she desperately needs to keep touching Amy right now.

Rory sighs. "I'm going to fetch the Doctor," he says, looking between them with a fond sort of exasperation. "Just...try not to get arrested for public indecency again, yeah?"

Again? Sally mouths, and Amy rolls her eyes and nearly shoves Rory aside in her frantic grab at Sally's waist.

When Rory disappears in a flash of blue-white sparks, Sally hardly even notices.

*


She always wondered what the Doctor and his companion were hunting after, that last time she met them (the first time they met her). Something hatching, the woman said. Something terrible and dangerous and marvelous, probably. She wonders if they found it. Or if it found them. She wonders how many unbelievable things are happening all around her, every day, that most people are just too narrow-minded to see.

She may be a shopgirl these days, but she still carries a camera with her everywhere she goes.

*


Sally rocks against Amy's hips, spreading her palms up along the smooth curves of Amy's skin beneath her soft flannel shirt. "Have you ever seen the angels?" she asks, licking a slow line up Amy's long neck.

Amy shudders when Sally sucks at her earlobe. "Don't blink," she gasps. "Not once, not even for an instant--"

"God, you're so lovely, I should get my camera--"

"There are so many worlds out there, each more beautiful than the last," Amy tells her, running her fingers through Sally's tangled hair, manicured purple nails scratching wonderfully along her scalp. "Sometimes they're terrible, too. Really bloody awful. Like the angels--"

"But beautiful," Sally whispers against the curve of Amy's ear.

Amy wraps her arms around her and rolls them over, straddling Sally's waist. "Beautiful," she agrees, eyes bright and warm.

Sally closes her eyes and tries to imagine the universe spinning out around her. She can feel the earth against her back and the sun on her face, and there's a gorgeous space traveller kissing the sensitive skin along the curve of her jaw, and everything is beautiful and endless and warm.

When she opens her eyes, she glimpses a nearby fountain through the trees, with a stone angel carved at the top. It doesn't frighten her at all.

*


When the phonebox arrives, it's with that so-very-distinctive whooshing, groaning noise that scatters the cormorants and sets all the alien hedgehogs in Sally's bag cheeping frantically. Amy and Sally lie side by side in the grass, arms brushing, pointing out shapes in the clouds.

Two men stumble out of the blue box, Rory and a stranger with a horrible tweedy sort of suit and familiar eyes. "Sally Sparrow!" he exclaims, rubbing his hands together gleefully, while Rory gives Amy a hand up to her feet. "Brilliant! Still successfully avoiding unintentional time travel, I take it?"

Sally tilts her head to the side and squints. If she ignores everything but the manic energy and the eyes, then yes, clearly this is the Doctor. "That depends. Planning on abducting me any time soon?"

The Doctor gives her a wide, approving grin. "Might do, never can tell. So! Herd of Hooxafrazians! In your messenger bag! You always were the enterprising sort, well done you, sorry about the stingers -- but hey, a little alien aphrodisiac never hurt anyone! And the effects wear off in less than ten minutes--"

Amy's eyebrows leap up her forehead. "Ten minutes," she echoes. "Doctor, we've been here for almost three hours since Rory left us."

"Can't be too careful!" the Doctor says airily. "All that Hooxafrazian sex energy, the TARDIS doesn't get on too well with it. Mucks up her stabilizers. She's very sensitive to that sort of thing."

Just as well, Sally thinks. If they'd landed much earlier, the Doctor would've gotten an eyeful of Hooxafrazian sex energy himself. Except, no, that isn't right -- if the effects of the hedgehog stingers had worn off after only ten minutes--

"Just how long were you two at it?" Rory asks, perhaps a touch suspiciously.

Amy and Sally exchange a quick look. "Ten minutes," Amy says at once. "Yeah, that stuff wore off right quick. We've just been having a nice chat in the meantime."

Sally ducks her head to hide her grin.

*


It's a few months later -- maybe more than a few, Sally isn't exactly keeping a tally -- but inevitably enough, anyway, Larry sticks his head in the back room of the shop and says, "Oi, Sally, someone asking about you in the front."

"Who's that, then?" Sally asks distractedly, working on the weekly ledger.

"Dunno, leggy ginger bird with fantastic...bone structure."

Sally rolls her eyes and suppresses a smile. "Right, brilliant."

She's still hasn't quite twigged, brain still churning over accounts and expenses and net revenue, so it takes her a few seconds of "Hiya, I'm Sally, what's all this about, then?" before she recognizes the woman in her shop.

"Hi," Amy says, giving her an awkward little wave. "Been a while, yeah?"

Sally leans back against the counter, grinning."What is it this time, a horde of invading alien koalas?"

"Nah, that was last week," Amy says, but her smile is tired, strained at the edges. She looks -- older. Not in years. But older all the same.

Bit used, Sally thinks, like everything that winds up in her shop. But still beautiful.

"In town for long?" Sally asks gently.

Amy shifts her weight from one foot to the other, hands shoved in the pockets of her red leather jacket. "Yeah. Got a house just a few blocks over, actually. I was trying to get out a bit, you know, explore the neighborhood, and I saw the names on the shop and I remembered, you said something about running a DVD store."

"DVDs and books, used and new," Sally agrees. "I like the used books best, honestly. You can tell they've been loved."

Amy nods, reaching out to brush her fingertips along the spines of the books on the nearest shelf. "Yeah, I guess. Anyway. Just thought I'd say hi."

"I'm glad you did," Sally says. "And you should. Say hi, I mean, more often. You and Rory. If you want to stop by again." She tucks her hair back behind her ear, feeling strangely shy. "I'd still like to photograph you sometime, if you don't mind."

"No, sure," Amy says, and there's a flicker of mischief in her lovely hazel eyes. "I'd like that."

Sally hesitates, then shoves onward, scrambling behind the counter for the shop's business cards. "Actually -- not for the photography thing, but are you free next Tuesday night?" she offers, scribbling her cell number on the back of the card. "We're having some friends over for dinner, it's kind of a regular thing. You can meet Larry properly -- he's the Nightingale on the sign, my boyfriend -- and...oh, here."

She tends to futz with her photography projects while she's working the register, which means she's always got a stack of loose snapshots lying about. She tugs one out, a candid shot of a young couple outside the shop, arms around each other's shoulders, mugging for the camera. Amy glances down at it curiously.

"That's Martha, and her husband Mickey," Sally says. "We met a year or so back. They used to be travellers. Like you."

Amy looks back up at her, startled. And then she starts to smile. She's so lovely, Sally thinks, not for the first time. And she's seen so much, her and Rory. They should have people who know what it's like to see homicidal angels and then to have to pretend to be normal again.

She can imagine Rory and Larry getting on like a house on fire, while Mickey and Amy swap increasingly ridiculous war stories and Martha rings up her friend Sarah Jane to see when she can join them, and Sally snaps photos and pours the wine and doesn't want to blink, not once, not even for an instant, because they're all so bloody beautiful, this ragtag collection of used books and stories and lives.

:D

Date: 2011-10-17 08:23 pm (UTC)
angel_negra: Shirley clapping and cheering. (Shirley_squee)
From: [personal profile] angel_negra
This is awesome. I always loved Sally and I love all the little touches you worked into this. <3

Date: 2011-10-17 08:52 pm (UTC)
sentientcitizen: Rose Tyler throws her head back and laughs. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sentientcitizen
Aaah, the ending! I mean, aaaah the whole thing, obviously, but especially that ending!

Date: 2011-10-18 12:22 am (UTC)
pocketmouse: Amy Pond, surrounded by sunflowers (amy)
From: [personal profile] pocketmouse
:D :D :D :D

Date: 2011-10-18 06:37 pm (UTC)
januar: Eleven from Doctor Who holding up a library card that has the First Doctor on it ([dw] library card)
From: [personal profile] januar
This is great! Especially the ending, that is now my personal canon, because that is what should totally happen.

Date: 2011-10-19 01:30 pm (UTC)
cantarina: donna noble in a paper crown, looking thoughtful (Default)
From: [personal profile] cantarina
This is lovely! Rory was particularly spot-on.

Date: 2011-10-21 03:51 am (UTC)
secondsilk: Scott from Strictly Ballroom, caught at the end of the turn, arms raised. (Default)
From: [personal profile] secondsilk
OMG So so much yay.
Sally and Amy are gorgeous together, and I love the hedgehogs and the Doctor. And Rory's reaction to the whole thing.
I especially love that they get to all spend time together.

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