Rory Williams stood on the shore of Lake Silencio, Utah, at a complete loss for words after what he had just witnessed minutes ago.
His wife, Amelia Williams (formerly Amelia Pond) sat, distraught, cradling the now lifeless body of her Raggedy Doctor to her chest, begging him to wake up; but deep down, Rory knew that wasn’t going to happen…not ever again.
As he watched his grieving wife, Rory wished there was something he could do to fix the situation, to bring the Doctor back to life, but there was nothing that could be done for the Time Lord; not even traveling back in time to prevent his death from happening was an option, especially without the TARDIS, wherever (or whenever) it was. Rory knew that was the only way to make Amy happy, and he couldn’t even do that.
Even now, lying dead in Amy’s arms, the Doctor looked at peace. Not that Rory thought the Doctor wasn’t at peace while alive. Even while the Doctor had that childlike energy about him that he always had whenever he’d take them to other planets, Rory seemed to always sense some kind of hurt from the Time Lord, like his hearts were breaking on an endless loop in a way that no human could ever understand, and he could never be truly at peace because of it. Rory always thought it had something to do with what happened during the Time War, and even though it was over, the Doctor still didn’t seem completely healed from it; no soldier ever was (Rory knew, for he was one himself for almost 2000 years). It wasn’t until the Doctor had told them to stay back while he gave himself up to the astronaut like a sacrificial lamb that he had finally found the peace he longed for, knowing he’d be saving his friends one last time.
Even though the identity of the astronaut was a mystery to Rory, he was more angry than anything else. This mysterious astronaut had shot and killed someone he (and especially Amy) cared about without reason, and he wanted to punish the person for it, no matter whose identity it was.
“What’re we gonna do now, Rory?” Amy asked as she looked up at him, tears still streaming down her cheeks. “Now that he’s…” She paused, not wanting to admit that the Doctor was truly gone.
“I don’t know,” was all Rory could say in that moment, at least out loud. In fact, he knew full well that the only option was to go home back to Leadworth, seeing as there was no point in continuing to travel in the TARDIS, especially without the Doctor; it just wouldn’t be the same without him. Of course, Amy wouldn’t want to go back home, what with how close she was to the Time Lord.
“He can’t be dead!” Amy sobbed, still clinging tightly to her imaginary friend. “He just can’t!” She buried her face in the Doctor’s dark hair, all the while caressing his cheek as if that would wake him up somehow, but Rory knew better, even though it wasn’t ‘better.’
“Amy…” Rory said calmly, almost hating himself for admitting the truth. “You saw what the astronaut did. No one can survive a shot like that; not…” He suddenly paused, feeling a large knot tie in his throat. “Not even the Doctor.”
Amy shook her head in denial. “You’re wrong, Rory. You don’t know the Doctor. You haven’t traveled with him as long as I have. He survives everything. He survived the Pandorica because of me. If he can survive something like that…”
“Amy…” Rory sighed again. He’d seen people grieve over the passing of their loved ones often at the hospital, but he never thought he, nor his wife, would have to experience it themselves, certainly not today. He hated having to explain the reality of what they’d just witnessed, but Amy was having none of it, and Rory very well understood why.
“What just happened…” he choked, feeling the knot grow tighter in his throat, “I don’t think this is something you can bring him back from. I don’t think any of us can. You heard the old man…the Doctor is dead. He can’t come back, certainly not after his—what did River call it—'regeneration cycle' has been disrupted, whatever that is. You have to face it.” It was torture having to say these words out loud, but it was even more excruciating hearing his own voice say them. It was especially hard for Amy, maybe even River, if she was here, but she was fetching the boat that was on the other side of the beach with the mysterious old man.
“I don’t want to,” Amy said in almost a whine. “I can’t lose him. I love him.”
Rory paused at Amy’s words, suddenly feeling a pang of hurt punch him in the gut, but he knew, deep down, that Amy still loved him as much as she loved the Doctor. They were her boys, after all. “I know,” he sighed.
Rory became silent, allowing Amy a few more minutes to grieve. He knew it was going to take a long time for Amy to go back to being her old fiery self, but he was willing to wait another 2000 years if he had to.
Hearing footsteps nearby, Rory turned to see River and the old man returning, dragging a blue boat behind them. As the old man was pushing the boat to the edge of the water, River stepped up to Amy.
“Amy…” she sighed apologetically, “it’s time.” There were still tears lingering in her emerald eyes.
“No…” Amy shook her head, clutching the Doctor’s body even more tightly, as if that would make it impossible for them to take him away from her.
“Amy, you must,” River said sadly. “Remember what I said before: The Doctor’s friends do as they are told. It’s what he asked of us. I’m sorry, Amy, but you must let him go.” She then sighed again. “We all must.” Rory somehow knew River was just as upset as he and Amy were (although, there was also a mixed sense of anger and shamefulness in her that he couldn’t understand), but she was fighting back the emotions as best she could anyway.
Even though he didn’t know River Song that well, Rory couldn’t help but feel a sense of familiarity about her, like he’d known her his whole life. He couldn’t understand why, but he was starting to see River as more of a daughter than a friend, despite her looking physically older than he and Amy. To Rory, River was acting exactly like a child would when taking care of her grieving parents.
Of course, Amy was reluctant to let her Raggedy Doctor go, but she knew she didn’t have a choice. He was dead, and she was now starting to accept that fact. She allowed Rory and the old man to carry the Doctor’s body away from her and place him in the boat. River arranged his body in the boat comfortably, placing his hands over each heart. She even went as far as to straighten his bow tie one last time; although, for River, it may not be the last, as she once said that her past was his future, and vice versa. Although, now it was solely 'his past was her future,' seeing as the Doctor no longer had a future.
Before the group could spread the gasoline over the boat, Amy insisted on saying goodbye to her Raggedy Man properly. The group stood back and allowed Amy the space and privacy.
“Good night, Raggedy Man,” she whispered in his ear before fondling with his bow tie and kissing his forehead one last time. She then stood back, and the old man spread the gasoline and ignited the boat with a match before Rory pushed the boat across the lake.
As everyone watched the Doctor’s body burning under the soft sunset, like Rory, Amy knew one thing: The Doctor, the Last of the Time Lords, no longer felt any pain or loneliness…
He was finally at peace.