Pairing/Characters: Amy/Vincent, Eleven
Rating/Warnings: R or NC-17, depending on your standards
Spoilers: S5, "Vincent and the Doctor"
Disclaimer: Pff, yeah right. I own Doctor Who.
Summary: She didn't know what, but there was something about Vincent she wasn't ready to lose yet.
A/N: Van Gogh's last words - as someone like Amy might know - were "The sadness will last forever."
It seemed that, after slaying an abandoned, murderous, invisible monster from another planet and then spending an hour lying on the grass discussing the worldview of perhaps the greatest artist in the world… there was very little left to say afterward.
At least that's how it felt now that Amy was back in Vincent's cottage, golden lamplight shining over everything, sharing its glow with his comfortable jumble of things.
Walking back into town at the end of their evening, the Doctor had presumed to excuse he and Amy, saying "they" needed to retire to the TARDIS to prepare some things before they could leave in the morning. Amy had surprised herself by informing the Doctor that he would be retiring there alone. She didn't know why she'd said it but she knew that, had the Doctor pressed her on it, she would have argued him into the ground. Vincent had looked surprised and quietly pleased. The Doctor had raised an eyebrow in what looked like suspicion but had thankfully begun babbling about repairs to cover whatever he was thinking.
She didn't know what, but there was something about Vincent she wasn't ready to lose yet.
Soon after arriving at the cottage she'd removed her boots and tights (Vincent had quickly dived into tidying up and pretending not to be fascinated) then lowered herself heavily into a chair, letting loose an exhausted noise. She'd raised her tender, pounding feet into a second chair, only to have them gently lifted moments later and replaced in Vincent's lap as he sat and wordlessly began to massage them. Each press of his large, warm hands sent thrills of comfort through her entire body. She'd let out a deep, appreciative groan the moment he started, and the lamplight had made it difficult to tell but she was fairly sure he'd blushed. He'd discreetly taken what looked to be a steadying breath and redoubled his concentration.
His attention firmly on her feet, she watched him. Watched his head of thick red hair bent over his work, bobbing a little as his shoulders and arms moved.
Was this what she couldn't let go of?
She had to admit surprise at her first sight of him. All her reading about him had prepared her for someone malnourished, haggard and disagreeable, sustained by nothing but coffee, absinthe and baffling personal fire. Apparently she'd met him during a period of rebound or…something, because here he was, hale and hardy, tall and broad-shouldered, graced with touchable hair and… more than handsome, really. Full of that soulful quality that made him even more than the sum of his parts.
In short, she'd been shocked to find he was beautiful.
Between that and his frank adoration, certainly she had reason to want to be around him. And he was her hero, after all.
But was that it?
Something about his task seemed to overwhelm him for a second; he shook himself almost imperceptibly, his eyes avoiding her. Then his attention seemed caught by something just above her head. His expression grew far away, and she watched emotions flicker over his face, shades of both wonder and dread.
"What are you looking at?"
His gaze flicked to her face, caught. "Only your beauty," he said, attempting a warm smile.
Worst. Liar. Ever.
He seemed reluctant to look back at his task and yet drawn to it. When he succumbed his attention was caught, his touch gentle but firm. Amy carefully went back to her days-long occupation of sneaking looks his left ear. No one had mentioned it since they'd arrived.
She'd tried constantly not to look at, but had failed almost as long as she'd been attempting. She felt instinctively he wouldn't want to talk about it, regardless of their rapport. But there was no way she couldn't look, couldn't take this astonishing opportunity to see for herself. The lower half of it was gone, the result of a vicious slice that began well up into the cartilage. The ragged edge of the ear hole gaped obscenely.
It would have been a couple of years now since it happened: his fight with Gaugin while he was devastated at their crumbling friendship and Gaugin leaving their shared studio. Some historians now thought it hadn't been Vincent who was responsible, but that expert fencer Gaugin had done it with the angry swipe of a sword. By this theory, Vincent had subsequently covered for the beloved friend he would never see again.
She sincerely hoped that was the case. Otherwise she couldn't stop herself imagining the look on his face while he'd done it, the pain screaming through him and out his fingers into an act of madness.
She was concerned for him, desperately.
But that didn't seem quite it, either.
She thought about the brain tucked under the beautiful hair, the seat of his genius and his madness simultaneously. She watched the hands that touched her and thought of their power, their subtlety, the instinctive knowledge they held of how to flick or nudge a brush just so, to wrench all the beauty possible out of a dab of paint. She thought of their skill on her, wondered what other knowledge they held, who they had touched, what they had done.
Vincent's left hand moved over her ankle and up her calf in a move that wasn't strictly therapeutic. Amy's eyes slipped shut and she gently bit her lip. The comforting bliss she felt had a new, different flavor.
She arched a little without thinking, and was startled to feel her foot brush the erection in his loose pants, a fact the shadows had kept hidden. He straightened and hissed, his eyes squeezing shut. Her stomach flipped and impulsively she did it again, slowly this time. His eyes and mouth fell open and his gaze locked to hers.
There was a delicious throb between her legs at the wild, needy look in his eyes. The moment was electric.
And then, despite himself, he glanced above her head again.
She knew what it was.
Her voice came out in an urgent whisper. "Vincent, why am I sad?"
He looked startled, then faintly evasive. "I—I don't know."
"But what do you see?"
His face warmed slightly, as though he was keen to share the wonder now he'd been asked to. "Oh… so much…" He set her feet down gently, knelt and began tracing things avidly in the air around her. "There are these bright, fleeting flashes of silver," he said raptly. "They confused me before I knew of your traveling, but I know them now for what they are…" He touched at the empty spaces of air where he saw them, spellbound. "Little pieces of time," he breathed.
She couldn't take her eyes off him. Her throat constricted: she had never felt so special. His waving hands moved to caress the air barely an inch above her hair and face. Goosebumps raised on her arms.
"They fall like confetti, like leaves, twisting and diving, all around you! They catch on your eyelashes, cling to your lips…" His gaze lingered at said lips, staring as though he'd forgotten she could see him.
Amy's breathing was shallow. "And they're why I'm sad?"
His gaze darkened. "No, there's also… a cloud." A second later his face flushed with realization. "A ghost," he whispered.
Amy's stomach dropped for reasons she didn't understand. "Whose ghost?"
"A part of you," he said sadly. "A part you took for granted, but which now aches like a phantom limb."
Her eyes were as wild as his. "Draw it for me?"
Vincent rose obediently to fetch a canvas, returned and began sketching. Her eyes followed every twitch of his charcoal. He drew a haze filled with his trademark swirls, until he sketched two of the swirls into a coalesced form.
Eyes she'd seen.
She choked on a wail of grief that had its origin in her bones, and which loosed a torrent of sobs.
Vincent gaped at her. "Do you know it?" He held her shoulders. "Have you recognized it?"
"I— I—I do, but…" she sobbed. "But I can't name it. I can't say what it is. Why can't I name it?!"
"Shhh, it'll come to you." He stroked her hair, looking desperate. She sobbed harder and his expression grew pained. "Oh Amy, I wouldn't have hurt you for the world…"
He peppered her face with kisses, soft and ardent on her forehead, her eyelids, her cheeks…then a slow, gentle brush of lips over hers that stilled her. A moment later she crushed her lips to his, clutched at him like a buoy in the ocean. Vincent surged against her in response, opening his large mouth against hers like a starving man, aiming to devour.
"Sweet Amy…" he gasped between kisses. "I didn't dare hope…"
She could feel that just one of his hands was big enough to engulf the back of her head, but then it moved as he couldn't keep his hands still, changing which one he entangled in her hair, which he used to push her against him, which one roamed her back and which caressed her face. His arms moved around her rib cage and became iron as they clasped her to him. She hiccoughed little sobs against his lips, tears mingling with saliva as they fought to absorb each other, to disappear.
They fell to the worn rug, their position settling him between her legs. He pulled back in alarm. "No, the bed," he gasped, chest heaving. "No cold wooden floor, not for you…"
She shook her head adamantly, clutching at his arms. "Too far away." Her lip began to tremble. "Don't leave me. Don't stop touching me."
He leaned back down and cupped her cheek, eyes glowing. "I am never called upon to comfort another person," he marveled quietly. "My presence is never comforting."
"Make it go away," she pleaded on a whisper.
He beamed softly and his eyes closed with the honor of it. "Sweet Amy, I will do my utmost."
Their first time was on the hard, uneven wooden floor, amidst the smell of dust and kerosene and meals gone by and old paint. He held nothing back, and his need for her was so powerful it frequently broke her heart. She was in awe that she was what he craved.
She lost herself in the feel of his bare body on hers, his lips on her neck. He moved his head against hers and her cheek grazed his mutilated ear. He jumped, pulling back to put his face on the other side but she stopped him, holding his fearful eyes with hers. She drew him back down and kissed at the ear deliberately, gently, while the touch made him writhe against her.
"Amy," he choked hoarsely. She could hear tears beginning in his voice. "An angel. You must be an angel…"
Half-dressed, they crossed the back garden through the moonlight, stopping to kiss, never not touching. They entered the outbuilding and moved to to the narrow bed and Amy realized she was about to make love in a work of art.
Once there he worshiped her so ardently she had neither time nor strength to reciprocate. He buried his face in her hair, her breasts, her sex. His touch was endlessly reverent and there was no doubt it knew its way around a woman. She lay nearly weeping as he covered her, his forearms draped across hers as they stretched above her head, his broad chest holding her pinned, his legs tangled with hers. It felt like no part of him wasn't touching her as he lay almost still and pulsed into her slowly, stretching every moment of connection. He babbled his astonishment softly, compulsively into her neck. "Thank you… thank you… oh Amy, thank you…"
Her orgasms bloomed from a place deeper than she could imagine. His face when he came was more beautiful than anything he'd ever paint.
Later she couldn't remember stopping, or falling asleep. She thinks it happened against their will.
"He'll be here any time now," she chided him affectionately. "He's definitely a morning person."
Vincent rolled toward her, cupping a breast and smiling proudly. "Let him see us as we are."
Amy chuffed. "Really not." She closed her eyes and smiled, undulating a little under his touch. "Besides, it's none of his business." Her eyes opened to look at him. "This is ours."
His proud smile increased. She rolled to lie atop him, which pleased him even more.
"I'll come back as soon as I can."
"I don't want to keep you from the stars."
"No," she declared, a little more forcefully than she meant to. She had begun to calculate the window of time available and it was making her stomach clench. She maintained a poker face for all she was worth. "I'll need to," she teased, kissing him.
"What if your Doctor has other ideas?" he murmured against her lips.
"I'll talk him out of them," she shrugged. "I can usually make him do what I want."
Vincent closed his eyes and chuckled. "Angel Amy, of that I have no doubt." After a moment he frowned. "You're worried."
It hit her that he was right, though she wasn't surprised like before. Tears threatened, and her voice was small. "What am I going to do without you in the meantime?"
He understood, instinctively.
"Be sad," he told her seriously. "With everything you are. And look forward to the times when you're not. Let life astonish you." His eyes roamed her face in wonder and he ran his hands up her sides, looking content. "The sadness doesn't last forever."
Her throat clenched so hard she thought it would kill her. She kissed him with everything she had.
"Well," the Doctor said archly as they walked the narrow streets of Arles. "You seemed to have survived Vincent's snoring this time."
Amy kept her eyes straight ahead and her tone matter-of-fact. "I know there's something you're not telling me." She could practically hear the Doctor blanch.
"What makes you say that?"
"Vincent could see something missing. And if he could tell there's no chance you can't."
There was a moment of silence. "Amy—"
"You needn't worry, I've no plans to ask you what." Her stride neither slowed nor faltered.
Another pause. "Why not?" the Doctor asked quietly.
"Because I'm sure I'll know eventually. Besides, you always have some barmy reason." A faint smile crossed her face, just a little sad. "And I'm starting to see a method to madness."