|A Collision of Time and Silence
Author: The Hobbit's Rhapsody PM
Oneshot in which River Song ponders the legacy left by her parents and saying farewell to the Doctor. Amy/Rory, slight River/Doctor. "Spoilers!" from "A Good Man Goes to War" and "The Impossible Astronaut," as well as various series 4 and 5 episodes.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Family - River Song/Melody P. III - Words: 1,413 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 07-29-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7231994
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Italics are direct quotes from episodes.
I, sadly, do not own Doctor Who or any of its sundry fabulous contents.
The waves were silent. They always were. Still and silent—all the power of a stormy ocean, the twists and shades of the water, the silver foam capping every wave, suspended for an infinity. The sea, frozen solid, looming yards above her head.
It was not an inhabited planet, and it had no name that anyone remembered. The Doctor had brought the blonde Londoner here once—Rose, that was her name. How those two had reveled in their adventures—even here, to the planet that never slept, yet never moved.
River Song gazed up at the waves. They gave her a sense of serenity: more, even, than a real ocean. They made her feel that she had all the time in the world to think.
Though her time was winding down. She felt it. Every time she met the Doctor, he knew her less and less.
And now Amy and Rory knew her for who she was—another milestone closer to her end. The Doctor's dwindling memory of her was the timeline by which she measured her life, and she knew it must soon run out. And so was her time with her parents—in this life, at least. Amy and Rory had yet to even lay eyes on her younger self.
How awful it must be, to look at a woman such as she and realize that she was your daughter, to connect her—deadly dangerous, ruthless, cunning, insolent—with the tiny, sleeping baby in the Gallifreyan cradle that you'd carried inside your own body only days before. She could almost justify the way Amy had screamed liar! to her face; Rory's bewildered, betrayed expression. Their rage. Their denial. Their hurt.
Would they even want to live out their life with their young daughter, knowing who she would become? They loved that infant daughter as much as their own existence, but they had never loved nor trusted River Song.
But in a way, it was them—her mother and father, companions of the Doctor, in their ways—who had made her into the woman that she was.
Amelia Pond, the brass, beautiful Scotswoman with more cheek than the seventh son of the Sychne'e sultan, the girl who had defeated the dark side of the Doctor when he'd manifested under the influence of psychic pollen. River had heard a hundred wild and fantastical tales of her mother's adventures with the Doctor, and she knew every one of them was true, because Amy was the fabulous Amelia Pond who didn't bat an eye at a strange man falling out of the sky in a blue box and eating fish fingers and custard in her kitchen at midnight. Amy was the girl who believed in stars, even when no one else could see them; she was the girl who remembered the Doctor and his old, new, borrowed, blue TARDIS back into existence.
Rory, Mr. Pond, not the pretty one, the country nurse who'd only wanted to become a doctor and grow a ponytail and never have to second-guess his wife's devotion and raise a flame-haired daughter with a little compassion and common sense—the Boy Who Waited, who spent two thousand years—more than double the "current" lifespan of the Doctor, even—as a sleepless plastic duplicate, standing guard over the reviving body of his beloved. He would stay by Amy's side no matter what, no matter if all of space and time were to fall in atop them.
Two people more dedicated to each other than any other couple in the universe. "The Legs" and "the Nose," the Doctor's "top operatives" (while she was relegated to "Mrs. Robinson"; she wouldn't soon forgive him that, even though she thought could forgive the Doctor anything at all. Except that fez). Heroes, both of them—heroes to the denizens of a thousand planets upon which they'd never set foot. And so many more living things owed their lives to them, and would never know it.
And if anyone owed their life to them, it was she—she, Melody Pond, the notorious River Song, the living weapon, part Time Lord, their only daughter. She'd always felt she had to earn that fame, live up to it. Make something of herself.
Oh, and she'd done that. She'd certainly done that.
Time was always running backwards—they had her whole life yet to see, almost; they all her happiest time yet to live with her…and her time with them was almost up. Her time with the Doctor was nearly up.
The day's coming when I'll look into that man's eyes…my Doctor…and he won't have the faintest idea idea who I am. And I think it's going to kill me. She'd said that to Rory, before he had any idea he was her father. She'd said it while they were hunting the little girl astronaut, when they were in the midst of discovering the Silence. Before that, the Doctor had made a comment…Let's see if anyone tries to kill us and work backwards.
Prophetic statement, indeed, though that man hardly knew it. That summed up the story of her life with the Doctor. She'd been a young girl, a half-human, half-Time Lord trapped in a souped-up astronaut's suit, and she'd killed him. A good man. The best man I've ever known. And ever since then, as she'd gotten older, she'd been watching his life turn backwards. On and on and on…and someday, the first day he met her, would be the day she died.
Yes, love of the Doctor would be her doom. The only doom that could kill Melody Pond, doctor of archaeology, time traveler. Her last jailbreak.
By that time, he might even be a former incarnation, with different companions. She would likely not see Amy or Rory again, either.
They had all made her who she was, and she would lose them all before they even knew her.
Hello, sweetie, she whispered into the utter quiet. There was so much stillness it could not even form an echo of her words, of the ache, and the peace, that lingered in her words. No one would ever hear it. She had hell yet to live through. Let this one place hold her, keep her at peace, for just a moment longer. Just a moment of backwards time, to fill the hole she would leave in this random corner of space-time, in the timestream that had seemed so very arbitrary.
Until the Doctor came. For with him, nothing seemed random any longer. No one gave meaning to the universe like he.
But even he would someday die—exterminated, without hope of regeneration. How painfully well she knew that. Amy denied it with all her being, and even Rory fought it. But River Song could not. She knew that the Doctor, the dearest love of River Song and Melody Pond, would only live into his twelfth century. Amy thought they might undo it, and so had she—
But they could not. Time could not be rewritten here.
Time. Time is up, she thought to herself once more. It was time she left, and time she died for the Doctor. Because she would do it—she would die for him, as surely as he would kill her, and she him. My love will be the death of me, as I am his. And though he might forget her, she would die with her heart in his hand.
And both of them knew it. As surely as she had seen the Doctor die, she knew that her Doctor had seen her die. You knew the entire time.
This is what she does best, isn't it? River Song, doctor of archaeology, always exploring the past.
Time's up now—time to move. Time to live. Always comes back to time.
A/N: The bit about River being the girl in the astronaut suit who kills the Doctor is pure speculation on my part. Based on the revelations of AGMGTW, it seems logical. (Through, frankly, I am of the opinion that she kills the Flesh duplicate, not the real Doctor.) Reviews are cool!