Disclaimer: I don't own Who.


When she was eight she threw a book at him,

When she was seventeen she nearly broke his nose,

When she was twenty-three she made the handcuffs too tight,

When she was thirty-one she threw another book at him,

And when she was forty she broke his hearts.


1.

River remembered the first time she saw the Doctor.

He was still fairly fresh in his Tenth body. He was the sort most young women would swoon over, with his charming smile and intense stare. Maybe he was on the thin side but still had a certain charm that women seemed to like, and most of the time the Doctor didn't get why they found him so attractive. He saw himself as an old man, even if the humans didn't.

You're so handsome Doctor!

Am I? Why thank you!

That was the Doctor of those days.

She was eight years old with bright, curly red hair that obviously hadn't been brushed, like very few people did at that age. To her this man was a stranger and the teachers at school had taught her that talking strangers could be very dangerous. Her mother was too simple to care but her father, the famous archaeologist, had lectured her many times on the danger of strangers. It scared her to think anything human, alien, robot or drone could sweep her off and take her to Morbus.

The Doctor knew she was destined to go to the best university on 51st century Earth in Central City. She was a bright cookie who he was destined to meet many times, not always in the right order. For him, in any case, especially since he had just come from visiting her. When it came to knowing River, nothing happened to him in the right order, it seemed. The trails of being a time traveller; they'd have to get used to it.

He didn't get a chance to say a word to her before she grabbed a copy of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit and Friends from her book bag and launched it at him.

"Ow!" was the first thing she heard from him, "Why do you always have to hurt me?"

2.

River saw the Doctor every now and then all the way through her teens, as if he was following her but didn't have the courage to go up and talk to her. It took him nine years to finally approach to her, and even then it was only because she was in trouble. How could he not try and help her? It was River.

She had somehow let herself be accosted by some idiot who went to the same 'hang outs' as she and her friends. He had been quite the hot shot, the man all the girls went mad for, but someone River would never consider going out with. She hated that sort of man, and had been warned against them.

He wanted her to so somewhere she didn't want to go. He had grabbed her arm and tried to lead her off 'somewhere', and the scary thing was that she had no idea where that 'somewhere' was. He could have been taking her anywhere. For all she knew he was a renegade Time Agent and everyone knew their reputations. They were in and out of rehab in drones: drink, drugs, sex, and murder rehabs were full to the brim with them.

From across the street the Doctor suddenly appeared, pointed his screwdriver to the nearest water pipe, and water burst up through the pavement, knocking that idiot clean over.

She couldn't have been happier.

She turned to thank the man who have so heroically done the impossible and helped her.

SMACK!

He had just crossed the road and was standing right next to her. She got him right in the nose. He groaned out a moan of pain, "Why, why do you always managed to injure me?"

3.

"Couldn't you loosen them a little bit?"

River looked at him. They had been together for a long time, and since destiny had already decided that they would be together it was only natural that he would share some secrets with her. He told her many things; about his companions, even family; about Gallifrey, the Time Lords and even their society. Then, once they really started to become close, he told her… other things, too.

"I thought you liked them tight."

"I do like them a little tight but not so tight it's cutting off my blood circulation."

She leant over him to loosen them up, unable to contain a smile. The Doctor scowled, wondering what she found funny. As much as he liked being… handcuffed… it wasn't nice being handcuffed to your TARDIS and your female companion was laughing at you.

In the end he couldn't stand it anymore. "Why are you giggling?"

"I was wondering how the Doctor, most feared man in all of space and time, the man the Master has nightmares about, has got away for so long enjoying the scandalous kink of being handcuffed while his lover does things to him."

The Doctor could have died, "Let's just say it's been a long time since I last… danced."

River laughed, "I'm not complaining. When you first got those handcuffs out they were covered in dust, as well as things you can't even buy yet. The TARDIS has seen more action than you had in the last couple of centuries. If it's any consolation it was one hell of a dance, considering you've been waiting for nine-hundred-years."

"I do hate it when you pick moments like this to tease me."

"I know. I'll unbutton your shirt for you."

"What about you?"

"I'm not handcuffed; you first, then me."

"You like being in control, don't you?"

"You obviously find it a turn on, or else you wouldn't use the handcuffs. The look on Jack's face when he found them; I bet he knows how to cuff someone."

"Oi, hands off!"

"What? Hands off Jack or your—"

"I meant, Jack" he quickly said. "He belongs to Wales."

"He belongs to plenty of people."

"Not me, and he can't have you either. I saw you first."

"I'm sure he's say the same to me about you."

"Stop it!" he said, unable to hide a laugh. "And I meant stop talking about Jack, before you ask. You can keep doing what you're doing, except talking about Jack. Now stop it. It's putting me off…"

River chuckled as she tugged off his tie, "No it's not, I can see…"

"Stop teasing me!"

"Imagine if the Daleks could see you now," she said with a knowing smile. "If they knew half the things I have done with you they'd probably self-destruct with shock."

"Daleks don't feel anything."

"Pity, they're missing an awful lot."

4.

When River was angry it was a dangerous thing to cross her.

All of her colleagues knew that.

She was so dominating like the typical red-head. Her colleges hid outside her office when she and that mysterious man, who everyone knew was her lover, came swaggering into view without remembering to let her know where he is for more than two months.

He was bound to be in the firing line of one or two books.

Including that oddly decorated blue diary of hers:

"Ouch!" cried the Doctor, rubbing the ear a book end caught. "Why, why does it always have to be the books?"

"I like books," River replied. "They have pointy ends."

"Look, I've been chasing down cybermen in the year 10,000 and I didn't think," the Doctor replied.

"I was worried about you," River replied, settling down. "Just because you're the Doctor doesn't mean you can't bleed. You could have been anywhere out there, lying on the floor of some laboratory in a pool of your own blood, both your hearts burnt out or pierced, unable to regenerate, and I would never know… so the least you could do is remember that there is someone at home waiting for you to come back safe."

"I know," the Doctor said, walking slowly forward. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

They threw their arms around each other, breathing in each other's scents and feeling each other's heartbeats. River always found the feel of the Doctor's two hearts against her the greatest comfort of all. It was the only way she could tell it was him no matter what face he had. Not many men had two hearts.

"I'm sorry for shouting at you," she said, taking a relaxing breath. "I was just so worried about you. It's not easy being at home while you're away."

"I know, I know," he kept saying. "And I am really, very sorry."

5.

The Doctor remembered when he first saw River Song.

She had known him many years before he even knew her name: River… lovely name as well as unusual. She was older now but still a face with charm and attraction. She had touched his face lovingly and looked at him longingly before he even knew why. Those eyes said so much about him, her mind holding so many secrets, her voice tickling the inside of his ear with his greatest secret…

Then there was her diary.

He never saw what as written in it, he told himself he never would. He had promised River that he would never change those times. It enabled him to live through his entire life with her watching the events as they rolled out in front of him; the glory of the universe, the beauty of the planets, the danger of the monsters, and the sorrow of losing friends. Such wonderful times he had before him: laughing as enemy armies turned and fled from them, clicking his fingers to open the TARDIS, eating picnics on apple grass, making love under the stars, from the beginning to the end of the universe they would rescue civilisations, keeping the universe stable, and safe and sound.

"You'll see me again," she had whispered. "You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space, you watch us run."

And he did.

And they ran fast.