Inspired by other River and Valeyard/DR fics out there.

The laugh sliced through River Song's heart like a Dalek's laser. She'd heard him laugh before; she eventually even categorized them all. There was the funny laugh, the "I-can't-believe-it" laugh, the "let's go" laugh and so many more. But this one, it was manic. Like he'd lost his mind. The final straw being cut.

River Song was deathly afraid.

This was the man she had run across the stars with. They had saved planets together, whole galaxies even. Civilizations thrived on distant lands because of them. Now here he was, laughing in the midst of a crimson circle of blood and bodies.

"What happened?" River asked, trying to suppress her fear and put on a front of curiosity.

"Saved the world, of course," the Doctor laughed. "Again."

"Oh." River nodded her head in understanding.

"What've you been up to?"

"I, uh, linked up the retro-dimensional power on the other side of the city."

"Good, alright," the Doctor laughed again. He wiped his hands on his pants, staining them red. River grimaced inwardly. The Time Lord walked out from the bodies and headed in the direction of the TARDIS. River followed. "How did that go?" he inquired.

"You said that you could save them all. Half the town was destroyed. Half of the city's population was slaughtered."

"Sad," the Doctor agreed, but no trace of sorrow could be found in his voice.

"Yes, Doctor," River shot back as she closed the TARDIS doors behind her. "Yes, it's devastating."

"Who cares?" he shrugged.

River's mouth dropped open and her eyes went wide. "Well you did. Evidently you won't anymore."

The Doctor laughed again. The manic laugh. He fingered one of the dials on the console. "What does it matter?" he asked her. "They all die in the end. They all get in danger again. I just saved them the trouble."

"You took away their life!" she countered. "They trusted you!"

"Do you?" the Doctor asked her as his head shot around the time rotor.

"Excuse me?"

"Do you trust me?"

"Y-yes," River blurted.

"Well then…" The Time Lord made his way over to her and River began to feel even more scared. Uneasy even. Definitely uneasy. He whispered right in her face. "That's not good is it?"

"Doctor," River hissed stiffly.

"Don't call me that. A doctor makes people better. There's hardly a point to that in this world."

She stared right into his fighting eyes and tried to see the same man that she'd fallen for, the same man who she'd saved the world with. But he wasn't there anymore. She smirked and whispered his real name.

In an instant, she felt a slap across her face. She stumbled back and fell down. Somehow, in the middle of the commotion, the Doctor had taken hold of her gun. "You wouldn't," she countered.

"Try me?" The Doctor looked at her like she was just another nuisance. She whipped out her particle beam. One shot would have stunned him enough so that it would stop his heart. Another well aimed shot and it would kill him, permanently.

"Try me," River replied, her voice shaking with tears forming at the corners of her eyes.

"You wouldn't," the Doctor assured himself as he saw the tear escape her eye.

"What happened to you?" River asked. "You used to be so full of life."

"Life doesn't matter," the Doctor replied, still aiming the gun at her. "You can never accomplish enough."

"That's the point."

"Than what's the point?" the Time Lord argued back.

"Because we pick up where others left off and we add to their legacy. We build up and then we move on. That's why."

"Philosopher's talk. People don't matter.

"What about the others?" pleaded River. "Amy and Rory… what about them? And that Donna woman. What about your family and, and Jenny. Sarah Jane, Jo, Susan, Rose Ty-"

"Shut up," the Doctor ordered, gripping the gun even tighter.

"Because they still mean something to you, Doctor. You still feel something for them. You still care."

"If you don't want to be quiet, I'll do it for you."

River's eyes went wide as she instinctively shot her beam twice. She felt the impact of the other gun's bullet as she tried to roll away. Her left shoulder felt shattered, but her attention was on the withering man on the floor. At once she realized what she had done. Dropping her own gun, she crawled over to him. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she muttered "sorry" over and over again.

The Doctor laughed, a different laugh. Not the manic one but the "yeah, me too" laugh. "We were brilliant," he smiled.

"Yeah we were," River agreed. "So were all the others." She held his hand as he closed his eyes. The next morning the Shadow Proclamation found her. She was charged with murder of the Doctor and the planet's natives. She pleaded guilty.

In the Medusa Cascade light years away, the name sewn into the rift shimmered away and dispersed throughout the universe like stardust. Everyone felt it, everyone heard it, but only a few understood it. What was left of him was gone. The Valeyard laughed one last time.

a Valeyard fic
follow up to come later