The Doctor stood alone in the TARDIS, he was miserable; he had no one to talk to, to go on adventures with. He strode over to the console and flipped a switch and pressed a few buttons. He knew who he wanted to see: the most important and enigmatic woman he has ever met...
As the TARDIS materialised he took small steps closer to the door until it had finished landing. He grinned and pulled open the doors "Honey, I'm..." his expression fell. "...home" he realised that he parked the TARDIS in her back garden not in her living room, like he'd planned. He slapped his hand on his forehead feeling like an idiot then he shrugged his shoulders and skipped out of the blue box and made his way to her door. Then, he paused for a moment- the garden was beautiful, so full of life and so many plants from planets far and wide. There was a Venus Flytrap from Venus, some Bell- Ball Ivy from Eterna-tranquilla, some Apple Grass from New Earth, a Lotus Gigantus from Fleurailles (the strongest flower in the universe and it was presumably being used as a piece of furniture as most people use them for) and many more! The Doctor assumed that he took her to all these places once upon a time that he doesn't know of yet...
He pulled out a key from his pocket that she'd given him when he gave her a key for the TARDIS and reached out for the lock when the door was already being pulled open.
Those words, those two simple words just lit up his soul. His grin widened. "I fancied a visit." He looked her up and down. She looked as if she had been somewhere; she was wearing a marsh green short and button-up shirt combo attached by a deep olive green belt with dark brown, muddy boots. "Am I interrupting anything?" he asked as she stepped aside to let him in. The first sight he saw was a stack of papers and a stone plate that had various hieroglyphics engraved on it that were just pictures to him.
"No, no. You're not an interruption... more of a... distraction." River cheekily smiled at him.
The Doctor just simply returned the smile as he looked at the hieroglyphics. "Isn't this the lost language of the Ancient Greldorians? No wonder why the TARDIS wouldn't translate it ..."
"We went to Greldorr yesterday and for some reason I can read the hieroglyphics so Mr. Lux had me translate this tablet for tomorrow's meeting." River said looking at the tablet which was equivalent in size to an A3 piece of paper and about an inch thick.
"Impossible... how can you read the hieroglyphics? The language of the Greldorians has been lost for thousands of years and I can't even translate it!" the Doctor was shocked as he looked at what she had translated so far.
"That's the thing, I don't know how or why..." she replied shrugging her shoulders and placed a hand on her hip.
The Doctor's eyes locked onto hers. "This woman, this... impossible woman, she's amazing. No, she's something... more." He thought about her, the times he's shared with her so far- he trusts her yet, he still barely knows her. "So... I'll just come back later, I was hoping to go on a trip but, you're obviously busy... with all your translating and stuff." He said just about to turn around and walk out the door.
"Aw, were you getting lonely? Don't worry, I'll keep you company." River smiled as she followed him out the door. "As long as you drop me off not long later, I still need to work, you know?" she added. River looked at the clock ten o'clock, plenty of time.
"I'll try." The Doctor led her to the TARDIS and pushed the door open for her then stepped in afterwards. "Next stop: Everywhere." He grinned, remembering what she said at the Library- the time he wanted to avoid to remember but, he can't help it.
He started to guide the TARDIS somewhere they haven't been yet then he changed his mind and decided to not only surprise River but, to surprise himself too.
"Where are we going then?" River asked standing next to him.
"I've made it a mystery for the both of us."
River's smile widened, she was excited. Her hand reached forwards and she placed it on the Doctor's, it was warm and soft. He turned his wrist so that he could hold it as they walked over to the wooden door and opened it.
As they both peered their heads out the door they were greeted by a face full of snow and a spine- chilling gust. They pulled their heads back in and the Doctor slammed the door shut. "Well, I think it's a bit chilly outside..." he said with a little shock from the cold.
"No, you don't say?" River said sarcastically. She brushed some snow off of her shoulders "... We're not exactly dressed for snow and blizzards, now are we?" She added looking at their clothes. Then she walked down some of the TARDIS' many corridors until she found the closet and she began to look for some more sensible clothes.
Meanwhile, the Doctor just grabbed his black winter coat from the coat hanger and put it on over his striped suit and he zipped it up. He waited for River by the console, hoping that she didn't get lost in the maze of corridors or anything like that.
Minutes later, she returned to the console room. She was wearing black skin tight trousers with brown boots that had furry ends and came up to her knees, with a black jumper over a white tee-shirt and she wore a dark brown coat with a furry hood. She also had a white scarf wrapped around her neck and black gloves with white fur. "Ready?" the Doctor asked.
"Allons-y!" He walked to the door and opened it again bracing himself for the cold gust that had previously welcomed them.
"So Doctor, where are we?" River questioned as she stepped out of the TARDIS into the snow that covered her ankles.
"I don't actually know; I've never been here before. But, I can say that the population is very small and dispersed."
They stood in the wasteland, still unsure where to go first: behind them was an abandoned factory, to the left was a mine shaft and the city's power station and to their right was a small city or they could explore the wasteland itself. River was looking at the front of the factory, there was a metal ramp that led to the entrance and underneath the platform were several storage rooms. She walked to one of the doors and pulled it up and she found an unattended snow mobile. "Wanna go for a ride?" She asked pulling it out of the storage room. She hot- wired it and jumped on.
"Seeing as you're offering..." The Doctor hopped on behind her and held on to her waist so he wouldn't fall off. His hold felt more than just a safety hold to both of them. He leaned into her back to keep her warmer and she could feel his hearts beating, it was relaxing. His head was leaning between her shoulder blades and her hair made the perfect pillow- so soft and tender.
As they were just about to head out to explore the wasteland they were suddenly called over by a resident of the city.
"Excuse me? If you are heading out into the wasteland, could you maybe find me a Moon Stone to charge the Power Station, I haven't been able to get out as my vehicle is broken and the factory has stopped working." He asked, the residents of the planet have deep blue skin and it was scaly and hard to protect them from the cold.
"I suppose we can, what does a Moon Stone look like?" The Doctor stepped off the snow mobile. "See we've only been here five minutes and we've already got something to do." He said to River.
"It's dark purple and has crystals growing from the grey stone base. They are the only source of power the city has and they can only be found in dark caves in the ice wasteland over that metal bridge." He explained pointing in the direction of the bridge that was too far away to see on the horizon. The bridge leads up to a higher part of land with various caves and pools of ice. "Also, don't go across the ice."
"What happens if we go on it? Apart from the possibility of skidding and crashing..." River stood next to them.
"The enraged Leviathan would find you and let's just say... anyone who meets the Leviathan doesn't come back." The howling winds grew stronger almost as if in disgust of the Leviathan.
"We'll keep that in mind, thanks." River jumped back on the snow mobile and the Doctor followed her. "Ever heard of a Leviathan?"
"Nope..." he leaned in towards her.
"We're dead then, if we come across it."
"Thank you so much, you will always be welcomed to our city for your kindness upon your return with the Moon Stone." The resident said as The Doctor and River set off for the caves.
Looking back, the Power Station wasn't visible anymore and neither River nor the Doctor had any idea how far away the caves were. "So... how far is this meeting for you?" River asked to break the silence.
"You don't know who I am then yet, do you?"
"No... How far for you?"
"Well, the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new..." River still was being as enigmatic as usual without giving too much away. She clenched her hand on the handle bar, the ring on her finger tightened as her grip became more firm. The Doctor wrapped his arms tighter around her waist- this was definitely more than a safety hold now and they both felt it but, were still unsure whether their minds were deceiving them. He leaned his head closer and rested it on her shoulder.
"You okay?" his breath was warm on her neck even through the scarf.
"I'm fine, what made you ask?" she tilted her head towards his.
"I don't know... You seemed a bit lost in thought a moment ago."
"I was, but I can't say why... Spoilers..."
They neared the bridge and the snow grew thicker as they arrived on the other side, it was hard to see where to go. Just ahead of them was a big ditch that smoothed out in the middle and the other side was almost invisible. There were several caves darted around and in the ditch. River cautiously steered the snow mobile down the side and stopped at the bottom. "Let's do some cave exploring..." she eagerly said as the Doctor loosened his hold on her and stood up.
The pair walked over to a cave and started to search the inside and there, just in the centre of the cave a large Moon Stone was lying. Its glow lit up the whole cave. The Doctor walked over and picked it up- it was bigger than a basketball. River followed as he carried it to the snow mobile where he placed it in a storage box attached to the back. They both hopped on and began to make their way back to the city. "That was easy." The Doctor's voice was a sharp whisper in the blizzard.
"I think the way we came down is too steep to go back up, I'm gonna take us a different way out- don't want to risk sliding back down." River said taking the snow mobile in the opposite direction in the hopes of finding a slightly less steep way out of the ditch. The Doctor nodded.
Little did she know that the snow mobile was in motion over a very large pool of ice that had a thick layer of snow covering it. Suddenly, the ice began to crack and a large shadowy blur emerged up from the ice. The ice fragments lifted the snow mobile some twenty feet in the air before it came crashing back down. Now it lay in pieces with the Doctor and River lying in pain next to it. The Doctor sat up and looked in shock as the shadowy blur became clearer. River was lying on her stomach and she rose next to the Doctor. "It's the Leviathan." The Doctor said rising to his feet.
The Leviathan was a dark icy- blue colour with a crystal-white fin on its head and piercing red eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth. It stood so very tall out of the pool- it was unclear how large it actually was. It looked at the humans in front of it and hissed at them. River's heart skipped several beats out of pure fear, this was the first time the Doctor had seen her scared and not hiding it. Normally she's a fearless woman with a strong soul.
The Leviathan leaned in close to them and the Doctor assumed it was going to eat them so he grabbed hold of River tightly but, then the Leviathan just froze in front of them.
"Um... Doctor, I'd like to breathe... if that's okay with you." River said wide-eyed looking at the Doctor whose arms were tightly wrapped around her middle. He released her and stepped towards the Leviathan clearing his throat.
"Why aren't you eating us? We were told by the citizens of the nearby city that you eat the citizens who come out here."
"I don't eat them, they merely get lost here and I guide them to the closer city in the West." The Leviathan was telepathic.
"That's new..." he mumbled. "...Telepathy."
"I do apologise for destroying your snow mobile, I thought you were City Patrol officers coming to set the fences electricity flow higher to cause me more pain." The Leviathan used its telepathy.
"What do you mean?" River asked.
"The City Patrol officers set up an electric fence in the water so I can only swim in the cave area as they are scared I will eat them, but I don't eat meat. I eat the Glowing Ice Coral below." The Leviathan swam under and pulled some of the plant to the surface. "I assumed you were them as they ride snow mobiles too... I can help you get back if you shut off the fence..." It added. "Here, try some."
The Doctor and River both ate some of the white, leafy coral.
"It's delicious, really sweet." The Doctor said.
"One of the tastiest plants I've eaten." River added eating another piece.
"Do you know where we can shut the fence off?" The Doctor changed the subject.
"The power to the fence should be in a cottage in that direction." It replied, moving its head to point to the location of the cottage. "Oh, and watch out for the Snow Chameleons. They roam around these parts and well, they see anything that's smaller than them and has a pulse as a free meal and you'll seem like a buffet to them."
"Snow Chameleons?" River repeated.
"Yes, they are between eight and ten feet tall and can blend into its surroundings by transforming into an inanimate object then, they strike with their claws, fangs or poison." The Leviathan added.
"We'll keep an eye out, right River?" The Doctor said as he started walking in the direction of the cottage. River nodded as she followed.
"Now I know why the population here is small... too dangerous to live here." She mumbled to the Doctor.
The pair were walking in the ankle-deep snow and getting a gust of sheer cold in their faces. The wind grew stronger and the snow, heavier.
"Can you see the cottage yet?" River questioned squinting to see in the blurry distance.
"I think it's just there." The Doctor pointed to a small, dark shape on the horizon.
"Then let's move faster before my feet turn to icicles and fall off."
"Oh cheer up, aren't you even a bit excited to be on a planet that neither of us knew existed until now?"
"I suppose... and can you do me the favour of thawing me out when we get to the cottage?"
"...Sure" he smiled even though she was sounding serious.
The cottage became larger and clearer as they walked and walked. Eventually, they reached the cottage and another citizen stood in front of the door, he was wearing a uniform- and on the back it read 'City Patrol Officer.'
"What do you think you're doing here?" he asked.
"Uh, we're..." The Doctor began.
"Right, you're not going inside, you don't have permission so go home." The Officer interrupted.
"Oi, first of all: don't interrupt him, second that poor Leviathan over there hasn't and won't harm anyone so it should be free and we're going to help it whether you're in our way or not and third if you won't let us in I'll use my own method!" River lost her temper and punched the Officer in the face with a hard right-handed blow and he fell to the ground unconscious. She looked at the Officer in disgust; he shouldn't be cruel to an innocent creature.
"So that's your method of gaining entrance?" The Doctor was slightly shocked but, then he remembered when she punched him in the Library to save him from sacrificing himself.
"Yeah..." she walked over to him. "...Always has been, always will be." She said through a cheeky smile. She walked to the door and pushed it open. Inside was a control panel with so many buttons and levers that sat in front of a large window facing the direction of the Leviathan.
"Any idea what any of these do?" River asked as her fingers darted across the panel.
"Nope..." The Doctor began studying the panel and the manual under the desk.
River walked away into a corner and she removed her right-hand glove. She hissed with pain as she done it and on her knuckles were many tiny cuts on her red and stinging skin. She slipped the ring off her finger and placed it in her pocket. As she glanced over her shoulder, the Doctor had noticed her pain and walked over to her.
"You ok? Your hand looks a bit sore." He gently took hold of it and pulled it closer to him.
"It's fine really, just next time I punch a scaly skinned man in below-freezing temperatures I'll remember to wear thicker gloves." She grinned. The Doctor pulled River's hand to his lips and he kissed it then moments later the re-generation particles healed the cuts on her hand. She smiled and slipped the glove back on. "I love it when you heal me."
"Right, now time to free the Leviathan..." The Doctor clasped his hands together and went back to the control panel and skimmed the manual. It took a few minutes for him to skim the whole book then he let out a sigh. "...I can't find anything." He put the book down and stood up; he looked at River who was puzzled. "You up for a run?" he pulled his Sonic Screwdriver out of his pocket and aimed it at the control panel. River took the hint and nodded.
They made their way to the door and the Doctor aimed his Sonic Screwdriver at the control panel and pressed the button. The panel began to spark and smoke and River and the Doctor ran out of the cottage just as the explosion occurred. They both landed in the snow several metres away and the flaming-hot debris rained down all around them.
"I can't take you anywhere without you having to blow something up..." River joked.
"The explosions follow me." He added.
The pair rose to their feet and looked at the remains of the cottage. "Hm..." The Doctor murmured.
"What?" River asked.
"Don't you feel like something isn't right, like it's out of place?" he began pacing in the snow. River looked around, and then she figured it out...
"Doctor?" She called.
"It's so obvious, yet easily missed. "A subtle... thing just begging to be seen but, praying not to be noticed."
"Think of the obvious, notice everything. Oh, what is it... it's annoying me now!"
"Doctor!" River stood in his path with her arms folded.
"What is it, River? I'm trying to figure this out."
"I know what it is." She teased rocking on her heels. "... Look at the trees." She nodded her head in the direction of the trees and the Doctor spun around and looked at them. "... What do you notice?" a question she would answer anyway. "... We're in the middle of a blizzard... so why isn't that tree moving?" her voice lowered. She waited for the Doctor to realise.
The Doctor's eyes widened as he realised. He spun back round to face her. "...Oh..." he whispered. "It's a Snow Chameleon..."
They both began backing away- never taking their eyes off the tree. Suddenly, it transformed into a ten foot tall angered and hungry chameleon that chased after them. It was a navy blue scaly creature with a large mouth full of teeth and large razor-sharp claws. It charged at them when it noticed they had nowhere else to run to apart from a six metre drop to the wasteland below.
Seconds later, a hissing echoed through the winds. It sounded rather familiar...
The Leviathan emerged from the ice and a beam shot out of its mouth and stunned the chameleon just as it leapt into the air to attack the Doctor and River. It fell in front of them with a mighty thud.
"Thank you." The Doctor said.
"You saved us..."
"I wanted to repay the favour, and I will give you a ride back to the city. Oh, and I brought the Moon Stone that was in your snow mobile."
"A lift would be great. I can't take any more walking in ankle-deep snow!" River moaned as she jumped onto the Leviathan's back and the Doctor jumped on after. It swam through the ice, shattering it into tiny fragments. Its armour protects it from getting injured by the impact of the ice. Within minutes, the city was in view again. Both the Doctor and River were having so much fun riding the Leviathan across the wasteland until the resident who requested the Moon Stone saw the Leviathan.
"What is that thing doing here?"
"He helped us and saved our lives from the Snow Chameleons. You all have misunderstood him, he'll help protect the city and provide food for you if you give him a chance." River said as she leapt off the Leviathan's back. She offered the resident some of the coral.
"Wow, that's so tasty." He said taking a bite. "I guess we have misunderstood you. I'll pass on the word to the rest of the city that we now welcome the Leviathan." He added walking back to the city.
Later that evening there was a huge celebration for the return of the city's power and the truce with the Leviathan. The city was in a heated bubble to keep the citizens warm and the party was held in the town centre. There was music, food, drinks and amusement rides and stalls. River and the Doctor decided it was best if they left before they never want to go home.
"We hope to see you again." The mayor said. "You're welcome back anytime!"
"Please take some of the Glowing Ice Coral as a departing gift." The Leviathan offered.
"Thank you. We will try to stop by again soon." The Doctor smiled as he and River made their way to the TARDIS.
When they arrived back on Earth, River checked the time. "Ten-thirty." The Doctor said before she even had a chance to look at her watch.
"I'd better check the post then." she said opening the mailbox. She took the post out and opened the first letter on the pile.
"We've only been gone half an hour, what could've possibly happened in half an hour?" he asked.
"... And two days."
"We've been gone two days and half an hour. It's ten-thirty in the morning two days in the future." She began. The Doctor walked up to her and started reading the letter in her hand. "Dear Dr. Song, due to your absence at yesterday's meeting any further excavation of the ruins of the Ancient Greldorians has been declined..." she read the first few lines.
"River... I'm so sorry."
"Its fine, I wasn't really that fussed about going back anyways... I have everything I need to translate the language." She said almost uncertain of what she was saying. "Are you going off somewhere? If so, I probably shouldn't... I have work to do."
"Yeah... so do I."
"Goodbye my Doctor."
"Goodbye River Song, until the next time."
And with those words he walked off to the TARDIS and it faded into Time and Space. He wanted River to come with him so he could enjoy her company as much as he can.
Later that night, in the middle of the night River was lying asleep in her bed when someone opened her front door. The Doctor stepped in and closed the door gently. A few minutes later he crept up the stairs to her room and opened the door.
He saw her sleeping blissfully, she was beautiful. He placed a pot on the bedside table with some of the Glowing Ice Coral in, then something caught his eye- the ring. He picked it up and looked at it. This was no ordinary ring it had a clear ball on the top and inside was a swirling purple light- it looked almost like a galaxy... a galaxy inside a ring, how was it possible? No average person could possibly have something like that.
"Who is she?" he thought. Then he read the inscription. "... and River's love will last forever." The blank was his name. He figured it out- she is his wife. He married River Song, the most amazing and mysterious woman he'd ever met. The Doctor leaned down to her bed and kissed her on the forehead before leaving.
As he closed the front door, River stirred and opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was a note by the plant on her bedside table. The note read "Your half of the coral, enjoy. Love the Doctor." And on the inside it said "P.S. I know x" She looked out of the window and the Doctor was opening the door to the TARDIS and she called out of the window. "Doctor!"
She was just about to walk out of her bedroom then looked in the mirror. She was wearing a white night dress down to her knees with pale purple lace on the top; she put on her lilac silk dressing gown and pulled it across her chest. It wasn't much longer than the dress but it will have to do.
As she ran down the stairs and pulled open the front door, the Doctor walked closer to her house and met her in the middle of the street. "I know I said I hope to see you soon but, it's only been a few hours." River smiled folding her arms from the slight chilly breeze.
"I um... forgot to give you your half of the plant." The Doctor began. "Oh, and I went to speak with Mr. Lux and the other expedition leaders and they agreed to arrange another meeting next week. I wrote down the details and left them on a sticky note on your fridge." He continued.
"Oh, Sweetie. You didn't have to do that, I don't mind not going back to Greldorr. I have everything I need to translate the hieroglyphics." River smiled placing a hand on the Doctor's cheek.
"I know... but I wanted to do something for you River Song... you've done so much for me and you don't even know it yet. Plus, you might even find out why you can translate the hieroglyphics if you go back." He added remembering how she sacrificed her life to save him.
"Thank you, I'll phone Mr. Lux in the morning." River was slightly confused by what the Doctor meant by 'you've done so much for me and you don't even know it yet.' "...So, you know then?" she asked.
"Yes, I saw the ring and knew that no ordinary person could've given it to you and I read my name in the inscription. I had assumed for a while and now I'm relieved that I know the truth that I married the most amazing woman I've ever met." The Doctor said looking into River's gleaming green eyes. The gaze said 'I love you.' And River knew it straight away.
The Doctor leaned closer to River until their lips touched in a passionate kiss that could last a lifetime. After a long and romantic moment their lips regretted parting but did. "Do you want to come in?" River offered.
"But, don't you need sleep?"
"I can just drink some coffee and make up the hours tomorrow."
"I'd like to."
The Doctor followed River inside and he gently closed the door behind him. River's presence was all he needed to feel alive, to feel complete and to feel happy. "I love you." He whispered in her ear as he crawled up next to her on the sofa- being careful not to make her spill her coffee.
"I've missed you saying that." She took a sip. "You have no idea how much those words mean to me." She kissed him. "I love you too." She smiled as their lips parted.
"Well..." The Doctor began putting an arm around River as she leaned her head on his chest. "...You have no idea how much you mean to me."