Spoilers by DD Agent
I do not own Doctor Who or any of its characters, or its settings
Time. Time was endless when it came to them. She had time now, and she chose to remember as she sat, listening to the rain.
She remembered meeting him for the first time.
It felt so long ago, but she could still see the stars burning outside in the night sky, could hear the joyous sounds of the benefit they were at. Her husband was at the bar, ordering them drinks and talking about important matters with his friends. She was wearing a blue dress with enough bangles and bracelets to produce sleeves - all in an effort to hide the bruises he gave her as a reward for being the woman he paraded around at parties like the one they were at.
Her hands were empty and she was fiddling with the bangles, needing something to do. At least the purple of the fresh wounds matched her makeup. She was looking out the window and wondering why there was a blue box on the balcony when someone crossed her line of vision.
She looked up and saw a handsome man staring at her, wearing a tuxedo with a bow tie. His eyes were bright, and he was looking at her with a mix of astonishment and adoration. Maybe he knew her work from the university?
"Yes. Do I know you?"
"My name is the Doctor, it's a pleasure. River Song. In the present."
She reached out her arm to shake his offered hand, and his eyes flickered to the bruises on her wrists. She tucked the bangles to cover them, but it was too late. She didn't know why the tall stranger seemed so upset with them; she didn't know why he looked over her with such pain.
River pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, shifting her gaze to stare at her powerful husband. Ambassador for the well to do colony they lived on; she was a woman preparing to start teaching at the universe famous Clifton University. Respectable positions, even if her past was not so respectable. She would never be free of him, and she knew that, understood that no matter how hard he beat her.
"You could come away with me. Fly in my blue box."
She smiled, looking out at the box on the balcony. Out of the corner of her eye she could see her husband start to grow worried as she continued to talk to the man in front of her. She had read stories, heard tales and things finally clicked. "As much as I would love to go flying round the universe with a Time Lord, I like my life chronological."
He grinned at her attempt to be flirtatious, and she joined his smile. She felt comfortable around him, felt some sort of connection with him. She didn't know what it was, but she knew she couldn't stay. She ran her hand down his arm and moved to greet her husband.
"I'll see you soon Doctor River Song."
She shook her head at him. She disliked Time Lords; disliked the idea of muddling time and space so much that your own life became a tangled ball of wool. She looked at him, seeing intense happiness play over his features at the sight of her.
"No spoilers please, Doctor. What is life without a little surprise?"
Seemed so abstract now, talking about surprises considering her life. But she knew without a doubt that he had changed her life by just saying hello to her.
She remembered meeting him for the second time.
She was walking down the corridors of the University, her sleeves long to hide the bruises as best she could. He had hit her after the benefit, but she knew he would. She hadn't given the Doctor anymore thought, didn't want to. The idea of a white knight coming to rescue her from her husband was ridiculous; she had learnt long ago that the only way to salvation was if she did it herself.
But then all thoughts of her husband and her classes were knocked out of her head with the sound. The sound she had been hearing in her dreams. A door opened to her left in the crook of a long forgotten corridor, and it was him. Bowtie man in a blue box.
"Doctor. Thought I told you I wanted my time kept chronological?"
He smiled at her, made some smart remark about just coming back from dinner with her and she shook her head at him. She asked him to lunch, knowing that she shouldn't, knowing that her husband had his spies at the University but she didn't care. She felt attracted to this man, bringing back the dangerousness of her youth when she would break into high priced mansions and rescue archaeological treasures. For some reason the idea of him freed her.
They had a picnic in a world long forgotten, with him promising to have her back in time for her lecture. They could go to a thousand different worlds and share a thousand life times and still be back in time for it, he told her with a smile. They then laid on the floor of the TARDIS while the Doctor explained things about himself he was willing to share. It was like they were old friends instead of new ones. She looked over to him, noticed how his eyes grew bright when he talked about his travels, and when he looked at her.
"Doctor, why are you here with me, now? Why do I feel that you're trying to woo me?"
"Maybe because I am?"
The Doctor shifted over to her, but she shifted away. She looked over the great machine that could conquer time and space, and the man who ruled it all. She looked down at her hands, knowing she couldn't do what she wanted to. She barely knew the Doctor, it was obvious he knew her but that just confused the issue even further.
"I'm married, Doctor."
"To a man who hits you? The River I know wouldn't stand for that."
She banged her hands on the railings, tired of the confusion in her head. "I don't know you! You don't know me! Not the me I currently am. I'm not the woman you want, Doctor. I'm not her, so why don't you wait and find her."
He took the TARDIS back where she needed it to go. Back to the dusky quiet corner of the University, just outside her classroom. She was early. She didn't look back at him, just made her way inside her classroom. Inside she found something on her desk. It was a journal, a beautifully decorated book with the TARDIS carved into the front.
She opened it up and their first and second meeting was already filled in with handwriting she recognised as her own. In the back was a photograph of the Doctor, her, and two other people at what looked like a wedding. She smiled, and flicked through the journal. The third entry had started to be filled in. The woman in the photograph of her and the Doctor looked happy, was smiling brighter than she had ever done.
Time was not circular; time was parallel lines intersecting each other. It had taken some getting used to, but she had enjoyed going on adventures and sometimes even surprising the Doctor.
She remembered meeting him for the seventh time.
Mere moments ago as the rain crashed in her mind. She was sitting on the elegant stairs of her mansion, looking at the body of her husband. His blood was creeping over the foyer tiles, and she looked at it, not moving. A hand reached into view; she hadn't even heard the TARDIS arrive. She looked into his face, knowing this was a timeline he had tried to avoid.
"They're coming for you. You'll be put into a prison cell. He was the one who deserved to be in that cell."
She smiled at him, knowing him better than he even knew himself. Their meetings had grown longer and extensive until it had become an affair between the two of them. She had accepted that, wanted a life with the man who made her feel special. After every meeting he would say the exact same words, offering her a chance to come with him, a chance to avoid this timeline. But she stayed, knowing even more than he did what the result would be.
"You consider everyone equal. You don't really believe that, do you Doctor? You loathe the fact that I killed him. You loathe me."
He avoided her harsh gaze initially, but turned back towards her. "Love changes perspective. Love changes everything. Love is what makes us different from Daleks, Cybermen. I love you, River. More than anyone I have ever met."
The bright lights of the security officers could be seen on the front lawn. The Doctor didn't want to go, but he knew he had to. Knew there would be other adventures, that he would see her soon enough. She looked so scared, and yet at the same time she seemed free. He supposed she was.
"Doctor, do I ever see you again?"
As the Doctor crept into the darkness, he looked at the woman he loved. He thought about all their adventures she still had to come, all the adventures he had still to go with her. "Spoilers, River."
The security officers crashed through the doors. River sat on the stairs, rain trickling down the stain glass windows at the back of the house. As she was arrested for the murder of her husband, she smiled. If she closed her eyes and listened intently, she could hear the sound of the TARDIS. The sound of home.