River landed on her back with a thud.
"You really need to master those landings"
The part time-lord froze, staring up at the bow legs beside her; she stared unbelievingly up at her lover. 'God not again' she winced, "Doctor?" River rubbed the lump on her head. How hard had she hit it this time? Her personified idea of perfection offered his hand to her, which she took and allowed herself to be pulled very firmly to her feet.
"Twice in one night Professor?" he marvelled. River noted the lipstick smudge beside his lips, "You're insatiable. Shall we get on with it then?"
"Shall we what?" Her double take must have been completely obvious judging by the smirk on the Doctor's face. He held up a small Tardis-blue book.
"Shall we do diaries?" Without thinking River made a clumsy dive for it, "Whoa!" the Doctor held the book high out of her reach, "Spoilers River, you know the rules"
She tutted with frustration, that damn man knew more every time she met him, "Bone meadows?"
"Easter Island," he repeated fondly flicking the page over.
"End of the universe? … Times two?"
"Double check" The smile widened.
"And you're insane other half has run riot with the Tardis…. Have you done that yet?!" River threw her diary at him in a flood of emotion. She gave way to the pressure she was under and sank back down to the floor. The Doctor let his arms and the diary fall loosely to his side, shaking his head, moving his mouth in silent dismay. Eventually he sank down to join her.
"Yes," he sighed finally, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry; but you can do this River"
She refused to meet his eyes; everything was lost but somehow was suddenly found all at once. This Doctor was from her future; and look at him.
"I can't stop it," she told him, "I can't even fight it" River was vulnerable right now; that much was obvious.
"Oh River," The Doctor pulled her forehead against his, "I already know you can do it"
"Spoilers," she warned. The Time Lord chuckled.
"There's no time for spoilers" He moved to the console and began his merry dance around the levers and mechanisms, "In about.. oooh… two and a half minutes. My body will starve completely of oxygen, rendering further regenerations impossible. And resulting in me ceasing to exist"
"Not when Professor," he landed the Tardis with his usual lack of grace, "You mean where" He led her swiftly to the doors and threw them open. River gasped, floating not even ten feet away was his lifeless body. The Doctor turned away in disgust, he withdrew his sonic and with a soft clink and an aim at the console he extended the air corridor outside the time machine. He snatched at River's wrist harshly, enough to cause her to jump and turn quickly. He used his screwdriver on her vortex manipulator, setting its coordinates, "Time is running out," he muttered releasing her wrist as quickly as he'd taken it. She watched his back for a moment as he stalked away. She turned back to the lifeless body of her lover, floating in the endless abyss. River took a running jump and leapt from the Tardis. The Doctor held onto the console and after hearing the zip of the vortex manipulator, snapped the doors shut with a click of his fingers, "Good luck River" His hand momentarily turned completely transparent. The Doctor cried out in agony, his whole person fading in and out of existence. He fell to the floor of the Tardis writhing in pain. His future depended now fully on his past.
The Doctor blinked a few times, more times than was usually necessary to successfully focus one's eyes. The ceiling was smooth, solid cement. Lightening flashed, thunder roared and the sound of rain was almost deafening. He rolled himself onto his stomach pressing his palm and his cheek flat against the cool stone floor. His now focused eyes stared straight at the metal bars; the lightening played havoc with their shadows. Despite everything he felt content. His hearts didn't race, his breathing remained steady. For whatever reason, he was alive.
"I didn't know where else to bring you"
"What happened?" He asked at last, staring unblinkingly ahead.
"The Tardis is gone"
He closed his eyes and let the coolness of the floor seep into him before rolling onto his back again and staring up at the plain ceiling. He sighed. A long, deep sigh. It weighed him down heavily. He felt as though he could lay there, pressed firmly against the floor forever by the steady gravity.
"We'll have to go get it back then"