Title: Comfort
Rating: T for angst
Characters/pairing: Eleven, River, mentions Amy and Rory (Eleven/River)
A/N: Spoilers for "Forest of the Dead" and "Cold Blood".
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.

It's spring and he wanders around some version of New Earth. He's let Amy go appreciate it on her own, because he can't.

He tries to gather his thoughts; he needs to do it some time. He has someone else's engagement ring in his pocket. It's a solid shape and its very existence is spelling out a possibility about the Pandorica he needs to grasp, but hasn't yet.

Trouble concentrating, that's why. The loss. Another loss. A completely useless, nonsensical loss. It's hard to block out the feeling in the pit of his stomach, even though he's done his best. He can't decide whether it's pounding or gnawing or acidic or all of the above rolled into one, but it is distracting and, well, painful. He doesn't want it there.

Amy's grieving and she doesn't even know it. Not on the surface at least, but it's somewhere in her, somewhere deep inside. He has hope for her.

He's ambled into a park and is heading down a cobbled path when he sees her. River Song, of all people. She sits just a bit ahead, on a wooden bench beneath that cherry/orange hybrid tree he can never remember the proper name of.

He wanted some comfort, and the TARDIS brought him here?

She's the last person to comfort him.

He wants to vomit, but that is a function he can control and he chooses to suppress it. He should be used to this. He has to get used to it, because it will always be in his past, and always in her future, and he has to be the responsible one.

She's sipping something out of a bright blue cup made out of yet another composite material that will be forgotten in a year or two, and there's a handreader in her lap and a thoughtful air about her.

I saw you die, he thinks. He could tell her. He could just blurt it out, and then it would be a secret shared. He thinks she would accept it. But no, he can't. He's a Time Lord and he's very wise, and he can't.

He looks at her and thinks of Rory. They didn't have much in common, did they, except that they both died (will die) instead of him.

When he sits down next to her, she doesn't even seem surprised.

He tries to be normal, but it's exhausting enough to do it all the time with Amy, and he doesn't really apply himself. His face falls and he doesn't even try to hide it. It was comfort he wanted, wasn't it?

She notices, because of course she would.

She moves the reader to the side, takes his hand and squeezes it. She's surprisingly strong.