Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
A/N: Written for the spoiler_song ficathon at LJ. The prompt was 'River + the Doctor, 5 Times River saw the Doctor Cry'.


The fifth time he wore a new suit. Tears threatened to fall from red-rimmed eyes from the moment he stepped out of the TARDIS. He tried so hard to keep himself in check, that much was obvious, but the pointless jovial blather and nonsensical jokes and enthusiastic hand-holding were all cancelled out by that tiny presence of moisture. River hoped with all her heart she wouldn't ever have to see him like that again.

The third time involved the ever-teetering-on-the-edge fate of the Universe. He wiped at his eyes with a dirty sleeve and frustration clenched his jaw shut and twisted his features into a grimace. He wouldn't meet her eyes. He shrugged off her hands and ignored her questions and finally hid behind a scorched corner of the ruin. The horrible part was that River knew he didn't cry out of sorrow; this was just expelling of impotent rage, frustration leaving in any way possible. Rule number 7: The Doctor hates losing. Rule number 34: He really hates it.

The second time he stubbed his toe on the TARDIS console, stumbled, caught an ankle in a terribly misplaced loop of wire and fell, only to land on the discarded sonic screwdriver – which promptly emitted a shower of sizzling sparks. He flushed and staggered to his feet, rubbing the hurting spots within his reach. River suspected it might have been embarrassment as much as pain as much as the possibility that the screwdriver's setting had somehow affected the lacrimal glands (the screwdriver was hardly trustworthy, these early days), that caused a tear to form. Not that the reason mattered. She kissed it better indiscriminately.

The fourth time involved one single person. It was the first time River had been truly aware of where exactly in her chest her heart was located. She didn't think the Doctor was even aware that he was crying. The proverbial last straw had broken something or other in one or both of those bottomless hearts. She hugged him tightly and he buried his face in the excess of charmeuse at her shoulder. This was one loss too many. River had no tears of her own left.

The first time she was reasonably sure he wept for joy. And, well; private moment, that's all you need to know. Spoilers in capital letters and all that. Besides, her own cheeks weren't exactly dry.