Warning: Spoilers for Day of the Moon.
Words: 943
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Never will.

kiss me goodbye


And here they are, standing in a damp underground prison. Her damp underground prison. River Song and the Doctor. His hand's placed lightly on her shoulder–a friendly gesture, she knows, because he doesn't mean anything by it, not really. Not yet. Still, she can't help the way her skin burns underneath her blouse and her heart quickens at his touch. How she wishes he would never stop touching her. Never stop looking at her.

"You could come with us," he says awkwardly—offhandedly, as if he doesn't care what her answer is. But she knows him better than that. He never was—is—very good at inviting others into his circle. And a small part of her wants to say yes, to grab his hand and drag him back into the TARDIS. To travel with him and Amy and Rory. To run away amongst the stars and planets and time itself.

She shouldn't.

She won't.

But that doesn't make it any easier to refuse him.

"I escape often enough, thank you," she sighs, a rueful smile taking to her lips, "and I have a promise to live up to." His bowtie is crooked, as usual; the compulsion to touch him leads her to reach forward and correct it. "You'll understand someday," she says and perhaps her hand lingers too long on his chest, but she doubts he notices.

"Okay. Up to you," he nods and turns to walk away; his shoulders slouched, head down. He's disappointed, she realises suddenly, but too much of a silly man to admit it. "See you next time. Call me."

And maybe that's why she decides to tease him, this younger version of the man she loves. "What? That's it?"

The Doctor turns around; quite quickly too, River thinks smugly. He starts back towards her, hands outstretched and a playful sort of curiosity about him. "What's the matter with you?" she continues, because he has missed something so very important and she isn't about to let him get away with it. Oh no, not this time.

"Have I forgotten something?" he asks, and she really is smiling now. This stupid, stupid man. He really knows how to rile her up.

"Oh," she says, smiling fondly, "shut up."

She doesn't ask his permission. She doesn't have to. This is their moment; a rare passing of shared intimacy. Amongst all the chaos and running and pain and fear, this is the moment when none of it matters. It's just her, River Song, woman of his future, and the Doctor, man of her past. She kisses him, mouth moving in tandem with his, soaking up the taste and feel of him. His hand settles on her shoulder for a brief moment and stays there; it then moves upwards towards her neck before pulling away. He seems more awkward and hesitant than usual, but that doesn't make the kiss any less sweet.

They break apart and he moves towards her almost on instinct–as if some part of him wants more–but he catches himself and pulls away. "Right," he says. "Okay. Interesting." He looks as if his mind is tearing this kiss apart; his thoughts are like ticking clockwork as he tries to place what exactly he feels. He scratches his cheek unconsciously and stares at her, genuinely perplexed.

It worries her.

"What's wrong?" she asks, not liking how he stares at her with such innocent bewilderment. "You're acting like we've never done that before." But they have, countless times. He's kissed her, and she him. Always after the danger had passed or they'd just had a row about something completely ridiculous Sometimes they'd kissed for no reason at all but for the sake of doing it. It's their promise—their moment.

"We haven't," he replies, scratching his head and looking wholly uncomfortable.

Something within her breaks.

"We haven't?" The words are out of her mouth before she can stop them and they sound broken, confused. Even now she cannot wrap her mind around it.

"Oh!" the Doctor exclaims suddenly. "Look at the time! Must be off!" It's clear her reaction has placed him in an awkward twist and he's returned to the bumbling idiot who doesn't quite know her yet. "But, um, it was very nice. It was… It was good," he rambles as he starts to back away towards the TARDIS. "It was… ah, unexpected!" His smile falters for a moment and he turns around, opens to TARDIS door for a fraction of a second and then shuts it again. He turns back towards her and smiles stupidly. "You know what they say," he says, "there's a first time for everything." He points to her and shakes his head, before he disappears behind the TARDIS door.

River's heart sinks to a new level of heartbreak as she watches the TARDIS blink in and out of existence. He's left the parking brake on again, but even that cannot lift her spirits.

"And a last time," she whispers after him, hating herself as tears spring to her eyes.

It has to be this way, she supposes. After all, loving the Doctor was never supposed to be easy. Even if, at times, he made it so easy to forget that loving him meant they would both wind up with broken hearts. Still, she waits for the day when he truly knows her again.

It's funny, though, that the first time she deigns to call him, he doesn't pick up.

She laughs and whispers into time and space, "I hate you."

And even then, when he's not there to answer her, she knows exactly what he would say.

"No you don't."


Ending Notes: Beta'd by the wonderful MuslimBarbie. I just loved this scene so much nd awhen I watched 'Day of the Moon' today, I wanted to get inside River's head a bit. I ADORE the River/Eleven pairing, but have thus far held off writing her because so little is known about her in the series-it's hard, after all, to write from the point of view of a character you don't have all the pieces of. I hope you enjoyed!