The Doctor sat on the chair by the console of the TARDIS in silence. The TARDIS hummed sadly, feeling his worry and trying to soothe him. Rory and Amy had long since gone to sleep. He should be going to sleep, too. But he couldn't. He had too many things on his mind. He wished that he had a bigger head, sometimes. He could deal with information and trying to work things out and solve problems- he was clever, he knew that. But he couldn't deal with feelings. And when feelings took up all the space in his mind he couldn't cope.
He was startled when Amy emerged from the hallway, and headed up the stairs toward him. She was in her nightie with her dressing gown tied securely over her, a glass of water in hand. She tilted her head and stopped at the top of the stairs, keeping her space from the doctor, and leant on the railings.
"Okay, what's up?" She asked.
The Doctor looked up, "Nothing." He said, shaking his head and standing up, "No, I was just, er, planning our next trip-"
Amy gave him a disbelieving look, "Doctor, you're acting very weird- well, weirder than usual." She placed the glass of water on the floor and sat beside the chair, on the floor, looking up at him. "Is it River?" She asked, to which The Doctor looked down at her in shock. She smiled, "It's always River." She told him.
He stared at her, wondering if that was true, and figuring that it was. Everytime that he saw her he always ended up thinking. Thinking about the guilt that consumed him because he knew every time he saw her she was one step closer to her death. A death that he couldn't stop and he couldn't save her and there was no way that he could bring her back and he just felt so guilty. And now she had kissed him, (not that he would complain too much, she was a very good kisser), which meant that she must've meant a lot to him. Because she assumed that he had kissed her before.
For some reason this brought on a fresh wave of guilt. He was heading into what he assumed was probably a very serious relationship with River. And he knew how she died and when she would die and he knew that she would only have a Doctor who didn't know her there and she would die crying. While he was just out here being selfish and acting as if nothing was wrong. He wondered if she saw it. The guilt that he felt. She seemed to know him well enough, after all.
"Doctor." Amy said gently, "Tell me what's wrong."
The Doctor stood and walked around the console, not looking at her. "Yes, you're right. It's River. It's always River." He mumbled, and then sighed, "I don't know what to do, Amy."
Amy clambered to her feet and walked to his side, "What do you mean?"
The Doctor looked up at her, she wasn't looking for gossip, he knew that. She cared, because he was her best friend and she was his. She wanted to help. "She kissed me." He told her honestly.
Amy looked a little shocked, "She did? When?"
"When we dropped her back off at stormcage." He replied, looking down at the console and running a finger between the levers and switches and buttons. "She just... kissed me. Just... like she expected it. She asked me 'Is that it?' when I went to leave, and so I went back and asked her if I'd forgotten anything... and she just... laughed. And kissed me."
"Did you kiss her back?" Amy questioned, raising her eyebrows.
The Doctor looked slightly sheepish, his cheeks redding slightly."Well. I guess so. Well, yes, I did. Mostly- I mean, I..." He paused, and waved his hands around a little, "I didn't know what to do with my hands."
Amy laughed, "What did she say to that?"
He sighed, "She didn't. She was... She was more shocked that I'd never kissed her before. She, I mean... I guess I could've reacted better. She was upset, I could see that, but I was... I don't know, I just... I mean..." He groaned and hit his forehead with his palm, "I just left her, I was scared, and confused. I didn't think. She looked so, so sad and I just left." The Doctor placed his head in his hands.
Amy was silent for a moment, allowing The Doctor to gather his thoughts. He had both hands on the console of the TARDIS, leaning on it, with his eyes closed and a pained expression on his face. Even if he hadn't realised it yet, Amy knew that River meant a lot to him. A lot more than he would ever expect. The flirting was one thing but a kiss goodbye? Of course, River would come to mean a lot to him when he was older. When she was younger. Amy frowned, as something dawned on her.
"Doctor, I don't think that River looked upset because of the way you reacted." The Doctor looked up at her with raised eyebrows, "Well, okay, maybe a little." Amy grinned, "But... well... you're both time travellers, you meet back to front, right? You firsts... her lasts."
The Doctor's mouth fell open and he hit his head again, "My god, I need a bigger head- that, or I'm getting old!"
The Doctor stepped from the TARDIS, emerging back into the same, damp, cold stormcage. It had only been two minutes for River Song, at least it was supposed to be if he'd landed correctly, since he'd left, whereas he had been on a couple adventures with Amy and Rory. He wondered if River Song had escaped from stormcage already, he wouldn't put it past her, since she wasn't directly in his line of sight. He frowned, looking around, and then saw that she was curled up on her bed.
River had heard the sound of the TARDIS and hastily started to rub at her teary eyes, and sniffed. She hoped that he hadn't come back to question her. She wouldn't be able to cope with that, she wasn't even sure she would even be able to say "spoilers." properly.
"River?" The Doctor asked, concerned, approaching her slowly.
River sighed and sat up on the bed, swinging her legs around and turning to face him. He noticed her red eyes immeadiately, and the fresh tell-tale signs of tear marks down her cheeks. He felt another fresh wave of guilt wash over him. River was so considerate to his feelings, she really was, she had always thought about how he'd feel- but sometimes he was just so god damn selfish that he didn't think about what an effect this had on her. He'd only ever seen her cry once, and she had died then. The Doctor pushed that thought away.
He kneeled in front of her slowly, and she sighed, "What do you want, Doctor?" She asked plainly.
"To put things right." He murmured, and reached out to cup her face softly in his hands.
She stared at him, confused, as his thumb brushed her cheek softly. Then, slow again, he slowly leaned in, gazing directly into her eyes, until his lips met hers softly and he closed his eyes, focusing on nothing but the feel of her lips against his own. He wanted it to be perfect, for her. This was her last kiss with him, he knew that now, and he didn't want her to be upset again. He wanted her to be happy. That was all he ever wanted. If he couldn't save her from death, he wanted to make sure that every moment she spent alive she was happy.
River threw her arms around him, clinging to him desperately as the kiss unfolded with more and more passion, the intensity of it causing a ball of heat to knot up in his stomach as her hands run through his hair. It felt nice. Really, really nice. It felt right, too. To have River in his arms like this. He felt his hearts pound faster and faster as she pulled him closer, and he was pretty sure that she was crying, because he could feel the warmth of those tears on her cheeks. But at least she wasn't sad crying, not anymore.
Slowly, they pulled away from each other, and River stared deep into The Doctor's eyes with a small smile on her face.
The Doctor grinned, "Not all my firsts have to be your lasts."
She kissed the tip of his nose softly, "Thankyou, Doctor." She whispered.
"Until next time, River." He murmured, stroking her beautiful face with his thumb one last time before standing up.
River grabbed his wrist, "Doctor, the next time you meet me, you'll find out who I am. And I am so, so sorry." She told him seriously.
The Doctor smiled, "It doesn't matter, I'll always forgive you, River." He told her, and leant down to kiss her forehead, lingering there slightly more than he should've.
River smiled up at him and he smiled back, before once again heading into the TARDIS. He looked back when he reached the door. And this time, instead of tears building up in her eyes, there was just a small smile on her face. A smile that he returned.