Not One For The Diary

Memory One-Hundred-And-Four: And That's A Fact

Disclaimer: the beeb have been promising me I can have Doctor Who for Christmas for years now but they never follow through on it.

Author's Note: Thank you to all the lovely people who have taken the time to leave me kind words in cyber space. I am very grateful. This episode is inspired by the song 'Nine Million Bicycles' by Katie Melua which is pretty fabulous so you should listen to it. Yup. I imagine this being a very early River, possibly the first time he saw her after 'Let's Kill Hitler' when she's an archaeology student & all that jazz. Enjoy…

"River, what you did for me back then… Urm that was very… I mean it was…" The Doctor coughed awkwardly as he stumbled for the right words. Not that there were any, could possibly ever be any, right words for this situation. Thank you for offering to sacrifice your own life so I may live. Thank you for throwing me out of the way and tackling an alien creature even though you barely know me. No, somehow none of those seemed fitting. How about please stop trying to save my life because one day, one horrible day, you will succeed and I will live and you will die and I have yet to come to terms with it. More accurate, maybe, but still un-sayable

"It's nothing." River shrugged lightly, dismissing his concerns out of hand with one simple gesture. "That's what has to be done when one's in love with a man who has the habit of constantly and unthinkingly putting his life in danger."

"River, don't-" The Doctor began as he shook his head sadly.

"Don't what? Don't tell you off for your persistent lack of concern for your own well-being? Because there's not a chance that that will ever, ever-"

"No. Not that. That's fine. Just, please, don't…"

"Don't say I love you?" River asked, her brow furrowed.

"Yeah, don't. Don't do that." He said sadly.

"But why not?" She replied in confusion.

"Because you barely know me. Because you've only met me a handful of times. Because you shouldn't say these things just because you think that's what you're meant to say. Because-"

"The Earth revolves around the sun at a rate of 67,00 miles per hour." River cut across quickly.

"What are you saying?" The Doctor asked, baffled.

"The heart rate of a humming bird can reach up to 1260 beats per minute." River continued.

"Yes, I know, but why are you telling me this?" He persisted.

"The Milky Way is between 100,00 and 120,00 light years in diameter."

"Did you hit your head? Did they do something to you?" He asked as he stepped closer towards her, concern etched all over his face.

"No, of course I didn't." River sighed deeply. "Can't you see what I'm telling you here?" She gave him the look he usually reserved for his companions- the I'm-being-very-clever-here-why-can't-you-tell look.

"No. I mean I really, really can't." The Doctor admitted grudgingly.

"Well what have I just said to you?" River encouraged him gently, the way one would with a small child.

"I don't know. Just strange things, random thoughts that-"

"No. Not thoughts." River corrected him. "C'mon, think about it."

"They're urm…. They're facts I suppose." He muttered.

"Yes!" River grinned. "Those are all facts. And can you argue with them, challenge them or prove them wrong at all?"

"Well… No… I suppose not." He said slowly.

"And do you want to hear one more fact?" She bounced slightly, impressed with her own cleverness.

"I don't suppose I have any choice, do I?" The Doctor smiled slightly as he watched her excitement spread.

"It's a fact that I love you." River almost whispered as she stepped forward and placed her hands lightly on his chest. "It's a fact, a proven fact, that I will love you till I die." She lent up to kiss him gently, lips barely touching. "Anything to add?"

"Well I guess I can't argue with you there." He grinned as he wrapped his arms around her, sighing gently. Some things you couldn't fight. There was the coming ebb and flow of the tide, the changing of the seasons and the fact that River would always (passionately, inexplicably, desperately, loyally, consistently) love him. Far more than he deserved.

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