Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
A/N: for the spoiler_song ficathon at LJ and the prompt: 'River/Eleven, Time is the fire in which we burn'.
'You'll be magnificent', he says, and then he sniffs. 'Not yet, obviously, but you will be. You'll be ablaze'.
She's a student.
She's brilliant. She gets perfect scores despite not taking notes, despite staying out all night. The bar has been set for her a long time ago, and she knows she'll make it.
She's a teacher's pet.
Her professor has the most divine sculpture made out of pebbles from Krkv yst. River wants it and she takes it. The professor cries into his tea and River says, 'I'm sure they'll catch the thief'.She sells it later, when the itch under her skin has become unbearable. It isn't worth as much as she thought, but it buys her a ticket off-planet.
She's a doctor.
She unearths, literally, a near-gold brooch studded with the very last of any diamonds and a glass bead containing a drop of actual Earth water. It would be the pièce de résistance of any exhibition. She slips it into a pocket. What good would it do in an exhibition?
When she's exhausted one place she moves on. Other times, other planets. That way she can be wonderful, again and again. She wants it all.
She thinks he was so wrong promising her she'd be ablaze but 'not yet'; she is now, and it's the best feeling in the universe.
Things have been lost in the flames. She forces the memories of them to fall away like the ashes they are, to scatter at her feet, because if anything would tie her down, it would be those.
She doesn't care for prison. She doesn't feel cleansed. She only feels that familiar itch to move, and it is terrifying, because she thinks she's actually stuck, this time.
She's a professor. She's famous. A bit tarnished, a bit scorned, a bit despised; but that's only to be expected and she doesn't care. She's a star. 'I'm River Song,' she says, 'And if you're smart you'll listen to me'.
One day it will be too much and she'll be consumed. She'll consume herself.
But not this day, she tells herself, on those nights when she can bother with depth and soul-searching.
But not this day.