A/N: I swear. I'm on a Doctor/River binge. It isn't healthy. I don't own Doctor Who, fa sho.
Another psychic letter call. This time, the paper simply read coordinates and time and an "X." The Doctor hesitated slightly. His last meeting with River had been so…unfortunate…and yet not unfortunate at all.
"What is it?" Amy leaned over his shoulder.
"River," he answered.
River had kissed him last time they met. And he kind of kissed her back. A little.
But that meant that this next River expected things like kisses, and he was not certain even who she was or how he felt.
She did have lovely hair, and a wicked smile. He had always loved a wicked smile.
"Are you ever going to tell me why you've avoided talking about River since America?" The redhead leaned over the console, her hair swishing forward. She smiled knowingly like a little girl at a sleepover.
The Doctor opened his mouth to avoid the topic, when he realized that perhaps he could use Amy for advice. She was a human female, which he at least guessed that River was. "I think River's…River feels a lot of something for me. I don't know what. But each time we meet, she seems more keen on acting upon her feelings. She thinks I'm a Doctor that I'm not yet. I'm going to be whispering spoilerssoon."
"You were flirting with her well enough," Amy pointed out, and the Doctor winced.
"I hadn't realized that she was so…" He let the words die, because he had no response.
River was so confusing. She knew him so well, sometimes almost more than he knew himself it seemed. He did like her. If they had met in a normal manner, he was certain that he would think her very clever.
And he had to admit that he liked the flirting. She mocked him so often that he relished in getting to meet her head-to-head.
"Well, I guess we'd best get on with it."
No sooner had they materialized than there was a woman with a mess of curly hair tumbling in through the door, slamming it shut behind her. "Goodness," she murmured, leaning against the door with a huff.
"River," the Doctor said calmly, walking forward. "You're bleeding."
She smiled. "You're late."
As those bright eyes met his own, he paused. He had to be careful. This River knew him, but she also was unaware how little he knew her. However, her head was bleeding, and he needed to tend to it.
If it had been Amy, or someone else less complicated, he would have just held out his hand and pulled her to some first aid. But this was the-girl-who-kissed-him River, so he awkwardly said, "Come on. Let's bandage you right up" without making any motion to touch her physically.
She noted his hesitancy, of course, because she knew him so well, but she followed nonetheless. "Where are we, sweetie?" She asked, trying to gauge his place in the timeline.
"I haven't a diary yet," he offered, raising his eyebrows.
She winked at him. "How exciting. The inexperienced Doctor."
He noted that she winced when she tried to step. She injured herself more than he thought.
"River, honestly, what've you done?" He was forced to help her walk, sliding an arm gently about her waist. She smelled like dirt and sweat and time and River, and he could not help but smile at the familiarity.
She leaned into him, maybe more than she needed to, as Amy bound forward. "Need any more help?" Amy ran to her other side and tried to distribute River's weight.
They helped her to one of the cushioned chairs about the console, and she made herself overly comfortable there as Amy left to retrieve the first aid.
"Are you going to share the story of how you came to—" The Doctor pulled the monitor around, reading stats, "Yesten Nine in the year…RIVER, it's the 315th century! It's dangerous to travel with only a Vortex Manipulator that far! Honestly!"
She winked at him. "I'm fine, Doctor. This is the best Manipulator out there. Better than the standard Time Agent one."
He sighed and went to examine the gash that marred the skin above her right eye. "This is nasty." He pressed some of her hair back from it, and without even thinking about it, pushed it behind her ear. She looked up at him with a smile, making him all too aware of her closeness.
"Oh, Doctor, you know how to woo a girl." She smirked, but her eyes betrayed that she enjoyed his hand in her hair.
He pulled away quickly, but subtly. Even dirty and injured, he found her utterly attractive, all that hair and fire and spirit. He could feel it. She was unpredictable and strong like the TARDIS, or even like time itself. He had to be so careful.
"I've been told," he responded, trying hard to maintain a normal demeanor.
"Mmm, get around much, yeah?" She still had that knowing smile on, and he found it both terrifying and comforting.
"I've been told I'm quite the player." He laughed gently.
"I'd say. Travelling about with all of those beautiful women." River's voice contained no jealousy, and that was part of the reason he liked her so much. She never acted like she had control over him, even if perhaps she did have some power, more than he'd like to admit.
As if on cue, Amelia Pond bounced back into the room with a first aid kit in hand, her beautiful red hair flowing behind her.
"Here. How is she?" Amy handed him the box and he shifted through it.
"He's hitting on me," River smirked.
"Am not," he countered, conscious of his and Amy's conversation from before. He pulled out a bit of antiseptic and a bandage to close the open wound. "This is going to sting a bit."
He gently cleaned the wound, noting that it was actually quite deep.
"Oi! I'm a nurse," Rory strode into the room indignantly.
"I'm a Doctor."
"Not a proper one," the Nose responded with a grumble.
Amy skipped over to him and looped her arm with her husband's. "Come on Mr. Grumpy, let's leave the Doctor to his work."
The Doctor frowned, hoping Amy wasn't suggesting something. His eyes flickered after the couple before falling back on River. She was watching him contemplatively.
"How early is this for you?" She asked, more gently than before.
He tapped her nose. "Spoilers." He applied the tape, closing the open wound, and hoping that the ointment he used would stop any scarring.
River smiled happily. "I'm glad you still say that."
He tried to maintain a smile; not betraying that he had just began saying that.
He stepped back, surveying his work, and then surveying River. She was wearing a tattered cotton shirt with tight black pants that had one rip up the left leg. She looked like she had just tumbled down a hill of rocks and dirt.
"Doctor, if you keep that up, I just might blush." Her eyes were glinting playfully. He swallowed.
"Right, I'm just…River you look like you've been on the wrong side of a fight with a Gallifreyan Sand Shredder."
"Close. Achellan Mercenaries. They were protecting a Royal Collection, and I was trying to get something back that doesn't belong to them." River was swinging her legs in the chair, and the Doctor found the action distracting. She was so frustrating.
"River…" He sighed.
"Doctor. You know I'm not going to change." She hopped out of the chair and walked meaningfully over to him, favoring her right leg slightly. She came far too close. He could smell her hair again, and he could feel how warm she was. He had to step away, and she frowned.
He remembered the pained look from Stormcage, when she realized it was his first kiss, her last. He did not want her to have that worry again.
He swallowed, making a decision. For the sake of spoilers.
"Okay, River, you should stay absolutely still, alright?" He nervously stepped back toward her.
She frowned, but nodded, confused by his actions.
He fought the nerves that rose in his throat like he was a teenaged boy, the strange mixture of nervousness and anxiety that threatened to make his arms stop working.
"I'm good at talking the talk, River, I always have been." He spoke slowly because speaking always made him feel more confident. He let the rush of confidence take him over and slipped his fingers through her hair.
"I know that, Sweetie," she responded softly, sensing his nerves and obeying his wish for her to stay still.
"So when I mess around with you, sometimes I don't really have the game to back it up, and I'm sorry for that." He was referring to what his future self would do to her soon, and she would probably not understand now.
She smirked and nodded.
He let his fingers fall through her hair and pulled her closer. She fell into him naturally, like she had done it a thousand times before, wrapping her arms around his waist. He liked that a lot.
"This is still very new to me. Maybe that's a spoiler, but I feel like this is one of those things that you should know." His voice almost caught in his throat.
He kissed her then, slowly, nervously, letting her fill his senses one at a time.
She was better than he was at it, he was fairly sure of that. She had kissed him before, and he hadn't really kissed anyone in this body, unless he counted that awkward encounter with the grateful Amy or the kiss with River that took him by such surprise that he hardly reacted at all. But he liked having River this close, and he enjoyed kissing her, because he did feel something for her, even if it was nowhere near what she felt for him.
He could feel some of it in her head, with that sometimes-distracting psychic link that came from skin contact. Her love for him was evident, and he found himself falling into it, instead of pulling away, bringing River closer to him until he was flush against her, trying to show her that he did feel something very warm for her too.
He could see why he would keep doing this, why his future-self would risk everything that came with a relationship, for the girl with the gun and the knowing smile.
When he pulled away, he had to catch his breath, and River was obviously a bit out of sorts too. He let his hands rest on her waist, keeping her near. She looked dangerously gorgeous, with that flush skin and dirtied face.
He had to stop himself from kissing her again.
"You said you're still new at that?" She laughed happily.
He grinned smugly. "What can I say?" He tilted his head in an arrogant pose. "I've always been fast on the uptake."
She leaned her head against his chest and his hearts beat faster. "So you still don't know who I am?" She asked, her voice getting a little more serious.
The Doctor swallowed. "No, but that doesn't mean I don't know you at all."
She looked up at him, not being able to help but smile at that. "I suppose not."
He kissed her forehead tenderly. "Oh River." He spoke against the soft skin of her forehead, and he felt her shiver in his arms. "Who are you?"
She pulled him down to her, drawing him into another kiss, a short one, but one that took his breath away, all the same.
"Spoilers," she whispered against his lips.
"Mmm, spoilers indeed," he hummed, smiling in anticipation of the days and the spoilers to come.