Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
A/N: For the spoiler_song ficathon at LJ. The prompt was: River (River/Eleven), on the keeping of a diary and the hazards of running out of ink.'
River Song has a diary.
It contains all her lies and all her truths.
All her experience and all her experiences, all her thoughts, her work, her dreams. All her running. All of the Doctor.
It might not be the most important book in the universe (except to her), but it is certainly one of the most dangerous. It is a stupid thing to carry around, safety-wise, but she needsit. It's her life line, and she's guards it fiercely. She would give her life for that thing.
There are dates; so many, many dates, in a thousand formats for a thousand worlds. Codes, numbers, addresses. Appointments that are too important, Universe-wise, to even think about missing, and appointments she doesn't want to miss for completely selfish reasons. Disjointed lines that make no sense to anyone but her, and lines that always make her smile, or both. Like: 'Don't mind the ginger hobo in the corner, he just wants to say hi'.
She's considered safes and vaults and boxes buried in the garden. Considered them, broken into them, and rolled her eyes at her own naïveté. The diary is part of the reason she carries a gun. She always lies when the Doctor asks about that, though. She's tried decoys and fake covers, but she always carries those wrong. She can't even pretend to care. It needs to be the real one. Sometimes she thinks that cracked blue cover is an extension of her skin. Or, more poetically, that the diary is an actual part of her. A part that should be pulsating a little to the left in her chest.
She just can't understand what she's written. It's supposed to be the password for the security system, but… It's been too long since she wrote it, and it's too dark, and she's very bloody nearly seeing double from running like a moron. (It's her 52nd museum after hours, but it's not like she's keeping score). Is that last thing a letter? A number? A squiggly line? That'll teach her never to accept and use (stupid!) a pen that's only "nearly useless". She cradles the stitch in her side, folds into it. She can't ignore the thundering footsteps coming for her any longer. Could she gamble her life on a guess? She chokes back a chuckle, straightens, and chooses a door at random.
It's only safe with her, and the fatter it gets, the closer she keeps it. She's good at hiding it, and even better at watching it out of the corner of an eye. She either surrounds herself with people who know exactly what it is and stay as far away from it as possible, or people who haven't got the faintest clue and who won't spare it a second glance.
When she's in the TARDIS, when she can place it on her nightstand next to a glass of water and her crimson lipstick, she luxuriates in the sight (and preens, but just a bit), because it looks just like a normal journal. She only has one threat to worry about there, one she can manage well, and even if she fails, he always stops himself in time, his fingers hovering.
"Where's the diary? You might want to note the date…"
She sniffs and folds her arms. Who cares about 18th century Earth anyway? "I've run out of ink."
He fishes out a ballpoint pen from the depths of one of his pockets and throws it at her feet.
"It's not that important," she bites out. "Don't flatter yourself."
She'll regret it later, not writing that date down, of course. She deals with it when that time comes.
There is space, as much as she needs; always a blank paper. She's chronicled her life, her entire crazy life. There are passages written in pencil, crayon, goose pen, the faintest laser, lipstick, kohl, mustard… There's a list of lovers in there; written, torn out, tucked in again. A petal from another universe. A lock of hair that contains her first grey strand. A lock of hair that contains his first grey strand (well, one of them). A terrible old poem she hasn't worked up the courage to read out loud yet and isn't sure she ever will.
Her head is pounding, her heart is constricting, her chest is heaving and there is a scream stuck in her throat, choking her. Prison again. Maximum this and that. She didn't listen. She's sick of prisons. She's sick of the reason she's landed in them.
She can't cry at this point; she can't even scream. She can only write.
By some grace they've let her keep it. But nothing to write with, which seems much more cruel than if they had just taken it away.
It's her outlet. She pours too much of herself into it, but she can't help it; that has been written into the stars themselves.
She has a recurring dream where ink, black as night and tough as oil, runs through her fingers like sand from a broken hour glass, and there's nothing she can do to stop it.
There is one final truth: She'd write in blood if she had to.