Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.

A/N: For a ficathon at LJ, and the prompt 'Eleven/River Song, the immaculate distance'.

Mingling breaths were an accident were a lack of boundaries (his) were a fairytale, and to anyone who looked on, they were teacher and student, or colleagues, or good friends, or shallow acquaintances… or enemies.

Because it's not a kiss if lips don't touch and it's not a hug if you don't squeeze. And there are doors aren't there and you can shut them can't you?

When she was younger, she used to think they were like magnets of different polarities; now it's not so simple as science. Didn't it use to be easier or has she just forgotten?

There's nothing but shades of grey.

(He breathes down her neck showing her which lever to pull and which button to push, and she tells herself it's annoying, only annoying, but it isn't. He must know that, mustn't he? But then, maybe he doesn't yet.)

Sometimes it was she who was not ready. Sometimes it was him.

Tread carefully or ruin it all. And read your own diary, woman, and write it perfectly — remember things like length of hair and colours of ties, because apparently you cross boundaries easily when he's just saved your life and you haven't seen him — any him — for a year.

(Sometimes it was literally arm's length, no choice about it; part or be shot. It was amusing, really, how often brainless thugs treated them like one was fire and the other kindling; and oh how true that was.)

It was a game when she wanted it to be, when it needed to be — what he thought of it she had no idea because she couldn't ask — and wouldn't either of them have played it just as well if they had known it then and there?

He tries so hard when he has to. When it's his turn. She can tell every time though she doesn't understand yet (she will very soon). Oh, he tries so hard.

(If she just reached a tiny tiny fraction to the side she could take his hand. But her team is there, just behind them, and they'd never understand. In fact, they mustn't know. But he doesn't think like that and she hasn't told him — his fingers twitch and he moves and she has to pull her hand away and make it seem natural.)

She tries, too; the difference is that she succeeds.