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're the same. You burn."
She fights against her ropes and tries to swallow her fear. The hay beneath her feet sighs and heaves as if alive, and the Doctor's shoulder is wedged between her jaw and collar bone.
"I've never been burned at the stake before," he states. "Not properly."
She doesn't quite manage to plant her less tightly restrained elbow where she wants to.
During those rare moments when she acknowledges that she will burn faster than him, she vows to burn hotter.
"Stay, Heroine!" The old woman wraps her arms around River.
The rest of them only stare at her, slack-jawed, their eyes shining. There is soot on their faces, and dying embers dance like fireflies around them.
She squirms out of the grip, trying not to think of the darkness the woman's palms must have left on her back. She shakes her head reflexively, too many times. "Have to move on. Have to."
Time and time again, when it's too early for them to be them, they share nothing but a frightfully unfulfilling ache. It is a highly peculiar thing, having one's nerve endings ablaze, and she never gets used to it.
"You're a natural," he gasps, when they've run much too far, in those early days when neither of them could control themselves.
She presses a hand to her side and hopes she's not grinning quite as widely as she thinks she is. "It's not actually hard, is it? Wear sensible shoes, keep to the shadows, duck in time."
He traces the length of her forearm, from pulse point to pulse point, leaving her blood boiling.
She's leaning heavily on him and he's leaning even more heavily on her and the balance is most definitely off.
"Stop wobbling," she hisses.
"Shh, I think they're expecting a speech."
He smiles the best arrogant smile he can manage (it's more of a grimace and frightfully lopsided) and she wipes her hair out of her eyes with a shaking hand - and still the world shivers.
Times and places they've visited fall away, spent. So many more to go; she doesn't look back.
The stars can't keep up with them.