SPOILERS FOR A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT! WARNING WAS ALSO IN SUMMARY, SO DON'T BLAME ME!
My first one-shot! Quite a big moment, really. :)
Also, my first non-OC fic! Don't know if I'll do another one of these, but you might be able to hope for a Doctor/TARDIS one yet.
Basically, I wrote this because I was thinking about the Time of Angels episode and how River might have felt, because even though she didn't show anything, since it's River and she's had to keep secrets and hide her true feelings for all her life, I think there was possibly a lot more in her head than we were led to believe. This one-shot explores her thoughts on how Amy doesn't know her.
River landed on top of the Doctor upon entry to the time machine, something that she was definitely used to (that would make it, what, six times now and counting?), however, he was looking more surprised than usual. This did not faze River too much, as she knew their time-streams were backward and he was only going to get more awkward during these types of moments were they to continue.
"Doctor?" A very familiar Scottish voice says in a questioning tone. River revels in the sound of the voice, but cannot ignore the tiny stirring feeling in her stomach that was put on edge by the way she said it.
"River," The Doctor says, and all thoughts of Amy are pushed aside to be replaced by the warm sensation caused by the Doctor saying her name. He doesn't say it quite right yet, not with the right affection, but she knows he will one day, because he already has.
The moment had to be ruined eventually though. She got up and stood with the Doctor at the door.
"Follow that ship," She tells him.
They quickly both run to the console, and despite his surprise at seeing her ability to fly the TARDIS – not a good sign in the least, but she sets the thought aside for thinking about later in her prison cell – he quickly accepts it so as to be able to keep working.
They bicker about how to fly it, because as usual, he is flying it wrong. She proves him wrong as always by using the stabilisers and turning the brakes off. Also as usual, he gets touchy about the entire subject.
River is aware of Amy watching her, and the edgy feeling of potential pain stirs again, as the red head's gaze is awed and inquisitive. Neither is a positive thing from where the archaeologist stands.
The Doctor of course shows off upon landing.
"He thinks he's so hot when he does that." River told Amy, rolling her eyes.
"How come you can fly the TARDIS?" Amy asked.
River felt her hearts sink in despair, the evidence piling too high to bother denial now. Amy – she determinedly kept thinking of the red head as Amy and not the other title River had for her – did not know who she was. It made sense, Amy was so young by this point, and River looked so much older.
Despite the internal heartbreak, River doesn't let herself show any of the thoughts that had just passed through her head at light speed, and she doesn't hesitate for a moment in her next words, pretending Amy's word had had no effect on her.
"Oh, I had lessons from the very best." River said with a smile, and while she was over-exaggerating a little, it was only for the fun of teasing the Doctor.
"Well, yeah." The Doctor said with a grin, obviously thinking she was talking about him. And while he had taught to her to fly the TARDIS also, she was at the time referring to a person who was not this far back in his time stream.
"It's a shame you were busy that day." River continued, and he looks slightly put off, but is clearly mentally calling her bluff. She isn't bothered by it. She knows he'll eventually learn better.
Later, they stand outside and look over the ruins, discussing the circumstances of the ship's crash.
That's when Amy unknowingly drops the bomb that causes River's hearts to ache painfully, despite knowing the day was coming.
"So, aren't you going to introduce us?" The Scotswoman asked.
A tiny part of River wants to scream the truth, beg Amy to remember something she hasn't done yet, but she knows it is only the weapon child part of her talking. She has gone before without Amy not knowing who she really is, even though this is a whole new stage of the matter.
It was rather ridiculous really. River remembers days when she would look up and all she could see was the face now watching her curiously. Days when arms enfolded her, because she was so very small.
Back to front time streams…they caused both sides so much pain. For the Doctor it was worth it, but never anyone else.
Already she had lost two people; Rory, the man who should never leave Amy's side was no longer in the TARDIS, meaning she would probably never see him again. This realisation hurts but for some reason not as much as Amy's stares that lacked every emotion they should have.
The other one she had lost was different, but the companion that came after the Ponds, the one who River had known very well and had been very close to. She remembers the vividly strange and somewhat wrong moment when she first ran into the Doctor and the Ponds, to find absent the one person who she had stupidly relied on as a constant like the Doctor.
And now she was losing Amy like she knew she one day would, after this her chances of seeing Amy again were incredibly minimal due the backward nature of her life.
River continues to fiddle with her scanning device, using it as an excuse to not look at two of the closest people in her life who do not really know who she is.
"Amy Pond, Professor River Song." The Doctor says from behind her. The mild spoiler is intriguing, and while its excitement level was limited, she over-exaggerated it. Acting cheeky was a good way to hide the inner turmoil of emotion.
For this day marked a significant step on the path she dreaded but had no choice but to walk.
It was the path that was leading her to her darkest day, the one that would surely kill her; the day the Doctor would look into her eyes, just as Amy was doing now, and not have the faintest clue who she was.
This significant step was a terrible moment that would make families everywhere cringe if they knew about it.
It was the day that River's mother, Amy Pond, who had done so many wonderful things with her, who had cooed affectionate compliments and encouragements whenever River had felt sad or was having trouble with something, who had given River life and then guarded it with her own…
…looked with blank innocent eyes and asked to be introduced to the woman she did not know to be her daughter.
Ah! I'm sad again now...but 'sad is happy for deep people', to quote the much loved Sally Sparrow! I love angst WAY too much for my own good.
So that was me exploring River's sadness over her mother not knowing her!
Please let me know what you think, guys!
Reviews will be locked in a vault and cherished forever...
p.s. also, did any of you DS readers pick up the Aliya references in there? I kept them vague for the sake of canon, but I had to put them in there regardless.