we are learning to make fire.
He's humming as he trips through Amy's garden toward the TARDIS, and she smiles at the sight. She loves him at weddings, especially this one. This wedding is special, because it is Amy and Rory, because it is a return, a triumph, a victory and a celebration of love and everything within the entire universe.
She'd avoided the reception, but she had stood at the back of the church during the wedding – how many people got a chance like this? She wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to watch her own parents get married. It was odd, strange, and reassuring because there had just been so much love in that church, it was like you could reach out and touch it in the air. Joy and excitement, delight and affection had practically resonated the very air molecules all around them.
And of course he saw it, felt it, was practically born out of it all, and she likes that thought meandering through her head. He is as old as time, aged and wise, but in some ways they were both created today, because of this wedding.
He is unlocking the TARDIS doors when she steps out, a smile on her face. "Did you dance? Well you always dance at weddings, don't you?" He pauses, waiting a moment before turning to watch her walking toward him. Her diary is tucked under his arm and she wonders if he peeked. She would have, in his place, she thinks.
"You tell me." He steps toward her as he is speaking and she smiles, moving in closer.
"Spoilers." She enjoys saying it this time, because the memories associated with it are all good ones. The best ones, really, even if he really just cannot dance. He enjoys it, and she has many wonderful memories of being dragged into the joy of it all with him.
He grins too, and pulls the diary out from under his arm, holding it out to her. "The writing's all back, but I didn't peek." It's on the tip of her tongue to question just how he knows the writing is all back if he didn't even glance through it, but his hand brushes hers as he hands her the book and she simply smiles instead, enjoying the moment as she tucks the diary under her own arm.
"Thank you." She speaks softly, and he nods, pulling out her Vortex Manipulator and handing her that as well. She begins to strap it on, thinking about how grateful she is that she left it with him, in the underhenge. How many things could have gone just so very wrong if one small thing hadn't been done? It is a sobering thought, indeed. How close she came to a life without him. Those blank pages were something she never ever wanted to see again. She resists the urge to rifle through the book under her arm and check, just to be sure. When she glances up he is looking at her thoughtfully, with an intense curiosity and it feels familiar and welcome.
"Are you married, River?" His voice is soft and slow and she freezes for a moment before covering it with fumbling fingers at the strap of her manipulator and what she hopes is a breezy smile.
"Are you asking?" She shoots back easily, deflecting him with humour.
"Yes." He answers quickly and she smiles, arching her brow and deciding that teasing him is and always will be her favourite past time.
"Yes." She responds with a smirk and he leans forward, tilting his head as he realizes just how his previous answer could have been taken.
"Hang on, did you think I was asking you to marry me or – or or asking if you were married?" His tone is panicked and confused and she laughs at how easily flustered he is.
"Yes." She answers simply and leans forward a little flirtatiously, but she can't seem to help herself. His eyes are wide and fastened on her face and he just looks so adorable when he's this young. Can she be blamed for enjoying it? He certainly did when their situations were reversed.
"No, but was that yes or yes?" He is on the edge of frustration and it causes her smile to flit across her face as she watches him.
"Yes." She draws the word out and he glances down at her with a faint smile tilting the corner of his mouth. He doesn't know it yet, but he often wears that expression around her, and she loves it. He looks like he is torn between throttling her and finding her endlessly amusing – finally settling on amused against his own wishes. Something about it just appeals to her and she sways toward him. She will absolutely blame it on the breeze if he asks. He opens his mouth before shutting it again, and she wonders what he'd been about to ask. Probably some variation on his favourite question – who are you – and she finds herself secretly glad that he has stopped himself. His smile grows, tilts the edge of his mouth until she can see the barest hint of dimple in his cheek. She grins at the sight, an unprecedented bit of joy leaking out, and she knows he sees it on her face, because he straightens and steps in even closer to her.
"To both then, I'll assume." He's flirting with her, and she feels her hearts trip against her ribs at the realization. It is still so early for him, and this feels like a moment out of time. A gift. On this night, of all nights.
"Well you know what they say about assumptions, Doctor," she demurs and he laughs, the sound low and warm as it winds through the minimal air between them. He is very close to her now, and if she inhales deeply enough, she can smell him. She takes a deep breath and licks her lips as she meets his eyes.
"Oh no, River Song. I don't think it's an assumption at all. I think you meant yes to both. Spoilers, indeed." He is grinning now and she rolls her eyes as he reaches up, pushing a piece of hair behind her ear, his fingers brushing her cheek as he does so. She inhales sharply, holding her breath at the gentle brush of his skin against hers. She shifts to the left, leaning into the touch, but her heel catches on the rocks beneath her feet and she puts an arm out as she stumbles forward.
He catches her, his hands sliding under her arms as lands against his chest, a mortified giggle escaping as she looks up at him with apology. "Falling for me, Doctor Song?" As lines go, it's possibly the weakest she's ever heard, but she laughs anyway, because she knows this is how he flirts. Just... terribly. Clichés and bad jokes, and oh she does love that about this version of him. She buries her face into his shoulder, because now that she is giggling and she can't quite explain why, but his hands tighten on her arms in response to the sound. "Oh come on, it wasn't that bad." He protests, but she can feel his chest shake under her cheek and she knows he is laughing too. When she catches her breath, she lifts her head, to see a genuinely warm smile gracing his face as he looks down at her.
"It actually really, really was that bad." She points out in a breathy tone, and as he meets her gaze his smile fades somewhat. He looks down at her, studying her face intently. His hand leaves her elbow, and comes up to brush her hair from her face once more, but this time his fingers tangle in the strands, delve deeper than before and tangle within her hair while she takes a deep breath and holds it in anticipation.
He leans down, and his lips brush against hers. It is barely a kiss; it is soft and unsure, hesitant and filled with sweet promise. She sighs and he breathes it in, his fingers tightening and tangling in her hair. She stands up straighter, so close to him that she is brushing against his body and she smiles up at him, her free hand coming up to adjust his bowtie and trail down over his silk scarf. His smile is bemused and he chuckles as he stares down at her. "Worked though, didn't it?"
"Oh sweetie," she looks up at him, amused, "you don't even need a line with me." His eyes soften as he looks at her, and he shakes his head just a bit as confusion furrows his brow.
"What did I do to engender such loyalty, River Song? Such faith. Such trust." His free hand raises between them and he slides a finger across her cheek again as she smiles.
"What didn't you do, Doctor? You'll see, soon enough." She glances over her shoulder and his hand loosens in her hair enough to allow her the glance back, but not enough to completely disengage. "I should go." She looks back to him and he frowns in disappointment.
"Come with me." His request is soft, but she hears it all the same and the words make her hearts leap up in her chest, because she so badly wants to take him up on his offer. "I could use some company."
"You won't be alone, Doctor." She points out gently, and her smile feels too bright to maintain, but she attempts it none the less.
"But I'll be lonely, without you." Her breath catches and she stands on tiptoe, pressing her mouth to his once more, but much more sure than he was previously. She kisses him with purpose, with passion, with all the love she cannot rightly express in words just yet. He'll hear those words soon enough. And she'll re-live them as often as possible. His mouth opens slightly in shock but his hand cradles the back of her head, and pulls her impossibly closer while his other hand drops to her waist. She can taste him, and she concentrates, trying to remember every taste, every texture, every movement he makes in her embrace.
"They're coming," she pulls back breathlessly and steps away from him, because she needs to be gone before Amy and Rory get here. Tonight is so special, and it needs to happen just how it did. "I'm sorry – I have to go." And she is sorry to leave him, because her hearts are straining against their boned cage, longing to remain with him.
"Will I see you again soon?" He looks put out, but his hands drop obediently and she smiles at him, taking a moment to remember the look on his face. She thinks she'll draw it later – when she's back in her cold cage and curled around her diary and her memories for warmth.
"Very soon, I promise. Everything will change soon, Doctor." She keys in her coordinates as she speaks, and her fingers hesitate over the button of her Vortex Manipulator.
"For better or worse?" He frowns as he asks and she smiles brightly at him. Just before she hits the button she winks and blows him a kiss.