This fic is pretty dark...kind of reflecting the sadness I feel knowing what River's fate. Don't worry...I'm working on some happy fluff to make up for the sadness of this one. Just had to get it out of my system.

Title: Waking in the Void
Characters: River Song, 11th Doctor, flashback of 10th Doctor
Originally posted on Live Journal: lylo369, Rating: Mature-sex, angst, character death

Summary: Speculation on what might happen if a brilliant mind like River Song's wakes one morning and realizes where she is. (Based on A Good Man Goes to War when two of the soldiers call the Papal Mainframe "she"). Spoiler warnings for everything up to A Good Man. Doctor Who is unfortunately the property of BBC, etc.


River feels the scream catching in her throat the very second she awakens and shoots up in bed, managing only a few panicked gasps. She knows that she's not suffocating, but it still takes a few moments of staccato breaths and her eyes adjusting to the dark to quell thoughts of lightening, fire and ash. It had been a week, maybe two, maybe even ten or fifteen since the nightmares had started. She can't be sure anymore. She can't even remember any particular part of it, only stray, faded images swirling around the periphery of her vision like phantom shapes you see in the dark of night that make you think of boogie men and the things that live under beds and in the dark cracks of closets left open.

She grants herself permission to take a few cleansing breaths and pulls back the covers, drenched in sweat from the unwanted night terrors. "You're being ridiculous, River…"

At least, that's what she tells herself as she makes her way to the washroom and splashes water on her face. It was a pleasant treat to have a real washroom, with a tub and a shower and frilly things that she could enjoy without the constant bother of probing eyes watching her for suspicious behavior. She had made a game of it all during her time in the Stormcage, pretending that it didn't bother her that they were always scrutinizing; turning it into a game of seduction so that they would think she enjoyed making them tremble at the mere sight of her. She shudders and the memory disappears.

It's a nice house, both modern and old at the same time, probably because of all the relics and stacks of ancient, faded books that she keeps laying around. She should really organize them better. One of the children might accidentally decide to color all over one of the prehistoric drawings in…

The children.

It's the same routine every night. After about an hour of wrangling them into bed, followed by about twenty minutes of them hopping from mattress to mattress, all they want to hear are stories. Stories about the mad man in the blue box. They giggle and laugh and she tucks them in and wonders if they look more like him, or more like her. Except for Charlotte. Charlotte is not hers. She only comes over for the sleepovers. And the stories. River doesn't think that it's strange that she has her own bed.

Bed.

They actually make it to the bed this time, but just barely. They are a tangle of clothing and limbs, laughter muffled by hungry snogging with an obscene amount of tongue, and they know that they have to make it count because although he promises to come by often, the time between visits gets longer and longer. Make it count. Make it hot and kinky and sweet and romantic. She pants and cries out as his movements get more urgent and start to border on painful…delicious, exciting, magnificent pain. She doesn't care which face he has in the dark anymore. She knows his flavor and his scent all too well. She knows that he touches her exactly where she wants him to before she even thinks it. Her Doctor…her Doctor. Doctor…Astronomy & allied sciences, subcategory celestial mechanics, 521; General technology, 600-location 34° 35' 15" South, 58° 40' 21" West.

Flash, reboot: "I point and laugh at archeologists."

Archeologists.

The auditorium is filled to capacity today, but she gets the distinct impression, particularly because of all the adoring glances coming from the overwhelming amount of young men crowding the room, that most of them could care less about the ruins of Alfava Metraxis or the now-extinct Aplans, even if they did have two heads. She feels their eyes on her, watching how she walks, tracing the curve of her back side, imagining tangling their fingers in her hair...there's always someone watching. And she tries to make it interesting.. After all, this was her routine now. Teach, read, examine, grade papers, read stories, flirt…

Flirt.

"Is this it?" the Doctor queries, sitting in the empty auditorium with his boyish grin and his legs propped up on the seat in front of him. "This is boring. Archeology is boring. Books, and drawings and mucking around in the dirt."

River smiles seductively. He's so hot when he's being ridiculous, even when he's wearing that stupid fez. "Well, what did you expect? A fedora, a whip and the Ark of the Covenant?" She slinks over to where he's sitting and straddles his lap. "Though I could very easily provide you with a whip should you feel inclined to use one."

He laughs mischievously, but before he can say anything, River whips off his fez, grabs him by the hair and plants her lips on his. She's ravenous today, but his fervor easily keeps pace with hers as he runs his hands up her thighs, pushing her skirt higher and higher until his fingers can reach into the front of her knickers. She bites his lip softly and moans as he starts to stroke the warm flesh between her legs, circling his thumb over her clit while simultaneously burying first one, then two of his fingers inside of her. She throbs against his hand, writhing… orgasm...heat… fire...lightening… ash. Error: Flash-570, Life Sciences, subcategory, sexuality…Flash, Error, Reboot.

"Are you married, River?"

Nigh time. It's quiet in the house.

"The children must have finally gone to sleep," River thinks to herself as she walks into the kitchen, her nightgown fluttering behind her, and fetches a glass of water. She feels uneasy and her throat is dry, as if she hasn't had anything to drink in days. It's ice cold right out of the tap even though it's summertime, but she thinks nothing of it. Just a modern amenity built in for convenience. But as she swallows, there is no flavor. "Water doesn't have flavor." Yes, but there's always something…the slick, refreshing feeling of the fluid on the tongue; the relief from the thirst...Relief.

She's not thirsty anymore. But now there's a knot in her stomach as she looks at the empty glass in her hand. She was not thirsty because she thought about not being thirsty, not because she drank the water.

"Is everything alright, River?"

The surprise of hearing a strange man's voice in her kitchen at night caused her to spin around and drop the glass. It was only Doctor Moon. Still, as the crystalline chimes of shattering glass echo across the floor, a buzzing recognition starts to whirl about in her head…and it tells her that Doctor Moon was very lucky she didn't stab him. Or shoot him. Guns. Sonic blaster. "My old fella gets ever so cross when I do that."

"I'm sorry I frightened you. It's been quite a while since I've stopped by, and I thought it might be a good time for a visit."

"A good time?" She glances over at the digital clock on the oven and then to the window, then shakes her head and squeezes her eyes shut. Morning. Impossible. It was just night time.

"Oh, I see you're on your way to work," Doctor Moon continues, "Why don't you stop by my office and we'll have a proper chat."

"Yes…alright." A proper chat. Proper. Proper Dave. Anita.

River looks around the room, feeling lost and half dazed, and then brushes the crumbs from breakfast off of her suit as Doctor Moon eyes her suspiciously. Something was wrong. She can feel her pulse quickening, but it's not the pounding and organic flow of blood. It's static and hot, leaving a metallic taste on her tongue. She looks over to the digital clock again, and sees the numbers launch into a frenzied series of blips as awareness washes over her. So long…she's been here so very long.

"Professor Song, why don't you come along with me?" asks Doctor Moon, his tone urgent and intense.

Flash. Warning! Warning! Run. For god sake, run. Error: Flash-Reboot. Vashta Nerada. 590 Zoological Sciences, subcategory-microscopic carnivores, location- 54° 35' 0" North, 5° 56' 0" West.

There's a scream, then everything goes black, and the only thing River can perceive is the sound of voices. Charlotte is screaming for Doctor Moon to do something, Doctor Moon is shouting out random interface codes, and the Doctor…Pretty boy…handcuffed to a pole.

"This is not a joke, stop this now, this is gonna kill you! I'd have a chance, you don't have any."

"You wouldn't have a chance, and neither do I..."

"River! Please! No!"

"Funny thing is, this means you've always known how I was going to die. All the time we've been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you, the real you, the future you, I mean - you turned up on my doorstep, with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the singing towers. Oh, what a night that was! The towers sang, and you cried."

"You can let me do this."

"If you die here, it'll mean I've never met you."

"Time can be rewritten."

"Not those times. Not one line! Don't you dare! It's OK. It's OK, it's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space. You watch us run!"

Error. White light. Fire. Pain. Ash. Silence.

It's warm in the mainframe, and there is a certain comfort she feels from the hum of the circuits and the way the energy flows through her in waves. She reaches out with electric hands and they stretch and travel and wander. It's so much easier to get around when you are not burdened by the confines of flesh.

Upload to universal mainframe complete. Outgoing signal initiated…

River flows through the universe, through time, through space. She's everywhere all at once and yet nowhere.

"He left me there. He left me in the Library. He said time could be rewritten, but he lied. The Doctor lies."

The words echo like a deadly mantra. Not deadly for her though. You can't kill what you can't touch. But you can kill him if you know how to. Two shots. One through each heart. Then another when he starts to regenerate.

The electric River plots and weaves through Papal Mainframes…find: Cleric Marines; find: Headless Monks; find: mother, father and note cards in Tardis blue. He will try to be clever. He will try to run. But one day he will get tired of running. And one day the Doctor will die.

"I'm sorry, my love."