Disclaimer: If I owned anything even vaguely Alex-related I would not be sitting at a computer, ever again.
Author's Note : Firstly, to anyone who hasn't heard OH MI GOD I MET ALEX AGAIN YESTERDAY! ARGH SHE'S AMAZING! Anyway, that's completely irrelevant I'm just gushing. This is a sequel to 'Time Heals All Wounds' as requested by quite a few people. So this will probably make more sense if you read that first but it's not compulsory. So enjoy…
"Hello sweetie!" The Doctor heard those words, in that voice that could never be mistaken for any other voice and his hearts stopped and he bashed his head hard on the TARDIS console as he came out from underneath it and looked around quickly. He was going mad, he knew it. She couldn't be here. She died. Died so long ago. She just couldn't be here it was impossible. "Doctor?" He spun around so fast he almost fell over. And yet there she was. Just leaning against the TARDIS doors and grinning like nothing had happened and being so very, very alive.
"River?" He whispered. He was shaking all over and all the blood seemed to have drained out of him. He wanted to rush to her, to scoop her up and kiss her but he seemed routed to the spot. If this was some dream, some illusion or trick- he didn't want to break it. He wanted this madness to stay forever.
"Yes, Sweetie?" She asked with a voice full of concern as she walked across to him, her usual grin slipping from her face. She stopped in front of him, her eyes scanning his quickly, worriedly. "What's wrong?" She asked as she placed a hand on his face.
"You're here." He mumbled in the same hushed tone, as if he spoke too loudly she would be blown away. "Oh my God you're really here and you're real. Real and really here. Really real."
"You're rambling." River cut across kindly. "What's happened, my love?"
"My love." He repeated dully as the tears that swam in his eyes began to fall down his cheeks gently. "I love you River. Oh I love you so much." He kissed her quickly, all over her face in any place he could reach as he repeated his love for her softly, tears transferring from his face to hers.
"I know. It's okay my darling, I know." She soothed him quietly as she held his face and forced him to look deep into her eyes. "Now whatever's happened? You're scaring me here Doctor, what's wrong?"
"I…" He tried to stop crying, tried to control his breathing so he could speak. "I haven't seen you in a very, very long time." He breathed deeply.
"But I… I would never leave you. We always find a way back to each other. Always." She whispered. The pain in his face broke her heart. So much sadder than she'd ever seen him, so broken and without hope. She couldn't stand it. And the idea that she'd somehow caused this pain… She couldn't process that information.
"You wouldn't River, I know. Not if there was any other way but… I can't…" He stammered, fighting back the sobs that threatened to consume him. "Spoilers." He whispered with a small smile. It has been so long since he'd said that word and now here it was again- mocking him.
"Oh, right." River gulped trying to hide her surprise, her hurt. She always known that one day it would end but she never thought it would be like this. So painful and so final. "Well nothing lasts forever, my love."
"We could have." He whispered as his hands fluttered above her hearts, feeling them beat in synch with his. If not forever he should at least have had a lot longer with her, more regenerations, more years. "We should have."
"How long…?" She asked quietly as tears formed in her eyes. She wouldn't cry for herself, her own death didn't bother her in the slightest but the pain it cause him, the loneliness she felt resounding from every pour in his body… That was enough to make her break down and weep if she let herself.
"Oh… one hundred and eighteen, years, seven months and two days." He whispered quickly.
"Not that you've counted." River laughed lightly, trying to fight away her tears.
"Every moment without you… It hurts so badly. Everything hurts now you're gone." He cried. She'd never seen him cry like this before and she'd give everything never to see it again.
"But after all this time? You need to-" She began
"Don't you dare River Song!" He almost shouted and she jumped slightly. "Don't you dare tell me to move on or to forget you, to get on with my life. I just can't. I can't. Please don't ask me to do that because I won't and I can't River." He looked at her, so defeated and so broken. She knew she couldn't ask him to. She knew she should, that she should beg him to find someone else but she knew, if the roles were reversed, those words would only cause her more pain.
"It's okay. Hush now my love." She whispered as she pulled him in to her embrace, rocking him like a child.
"You're going to say you have to leave now aren't you?" He whispered after a few moments as his breathing returned gradually to normal.
"I should never have come here in the first place. I don't know how I was allowed to come here without something exploding." She laughed slightly.
"You could just stay. Stay here forever. With me. No more backwards timelines, no more pain. Just live out our days together." He asked in the smallest voice.
"I can't. You know I can't. It has to end for it to be able to begin. If I stay here you'll never meet me and then I'll never meet you and everything we had will disappear. We can't. I wish we could but we just can't. I'm sorry." She said it so sadly as she kissed him with all the love she had in her. She was I so very sorry for him. She knew, whatever happened in her future, she had the easy way out. It would hurt, it would kill her, but she wouldn't have to live on without him like he did without her.
"But can you stay, just for a while?" He asked hopefully. "You're all ready here, it can't hurt can it? One last time?"
"Who says I won't find a way back again?" She tried to smile at him but they both knew it was a lie. There were no more times like this, not for him anyway. "Of course I can stay." She said as she swallowed the lump in her throat. "Where would you like to go today, what shall we do?"
"Nowhere. Can we just stay here, right here? I've seen everything that the universe has to offer and the only thing I want is right here in my arms. So I want to hold on to you for as long as possible. If that's okay."
"More than okay. It sounds perfect." River smiled as she kissed him. She wanted to always kiss him, kiss away all this future pain he would have to endure.
They sat there for hours. Talking and laughing, crying and kissing. They made love softly and tenderly, knowing each other's bodies so perfectly and yet still being surprised by how perfectly they still fitted. He tried to memorise her. Traced his hand over every part of her wishing he could forever remember the feel of her soft skin. He inhaled her scent deeply, shuddering at how much it had faded from his memory. He held her close, her hearts beating against his in the rhythm that still flooded through his veins and was so innately River. Eventually they fell asleep in each other's arms, neither wanting to wake because they knew when they did they would have to part.
In the morning they dressed quietly. There was so little left to say, so few tears left they could cry. They looked at each other often, just to check that they were still there. Small sad smiles lit up their faces. They'd both had more goodbyes than they cared to count in their lifetimes but this one… This was different.
"We're here." The Doctor announced sadly as he parked the TARDIS. "Where you should be, with the me you should meet. I'll be here any time now. And I think I'm wearing a fez, so be warned." He smiled as he lent down to kiss her and she laughed. "You're going to have a brilliant time."
"How can I? Knowing you're here, alone…" She sighed sadly.
"But I'm also there. With you. I'm letting you go now so I can be with you then. So don't you dare be miserable." He pushed her nose and she laughed, throwing her arms around him and holding him much tighter than was needed. "I will love you forever, River Song." He whispered into her ear.
"I know." She smiled sadly. "And I will love you until the end of my time, Doctor." Tears glinted in both their eyes and he nodded.
"Oh I know. Now go. Go and live and love and have a fantastic time." He kissed her again as he opened the door.
"And you-" She began but the words caught in her throat because she knew he wouldn't, knew he couldn't live the life she would for the rest of her days. "Don't be too sad. I'm still here, somewhere, loving you. Always." He smiled slightly and nodded as she whispered and forced herself to wave goodbye and step out of the TARDIS. She closed her eyes to stop tears spilling out and when she opened them again the TARDIS was gone.
"Well, well Doctor River Song." Her hearts caught painfully in her chest as she saw him swagger towards her from across the road. "What adventures have we got planned for today?" He grinned excitedly. So young, so full of hope.
"Oh well now that would be telling, wouldn't it sweetie?" She grinned as she flung her arms around him and kissed him. She could tell from his startled reaction that this was still early days for him and for once it didn't sadden her. Less time for her, less of the man she knew and loved but more time for him, more happiness. He had it all to come. He might not know yet how much that meant to him but she did. It meant everything.
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