Alright, I've edited the previous chapters in order for it to stay consistent with the Whoniverse. You may want to go back and reread Chapter 1 to see the minor changes. The story can now continue and my angst-reading fanfic mind can be eased. This is just some short drabble to get the story rolling again in the next chapter, and to say "Hello, readers, I'm back!" Also, I've been reading so much angst lately that my shipper heart is breaking to bits, and writing this is the only way to ease it for me.
River lay with her back to the cool earth, gazing up at the stars. The eerie perfume sweetness of the flora on this planet wafted to her nose, and she breathed deeply, drinking in the smell. Being alone under the night sky was always the best time for contemplation. Perhaps she'd developed the habit when she was in Stormcage, where there was no sky, so that she'd avoid contemplating anything behind those blue-lit cell bars. It was dangerous to oneself to think alone for too long.
However, she needed to be alone at this moment.
Amy and Rory were asleep, and the Doctor was off doing who knows what somewhere in the far reaches of the TARDIS, so she'd taken the old girl for a short, silent trip. This planet was one of her favorites- it was peaceful at night, unlike many worlds where the shadows drifted like disembodied souls across an empty horizon, never quite determined to go anywhere, and yet drifting towards everywhere at once under the pale light of the stars. There was a moon out tonight. Well, actually there were three moons out, though only one was full. The other two were only at the first and third quarters, and River was unable to tell whether they were waxing or waning.
"Oh, love." River mumbled to herself. "I never thought I'd see these stars again." She looked up at the billions upon billions of twinkling lights, like liquid gold and silver, burning bright and lighting up the black as a candle lights a room, with warmth and comfort that gives a depth to the cold blackness. Soft footsteps interrupted her thoughts.
"Stargazing again?" Asked the Doctor, taking a seat beside her. He knew every star, and as pretty as the sight was he'd never found it as calming or comforting as River did.
"Just for a bit."
"What is it this time?" The Doctor asked, but he was met with only silence. "No spoilers, remember? I know you only come out here alone when you're upset."
"I was just thinking about… Berlin. And Silencio."
"Oh, not that again." The Doctor said, flopping onto his back beside her. "I think about Berlin every single day, River, and Lake Silencio, too, but not for the same reasons you do."
"My love, I-" The Doctor put a finger to her lips.
"Shh. See? That's why I think about them. You still loved me even when you'd been trained to kill me. I still can't figure out why…" He trailed off, and rather than answer, River found a new statement.
"I still killed you."
"That doesn't matter." He said. "You saved me, too, in so many ways."
"I never-" River began, but then stopped herself, knowing how he would respond.
"You did. And now look at us- we finally have something we never thought we would- time."
"Time for the Time Lords." River said, chuckling. "I should be so happy about this. Getting to spend forever with you, my Doctor, my husband, my love… I just don't want it to end the way we thought it was going to. I guess it hasn't soaked in that's it's real."
"Trust me this time. It is real." The Doctor sighed, and River leaned her head against his chest. "You know, sometimes I wonder if I deserve that title." He said.
"What title? The Doctor?" She asked, slightly confused.
"No. I know I don't deserve that one." He said, taking her hand gently.
"Then what title are you talking about? There's quite a list, you know." River said. The Doctor pressed the back of her hand to his lips and closed his eyes for a moment before responding, thinking of the one word that meant so much to him, both a name and something more, but he would never feel he deserved after the many terrible things and blood strewn worlds he'd encountered.