A/N: Same universe as my fic 'Sex is like Chinese food'. This may become a series.
watch, learn, and don't eat my cookie
It was only one in the morning, this time. She heard the TARDIS materialize noise coming from what sounded like her patio, and she winced as she heard splintering plastic. She didn't need all those chairs anyway, but still if the man would just learn to park properly.
She was out of bed before she even heard the knock, padding in bare feet down her hall until she turned left into her dining room, and saw him, a dark shape at the glass door that was instantly recognizable. She slid the door open, and stood with one hand on her hip and one brow arched. "Hello, sweetie."
"Hello River. Aren't you going to invite me in?" His voice was quiet, and all together too serious for her liking. Broody Doctor was her least favourite kind. No point in dwelling on the past, they both had far too much of it behind them. She looked at him intently for a moment, studying his face and his eyes to ascertain just when they were.
"When are we for you?" She answered his question with her own and he looked startled.
"It's after Demon's Run for me." He looked at her face, his gaze tracing across with a mixture of hope, wonder and sadness. She sighed internally, no wonder he was broody then.
"I was promised biscuits." She pointed out, folding her arms across her chest and staring at him. He opened his mouth once, and then again before holding up a hand and dashing back into the TARDIS behind him. She leaned against the open doorframe and waited patiently, and he popped back out a few moments later, a package in his hands.
"Jammie Dodgers for the lady." He held them out and she stepped back with a sigh, letting him follow her into the house.
"I think I like you better drunk, Doctor. I got declarations and heart-shaped presentations then." She took the biscuit package from him anyway, leading him through to the kitchen where she filled the kettle and began making tea.
"Sorry – I know I said I would-" He began spluttering out a sincere apology and she held up a hand to stop him.
"I was just teasing you, my love. Clearly not the time for it. You obviously didn't just pop round because you missed me either, so come on. Out with it. You're here for a reason, no point in waiting for you to meander your way through several pointless speeches." She finished making the tea as she spoke, before turning back to him and leaving it to steep.
"Oi! My speeches are not pointless." He huffed in irritation, his hands on his hips as he glared at her, offended.
"Not all of them no, but we both know what you get like when you're worrying a problem." She stepped in closer to him and adjusted his bowtie. "So what is it?"
He sighed, all of the irritation bleeding out of him as he looked at her. "I can't find you."
"I'm right here, sweetie." She pointed out obviously, despite knowing what he meant by that. Just after Demon's Run meant he wasn't looking for her. He was searching for Melody.
"That's not what I meant and you know it." He chastised her softly, and she nodded, looking up into his face. He looked weary. Weary and over-wrought and she placed a hand on the side of his face, feeling the scratch of stubble against her palm.
"You know I can't tell you anything. I can't tell you where to find her." He looked at her, startled. She knew talking about herself in the third person was odd, but it was always how it had felt for her whenever the subject came up. Melody Pond. It was her, of course, but it always felt like someone else at the same time. Melody was a child that Amy and Rory loved, had hopes and dreams for; she was a wish unfulfilled and hope for the future. None of that was her.
"Her? But it's you." He frowned and she sighed, her hand sliding down to his shoulder before trailing down over his arm. The tweed only felt slightly less abrasive under her touch.
"Yes, of course it's me. But it's also not me at all. It was me. Once. A long, long time ago." She was explaining this terribly but he looked at her with dawning comprehension.
"You were never Melody, were you River?" She looked away, not answering which was apparently an answer in and of itself. "You've always been River. I – I don't ever find you, do I?" He sounded so distressed by the thought that she reached down, interlacing his fingers with hers as she studied him once more with a saddened expression.
"Of course you do, honey. Of course you find me. You always do."
"But not the you I'm looking for, do I? I don't ever get to bring that baby back to Rory and Amy. I don't ever get to give them the child that I took from them!" His voice rose, and his eyes were red-rimmed as he stared at her. She could read the pain written across every inch of his face and she sighed. They never discussed this after Demon's Run. She'd always thought it was because he just knew – just understood without her having to explain anything. Apparently not. Apparently she just hadn't explained it to him yet. She swallowed heavily.
"It wasn't your fault." She pointed out gently and he pulled his hand from hers with a hollow laugh.
"This was exactly me. Remember?" She gripped his shoulders, turning him to face her when he tried to turn away.
"That was – sweetie, that was something you needed to hear. But surely you know, you know, it was never meant with maliciousness. Doctor, I had to do that. I had to show you what you refused to see for yourself. But never, not once in my entire life, have I ever, ever blamed you for how it all turned out. Look at me, Doctor. Look at me." He lifted his head until she could meet his eyes and the amount of aching hurt within them nearly broke her hearts. She moved closer until she was pressed against him tightly, as if her body itself could be a bandage to cover a wound she couldn't see. Her vision swam for a moment with unshed tears and she slid both hands up to cup his face, as she stared at him. "I haven't regretted a single moment of my life. Not a single moment, Doctor. The good, the bad, the ugly – all of that made me who I am. And who I am is yours. Always. I wouldn't change a bit of it, even if I could. I wouldn't let you. This is my life and I chose to invest it where I saw fit. So it's not your fault that you can't go give Amy and Rory my childhood. It's mine. Because I would never let you change one single thing." She felt a wetness on her face, knew she was crying and wished he didn't have to see that, but she didn't hide or try to wipe her tears away. She simply held his gaze and willed him to understand.
His hand rose between them, and brushed the tears away for her. "You don't know – you don't know what you could have if – they love you. So much."
"And you don't know what I would have to sacrifice. They love me now, Doctor. Not the way they planned, but that love is still there. But this love might not be, if you changed it all." She spoke in a hushed whisper and he looked at her, startled.
"I've known you my whole life. My whole life, Doctor. I was taught to hate you and chose to love you and you don't get to invalidate that choice. Please, I know you don't – I know you're not there yet, but please, please don't ask me to change that. I can't. And I'm sorry." His hand was still against her cheek, his thumb brushed against her skin softly as she spoke. When she finished speaking, he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her into him, a tight embrace that crushed her against him as she buried her face into his neck.
"No, no River I'm sorry. I shouldn't have – I shouldn't have come here, not like this. Not for this. You shouldn't have to explain. I shouldn't have made you. Shouldn't have needed to. I promised you..." He trailed off, pressing a kiss to the top of her head and she pulled back, looking up at him.
She knew what he was talking about – he'd let that slip last time. One day he would promise her not to change any of it. "Keep it then." Her voice was a whisper and he pushed a hand through her curls, and pressing a kiss to her forehead.
"You're wrong, you know. I am absolutely, completely and totally there River Song. My River." He smiled as he looked down at her. "I've loved you for a lot longer than I'd care to admit. I loved you before I even knew who you were, River. I loved you – your spoilers and your mystery. How well you know me – I love it all."
She wasn't sure if she rose or he lowered, but they were kissing suddenly, his mouth insistent over hers, and she sighed as his tongue reached out for hers gently. Everything else was forgotten as she felt his hands slide down her back until he could pull her against him, her body flush with his. She felt her hearts pounding, felt them hammering against her chest and she felt his too, a faint reverberation of her own. This kiss was something new, to both of them. It was desperate and frantic, tongues and teeth and an attempt to get close, closer than was even physically possible. Her hands shoved his jacket off of his shoulders and it landed with a soft thump on the floor. His hands were roaming her body too, sliding down her sides, over the swell of her hips, squeezing her bum, spanning her back until they buried themselves back in her hair again.
All the time they kept kissing, every kind of kiss imaginable. Deep passionate kisses. Playful nips at lips. Soft, gentle kisses. Long, slow kisses. They kissed like they had never done so before, and would never do again. They kissed like it was a new discovery, a hello and a goodbye, like this moment was endless. Her hands trembled as she unknotted his bowtie. Shoved his braces down and pulled his shirt out of his pants with a jerk. His own hands explored her further, slipping under the hem of her nightgown and dragging his fingertips up along her skin while she shivered.
He'd walked her backwards until she hit the counter, she was far too busy unbuttoning to notice and his shirt joined his jacket in a heap on the floor. He pulled her nightgown over her head swiftly, before leaning down again, pressing kisses along her neck, her clavicle, and her shoulders. Her hand buried itself in his hair while the other one slid up his back and pulled him closer until her skin was pressed against his and she felt like could breathe easier because of it. His hands dropped to her hips and he lifted her with ease until she sat on the edge of the countertop, his hands trailing down her thighs as he stepped in between them and pressed kisses down her sternum.
She let go of him and his hand pressed her back until she was laid out on the countertop, looking up at him with a heated expression. His lips trailed along her until he was placing open mouthed kisses along her breasts and her hearts were beating so hard she thought she might pass out. Her hands found their way back into his hair and she gasped out loud at the feel of him hovering over her, lighting her nerve endings on fire with just his lips, teeth and tongue. "Doctor!"
He paused at her exclamation, laying his head on her heaving chest for a quiet moment as they both caught their breath. When he lifted his head, he placed one kiss over each of her hearts before lifting himself until he was bent over her. "I need you." His whisper was rough and low, and she shuddered beneath him as her hands slid down to grip his shoulders.
"You have me, sweetie. Always." He looked down into her eyes at that, and she could see lust warring with need, love struggling with grief at her words. It was exquisite and made her breath catch in her throat as she stared up at him in wonder.
"Always?" His voice was soft and wondering like a small child's and she felt her hearts ache at the sound of it.
"A long, long time and forever after that. Before I was even born and even long after I d-" He kissed her brutally, cutting her words off, his tongue surrounding hers even as his hands pushed her knickers down quickly. She gasped, but the sound was lost in his mouth. She pushed him back until she could sit up, her own hands joining his at the button of his trousers, a joint effort to undo them and shove everything down as she slid closer to the edge of the counter, her skin throbbing and aching for him.
He stopped kissing her when he slid inside of her, one hand buried in her curls and pressing her face close to his while the other pushed her lower back forward, encouraging her to wrap her legs around his hips. She shifted against him, a breathy moan escaping her when he began moving. Her hands gripped his shoulders, and she whispered his name over and over again, like a prayer. His face was pressed against hers, and his fingers clenching around strands of her hair as he whispered half-sentences, promises and declarations against her skin.
They joined together at a frantic pace, and she couldn't grasp the concept of fully formed thoughts – she just knew him and her and them. His skin, his taste, the feel of him outside and inside of her, all of her skin on fire and all she wanted was more. They rose and fell and she tasted salt and sweat and tears when she pulled him closer and kissed him. He crashed into her and gripped her so tightly when she felt herself fly apart – she was sure he was the only thing keeping her anchored. His bones pressed into her bones and kept her with him as he shook over her and buried his face into her neck.
They both stayed still for a moment, wrapped around each other as they waited for their breathing to calm. She felt his shoulders shake and she laughed with him, breathless and aching. "I didn't mean to do that." His voice was muffled and she laughed out loud, throwing her head back in delight. He pulled back, frowning down at her and she grinned up at him.
"Well if you're that great when you don't mean to, I can't wait to see you put your mind to it, my love." She slid off the counter and wrinkled her nose as she turned to survey the surface.
"Sorry about the... counter. And everything I said earlier – I didn't-" This time she cut him off, turning in the circle of his arms on still shaky legs so she could press herself against him and kiss the daylights out of him.
"Shut up, you idiot." She shook her head and pressed another quick kiss to his surprised mouth. "The counter can be cleaned, and never apologize for telling me the truth about how you feel. You should always feel like you can do that." He pulled up his trousers, buttoning them and she lifted his shirt from the floor before he could, sliding it over her arms and buttoning it up haphazardly.
"That's actually mine." He pointed out and she arched a brow at him.
"So I can't wear it?" She spoke in a playful tone and he nodded. "I can't?"
"No! I mean yes! I mean it's fine if you wear it but I can't get dressed without it and it's not like I can borrow yours," he waved at the pile of silk on the floor and she laughed and rolled up his shirtsleeves.
"And why do you need to get dressed?" She demanded, moving over to the sink to grab cleaning supplies before turning round and starting to scrub the countertop.
"Why do I need to... because – well, see I need to be dressed to be able to-"
"You're not leaving." She cut him off authoritatively and his words slid to a halt as he stared at her. "We have tea. And biscuits. And wouldn't you like to try that in a bed, honey?"
"I should get back to the Ponds though-" He began and she turned on him, aghast.
"Are you serious? After that? You're just going to go drop in on my parents and think you won't be thinking about what you just did to their daughter on a countertop?" He stared at her, flushing as his gaze dropped down to the newly cleaned countertop in question before sliding down over her frame.
"Well I uh – if I stay it makes no difference, does it? Then I'll be thinking about what I did to their daughter in the kitchen and in the bedroom-" He waved his hands and she walked toward him, slipping her hands along his waist as she moved in closer, pressing a kiss to his chest.
"-and in the shower and the living room. Oh dining room too. Then there's my office..."
"River!" He sounded scandalized and she stood on her tip toes, wrapping her arms around his neck as she flicked her tongue across the shell of his ear. He loved that, she knew – as a matter of fact, she had lots to teach him about what he did and didn't enjoy. A few she wagered even he wasn't aware of.
"Doctor!" She moaned his name close to his ear and his hands gripped her waist, crumpling his shirt as he did so. She pressed soft kisses to his neck, nipping and soothing with her tongue as she went along.
"Oh – ah – River." His hands slid along her back until her was cupping her backside, pulling her against him tightly. "I could stay for a bit." He conceded and she laughed, lifting her head and kissing him.
"You do have a time machine." She pointed out, and he nodded enthusiastically.
"I do. I won't be late, will I?" He worried and she shook her head.
"Not as I remember it."
"Shouldn't that be spoilers?" He took her hand, and grabbed the package of biscuits before dragging her down the hall toward her bedroom.
"Well maybe, a little bit I suppose. You can't blame me for slipping in my old age Doctor, dear." She teased him and he turned to face her at the doorway to her bedroom, stepping in close to her.
"How old are you?"
She reached past him and pushed open the door, pushing in through until his knees hit the edge of her bed and he was forced to sit. She climbed after him, swinging a knee on either side of his hips as she settled down gracefully on top of him. "You expect me to tell you that?"
He huffed, tossed the biscuits on the bed behind them and grabbed her hips with a grin. "What can you tell me?"
"Lots of things if you ask the right questions sweetie." She smiled down at him, and he groaned as she slid her hips along his lap.
His hands lifted and he began tracing the buttons on his shirt as he bit his lip in thought. "You have two hearts." His palms flattened over her chest and she smiled.
"Uh-huh." She confirmed and he looked up at her, his expression curious.
"Were you born with two hearts?" She bit her lip as she grinned and pushed his shoulders back until he lay down on the bed, with her astride him.
"Oh, there's that face again."
"It's my normal face." She protested and he grinned, running his hands up her sides.
"I know it is – not your fault I'm so clever."
"Or so hot?" She arched a brow in his direction and he giggled, shrugging. "You'd have noticed if baby Melody had two hearts anyway, wouldn't you have?"
"That means you regenerated! Timelords don't get two hearts until after their first regeneration, River. You can regenerate." He spoke in an excited tone and she sighed, running her hands over his chest as she nodded.
"Yes, yes – I can regenerate."
"How many?" He demanded, gripping her hips as she smiled down at him knowingly. "You're not going to tell me are you?"
"And spoil the surprise?" She laughed and he pouted beneath her.
"You have pictures of all my faces." She shifted off of him until she was stretched out beside him, her head tilted back so she could press tiny kisses along his jaw.
"Oh, sweetie, you assume I play fair. That is so generous of you." She buried her face by his throat and giggled as he rolled over to face her. He kissed her once, quickly.
"It's fine. Luckily for you I happen to love surprises."
"That is an absolute lie and you know it, Doctor." She laughed at him and he sighed in irritation.
"It's really annoying when you don't believe anything I say." He pointed out, reaching over her and snatching the biscuit packet before she could react.
"Well stop lying to me constantly and maybe I'll believe you someday." She reached for the biscuits but he held them out to his other side with a shake of his head. "Those are mine."
"Sharing is caring, River Song. Didn't they teach you that as a child?"
"Yes it was fit in between my sharp shooting and hand-to-hand combat classes. I'd share if you'd asked nicely." She poked him in the ribs and he laughed, opening the packet and pulling himself up to a sitting position.
"River, if you loved me you'd say yes to this. May I please have a jammie dodger?"
"If you get crumbs in my bed, I'm not letting you back in it for a month." She sat up as well, reaching over him and taking a biscuit from the packet on his right side. He looked at her in shock and she tilted her head. "What? I happen to like them, you know. I'd have eaten them last time if you hadn't woken up before me and been 'unable to find proper breakfast food'."
"Well you didn't have anything!" He waved his arms and she laughed.
"I'd just moved in. And I had eggs. And bread. And milk. There are at least five different things you could have made with that! Fish fingers are not a breakfast food my love." He looked at her in shock, a mouthful of biscuits and an argument in his eyes. She laughed, finishing her own biscuit shaking her head. "You'll be happy to know I have some in the freezer this time."
"And custard?" He exclaimed in delight at her nod. "I love you, River Song."
"Prove it. Don't eat all my biscuits." He looked bereft for a moment and she laughed. "I'll just have to keep your mouth full I suppose." His eyes lit up and she leaned forward, kissing him expertly – he tasted of strawberry jam. Her other hand shoved the packet of biscuits on to the floor and he tore his mouth away from hers.
"I wasn't finished with-" She reached down for the hem of his shirt and pulled it over her head, tossing it on top of the packet on the floor.
"Yes you were, sweetie." He stared for a moment, studying her intently for half a second before reaching forward eagerly.
"I absolutely was."