it's all fun and games (until someone loses an eye or gets pregnant)
"River?" He swore that the TARDIS and his wife had some sort of super secret psychic pact about ganging up against him. Honestly. He'd been working on repairs, and granted he may have gotten a bit involved in them – he seemed to recollect River speaking to him from above quite a while ago but he had been in the process of rewiring the thermo couplings and it was a delicate procedure, a fact she well knew - but he'd been looking for River for what felt like hours now. Wandering the corridors like a mad man, calling her name.
And the TARDIS was being of no particular help either, not even when he asked very extra nicely and stroked her in just that way that always made her hum pleasantly under his fingertips. Now all he got was silent stillness from his ship, endless corridors and his wife was nowhere to be found. "River?" He called out again, turning around a bend and stopping, trying to remember if he'd gone this way once already.
Seven more turns and the discovery of three rooms he was sure had been deleted later, he finally almost tripped over her. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor of a toilet they hardly ever used, because it was a good fifty minute walk into the interior of the ship, while their own was so much more conveniently located. "River? I have been looking for you for ages. What're you doing all the way back here? Did I do something? Because if I did I apologize and would like to remind you that the last time I put the thermo couplings on the fritz, we almost exploded and tore a giant hole in time and space. So really, I couldn't quite pay attention because the universe was at stake."
She didn't even look up, and he felt his hearts accelerate in his chest. Oh. The silent treatment. It was a tactic rarely employed by River because she knew full well how worked up he got when he didn't get a response. She stared down at her hands, folded in her lap, and didn't even respond to his rambling explanation. "Okay well not the entire universe. We are parked. You know, for the repairs. So I suppose I could have paid more attention but I was just caught up! River. Come on. I promise not to ignore you anymore. River."
Still no answer and he began to feel worry creep up on him. What if it had nothing to do with not listening to her earlier? It wouldn't be the first time he'd done something completely insensitive without thinking because he was distracted. He thought over the last few days, trying to pin point if he'd done anything particularly idiotic. Well, idiotic enough to make her mad. Well, angry. She was often going on about how much of an idiot he was. He usually argued, because he was actually a genius. But then, so was she, and she also managed to be very smart about the practical things like not getting distracted and remembering important things, like doing the environmental checks and always being prepared to run. She was rather spectacular actually. He grinned before glancing back down at her – she hadn't moved. Hadn't even actually shown any sign she'd heard anything he'd just said. "River." He slid down to sit next to her, putting a hand on her shoulder and shaking her gently. "Are you alright? Talk to me, please."
She looked up at him, a dazed expression on her face as she blinked in surprise. "What sweetie?"
"What's wrong? What is it?" He was panicked now, and made no effort to hide that fact. "I've been looking for you for ages. I was calling your name; the TARDIS wouldn't tell me where you were. You didn't even hear anything I just said! I rambled River. Ridiculously and really off point and you didn't even tell me to stop being an idiot like you always do. What. Is. Wrong."
"Oh honey, no – I'm sorry. I didn't hear you. And I came all the way back here because I wanted to put it off, I suppose." She fidgeted slightly, her hands clenching and relaxing as she looked up at him. If he didn't know better he'd say she looked... afraid. But she was River Song. And those two things just did not go together naturally in his head.
"Put what off? How can you put off a trip to the loo? Honestly River." He looked at her, his stomach doing odd things, wibbly-wobbly and very not good at all. He was... nervous, he realized.
"You can when it's optional. I came down here for this." She moved suddenly, shoving something in his hands and moving back. Her movements were quick, and she didn't even wait for him to grab whatever it was she was dropping in his lap. He glanced down and saw an odd looking white wand-like thing. It had nothing of note about it, other than a small window with two tiny horizontal lines. He picked it up and stared at it with a confused frown.
"What is this?"
"Are you serious?" She looked at him with disbelief before sighing at his blank stare. "Of course you're serious. Of course. Of course you don't know what that is. Why would you? You're just a man. Not even a man, a time-travelling alien with no clue about how the world works."
"Hey, I feel like I should be vaguely offended by all of that. I can't help that I'm a man. Or an alien. And might I point out you're an alien too? Or alien-ish. There are definitely alien-esque tendencies like the being clever part and the two hearts thing and the DNA and the regenerate-y stuff with the energy and the-" he made a noise in the back of his throat and she glared at him with one eyebrow raised to frankly scary heights.
"Exactly. That's what got me into this! Well that and you." She jabbed him in the chest with one finger as she spoke, her glare focussed on him directly.
"Me? What did I do?" He spluttered in response and she rolled her eyes.
"You had to have that face and that hair and do that thing you do when you're thinking – it makes me want to- argh. And you're always running around, and getting us in trouble!" She kept jabbing him as she spoke and he lifted his arms like a shield, bewildered by her behaviour.
"But you like trouble! And what thing when I'm thinking?"
"I love trouble. That is not the point. The point is trouble leads to running and running leads to you thinking and doing the pacing and being clever thing, which leads to the you saving the day again thing, which leads back here to us working off the stress." She raised her brows and stared at him significantly. He frowned.
"Working off the stress?" He mentally went over their usual post-adventure routine. The running and the saving and the cleverness. Then they usually got back to the TARDIS and... "Oh! The working off the stress! Well I know that doesn't upset you. You love that bit. It's possibly your favourite bit. And we're rather fantastic at it." He grinned proudly, pulling at his coat as he spoke and she smacked his arm.
"Yes, but that leads to this." She shook the little white wand in his face, having snatched it back seconds prior.
"That leads to... white plastic stick thingies?" He frowned and she sighed, hitting him once more with the stick thing this time.
"It's a pregnancy test, you beautiful, stupid, idiotic man!" She shouted at him, and he stared at her, his mouth open and his gaze dropping to the white stick – oh no, the pregnancy test in her hand. Pregnancy tests were for pregnant people. Or people who thought they were pregnant. So at the very least she thought she was pregnant or was pregnant and he-
"Baby!" He shouted and clapped a hand over his mouth as soon as he finished speaking, as if he could shove the word back in behind his palm. "Is it – are you – are we-" He seemed to have lost all ability for speech, and he took the test from her instead, peering at it like it held all the answers.
Which, technically it did, but what did two little lines even mean? He shook it and stared harder and she laughed beside him.
"It's not an etch-a-sketch sweetie, the answer doesn't change."
"What is the answer? And what's an etch-a-sketch?" He didn't look up as he spoke, instead peering down at those two lines unblinking until they began to swim, blurring into each other.
"An etch-a-sketch is a – oh I'll explain that later. Two lines Doctor, means positive." He broke his staring contest with the test to look at her in shock.
"As in positively pregnant?" A high-pitched nervous giggle escaped him and his face felt numb and tingly. He wasn't quite sure his circulation system was working properly, and did that mean one of his hearts wasn't working? Had it stopped? His head felt funny and he stared at her some more.
"You look ridiculous." She was smiling now, her hands on his face as she moved closer to him.
"More ridiculous than normal?" His voice was faint and she laughed out loud, her grin widening.
"You're grinning." She pointed out and he scoffed, but now that he thought about it, his cheeks felt like they were positively aching.
"So are you." It was the best comeback he could come up with given his limited brain capacity at the moment.
"I'm-" she paused, and moved one of her hands to her own face before looking at him with surprise, "-happy?" She asked, before pausing and nodding. "I'm happy. I'm a bit thrilled actually, but are you okay?"
"You didn't sound thrilled." He felt obligated to point out. "And you hit me. More than once."
"I was processing."
"You're pregnant. There's a tiny baby inside of you right now. A tiny baby. Our tiny baby. We're having a baby. There's three of us in here. A baby." He breathed the words out in a jumbled rush, his gaze dropping down to her waist. He dropped the test and reached for her, putting his hands there gently. "Oh my – there's a – River we made a person. How did we even do that?"
"Well when a man and a woman love each other very, very much-" Her voice was warm and teasing and he laid a palm against her flat stomach gently even while he glared up at her.
"I'm not an idiot." He pointed out and she graced him with a sceptical look. "I'm not."
"I believe you sweetie." She patted his shoulder patronizingly and nodded.
"I can't believe – we're going to have a baby. Oh. Oh!" He sat up straighter, looking around them in horror. "We're going to have a baby. How are we going to have a baby? This ship is a death trap!" The TARDIS jerked in irritation, the floors and walls shuddering beneath them.
"Don't say that!" River smacked his arm again and he looked at her.
"What is with the hitting? Is this going to be a pregnancy long thing?" She laughed and stroked the same hand along his arm.
"Learn to like it." She spoke in a stern tone but it was belied by the smile on her face.
He shrugged. "Already do, a bit."
"And don't talk that way – you know that the TARDIS would be the safest place in the entire universe for our child. She'll love this baby as much as we will, and she'd never let anything happen to her. Or him. Honestly, Doctor." The ship hummed in gratitude as River spoke and he felt a bit ashamed at River's chastising words.
"Of course she would. I knew that – I just panicked for a moment. It's a lot to take in you know." He stared down at where his hands still lay, before looking up at River with wonder in his eyes. "Our baby. Both of us, she'll be part of both of us. Oh River." He suddenly realized as he looked at her – much as he tried not to dwell on the past when it came to he and River, it inevitably crossed his mind at the happiest of times. Times when he would be simply looking at her, his hearts beating a wild tattoo in his chest as he simply loved her, and the shadow of the thought that was her end would pass over his mind. But they had time. They always had time and if he ever ran out he would make more time for them to have. But this baby meant he wouldn't be alone. Even after- he felt tears sting his eyes and he pulled her into his lap, wrapping both arms around her, around them.
"So you're really okay with this?" She was looking down at him with a worried expression and he buried a hand into her hair, pulling her face to his until he could kiss her. He poured everything into that one kiss – joy, hope, fear, love, pain, delight, more love- everything. She moaned, her arms wrapping around his neck as she pulled herself even closer to him, her chest pressed against his while he pressed soft kisses against her mouth, cheeks, nose, eyes – anywhere he could reach actually. When he pulled back he looked at her seriously.
"I am really okay with this. You're my family, River. Adding to that – I thought that was something impossible. Something I'd never ever have again. You gave that to me. It's the best thing you've ever done for me." She smiled down at him, the corner of her mouth wobbling a bit as she stared at him, her eyes alight.
"You know, sometimes you say exactly all the right things and I don't think I could love you more." He laughed softly, pressing one more soft kiss to her cheek.
"Well, keep that in mind the next time I'm a bit of an idiot, all right?" She giggled and wrapped her arms around him and hugged him against her.
"Oh Doctor," she sighed against his ear, "it doesn't happen that often."