I own none of this, NOTHING! I don't even know where the idea came from. This is early Doctor/late River, set sometime after AGMGTW. Enjoy...

Occupational Hazards


The air now plagued with acrid smoke, a hazy wall forming between him and River. He threw his hand out into the blackness that was beginning to engulf the entire room; he grabbed for her, called for her, could not reach her. He shifted in what he thought would be her general direction, crawling along the cool tiles of an invisible floor, thrashing his way military style through the debris. He coughed through the slowly clearing dust and cursed himself for having gotten them into this mess in the first place. Time was taking on an agonizingly slow pace, each movement seemingly endless in the engulfing dark. He called to her again and heard a muffled reply. Sound did not travel well through the fractured building; all notes seemed discordant and even River's voice had an unpleasant timbre to it. He surged on toward her voice.


He threw his arms over his head as he simultaneously felt and heard the remaining glass of the atriums great domed ceiling shatter; shards rained down upon the destruction below. He waited in a mild state of shock, just for a second before shaking his head roughly and clambering up onto what felt liked the remnants of the great marble staircase. From here he had an elevated view above the slowly dissipating cloud of dust. With a flick of his wrist he brandished his screwdriver, scanning the room for River. The sonic had detected her but his field of vision was severely impaired, he growled with annoyance and ran a hand through his dishevelled hair. He felt something sticky near his hairline: blood.

"River!" He called blindly into the dust, "I can't see a damned thing."

For a minute he heard nothing but his own laboured breathing and the ticking of a clock. The ticking... of a clock. "River, there's one still functional!" Frantically, he ran blindly into the dark. "Answer me!"

He crashed into several collapsed pillars and fell over a large pile of rubble before he could hear her shaky replies.

"Use the screwdriver.." she was quiet, breathless, trapped. "Resonate. The. Dust. Particles."

A high pitched buzzing was now being emitted from the glowing screwdriver, adding to the symphony of strained breaths and ticking. The dust particles began to group, swarming with an almost conscious movement before falling to the ground. As the air cleared, the room and its destruction became visible. He swivelled quickly, eyes scanning the expanse of broken architecture until a mass of curls near the ornate mantle caught his eye. He ran.

She was struggling to heave herself out of the rubble; a small beam compressed her chest whilst her arms were trapped beneath mounds of brick. The doctor leapt over obstacles sending free stones and glass flying through the air in his wake. He skidded to a halt beside her intent on establishing some physical contact to reassure him that she was still alive. He leant over a pile of rocks until his outstretched hand could feel flesh on flesh. He stroked her cheek and let his hand travel to the site of her carotid artery: her pulse was steady, breathing slightly erratic. She stopped her struggle for a second to gain eye contact; they saw time reflected in one another and knew that they could get out of this.

"River, I'm going to try and move this beam off of you." His hands busy trying to find the right spot to place the leverage.

"I'd appreciate that dear." She coughed slightly and winced, "It's making breathing a little difficult."

He found his spot, and took up a sort of weight lifting stance before heaving. He heaved until he was red faced and sweaty, but to no avail.

"Hurry sweetie, Clockwork Man at twelve o'clock." Her voice now rasping slightly.

Panic flooded into his system, "It's too heavy." He needed to think quickly, he needed a plan! Oh but there was so little time, and he needed to be brilliant-

"Dig my arm out." She interjected his panic stricken thoughts.

"What?" He didn't see how that would be particularly helpful.

"Now, do it!" She had one already working on the other.

He spared one fleeting glance for the Clockwork monster that was paving its way toward them before diving into the rubble and trying desperately to free River's arm.

"Doctor quickly!"

It was getting closer.

"I'm trying!"

Mechanical arm outstretched, machinery whirring mercilessly.

"Nearly..." He strained whilst pulling a large rock away from the pile. Tick, tock.

"There!" With the speed and precision of an attacking panther she wrenched her newly liberated arm from its confines, slid her sonic blaster from its holster, and fired at the Clockwork Man. It blew up mere meters from them in a cloud of gold dust and powdered glass.

The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief and smiled down at River, "You and guns..."

"You love it." River smirked slightly though still in pain, "Does it make you feel naughty?"

She signalled for him to move aside, he complied with a red face that had little to do with physical exertion. In one quick blast she disintegrated the beam that had been compressing her chest. "Thank God for that."

He clambered over to her and helped up, strongly aware of her wincing and singed curls.

The Doctor averted his eyes away from River Song, feeling drenched in the guilt of her pain. He scratched his cheek and shuffled his feet, "Rubbish date eh.."

River Song smiled at her Doctor, her impossible Doctor. Still so young, so eager to please. She lifted her hand to rest upon his fidgety one still absent-mindedly at his jaw. "Occupational hazard I'm afraid sweetie." She leant forward, grabbing his lapel with her free hand and melded her lips with his.

Once again he was shocked by the seemingly impromptu attack of his mouth but he had enough determination to salvage this adventure that he hardly let it show. He not so expertly grabbed her shoulders and returned her kiss. He felt her go rigid.

"River?" Oh it really had been a while, he must be doing something wrong; he blamed this body.

She inhaled sharply and rested her forehead against his chest, body pressed firmly against his, "I'll have some exciting bruises in the morning." She then added, "then again, you and me... that's a given."

He felt her laugh against his chest, a glorious sound that reverberated off the chaos that surrounded them, and he let himself do the same. He wrapped his arms gently around her and laughed; his face nuzzling into the top of her wild hair. Her wild, untameable, unruly, glorious hair.

They stood together against the backdrop of destruction and laughed because they could, because the Universe had allowed them another moment, another entry in a little blue diary.

Thank you for reading, please review. Should I write any more one shots? I was contemplating starting my own universe of Occupational Hazards...