"The Bellagio fountain!" The Doctor announced as he entered coordinates, flipped a few switches then continued around the console.
"Really?" River asked as she flipped a couple of the switches back to their original positions. "We're going to Las Vegas? I somehow can't picture you in Vegas."
"Ah, I've been." He coughed as a pink tinge crossed his cheeks. "But we're not going there! Not now, anyway. We're going somewhere with something quite like the Bellagio fountain, only this someplace makes the one in Vegas look like a… a… sprinkler. Or perhaps a drinking fountain. Maybe a bird bath. Oh, and it's completely natural."
The Doctor stepped close to her, gazing into her eyes. "Milady?" he asked quietly, offering his arm.
"I'd be delighted." She took his arm and they headed out of the TARDIS.
They were at the edge of the caldera of a massive volcano, but the rim was broad and relatively flat, rather like a tepui. Though the evening air was clear and crisp, the opposite side was barely visible because of the vast distance. The steep walls plummeted down to silvery water far below, the night sky with its dual moons reflected perfectly in the mirror-like surface.
"We're quite high," River observed. "Are you sure we'll be able to see?"
The Doctor just grinned in response.
After a few minutes of nothing, the Doctor checked his watch. "Hmm, I think I got us here a bit early. Sorry about…" He looked toward River and saw her shiver lightly. She was wearing jeans but her gauzy blouse offered little protection from the evening air. "Oh, silly old… I didn't even think." Without a second thought he took off his tweed coat and handed it to her. "Here, wear this."
River slipped her arms into its sleeves, smiling at the warmth retained in its fabric. It was a bit big but to her, it was the most comfortable jacket she had ever worn. As she drew it around herself, she felt the weight of his sonic screwdriver still in the inside pocket. She pulled one of the lapels across her face and closed her eyes, inhaling deeply. When she emerged, she saw the Doctor watching her anxiously.
"I… I could get you something from the TARDIS," he offered. "Something nicer… better… if you'd like."
"No, no, I quite like this. Really." River sidled over to him and slipped her arm around his waist. The Doctor seemed momentarily clueless as to what he should do with his arm as he waved it around helplessly. Eventually, he draped it around River's shoulders and hugged her gently, eliciting a happy sigh from her.
As the ground began to vibrate with a low hum, the Doctor watched River expectantly, waiting for her reaction. She tilted her head to look at him questioningly when she heard it. Music. It started low but was growing with every passing moment. She looked around for the source when she felt the vibrations creeping through her body. That's when she realized. The music originated from the planet itself, allowing the sounds to be felt as much as heard.
The sound waves sent ripples across the surface of the silvery water, distorting the reflected sky. The ripples grew into waves then into great walls of water, flowing like translucent silk in a graceful dance. A great glassy liquid column rose from the middle, surpassing even the immense height of the canyon rim. Ribbons tore off from the undulating waves and spiraled dizzyingly around the column until they met at its apex. Sheets of water curled around the central pillar, threating to consume it before curling back and opening like a blossoming rosette. The petals hovered over the surface of the water before crashing down, threatening to drown the melody. In response, the notes built up in a crescendo, regaining their hold over the turbulent liquid.
The intricate dance continued with the water doing impossible things in response to the all-consuming music. River couldn't take her eyes off it and the Doctor couldn't take his eyes off her. As the finale neared, the music swelled and the water roared, each trying to claim dominance for itself. With a final low blasting note, thousands of tiny needles of water shot upwards. Their reflected light blended with the stars, easily doubling the count in the night sky. They hovered for only a moment before returning to the basin in a sudden downpour.
As the water settled, the Doctor took a deep breath and said, "You know, it's a contradiction, really."
"What is?" She turned her gaze away from the still choppy water and toward the Doctor. He looked a bit nervous, as if he had something important to say but wasn't sure he could make it come out right.
"The water and music, it's a contradiction." He began, waving his hand toward the canyon before turning his full attention to her. "It's a dance and a battle all in one. The music starts, familiar and unknown at the same time. Then the water rises, revealing its strength. It flows with surprising power, a deadly power, especially for something so beautiful. Just when the roar of the water threatens to overtake the melody, the music swells, rising even higher with an unwavering intensity of its own. It can shape a soul with the same power water reshapes stone. It can make you sad, happy, and love like you never thought possible." He paused, "Just like you, River Song."
She smiled at him. "You put a lot of thought into that, didn't you?"
"Did it work?" he asked, traces of nervousness and hopefulness in his words.
"That depends," she replied, taking on a thoughtful expression. "What were you intending?"
"Well… I… I'd sort of hoped you'd go a little bit wibbly wobbly and maybe all fluttery and woozy and head-over-heelsy… kind of like I feel about you."
"Then it worked," she replied, nestling her head into his shoulder. "Music, moonlight and you. What could be better?"
The Doctor turned towards her and closed his eyes as he breathed in the scent of her hair. He pressed his lips into her curls and mumbled, "We are the music makers…"
"And we are the dreamers of dreams," River finished, turning her head to look at him. "I do love that poem."
"Me too," he replied as he brushed a curl from her race.
"Do you know the whole thing? I don't mean just the first part everyone knows. The whole thing."
"Of course," he replied, trying to take on a look of importance. "I was there when he wrote it."
River laughed. "Is there anything you haven't meddled with?"
"There are probably a few things," the Doctor mused. "I'm sure I'll stumble on them eventually. Always do."
"You do, don't you? Just about everywhere you go, something insane happens," River said seriously. "It's like… bloody Scooby Doo!"
"Wait… are you calling me a meddling kid?" The sparkle in his eyes betrayed the hurt look he was trying to portray.
"The most ancient meddling kid, yes. Yes, you are."
Their gazes locked, each daring the other to laugh first. Finally, in a last-ditch effort to hold back laughter, the Doctor snorted and burst into giggles. River, unable to contain herself any longer, joined in too. They leaned into each other for support, their laughter robbing their strength and spawning tears in the process. As they calmed, they caught their breath and wiped the tears from each other's eyes. Their gazes turned toward the now still water and quiet planet. Bathed in the light of the dual moons, they held each other, thinking only of how perfectly happy they were at that moment.