my love has concrete feet
She stood at the top of the stairs, looking down at him in the dim lights of the control room. He was leaning against the console, his head bowed and his shoulders pulled forward as her mother's voice echoed throughout the room eerily. River's hearts ached as she listened to Amy talk about wanting to raise her, her voice quiet and heart-breaking.
River moved down the stairs, her bare feet making almost no noise on the glass as she moved up behind the Doctor. Amy's voice echoed for a moment after she'd hung up, and River didn't need to see his face to know the pain and guilt she would find there. She slid a hand up to his shoulder, squeezing tightly as he sighed. "It'll be alright, my love."
"Will it?" His voice was quiet, barely above a whisper and she could feel the tension wound through his frame, it made the muscles in his shoulders solid under her palm and she stepped in closer, wrapping her other arm around his waist as she pressed against his back, her face turned between his shoulder blades. He sighed softly again and she hugged him tightly, the hand on his shoulder sliding down and over until it covered one of his hearts. "Can't you just tell me? So I can tell them something? Anything?"
She sighed then too, lifting her head and placing her chin on his shoulder as she studied the exhausted lines in his face. It had been months – he'd been searching for months now, and she didn't know how long it had been for Rory and Amy but she'd been here with him, helping as much as she could. Answers weren't something she was able to provide him with, however. "And where does the telling stop then, hmm?" Her voice was soft, and he glanced down at her with a frown. "I don't know where I was, Doctor." She let go of his waist and brushed that hand through his hair, smoothing it in a comforting gesture. "I was young. And the Silence-"
His hand lifted then, covered hers and he held both their hands above his heart. "But surely you remember when I find you." He stated in a quiet tone and she looked up at him with a sad expression. He was so sure that he will find her.
"Doctor," her voice was a low warning and his hand squeezed hers.
"I find you." He insisted stubbornly. "I must. You're here aren't you?" She stepped out from behind him, moving to his side and he turned to meet her. His hand brushed against her hair gently and he let go of her hand, wrapping the cardigan she was wearing over her night gown more tightly around her before he pulled her toward him, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and hugging her to him tightly.
She returned his hug, her arms around his waist and her head turned against his chest, as she listened to the double beat of his hearts. It was a familiar noise – and she closed her eyes for a moment, inhaling and exhaling and letting the sound wash over her. "I am here." She finally responded, her voice slow and his arms tightened around her. He rubbed one hand down her back, and the other tangled in her hair as he pulled back to look down at her.
"Spoil me, River. Please. Tell me I find you soon. Before Amy looses your whole childhood." He pulled her in closer, pressed a kiss against her forehead, his eyes screwed shut tightly. She looked up at him, her hearts pounding in her chest, because she hated to refuse him anything. And she lied – she always lied – but never to him.
"I can't." She whispered in a tiny voice that sounded as broken as she felt and his eyes opened.
"Not can't, won't. Please River. Please." Both his hands found their way into her hair and he held her close, tilted her face up as he begged her, his expression pleading. "Tell me."
"Not won't, Doctor, can't. I can't tell you what you want to hear." She prayed he would understand everything she wasn't saying, because she was breaking – not breaking really, more like bending – the rules for him. His own rules. His hands tightened in her hair and she saw understanding cross his face, chased by a shadow of sadness. "It will be alright, Doctor. And you do save me, my love. Just maybe not in the way you expect to. But you have, you did, you will. I promise. You've saved me again and again – over and over. In ways that no one but you could. But I can't tell you what ways those are." She lifted her hands, covered both of his hearts with her palms as she stared up at him hesitantly.
"Why can't you tell me?" His expression was pained and she smoothed her hands down his braces and back up again as she smiled up at him.
"Because you'd re-write it. And I am a selfish creature, sweetie. I don't want you to do that. It's my life and my choice."
"River..." he breathed her name out like it was a part of the air in his lungs and she continued to smile up at him. "Amy and Rory-"
"Have me now." She finished for him. "And they love me, and I love them. But they're human, and I'm not. And I've known you longer. Loved you longer – long before I even met them in my time stream Doctor. Shhh," Her hands slid past his shoulders and into his hair as she rose on tip toe before him. "It will work out for the best Doctor."
"They'll never forgive me." He swallowed and looked into her eyes and she pressed a soft kiss to his cheek.
"No love, they'll never forgive me. They love you, and know none of this was your choice." His hands slid out of her hair and smoothed down her back. "You can tell them that."
"They love you too." He whispered into her hair, pressing a kiss to her temple as she smiled and shook her head.
"They don't know me, Doctor. Not really." He laughed at that, a dry chuckle that stirred the hair by her ear and he pulled back to shake his head at her.
"Not knowing you didn't make one bit of difference for me, River. I doubt it will make any to them." She smiled up at him then, bright and wobbly as her fingers laced in his hair and she pulled him closer. She pressed a kiss to his mouth, soft and lingering and his hands pressed into her back as he returned the kiss.
"You know I love you." She whispered the words against his mouth and he nodded against her, inhaling sharply before he released the breath quickly. He moved forward, pressing one more soft kiss against the corner of her mouth.
"I know," he whispered against her skin and she shivered in his arms. "I have to go see them soon though. Face them – tell them." She nodded, swallowing heavily.
"Okay. But come to bed first – we can do it tomorrow." She stepped away from him, her hand lacing through his and he squeezed it tightly.
"You'll come with me?" He asked softly and she looked up at him quickly. His expression was a mixture of guilty and worried and loving. Her hand gripped his tightly and she met his gaze with a soft smile. He didn't know it but he would hardly be without her from this point forward for him. Her hearts lifted at the thought of all that was to come for him – she refused to be sad that it was ending for her. Because somewhere, somewhen in the universe – they were always together, loving each other as they were meant to.
"Of course, my love."