Chapter Five

He wondered if he had blacked out. Nothing could be this beautiful. It wasn't possible. All of time and space and the most unbelievably striking, heart stopping, incredible sight was surrounding him. It was engulfing him, and he hadn't left his library. His hearts felt like they might soar out of his mouth, they certainly had taken on a beat and pattern all of their own. He felt lighter and yet somehow more anchored to the ground. Time passed, unaware of the length of time he stood basking, not that it mattered. The light moved and suffused into everything, changing constantly. He felt it warming his mind, his body, his soul. His heart. Words couldn't describe what he was seeing, and he was terrified of trying to describe what the feelings it was imparting in case it diminished in the slightest.

He wasn't sure when started repeating her name, like some kind of mantra.

"You've said that already." She purred. He simply stared at the beauty of it. "The stone is psychic, of sorts." he dared to look at her now, he felt her owed her that "it absorbs the emotions of the person who works the stone, and it re-expressed those feelings in... light." He couldn't speak. Didn't know what to say. He felt frightened and elated all at the same time. It was too much, even his expansive knowledge and understanding of the universe and everything couldn't have prepared him for how this could possibly feel. It blocked out every sense, every sensation. Like River, it dominated everything around it, in the most amazing way.

He came around a little, when he felt her presence close to him, but kept his eyes on the light, his gaze gentle. He needed her closer, it was inexplicable but he craved her contact. Braving himself, he gently wrapped his arm around her waist, pausing softly on the small of her back before pulling her into his side.

The contact brought him around a little, "I don't have the words River." He felt her head rest on his shoulder and he felt more content than he had done in many, many years.

Chapter Six

He was petrified. He understood finally why songs and poems were written. Why wars were started. He didn't believe his body could contain it. It could barely comprehend how one person could feel so much... stuff!

"I've been known by names..." he begins, he isn't sure if these are the words he is supposed to be saying, but it is how he feels. "And in many ways, I'm pretty sure I've lived up to every one of them. But..." How best to say it, he felt so fragile, so unsure of himself.

"What is it my love?" He can't, daren't look at her, he's scared it might undo him. "Doctor, I know what they call you. Each corner of the universe has a different name for you, and I've been to them all to seek you out." He shivered, not from cold, but from so many emotions all coursing through his veins; fear, vanity, lust, love. All amplified exponentially when he felt her soft hand fall softly on his chest. She was so close he could hear her breathing. "You'll always be my Doctor to me. And that's all that matters." The dam broke. He needed to look at her, needed her recognition. He needed her.

"You scare me River. I have all these... feelings when I'm with you, all these reactions I can't control. Human... things. John Smith feels an appropriate name when you're around." Her other hand joined the first at his chest, he felt like it would swell to burst with pride that this beautiful creature was not only standing in front of him, but loved him. He knew that with every cell in his body, understood it suddenly more than anything else. She tickled his bowtie.

"Well, I've shown you mine," typical River, break the tension with flirting, and that eyebrow lift should be made illegal. It was so seductive he was pretty certain it was on several planets. She beckoned towards the orb. "So what do you feel now?" The growl in her voice made his jaw clench, trying to suppress the desire boiling within him. The sound of it replayed in his mind; He remembered all the times he'd held back from touching her, all the times she'd all but offered herself on a plate, then all those chaste little kisses, touches, glances she initiated and it was too much. He couldn't hide it anymore. He stepped her back a few steps, her back now against the railing once more. He found his hands on her hips, hands which usually moved as if under the control of some unknown madman or at the least were outside of his control, were suddenly calm -they had a purpose. He heard the breathe catch in her throat, and it both charged and spurred him on. He leant against her gently needing the feel of her beneath him, the friction of her softness. If his body wasn't betraying him, he knew his eyes were. He saw the shift in her expression when she saw the fire that burned within him. Pure want.

"I'd run to the ends of the universe and time for you River." He growled in a whisper. It wasn't enough, but it was all he could say.

"And we will my love."