Author's Note: I know I'm supposed to be updating my other Doc Who Fic or my Harry Potter one but this idea just would not leave me alone! It's darker than my other Doctor Who fics and the rating will almost definitely go up next chapter as more horrible things are going to happen to River sorry! So if it's not your thing really don't read! I already have the second chapter planned for this so I will definitely update this one.
Timelines: Fairly late for River at the end of her time at Storm Cage and post Demon's Run for the Doctor.
The title is from the Florence and the Machine song 'Cosmic Love'.
You Were in the Darkness Too, So I Stayed in the Darkness With You
'I need you.'
The doctor studied the scrawl on the physic paper and knitted his brow together in confusion. If he was to be truly honest with himself he was disappointed, half the time when he received a message it was from River. More and more these days he found himself looking forward to their next encounter, almost longing for it. However he was pretty sure this message was not from the said archaeologist as, even in her gravest hour, she would have signed it with a kiss.
The doctor glanced toward the hidden door of the Ponds' bedroom. It was probably late at night, he never paid any particular attention to time as he spent most of his existence defying it's rules and consistencies. He decided to leave them, the last few weeks had been particularly hectic and they could do with a rest. Whatever the problem he was confident he could settle on its own whilst his companions slept, safe, in the TARDIS.
The blue police box hummed as he began to work the controls, once it had started he sat back and waited for the TARDIS to take him where he needed to go. It was something that he was still getting used to, not being in complete control of his TARDIS. Before River he would never have even contemplated the idea of relinquishing so much power, but the power had not been so much relinquished as forced from his white-knuckled hands by Professor Song.
He strode to the door as the TARDIS came to a stop, heavy and moaning with the effort as he left the breaks on, again.
On the other side of the blue door complete blackness welcomed the doctor, the air felt cold and unmoved by any breeze, he could not see a foot in front of him. Hanging just his head out of the door he called:
The sound bounced off of several invisible walls and the force of the rebound almost knocked the doctor backwards. After the echoes stopped silence engulfed him once more.
"Hello?" He bellowed, louder this time. The darkness responded in the same way but still no sound except his own.
He probably should have turned around then and there, gone back to his mindless fiddling and waited for the Ponds' to gather enough energy for the next big adventure. He should have but he didn't. The TARDIS has brought him here for a reason and the physic paper had shown him the message for a reason.
The doctor closed the door of the TARDIS and locked it. Nothing could get in and more importantly nothing, Amy, could get out and create more trouble.
The ground beneath his feet was solid and hard, concrete or stone but the small glow from his sonic screwdriver was the only light and it barely illuminated even the stagnant space before his nose. He scanned whatever the hell he was in, no life forms were close.
"Great..." He muttered to himself and suddenly the screwdriver responded. The voice was very faint and had it not been for the otherwise eerie quiet the doctor would not have heard it.
"Doc... doctor..." The voice whispered.
"Erm yes, yes you've reached the Doctor. I'm the Doctor. Who are you and how are you speaking through my screwdriver?"
"Doctor..." The voice broke off into a feeble cough before continuing, he had to hold the screwdriver next to his ear but he still couldn't make out what they said but he thought it was: "Because I'm clever like that."
The doctor stopped his deliberate slow walk as a smile spread across his face.
"Doctor Song! To what do I own the pleasure? Should have known it was you as soon as I arrived here... and where is here exactly, I can't see a blood thing! Are you here somewhere?" He waited but couldn't hear anything except the sound of shallow breathing coming for the sonic screwdriver. "River, you there?"
"Yes... yes. I'm here... Not entirely sure where."
It was the first time the Doctor realised the strange tint to her voice, fair enough she was talking through a screwdriver, you can't expect the quality to be superb but even so she sounded strange.
A bolt of ice shot through every vain in his body when he realised it was fear. She sounded scared. He'd heard her sound anxious before, nervous even, usually when he was about to do something incredibly stupid but never scared.
"River what's going on?" He demanded, unable to hide the new panic alive in his body. "You sound... look what's happened? How do I find you?" Again there was no reply but he could hear the sound of breathing, from the shaky breaths it sounded as if she were crying. He had not seen her cry since their first meeting in that damned Library, which seemed so long ago now, especially as he tried desperately to forget it. The memory combined with his chilling surroundings increased his panic and he responded in the only way he knew how – anger. "River answer me!" He almost snarled, grounding out each word between his teeth. "God dam it! Why did you bring me here if you didn't want my help?" Still he remained answerless. Stamping his feet in a totally ridiculous and childish vent of frustration he yelled one final time: "River!"
Being breathless from the effort he shook with short gasping gulps of air and managed to calm down as he did, feeling more guilty as the anger temporarily subsided.
"I'm sorry, just... just hang on okay? I'm going to use the screwdriver to see if I can pick a trace or something from you. Just stay where you are."
"Okay." Came a tearful, gentle response.
The sonic screwdriver still read no life forms close to him. The doctor took a deep breath and started walking forward again with an arm raised in front on him in an attempt to stop any collisions with oncoming obstacles.
"I'm not getting anything at the moment, but I'm moving so hopefully it will pick up the signal soon. I need you to talk to me River, tell me you're alright." His voice was pleading.
If he took a moment to reflect he'd understand that this was probably the moment he realised how much River Song was beginning to mean to him. Of course he was concerned with her safety as he would be to anyone trapped down here but it was more than that. The idea that she was hurt in some way caused fear to wind around his insides like a python and choke him until it physically ached. It was how he felt every time he thought of the library which is why he didn't.
"I'm fine, I... I'm okay..." Each syllable was an obvious struggle.
"No I think I'm dying." River wept trying not to.
The doctor came to a standstill once more as a single tear slid down his cheek. Logically he knew this could not be true, he knew when she died, he had seen it. She couldn't die now. But time can be rewritten, not all of it but some of it. As he started walking again his pace was much quicker now regardless of anything the bitch black may hold as he strode through it. The screwdriver scanner remained quiet next to his ear.
"You're not going to die. Okay, listen to me. You called and I came just like I always do, can't bloody help myself can I? So I'm going to get you out of yet another scrape and you're going to swoon over how cool and heroic and handsome I am. Do you hear me?"
"Yes..." She attempted to laugh but it was reduced to another cough.
"River what happened? Why are you here?"
"Just another day... day... you know... Storm Cage... "
"Storm Cage," The doctor interrupted, not wanting to tire her any more than necessary but needing to know exactly what happened. "You're still in Storm Cage and doing another mission for them, yes?"
"Yes..." She breathed.
"Well surely they didn't let you out by yourself? Where's you guardian?" When there was no reply he continued: "River, come on, stay with me!" After a few moments the screwdriver spoke again:
"Dead... he's dead..."
"I know this hard and you're probably really tired right now but I need to know what happened? How are you hurt exactly?"
"I... I don't know... exactly... I can't... I... remember. I can't remember." He could hear the alarm rise in her voice.
"It's okay, it's okay. Shhh." The doctor soothed. "Just tell me what you do remember."
"I... we came down here... it was supposed to be abandoned... abandoned and valuable. They wouldn't tell me what but... they... they needed to find... something... find something down here and they needed me for... something. But..." River was gasping now, each precious breath harder to obtain than the last.
"It wasn't abandoned." The doctor finished quietly.
"No... no... it killed them and shot or stabbed me... my stomach, I don't know... all the lights went out and I woke up and I can feel blood everywhere... and it hurts, everything hurts."
"It? What it? What did this?"
"I don't know."
"Okay, it's okay, it's all going to be okay." He spoke to himself just as much to her. "I just need to think... think of how I can find you. The TARDIS sent me here, directly here so you must be close. Can you remember anything before the lights went out, the layout, anyway I would know where you are or you'd know where I am?"
"They're just tunnels... they're just endless, empty tunnels..."
"Only they're not empty."
The doctor stopped and literally started pulling at his hair in despair, he spun on the spot but it made no difference, the black becoming whirling black that looked identical to stationary black. He regretted not waking Amy and Rory, that might have been able to do something, unlikely, but at least he wouldn't be alone. He was adrift in a sea of shadows, struggling to stay afloat; he probably couldn't even find his way back to the TARDIS by now. The sonic screwdriver smashed against his palm as he lashed out in annoyance, the scanner still blank.
"Come on!" He growled as if he could materialise River in front of him through pure will power alone. "Just come on! She's here!"
He tried to imagine in his mind's eye his route from the TARDIS so far, he had walked in a straight line for many minutes whilst he'd been talking to River, he'd not hit anything at all. That meant he cannot of changed direction, River said they were in tunnels so to change direction he would have to encounter a corner and walls. Walls. He jumped out, spreading his body widely in a star shape position. He felt nothing but the whoosh of air caused by his own movements. So very wide tunnels then. After reaching up he concluded they were very tall tunnels as well.
Vey tall, wide and long tunnels. That or he was in a completely different place to River.
In the middle of his unspoken musings he realised River had been quiet for many moments.
"River, you need to stop the bleeding okay? You need to get something to tie around the wound."
"I... I think... it's a bit late... late for that... sweetie..."
"No! No, don't you dare give up! You are not going to die today." You can't die to today, he thought afterwards. Surely he would not have to witness her death twice; even he had not done anything so awful to deserve that, surely.
"I want... I want to tell you something."
"Yeah, yeah what do you want to tell me? I'm all ears." He tried to encourage her.
"I can't... sp... spoilers..."
"Spoilers? Screw spoilers. They're my stupid rules and I declare them void for today and today only." She didn't respond. "Ah come on, I'll forget anything you tell me, I promise."
"I don't want to die a stranger to you." She sobbed quietly.
The doctor felt the familiar lump rise in his throat, the python was back and he was squeezing the life out of the doctor's vocal chords.
"Ahh..." The noise was totally involuntary as a strangled cry escaped his lips. He cried for this woman, dying alone somewhere here on the cold brick floor, for the woman who had already died once before or had yet to die a complete stranger to him, a woman he had a whole future with but it was her past. "You're not... you're not a stranger to me." He tried to hide the tears drowning his voice. "You're Melody Pond, I know who you are, we've done Demon's Run."
"No..." She moaned in pain and exhaustion. "No... No you don't get it yet."
"So what am I missing? Tell me, please."
"What?" He asked genuinely puzzled at her cryptic answer.
"That's what you're missing... Amy... Mum..." Her voice broke at the last word. "She got it the first... the first time... she saw us together..."
"What did she get?"
"I'm your... wife."
The doctor sunk to his knees. He knew she was going to say that, at least he strongly suspected it and had done for a while. She was the only one he could ever imagine being his wife, the only one who could. She was his only equal, part time lord and the only person more reckless and prone to trouble than he was.
She was stunning and she was his wife.
Suddenly the screwdriver interrupted the quiet; her voice was a little stronger than before.
"You don't believe me." River didn't sound accusing or even sad, it was emotionless, cold.
"Yes I do." He replied quickly, his voice contrastingly full of emotion. "I know it's true."
"You... know... you've been there... seen it?"
"No but I feel it. I've felt it from the moment I met you; even when I didn't understand it I felt it and that terrified me. I feel it now more than ever." He paused, but only for a nanosecond before continuing. "I love you."
He shook with the revelation of it.
It was beautiful but it was horrible and wrong, he shouldn't be telling her through a screwdriver, through blood, sweat and tears.
"River..." He breathed name as if it were oxygen.
"I... I can hear footsteps." River's voice encapsulating a whole new energy. "Someone's coming, is that you?.. You've found me!"
The dull heartache was replaced by sharp terror. Unadulterated terror.
"River I'm not moving. That's not me."