The Doctor watched River as she stood under the smallest and less powerful of the cascading streams, letting the rushing water crash over and around her. She smiled at him as she ran her hands over her hair, twisting it into a knot and piling it on top of her head. It was a genuine smile…not motivated by sarcasm, flirting or disgust. Just a simple smile, revealing a bit of tenderness and sweetness that she kept hidden deep within – even from him. Something in her past, maybe in his future, kept her from lowering that wall. But the more he got to know her, the less he cared about the spoilers…and the more he cared about the library. Even though he had lived it and had a future to anticipate with River, he would never stop searching for another answer. There had to be a way.
River swam out into the pool and returned with her undergarments, gliding over to the rock shelf and hiding her naughty bits back behind their lacy veils. He suddenly felt more exposed than ever, and it had very little to do with his complete nudity. He was actually surprised how at ease he was being naked in front of her. He had never before been very comfortable in sexually tense or suggestive situations, but he had new taste buds and clumsy extremities. Maybe it just came with the territory. New body, new sex…stuff.
Sex stuff. There had to be a way of describing it that was more…sexy and less…not sexy. Perhaps he didn't know enough words. The TARDIS translation matrix couldn't translate the curve of her back or the smell of her sweat. Was there a word for the way her hips rolled when he was inside her? And what was the name of that little crevasse at the base of her throat that was just deep enough for a proper lick? Worlds of mysteries only appealed to him when there was the chance to uncover and realize the unknown. However, there was little to no chance he would ever make heads or tails of River. He already knew how it ended for her, and the beginning meant the end for him. For once, the middle meant more than the alpha and omega. Not only that, but he had absolutely no idea what he was doing…and he was perfectly at ease.
The entire universe was spinning backwards. It was the only explanation.
River pulled herself up and sat beside him on the rock, feet dangling and kicking at the water.
"So, Doctor…" She leaned in closer and whispered, "If that is, in fact, your real name…what are you thinking about right now? Appears to be rather important."
"Just thinking about water and how perfect it is," he lied.
"Is that so?" She rocked back and forth slightly on outstretched arms.
"Well...yes, actually. For starters, it's clean and crystally."
"Except for stagnation and algae…and the occasional ecosystem…" She mumbled.
"And it's beautiful and creates a serene environment," he continued.
"Until it floods your house or flying phone box…" River added.
"When it's stifling hot, water provides cool relief and calms the raging body," he refused to be dissuaded.
"Or it boils and removes the flesh from bone," she responded, smiling on the inside at his frustration.
"Water is life!" The Doctor exclaimed, exasperated that she always had an answer and a negation for everything. "Nothing beats its ability to sustain life."
She looked up at him and grinned, blinking her eyes coyly. "And then you drown."
"Water is rubbish." He admitted defeat and stared down at his long bare legs. "I have a strong dislike for water."
River lowered and turned her head to attempt eye contact with him. "What were you really thinking about?"
"If I were a dwarf –"
"Little person," River corrected.
"You can't say 'dwarf.' "
"I most certainly can," he answered in defiance. "Dwarf."
"They prefer to be called little people," she insisted.
"We're not later. We're earlier…when they are still dwarves," his voice got louder as his patience was tested.
"What? I thought you said they prefer little people?"
"They do, But the plural of dwarf is dwarfs, not dwarves."
"What about scarves?" He was getting a headache.
"I don't think scarves have a preference about what they are called."
"About being called scarves or dwarfs being called little people?"
"All of it," she said matter-of-factly. "Scarves are notoriously indifferent." She enjoyed giving him a taste of his own nonsense.
"I believe my head may explode." He whined, rubbing his temples.
The Doctor's mouth dropped open, astonished. "What spoilers! You just used 'spoilers' for evil and convenience, implying my expression and thinking box may combust! I love this head."
"If you were a little person…" She repeated back to him, calmly.
He sighed and agreed to let the illegal usage of the code word pass, continuing for the sake of his sanity and patience. "If I were a little person in Snow White and the Seven Little People - "
"Oh. Well, in that case, dwarf." River was twirling a thick curl around a finger, studying its revolutions intently.
"I don't want to play this game anymore. It's nonsense….this game of ifs," he spit out and settled into a proper pout. "Fairy tales are just balderdashy."
"Clumsy. You'd be Clumsy Dwarf," she giggled, answering his unspoken question.
"That's completely unfair. I'm just getting the hang of these wobbly things. And shouldn't you have said 'Clumsy Little Person' ?"
"How about Pompous Dwarf? And no, because then you are describing a person who is small in stature to be gracefully-challenged."
"The fun times have taken a turn for the horrendous, I fear." His eyes bulged a bit and one side of his lip curled in contempt.
River spun around and crawled behind the Doctor, and he felt her lean against him, back-to-back. "Can you tell me now?
"River…" He sighed, weary from the lesson in political correctness and grammar.
"I know you, Doctor. I make you nervous," she teased.
"Oh, you do no such….yeah, a little bit…"
"Out with it then," River demanded.
"Answer me this. Why are you always here?" More deflection, though he was curious about her when and where choices.
"Where? Guatemala? Oh god! Do I never leave?" The tone of her voice went a bit high as she considered being stuck in the 1880s in Central America. "I don't know how to weave! And I hate corn!"
"I hate that more!"
He stared ahead of him in bewilderment and waved his arms spasmodically about him. "No, here! This planet! The big green and blue one! Earth! You're in 1945…1926…1883…196-cheese…and you fit in everywhere you go."
"Awkward thing…foreknowledge, yeah? I suppose it will just get more complicated in the in-between times," she reasoned.
"Cheese is the new spoilers."
River chuckled and let her head drop backwards to rest on his shoulder. "I'm comfortable here, actually. I've been to other planets, quite far ahead in the future, and mingled with various species. But humans…well, they are so spectacularly flawed. They fight to conquer, and they fight to love. They put their faith in a higher power and worship this power as all-knowing, yet they consistently take matters into their own hands. And when it fails miserably, they blame the divine. They try so hard... just to lay claim to something, whether it's 1883, 1938 or 1969. It's a beautiful insanity of the will to exist and be remembered." And Earth is my hometown, she added silently.
"You speak as if you aren't one of them," the Doctor murmured.
"Don't I feel human?" she asked.
It was getting harder and harder not to spill the ugliness of their past. "But I don't think that was your question, now was it, my love…"
The Doctor exhaled a deep breath and gently swirled the water's surface with a foot. "It's not important now, really."
River twisted her body around and wrapped her arms around his middle, her cheek pressed against his back. She kissed the bare skin lightly and said, "Because I belong here, Doctor. This is my time. The TARDIS is yours. We each have lives that exist beyond the considerations of the other. It's a part of what makes our story so rich, don't you see? You and I aren't meant for conventionality, Sweetie…"
"River, it's only two months." There was no word in any language that would better describe his tone of voice other than sad. The Doctor was sad.
And it broke River's heart. She stood and walked around to face him, stepping one foot over his legs and having a seat on his lap. She raised his chin to look in his eyes. "Look at me..."
He tilted his head up to her and studied her face. Tenderness after biting sarcasm…amazing, he thought. Her hands snaked up his chest and rested on his neck, fingers in his hair. Her thumbs drew small circles along his jawline.
"Sweetie, there is not a day that goes by that I don't feel the emptiness of not being with you. And it's almost always worse when we're together because I'm terrified of leaving you...not ever knowing if it's the last time. That's your knowledge." River smiled and kissed a corner of his mouth. "My cheese, Impossible Dwarf, is knowing when it begins."
The Doctor laughed softly. "And the cheese in the middle?"
"We make it up as we go along, like everyone else. You and I just do it magnificently willy-nilly," she said before kissing the other corner. River shifted her weight as she adjusted her legs and noticed what could not be hidden.
"River, I lo…" He was interrupted by her lips on his, a slow kiss that worked its way up to desperate. The fight of their tongues and the sound of their teeth clashing intensified their need for each other.
Her desire was fierce and urgent. River slid her hand between them and guided him inside her, having pushed the fabric of her knickers to the side. He began to thrust instinctively, and she reached down and stilled his hips. "Oh no, honey. We're playing by my rules now."
River raised her hips high enough that he just barely remained inside of her, and then she slowly eased back down. She repeated this several times, as painfully slow as the strength of her legs would allow. Just before the burn in her calves became unbearable, she moved up and down as shallow as she could, stroking only the tip of him. He moaned her name and bucked his hips forward. River's hips went a bit higher to compensate for his thrust, refusing to relieve the pressure that was building inside him. The Doctor's head fell backward as River took all of him in deep and fast with several thrusts before sinking down heavily and digging her knees into his sides, gripping with superhuman strength, rolling her hips in a rhythmic grind.
He silently prayed to whoever would listen that he could hold on and ride out her orgasm, wanting to watch it play out on her face without being distracted by his own. River's hips moved faster, and he felt her intentionally clench her muscles around him. The sensation became almost unbearably painful as he held back his climax. River slid her arms under his and dug her nails into his back as she rocked forward once more and rolled her hips against him in small circles. It hit her hard, and he felt her muscles spasm around him, nails cutting into his bare skin.
And as soon as her orgasm had subsided and he had managed a couple of thrusts of his own, River calmly lifted her hips and caught him as he slid from her. "River, what in the hell are you doing to me?"
She slipped into the water, arms propping her on the rock's surface, and took him into her mouth. The Doctor growled and bucked his hips once again. She ran her tongue slowly along the length of him, taking the tip between her lips and sucking lightly, letting her teeth drag as she released him. His body jerked with spastic movement, and his voice cracked as he spoke. "River, please…"
"Please what, my love?" She twisted and slid her hand from base to tip, with deliberately lazy strokes followed by a few more hurried.
The Doctor leaned forward and grabbed handfuls of her hair. His eyes had an unnatural glow to them, and he spoke through clenched teeth. "Finish. It."
She gave him a wicked smile. "Why don't you join me, Doctor. The water is fine…" She drew out the word, a low guttural hum in her voice.
He eased into the water, her hand still wrapped around him. Returning the favor, he pushed two fingers inside of her, and a groan escaped them both. They held themselves afloat with one arm on the shelf while each teased the other into orgasm, and when it hit the Doctor, his body tensed with a force that could have easily shut down his organ functions. River's climax followed, and they both let the water claim their limp bodies as they sunk below the surface.
The trip back to the TARDIS had been uneventful. They were both exhausted, and their bodies molded to the energy of the aberrant travel, putting up no fight as the vortex crackled around them. The Doctor failed to even bother with clothing before crawling into bed, River tucking the linens around him. He grabbed her arm and pulled her close, kissing her deeply and sweetly – not wanting to let her go but physically unable to hold on.
She kissed his forehead and swept a thumb across his cheek, whispering, "Give my love to Amy and Rory, yeah?"
"Not here," was all he could seem to manage.
"Gone. Some. Days," he spoke each word lazily, making them into separate sentences. "Not. Back. While."
River's heart swelled at the sight of her man-child at peace and gave in, letting his shirt fall to the floor along with her undergarments. "Just this once," she mumbled through a yawn and molded herself under him.
The Doctor smiled into the back of her neck and wrapped an arm tightly around her waist, pulling her close. "You know what else I like about water?"
"What, Sweetie?" she asked, anticipating the naughty.
"Sliding in it down my hallway."
They both giggled themselves to sleep.