Prompt: River/Doctor, Shakespeare (Macbeth)

"I don't know if I can do this, River."

She watched her husband pace the floor, wringing his hands and flinching at the slightest noise. She remained still, watching him patiently, knowing that to attempt to comfort him now would only agitate him further. "It was foretold, my love."

"Death? Murder? Betraying our Lord President? How is any of that written in the stars?" He stopped, staring at her intently and she moved closer, taking his hand in hers.

"This war has been going on far too long, Doctor. You know it and I know it. Raissilon would see the entire galaxy destroyed before he is through. All of time and all of space. Doctor… what else can we do? He must be stopped. You heard the soothsayers words - destruction will be brought upon us all if he should succeed." She lifted her hand to his face, stroking it gently and wiping away the tears she found there.

"This isn't who I am, River. I'm the Doctor. I don't take lives. I save them."

"Doctor means many things in many languages, my love. Healer, wise man, warrior. Protector. And what are you if not that? Our race must be protected, and it must be protected from him." She spoke in a low voice and he leaned into her touch, his eyes pleading with hers.

"Is there not any other way?"

"We cannot overthrow him - the High Council would refuse. You know this to be true. Death is our only option." She swallowed, and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into him.

"And if we're found out? What then River? I'm incarcerated for murder and you're left alone." His whisper stirred the curls in her hair and she shook her head fiercely in denial.

"After all this time - all these lives lived together, you think I'd let you do this alone? No my love, if your hands are bloodied than so shall mine be. I will not leave you to do this on your own. And if - if we are caught…"

He looked down at her, leaning forward to press a kiss to her mouth, swift and biting, like he wanted to punish her for her convictions, and maybe a small part of him did. His lips softened over hers and she moaned, her hands clutching at him in desperation. He pulled back, his breathing heavy. "And if we're caught?"

"Then we've saved them all from a fate worse than death. And I'll gladly pay the price, so long as I'm with you, my love."