Amelia dashed around the console, away from her father. The Doctor's shoulders were hunched as he followed her, his arms crossed tightly over his chest. He hadn't meant to hurt her, but he couldn't exactly contain his own anguish as River had left. In a fit of painful loss, he'd told her everything that he could. It was selfish and it was self-serving, to rid himself of it; to shake out that pain and share it, to spare himself the weight. It made him feel like a failure as a father, watching the tears pouring from her eyes as she flipped switches and turned dials, hurtling the Tardis through the vortex, just the way he'd been teaching her since she was tall enough to reach the controls.
"I don't believe you." She whimpered, without meeting his eyes. "She can't be dead. I won't ever believe that."
"I'm sorry, Amelia." His voice was soft and without fight. That faint lilt of resignation in his tone. He'd accepted the unacceptable; it wasn't like him at all.
"You're the Doctor!" She spat, finally looking up at him. "You're her husband, you love her!" She stomped towards him and the pain in her eyes was almost too much for his hearts to bear. "You're my iDad/i." She whimpered the last. "How can you let this happen?"
"There's a lot more to it that you understand, Amelia."
"What don't I understand, Dad? That you let her walk out of here, knowing she was going to die? How am I supposed to understand that?"
The Doctor chewed on his bottom lip. There wasn't much he could say, because their lives and timelines were so intertwined, but yet, so jumbled up. He couldn't promise her the whole truth, when he didn't even have it himself. He couldn't prove to her that things would be alright, if he knew in his hearts, that they couldn't be; not without River. It had taken him hundreds of years to work that out; he couldn't expect Amelia to do it in a moment.
"I don't believe you, I won't believe you." Her voice was stern and determined as she pulled the lever and the Tardis lurched. The Doctor's eyes widened and he launched himself towards her, pushing away from the rail and grasping for the controls.
"What have you done?"
"I'm going to the Library to see Mum and prove you're a liar."
The Doctor's face reddened and his eyes bulged. He couldn't let her do that, he couldn't see it again. Worse yet, he couldn't cross his own timeline; he'd done that too often already. "I am a liar, Amelia, you know that; but never to you and not about this!" The Tardis lurched again as he tried to redirect her, but the old girl seemed to have other plans. After all, River was her child as much as she was Amy's and he had no doubts the Tardis would always go to her, if she could. There was no stopping either of them now and all he could do was hold on.
The Tardis dropped out of the Vortex suddenly, sending Amelia and the Doctor hurtling forward into the console, before screeching to her usual halt. Amelia dashed for the doors, whilst the Doctor dragged the monitor around so that he could see outside.
"Amelia wait!" He shouted and to his relief, she did. Turning back to him, with her hand on the doorknob, she waited. He made his way down the steps, moving closer and closer, seeing the look of abject fear on his daughter's face. He hadn't ever hated himself more, than in that moment. The moment his daughter learned to blame him. The moment his only living child, learned to despise him. "Don't go out there." He breathed, wrapping his long fingers gently around her wrist and attempting to remove her hand from the handle.
"I need to see her," She sobbed. "I need to know that you're wrong."
"I'm not wrong, dear, you know that."
"You have to be." She choked out, pulling away from him and launching herself through the doors before he could even take a breath. "Amelia NO!" He screamed, stumbling out after her, only to hit his chest to her back as they both froze, staring ahead of them.
"How dare you."
Amelia stepped back a little, feeling her Dad's chest against her shoulder-blades as her mother stormed towards them, waving her finger; her face red with rage.
"You knew! And you brought her here?" She hissed, lowering her voice as the man cuffed to the post a few feet away, moaned but didn't stir. Amelia was all of a sudden confused. She felt her father's fingers on her upper arms and realized she was being moved out of the way. She went without protest, moving to her father's side as he stepped in closer to her mother. It was only then, as they moved closer together, that she realized her mother's tears.
They were quite a sight. The three of them, tears streaking their faces and none of them meant to be there at all. "She didn't want to believe it, River." He sighed, brushing his fingers gently along her cheek. "And frankly, neither do I."
"I love you." She smiled through her tears, looking up at him.
"And I, you. More than I thought I could."
Amelia stared at them, her heart breaking over the very clearly unspoken goodbye. But what she couldn't understand was that they were there, her mother was standing right there in her father's arms, the Tardis was behind them and there was a clock counting down. Time wasn't the boss of them, that's what he'd always taught her. They could run away, they could still run away.
"Come on, Mum, let's go home." Amelia reached for her mother's hand, pulling her out of her father's arms. But she only managed to get a few steps before River dug her heels in.
Amelia whirled around. "What?"
"No." Her smile was filled with love, but also pain. And in the depth of those blues they shared, she could see the guilt. "This is how it has to be, darling."
Amelia sobbed. "No."
"Yes. One day you'll understand. You know how time works." She sighed. "I'd like to believe that we've taught you well. But we can't change this, Amelia. This has to happen. I have to die here."
"But why?" River brushed a curl from Amelia's eyes.
"Because that man," She pointed down to the man in the pinstripe suit, chained to the post. "That's your Dad." Mirth passed through her eyes as she noticed Amelia's surprise. "He has to live through this, Amelia. It's the way it has to be."
"But how can that be?"
"My last regeneration," The Doctor nodded and Amelia looked over her shoulder at him, before turning back to her mother. "Very young version of me. Your mum saved my life. She's going to save it now."
"I have to do this, Amelia and I need you to trust me on this. Now go," She pushed Amelia towards the Doctor. "Take her, my love, take her away from here."
"River," He begged, pulling Amelia into his chest but River just turned away, making her way back to the chair that he remembered so vividly. The past version of himself was slowly waking, his head lulling from side to side as he moaned more frequently.
"Go!" She insisted, sitting in the chair and grabbing for the wires. "He can't see her and I don't want her to see this, take her away!"
"No, mother!" Amelia shouted as the Doctor forced her back into the Tardis. She screamed and she kicked at him; she fought him the entire way. Her hair flew about them, wild with rage like her hearts. He managed to get the doors closed behind them and locked them with his sonic before he let go of her, letting her take out her anger on the doors, kicking them and punching them. When she realized that wasn't going to work, she flew after him, punching at his back and screaming at him to take them back. An image of River appeared on the screen, she was speaking to his younger self with tears in her eyes. She raised that ugly crown of death to her head and with one final whisper, that he remembered to this day, with one final-first breath of 'spoilers' light filled the room and shook the Tardis as she dematerialized, knocking her askew into the Vortex.
"Take us back!" Amelia shouted, punching him, pushing at levers, trying to get them to turn around. He tried his hardest to ignore her, shaking her off him and directing the Tardis to take them somewhere Amelia would be safe. He thought of Leadworth and her grandparents and with a heavy heart, he aimed for a time in which they'd understand. Letting the Tardis land on her own, the Doctor wrapped his arms around Amelia, holding her tight to his chest as she continued to thrash and wail, punching his chest until her tears were too many and her energy spent. "Please," She begged. "Take us back."
"We can't go back, sweetheart. I know you understand that."
"I don't want to understand it, Dad. I just want her here."
"So do I, my love, so do I."
Amy heard the sound of the Tardis materializing in the back garden and dropping her tea to the coffee-table, letting it spill just a little in her haste, she dashed out the back doors. The glow from the light above that brilliant blue box lit up the yard as she appeared. Though when the doors opened and the Doctor appeared Amy's heart broke.
"What's happened?" She questioned, taking her sobbing granddaughter from the Doctor's arms.
"It's a long story, Pond." The Doctor frowned and Amy held Amelia tight to her chest, the girl who wasn't much younger than herself, clutching her cardigan helplessly in her fingers, turning her knuckles white.
"Mum's dead." Amelia sobbed, burying her face in her grandmother's chest and Amy looked up at the Doctor in shock.
"What?" She exclaimed and the Doctor's face fell, his eyes cast down to the ground. "Doctor, explain this to me."
"I don't think I can, Amy."
"Why didn't you say anything?" She glared at him and the accusation in her eyes burned him. "You knew this was coming, didn't you?" She turned her body against him, hugging Amelia to her chest as if to shield her and the Doctor's hearts broke. They blamed him. They didn't want to but they couldn't help it and he wasn't surprised. There was no one else to blame. From the moment River was born, the Doctor had corrupted her life; bleeding through every aspect of her existence.
He blamed himself.
He'd had years to think of a way to save her and all he'd managed to come up with was what she'd already shown him. He'd failed her. He'd had hundreds of years to mull it over, to think of a way to save her. But he'd failed her. Of all the people in all the worlds, he hadn't been able to save the most precious.
Amy's voice shocked him out of his reverie, his blood-shot eyes shooting up to meet hers and immediately, he could see the pain. "Come inside." Her voice was stone, but he didn't really blame her. She was twenty-five years old and her grown grand-daughter had just fallen, sobbing, into her arms over the death of her mother – her grown daughter; the child she'd given birth to, not a year ago as far as she was concerned. And she was fighting so hard against hating him.
He only hoped Rory would fight so hard.
The Doctor sat at the Pond's dining-room table with his head buried in his hands. His shoulders scrunched up as he reigned in sobs. He could feel Rory's eyes on him, as the man sat across from him, completely silent. Rory's hands were pressed firmly to the cotton table-cloth, just watching the Timelord ahead of him. Neither man could meet the eye of the other; the Doctor out of guilt and pain, Rory out of sheer force of will.
They could both hear the tear-filled mutterings of Amelia in the room beyond; Amy attempting to console her.
"She's really dead?" He questioned and it wasn't the first time the Doctor had heard the tone of a devoted father, on Rory's lips.
"And you knew it was coming?"
The Doctor lowered his hands to the table slowly; tentatively meeting Rory's eyes. They were completely blank, devoid of emotion and the Doctor understood why. If Rory showed anything right now, he'd be completely broken and he knew the Centurion would never do that to Amy or Amelia.
"Death comes to us all," He whispered, opening his mouth to continue as he breathed in a sigh, but Rory cut him off.
"Not her and apparently not you. She was supposed to be like you," The Doctor flinched at the harshness of his tone. "She was supposed to outlive us all."
"Why?" Rory snapped. "You didn't kill her, did you?"
"Then don't apologize to me. My daughter is dead, Doctor, don't go accepting all the blame; wallowing in self-pity while your daughter suffers."
"She doesn't understand," The Doctor whispered, so uncharacteristically sombre and Rory's expression softened.
"She's not stupid, Doctor. Tell her properly and she will understand."
The Doctor shook his head vehemently. "No, she won't. There's so much we didn't tell her. And so much that we probably should have. We didn't tell her about Berlin, or Utah, we didn't tell her about so much. We didn't want to frighten her; we didn't want her to ever know...this." He gestured between them and Rory got the message. River and the Doctor had been protecting their daughter from knowing that one day; it was inevitable that she'd lose one or both of them to time. But for their combined age, they were both so naive, even Rory could see that. It was bound to happen, this way or another and Rory would have preferred they save their daughter the pain of being hit with it full-force. He couldn't blame them though, because they'd been acting with such a love few in the universe could understand.
A love not only for their child, but the last of their long-dead people.
The sound of footsteps reached them; a fast staccato on the hard-wood floors of the hallway as a flash of blonde and red blew past them. The door into the back-garden flew open and the Doctor knew it was Amelia; rocking the dining table as he dashed after her.
He could see in Amy's eyes as he ran past her that his young friend had tried valiantly to console his daughter and failed. He didn't blame her. Amelia was River's life; he never expected Amelia to feel any less in return for her Mother. He knew in his hearts, there was absolutely nothing that was going to heal the gaping wound in his daughter's soul.
"Amelia!" He shouted, chasing her out into the yard. But she was too quick. She flew through the doors of the TARDIS and before he could make it down the back steps, his beloved ship was already de-materializing. "No." He breathed before breaking into a sprint. But he was no Jack Harkness and he knew there was no way he could grab a hold of the side of his beautiful box and follow her into the vortex.
Instead, he dropped to the grass in the middle of Amy and Rory's yard with tears in his eyes, making them glisten in the moonlight. He set his knees in the damp earth and looked up into the skies, waiting for his daughter's return.
She may run from him and hate him and blame him, but he knew that when she was ready, he could trust the TARDIS to bring her back to him.
Initially the TARDIS fought her but Amelia wasn't giving up. She tried to convey to her, her desperation, but the old girl grumbled and groaned until she rested her palms on the console and looked up at the rotor with sunken, tired shoulders.
"You can see my mind." She whispered, and the TARDIS stilled.
"You have been able to since before I was born. You used to sing to me, remember?" The TARDIS hummed happily and Amelia chuckled softly. "You know my mind and you know what I hope to do. But I need your help. I can't do this alone." She breathed, pressing her eyes closed as if in prayer. "You love her as much as I do. Please, help me save her?"
Amelia shuddered and struggled to keep her footing as immediately, her mind flooded with images too bright and too out of order to follow. A grand dining hall and her parents huddled together on marbled stairs; a German city and her mother wrapping her father in a golden ball of light. "I don't understand." She gasped, breathless and spent from the effort of thinking the images into a straight line.
The TARDIS spun out of Amelia's control. Levers moved of their own accord and all she could do was hold onto the console as they flew through the vortex, their destination unknown. "Where are we going?" She shouted through the main room, her voice echoing off the walls when she realized it was the first time she'd ever been in the TARDIS alone and in flight. No mother, no father and her parents were trapped at two different ends of the universe.
Lords of time, stuck in one place. Her hearts constricted at the thought of what she'd done to her father, by running away.
But she couldn't stop. She needed to know where the TARDIS was taking her and she needed to figure out a way to fix what had happened to her mother.
Amelia dropped against the console as the ship came to a groaning halt, gritting her teeth at it made the sound her father loved so much. She shook her hair from her eyes, trying to brush the curls away from her face as suddenly, the doors to the TARDIS burst open and a familiar face appeared.
"Doctor, honestly, I don't know how many times I've-" She stopped short, staring at Amelia who stared straight back, blinking rather rapidly. "Hello."
"Where is the Doctor?" She took a few steps towards the console, smiling kindly as she did; though in her eyes Amelia could see an emptiness that pulled at her hearts. This woman, this living, breathing, beautiful woman, didn't recognize her. "Do you travel with him? He didn't tell me about you."
"I-" Amelia hesitated, knowing enough about causality to know there was little she could say to this woman that would clear the air. "Sort of. Yes," She smiled nervously. "In a way, I do."
"Oh, well then, lovely to meet you, I'm River." She held her hand out and Amelia tentatively took it. "What is your name?"
Amelia knew that as soon as she said it, alarm bells would chime in her mother's mind so instead, she deflected. "You're his wife?"
River chuckled and for a moment, blushed. "Well," She smirked. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. I suppose that means he's told you about me?"
"Oh yes, doesn't really stop, honestly." Amelia found herself honestly smiling; loving the brief moment of frankness she could afford her.
"Oh really?" River grinned; that blushing grin of a woman so recently in love; Amelia blanched. This was her mother, but yet it wasn't. "What has he said?" This was her mother insecure and in love. This was her mother young and it twisted her hearts in knots.
"Just that you're wonderful. He told me stories about you, about things that you've done together. But he said sometimes some things he's done, you haven't done yet."
"Do you have your diary with you?"
"My diary?" River blinked. "Oh! My diary," She blushed, pulling it from her coat pocket. "I forget I've got it on me half the time. But it was a gift from the Doctor, so I always do."
Amelia nodded, grinning. "What was the last thing you did?"
She watched her closely as she flipped a few pages into the book. The spine was straight and barely broken, the seams missing their characteristic splits. The blue was pristine and the faded corners from excess love and wear weren't there. It was brand new.
Amelia's two hearts broke into a million little pieces at the sight of that book.
"Ah, we just did Halderon Beta." Amelia's ears perked up. She remembered her mother talking about that. The stars in her father's eyes and the giant tree. It had been their first adventure together after they were married. She hadn't heard many stories really, from before that. Her mother had always gone silent when she'd asked and her father had changed the subject. Excellent at deflecting questions, her parents. Terrible liars. "Why do you ask?"
"Just curious." Amelia shrugged and she could feel River's eyes burning through her.
"Where is he?"
"He's not here."
"You're in the TARDIS alone?"
"Um..." Amelia hesitated. "-yes."
"I wasn't aware anyone else knew how to fly her."
"We have a special relationship."
For a moment, in her eyes, she thought she may have seen a hint of jealousy and purely on reflex, she reached for River's hands. She hadn't been expecting the jolt that shot through her as they touched. Amelia's vision went white for a moment and all of a sudden, her mind was filled to the very edges with her mother's confusion and the TARDIS filling all the gaps. Both of them, flooding her senses and taking over.
She heard River gasp, tugging on her hand as the TARDIS plucked out images at what felt like random, showing them to Amelia, clearly trying to tell her something.
Both women flew apart, their curls as wild as each other's, shooting out in all directions as they landed on the ground. "What was that?" River shrieked.
"I," Amelia staggered over her words. The images the TARDIS had given her before, of her mother and father and the golden ribbons of light, suddenly made sense. "you," She met River's eyes; her amazement clear on her face. She smiled, her heart filling with pride and love for this woman's never-ending life of sacrifice. "You saved him."
River shuddered. "Why would she show you that?" She breathed.
"Because it was what I needed to see." Amelia crawled over to her mother, grasping for her hands. River flinched away but seemed genuinely relieved when they touched and their minds stayed their own.
"You're not just his companion, are you?" She asked; her hazel eyes studying Amelia with a new knowledge.
She swallowed. "No, I'm not."
"I will understand one day, won't I?" She seemed almost afraid and Amelia reached for the ends of her hair, fiddling with a curl that rested against her cheek.
"Oh, you will." She promised. "But you have to go now."
"But the Doctor-"
Amelia smiled. "The Doctor will come for you soon. Don't forget to put this in your diary."
"I will." River nodded, climbing to her feet and stumbling a little as she moved backwards to the door. She rested her hand on the door-knob, looking intently at Amelia before licking her lips and taking a deep breath. "But before I go?"
"Yes?" Amelia smiled.
"Tell me who you are?"
"My name is Amelia."
River blinked. "That's my mother's name."
Amelia winked. "I know."
River's eyes narrowed. "Who are you?"
"Spoilers." Amelia grinned widely, liking the sound of that word on her lips. Her Mother and Father had taunted each other with it all her life, but she'd never quite understood the power of it, until now. It was a heady, all encompassing power that came with knowing all the wonderful days that were coming for this young version of the woman that had given her life so much love and meaning.
The Doctor looked up at the stars, his shoulders slumped and his eyes blurred with tears. He knew that Amy and Rory were behind him, watching, and waiting. He wasn't going to move though; he couldn't. Everything dear to him in the universe, on this day, was either dead or gone from him. He had no inclination to move, nor will to stand. He would wait.
In the Ponds garden, forever and a day, he would wait if need be.
Amelia carefully edged her way out of the TARDIS doors. The room was vast and silent, the shadows spreading all the way across, except for where the box stood in a single ray of light. She could see the walls of books beyond, lurking in the shadows and she knew better than to approach them. She knew better than to leave the light.
She was treading dangerous waters, just by being there. And the guilt was slowly starting to settle in her gut, over having abandoned her father on Earth. But she couldn't have taken him with her. He'd have tried too passionately to stop her. She didn't need anyone, right now, that was going to try and stop her.
She made her way silently towards the doors across the room. She knew where she needed to be and thanks to the TARDIS, she knew how to get there. Pulling the large maple-wood door open, she glanced back over her shoulder and the beautiful old girl with a smile. We can do this. The she promised her with her mind, feeling the warmth of the TARDIS settle there as she disappeared from sight.
They had a plan, the two of them, together. It was set. Amelia had to get to the computer core, the TARDIS was going to connect with CAL and Amelia was going to have to wait. There wasn't much she could do, beyond that. Not until her mother's body was returned to her and she had the moment to do the one thing her father would never agree to.
Against his will, TARDIS had shown her. The TARDIS had given her the tools and they both knew that if he had the power within him, he'd have done the very same thing. But he was an old man with only so many centuries left. He didn't have it to give. But she did. She had all of it and more. And besides that, she had the love that was needed, in order to give it. Her parents had gifted her the power, what was she if she didn't use it to save them?
She'd seen her mother with that same love. She'd seen what her mother had sacrificed for the love of her father. She knew what it meant. And even as her hands shook, walking towards that ghastly throne that had taken her mother, she knew that she was going to do it.
She could hear the TARDIS rematerialize behind her and she smiled as she felt that familiar breeze brushing her hair forward as the old girl appeared in the room and the entire computer core started to light up. The tall node ahead of her started to turn and she looked upon the angelic face of the young girl her father had only described. She smiled, looking down on Amelia with a knowledge that should have been beyond her. It only made Amelia believe that the young girl had ruled this silent world of books and knowledge for so many hundreds of years.
For a moment she believed that her mother could be happy there. She loved books and learning and she lived in the pages of her diary. But then she imagined her mother without the stars and her hearts literally started to hurt. She imagined her mother without the running and a tear escaped her eye. She looked over her shoulder at the TARDIS and heard the old girl hum; she knew exactly how she felt. There was no turning back.
She was going to save both of her parents today. She had to.
"Do you think he's coming back inside?" Amy questioned as she stood at the kitchen window, watching the Doctor idly swinging on the old rickety swing-set in the backyard, his head turned up to the skies.
"I don't think he'll even consider it until that box reappears."
"He's taking this harder than I've seen him take anything." Amy turned into Rory's arms, her tears escaping as his arms wrapped around her shoulders.
"His wife is dead and his child has disappeared and for the first time in his long, long life, he's powerless." Rory sighed. "How do you think you'd react to that if you were him?"
"I know, Rory, but it's getting so cold out there. I'm worried about him."
"We have to trust him, Amy."
"I don't think we can."
"Just give him time."
Amelia's hearts pounded as the lights brightened, blinding her with white light and filling the room with a warming glow. She only barely noticed CAL's smile as she pressed her eyes closed against it. There was a beating, almost like a drum; four beats filling her mind and her hearts and she knew, instinctively, that her mother was back. She had always felt that connection to her, that drumming that was warming and comforting and safe. She could always feel her mother's hearts beating along with her. The psychic connection of Timelords, her father had explained. But they were brand-new Timelords, her mother and her. It was different for them, everything was new. They couldn't just sense when each other was near; she could sense how alive she was.
At the moment, it was just barely.
The lights faded, leaving her mother perched on the throne with a horrendous crown of wires rested on her head and linked cables in her lap, though her hands were limp around them. She dashed towards her, pressing her hands to her cheeks and meeting her eye for that brief moment it took her to let go completely. River's eyes drifted closed and the drumming in Amelia's soul stopped. She knew that it was going to happen, though she hadn't ever realized that the loss would leave her so very empty. All the while she'd been in the computer core; the drumming had remained, though faint. But now, with her hands pressed to her mother's cheeks and her eyes closed tight, Amelia felt as though she'd swallowed a black-hole and it was eating away at her from the inside.
She didn't waste any time, she couldn't. She let everything else disappear from her mind, she let all thoughts subside and all wants and dreams leave her, for nothing was more powerful than her want for her plan to work. The TARDIS had done her part, downloading River's body from the mainframe, resting her back where the Doctor had last seen her. Now it was Amelia's turn.
She placed her hands on either side of her mother's face. She could feel the slow burn of the artron energy coursing through her veins as she held on tighter. The glow, starting deep within her and travelling up her arms, tingled as it filtered through her fingertips and into her mother.
River's eyes opened as Amelia's forehead touched hers. She begged her to stop, to let go; but Amelia ignored her much the way the Doctor had, so long ago. She knew what it felt like; she knew what was going to happen to her daughter. But she couldn't stop it.
Brilliant ribbons of gold and orange light surrounded them, wrapping them up and pouring through them and River sobbed with the memory of it. When she had the strength, her arms reached up and she could see Amelia's strength fading. Her daughter was falling, tumbling into her arms breathless as the light disappeared and they sat, bundled together on the throne with the tall node ahead of them.
"It is done."
River looked up at CAL, the face of the young girl she'd come to care so much about in the short time she'd been there.
"Why did you let her do this? Why did you?" River asked, directing her emphasis at the TARDIS sitting silently in the corner. "She..." River sobbed, running her hands over Amelia's curls; hugging her tight and kissing her temples. "She's my child. How could either of you let her do this?"
"It was her wish. Her desire was too great to deny." CAL smiled. "Your story isn't over yet, River Song."
River smiled through her tears, laughing with pride as her daughter's eyes fluttered open and looked straight up at her, much the way she had the day she was born. "You silly girl." River chastised, kissing her temple and Amelia just chuckled.
"I can't wait to see Dad's face." They both laughed. Amelia struggled to get upright to hug her mother properly, but when she did she hugged with all she was worth. "I couldn't imagine the universe without you, Mum. I couldn't imagine Dad without you."
"I love you." River whispered into her daughter's hair, hugging her tighter again and feeling the TARDIS spreading herself through both of their minds as though she were somehow part of the embrace.
And River agreed. She couldn't wait to see the Doctor's face.