They stood on a hill, looking down at a city of crystal spires that sparkled like all the stars in the night sky. Even the denizens were made of liquid crystal, glittering in the light of this planet's white sun.
River was looking down at it as avidly as he had the first time he'd seen it. Eyes wide, fascinated. He could practically see her brain cataloging everything, marveling, dissecting it with her archeologist's eye, absorbing the sheer wonder of it.
He loved that about her, how alive she was, burning with vitality.
How could he have ever doubted what he felt for her?
"River," he said softly.
She turned to him, gray-green eyes as clear as water, and as deep, shining.
He smiled and cupped her face in his hand. She cuddled her cheek in to his palm, eyes closing, and his hearts swelled and constricted at the same time, filled so full they ached.
He cleared his throat, "River..."
"Yes, sweetie?" She didn't open her eyes, but she smiled. She was such a flirt. He remembered how much that used to terrify him.
He slid his hand away and drew a fingertip down her nose. She blinked open her eyes and grinned at him.
"River," he started again, hesitantly, his chest heavy with old guilt. He'd hurt her, he would hurt her, and he never meant to. He never wanted to again. There was no way to prevent it, except... "Eventually you are going to start meeting younger and younger mes. And I just wanted to say, don't take what he says and does too personally. He doesn't know. He won't understand... And, I just..."
"Isn't this spoilers?" she commented.
"No. Not exactly. I..." he struggled with his thoughts, everything he felt.
"What are you trying to say, sweetie?"
"Don't take what he says to heart," he blurted out. He pressed his forehead to hers. "Just remember. I was young, I was a fool. And I loved you even then."
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