The Doctor stood at the controls of his TARDIS. She was being stubborn.

"But what if I don't want to see River just now?" he asked, working levers and buttons.

The console's lights blinked and the viewscreen went inevitably back to the picture of River Song, asleep on her bunk in the Stormcage.

"But why?" Damn. He sounded whingey. Only she (both of them) had the power to make him feel and sound like a small boy. He sighed and tried to reason with her. "Look, Old Girl. After what happened there on the pyramid she probably doesn't want to see me. What? Oh yeah... back to front timelines. We're not really back to front, you know, I saw her regenerate from Mels to River when Hitler was in the cupboard and I've seen her as River before and since. She... what? Oh, all right then. But if she hates me it's your fault, d'you hear?" He threw up his hands in disgusted resignation. "Oh, and Sexy? I... if she doesn't hate me... that's on you too." He opened the TARDIS doors, expecting a cheerful Hello Sweetie. Or a slap - with River he was never sure.

But she was still asleep, curled up on her side, looking ridiculously sweet and innocent, considering who and what she was. 'Wait, why hadn't the sound of the TARDIS... oh Sexy, really? A silent materialization, and why exactly?' He rolled his eyes. 'All right then, if we're going to be that way about it, I'll have to sonic her door open very very carefully'... and it swung silently open at his touch. Looks like his TARDIS really wants him to surprise River. He crept to the bed and let himself down on the floor next to it very gently so as not to wake her. He leaned over her and whispered in her ear, "River." He kissed the ear and breathed her name again. She began to stir and as she did he trailed tiny kisses from the ear to her mouth, whispering the name with each kiss. She stretched, and without opening her eyes said what he'd been waiting to hear.

"Hello, Sweetie."

He breathed a sigh of relief. She wasn't angry with him. He bent to kiss her again, but she stopped him, shoving him over and sitting up. "And what sort of time do you call this?" She grinned at him, hauled him up next to her on the bed, and threw her arms around him. 'Well', he thought, 'this is rather nice, but what... wait, is River crying?' He gently unwound her arms from round his neck and peered at her. She did seem to be crying, although he couldn't see her eyes from here. He put one finger under her chin and tilted her face up. She didn't resist. That was a bad sign. He didn't see any tears on her face but they were there, all there in her eyes. She took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes. "I need to ask you something. And I need you to tell me the truth. Promise me. Please."

He'd never seen this mood from River. She was tempestuous, but he'd never known her to be erratic like this. He nodded. "Rule One temporarily in abeyance. Cross my hearts."

"Have we... you and I... ever... made love in your timeline?"

He thought about making a flippant remark about how-about-right-now, but the look on her face, the tears in her eyes... he shook his head, his eyes never leaving hers. "Then... would you... would you... love me... one last time, before you forget me? Before you forget us? I..." she choked up, unable to continue.

He took her face in his hands. "River Song. My clever, beautiful, lovely River Song. You've no idea how precious to me you have become. And equally precious to her... she brought me here, knowing that whatever I want, what I need is my brilliant, wild, utterly delightful River Song."

And they came together and loved one another, each afterward going their separate ways, but each secure in the knowledge that at least once, they had been loved. And Sexy saw that they loved and was content that her people had loved.