Author's Note: I don't own Doctor Who, I simply use the characters in my writing for my own enjoyment and hopefully the enjoyment of my readers. This is of course a fan produced work of fiction and therefore some things will not be cannon but I will be trying to keep it close. Takes place after series/season six. So if you haven't seen six yet... Spoilers. This is my first go at a Doctor Who fic, and do forgive my Americanness ahead of time, ta. :)
She moved though the kitchen silently, filling the kettle with water and switching it on, moving to the cupboard and pulling down a mug before retrieving her favorite tea from the pantry. She moved about as if she were in her own kitchen, in her own home. Truth was she didn't have a home of her own, especially now that she had been released from Stormcage. For River Song home was the people in her life, not a place. When she was with the Doctor the Tardis was home, and when she was with her parents their house in Leadworth was her home. For the past several weeks she'd been with the Doctor, traveling, exploring, having grand and wonderful adventures. She was free, having finally earned her pardon, and she and the Doctor had celebrated. Oh how they'd celebrated. They were meant to still be celebrating, but something had happened and River needed a little space from her beloved Doctor to think things through. So she'd come here, to make herself some tea and sit awhile in the warm comfort and welcome silence of her parents' house in the middle of the night.
As she waited for her tea to steep River stood by the back door looking out at the dark back garden, her thoughts lost to the events that lead her here. She was so lost in her thoughts and emotions she hadn't heard the creaks that singled movement upstairs, or the sound of feet on the stair.
"River?" Amy said softly from the kitchen doorway.
The curly haired blonde jumped in surprise at the soft, yet sudden voice of her mother. Turning she looked at redhead and smiled softly. "I'm sorry, Mother. I didn't mean to wake you. I thought I was being quiet."
"You were." Amy reassured her daughter as she came further into the kitchen. "I didn't wake up because I heard you. I woke up because, well, I guess I sensed you down here."
River smiled softly again as she watched Amy get her own mug and make herself some tea. Even before Amy knew who she was, who she truly was, there had been a bond between them. Young Amy, still so new to her companionship with the Doctor, had taken instantly to River. The two becoming close friends quickly. Of course it had all made sense once the truth was out, once Amy knew that River was her daughter Melody and that she had once been her best friend Mels. The connection between them hadn't happened instantly, it had simply just been there, and it always would be.
"Where are we?" Amy asked as she poured hot water into her mug.
"Three months since my release from Stormcage." River answered.
The red-haired Scottish woman turned with a look of surprise. "Really?"
River chuckled. "Really. Why so surprised?"
"It's been three months for us too." Amy replied. "That's very liner for us."
"Yes." River agreed as Amy carried their mugs to the kitchen table and sat down beside her. "I suppose it is."
Amy knew something was wrong, that River was troubled about something; she just needed the right moment to ask what that was. "So what have you and the Doctor been up too since you left?"
River was quiet for several long minutes before finally replying, "Oh you know me and the Doctor, lots of flirting, lots of running."
"What happened River?" Amy asked after seeing a flash of something in her daughter's green eyes. "What happened with the Doctor?"
Again the curly haired blonde was quiet for a long time. She looked away from her mother's concerned gaze, her own searching the depths of her tea.
"River, talk to me." Amy demanded gently as she reached out and put her hand on her daughter's arm. "River."
"About six weeks ago we decided we wanted to go for a swim." River said softly. "So the Doctor set course for Lakeworld."
"But?" Amy said knowingly as she titled River's head up so they were looking at each other.
"The Tardis took us some place else." River said softly.
Amy's breath caught in her chest. She knew River could take care of herself and then some, but that didn't stop her from worrying. "Where?"
River took a deep breath before saying, "Gallifrey. Or, what's left of Gallifrey anyway."
"The Tardis took you to the Doctor's world?" Amy asked, not even trying to keep the surprise off her face. "Why? I thought it didn't exist anymore. I bet the Doctor was less then happy."
"It doesn't, not really, and yes he was rather cross." River admitted before answering her mother's question with another soft sigh. "I have Time Lord DNA. I'm the wife of a Time Lord. I'm the Child of the Tardis. She thought I should finally see it, the world of the Time Lords. It wasn't as he remembered. It will never see life again, never be Gallifrey again, but it's no longer a planet of total ruin. It was rather beautiful actually."
"And the Doctor?" Amy asked. "Is he ok?"
"A little rattled." River answered. "He could tell it was a sign, that she was trying to tell us something, but he hasn't figured it out."
River tried to duck her head but Amy continued to make her look her in the eyes. "But you have?"
River's troubled expression disappeared behind her trademark smirk and bright playful eyes. "Winston sends his love."
Amy blinked. She knew what River was doing but the sudden change in conversation still shook her a little. "Churchill?"
"You made quite the expression on him, Mother." River teased with a playful smirk. "He's very found of you. Then, I suppose the feelings are mutual seeing as how my little brother's middle name is Winston." She smiled fondly as she sipped her tea before asking, "How is Vincent? And Father?"
"They're fine, River." Amy answered. "Stop trying to change the subject. What was the Tardis trying to tell you by taking you to Gallifrey?"
This was one of the reasons why River had come home to her parents' house. Not just for the comfort and peace of the place, but for her mother, who never really let her slide by on things like this. "I didn't understand until last night."
"What happened last night?" Amy asked.
"We had dinner with Madam Vastra." River continued. "That bloody man of mine distracted me while Vastra and I were testing out a couple of her new swords. She got in a lucky strike, drew blood. I went back to the Tardis to patch myself up and there it was on the full body scan."
"There what was?" Amy asked, fear lacing her words as her eyes quickly sought out any visible signs of injury or illness.
River once again grew quiet, loosing herself in her thoughts. She hadn't said it out loud, not even to herself. Saying it out loud would make it real, and making it real would mean things were changing. Until recently their time lines had been off, they'd been moving opposite each other, but then her Doctor had been there to pick her up from Stormcage and she'd been with him ever since. Amy had been right about them being very linear lately, sure they were jumping around through time and space, but they'd been doing it together. They were experiencing things for the first time together.
"River?" Amy said as she tightened her hold on her daughter's arm. "River! Melody Pond answer me! What's going on? What's wrong? What did you seen on your medical scan?"
River looked up at her mother and replied, "He always wants to be a ginger. When he regenerates, he's always disappointed when he doesn't end up a ginger." She reached out to play with a strand of her mother's red hair. "I wonder if he'll be jealous if our child is a ginger. It's possible since its grandmother's a ginger."
Bright hazel eyes grew huge at her daughter's revelation. "River! You're pregnant?"
"About seven weeks." River confirmed. "After we attended Winton's victory party and before our unexpected trip to Gallifrey we spent several days just drifting in the vortex."
Amy had the brightest smile on her face as she said, "The Tardis showed you Gallifrey as a sign of hope, hope for your future, yours and the Doctor's and my grandchild's."
River nodded with a matching radiant smile.
"I bet the Doctor is over the moon!" Amy said, but then she saw her daughter's smile falter. "Oh. You haven't told him."
"There's never been a child, Mother." River said softly. "Not in my timeline, and he's never mentioned one in his."
"Spoilers?" Amy replied.
"I suppose so." River said with a sigh.
Amy wrapped her hands around her daughter's and squeezed tightly as she asked, "What does this mean, River?"
"That things are changing." River answered as she clung to her mother's hands. "A child means everything changes."
Amy's smile brightened once more. "That's how it always is River. Melody. My Melody; who changed everything, and changed it for the better you did."
"Really?" River asked softly, a flicker of uncertainty in her eyes.
"Of course really!" Amy said as she smacked her daughter lightly on the arm. "River, you're the best thing to come out of my time with the Doctor. Don't ever doubt that! Do I wish I'd gotten to raise you properly, yes. But would I change who you are now, never. You're my daughter, River, my little girl, and I love you. Never doubt that either."
River ducked her head a little and gave her mother a bit of a sheepish look. There were still moments when River did doubt things because of her past, because of the things she'd done, and how things had played out. "I love you too, Mother. I always have, even when you didn't know who I was, I loved you enough for the both of us."
Amy smiled. Unable to hold it in anymore she popped to her feet and pulled River into her arms for a hug. "I'm gonna be a Nan!"
"I hope the Doctor takes this as well as you." River said with a laugh as she returned her mother's embrace.
"You won't know until you tell him." Amy said as she pulled back enough to look into River's eyes.
"I will." River promised. "As soon as he figures out where I am and comes to get me. Using my vortex manipulator isn't a good idea while I'm pregnant, so I'm pretty much dependant on the Tardis for now."
Amy narrowed her eyes at her daughter as she took a step back and put her hands on her hips. "River Melody Song, what did you do with the Doctor?"
River's smile was mischievous and playful. "Oh don't worry, Mother. He'll be along."
Talking to her mother had allowed River to relax enough to get a few hours of sleep. When she woke up the next morning she found she wasn't alone. He was nearly two with their father's eyes and their mother's hair and the most amazing laugh she'd ever heard. Vincent Winston Williams was absolutely adored by his older sister. "Now how did you get all the way in here from your cot in your room?" She asked the sleeping boy as she brushed hair from his forehead. Vincent's reply was to snuggle closer to her. River watched him sleep for a few moments before whispering, "You're going to be an uncle." She laughed softly. "What a strange little family we are, Vincent. Our father's a Roman Centurion. Our mother grew up telling wonderful stories about her raggedy Doctor to her best friend, who just happen to be her daughter, but she didn't know that. You have an older sister who's older then our parents, who's married to an impossible man, a brilliant mad man in a blue box. And now a niece or a nephew who's going to be younger then you are. Quite the impossible, wonderful, brilliant little family."
With her little brother snuggled close River closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep for a few more hours. When she awoke for the second time it was with chubby little hands pressed to her cheeks and a tiny nose pressed against her own. When she opened her eyes bright blue ones were staring back.
"'Ello Sweeie." Vincent said when his sister's eyes opened.
River couldn't help but smile. "Hello my little love."
Vincent snuggled against his sister who wrapped her arms around him. After snuggling for a bit longer River got out of bed and headed downstairs with her brother on her hip, his little hand firmly in her hair and a look on his little face that dared anyone to take him from his River.
"Good morning." Rory greeted when his children walked into the kitchen.
River smiled as she walked over and kissed his cheek. "Good morning, Father."
Amy, who was sitting at the table, gave her daughter a look that said she hadn't told Rory the news. It hadn't been easy, she'd been bursting to tell him, both from the excitement of it and then the realization she would be a very young grandmother. But she figured it was something River would want to tell him, so she held her tongue.
"So, are you planning on telling me what's going on?" Rory asked as he set a bowl of porridge down in front of his son while he looked at his daughter. River gave her father a look that made Rory cross his arms. "I'm not as dense as you lot think I am. I know something's up. You're mother isn't the only one who worries about you."
"There's nothing to worry about." River reassured, but her father continued to give her that look that said he wasn't going to take anything less then the truth. "I'm pregnant."
The shock played out over Rory's face and for a good minute and half he just stood there staring.
"Father?" River said softly, worriedly.
"Oi! Rory!" Amy said as she punched him in the arm.
Rory shook out of his stunned silence and quickly moved to hug River, to reassure her. He didn't have to say a word because River knew. She knew that everything her mother had whispered to her the day she was born was true even now. He was the man who never let her down and he had in fact taken on armies for her, and River knew he would do no less for her child now too.
No they weren't a normal family not by a long shot, but they were without doubt her perfect family, and now there would be one more. One she never knew she'd wanted until now. Things were about to change, but her mother was right. They were about to change for the better.