Even through all of the running, he still held her hand.
Rule 408: Time is not the boss of you.
All his people, under all of the different perfumes, had that same smell of cinnamon. She smelled like cinnamon and human, a strange mix of the exotic and the mundane. Because humans did smell mundane (all a bit domestic), although the very clever ones sometimes took him by surprise by smelling a bit bright. Splashes of color against a gray walled room.
River had always smelled colorful, and when he had first met her he had simply assumed that she was just very, very clever. But not too clever—she was an archaeologist, after all. He laughed at archaeologists; they always got things wrong.
Wrong. She had him all wrong this time round. Back to front. He can see now how it must have been for her—how utterly stupid he had been. Stupid and rude and not ginger. In this new body he was a bit less rude, but still very stupid. It was only now, as she hated him, that he realized just how stupid.
The kidneys are always the first to go.
Wibbly-wobbly, River. Did you know?
You shoot my hats.
Rule 27: Never knowingly be serious.
He wants to make her laugh. Witty banter, flirting. He's always alright, even as he cries.
And he wants to look his best. Wear the tails, and the top hat. River had not objected to this hat; and besides, it wouldn't do to not look good at his own wedding. Funeral. A wedding and a funeral, both on the same day. That was new.
But forget the funeral.
Names are important.
And he gave her his name.
"Well, I'm sure she knows."
Right now—right now, she does. River. River—oh River. I brought you biscuits.
Rule 07: Never run when you're scared.
He'd wanted to run. Oh God, how he'd wanted to run. That whisper, tickling against his ear; and her breath, warm against the word she gave him. Waiting for the darkness to gobble them up, standing in that circle of artificial light. So close to him. He'd shivered, and stared at a point just beyond the red halo of her hair.
There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name.
He was dying now, but he'd never been as frightened as when a stranger knew his name.
There's only one time I could...
Oh God. What had he done? Will do?
She knew his name.
Rule 01: The Doctor lies.
But running he held her hand.
And the running was never a lie.
Oh River—the only water in the forest is a river. I promise, not one line. Not one line. You knew my name.
Oh River—all of time and space. Next stop everywhere. You watch us run, River.
You watch us run.
My first Doctor Who fan fiction ever. I thought it was about time I slapped it up here. ~madis