"Memory . . . is the diary that we all carry about with us." ~Oscar Wilde
She's sliding. The last light to go out.
She never grew up with her parents.
She never ran.
She never fell in love.
She never ever always. She always did these things. She's sliding down to the ground, the fixed point of their marriage holding her here in reality. She clutches the diary which never always had words in it, presses its sharp edges to her chest, the corners biting into her fingers.
It never had any words. (It had brilliant words, words that could change galaxies, disrupt governments, topple gods. It held so many, many secrets. Spoilers.)
What are spoilers? Someone told it to her once . . . someone special. Someone she'd researched. Even did her thesis on him.
That's right. She's a doctor. Doctor River Song, archaeologist.
"Who's River Song?" They all turn to look at her. Her mother, her father, and him. His hair flops over into his face, shading the shock in his eyes. He looks good in that olive colored duster.
"Spoilers? What's spoilers?" And he's looking at her, and the look on his face is so adorable and confused she wants to smack it off his face. (Later she'll kill him dead and kiss him well.)
A doozy of a first date. Ooh. Doozy? Never using that again.
"Are you alright?" She looks up. Rory. Dad. Daddy.
Daddy, I don't want to disappear. I'm disappearing. Help me. Please, help me.
He's wearing a suit for the wedding. The wedding. She remembers now. All those blank pages bound in blue. She remembers why she's here. Her parent's wedding. She hadn't been able to attend before, because she knew he'd be there. She remembers him tracing words on the small of her back, whispering in her ear: You were there, and you were so brilliant. So brilliant. You gave Amy the diary, helped her remember. So, so brilliant. And then you teased me. I wanted to kiss you just like this. Then he kisses her as an apology for that one time he didn't kiss her at all.
Why hadn't she remembered it before? Perhaps it hadn't happened till now.
Rory is kneeling next to her. He's worried. She smiles at the thought. Little Rory Williams: always following her and Amelia around on their adventures. Well, to be honest, more following Amelia around really. Mels was just an afterthought. But she paid attention to Rory when Amelia never gave him the time of day. So she became friends with him first.
Today, on the day of her parent's wedding, Mels had stolen a vortex manipulator and ran to Maltraxis V, where she'd accidentally (and much to her disgust) saved the world.
Wild, wild nights. Quiet days in Leadworth.
Here, now, her vision clears. "I'm fine," she tells her best friend. Dad, I'm fine. She's sitting in front of the post office; Rory must have been on his way to the reception hall. Where was the rest of the wedding party? "I'm fine," she says again, getting up off the ground. Oddly enough she's wearing a black evening dress, and pearls, and a cape. Apparently she was going to the opera.
"Don Giovanni! Brilliant!"
"Careful sweetie. If you get any more excited you'll give yourself a conniption, and then where would I be?"
"River, I'll have you know that Time Lords do not get conniptions. We are blissfully conniption free."
"You're crying," Rory tells her. "That doesn't look fine to me."
"Am I?" Surprised, she touches a hand to her cheek. "Why am I doing that?"
"Perhaps they're happy tears."
"No." She knows they aren't happy. They were not, could never be happy. Because . . . because . . . She looks up to find Rory Williams staring at her. He's on his way to a wedding. (The corners of her reality, breaking apart.) "You're getting married."
His smile is radiant. Two thousand years, she thinks, and wonders why. "Oh, yes," he says. "I am. To the most loveliest girl in the world."
"Every groom thinks his bride is the loveliest in the world."
"River! River! This is ridiculous! That would mean nothing to anyone. It's insane. Worse, it's stupid! You embarrass me."
(Not every groom.)
"No, no, Amy's the best."
Amy. Amy. Amy Williams. She looks down at the blue book in her hands, then hands it to the groom. "Please," she tells him. "For her. Your bride. A wedding present. I'm sorry it's so last minute, but you know how these things are."
He takes it from her, confused, flips through the blank beginningmiddleend. "A diary."
"Yes. To record wonderful things. Give it to her. Something blue."
"Like that old wedding thing."
She's sliding. A dim light, flickering closed in the dark.
She doesn't really remember what happens next. (Reality collapsing. Time collapsing, every point in time. Five-oh-two PM. Why is everything always collapsing?)
She struggles to hold onto him, even as she staggers around a town that she can't quite recall the name to anymore. But she knows it's very dear to her.
Who was he?
She can't quite remember, but he's her husband (she was never married) and that's important. Wives loved their husbands, right? He had a ridiculous face and he loved her. (He never existed to love her.) That was (is) important.
Love is important.
She is walking past a window, and inside she sees a reception for a wedding. (She can't remember her own wedding.) She briefly makes eye contact with the bride. The bride, her mother, her other best friend.
Amy. Amy Amy Amelia.
Remember us all back, the universe pouring into your head because of the crack in your wall.
Remember blue boxes. Please.
She's sliding into sunshine.
"Did you dance? Well, you always dance at weddings, don't you?" (Well, except our own, but we did a different kind of dancing later, so that's alright.)
He turns towards her. The book is in his hands. "You tell me."
She smiles at him. "Spoilers." They walk towards one another; they meet in the middle. The look in his eyes is fond. It's not love, not quite yet, but it's getting there.
Next time she won't even have that.
"The writing's all back but I didn't peek." She knows that he totally did look, but that peeking, for him, means that he hadn't read anything at all.
"Thank you." She takes her memories from him, tucks them under her arm. He hands her Jack's vortex manipulator next; she'll have to remember to give that back to him someday. As she winds it around her wrist, he asks her a question, one that makes her want to cry.
"Are you married, River?" She looks up at him, at his daft, young face. No. She can't tell him yes. Yes. Yes. I am married.
"Are you asking?" Flirting. Yes. Flirting is safe with her not-yet husband. Be a mystery. Don't show him how much you're hurting inside.
His voice lowers, rasping in the back of his throat. "Yes."
She smiles at him. "Yes." I am married. Yes, I will marry you. Yes, I love you, till death do us part.
It finally registers in that giant Time Lord, socially addled brain of his that the question could be misconstrued into something entirely different than what he originally meant. She can see the moment it clicks. "Hang on, did you think I was asking you to marry me, or-or-or asking if you were married?"
"But was that yes or yes?"
She whispers it. Always and forever. No matter what. "Yes." She isn't even bothering to pretend anymore.
He sighs, looking at her. "River. Who are you?"
Not her Doctor. Not her Doctor.
Not her husband.
"You're going to find out very soon now. And I'm sorry. But that's when everything changes."
"I didn't do this! This wasn't me!"
"This was exactly you. All of it!"
Everything changes. Everything. (It is only after Demon's Run when she realizes that she knows more than everyone now.)
Not her husband.
River presses the button on the manipulator that will take her home to prison. If she stays any longer she'll start crying.
Till death do us part.