Once again, I ask that you spare a few minutes to tell me what you think. It means a lot.

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.

River had been way too elusive lately. Every time the Doctor had tried to contact her, he was left with absolutely no reply. It couldn't just be a coincidence at this point, either. He had tried everything. He had left notes, sent gifts, and even stopped by in person, only to find that her cell was mysteriously empty.

His first thought was that she was missing, but this had been proven wrong by the guards, who claimed to have seen her only minutes before. That ruled out death as well. So if she wasn't gone or dead, then why wasn't she replying? Didn't she want to see him?

Then it occurred to him. It must be something he hadn't done yet. After all, he had been trying to contact River at the same point in her time stream with every attempt. Therefore, his future self must have done something to upset her. Now if he could only find out what. . .

He pondered these things as he stood in the console room staring at the scanner. As he was deciding what his next move would be, he set the scanner to River's cell in Stormcage, on the off-chance that she was actually in there.

To his amazement, she was. River was sitting on her bed, flipping through her diary. The Doctor then decided to land and confront her about whatever was upsetting her. He cloaked the TARDIS in order to be discreet. He kept the scanner on, though, as River had taught him to do.

As the TARDIS materialized, she looked up in a mixture of shock and fear, and the Doctor smacked himself in the forehead. He had forgotten to turn the breaks off. River quickly unlocked her cell and took off running down the hallway.

The Doctor jumped out as soon as he could and ran after her. Not knowing exactly which way she went, he had to guess by listening for her footsteps. He was now running faster than he ever had, which was quite an accomplishment considering how often he had to run for his life.

Finally, he turned a corner into a dead end. Luckily, River had done the exact same thing and was now looking for any possible way out. But the Doctor was blocking her exit.

At last, she turned to him, her face a mask of fear. He almost couldn't take it. She had never looked at him like that before, and all he could think about was what he must have done to make her look at him like he was a monster.

"River. I've been trying to contact you for weeks. Please, just tell me why you haven't been responding. I know it must be something I'll do in the future, but if you tell me, maybe I can change it," his voice was desperate, pleading.

She was now hyperventilating, tears coming into her eyes. "It's not…You didn't…I just can't, my love."

"River, please! If you don't tell me, I can't fix it. I know you're hurt and angry and upset, but I can make that go away. Just tell me what I did wrong." At this point he was practically shouting, tears now visible in his eyes, as well.

She was now completely backed up against the wall, as if she was trying to get as far away from him as possible. She hadn't been planning on replying, but something he had said needed an answer. "Sweetie, it wasn't you. It was never you."

This confused him. "What do you mean it wasn't me?"

"I can't let you go around thinking you did something wrong. You didn't. It was all my fault." At this she broke down. She sunk to the ground and burst into tears, hiding her face. This was one of the only times the Doctor had seen her cry, because it wasn't something that happened very often. Now all she could do was repeat the same thing over and over: "I'm so, so sorry."

He rushed to her side, trying to comfort her. But to his utter amazement, when he tried to rest a hand on her back she scooted away. At this, he couldn't help but feel hurt. "River?"

She was now backed into the corner. "Please stay away. Just stay away," she sobbed.

"If I've done anything at all to cause this, please just tell me. I can take it."

"I can't hurt you again!" she shouted. "I . . . I can't control it."

Finally it all clicked in the Doctor's head like the pieces of a puzzle coming together. She must have hurt him somehow in his future. It made sense, considering she had been trained to kill him. The fear in her eyes wasn't fear of him, but rather, fear of hurting him again.

"River," he continued, softer now, "I don't know exactly what happened or what will happen, but what I do know is that you can control it. You've fought back your childhood for so long, it doesn't control you. You have the ability to choose."

At this, she looked up, quiet now. The Doctor saw in her eyes that she was trying to believe what he had said, and that it was working. He now began to inch toward her slowly and cautiously. When he saw that she made no attempt to move away, he pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her protectively.

They stayed like this for a moment, while River cried silently into his shoulder. Finally, he helped her to her feet and led her back down the corridors and into the TARDIS. Neither of them said anything on the walk back, and she didn't object to going with him.

He walked over to the controls and began to turn knobs and pull levers. Then he felt her hand on his arm, signaling him to turn around. When he did, River pulled him into a long, gentle kiss that got more and more passionate until they were both out of breath.

She buried her head into his chest as he pressed kisses into her hair. He heard her whisper two words, so quiet that he could just barely make them out: "Thank you."

I'd have to say that this is probably one of my favorites that I've written. Anyone agree? Please review! Also, if you have an idea, but don't want to write it, PM me.