AN ~ I started this a while ago, and was looking through some unfinished fanfictions when I found the beginnings of it. Once I read through that, the rest of it almost literally wrote itself. This oneshot is a little (ok a LOT) steamier than what I usually write, so I've marked it as M though it may have been able to scrape a T in some people's books. But its sweet rather than smutty – or at least, that what I was aiming for – so whatever you might rate it, I hope you enjoy it.
While I'm here, I would like to take the opportunity to ask you all to bring Doctor Who Down Under (ie to Australia, where I am XD):
http:/www . change . org/petitions/british-broadcasting-company-bring-doctor-who-to-australia# (get rid of the spaces)
Their laughter died down as the sun set behind them, bathing the concert hall they had just left and the grassy knoll they were now climbing in a soft, rosy light. The couple walked with casual banter and a quiet peace that matched the night settling around them until they reached the top of the hill. Here, both of them paused and turned, looking back at the concert ground; the elegant structure was now bathed in silvery moonlight, with just the last few streaks of strawberry sunlight remaining.
The Doctor dropped to the grass, propping himself up with his elbows so he could observe the enchanting scene. River - careful of her new knee-length, amber-and-green parachute dress - sat beside him, quietly humming the last melody as a soundtrack to the blissfully silent night.
"You know," the Doctor said, letting his elbows drop so that he was lying on his back, "I miss this. Just sitting. Humans never take the time to just sit."
"Humans have a busy life," River pointed out, fiddling absently with his bowtie as she spoke. "Plus, they don't have a time machine, and they need sleep, so they can't afford to spend the whole night staring at the moon."
"Unless they're Galileo. Galileo was cool."
River snorted with laughter, smiling down at her beautiful idiot, where he lay grinning up at the stars as if he dreamed of them just like the rest of the world. She shuffled down beside him, not minding the grass stains so much this time, and let her hair frizz out like a small explosion, cushioning her head as she looked up at the stars and listened to the Doctor recount stories of Galileo and Queen Victoria's stargazing husband and werewolves drowning in moonlight.
After a while there was a pause in his storytelling, and that feeling began to sink in. The feeling that they were drifting apart. Between them, their fingers were still intertwined, but already River could feel his hand slipping out of hers. Always goodbye. The inevitable goodbye.
She looked over at the side of his face.
"How late is this?" she asked.
The Doctor turned onto his side and swapped the hand in hers so that he could prop up his head.
"How late? For you?" River repeated. "It's early for me, and as far as I can tell..."
"No idea," the Doctor confessed. "Your timeline is backwards to mine but its not the same way for me; not chronological. I met past you and future you in the same day, a few times. It's not an exact science...except for the end."
He stopped, realising he had said too much, but River had already caught his slip up.
"What do you mean?" she pressed.
River sighed, and returned her eyes to the glistening stars above their heads. "Always that word. Why can't you tell me anything?"
"You made me swear – you will make me swear. And not even the Oncoming Storm is going to cross River Song – then or now."
"Isn't that a spoiler?"
"No...not exactly...I mean technically...yes. But-"
"Don't worry, I'm sure I'll slip you a few too."
The last time I saw you...
The Doctor leant over and kissed her for a moment, leaving her slightly bewildered.
"What was that for?" she asked with a quirked smile, propping herself up on one elbow to match him.
"I love you," he replied earnestly – and with a solemnity in his eyes that erased the smile from her lips and replaced it with concern. "Remember that, because one day in your life, I'm going to forget it."
Her mouth dropped open a little as she struggled for a response. As if he wanted to pretend he hadn't said anything, the Doctor returned to lying on his back, staring up at the stars.
"A wise man once told me 'You cannot change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future.'"
"And who was this? The Dalai Llama?" River salvaged a coy smile, clinging to the evening's former serenity, as she again fingered the coarse red fabric at his neck with her free hand
"Nope. A fisherman."
She felt the smile slipping away again. Her gut twisted slightly, scarring the perfection of the night like a pebble causing ripples in a perfect, flat pond. Her fingers curled away from his bowtie. As if he hadn't noticed until that moment that she had let go of his hand in the first place, the Doctor entwined her fingers with his and rested both their hands together on his chest. He closed his eyes, savouring their proximity.
"I love you," he croaked again. "I wish it didn't have to be this way. I'm-"
River hurried to kiss him - to drown out that word, that terrible word. His free hand automatically moved to the small of her back, as if to hold her against him, though the press was only light; he didn't want to pin her down. She let her lips linger, and a tear slid down her cheek. It was a tear of sadness, yes, and sadness for what was yet to come, but it was also one of tenderness, and of love, and of happiness that their sadness did not have to be at this moment.
"River," the Doctor breathed, his voice on the very edge of existence as he stared into her eyes, only inches away, glistening in the fragments of silver moonlight that made it past the thick canopy of her hair. "Are you okay?"
"I'm always okay," she replied in a matching tone.
He pulled her down with just the slightest pressure, smiling gently against her lips as they kissed, as naturally as breathing. She was like him in so many ways, and yet different enough to fit: it was as if she had been designed for him, even physically, as she began to melt into the nooks and crannies he was long accustomed to, but she was just discovering. Moving so slowly was exquisite but maddening: usually, River had been the driving force of their sexual congress, but now it was as though she was waiting for him, teasing him with a nip on the lips and pulling off his bowtie. He tangled his fingers into her wild hair, steering the kiss, testing how big a step he could take before she became uncomfortable: it was only to be expected that she had trust issues, and he knew she would rather not cross that line than try to deal with it afterwards.
"Mmm, Doctor," she purred instead, leaning into him in such a way that he groaned into her mouth.
"River." His voice was gruff with desire, but at the same time reverent, as he held her against him and rolled her onto her back. She quickly stripped him of his jacket, though it seemed his hands never left the zipper of her dress. As she began to tear his buttons open with increasing fervour, he pulled her dress over her head and tossed it to the grass beside them. He was getting restless now, burning up, and he sincerely hoped River would follow through with the act she had already begun.
"Doctor!" she gasped as his lips danced across her clavicle, her powerful shoulders trembling though she could no longer feel the cool evening air. She tore his shirt away, and wondered if he felt the depth of her fingers in his back. If he did, it was only encouraging him: she could feel the desire coiling in her belly, and she knew it must be doubled for him, who no doubt had done this with her before – and if future occasions turned out anything like she was planning, he had experienced great, powerful and possibly frightening prowess at her hand.
"River..." he mumbled into her skin as he painted it with kisses, not wanting to make it a question, and lacking the words to anyway. She guessed at the rest of his implied sentence, and reached for his belt. Here she let her hands work slowly, despite the Doctor's increasingly desperate kisses as he tried not to cry out against her breasts, her shoulders or her lips.
When at last she was finished with his belt and his zipper, he kicked off his shoes and skilfully shimmied his pants out of the way.
"Ah!" River shrieked gleefully, and breathlessly, at the strange but pleasant feeling that danced up between her legs and around her heart as their underwear and naked, electric-charged flesh connected. "Oh!" The bizarre, hopelessly ecstatic smile that lit up her face made the Doctor smile too as he returned his lips to hers, their bodies grinding against each other with a passion.
"So...Oncoming Storm." She smiled cheekily at him, her lids half-closed. He grinned back, getting the feeling that he was being put up to a challenge. One which, given his previous training, he knew he could achieve. "What are you waiting for?"
His grin turned into a devious smile, and River cried out once more as – almost before she could feel it – the Time Lord slipped both of their undergarments out of the way. She bit his lip, strangling a joint cry of ecstasy as he plunged inside of her. The world around them seemed to disappear entirely: the grass beneath them, the sky above them, the very moment in time they lay together in. All they could feel was this glorious unity of opposites: deep thrusts, shallow breaths; loud shouts, soft moans; fast, fiery passion and at the same time, languid luxuriousness.
"Doctor!" As River's eyes were tempted to roll back in her head at the power of it all, she tried to put this exquisite feeling into words. She wasn't sure what those words were intended to be, and they certainly didn't make it out in their original forms, but they fell on deaf ears anyway, as the Doctor had lost the ability to think in anything but his native language – TARDIS translation or no.
Suddenly, everything exploded.
It was as though the very dimensions of existence were bending around them; like they were suspended in one moment of pure perfection as they both tumbled from their highs. Heat rushed from their bodies like a neutron star collision, as if they had to light up the rest of space and time for all eternity. It was as though their exalted spirits had been separated from their exhausted bodies for one long, exquisite moment. But for all the things it was like, there could never be a perfect description of this- this-
"This feeling," River moaned when at last she had her words back. A few locks of her wild hair were plastered to her face with sweat; others driven even wilder by their evening. Her shoulders heaved and her body quivered as the last of her energy evaporated, and she had never known weakness to be such a wonderful sensation. "Oh Doctor – catch me."
"Always." The Doctor chuckled breathlessly beside her, for they were still lying on the ground, so River had nowhere to fall. Grinning like she loved so much, he wrapped a hand around one of hers as though he could promise never to let it go. He thought of the skyscraper in New York, and of the Byzantium, and he smiled to himself. "Always."