Thanks to my awesome beta, Charina :) xx
All That Ever Could Be
River could barely breathe. A baby? No. She couldn't be pregnant, she couldn't. How would that work? And even as she thought that she knew the answer; it wouldn't. She sighed, falling back against the wall as she waited for the test to work -there was no way she could have the TARDIS run this test. It was a hidden chemist pregnancy test from Leadworth Pharmacy, her head hit against her parent's bathroom door.
The TARDIS landed in the Pond's backyard and Amy frowned. Something was different. Like the TARDIS was sad, mourning. No one bounded from the ship with a great smile and a call of "Hello Ponds!". Something was wrong.
She hesitated before stepping forward and placing her hand against the blue door. With a gentle push it opened and Amy stepped inside.
The Doctor was hunched over the console, shaking with silent sobs. He sniffed, looking up at her with a small smile full of such sadness it made her want to weep.
"Hello, Pond," he whispered hoarsely,
"Doctor, what's wrong?" Amy rushed forward, running to him, but he shook her off, shaking his head, "Doctor?"
"I can't, I can't say." He straightened up, sniffing and swallowing thickly, "Come along, Pond."
He started to walk, Amy quickly following after him, and led her to a room she had never been in before. The door swung open and the Doctor stood back, motioning for Amy to enter. She frowned at him worriedly but stepped passed him into the room, where she found River sat up in a hospital bed, a bundle of blankets in her arms. She was crying softly at the bundle, whispering words in a language Amy couldn't understand.
River looked up and a small sob escaped her throat, her eyes darting to the Doctor and back, "Mother," she whispered.
Amy walked over to her, bending down to hug her daughter, only to suddenly realise that curled within the bundles of blankets, lay a baby. And suddenly it all made sense. The tears. The quiet. They couldn't keep this baby.
Amy swallowed, tears filling her own eyes as her fingers moved of their own accord and traces the small cheek of the child, "What's," her voice was suddenly choked, "What's her name?"
The response came from behind her, at the doorway. "Penelope," the Doctor whispered, "Her name's Penelope."
She was tiny. Just a small little perfect thing made of so much love. River smiled down at her sadly, her fingers brushing over her daughter's small head and unmoving chest.
"We should name her," The Doctor murmured into her shoulder from where he stood behind her, "She, she needs a name."
River turned to look at him tearfully, "I can't do this," she whispered
"Yes you can, River. We can do this, get through this, together. You and me." He kissed her temple, holding her close and they both cried.
Because their daughter wasn't breathing. Their daughter had never been breathing. Swallowing thickly, River turned back to the body of their baby, her hand reaching out again, to hold her, just gently. "Annabelle," she told him softly,
He smiled sadly, his hand cupping their daughter's small cheek, as the other found River's. "Annabelle."
"Why did Mummy die?"
The Doctor looked down at the small boy next to him as they stood hand in hand in the very room where River had died. He sighed softly, "Mummy had a chance to save a lot of people, innocent people, and she took it."
The boy sniffed, "I don't want her to be dead. Can't you bring her back Daddy? Can't you? Please."
"I wish I could."
Tears poured down the little boy's cheeks, "But you, you can do anything,"
As his son cried the Doctor bent down, pulling him into his arms, "I'm sorry, Joshua," he whispered, pressing a kiss to the top of his head, "I can't do everything. I can't do this."
Joshua wept into his father's neck, clinging to him like her thought he might leave him too, "I want Mummy," he cried, "I want Mummy,"
The Doctor felt his heart rip just a little more as tears filled his own eyes and he held his son, rocking him gently from side to side, like River used to do, "I know." he whispered softly, "I know you do."
Jaime Song stared up at the woman she had literally run straight into at the park. She bit her lip, she wasn't supposed to talk to strangers unless her Mummy or Daddy told her it was okay, but she was also supposed to apologise if she bumped into someone.
"Sorry," she murmured quietly, trying to both talk and not talk,
The woman smiled at her, "Don't worry about it." she said, bending down to her height, "What's your name?"
"That's a lovely name. I'm Jenny."
"Jaime! Come on, Sweetheart, time to go home!" Jamie turned to the sound of her father's voice, she turned back to the nice woman and smiled,
They shouldn't be there, tucked away in a corner of the room, perception filters around their necks. But they were. The Doctor found River's shaking hand and squeezed it gently, giving her a weak smile. She returned it, and tightened her grip on his hand, trying to steady her breathing.
They called her name. Their daughter's name and River held back a sob as a figure stood from the mass of students, smiling so widely, her light auburn hair flowing over her shoulders. She had River's smile and the Doctor's frame as she bounded up the stairs at the side of the stage and stumbled on some tapped down wiring. Her peers laughed and she laughed with them, turning slightly pink but raising a hand to indicate she was alright and moved to her principal.
They shook hands and she accepted an envelope containing her graduate report from him and smiled out at the sea of students, parents and staff, her eyes found a point where she beamed in recognition and gave a small wave. River felt her heart sink a little. Her parents.
With a skip she left the stage and returned to her seat, clapping happily as the name was called, completely oblivious to the fact that her birth parents watched her with longing in their wet eyes.
"She looks so happy," River whispered,
"She looks amazing."
Hand in hand, and with one final glance to their daughter, River and the Doctor stood and walked slowly back to the TARDIS.
When enough time had passed River stood up and moved to the sink, slowly. She reached out, trying not to see, and picked up the test. Holding her breath she looked down and breathed a sigh of relief.