There was a unearthly silence as the Doctor stood there, his eyes closed, knowing that she was gone making the ultimate sacrifice the way her mother had so many years ago. Only for her there was no returning. River's cries broke the silence and he turned to see her holding her dead student, rocking her. He returned to her side and held her.
"She's gone River, her time is over." he finally said, still holding his wife.
River couldn't except it. "It can't be, you saved me you can save her." she said shaking her head.
"I can't. This is the end of her story. All we can do is take her with us."
They returned to the TARDIS, sending her into the Vortex, before saying the final goodbye. The Doctor began to sing in High Gallifrian, an old funeral song trying to ease the pain that they both felt. River had collapsed on the floor still holding her dead student, unable to let go. Suddenly the TARDIS flickered her lights getting both of the grieving Timelords attention.
The Doctor turned and saw what his old girl was trying to tell them. "River, you need to see this." A hologram had appeared, it was Molly smiling. River stood and walked over to the centre console, reaching for the Doctor she didn't know if she had the strength for this.
"Well, if the old girl is showing you this then everything work out the way it should have and I am no more."
River sobbed louder. This was breaking her heart.
"Professor Song, River, please don't cry, I have lived for a long time, had many wonderful lives and I regret nothing." Hologram Molly continued.
"Every story has a beginning and an end and you have seen both of mine.
I'm so glad I got the chance to get to know you again. You were and will always be a brilliant teacher and a great mum.
To see the Future you need to understand the Past and live in the Present. These are really words to live by and I wish that you both do.
I hope I lived up to my name, for all four of you." Molly was starting to lose the control in her voice as tears started to fall down her checks. This was not the best way to say goodbye but it was all she had. She had set it up just after she had recognized the signs and decided to follow her destiny.
"There is only one last thing I ask of you both before I leave - Be good to each other and love Harmony, give her a life worth dying for. I... I... I love you both."
And with that she was gone, River turned to the Doctor, tears and questions in her eyes.
He knew it was time, it would kill her but she had a right to know. "She was protecting you, she left something out. The complete prophesy said that - On the battlefields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the eleventh child, when no mortal can speak incorrectly or fail to respond, a question will be tested, a question that never, ever needs to be answered. Silence will fall when Melody joins Harmony and the question is asked."
"My Harmony?" she whispered looking down at her dead student, the child that she couldn't keep.
"No, our Harmony." he said taking both her hands in his and bringing them up to his lips. He placed a gentle kiss on them, never letting his eyes leave her water logged ones.
He held her in a tight embrace as the realization of what had happened and who it had happened to washed over her. He knew no words would heal her heart, only time would and that he would give her. They had all the time in the world. Their timeline had never been straight but at least now he knew he had longer with her and that their child would know the love that they both had for her. She pulled away, giving him a quick but soft kiss of appreciation, looking to his eyes she knew that he was hurting as much as she was.
"It's not your fault, she choose to do this, she knew and..."
He kissed her silencing her, he didn't need the death of his daughter rationalized, he understood what she was saying but for him it was just one more death he had caused, one more life he had ruined and the worst was that he had promised to protect her, that first day he held her, he had promised to be there for her and now he had to say goodbye. He took River by the hand and lead her to her daughter's body, it was time to say a final farewell.
The Doctor, went first, laying his hand on her right heart and told her. "You were and will be loved, always and completely."
River couldn't see through her tears as she lowered her hand on her child's left heart. "Yes you did" was all she could manage.
They released her body into the Vortex and watched her disappear from them for ever. "I need my mum and I want to hold my child" she said not taking her eyes of the space where her child had been.
The Doctor didn't answer just closed the doors and turned to the console. The old girl knew, sending herself to the Ponds, giving the Doctor a short moment to comfort his wife.
A red haired woman sat outside enjoying the early evening air, a small child lay on a blanket, her big emerald eyes looking up to the sky as her mother filled her head with yet again another impossible story about the stars.
She was telling her the story of a curly hair lady jumping out of an airlock, landing on top of the raggedy doctor. Harmony pointed behind her smiling and saying "Hello Sweetie" Amy laughed, she had told her about the Doctor's wife many times. "Yes honey that's what River always says to the Doctor"
"No Mummy dearest I think she was talking to me."
"River, Doctor, you here." Amy said standing and pulling her oldest daughter into her arms.
"Can't get anything passed you Pond." smiling at the site of River in her mum's arms.
Pushing Amy away River asked "Where's Father?"
After hugging her best friend she turned and answered "In the kitchen, I was having some mother - daughter time." Since leaving her mother's embrace her eyes had fallen on to the child that sat staring at the sky. Tears threatened to fall again.
"Lets go and help him" the Doctor said taking hold of Amy's arm "River needs some of that."
The little girl had turned away from the adults but was still completely aware of what was happening and that something wasn't as it should be.
The Doctor walked Amy towards the house answering all her questions that he didn't have time to answer with one word, "Spoilers".
"River, what's wrong?" she said standing up and walking over to her. At 4 years old she was already so intuitive "What did he do this time?"
"Nothing Petal" picking the young girl up and sitting down on the chair that Amy had been using moments before. With the young girl on her lap she tried to continue but it was too much for her. "I just wanted to, I mean I just needed you to, what I mean to say is..."
As all the imagines clouded River's mind, she began to sob. "Its okay" Harmony said hugging into her mum's friend "sometimes words are so hard, but symbols are easy."
Taking her little finger she traced the cut on River's arm, then she drew Rivers true name and then hers. The symbol that the Doctor had shown her on the prophesy. Tears fell fast and hard from Rivers eyes she could believe that this child, her child knew so much already.
"They are linked, just like we are" she said. Her 4 year old logic was so simply and so right.
"Yes Petal and nothing will change that, not even time or space." Holding tightly to her daughter, tears fell onto her blond hair but Harmony didn't mind, she understood that there were times when adults need to be kids and cry.
It took a few moments for River to get a hold of herself. She had never cried as much as she had in the last hour for so long. Tears never solved anything but at the moment that was all she had.
"Are you lot joining us?" she said in a cheery voice, wiping the last of the tears she was willing to shed today. She knew that they had been standing there, watching her, worrying about her.
"I have a great story for you all tonight" she smiled watching her Mother, Father and Husband, her little impossible family, join her and her daughter. When they were all seated she added "The story of a good friend of mine," she paused looking to the Doctor for reassurance, he nodded and she smiled "Doctor Molly Irving."
A Note from AEK
I own nothing but my ideas.
Thank You to everyone that read this and those few that have reviewed. You have made this lonely dreamer very happy. With only a few months to go I can't wait to see what The Moff has in store for them.