She is brilliant.

The Doctor simply stared. Everything she did, she excelled at. He crept into a shadowy corner of the Tardise's unused music room and sat quietly in a chair.

River was playing the piano.

Dressed only in a thin nightgown and lacy pullover she swayed softly as she played a low dreamy piece, her fingers caressed the keys with as much familiarity as she held a gun.

When had she found the time to learn to play the piano? Where had she learned it? Surely not in an abandoned orphanage, or in Stormcage.

Yet, she played as perfectly as she did everything else. Sometimes he was jealous of how well she did everything. Well, not really, he was actually impressed, and rather smugly proud.

No doubt her childhood had driven her to excel at whatever she attempted. That thought brought a pang of grief and guilt. But look at what it had created!

He could only imagine what she could have achieved if she'd been able to train on Gallifrey. The whole universe could have been her oyster. Yet, she wasn't bitter. She was the least bitter person he'd ever met.

His hearts swelled. It wasn't that she was brilliant, or strong, or beautiful, it was what she'd made of herself that made him love her. His wife.

"Why are you sitting way back there, sweetie?" she asked without looking up from the Chopin Nocturne she'd segued into.

He jumped, unaware that she'd noticed him. "You play beautifully," he said.

She turned on the bench and smiled at him, all glowing softness in the spotlight of the Tardis. "Come play with me," she said.

His hearts pattered like a lovesick boy's. He stumbled toward her and collapsed on the bench. She laughed. It tinkled against his ears like bells. He had it bad.

"So what shall we play?" she asked, her fingers still unconsciously picking out the lovely strains of the Chopin Nocturne, the music briefly swelled, then trailed gently away.

He watched her hands on the keys, such small competent hands, lethal, loving, graceful.

"I'm not as good as you."

She laughed. "Improvise," she said archly.

He grinned. Oh, how she knew him.

He pecked out Chopsticks with his long bony fingers. She grinned and matched him. He elaborated. She countered. Pretty soon Chopsticks was gamboling over the keyboard like a couple of frolicking lambs. Under the piano their feet fought and flirted for the pedals. She nudged his shoulder, he tickled her pinkie. They laughed and segued into a Beethoven duet, a Broadway musical, the Beatles, Liberace...

Soon the Tardis corridors were rocking with the pounding strains of "Great Balls of Fire!"

In the console room, the Tardis hummed smugly to herself. Warmed by love and laughter, she bumped and grinded her way through space.

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