A/N: Okay, so I know this story has been a long time coming and I'd like to thank everyone still reading it. Especially (and I mean especially) quibilah for the unending support and basically putting up with my ranting about random stuff and reading through my ideas.
"River, River!" The Doctor paused upon his revelation that River was not in fact in her cell. "River? Where are you? You know I hate it when you play games on me… River?" The last iteration of her name came when he saw a shadow moving down the corridor. But when he heard the sound of a plasma gun charging up, he ducked, fast. "What did I do this time?" He shouted from his hiding place behind the big blue box that was making a sort of humming noise that sounded suspiciously like laughter.
"You're late… again." River didn't just sound angry this time, she sounded furious.
"And how do you know I'm late? Technically I can never be late." The Doctor sounded slightly smug as he pointed out the flaw in her logic.
"Really, well you weren't saying that last time when you were late." River looked dangerously close to shooting him and he really wanted to make sure that he lived.
"What do you mean, last time? You've never yelled at me about that!" The Doctor looked confused and now River looked confused. "I'm in the wrong time, have we done Jim the Fish yet? Have you even gotten my message?" This time it was River who looked confused at the uttering of the name.
"No, who's Jim the Fish?"
"I'm early." The Doctor whispered softly, "You're going to kill me next time you see me… or not. Because if we met then and you knew about now that means that you'll forgive me. I hope."
"Sweetie, what are you talking about?" River looked torn between amusement and wanting to hit him. The Doctor was silently cheering amusement on.
"It's nothing; want to go on an adventure?" The Doctor looked so eager, that despite already having just left with him, she nodded her head, happy to fly away with him once again.
I'm going to kill him. That was River's first thought when she opened the doors to see her parents backyard. "Doctor…" She said warningly to him. He knew that tone. That was the one she used when she was about to kill him.
"What did I do wrong now, Ekskursioonide is a beautiful planet. How can you not…" He trailed off as he came to the door and saw where they were. "Oh," He said weakly. "Well, that is quite clearly not Ekskursioonide and-" Here he was cut off by the impending announcement of Amelia Pond's arrival.
The sound of rushing footfalls was their only warning. "I'm going to bloody kill him!" My sentiments exactly mother, River thought smugly.
"Do you know what you've done, sweetie?" She asked him softly.
"I was about to ask you the same question." He responded just as quietly.
"I'm going to kill you!" Amy shrieked, the moment she came within sight of them.
"What for?" The Doctor shouted back at her, sounding more confused than when he'd turned up on River's (metaphorical) doorstep. "I don't know what I've done wrong. You can't hurt me. I'm innocent!" He protested, pouting hilariously in River's opinion. Amy stopped suddenly, "You don't know!" She said sounding partly enraged and partly disappointed.
"Not yet, Amy." The Doctor said, still confused as before. "What have I done wrong?" He asked petulantly knowing that she couldn't tell them.
"Spoilers," She said fatly, the disappointment ringing clear in her voice. "Oh, now you've got me doing it. I'll have to yell at you later, when you know what you've done wrong. Come in, come in. It's been a while." She said conversationally, her anger dropping away like a shed article of clothing. And I should probably be worried that that's the first analogy that comes to mind.
River was rather annoyed with her husband. He had promised an adventure but instead she had spent three hours at her parents and now he was trying to fix the TARDIS so they could go to the planet that he'd promised to take her to. She was, in a word, upset and trying to talk her husband into leaving the wiring alone. "Doctor, if you'd just listen to me. She doesn't need fixing. She just needs for you to take a little care."
River was upstairs next to the console calling down to her husband who was sitting in his swing seat trying to fix the TARDIS who was throwing up sparks every time he touched something. The TARDIS hummed in agreement to River's comment and more sparks flew at the Doctor along with a few cables and a pair of pliers that fell down to land on his head. "Ouch, what did you go and do that for?" He said, throwing the pair of pliers back up at her. The TARDIS made a dissatisfied noise and dropped the pliers on his head a second time. "Sexy!" He said disapprovingly.
"Well, you threw them at her first, my love." River said her statement backed up by the TARDIS as she made another agreeable sound.
"That's not the point, River." He exclaimed in response. He fumbled for a bit, trying to come up with a point and failing. "That's not the point." He said weakly instead. River tossed back her head and laughed.
"Sweetie that is exactly the point and you're just making my case for me." River's voice turned sour as she added the next bit. "So is there anyone else you'd like to visit now? Perhaps Craig or even just land us somewhere and then get us arrested." The Doctor looked up from his work to eye her off.
"What's wrong?" He said confused, staring up at her from underneath the glass.
"I'm fine." She said primly and flounced off. The Doctor watched her go, unsure of whether to follow her. Was this one of the times when she said she was fie and really wasn't or when she said she was fine and she really was. He was making himself more and more confused thinking about the possibilities. He quickly walked up the stairs to the console picked up the phone and dialled a number. Please let him know who River is, Sexy. He thought, stroking the console gently. The TARDIS hummed in a thoughtful manner before the phone began to dial. After three rings, Amy picked up.
"Hello, Amy speaking."
"Pond, hello! I was wondering if I could speak to Amy for a second, please." The Doctor could hear Amy's sound of surprise.
"So the phone does work, I was beginning to wonder. Rory! Phone for you!" She called out away from the phone.
"Yes the phone does work! Of course it works!" The Doctor heard the sound of the phone being snatched and then Rory came on.
"Hello?" He said, not knowing who was on the other end.
"Rory the Roman, hello. I'm in a little bit of trouble here and I need your help." The Doctor didn't want to say too much in case he didn't know who River was.
"What have you done now? Are you trying to fix her when she doesn't need to be fixed?"
"That's what River said too!" The Doctor's pout was out in full force.
"Is River there too? Can I talk to her?"
"Umm…" The Doctor said, pulling at his bowtie. "Yes, well… that's actually the problem."
"What have you done?" Rory's voice had ditched conversational and moved straight onto protective father and the Doctor remembered he was rather adept with a sword.
"I don't know. I was fixing the TARDIS-" At this comment sparks flew out of the console and the Doctor hurried corrected his mistake, "-Unnecessarily of course." There was a satisfied hum. "And we were talking and then River stormed off."
"Go after her." Rory said without even thinking. "Just go after her, apologise unreservedly and then beg for forgiveness."
"But-" The Doctor barely got started before Rory cut him off.
"I've had lots of practice, Doctor. Just go."
"Thanks, Rory." He hung up the phone and went after River.
"River!" He called out. He'd checked everywhere. Their bedroom, the library and the swimming pool (he really needed to get that sorted at one point), the media room, he'd gone back and checked the console room. He'd even gone to check the archives he was that desperate and that had taken an hour. Not that time mattered when one was in the Vortex. "Sexy, help me out here." He murmured to his ship, placing his hand on the wall. A door appeared in front of him and he mumbled his thanks before stepping through it.
"River, are you in here?" The only response he received was a light sniffle from his right. "River, is that you?" He glanced around, looking from side to side, not quite sure where he was. "River, where are we?"
"This is my room." Is the only response he receives, but it's enough for him to track her to the bed. He walks over and pulls the blankets down to find her face down on the bed.
"Oh, River." He sighed softly, "What's wrong?" He sits himself down upon the bed and gently places his hand upon her head, rather hesitantly as he isn't sure if she'll be happy with it. She sniffs and turns over, raising a hand to his to place it upon her cheek and keep her there.
"Am I her?" River looks at him pitifully while the Doctor tries to work out the meaning of her question.
"Oh, you mean… River, you've always been her. Haven't we discussed this before?" River shook her head. "I never thought we needed to, I thought you understood. Obviously I simply wasn't far enough along in my timestream. River, you've always been her; my River. Even when you were point a gun at me in Berlin, even when I know everything about you and you haven't been born yet, even and especially, when I know nothing about you and you everything about me. You'll always be my River."
She pulled his hand away from her cheek and opened her eyes long enough for her to catch a glimpse of him. "You've been avoiding me though, you never stay around long enough to talk to me, you're always late-" Here the Doctor cut her off.
"River, if I'm late, it's only because I never want the time we have together to end. I'm late because it makes me feel like every time I see you could be the last and I don't want that, ever." River nodded and smiled mischievously at him.
"Alright, so can we go on an adventure now?"
"The planet of apologies. Except not really because that's be a really crap planet, no this is my way of apologizing to you. Here we are, beautiful sunset, terrific picnic, lovely beach and, of course, even better company… me!" The Doctor was smiling so broadly at the scene in general he didn't see River's hand until it had already made contact with his shoulder.
"Ouch, what was that for?" River shot him a glance that told him everything and he smiled sheepishly. "Okay, this is the Light Convergence. It's the first time in several millennia, quite possibly millions of years, that all the suns of this planet set at the same time. Well, actually it's more consecutively, the one on the left (Granskilp) sets first, followed by the one next to it and the one next to that and so on, until all twelve suns have set. It's supposed to be beautiful. I hope you haven't seen it before, because that would really take all the fun out of it, because I haven't and I was hoping we could do something for the first time together."
At this point the Doctor realized he was talking to thin air. River was already at the picnic he had set up but was yet to. "I didn't realise that you were planning on apologizing to me already, my love." She commented, in a way that, if the Doctor didn't know better, he might mistake for flirtatious. However, the Doctor did know better, so he didn't mistake it for her being flirtatious, she was being flirtatious so he had no need to mistake it.
"I wasn't; I just thought of the most likely place to make you forgive me and landed with the expectation that I'd already set it up. I'll actually set this up when I drop you off back at StormCage."
River smiled, "What if you hadn't set it up, sweetie?"
"Well, then I'd simply have to plan as I go. As you may have noticed, I'm remarkably good at improvising." The Doctor turned and passed her a wine glass, already filled. He placed the bottle back on the ground and poured himself some grape juice. River watched him, laughter in his eyes.
"What?" He said defensively, "I'm not making that mistake twice. This body apparently hasn't killed enough of its taste buds to enjoy the taste of wine." He made this comment while staring pointedly at her and smiled when she glared at him. He wasn't smiling a few seconds later when she smeared a handful of cream on his face.
River was up and running before he could gather his wits. "A bit slow on the uptake today, are we my love?" She teased him. The Doctor turned his face towards her and glared, "You know what this means, don't you?"
River was having a hard time not laughing and barely managed to force the words out, "What does this mean, sweetie?"
"This means war!" The Doctor raced towards her and picked her up, throwing her over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. She didn't see anything wrong or particularly vengeful until she realised the direction he was headed. She began to shriek and squeal, struggling to get away from him but it was too late. She landed in the water with a resounding splash.
"That'll teach you to smear cream on me, what if some got on my bowtie?" The Doctor sounded more horrified at the prospect of her getting cream on his bowtie than on him. River was glaring at him from where she was treading water.
"I'll get you for this, Doctor." She promised darkly, fully intent on the prospect of revenge. The Doctor thought for a moment before smiling.
"I think you already have."
A really cheesy end to a really cheesy piece and to think this originally started off its life as a oneshot. Now look at it grow… my little baby (and technically it is because the word little is relative, beat that Doctor!). Now I have an idea to continue (kind of) this series from a comment I made in a previous A/N in one of the previous stories in this series. It will be written and will (hopefully) be a oneshot for good this time.
If you haven't taken the time to review this series at any point (and even if you have) please press the button and review; I'll love you forever and I'll see about getting you some virtual TARDIS cookies.