Well, it looks like I'm back to writing angst-y stuff. It was bound to happen eventually.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
The Doctor couldn't wait to see her. It had been way too long, from his perspective since he had visited her.
It wasn't like he meant to leave her there so long, though. Time just seemed to slip away from him too fast. He would battle a few monsters here, save a few planets there, and before he knew it, another month would be gone.
Already today he had gotten several calls from different planets requesting his help. Normally, he would run to answer them, but today was different. Today, he would take the day off, visit his wife. After all, it didn't matter when he answered those calls; he had a time machine.
Making sure all the coordinates were correct, the Doctor pulled the lever that sent the TARDIS on towards her destination.
When she landed, the Doctor could hardly contain his excitement. He ran down the steps and threw open the doors, fully expecting to see River sitting on the bed in her tiny cell in the Stormcage Containment Facility.
Instead, he stood in a dark alleyway right next to a dingy bar. His brow wrinkled in confusion as he walked back to the console to check the coordinates. Sure enough, he had set course for Stormcage, so why had he come here?
As the TARDIS hummed softly, the Doctor rolled his eyes. He knew she was trying to tell him that this is where he should be. She was always taking him places that he didn't particularly want to go. However, he also trusted that she would take him wherever he needed to go.
Taking a deep breath, he hesitantly walked back outside. Here, it appeared to be either very late at night or very early in the morning. The bar, however, was buzzing with activity, so he walked inside.
The Doctor didn't particularly like bars. For this reason, he almost never went inside them. Generally, he avoided them unless he was either hunting down a criminal or accompanied by River Song. This last thought brought a grin to his face.
He looked around the building, trying to find whatever it was that had brought him here. Seeing nothing important, he decided to move up to the front.
As he neared the counter, something caught his eye, or rather, someone. He would recognize that curly blonde hair anywhere. However, she hadn't seemed to have noticed his arrival, so he sat down nearby and watched her.
River was seated next to a tall, good-looking man. Not only that, but they seemed to be having a very good time. The sight of them talking and laughing was enough to make the Doctor uneasy, but he didn't interrupt just yet.
At that moment, River must have said something particularly funny, because the man with her seemed to laugh a little too much. What really caught the Doctor's attention, though, was when the man finished laughing and laid his hand on River's leg.
That was all it took. The Doctor couldn't watch this anymore. He got up and moved to where she was, pushing the man's hand away as he approached.
"Hello, Sweetie," he said in his usual tone.
She looked fairly surprised to see him. "Doctor?"
The man she had been sitting with, who was most likely drunk, leaned over to address the Doctor. "Hey, pal, find your own date."
He turned around, his face wearing a sarcastic grin. "I just did. And she's my wife." At this, the man took another swig of his drink and walked sulkily out of the bar.
"What was all that about?" River questioned him accusingly.
His face was a mask of utter disbelief. "Did you not see any of that? He was trying to make a move!"
"And so what if he did?"
The Doctor found himself unable to speak for several seconds, groping around for the right words to say. "River, we're married! You can't just go around flirting with every hopeful man that comes your way."
Her expression now turned to anger. "What do you expect me to do when you don't show up for nearly a year?" She practically shouted it. A few people nearby turned around to see what all the commotion was about.
The Doctor was completely taken aback. When he finally spoke, it was barely above a whisper. "I've been gone nearly a year?"
He watched as the anger on her face slowly melted into pain, tears brimming in her eyes. "Ten months, twenty-two days, nineteen hours, and," she checked her watch, "thirty-four minutes."
The pain on her features was mirrored on his. "River, I—."
She cut him off. "Just forget it." Sliding off her seat, she made her way to the door. The Doctor followed her outside, but she just kept walking. He knew she didn't have anywhere to go. After all, Stormcage was her home right now. So he kept following her.
The Doctor started to think that maybe if he didn't follow her, she would stop. So now, as she came to a little park, he hid behind a tree.
River turned around and, seeing that he wasn't there, sat down on a bench and began to cry. He knew she hated it when he saw her cry, so he stayed hidden behind the tree, just listening to her choppy, uneven breathing. He closed his eyes shut tight, making a decision about what he should do.
Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. Taking a deep breath, he walked out from behind the tree and made his way over to her, trying to be as silent as possible.
However, it was just a matter of time before he stepped on a twig. When he did, River jumped and turned to see who was approaching. Seeing it was him, she got up to start walking somewhere else.
"River!" he called. "River, please don't go!" His voice was desperate. This wasn't how he was going to leave her: sad, alone, and afraid. He ran up and stopped in front of her, blocking her path.
"Go away," she said through gritted teeth.
Putting his hands on her shoulders, he looked her directly in the eye, meeting her gaze. "River Song, I am so sorry I left you, and I promise that it wasn't intentional. Please, please listen to me. I can assure you that it will never happen again. I just need you to trust me."
She looked at him for a while, pausing before answering. "I did."
His hearts fell at these words. The Doctor gulped as he tried to keep down the tears that were now threatening to form in his eyes. His voice was a whisper. "If you give me a chance, I'll show you all the reasons why you should trust me again. That's all I'm asking for: a chance." He was practically begging.
He waited and waited for her answer, but her eyes were downcast, indecision written all over her features. So he continued. "I'll make up the time to you. You won't have to go back to Stormcage for ten months, twenty-two days, nineteen hours, and thirty for minutes."
This comment was enough to elicit a smile from her. "They'll come looking for me."
He put a finger under her chin, lifting it so that their eyes met. "In that case, I guess it's a good thing that I'm excellent at hiding."
After this statement, River couldn't help but throw her arms around him, pulling him in as though she would never let go. The Doctor gratefully returned the favor.
Finally, though, they broke apart. He took hold of her hand, smiling down at her. "Now let's go find the TARDIS, shall we?"
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