Thanks again to everyone following along with this story! I love listening to all the suggested songs.
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Song: I Love You Always Forever (Donna Lewis) Suggested by: dar40mn
River couldn't think of any way her expedition could have possibly gone worse. The entire planet was made up of grasslands; it was sunny most of the year. She'd even arrived during the summer so as to ensure satisfactory weather conditions. So of course she was just lucky enough to happen upon the one week when the rain was incessant.
However, seeing as how she had been planning this trip for weeks, there was no way she would turn back now just because of a minor setback. Luckily, the tent she had packed was waterproof, even if it was a bit snug. She'd been expecting to sleep under the stars, after all.
This was the fifth day of her expedition to find the ruins of an ancient civilization that had gone extinct centuries ago. So far, though, she'd been digging through layers of mud. Her only discovery worth mentioning was a small, pointed rock that could pass as an arrowhead. But now it was late, and she had to face the fact that yet another unsuccessful day had passed.
Once River had crawled into her tent, she pulled off her boots before tossing them outside and zipping the tent flap closed. She took off her utility belt that contained her gun, bag, and communicator; setting it on the ground next to her. The rain beat soothingly on the roof of the tent, lulling her to sleep.
But her sleep didn't last long. She woke with a start when she heard footsteps approaching from the grasslands outside, each step squishing in the mud. Quietly, River reached for her gun, ready to shoot if she needed to. "Who's there?" she called. "I'll warn you: I'm armed."
With that, the footsteps stopped, but she could hear the figure outside chuckle. "Is that a threat, Professor Song?"
As soon as she heard his voice, she placed her gun back in its holster, her face lighting up. "Oh, it's a promise."
River moved immediately to unzip the flap and crawl out to meet the Doctor, whose usually floppy hair was plastered down by the rain, his clothes soaked. "Aren't you going to invite me in?" he asked.
However, she brushed off his question with one of her own. "How did you know I was here?"
"I didn't," he answered, talking slightly louder than usual in order to be heard over the rain. "But the TARDIS did. She took me here. Well, she took me a little too far away, but at least she got the planet right. Come on, pack your things and we can walk back together."
As enticing as this offer was, she simply couldn't turn back now. She'd already endured five days of pouring rain, and she refused to leave empty-handed. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but I can't. I've only got two days left, and I'm going to stay."
The Doctor considered this a moment before answering, "Fine, but I'm staying with you." Already he began to crawl into the fairly small tent as River watched in amusement.
"I really don't think that tent is big enough two," she smiled.
But by this time he had already successfully made his way into the tent and was lying on his back. "Of course it is!" he called, gesturing for her to follow. "Maybe not side-by-side, but the roof is tall enough." River rolled her eyes, but she couldn't help but smile. She crawled in on top of him, and he wrapped his arms around her. "See?" he smiled. "More than enough room for two."
"Oh, I hate you," she quipped playfully.
He smirked. "No you don't."
This comment was usually followed either by silence or by a change in the conversation, but this time River affirmed, "No, I don't." It was quiet, faint, and he may not have even heard it at all had it not been for the fact that they were so close together.
The Doctor wasn't quite sure how to respond to that, so he said the first thing he thought. "You-you don't?"
She tilted her head to look at him as though he was insane. "No, of course not. You know that."
He cleared his throat and mumbled something along the lines of, "Yes, right…"
She couldn't help but giggle at his flustered expression. His cheeks were turning a bright red, just as they always did at moments like these. River continued on. "In fact-"
"I love you," the Doctor cut her off mid-sentence.
For once, she was the one caught off-guard. "What?"
"River Song, I love you always forever. Right now I am soaking wet and lying in a tiny tent in the middle of an unfamiliar planet that is currently very hot and very rainy, and I don't even care. I'd go through much worse to be this close to you."
It took her a moment to find the right words to say. Even then, they didn't seem to come out as eloquently as she had hoped. "I-I was about to say the same thing…. I love you." After the initial shock had worn off, though, she began to regain her usual grace with words. "I love you, and it kills me that I'll never be able to stay this close. It kills me that after two days we'll fly away in opposite directions for who knows how long. But if we only have two days for now, then I'll tell you this again: I love you."
She brought her lips to his, and they kissed while the rain continued to beat steadily on the tent around them. The heat of the summer combined with the rain was causing the tent to become humid, tiny droplets of moisture clinging to the walls of the tent.
As soon as they broke apart, the Doctor whispered in her ear, "Always and forever?"
She laughed and pushed herself up so that she was now straddling him. She then leaned down slowly until her face was only an inch away from his. "Always and forever," she smiled.
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