Here guys, have an AU. Work title from Nat King Cole's L.O.V.E.
What kind of name is that anyway? Opening a drawer in his desk, he shoves the file in and closes it forcefully. He does not need a partner. He works bloody well fine all on his own and he has no plans whatsoever on working with this River Song.
The marker squeaks as he furiously writes across the whiteboard. He punctuates the sentence with an unnecessary flourish before stepping back, grinning proudly and pushing up the sleeves of his red and white striped shirt. Scanning the board, he rocks excitedly on the balls of his feet and crosses his arms with a satisfied "humph." Everything fit like pieces of a puzzle falling into place- he had closed this case in less than twenty-four hours.
Hearing heavy footfalls with a slight shuffle approaching behind him is enough to make his smile drop right off. He knows exactly who it is- his captain. Sighing heavily, he closes his eyes and begins to mentally prepare himself for the lecture that will undoubtedly be about working too many hours, which is ridiculous, actually. No such thing as working too many hours.
The footsteps come to a halt and he turns to face them, his jaw set and bracing himself, but the words that come out of his captain's mouth are not what he is expecting.
"Found you a partner, Doctor" the captain says matter of factly, plopping a file onto his desk. The Doctor opens and closes his mouth as if not exactly sure of what to say as the captain continues, "Thought you might want to look at her file before she gets here."
"But, Sir," the Doctor protests, "I don't need a partner. I work alone."
He opens his mouth to argue, but is halted by the captain's stern glare. "Go home and get some sleep. She should be here in the morning."
As the captain walks away, the Doctor glares a hole in his back before turning back to his desk. He all but snarls at the file as he picks it up and reads the name.
What kind of name is that anyway? Opening a drawer in his desk, he shoves the file in and closes it forcefully. He does not need a partner. He works bloody well fine all on his own and he has no plans whatsoever on working with this River Song.
As soon as the elevator doors of the 11th Precinct open to his floor, he immediately spots her. She's all curves and wild hair and writing on his board.
"No, no, no, no, no," the Doctor cries as he rushes over and snatches the marker from her hand, "That is my board."
Straightening, she places a hand on her hip and arches an eyebrow, "Well hello to you, too, sweetie."
The Doctor sputters, caught off guard just long enough for her to pluck the marker from his hand.
"And it's our board, sweetie."
"I am not your sweetie," he grinds out, narrowing his eyes and tugging on the lapels of his jacket. "I'm the Doctor."
If at all possible, her eyebrow arches even higher, "Detective Doctor?"
"No. Just the Doctor."
As she runs her gaze from his face to his feet and back again, as if sizing him up, he can't help but stand a little straighter and narrow his eyes a bit more in hopes of looking intimidating, ignoring the sudden burning at the back of his neck as her eyes travel across his body.
Finally she holds her hand out for him to shake, "River Song."
Batting her hand away, he takes his marker back with a frown. "Well, River Song, I'll have you know that I work alone."
Smirking, she picks up a different marker and turns back to the board to return to her writing, "You work with me now, sweetie."
"I cannot believe you didn't tell me sooner," Amy exclaims and the Doctor rolls his eyes.
"You were on your honeymoon if I remember correctly," he grumbles, wishing to change to the subject.
"But this is important. She's River bloody Song. She never works with anyone else."
"Yeah? Well maybe she should go back to that," the Doctor retorts, glaring at nothing in particular.
"Oh come on. You can't say you're not just a little interested," Amy says as she bumps his shoulder.
His brow furrows as he looks at her in confusion, "Why would I be interested?"
"She has a story, Doctor, and I know you. You can never resist a good story." When he continues to look at her blankly, she rolls her eyes and huffs, "You really do live under a sodding rock, don't you? River Song. Rumored to be the best of the best down at the 10th Precinct. Never leaves a case cold, always ruthless during questioning, and always hits her target. Not to mention she's fit as hell."
He frowns, "She worked for the 10th? I didn't think there were any survivors."
"Exactly," she says, her excitement apparent in her voice. "The entire precinct went up in that explosion and reports said the few that survived the initial impact died in the hospital hours later. So what about River? It's been three years and everyone thought her dead. Then, about a month ago, she popped back up seemingly out of nowhere, and now she's here and working on cases like nothing ever happened."
The Doctor frowns to himself as he remembers back to three years ago. It was a clear warm day, not a cloud in sight, and he was just pulling a suspect of a homicide case into questioning when there was a slight trembling of the building that was immediately followed by a loud, but distant noise that could only be described as the sound of certain death.
After throwing the suspect into the interrogation room and closing the door, he had rushed to the nearest window where everyone else was crowded. In the distance, black smoke was clearly visible and rolling fiercely upward into the blue sky. Crazy theories of arsonists and terrorists were immediately being spun, but it was eventually confirmed as being a gas leak that went unnoticed for too long.
The rest of the day nothing else was talked about, but every time it was mentioned, all he could do was mentally re-watch the smoke as it spread into the air and think of how it would be a miracle if anyone had survived.
When he pulls himself from the memories, he finds Amy watching him with a smug smile. "There. See? Now you're interested."
He really shouldn't be surprised.
Every morning he walks in to find she's beaten him there and he's greeted with her infuriating smile, as if she comes in early just to irritate him. It really shouldn't bother him, but it does, and today he had plans. He had gotten here an entire half hour earlier than normal in hopes of being the first one in. All he wanted was to see her face when those elevator doors opened and she saw that she wasn't first. Then he could return that same smirk to her.
And yet there she is, sitting on Jefferson's desk, wearing a charming smile and a distractingly tight pencil skirt. Well, distracting to everyone except him, of course.
He huffs and glares at his watch. No one should be here this early.
Just as he's deciding to spend his extra time going to get some real coffee from across the street, like he normally does every morning, refusing to force down the disgusting stuff in the break room that they have the nerve to call coffee, River's laugh rings out across the room. The Doctor throws his arm out to stop the elevator door from shutting, suddenly unable to do much else than stare at her.
Her laugh is warm and seeps through his bones to settle right in his heart. He finds himself smiling slightly despite himself as she laughs again and hooks one of her rebellious curls behind her ear.
The happy feeling that has suddenly stolen over him disappears as quickly as it had come when he realizes that in the entire two weeks he's worked with her, he hasn't heard her laugh once. He's spent all of their time trying to distance himself from her, trying to prove that he doesn't need a partner. Never had he thought that maybe, just maybe, this whole partner thing could be something good for him.
Just as he's thinking that he'd like to hear her laugh again, she does, and he watches as she smiles brightly at Jefferson before placing a thin folder in front of him.
What the hell had Jefferson done to deserve that laugh when had had barely even seen her smile? A mixture of anger and sudden possessiveness begins to bubble within him as he watches Jefferson smile winningly at her before placing his hand over hers.
He doesn't know what he's feeling, but he does know that whatever it is, it makes him want to whack Jefferson's stupid grin right off his face.
The next thing he knows, he's stalking over to them with a purpose, deciding that real coffee is something he doesn't need after all.
"What are you doing?" He immediately kicks himself at the harsh tone of his voice and tries to ignore the look of surprise she gives him.
"I was preparing to track down a new lead on this case, but I needed these prints ran and you weren't here, so-"
"So she asked me." Jefferson interrupts as he sits a little straighter.
"Well I'm here now." The Doctor says tersely, glaring at Jefferson as he picks up the file.
Jefferson reaches to grab the file, but he holds it closer to his chest, cutting Jefferson off before he has the chance to protest, "I'll run them. I'm her partner."
Jefferson sinks back a little at his tone and he can feel River's eyes on him- he just knows that if he looked at her right now, she'd be looking at him as if he's gone mad. There's that familiar burning at the back of his neck as he walks away with his jaw set and the file clutched tightly in his hand as if it is a prized possession.
As he walks past the break room, a hand reaches out and all but drags him into the room.
"What the bloody hell was that about, Pond?!" The Doctor exclaims as Amy shuts the door, rubbing at his arm and feigning injury.
"What's in the file?" She immediately asks, ignoring his question.
"Um-I-It's nothing," he answers quickly, attempting to hide the file behind his back. When he feels it plucked from his grasp, he spins around to see Rory, Amy's husband and abduction detective, opening it. The Doctor makes a failed attempt to snatch it back, but Rory holds it out of his reach.
"Fingerprints," he tells Amy in a dry tone.
"Ha! I knew it," she says, pointing accusingly at him.
The Doctor huffs and shoves her hand away, "You know nothing, Pond."
Amy shakes her head defiantly, "You never run prints, Doctor."
She cuts him off before he has the chance to make an excuse, "I saw you. I thought you were gonna off Jefferson right then and there. And all over some bloody prints?" She smiles knowingly as she crosses her arms, "You didn't like that River was asking for his help, did you? You were jealous."
That's what that feeling is.
"I was not," he denies hotly.
"Oh you so were. Don't lie to me, Doctor. You're rubbish at it."
He sputters and looks at Rory for help who only shrugs and hands him back the file.
"Now," says Amy as she pushes the Doctor out of the break room, "Go run those prints for your woman."
"River you can't just do things like that!" The Doctor shouts as they quickly exit the smoked-filled pub, grateful for the sudden fresh air.
"Can I have the keys?" She asks, ignoring his scolding and turning around with her right hand extended out to him and her left on her hip. Fishing in his pocket for the keys, he continues grumbling to himself and trying his very best not to look at her. She really shouldn't be allowed to wear that. Everything from her wild curls, to her black dress so tight that it hardly leaves anything to the imagination, to her impossibly high red heels that match the color of her lipstick, is just so very, very, distracting.
Just as he hands her the keys he realizes what he's done. "Wait. No. No. River give them back!" He makes to grab the keys back, but it's too late. Huffing, he follows after her as she laughs.
"River. It's my car. Give them back." Despite his tone, he finds himself smiling because she had laughed. Given, it was more laughing at him than anything else, but he decides that it still counts.
"Our car. And besides, I'm a much better driver," she says, throwing him a smile over her shoulder before climbing into the driver's seat. He tugs at the lapels of his jacket proudly, grinning even more as he makes his way to the other side of the car. A laugh and a smile all within the past minute. Maybe he should let her drive more often.
Forcing the grin from his face, he hops into the passenger seat and she's speeding off before he even has the chance to put on his seatbelt.
"Now what were you saying? Something about something I shouldn't do?" River asks, smiling innocently at him.
The Doctor narrows his eyes, "Don't play games with me, River. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You can't just walk in wearing that and, and, and-"
"And?" She asks, eyebrow arched and repressing a smile.
"And kiss people!"
He sputters, looking at her incredulously, "You just can't, River."
She looks at him, her eyes shining and a smirk tugging at her lips, "Jealous, sweetie?"
"What? No! That's, that's ridiculous."
"And anyway, I thought it was a brilliant plan. It gave you enough time to get his prints from his glass, didn't it?"
"Yes," he admits grudgingly.
"Well just think. Now that we have his fingerprints, we have all the evidence we need and he'll be behind bars by morning."
"Not the point," he mumbles.
Okay. Maybe he was just a little jealous.
He can't sleep.
Their latest case is currently at a dead end, but he knows he must be missing something. No DNA at the crime scene, no prints left on the murder weapon, all potential suspects have alibis, and their only witness is an old bat who can barely see two feet in front of her.
The Doctor drags his hand over his face as he hauls himself out of bed, deciding that if he can't sleep, then he might as well go ahead and go in, regardless that it is almost four in the morning.
He smiles slightly- at least he'll beat River in today.
But he's wrong.
When the elevator dings and the doors slide open with a slight squeak, he's expecting complete darkness except for the security light that shines dimly in one corner of the room at all times, but instead, there is a lamp on at the desk at the far end of the room. His desk.
The Doctor huffs as he looks at his watch. 4:13. How early would he have to get here to beat this woman?
"Why are you in so early, Song?" He calls across the room as he steps out of the elevator.
When the only response he receives is silence, a sudden chill steals over him and his heart rate quickens, "River?"
The soft glow of the lamp suddenly does not seem as welcoming as it had a second ago, the light not nearly as bright as he wishes it would be as the shadows that cast across the majority of the large room play with his mind and trick him into believing they are moving when he knows they're not.
Swallowing, he forces himself to focus ahead as he walks past the other desks. When he finally reaches his, he finds River sitting in his chair with her face down on his desk. For a split second he feels his heart stop as he says her name hesitantly, fear lining his voice as he reaches out to shake her in hopes that she is only sleeping.
As soon as he touches her shoulder, she jerks awake and suddenly there's a gun in his face. He ducks out of reflex, but a moment later she's putting the gun aside as she realizes who he is.
"You scared the hell out of me, River! I thought you were…" He trails off as she chuckles lightly and rubs the sleep from her eyes, "You've been spending far too much time around the dead, sweetie."
"Well that's kind of my job, you know," then adding as an afterthought, "You're never going to stop calling me that, are you?"
"Not a chance," she replies, smiling softly.
The Doctor frowns suddenly, "Where'd the gun come from?"
River laughs, smirking cheekily, "Wouldn't you love to know?"
Repressing a smile, he hoists himself to sit on top of the desk, "So. Sleeping at the office. That's how you beat me here every morning."
She rolls her eyes, "No. I beat you here every morning because you wait in that ridiculously long line at the shop across the street just to buy second-rate coffee that isn't any better than what we have here."
"Oi!" He exclaims, feigning offense, "It is not second-rate, Song! The label even says so. World's Best Coffee." The Doctor nods matter of factly, "Not World's Second-Rate Coffee. Best. Best," he emphasizes and she looks at him skeptically as he continues, "And that in there," he gestures wildly toward the break room, "is not coffee. It's, it's, it's battery acid."
River snorts and rolls her eyes again, closing the file she had open as he looks down at it. "What's in the file? Is that why you were here so late and fell asleep?" He asks, brow furrowed and mouth set in a frown.
She places the file in a drawer before answering hesitantly, "This is just…is just…" Trailing off, she bites down on her lip before suddenly asking, "Doesn't it bother you that everything about this case has been carried out so flawlessly?"
The Doctor hops off the desk and turns on the lights before standing in front of the whiteboard where everything about the case is written. River moves to stand beside him and leans back against the desk, silently relieved to get the topic off the file.
Scanning his eyes over the board, the Doctor tugs his fingers through his hair with a frustrating sigh, "It really is a dead end. We have nothing to go on and all of the suspects have perfect alibis."
River straightens, "You're right. Perfect alibis." Together they lean forward, squinting at the board as they read and reread the alibis the suspects claim to have before turning to each other and exclaiming at exactly the same time, "They're covering for each other!"
"River Song, I could bloody kiss you!" The Doctor says happily as he picks up the marker to proudly write their newfound lead, which will undoubtedly solve the case, on the board.
"Well, maybe some other time, sweetie," River tosses back cheekily as she resumes leaning back against the desk while he writes.
By the time all three suspects are brought in to be questioned, early morning sunlight is filtering into the precinct and the official work day has begun.
The Doctor enters the observation room as River walks into the interrogation room with one of the suspects, the other two put in temporary holding for probable cause. Crossing his arms, he watches through the one-way mirror as River orders the suspect to sit and begins her procedure for interrogation.
The Doctor can't help but smile as she slowly paces the front of the small room and asks the first of her series of questions. Patience is her key. Letting the suspects do the majority of the talking, she always listens intently and analyzes their answers to turn their own words around to become their inevitable downfall.
"Only observing, Doctor?"
He turns to see Amy entering the observation room with a raised brow as she shuts the door behind her.
"Good morning, Pond."
She waves off his greeting and grins smugly at him, a grin he knows can never mean anything good for him, "Since when do you ever let other people question your suspects?"
The Doctor narrows his eyes at her, "River isn't other people. She's my," he hesitates, "my partner."
"What happened to working alone?"
Ignoring her question, he sets his jaw and turns his attention back to the interrogation room, glaring at nothing in particular.
"Uh-huh. Exactly," Amy says, "You fancy her."
The Doctor looks back at her, his jaw dropping slightly from shock, before protesting, "I do not fancy her!"
"You do. You know what I think? I think she's gonna be your wife one day," Amy says confidently, her smile growing even wider.
"That is ridiculous, Pond."
Disregarding his arguments, she continues, "You should invite her to our routine dinner next week. It would be good for you. She could be your date."
Just as he's about to refuse, River taps on the mirror and makes the signal that she's wrapped it up, meaning a confession has been given and the suspect can be booked until trial.
"Just ask her," Amy insists.
The Doctor pauses, "Fine. But she's not coming as my date."
He is out of time.
Two weeks. He had had two weeks to ask her, but every time he tries, his courage fails him. Not to mention she is ever so distracting with her hair and her voice and her smile and her River-ness.
And it's not like he's asking her on a date because he's not. It's just dinner. Dinner as friends, with friends- no matter what Amy tries to tell him. A dinner that just so happens to be this very evening.
He either asks her today or not at all, and the latter is not an option. He happens to know that Amy is running a bet with Rory that he won't ask River to the dinner. Well. There is no way he's going to let her win that.
As the elevator rides to his floor in the precinct, the Doctor bounces nervously on the balls of his feet, two cups of coffee in hand. The doors slide open and he immediately spots River sitting in his chair and pouring over a case file.
"That's my chair, Song," he says once he reaches the desk, announcing his presence.
"Our chair, sweetie," she counters without looking up.
Smiling, he plops into the chair next to the desk before setting one of the coffees on top of the file and directly in her line of vision.
"Coffee?" She asks as she looks up at him with a frown.
The Doctor shakes his head and grins, "Not just coffee."
River picks up the coffee and reads the label.
World's Best Coffee.
"Are you serious?" she asks as she rolls her eyes, but he doesn't miss how the corners of her mouth twitch as if she's repressing a smile.
"Never knowingly. Never knowingly be serious, Song. Now try it."
Glaring at him, she lifts the coffee and takes a sip before placing it back on the desk.
"I was wrong. It's not second-rate. It's third-rate," she teases, pretending to be uninterested as she turns back to the file.
He sputters, "What?"
"You, River Song, are a liar!"
Throwing him a smile, she takes another sip of her coffee, "Maybe."
Okay. Now is the time to ask her. He pauses. Why is it so bloody difficult just to ask her to dinner? The worst she can do is say no. But maybe that's the problem. He doesn't want her to say no. Not that he would ever admit it.
"Okay, out with it," River says, pulling him from his thoughts.
"Out with what?"
"You've been trying to ask me something for the past two weeks and I'm tired of not knowing what that something is." She looks at him expectantly, her chin resting in the palm of her hand.
Avoiding looking her in the eye, he fidgets with his the label on his coffee, "See, Amy, Rory and I have dinner together every second and fourth Friday of the month. Just as friends, you know? And I was wondering," he pauses, frowning determinedly at his coffee before looking at her, "I was wondering if you'd like to join us?"
River smiles brightly at him and if there's a slight fluttering in his chest, well, it must just be his imagination. "That's what you wanted to ask me? Amy asked me ages ago."
River nods, looking amused at his surprise as she stands, "But for the record, I'd be more than happy to join you, sweetie."
The Doctor stares after her as she walks off, coffee in hand.
Oh, he is going to kill Amy.
"Will you stop looking out the window every two seconds?" Amy asks as she and Rory place four plates and the accompanying cutlery on the table.
"I'll stop looking when she gets here, Pond. She was supposed to be here five minutes ago," the Doctor says as he frowns out the window.
"Actually, I'm fairly sure she isn't supposed to arrive for another five," Rory says as he glances at the clock before smiling amusedly at the Doctor.
"Just sit down, Doctor. Your woman will be here any moment," Amy taunts and he turns around to glare at her.
"River is not my woman."
"You want her to be."
At the same moment he opens his mouth to protest, there's a knock at the door and he's rushing to open it.
"Hello, sweetie," River greets with a smile.
"Bout time you bloody got here. I'm dying from starvation," he says with a pout and earning an eye roll from her.
"You know you were only dying to see me," she teases.
The Doctor arches an eyebrow, "Letting your hair down for once, Song?" ignoring her truthful statement and commenting on her attire. In contrast to her pencil skirts and slacks that she wears to work, River is dressed in a pale blue sundress made of thin cotton and her hair is falling in wild curls around her face and brushing her shoulders, instead of pinned back like usual.
"You like it," River says cheekily as she brushes past him and into the kitchen.
Oh he does.
Once the food is on the table, they all sit, River taking the last, always unoccupied, chair beside the Doctor. As they eat, talk and laugh, he can't help but think that River, with her cheeky comments, warm smile, flirtatious edge and filling in the last seat, is like a piece of their puzzle that hasn't been completed until just now.
When none of them can eat anymore, the Doctor all but shoves River and Amy into the living room, insisting that he and Rory do the dishes. River quirks an eyebrow at him as he ushers her into the other room, "I had no idea you were such the gentleman, sweetie. I'm quite surprised."
"Your words wound me, Song," he calls back to her, unable to keep from smiling as he re-enters the kitchen.
"You and River," Rory starts as he places dishes into the sink, his voice low to keep Amy and River from hearing, "I can kind of picture it."
"There is nothing to picture, Pond," the Doctor snaps.
Rory sighs exasperatedly, "That's really not how it works, you know."
"Course it is."
"Oh, so I'll be able to call you Doctor Song sometime in the near future, then?" Rory jabs, though his voice still serious, as he scrubs a plate clean before handing it to the Doctor. Snatching the plate, he glares at Rory before arguing, "No. River and I are not going to get married."
"Not like you need to, I suppose. You two already bicker like an old married couple. And River's very," he stops, looking for the right word, "How is it that Amy puts it?" He pauses again for affect, "Oh yeah, she's very heel boy with you."
The Doctor sputters, staring at Rory incredulously, "None of that is true. That is ridiculous."
"But you do like her," Rory presses as he hands the Doctor the last plate.
"I've only known her for a month, Pond," he says quietly as he dries the dish.
"I knew I loved Amy the very first day I met her," Rory argues, turning to leave the kitchen before adding one last thing, "And how long do you think River's going to stay available, Doctor? Don't miss this opportunity. You'll regret it."
The Doctor frowns as he approaches their desk. Nothing is as it should be. There's no file open on the desk, River's jacket isn't draped over the back of the chair, the name of the victim of their next homicide case isn't written on the whiteboard, which he knows is the very first thing she does after she kicks her heels off under the desk, opting to only wear shoes when they leave to inspect a crime scene, track a lead, question a suspect or sadly inform a family that their loved one is dead, but when he peers under the desk, he finds that her shoes aren't there either.
Straightening, he smiles smugly and places the two cups of coffee that's he's gotten in the habit of buying every morning on the desk. He had beaten her there and bought coffee.
Just as he's planning his eye roll worthy comment for when she walks in, something along the lines of I don't stand in that ridiculous line to buy you coffee so it can just sit here and get cold waiting on you, Song, Amy walks up to him. "So do you think River will make it to our dinner this evening?"
The Doctor frowns, "Why wouldn't she?" River has joined them for every single dinner after that first one, even switching off and having it at her place, which is when they all found out that she is a bloody fantastic baker. It was funny, really, how at the beginning he had wanted nothing to do with her, but now he couldn't imagine a day of work, a routine dinner, or what he likes to call a family (that just being the four of them) outing without her.
"She called in sick."
His shoulders droop and Amy smiles, "Aww. Whatever are you going to do without your work-wife?"
"Shut it, Pond," the Doctor mumbles.
"Well I guess someone's going to be Mr. Grumpy Face today, then. Why don't we skip dinner tonight, yeah? Then you can go check on the wife and I won't have to put up with your moping."
He glares at Amy as she walks away and sinks into his chair. Maybe he would go visit River later.
A half hour after he gets off work, he finds himself standing at her doorstep and rocking nervously on the heels of his feet as he knocks on the door. His hand is mid-air, ready to knock for the third time when the door eases open and River leans heavily against the frame, her eyebrows rising in surprise, "Hello, sweetie."
"Bloody hell, Song. You look terrible." Though really, even with her hair pulled back messily, her nose red and her voice slightly scratchy, he still finds her incredibly attractive. Not that he would tell her.
"Well you sure know how to charm a girl," River retorts sarcastically as she lets him in and closes the door behind him.
"What are you doing here?" she asks, not moving away from the door.
"Heard you were sick. Decided to come take care of you." The Doctor grins at her as he lifts a Tesco bag.
She hesitates, but he sees her eyes soften and now it's his turn to roll his eyes, grabbing her by the hand with a, "Come along, Song," and pulling her into her living room. After making her sit on the couch, he begins pulling out everything he bought at the store- six different kinds medicine, tissues, her favorite tea and four different types of soup.
"You bought all of this for me?" River asks quietly and when he looks at her, she's looking at him with that same soft expression. When he nods, she smiles and he thinks that he would do whatever it takes to get her to smile at him like that all the time.
River picks up the box of tea and runs her finger over the label before whispering, "You even got my favorite tea."
"What? No snarky comment, then? You must be really sick," he says as he holds the back of his hand to her forehead and finding her hot with fever.
Batting his hand away, she glares at him, "I hate you."
"There. That's much better," the Doctor says with smile, "And you don't hate me," he adds confidently, popping her gently on the nose as he emphasizes the word. Standing, he takes the box of tea from her and picks up one can of soup, "Stay right here. I'll be back in a few minutes."
"Stay here? And here I thought I was going to go climb Mount Everest," she grumbles and he chuckles as he goes into the kitchen.
After putting the soup on to cook, he makes a cup of tea and goes back into the living room to find her slumped further in the couch with the box of tissues in her hand. When he hands her the tea she thanks him and sips it contentedly. "You are the best," she says, cradling the cup in her hands.
"Is that an actual compliment, Song?" the Doctor asks, feigning shock.
"Shut up," she mumbles.
"Make me," he says, and as he walks back into the kitchen a pillow whacks him in the back of head. Spinning around, he finds her trying to contain her laughter behind her cup of tea and he narrows his eyes as he attempts to repress his smile.
"You are so lucky you're sick," he says threateningly.
"Or what, sweetie? What would you do? Spank me?"
Suddenly his heart rate doubles as he imagines bending her naked form over the arm of the sofa, her smirking back at him as the palm of his hand runs across her smooth skin, down the bumps of her spine and over the curve of her-
The Doctor clears his throat, that burning feeling creeping along his neck again and along his ears as he tugs at the lapels of his jacket and glares at her, "Aren't you supposed to be sick or something?"
River narrows her eyes at him and as if on cue, she sneezes. Plucking a tissue from the box, she sighs exasperatedly, "I'm tired of being sick."
"Well maybe if you actually took medicine you would get better," he calls to her as he re-enters the kitchen, practically able to feel her glaring at him.
By the time the soup is done and he is bringing it to her in a bowl, she is asleep, her unfinished tea on the coffee table and a tissue clutched in her hand.
After he sets the bowl down, he shakes his head at her before asking quietly, "What am I going to do with you, huh?" and reaching out to brush a loose curl from her face.
Wait. Did he really just do that?
The Doctor laughs disbelievingly, "Well I guess the real question is what am I going to do with myself? You're driving me bloody crazy, River," he admits out loud for the first time as he lifts her in his arms, smiling softly as she curls into him ever so slightly.
Not knowing where her room is, he wonders through her house until he finds one that just looks like her, grateful for his temporary lack of clumsiness as he lays her gently on the bed. After he pulls the duvet up to her shoulders, he fetches the tissues, medicine and glass of water, leaving them, as well as a note that says Take the medicine as soon as you wake up. No arguments, Song , on her bedside table before quietly exiting her home.
He's fallen so very, very hard. And he's not sure if he'll ever be able to get back up.
As hard as he tried to ignore it in the beginning, now it is just so obvious that it hurts. It's the constant tightening of his heart with every smile, every laugh and every small touch that she gives him. It's the electric heat that shoots through him when their hands touch or their shoulders brush together. It's the overwhelming happiness that floods within him when they solve a case together or when she's found a new lead, gesturing wildly as she explains, and he has to take her hands in his own to get her to just stop for one second and breathe. It's the never-ending frustration that rolls under his bones and within his very being with every flirtatious smirk, cheeky comment and sweetie. It's the comfortable silence that settles between them as they do paperwork and the way they can talk about everything and nothing at once. It's the pure longing that has found home in the very depths of his heart as he watches her from the break room, her bottom lip caught between her teeth as she leans back against the desk and analyzes evidence, her determination to close every case, to bring closure to families who have lost those closest to them apparent in the enthusiasm she uses to throw herself into her work.
It's all of that put together that is the constant reminder that he loves her- everything about her. She's waltzed into his life and has completely, unknowingly, taken over, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Pining away again, Doctor?"
Amy joins to stand at his side as he continues looking out of the break room window, watching River pace back and forth in front of their desk, phone to her ear as she argues her reasoning to obtain a warrant to inspect a suspect's home.
When he doesn't answer, she speaks again, "Wish you two would just shag and get it over with before you blow up the entire precinct with all of your tension."
"Pond!" The Doctor exclaims, his tone berating and his expression offended as Amy shrugs unapologetically.
"It's not like that" he hisses.
Her brow rises, "Oh? What is it like, then?"
Glaring at her, the Doctor opens his mouth to speak, but then decides better of it and focuses his attention back out the window, his jaw set.
"Oh, come on," Amy prods as she bumps her shoulder against his, "Tell me."
When he narrows his eyes pointedly, she sighs, "Fine. Don't tell me. But I know. There's no point in denying it any longer, Doctor. You two have been working together for over six months now, and if you think you've been hiding how you feel about her, then you're wrong . Everybody sees it. Except perhaps River because she's so sodding stubborn. But the point is, you can't keep watching her when you think she's not looking, with that smile that makes it seem like nothing else in the universe matters, if you're not going to do anything about it."
The Doctor frowns at her as she turns to leave. Amy opens the door and looks back at him, "And you know something else? She looks at you like that, too."
The Doctor is greeted with a cold burst of air as he exits the precinct. Tugging his green coat tighter around him to protect himself from the bite of snow, he hurries to his car, fumbling in his pocket for his keys. The key is just about to slide into the lock of the car door when he stops, realizing that River's car is still parked next to his.
Every night they depart with his same, "I'll see you in the morning, Song," and her reply of, "In the morning, sweetie." But tonight she had left without saying anything to him at all. He had thought it odd, but brushed it off as he opted to stay late and work. But now, looking at her car, he realizes she never left at all.
He frowns as he checks the time and finds it to be near midnight and why hadn't he seen her if she was still here? Turning back to the precinct, he sees light shining from the very last window of their floor- she was in the file room, a room almost never opened because it only contained old files of both closed and cold cases, the most frequent information saved electronically.
Hurrying back through the snow, he re-enters the precinct and rides the elevator to their floor. After shrugging off his coat and throwing it over their desk, he makes his way through the back halls until he finds a dim yellow light casting out of the file room.
As he gets closer to the room he hears the shuffling of files and muttering of curses. When he rounds the corner and enters the room, he finds River standing half way up a ladder and reaching for a file, her fingers wiggling just out of reach.
"Guns? Lovely. Chasing a deranged murderer through the street? Even better. But ladders? No. Damn it. Bloody file and this bloody shelf and these bloody shoes." She takes a moment to kick off her red heels before continuing her quest for the file, oblivious to his presence.
River climbs a few more rungs of the ladder, becoming unsteady as she reaches up and plucks the file from the shelf with a triumphant, "Ha!" As she descends the ladder, it wobbles unsteadily and he reaches out to stable it.
She looks down at him in surprise, "Doctor?" Her foot misses the last rung and as she drops further than she was expecting, the file slipping from her hand and to the floor, she reaches out to him to stay on her feet. Placing his hands on her waist, he balances her, her hands on his shoulders, and it's not until she looks up that he realizes just how close they are.
Without backing up, she asks quietly, "What are you doing here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing," he replies, moving closer to her as if she's a magnet, closing any space left between them and unable to tear his eyes from hers.
The silk of her red blouse is cool under his fingers and he can't help but wonder what her bare skin would feel like to his touch. Her hands slide from his shoulders to his chest, setting his skin on fire and lighting his nerve endings with just that simple touch. His heart is pounding against his ribcage, and he wonders if she can feel it as his hands move from her waist to splay across the expanse of her back, only wanting her closer. Her fingers find their way into his hair and for just a second, his eyes flutter shut at the way her nails scratch ever so gently against his scalp.
He leans in and their lips are so close when suddenly she pulls back, her hands no longer in his hair and his own hands now at his sides. His heart plummets as she scrambles to pick up the file, mumbling her thanks for catching her, when really he had done nothing, and peeling off into a ramble as she flips through the file.
"And have you ever tried climbing a ladder in heels? It's not as easy as you'd think and this bloody file was so high and I couldn't-"
"River," the Doctor says more forcefully, grabbing her hands to get her stop. When she looks up at him, her cheeks are flushed and he can't help the grin that spreads across his face. Glaring at him, she whacks him in the chest with the file, "Stop grinning at me like that."
"Not a chance. Who knew that River Song is capable of blushing?" His smile grows smug as she glares at him, "I hate you."
"You don't. Now what's in the file?" The Doctor asks, snatching it from her and holding it out of her reach as she insists that it's nothing and tries to get it back.
When he reads the label on the file, it suddenly feels as if his heart has come to a complete stop.
"River…" he whispers, looking at her with wide eyes.
"I'm just doing some research," River says, answering his unvoiced question and taking the file back. They leave the room and walk in silence until they get in the elevator.
"Why?" The Doctor asks as the doors slide close.
Sighing heavily, she looks at him and he's surprised her eyes filled with a sadness that he just doesn't understand.
"Long story short, my last partner wasn't killed in a random shooting, and the 10th Precinct didn't go up in flame because of a gas leak."
As soon as the elevator dings, she's out, silently telling him not to ask any more questions. The Doctor follows her out of the building and into the cold, mentally scolding himself for forgetting his coat on their desk. Right before they reach their cars, he grabs her arm to stop her, forcing her to look at him.
"Promise me this is only research, River. Promise me."
River hesitates before nodding, "I promise."
Letting her go, he smiles and moves to unlock his car, "I'll see you in the morning, Song."
She smiles slightly back and as he hops into the driver's seat, he almost misses her quiet reply, "Good-bye, sweetie."
As soon as the elevator doors slide open to reveal his floor, he all but flies out, looking around the room for River. Last night he had gotten very little sleep, turning her departing words over and over in his head.
To anyone else it would be a generic farewell, but to him it means something else entirely. For the past six months, their last words to each other for the night have always been a hopeful promise. In the morning. It's not a farewell; it is a guarantee that they will see each other again.
Good-bye's signify endings. They are final and eventually become bitter, ever-present memories of loss. But of course, he could be overreacting, over-analyzing something meant to be a simple farewell for the night.
His heart sinks lower as he scans the room and doesn't see River leaning over their desk as she reads a new case file, writing new information on their board, or on the phone following up alibis- she's not there at all. Instead he finds Amy and Rory standing close together and whispering heatedly, but immediately falling silent as he approaches.
"Where's River?" the Doctor asks, gripping the two cups of coffee in his hands so tight that his knuckles turn white, and hoping that they'll tell him that she's in one of the back rooms running prints or in the break room getting coffee because she needed caffeine right then and couldn't wait on him any longer.
Their looks of sympathy send his heart racing in panic as he asks again, "Where is she?"
"We figured she would have told you," Amy says quietly.
"Told me what?"
"She quit. Turned in her badge this morning and walked out."
Maybe he hadn't been overreacting at all. She had known that she wasn't going to see him today, or maybe ever again. And she didn't tell him. Well. Not directly. Why had she not told him?
A sudden trickle of fear runs through him as he remembers her hesitant promise that she was only interested in researching the Silence. Oh, he is so stupid. She's going after them.
It takes him all of two seconds to decide what he calls his 'plan of action'. Shoving the two cups of coffee into Rory's hands, he goes to leave, but is stopped by Amy grabbing hold of the back of his coat.
"Where are you going? And don't look at me like it should be obvious because it's not," Amy says as she crosses her arms.
"She's going after the Silence. I don't know why, but I'm going to find out and…and I'm going to help her."
"What?! Help her? You need to stop her."
The Doctor unclasps his badge and looks back at her, "You and I both know that won't happen, Pond."
"So you're just going to…going to quit and leave without knowing what you're getting yourself into?" Rory asks, his expression incredulous.
The Doctor grins suddenly, "Brilliant plan, don't you think?"
"No," Rory says, and Amy smacks him in the chest before turning and hugging the Doctor tightly.
"Finally going to get your woman, huh?" she asks quietly.
He beams, returning the hug, "Finally going to get my woman."
The second(last) part is already written and will be uploaded in a few days. Thanks for reading! Feedback is always welcome.