I wrote this story a while ago, but now that I've written most of "A Good Man Goes to War Again," I've decided to tweak it (just a few words here and there, not in a huge way) to connect the two stories...
If you haven't yet, you might want to read "A Good Man Goes to War Again" before reading this...because of, you know... Spoilers ;)
The Doctor was awoken by the bring bring of the TARDIS' phone. Although he had heard the very same bring bring thousands of times before, the noise seemed particularly annoying at six in the morning. Groggily, he pulled himself out of bed, noting with slight contempt that his wife who lay next to him was still sound asleep, and followed the infernal sound down the hallway and into the control room.
Moments after he answered the phone, River entered the room, rubbing her tired eyes in confusion. The white robe she wore barely closed around her protruding midsection; he could hardly believe that she still had a month to go before she delivered: she looked as if she had swallowed a planet. Initially, River had taken quite well to the pregnancy, but lately, ever since the fiasco with Kovarian and the Silence, her gait had been awkward, slow and bow-legged. In addition to her stomach, her ankles, hands and feet were also swollen, and she often suffered from numerous aches and pains. Her lack of mobility, paired with her inability to get involved in anything remotely adventurous or dangerous, seemed to frustrate her to no end. Often, the Doctor would find her reading in the library, sighing longingly at descriptions of lands and cultures past. He knew that she wanted nothing more than for it to be as it once was; running across the galaxy, side by side, but ever since her pregnancy, that dream seemed to be slowly diminishing. He wondered if it would ever be like the 'old times' once the baby came; most likely not, but hopefully the baby itself would become an adventure. He was over a millennium old, after all; it was about time that he settled down and stopped chasing Daleks, and what better way than to spend it with one's wife and child?
"Doctor? DOCTOR? Are you still there?" Came the voice from the other end of the line.
"Oh, um, yes, of course." He quickly replied, snapped back from his wildly imaginative train of thought. "…you were saying?"
River, who hand unloaded her heavy body onto a chair, smiled faintly at her husband. She knew that expression quite well: whenever he stared absent-mindedly into space, he was worrying about something, or rather, cooking up imaginatively insane ways that something could go wrong. In the past few weeks, she had caught him doing it more often, and she knew it was because of the baby. She rubbed her hands across her abdomen, and couldn't help letting her mind wander into dark corners as well. Everything hurt lately, particularly today. She had woken up moments ago to a throbbing ache in her lower abdomen. Hearing the sound of the phone ringing, she decided to stretch her legs, half hoping that the discomfort would subside if she did.
But it didn't. Just then, another sharp pain rippled through her abdomen. She winced, and couldn't help a slight grunt of discomfort escape from her mouth. Probably just Braxton Hicks, she thought. They will abate soon enough.
The Doctor hung up the phone. "River?"
She looked up at him, "Who was that sweetie?" she said weekly, attempting to hide her uneasiness.
"The Sontarron are pillaging the moon of Poosh again." He said, sprinting back down the hallway to change.
River stayed where she was. She didn't feel like moving.
Moments later, the Doctor re-appeared in the control room. He began flipping levers and pressing buttons, and the TARDIS engine roared to life. "Now, dear, I'll only be gone for a few hours so don't…" he began to say to River, but when he looked up from the controls at her, he stopped mid-thought. "River, are you alright?"
The color had left River's face and her eyes drooped as though she were exhausted. "Hmmm…What?" she said weakly.
"Are you alright?" He repeated, concerned by her complexion.
"Oh…um, just Braxton Hicks and nausea…" Slowly, she lifted herself out of her seat. "I am just going to…um…to go back to bed."
The Doctor abandoned the controls for a moment to help her gain her balance. "Aright," he said, "you go back to sleep; I'll be back soon." He placed a kiss on her forehead. "I love you." She smiled in response and turned to waddle back down the hallways.
Hours later, Sontarron properly chastened, the Doctor arrived back in the TARDIS.
"River?" He called, expecting her to be in the control room, waiting for him as she normally did whilst he was out. She couldn't still be asleep, he thought, venturing towards the bedroom.
"RIVER!" He gasped frantically as he entered their bedroom. His wife lay asleep on the bed; a large pool of blood surrounding the lower half of her body. The sight shocked him to his very core.
He dashed towards the bed and shook her, calling her name, attempting to revive her. To his relief, she stirred. Her face had little to no color remaining in it, and she could barely keep her eyes open.
"River?" He whispered, tears brimming in his eyes. No, no this couldn't happen. After all River and the baby had gone through, this couldn't happen. Not now.
She grumbled softly in response.
"RIVER?! NO! NO! NO!" He soniced her stomach.
"Sweetie…" he heard her say in a faint whisper.
"Yes, what is it?"
"The…baby…pain." She cried weakly, barely able to utter the words.
"Hang on, River…just hang on. I'll get you help, I promise." He kissed her on the head and dashed out of the room.
It had been years since Martha Jones had heard the noise of the TARDIS landing. But before she could truly process what was happening, the familiar blue box was parked in the middle of her living room. The doors flew open, and out ran a young, awkwardly handsome man with quite large ears, wearing an old man's jacket and a bowtie.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Oh, um, I'm the Doctor." He said quickly, "New face."
"Sorry Martha, but no time for catching up. I need your help," he said, beckoning towards the TARDIS, "it's quite urgent."
"What is it?"
"My wife and unborn child are dying." He said, tears welling in his eyes.
Martha grabbed her medical kit.
Back in the TARDIS bedroom, Martha rummaged through her bag for a scalpel.
"She's unconscious, so she won't feel this, I promise." She said.
"Wait…what are you doing?" The Doctor said, concerned what she was going to do to his wife with a sharp mental instrument.
"I have to cut her open for an emergency C-section," she
"Well, do it then!" He nervously screamed, shaking his hands. He turned away and left Martha to her work, anxiously running his hands through his hair, unable to look at his wife being cut open.
After a few agonizingly long moments, he turned to see Martha pulling a tiny creature, soaked in blood, from his wife's open abdomen. He stared in silence at his little girl: she was turning a pale blue. Martha flicked her feet repeatedly, cleared her airways with a nose sucker, and rubbed her body in an attempt to make her cry, but it wasn't working. She was dying.
"Doctor," Martha said urgently diverting his attention, "I'll worry about the baby; I need you to heal River. It's her only hope."
He didn't have to be asked twice. He was by his wife's side in a second, and placed both hands on her abdomen, pouring out all the regenerative energy he could.
River's eyes opened. The Doctor sighed in relief and practically dove to kiss her.
"Doctor, what did you do?" She said, dazed. "Where's the baby?"
Martha was still holding the baby, attempting to revive her through infant CPR, but River could see it wasn't working. Her baby was so little, so fragile…Other than occasional murky gasps for breath, there were little to no signs of life in her.
"It's Martha." The Doctor whispered into her ear, stroking her hair.
"Martha, give her to me, please." Tears streamed down her face. "I know she's not going to…please just give her to me. Give me my baby before she dies."
Solemnly, Martha put the premature babe in the arms of her mother.
River's tears continued to flow as she looked at the dying baby in her arms. She had dark brown hair, which, although covered in blood, she could see was just like her father's. River also noticed that the baby had a nose not unlike her grandmother Amelia's. She ran her finger down the bridge of it, thinking of her mother, which made the pain so much worse. The baby's finger then brushed against her chest. Her hands were so tiny, so precious, and balled into little fists. River feared that if she tried to touch them, they would shatter into a million pieces. Her baby; her little girl. She had felt her grow and move inside of her. River's worst fears were realized at that moment: the baby was too weak, too damaged by her energy sacrifice to survive.
"Sweetie, can you do anything?" River pleaded, looking up her husband.
He shook his head gravely. "You can't heal what was made broken; she's lost too much strength from saving me. I'm sorry, I wish I could."
River sobbed and held her daughter close to her chest.
"Oh sweetie," she whispered to her baby through sobs, "I love you so much… everything … everything will be just…just fine…"
The Doctor covered his face to hide his tears. His daughter had saved him before she was born, and now he could do nothing to save her. The thought made his hearts break. It wasn't fair. She was so little, so selfless, so innocent.
Martha stood by the bed; she was crying too. It hurt her to see someone, especially the Doctor, in so much pain.
Blinded by tears, River didn't notice the yellow light her daughter was emitting. But the Doctor did.
"Is she? Is she regenerating?" River gasped through sobs.
The Doctor nodded. "She's trying to."
"Will she still be able to do it?"
"I don't know…"
Then the light began to fade…
"No, no, no, no, no!" River cried, rubbing her daughter's head. "Sweetie, no, hang on, please!"
"River, give her to me." The Doctor said firmly. "I think she just needs a jump start."
As soon as their baby was in her father's glowing arms, her own regenerative light grew stronger. After a bright flash of light; the Doctor instead held a fully-developed healthy baby girl. Her dark brown hair had been replaced with golden curls, and she cried at the top of her lungs. Healthy, full formed lungs.
"Oh my God." River gasped, her tears now of joy rather than sorrow.
Still holding the baby with one hand, he extracted his sonic screwdriver from his pocket with another and scanned her. Much to his relief, she was perfect. He kissed her tiny hand, thanking her silently for being so strong.
"There we are, River." The Doctor said, and placed their daughter in her arms. He sat next to her on the bed and watched River kiss her on the forehead repeatedly, so grateful that she was still able to do so.
When River looked at her healthy baby daughter lying in her arms, her heart welled with pride. She looked at her husband; her eyes filled with adoration, and leaned in to give him a tear-stained kiss. The two people she cared for most were alive and well; that meant the world to her.
"Thank you." She whispered to him softly.
The Doctor nuzzled against his wife and rubbed his thumb tenderly against his newborn's cheek.
"If there's anyone who needs thanks, it's Martha."
River looked up at the woman who stood at her bedside; the woman whose tears matched her own; the stranger that had saved her life.
"Thank you, Martha." River said. And she was truly grateful.
Martha nodded and wiped a tear from her eye.
"Are you sure she'll be alright?" River asked.
"No," the Doctor smiled. River looked at him with horror. "She'll be amazing. She already is amazing. She's a Time Lord…Lady…baby…person…thing."
River laughed, her fear abated. "'Thing'? You're calling our baby a 'thing'?"
"No, well…she is this little…thing…" He said awkwardly, playing with his daughter's curls.
River rolled her eyes.
"What are you going to name her?" Martha asked quietly. "She's quite miraculous; she deserves a miraculous name."
The Doctor locked eyes with his wife. He hadn't thought of a name for the baby…of course, he was always partial to Alonzo or Bob, but those weren't girl names…
"Freya." River responded. She had had time to think of a name. "After Gallifrey."
The Doctor smiled and kissed his wife's temple. He then looked at his daughter. His little, beautiful, amazing hero of a daughter. He was so proud.
"Freya." He said, testing the sound of the name. He liked it. It was a name befitting the daughter of the 'Last Time Lord.' Only, he wasn't the last anymore…