Was trying to start the next chapter for my more silly fic about the Doctor living with the Ponds in season seven, but I just couldn't get in the mood, so I decided to type something more serious. Ah, who am I kidding? I just love writing for this pairing too much, plus I am addicted to watching and rewatching season five. Either way, hope you find this interesting and entertaining!

And yes, it's THAT scene from "The Big Bang". All dialogue is directly from the episode.

Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock

Mercy

Today was most certainly not Dr. Song's day. Her parents didn't know who she was—her father had met her today for the first time. Her husband hadn't even looked at her twice in a rather flattering Cleopatra-style dress, even as she knew she had filled it out far better than Cleo. And- oh, the universe was collapsing.

But mostly she was incredibly cross with him because today had turned out to be the day—the day he discovered The Fez. And he hadn't even had the decency to warn her she was heading right for the introduction of the red abomination. Yet she was incredulous to find herself also struggling not to cry, because it likely meant she was never going to see him wear the ridiculous thing again. She was getting misty-eyed over a stupid hat!

All this and more was why River was finding it difficult not to sound lecturing as she followed him down the museum corridor. The Doctor had set off after spouting some nonsense about rebooting the universe—except it couldn't be complete nonsense, could it? How many times had she heard her parents reference this very day?

Feeling the oncoming headache that was part of having a thousand little spoilers and not a clue what they meant, she called out to his back, "Doctor, you're being completely ridiculous. The Pandorica partially restored one Dalek. If it can't even reboot a single life form properly, how's it going to reboot the whole of reality?"

He'd already turned about and began striding back to her—and that's all this younger him ever seemed to want to do, argue with her, fight her, desperate to keep her at a distance, away from his hearts even as she watched his curiosity draw him in. "What if we give it a moment of infinite power? What if we can transmit the light from the Pandorica to every particle of space and time simultaneously?" She couldn't help but notice the way his eyes were starting to wander over her face and hair, a clear sign that while he knew exactly what he was saying he wasn't totally focused on it. He was distracted. She was distracting him, and while that sent little thrills of something akin to excitement up and down her spine, they had work to do. And he was nowhere near ready yet.

Well, she was perfectly willing to debate with him. After all, it was just one of the things they did well together. "Well, that would be lovely, dear," and she knew it was unfair to use her familiarity with him to her advantage, but it didn't matter if she was right, "but we can't, because it's completely impossible!"

His eyes lit up like he'd been waiting for her to contradict him. "Ah no, you see, it's not," he confidently corrected, and tapped her affectionately on the nose with one finger. "It's almost completely impossible. One spark is all we need."

River was finding it difficult to concentrate—because he'd touched her. And she realized how much of a school girl this made her sound, but she felt as though that one little finger had sent a warmth spreading throughout her whole body. Because a little tap on the nose was something special to the Doctor, something this very young Doctor usually only gave to someone he cared for. Someone like Amy. And now someone like her.

"For what?" She managed to prompt him, because they'd already left her parents in the dust and even she wasn't following his logic completely- if the Doctor's thought process could be called logic. Sometimes she didn't even know.

"Big Bang Two!" He grinned and leaned in as though about to share a secret. "Now listen—" He'd spun back around, and she was almost thankful as she did not see his face when it happened.

The sound of a Dalek's weapon discharging. His whole body lit up in that terrible blue, the bones flashing into sight for a brief moment as he clutched at his chest in agony, before he went down hard on the floor.

"Exterminate! Exterminate!"

Amy and Rory ran for cover. She threw herself down next to him, an easy target, but she didn't care.

"Get back. River, get back now!" And he barely knew her, but bless her father, he stepped out from hiding and aimed that weapon in his hand once more.

"Exterminate!"

Two blasts, one right after the other, and the dilapidated Dalek ground to a halt.

But that didn't matter, because he'd still been shot. She knew he didn't really know her yet, but River Song would not let that keep her from comforting her husband. His clothes were charred; she could hardly force herself to think about what his insides were like at the moment.

He kept convulsing and twitching in pain, his breath harsh and ragged. She braced one hand against his shoulder and the other went up into his hair, smoothing it back in as soothing a gesture as she could make it.

"Doctor? Doctor, it's me, River. Can you hear me?" She nearly begged, wishing desperately that he knew how much he meant to her, and how much she to him. Because his arm, shaking terribly, was moving. He was still moving. These were the days where the Doctor did everything, the Doctor was alone, the Doctor didn't trust her. "What is it? What do you need?"

Too late, she realized—he was still wearing her vortex manipulator. That familiar crackle of electricity, and he was gone, right out from under her. She nearly couldn't believe it.

"Where did he go?" She murmured almost to herself, and then found she was furious. Absolutely furious. He'd been shot, and decided to just skip off somewhere? "Damnit, he could be anywhere!" He could be dying anywhere, with no way for her to help him.

She was standing before she knew it, looking about as if that would reveal his location. But Amy spoke up instead, her eyes downcast.

"He went downstairs…twelve minutes ago." Her mother glanced up at her at the end, obviously unwilling to say anymore, worried about her feelings even now when she was just some other woman. But she needed to know.

"Show me!" She demanded. Because why would the Doctor have gone there of all places? What was he thinking—

"River," Amy said, completely serious, "he died." River was frozen, absolutely frozen. She couldn't think, she couldn't understand. How? He couldn't die here, not now, not when there was all their time together to come for him.

"Systems restoring. You will be exterminated." The Dalek growled, repowered up. She slowly faced it, the blood pounding in her ears and her vision literally tinted red.

"We've got to move. That thing's coming back to life," her father said. And wasn't that hilarious, because that daft man had even told her. Four and a half minutes. Till it shot to kill him.

But that didn't mean it would kill him.

She'd have to trust her husband gave himself enough margin to do whatever he needed to do twelve minutes ago.

"You go to the Doctor. I'll be right with you."

As they hurried downstairs, she wondered if her parents knew what she was planning, or if they were just that anxious to tend to their injured friend. Only injured, River was sure, because the Doctor didn't die here.

But the thing that had even dared to lay one blow on her Sweetie would.

"You will be exterminated!" The Dalek rolled steadily toward her down the corridor. Even in its state of disrepair, most beings would have fled at the site of the creature. But she stood very still.

"Not yet. Your systems are restoring which means your shield density is compromised." She worked to keep her voice steady and calm, but inhaled sharply as she pulled her blaster from its holster. River continued as she prepared her favorite weapon, "One Alpha Meson burst through your eyestalk, would kill you stone dead." And she couldn't help the little smirk she gave at the end of her threat, because it was a miracle she wasn't already shooting.

"Records indicate you will show mercy. You are an associate of the Doctor's."

Oh, was that all it thought she was? "I'm River Song," she informed it with a smile, before swiftly aiming her blaster, stone-faced and cold once more. "Check your records again."

There was a pause, but she knew the instant it had realized its fatal mistake, by the little twitch of its eyestalk. "Mercy."

That should have been enough. For anyone else facing down a Dalek it would have been enough. For the Doctor, it would have been far more than enough, even for his most hated enemy.

But she was his bad, bad girl. "Say it again."

"Mercy!"

"One. More. Time."

"Mercyyyyy!"

Just my dramatization of one of my favorite scenes, especially now that we know River's backstory and the true extent of her relationship to the Doctor. Expect an update on my multi-chapter fic sometime in the next couple of days! Thanks for reading this, and please review!