There Is No Silence In The Library
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to BBC
Note: I have been getting some complaints about a line towards the end of the story. I'm not attempting to copy. I just thought that it would be likely that The Doctor would say that line a second time given the circumstances.
"Off we go, then." Amy stood on one end of the T.A.R.D.I.S. She was ready to go home. Back to Rory and a life that she knew for a fact was completely real.
"Off we go." The Eleventh Doctor repeated, grinning at Amy. His hand moved to pull the switches and levers that would allow the two of them to fly away, but something caused him to stop. He simply stared down at the console of the machine.
"You're sure you're alright?" Amy wondered, walking over to him.
"It's River." He paused not able to meet her gaze.
"What about her?" She asked instantly, but he didn't respond. "Doctor, you will answer me." Her hand reached for his arm.
"She sacrificed herself. And I couldn't help her."
Amy didn't speak straight away. "You mean that she's dead."
The Doctor shook his head, his expression slightly sad. "Yes. No. My last self, my previous self saved her into the data system. I caused the computer to save the rest of that archaeologist group. She just... lives there now. Her consciousness."
Amy attempted to understand. "She lives in that dream world."
"One that the computer can control now." He told her. "The reason the world was so confusing, why it would jump from moment to moment was because Cal couldn't handle the pressure of all those trapped minds, but with only a few. Cal can give them a life."
Amy frowned a little. "I didn't get to say goodbye to her. Rory... how do we tell him? And if River finds out if we see her-"
The Doctor was quick to interject. "She can never know that we came here. Both moments coming to this place.. were fixed points in time." He was quiet as he continued. "It would be for the best if Rory doesn't find out either."
Amy nodded slowly, realizing just how right he was. If she could just have said goodbye, or spoken to her daughter.
Before Amy could speak again, The Doctor looked at her seriously. "Amy. Do you want to say goodbye?"
"Doctor, what ar-"
He continued speaking. "Because I can make that happen. You can speak to her, but that's all it will be. No matter what, you won't actually be there. And we'll never be able to go back."
"Of course I do, she's my daughter, but-"
"Then off we go."
River gazed around her. She was in a courtyard, standing in the grass. Behind her was an institute, a sign on the front labeled, "Cal." It was as she gazed down at the white dress she was wearing that her memory began to return to her. There were people trapped in the data system. The Doctor had come. Both the tenth and eleventh regenerations. And she had sacrificed herself for both of them, Amy, and all of the people that had been trapped those many years earlier.
Suddenly, a girl stepped forward. It was Cal, the same girl who's face had been on the statue. "It's okay. You'll be safe here. The Doctor fixed the data call. This is a good place now. And I was worried you'd be lonely, so I brought you some friends." Cal smiled, standing beside a rather tall dark-skinned man. "Aren't I a clever girl?" The girl's gaze focused on something behind River.
"Aren't we all?" A voice spoke up. River turned around to see Anita, Evangelista, and both Daves heading in her direction.
"For heaven's sake..." River whispered to herself. "He just can't do it, can he? That man. That impossible man. He just can't give in." River quickly rushed over to her friends, hugging each of them in turn. As she stepped back, she noticed just beyond the edge of the courtyard a pair standing behind a few trees. Both, she recognized immediately. She told the group that she would return soon, before taking off towards the trees.
"Hello, River." A voice spoke when she grew closer. The Doctor stood only a few feet away, Amy next to him.
"Doctor. Amy." She smiled. "You're here." Her expression grew confused. "But how? I'm in the data system."
Amy smiled back at her daughter. "It turns out that with a little piece of the main frame, the T.A.R.D.I.S. can send a signal to you."
The Doctor nodded. "We're orbiting around a supernova. Burning up a sun to speak to you." He watched River through the projection, even then not allowing himself to tell her goodbye.
River's smile fell. "You're a hologram." She reached out to touch them, either of them, but her hand moved right through.
"I'm sorry, River." His gaze grew sad.
Amy's eyes became flooded with tears. She didn't get enough time with her daughter. She had found her again only a few months earlier, but there she was losing her again.
River shook her head, resting her gaze on her mother. "Don't cry. You'll see me again. We have so much time left for us. You and I. Dad. I'll see you soon." She smiled softly.
Amy just nodded slightly.
"And you," River said, looking to The Doctor now. "Thank you. For them." She glanced over at Anita and the others.
"How did you know?"
She grinned. "You have to learn something, Doctor. I always know." She moved closer to her projection.
"River." He spoke her name with a smile on his face.
"Sweetie." She looked up at him, noticing the projection beginning to fade. "We don't have much time."
The Doctor nodded a little, taking out his sonic and using it on the piece of the main frame, attempting to boost the signal. The projection remained faded, unworking.
"I'll see you again." He told her.
"And we'll run."
She just smiled. The projection faded again, the signal almost completely lost.
"River... I know this is my last chance to say it. You must know that I-"
The signal faded completely, and one last phrase was heard by The Doctor, a smile lining the words spoken by River. "I know."
The Tenth Doctor moved through the hallways of The Library until he had reached the main hall. The T.A.R.D.I.S. was just as he'd left her. As he approached its doors, he raised his hand and with no hesitation, snapped his fingers. The doors opened, and Donna turned away from the console, looking not at all surprised. Without speaking, he stepped inside, closing the doors with the same gesture. As the doors shut, The Doctor thought of River. The woman he knew nothing about yet, though now, he wanted to. That gesture would be for her, though, he would never tell her. And where that gesture truly began, with he or her, The Doctor didn't know. He supposed that was the beauty of it. That was the beauty of River's life. It didn't have to have an ending, because she and her spirit, would live on forever. And she would continue to run.