River smiles, arranging her meagre possessions on the table one final time, annoyed that the plain wood doesn't compliment the blue of her diary. The tiny metal Christmas tree she bought off the man in cell 236 sits awkwardly half off the edge. She pulls everything off and starts again, stacking the diary under the Christmas tree and the other small things around it. She takes the tiny white porcelain gun he gave her last Christmas and pulls it into the light, so intricate and ancient looking. She never questioned where he had gotten it. It was a stupid, joke gift, but she found it beautiful. He had laughed and said, "River, I got this because it reminds me of you, violent but also indecently beautiful." She has nothing to wrap his present in, a fez some insane guy in ward 143 who wouldn't give it up until she offered him the rest of her spare food. She smiles at the mental states of its past and future owners. Not much difference. She likes the way the table looks now, not good, not try-hard, but clearly arranged with effort. She takes the comb and pulls it through her hair, arranging it in different ways, until she settles on something new, taking handfuls and arranging them intricately on top of her head with crimson ribbon and 3 Chinese combs. She looks nice, at least alright, for a prisoner. She steps towards the door and presses her face against the bars, like a small child waiting for Santa Clause.
The prison guard drags his hand along the bars of the cells, his wedding ring hitting the metal. Ching, ching, ching. River pulls away from the door, sitting on the wooden bench and looking at the wall. Ching, ching, ching, ching. The sound stops. River looks up and sees the guard standing at the door, poking his head through the bars so that his mouth is pulled slightly to one side by his stretched cheek.
"Expecting someone Doctor Song?"
He looks at the interior of the cell, at the tiny sparking Christmas tree and the porcelain gun, nestled in the palm of her hand.
"I am." She says excitedly, turning to the window and standing on her tiptoes to see out.
"Someone," the guard pushes his tongue along the front of his bottom teeth, sensing the inevitable fear that anyone feels when breaking the barrier into River Song's personal life, "special?" River turns and smiles at him, nodding with an excitement that he can see is brimming behind her lips, waiting to spill out and tell him everything about this man who seems to mean so much to her.
"I hope he is officially registered as a visitor," the guard cautions.
"Is he ever?"
He realises whom she means now, a young man he remembers glimpses of, all tweed and bow ties. She smiles and closes her eyes, thinking of him.
"That impossible man." She breathes and her face seems to collapse into pure joy.
The guard leaves after a while and River stays, leaning against the cold wall and thinking about him. She moves positions, to the small table where she picks up her diary and puts it back down, too excited to write. She does this for a while, moving around the cell in quick steps and grabbing things and replacing them in jolted movements. The guard returns to River, dancing alone in her cell. He glances at his watch, she has been doing this for an hour.
"Doctor Son… River," He says, feeling uneasy with her first name, "I don't think he's coming." She stops, her leg extended mid spin, and walks to him at the door, "No," her voice wavers with tears, a smile plastered onto her face, "you don't understand, he always comes. Always. He wouldn't leave me here, I'm here because of him and he said…" The guard looks at the tears which are gathering, marbled black, amongst her eyelashes. "He said he would come." Her voice shudders with tears. The guard feels uneasy watching so much emotion come out of her. "I have to go." He walks away, the sound of her sobbing echoing in the corridor. "Doctor!" She calls, "Doctor, where are you? I know you're coming! I know you're…"
River collapses onto the hard bed. "He said he'd come. He said he'd come. He said he'd come. Probably out with Amy and Rory having a good time, he's probably forgotten about me, probably doesn't even care. I don't deserve it. He probably doesn't even like me." She hisses. It all feels so stupid, her excitement and the way she had set everything up. She replays the guards words in her head, "I don't think he's coming." The way he patronised her makes her grab at the thin sheet. She pushes the Christmas tree off the bench and it bounces along the ground. She grabs it and clenches her fist around its delicate branches, they bend and twist and leave red lines on her hand. She feels like destroying everything she can touch. She opens her clenched fist and in the centre is the tiny porcelain gun. She pushes her other hand on top of it so that the thin china breaks into tiny shards. She pushes harder and when she takes her hand away it is covered in tiny cuts that seep blood onto her sweaty palm. Far away the Doctor smiles at Amy, pushing snow into her hair semi-wet hair, "Right now I can't think of anywhere I would rather be." The cell still rings with River's tears as she walks to the window, "Merry Christmas River Song."