A/N: Just a little bit of angsty fluff. Eleven/River, takes place the night of The Angels Take Manhattan.


He slept that night, longer than she'd seen him sleep before; it was a surprise and a relief. She had been sure he was going to keep himself awake for longer than even he could stand, given the emotional and physical drain of the day's events, but he had obediently gotten into bed when she'd suggested it, curled himself around her back and held on tightly. It had taken him a while to truly sleep; he kept jolting awake, his body briefly jerking behind her, but eventually, he relaxed into the bed and slept soundly.

After all she'd been through, River should have been exhausted. Instead she found that she was far from tired, and her eyes stared into the faint, dimmed glow of the TARDIS walls. Even though she outwardly accepted losing her parents in order to help him do the same, she inwardly couldn't stop thinking of possible solutions to get them. Everything came back to the same point; time couldn't be rewritten once it had been read, so there was nothing to be done, no possible way to bring them home again. She was resolved to try and visit them, and just as resolved not to tell the Doctor about the attempts she would make; false hope was something that might just break him.

No, what he needed was to find someone new. River loathed herself for being unable to stay with him, but she knew if she did, it would interfere with her own past. This Doctor, the one nestled up against her now, was not yet the oldest Doctor she had spent time with. As much as they had currently shared in his timeline, there was still more to come for him, and she couldn't bear the thought of not having lived those times with him. Of course she could stay for a while; they'd spent at least a couple weeks together on the TARDIS before, and she knew they could get away with a bit longer than that. But their marriage would never play out in the traditional sense; she couldn't remain by his side in the same timeline forever, no matter how she wanted to.

He shifted in his sleep again, and she absently moved her fingers around to stroke his arm. She understood, now, why he had sometimes had a touch of sadness around him in her past. It hadn't been overbearing; they had been through some wonderful times together even then, but she could still sense it. Losing her parents was devastating to him.

Once again, there was a jerk behind her, accompanied by a whimper, and she sighed quietly in sympathy; he was plagued by bad dreams at the best of times. There was no telling what tonight's dreams were holding.

Suddenly, he awoke with a gasp, and River jolted, as well. He squeezed her tightly at first, then without warning flipped her over to her back before aligning his body on top of hers, forearms pressing down against her shoulders as he gripped her face gently in his hands. She could tell by his face he wasn't fully out of sleep yet, but his expression was filled with grief and fear.

"Mine," he mumbled; the word sounded more desperate, almost pleading, than possessive, and the light was just bright enough for River to see his eyes darting between hers searchingly. She gazed at him, unafraid of his sudden intensity, and her expression was one of grief and love.

"Yours. Always, my love," she affirmed in a whisper, and he squeezed his eyes shut tightly, moving his hands from her face to wrap them around her and bury his face against her shoulder.

"Melody," he said, his voice cracking towards a muffled sob against her skin. "Melody, I'm so sorry."

She adjusted her arms so that she could stroke his back, moving her fingers to write calming Gallifreyan words and phrases against his skin. He would calm down soon enough, she knew; if he ever got in the habit of letting grief overtake him for too long, he might never be able to stop. She began whispering against his forehead, the words matching what she traced against his back, saying aloud soothing comforts in a language only the two of them and the TARDIS could understand.

He rarely, rarely called her Melody; she knew that, in his mind as well as hers, Melody Pond was a different person than River Song. But she was still her parents' daughter, and a part of her would always remain Melody. It was that part that he needed so desperately to hold onto now, that forgotten past of hers that he would never stop feeling guilty for.

Eventually, his breathing calmed. He shifted his weight against her so they fit together a little more comfortably, untangling his arms from behind her and nestling his face against her shoulder.

"Mine," he murmured again, and she smiled softly, pressing a kiss to his forehead.

"Always."