A/N: First, and most importantly...I am very much still dying of feels. No spoilers for anyone who hasn't watched yet, but let's just say I keep watching the same three minutes of The Name of The Doctor over and over again and crying. I'm a silly little ninny, but it's SUCH GOOD FEELS.
Ahem. Anyway. This chapter is a series of drabbles; I had several little scenes in my head that I knew wouldn't get fleshed out enough to make whole chapters, so I challenged myself to write each of them in EXACTLY 100 words. No more, no less. It was a fun goal to achieve.
There will be more actual chapters soon; right now I'm rendered incapable by feelings.
He found her fretting in front of a mirror. The archaeology department had an annual banquet/party (he hadn't believed archaeologists knew how to party, excepting his wife, but that didn't stop the banquet from happening) and the close-fitting dress she'd put on had become a little too close-fitting, especially since she hadn't told anyone in her department she was expecting yet. She kept turning around in the mirror, frowning and complaining about her growing figure being unattractive.
He'd shown her exactly how attractive she was and had to take her to the party in the TARDIS to avoid being late.
"I don't know any lullabies," she'd confessed to him one night when the subject came up. Of course she wouldn't – none had ever been sung to her, except for Kovarian's awful, sing-song prophecy. She tried to keep her voice neutral instead of sad, but he knew her well enough now to see when pain over her lost childhood was seeping through, and it broke his hearts. So he held her against him, her back against his chest and his hands resting on her swollen abdomen, and he'd sung "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to her and their child.
"Practice!" he had said enthusiastically, and she rolled her eyes.
"Sweetie, I'm all for practicing making babies, but...do I really need to practice holding one?" she responded. She wasn't even beginning to show yet.
"We'll start with an older one, they're not so terrifying."
Fifteen minutes later, River was holding Alfie in her lap, listening to Sophie recommend pacifiers while Craig showed the Doctor how to play his new video game. After another fifteen minutes, the Doctor was promising to buy a new controller, and Alfie was asleep against River's chest.
She could get used to this.
Normally, he tried not to cheat. But when a heavily pregnant River began worrying over not having a house yet ('nesting', the books called it, but that only made him think of her hair), he'd skipped ahead and bought the house he knew she would call home. She wept when he surprised her with it; a weeping River was still strange to him, even after several months of hormones, but he took it in stride and kissed away her tears before making love to her carefully in the room that would be hers, and sometimes theirs, but never really his.
There was no such thing as 'middle of the night' on the TARDIS, but there was a such thing as sleeping. He didn't need sleep, but he liked to when River was around; they kept each other's nightmares at bay. So, at a time that was as much 'middle of the night' for them as anything, she woke him to beg for ice cream and chips; the chips had to come from Calderon Beta, and the ice cream from Leadworth, and that was that.
Part of him relished the small moments when their relationship seemed so very normal and human.
River insisted they be 'practical' about baby things. She made him take back the giant stuffed giraffe ("She already has a giraffe for a father!" "Oi! Rude!") and the teapot chandelier ("But it's polka-dotted, River!"). She relented on the 'bigger-on-the-inside' toy chest and reluctantly agreed the bouncy castle could make an appearance again at a future birthday party.
When she bought a tiny, far-too-expensive dress in TARDIS blue, he thought he'd get to tell her she wasn't being practical, for a change.
The soft little smile on her face as she ran her fingers over the fabric stopped him.