Oy vey! I'm sorry this has taken so long to post; I don't think I've ever spent so much time on one chapter of a story before...This thing has been a work in progress for soooo long and I just wanted it to be perfect for you! It's kind of an edited venting River feels (from Name of The Doctor and just in general about how this couple NEVER tells each other how they're really feeling. It drives me CRAZY). I'm trying to stay as canon as possible in terms of the way I write these characters, but obviously since it's fanfiction, there's gonna be some headcanon/AU stuff stuck in there. Anywho, I REALLY hope you enjoy it...oh and this is kinda the "T" chapter...nothing drastically explicit, just very biology-stuff and lots of implications... *Don't hate me!* ;)
3:30 in the morning: "Sweetie! Be a dear and get me Kronkburgers? The ones from Satellite Five, not from 25th Century New Memphis; they're rubbish! "
While taking a shower: "Sweetie! I need Aztec chocolate!"
Tinkering with the TARDIS: "Sweetie! The baby wants fish custard tacos!"
About to take Clara to New New York: "Sweetie, while you're out, pick up some Blue Bantha milk. Oh and some Yorkshire pudding!"
As he was drifting off to sleep for the first time in four days: "Sweetie, I can't sleep. Could you possibly get me some air cake with Quark frosting?"
While trying to install a wood setting on the screwdriver: "Sweetie! Do you know where you could get tomato ice cream?"
This was The Doctor's life: errand boy for his wife's insatiable food cravings. But, ever the gentleman, he catered to her needs. It could be a nuisance at times, yes, (especially at odd hours of the night) but he would never admit it. She was carrying his child, after all: the source of his amplified affection in addition to his insistence that she only leave the TARDIS when necessary (she carried the most precious of cargo). Besides, every time he came back in hand with her latest desire, she would smile with gratitude, rub her little baby bump, and kiss him on the cheek. It melted his hearts. And, the way his wife consumed food was incredibly…sexy.
He and Clara made a game out of it: predict River's next strange hankering. What would it be? Fried chicken? Protato dumplings dunked in Vesuvian Fire Dipping Sauce? Anti-gravity grown vegetables? Sneg stew? Pears? Apples? (Ugh, he hated those…Earth fruit was disgusting.) Certainly not eggs: River had suddenly become repulsed by the very smell of them. And definitely not fish. No fish for a pregnant woman, no matter how much she wanted Starship Britain's Fish and Chips. Once, Clara accurately guessed a spam fritter, but The Doctor suspected that she had rigged the game by playing Monty Python's "Spamalot" Soundtrack a bit loudly in the TARDIS. They visited Tiaanamat Market and Satellite Five to stock up on intergalactic delicacies, scoured London for jelly babies, Shepherd's pie, Cadbury chocolates, and shopped for more American cuisine at a massive New York supermarket; each was its own thrilling and unique adventure. It was particular fun to obtain the rarer (and sometimes illegal) foods, such as hibiscus blossom or riverfruit: he and Clara once barely made it out alive of a tropical forest while searching for a rare nut.
He could have attempted to fix the TARDIS food machine, yes, but where would the fun in that be?
Lust & Emotion
She was only four months along, but River was already going through so many changes that it made regeneration look easy. The weight gain was difficult and frustrating, but necessary. At least it no longer looked like she'd just been eating too much food; she now had a proper 'baby-bump.' Still small, yes, but just prominent enough that there was no mistaking it: there was a life growing inside her. Sometimes, she would lie in bed or stand in front of the mirror, tracing the smooth curve of her belly. The sight, the feel of it, made her glow with happiness. Her perfect little bump. Her baby.
Still, River never once imagined how uncomfortable pregnancy could be. Foolishly, she had some romanticized idea of what it would be like: all happy and plump and resting in bed…But the urges brought on by her pregnancy were absolutely maddening. The excess hormones were on a war path within her, stampeding through her body with the intent of taking over control. There was the nausea, of course. Thankfully, it diminished as the weeks passed, but there was still the occasional mad dash to a rubbish bin or the nearest bathroom. Oh, the bathroom. She and the bathroom were becoming fast friends. The urge to pee every five damn minutes had overtaken her life. And she was only halfway there! She surmised that at the rate the baby was growing, her poor bladder would eventually be decimated to about the size of a pea. She'd have to live in the bathroom. Or start wearing adult nappies…They joys and dignity of creating life.
Granted, there were some other urges that weren't particularly bad, per se, just not always particularly convenient…
"Sweetie, could you come here for a moment?" River called down the hallway, "I need you."
The moment she heard his prompt reply of: "Yes, alright. Coming dear," River dashed into their bedroom to prepare herself.
She held her breath with anticipation as her husband entered the room. "River, what is-"
His eyes grew wide with surprise.
"Hello, Sweetie," she said, her whole body exuding allure.
The Doctor gulped nervously at the sight of his wife. River lay among a pile of throw pillows with the poise of a goddess. She wore the most tempting of nightgowns: a dark red silk, embroidered with an intricate lace bodice that beautifully displayed her generous cleavage. Hell in high heels indeed.
It occurred to him that he was staring, utterly transfixed by her. He attempted to compose himself, but after some awkward fidgeting and fist clenching, he could only manage to breathe her name in wonder.
River's face became illuminated by her husband's reaction. She decided to put him out of his misery, and beckoned for him to join her on the bed. He immediately obliged; like a giddy school boy, he crawled over the duvet towards her. Oh, she loved the effect she had on him.
By the time he reached her, his bedroom eyes had come out to play. Gone was the awkward man-child, and before her was the brilliant lover she yearned for.
"Now, Doctor Song," he whispered, hovering over her body on all fours. "What exactly…" He lowered his head down towards her, hair flopping into his eyes. He didn't seem to mind; what he wanted was right underneath him. He could feel her chest heaving; each breath deepening with longing. "…did you need me for?" His lips were so close to hers now, almost touching. He could even detect the slightest upward tilting of her chin. She wanted him. It took dedication to resist her for this long, but it was worth it.
Little did he know that River was having even worse of a time attempting to suppress her carnal urges. Her libido was higher than she'd ever had thought possible. The lust was all-consuming and it drove her mad. It took all her strength not to assault her husband right then and there. Her stomach fluttered, her pelvic muscles clenched, and the soreness of her breasts seemed to multiply ten-fold.
"You tell me," River responded with equal cunning, her eyes twinkling as she looked up at him from beneath her lashes. "You're the doctor."
He kissed her quickly, but hard, on the mouth. "Let's see now, shall we?"
River bit her lower lip as her husband shifted his weight down her body.
"Maybe..." He kissed her neck."It's..." He kissed her collarbone. "Something..." Breastbone. "To do with…" Cleavage. River hummed in approval. "This." He kissed her swollen belly affectionately, and looked up at her. Her smile was nothing short of radiant.
The Doctor inched back up along his wife's body. Enough teasing, he decided; they hadn't made love in weeks due to this pregnancy and he wasn't about to let some sudden bought of nausea ruin it. He kissed her then, utterly exploding with love and passion. Immediately, he felt her whole body cling to his: her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer, her legs tangling around his, and her head lifting off the pillow in order to gain better access to his mouth. Whimper-like moans vibrated from her throat as she kissed him back just as fiercely. His hearts burst with love for her.
River's hips were bucking upwards into his, urging him on towards the next phase. He pulled away from her for a moment to rid himself of superfluous clothing. River bit her lip and smirked as she watched him kneeling beside her, struggling with garments.
"I could kiss you all night," she murmured.
The Doctor blushed. "Yeah, well I've had some practice…" he said, focusing on unbuttoning his shirt.
"Have you, now?" River teased. Her husband's eyes darted upwards to meet hers. There was something behind the twinkle in her eyes…something sad.
"Hmmm?" The Doctor detected trouble.
River pressed the matter, leaning back onto the pile of pillows. Her face held an expression of which The Doctor could not make sense of: some combination of interest and cunning. "Who've you practiced with?"
He avoided her gaze, scratching his cheek nervously.
"Doctor." Her tone was suddenly demanding.
He tried to brush off the question. "No one, dear," he attempted to mutter casually.
"Who?" she said with a smile.
Oh no, she had that face again. The face: the Stepford-Wivesy face that…that was all sweet and innocent on the outside, but he could see in her eyes that there was a fire being lit. He was in for it now.
"Doctor. What aren't you telling me?"
It was as if his voice had buried itself deep within him, hiding from his wife's hormonal mood swings.
River sighed. "Don't make me go through the list, dear; it doesn't reflect well on you."
The Doctor had to bite his cheek in order to suppress an eye roll.
River continued on, apparently taking some sort of twisted, bitter, aggressive pleasure in the topic of his 'ex's.'
"There's your first wife."
"River-" The Doctor warned. His nostrils flared and his jaw clenched in frustration. River was taunting him. He knew it was the hormones doing this, but it still didn't make her actions any less painful.
"What ever happened to her?" River asked with the slightest hint of malicious intent.
"River, don't start this," he hissed.
"Why not? What do you have to hide?" She stared him down, protectively stroking her stomach. The baby: it was an unspoken threat. "Who else has there been? Let's see: Romana, Queen Bess," she began to count off on her fingers, "Marilyn, Rose…"
"Don't you dare say anything about Rose!" The Doctor said, standing up in anger. He paced beside the bed, one hand on the hip, the other massaging his temples.
"Ooh, did I hit a nerve?"
"River, stop this. Your hormones-"
"My hormones? My? What about your hormones? Hmmm? My husband can't keep his hands to himself, and he's worried about my hormones..." Her fury struck fear into his hearts. Pregnant River was scary.
"Now tell me," she whispered, each syllable emphasized, "who else was there? How many women came before me?"
The Doctor huffed and sat back down on the bed. "Do you really want to know?"
"Yes," she challenged.
"Fine, but just so you know: it wasn't all me," he forewarned. "Women tend to just…throw themselves…at-at me."
River scoffed and crossed her arms.
"Oi! Your mother was one of them! And Cl-" he stopped as soon as he realized what he was saying.
River's eyes widened in shock. "What?" she uttered softly, every trace of vindictiveness instantly replaced with sorrow and confusion.
The sudden change in emotions completely threw him off guard. River didn't act like this. She wasn't…emotional or human-y.
"I-I-" he stammered.
"Clara?" River questioned slowly. "She-"
"Doctor." Her voice had gone weak. "Look at me. Did you?"
"Tell me," she pleaded.
"Yes," he finally admitted, guilt overtaking him. "Yes, but she-"
"What? She what?" River demanded.
"She kissed me…" he murmured, avoiding eye contact like a shamed puppy.
"Did you kiss her back?" River asked, attempting, and failing, to steady her voice.
"Well, um I just…kind of…stood there…" he mumbled.
River's body tensed and she exhaled deeply.
He couldn't look at her; he was too embarrassed. "River, it wasn't her, it was…past her. That Clara died…" he attempted to explain.
"So that gives you the right to kiss other women?"
Did he detect her voice breaking?
"Wha-no…You, you have that bloody hallucinogenic lipstick!" he retorted, suddenly feeling a surge of defensiveness.
"Sweetie, that's different," she stated calmly.
"The only way to get the lipstick to work is to get it on people's lips."
"And me not really kissing Clara…?"
"What were you trying to get on her lips?" she pointed out. Touché
"You allowed her to act upon romantic feelings and failed to mention that you were married." All of a sudden, years of repressed disappointment and anger emerged from within, trigged by hormones, and threating to flood her eyes with tears.
The Doctor had never seen her this upset before. It was disturbing, to say the least.
"Do you care…about…our marriage?" she asked, her voice horribly distorted by sadness.
The Time Lord stared at the floor, tensely shifting his feet.
"River, of course I do. I'm. I'm sorry…" he began, looking up to her.
His wife didn't respond. She stared at him, trying so hard to stop grief from revealing its presence across her face. The Doctor could see the pain in her eyes, though. Her eyes never lied.
"River-" He didn't know how to continue.
She blinked slowly, squeezing her eyelids shut. Her lips twitched in an attempt to prevent from curling with despair.
He was scared to reach out to her, but with hesitation, he attempted to do so. Then, he reconsidered and threw his arms down in defeat. River shook her head slowly in disappointment. It was worse than any scolding, her not speaking. They sat there, River living stone, silent with stubbornness, and the Doctor fidgeting madly with anxiety.
Eventually, coming to the realization that they were getting nowhere, The Doctor decided to excuse himself. It was too much for him. So, he stood up slowly, glanced back once more at his wife, and walked towards the door.
As the handle clicked shut, River sighed with sorrow, and then proceeded to sob uncontrollably as her stoic wall crumbled.
The Doctor didn't sleep that night. He normally didn't need it, but he'd made habit of it, for River's sake. It was nice to routinely share a bed with someone, actually…But not that night.
Morning came, and The Doctor parked the TARDIS outside Clara's house once again. A few moments later, he heard the door creak open, followed by her soft footsteps. She found him passively swinging among the wires underneath the console.
"Where's River?" she asked, noting her absence.
The Doctor shrugged.
"What do you mean- " she imitated his shrug.
"Asleep, I suppose…" he muttered.
"Okay, what's wrong?" Clara asked, her hand firmly on her hip.
His mopey body language told her otherwise. "Yeah, I'm gonna have to disagree…"
Clara pivoted around and climbed back up the stairs to investigate.
River's bedroom door was locked.
Clara called her name, but there was no answer. So, the companion marched back down the hallway to interrogate The Doctor once more.
"Alright, what did you do?" she demanded, arms crossed.
The Doctor looked ashamed.
"Doctor," Clara warned. "Why is River's door locked?"
"I'd…rather not say…"
"What did you do?"
"Why do you automatically assume it was me?" She's the hormonal one who's overreacting.
Clara glared at him. He scratched his chin nervously.
"Oi! Chin boy!" the girl said with a clap of her hands. "Go fix it!"
"Fine-" he muttered, getting up like a disgruntled teenager.
He soniced the lock and opened the door.
She was lying in bed still, her face distinctly melancholy. As he approached her, he saw that her pillow was wet with tears.
She wouldn't meet his gaze.
"Don't you dare," she nearly growled. Her voice was heavy with sadness. As the Doctor faltered, River sat up.
"Don't you dare come in here. Get out. Get-" Emotion had taken over, preventing River from speaking any further. She couldn't stop the tears.
"Shut up! Don't. Speak."
The Doctor was horrified. "I'm so sorry," he whispered.
River scoffed. "Don't mock me," she warned, her face stiff with contempt. "And don't you dare lie to me."
He was utterly taken aback. What had gotten into her? "River…lie about what?" he asked in genuine confusion. "Being sorry?"
River glanced upwards in an attempt to gain control over her emotions. Her eyes glistened with tears.
"Do you have," her voice shook with sorrow and rage, "any idea…what I go through?"
He couldn't look at her. The way she was speaking to him was like a knife in the hearts. He felt so guilty, so completely stupid.
"My entire youth, the chance at a normal life…my parents, were taken from me. Because. Of. You." Her chin was quivering. "I have been brainwashed, injured countless times, kidnapped, shot, imprisoned... Because. Of. You. But, I can take all of that. I'm fine. I'm a bit psychotic at times, but I'm fine. I can take care of myself. But when you, the man responsible for all the shit that's happened to me in my life, the man who, in front of my parents, promised to love and cherish me-" She choked back a sob.
"You married me," she continued after regaining her composure. "You weren't forced to, I didn't ask you to. I married you because I love you. I put up with all your insanity, with all the danger, not being able to see you for weeks on end, and then when you finally do show up, I have to guard myself because God forbid you have no idea who I am. Do you understand what that's like? To look at your own husband, to want him to hold you tight and kiss you, but when he looks back at you, you're only something slightly more than a stranger?" she started sobbing, unable to stop the outpour of emotions. "I do that. And I chose this life because I love you. But after all that I've sacrificed for us, I come home to my husband, the only family in the universe I have left, only to discover that he hasbeen inviting women to cling to him like desperate, lusting, ingénues...Do you have any idea how much that hurts?"
He was shamed into silence.
"Look at me," she cried.
When she spoke again, the anger was gone; pure despair replaced it. "I hate you. I hate you. I. HATE. YOU."
The Doctor hung his head and buried it in his hands. Every flirty remark, every absence of personal space, every awkward comment, every damn non-platonic thing he'd ever done around Clara flashed before him. He was mortified. Not only had he done it, but he had been practically unaware that he was doing it. He had forgotten his wife. He never mentioned nor spoke about her, because the less he did, the less it would hurt…He loved her, and missed her so much it hurt. There was so much pain mixed with the love in his hearts. He'd just shut down emotionally. But she deserved better…The daughter of Amy and Rory…What would they think of him?
"Don't you ever think I'm not sorry. That's one thing I'd never lie about. Cross my hearts." He sighed. "There is so much…" It was suddenly hard for him to speak. "I can't apologize enough to you…" He kissed her hands for penance.
"Do you love me?" River asked with a whimper.
"W-what? River, of course I do. How-how could you think…"
He placed a hand on her cheek and stared at her, gaze unbreaking so there was no mistaking it. "I. Love. You…more than…" He sighed, tears welling up in his eyes. "More than I thought possible to love…" He paused again, sniffling.
"You certainly have a funny way of showing it." River's tone was bitter.
"River, please, please forgive me," he begged. "I'm old, I'm so…stupid. Please, I can't be without you…my beautiful Melody Pond." He kissed her hands yet again. "When you left me, right after your parents-"
"Is that all I am to you? A memento of my parents?"
"No, River of course not. You're my wife."
"You've had other wives."
"Yes," he admitted, "but-"
"Your first wife."
"River, she's dead in a time lock."
"Queen Elizabeth?" she pouted.
"River, I do believe I…left her at the altar…plus, she wants me dead. Not really wife material…"
"River, look at me. I married you across all of time. I married you in a traditional Gallifreyan ceremony. Why, why would I have done that? Do you have any idea how difficult it is for me to admit…How long it took for me to say…You, you don't stay, and-"
"I don't need you."
"Yes, but, River…I need you."
"You've got Clara."
"She's not you, River."
"If you needed me so much, then why didn't you come after me?"
"River, we've been through this before…it hurts…you…and me…and I-I don't know what to say…I'm not good at this stuff…"
"I don't know what you want me to do," River groaned. "I left. You're upset. You, can't…get attached and…"
The Doctor ran his hands across his face as he finally surrendered to emotions. And he realized. "Did you…did you leave because-"
River closed her eyes sorrowfully. "You needed your space; that was clear…"
"I asked you to travel with me," he corrected. "I was all alone. Being without you was just-"
"Yes, but eventually, I'd…" River didn't want to think about her own possible demise. "I thought if you resented me, it'd be easier. I'm not going to be around forever, and…I don't know. You said-"
"No, no, River," her husband interjected. "These past few weeks made me realize that…" He took a deep breath. "I need you here beside me. Not knowing when I'll see you again and saying goodbye every time, it's not… I am holding onto you as long as I can."
It was River's turn to be speechless. She looked exhausted.
The Doctor moved to sit beside her and reached out, hesitant at first, but then River collapsed into his arms, crying.
"Oh Riv," The Doctor whispered into his wife's ear. "It's okay."
"I'm so sorry…" River cried. "I'm really hormonal and getting fat and-"
"River Song, you are not fat," The Doctor refuted, kissing her head lovingly. "That's nonsense, stupid backwards nonsense and you know it. You're pregnant with the most wonderful child…Time Lord pregnancies are more complex than human's; of course you're going to go bonkers with hormones. I only have eyes for you, honey. Please believe me."
"I love you," she sobbed into his shoulder. "I love you. I'm so sorry. I love you."
"It's alright," he reassured her, rubbing her back soothingly. "I'm the one who should be sorry…I'm a hypocritical idiot."
River's sobs turned to whimpers.
"Hey, hey, look at me. I hate seeing you cry. Where's the River I know, hmm?"
"You lost her when you knocked me up," she muttered.
"I still think there's hope," he mused. "Now, I'm going to explain this to you for the last time, Doctor Song. You are my wife. Time hasn't been the boss of us before, Miss I'll-rewrite-a-fixed-point." He booped her on the nose. "Alright?"
Muscles in River's cheeks twitched with a shadow of a smile. Nevertheless, when her husband placed his lips on hers, she didn't resist him. He only lingered for a moment, careful not to over-do it. He cupped her cheeks, wiping away tears. "Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt that I love."
"Quoting Shakespeare," River nearly chuckled. "You nostalgic idiot."
"No, Shakespeare quoted me..." he clarified.
River chuckled lightly.
The Doctor smiled at her seeming emotional recovery. "Are you alright?" he asked, looking to her expectantly.
She curtly nodded, sniffling slightly.
"I love you," he whispered, pecking her with a quick kiss. Those three words. They still hurt when he said it. But he knew it had to be said. It was, after all, how he felt; his hearts swelled with love for her. River deserved to hear it.
The Doctor held his wife tight, resting his head against hers. She smelled fantastic. Her hair, her skin, her warmth. Oh, this woman. She was heaven. How did he ever manage to be apart from her? Unable to stop himself, The Doctor continued to slowly trail staccato kisses down River's collarbone. To his surprise, she rolled her neck back, allowing him better access to her throat. He stopped, taken aback. River looked up at him and smiled faintly. "Always and completely," she whispered, her eyes watering with forgiveness.
"Always," he agreed, and he kissed her. The next thing he knew, River was once again melting under his touch, deep hums of approval egging him on. He followed her body as she lay down on the bed, on all fours above her, so as to not crush her precious belly. She ran her fingers through his hair as he traveled further downwards, sending shivers down his spine. Eventually, the silk of her nightgown blocked his access to her supple skin, so he helped her shimmy out of it. She looked slightly apprehensive as the garment was removed; biting her lip as if she was afraid he'd recoil at the sight of her. The Doctor was pleasantly surprised by the changes in his wife's body. He couldn't stop staring at her: she was plump and utterly "gorgeous…" he breathed. "River, you're gorgeous."
She smiled at his response.
"And your belly…" he said, glancing downwards to where there was now a definite bump. "Hello baby."
He kissed his wife again, bursting with happiness. Then, she practically tore his clothes off. Hormones.
Clara drummed her fingers on the TARDIS console, sipping her tea as she waited for The Doctor to resolve his lover's quarrel. Suddenly, she heard a faint banging noise, followed by some loud…what sounded like screaming. They weren't. No…weren't they fighting five minutes ago? And now they're…having make-up sex.
"You two have some serious issues."
PLEASE LEAVE ME A REVIEW/COMMENT/SUGGESTION. This chapter took FOREVER to write; any guidance would be very much appreciated!