4 months, 1 week
"Sweetie, don't! Be gentle!" River hissed, batting her husband's hand away.
"I'm-what? Sorry!" he exclaimed, completely agitated.
"Loosen your grip for God's sake…"
"Well how can I relax, much less concentrate, when you're yelling at me? This is supposed to be fun!"
"Not if one of us gets hurt. You can't just go around grabbing bits willy-nilly…there's a science to it."
"Well, if you're so experienced, do it yourself!" The Doctor said with a huff. He took his hands off the TARDIS console controls, and with quite the grumpy expression, allowed his wife to fly the ship…Just this once…He thought to himself. Because she's pregnant.
River landed the TARDIS (silently, of course, just to frustrate her husband). Upon checking the scanner, she smirked. "See?" she gloated to her husband, "Exactly when and where we picked up Clara."
The Doctor rolled his eyes. Sometimes he just hated how well she could fly his ship. It wasn't fair.
Clara attempted to hide her amusement as she watched the couple provocatively glare at each other. The Doctor, sans jacket, had pushed his sleeves up to his elbows. One hand tensely drummed on the console, the other rested on his hip, arm muscles clenched in exasperation. His eyes were locked on River. She, in turn, seemed to be challenging him with her smug smile, her body, leaning casually against the console, the complete opposite of her husband. Clara wasn't sure if River was going to slap him or if they were moments away from shagging on the console…They were always like that, but hey, built in entertainment.
Clara announced her departure as she headed towards the door. "Okay then, um…bye?"
Her voice startled The Doctor out of his River-centric trance, the realization of an audience causing him to flail awkwardly. River, on the other hand, ever smooth and alluring, turned to gracefully say goodbye.
Clara smirked at her friends' antics. She turned to go, but hesitated at the TARDIS doors. She turned around to face the couple, scrunching her nose in thought. "Actually, would you two like to come in for tea?"
River looked to her husband, intrigued by the proposition.
"Are you sure the children's parents won't mind the intrusion?" River asked as they stepped out of the TARDIS and into the front yard.
"Oh not at all," Clara reassured her. "The Doctor's visited before…"
River looked over at her husband, who was busy locking up the ship. Clara cleared her throat and pretended not to notice the woman's insecurity. "Oh, and I should mention," she continued in a whisper, "The reason I'm the kids' nanny…" Clara wasn't really sure how to tell her. "You see, their mum… she died…"
"Oh," River said sympathetically, her eyes growing dark with sorrow. "I'm so sorry…" She barely registered placing her hand on her belly; a subconscious urge of protectiveness for her own child.
Clara nodded in understanding. The Doctor joined them then, satisfied with the TARDIS' safety. "Off we go, shall we?"
"Sorry if it's a bit of a mess," Clara explained a few steps later. She opened the front door for them. "The kids just tend to destroy the house the moment they get home from school."
"Oh, I know what that's like," River said, glancing at her husband.
The Doctor, oblivious to the reference, headed immediately for the kitchen on a mission to find jammie dodgers. River made more of a quiet entrance, her eyes scanning the foyer with a blank expression. After all those years running around space and time, a normal suburban home seemed strange. She perused the photographs on the walls which lead to the kitchen: baby photos, smiling children in school photographs throughout the years, various candid shots, a wedding… There it was, hanging on the wall: a happy, smiling, loving family. This was the kind of place to properly raise a child… A proper home. One she could never have. As she moved along down the hall, River's gaze then became fixed on the woman she could only assume to be the children's late mother. She had such a kind, warm aura about her, maternal even. And she was taken from her family too soon…They weren't even travelers like she and The Doctor were, and yet, she died. The very thought saddened and disturbed her. No child, no parent, should ever go through what this family did. She knew what it was like, to be separated from one's parents… Kovarian had made sure of that. And the Angels. She'd be damned if she was going to let it happen to her own child.
"Angie! Artie!" Clara, who'd stayed back in the foyer, called up the stairs. "Kids! I swear, if that's the tellie I hear…"
"It's not!" Angie quickly yelled.
"It was on when we got home!"
"I'm sure it was," Clara replied sarcastically, "Just like how the biscuits disappeared by themselves yesterday…Come on you two! Look presentable and get down here! We've got guests."
"Is it your boyfriend?" Angie asked, appearing at the top of the stairs.
Clara glanced down the hallway nervously. Thankfully, River had joined The Doctor in the kitchen; she didn't hear that. "Angie, we've been over this," she whispered fiercely. "The Doctor is not my boyfriend."
The girl shrugged, not entirely convinced.
"Can we all go to the cinema?" Artie, asked descending the stairs behind his sister, "or to some cool planet? Preferably without those cyber-people…"
"Artie, no," Clara refuted, putting an arm around his back to push him along towards the kitchen.
"Ah, hello!" The Doctor enthusiastically greeted the children as Clara ushered them into the room. His mouth was full with jammie dodgers. "Artie, how are you mate?" He ruffled the boy's hair.
"I'm good," Artie replied with a smile. "Are you gonna take us to another planet?"
"Maybe later," The Doctor said with a wink.
"How are you Angie?"
The teenage girl ignored him. She was staring at River, who was seated quite regally at the far end of the kitchen table.
"Who are you?" she demanded, crossing her arms. "Angie!" Clara immediately hissed.
River raised an eyebrow at the teenager's attitude.
"Kids, this is Professor Song…" Clara explained through gritted teeth, smiling with warning at Angie.
"Oh," Angie said, sitting down across the table from her.
The Doctor didn't sense the tension building in the room: he was far too engrossed in reading the newspaper comics, leaning against the kitchen counter, stuffing jammie dodgers into his mouth.
"I'm Artie," the boy said with a sweet smile. He walked over to River and extended a hand, which she shook, impressed by the boy's manners. "Hello Artie."
"This is my sister Angie," he said, sitting down next to River. The woman turned and nodded in acknowledgement. Angie was trying desperately to hide a scowl.
"I'll put the kettle on, shall I?" Clara asked as she walked towards the stove. "Tea, River?"
"Decaf, please," River responded.
"Is your name 'River?'" Artie asked, completely fascinated. "That's so cool!"
River smiled warmly at the compliment. "Thank you."
"You're pretty," Artie blurted out.
"Your hair is even crazier than Angie's!"
"Careful there, tiger," Clara teased.
River was flattered. "You must get all the girls at school," she said, indulging in some shameless boosting of the boy's ego.
Artie shook his head sadly.
"Oh, I don't believe that for a moment…"
"Are you The Doctor's girlfriend?" the girl asked bluntly, interrupting the discussion.
"Angie," Clara warned, "don't be rude."
"No, it's alright," River said. She turned to Angie. "Why do you think I'm his girlfriend?" she asked, resting her head on her hand. She was absolutely entertained by this girl's personality.
"Dunno," Angie answered. "Clara says she's not The Doctor's girlfriend, so that must mean he's already got one."
River smiled. "Oh, you're a clever one, aren't you?"
Angie shrugged quite pompously.
River leaned in across the table. "But you're wrong," she said with more satisfaction than she should. "I'm not his girlfriend."
That wiped the smirk off of Angie's face.
"River, stop teasing the poor girl..." The Doctor finally commented.
River bit the inside of her cheek to hide a smirk. "Oooh you've gone all cross…"
"Riverrr…" he muttered under his breath, flustered by her inappropriately-timed allure.
"Are you blushing, dear?"
"No. Stop it," he whispered, attempting to conceal his blush with his hands.
Angie's nose was wrinkled in confusion. "You're totally his girlfriend," she stated confidently.
"Oh, but I'm not…" River teased again, leaning across the table towards the girl. "I'm his wife."
Angie's mouth dropped open slightly in confusion. "Oh," she squeaked silently.
"Earl Grey alright with everyone?" Clara asked as the kettle sounded off.
"That'd be lovely, Clara," River said with a smile. She turned to her jammie dodger-hoarding husband, who had returned to giggling at the newspaper. "Sweetie, do you want tea?"
"Hmm?" he looked up from the paper. "Oh, sure, sure…"
"Doctor, did you eat all the biscuits?" Clara asked, searching through the cabinets for some semblance of a proper tea-time food.
"I'll help you Clara," River offered, standing up.
Artie inhaled loudly, his eyes growing wide. River looked to him with question…that was, until she realized what he was staring at. Her dress' fit had betrayed her condition. "Oh, yes," she nearly blushed, placing a hand on her belly. "I forget sometimes…"
"You're having a baby?" Artie asked.
"Yes," River answered enthusiastically, her eyes lighting up.
"He's been hanging around you far too much, you know," River said to her husband.
"Yes, dear," The Doctor responded passively.
"Can I feel?" Artie asked.
River was caught off guard by the request. No one had ever felt her growing stomach, except for, well…her and The Doctor. She also wasn't used to children…she'd never been around many during her adult life. What was she supposed to do with these little people? Well, they weren't exactly little-Artie came up to her shoulder- but still… They were worse than her husband: full of questions, moody, and cheeky. It seemed all too much. There she was, pregnant, and knowing virtually nothing about children, much less how to raise one.
"Sure…" River said with the slightest hint of hesitation.
"Does the baby kick?" Artie asked, placing a small hand over her belly.
"It's a bit too early for that," River explained. "Although I can sometimes feel little movements…"
"Like butterflies in your stomach?"
"This is so cool," he whispered, utterly enthralled.
River's tension reduced as she acclimated to Artie's affection. Something distinctly maternal had awakened inside of her as she looked down at the boy, ear pressed to her belly, trying to hear the baby. It was…cute, precious even; she found herself smiling. River glanced up at her husband. The Doctor was watching her with captivation, adoration, and fondness…There was so much love in his eyes. He looked at her and she felt...like a mother.
A few cups of tea and interesting conversations later, Clara excused the children to continue with their school work.
"They really are lovely children," River said once they'd left the room.
Clara smiled in agreement. "Yeah, they are. Although Angie can be a bit snippy at times…"
"Mmm, I noticed," River murmured as she sipped her tea.
The Doctor, who now sat next to his wife, placed an arm around the back of her chair. He leaned in to whisper: "You are positively radiant, Doctor Song." River smiled weakly, prompting her husband to kiss her on the cheek. That got the enamored reaction he was looking for; she melted against him, completely content.
Clara, busy cleaning, suddenly drew their attention with a loud, "hmmm."
"Doctor, I think this is for you," she said, examining a postcard. She handed it to him.
"It's from Vastra and Jenny," he said, quickly reading the postcard's contents, "They're on Bermuda II."
"Sorry, 'Bermuda II?'" Clara asked.
"It's a semi-tropical pleasure planet," River explained. "Built especially for relaxation."
"They've invited us to join them…" The Doctor read with a smile. "Holiday, anyone?"