"Why did you save the Doctor?" Rory asked.

River stopped with a cracker halfway to her mouth. "What?"

They were sitting on a bench, feeding crackers to the ducks, waiting for Amy and the Doctor to return. They'd just saved 1912 Paris from being overrun by giant ants in the sewers.

Amy and the Doctor were taking the homeless man who had helped them, back to his family.

"What do you mean?" River asked, brow wrinkled as she tossed the cracker to the ducks quacking at their feet.

"In Berlin," Rory said, turning toward her on the bench. "You'd spent all that time as Mels, just waiting for him to turn up so you could kill him, then you saved him. Why?"

River stared at him as if he should know this. She pressed her lips together, as if she was thinking, her blue-green eyes steady on his.

Finally she came to a decision. "You nodded."

"Huh?" An identical wrinkle appeared between his brows.

River crushed her bag of crackers and scattered it out over the demanding ducks. One pecked her on the boot, and shivered, showering crumbs down off its back.

She turned toward Rory. "When I asked you, you and Amy, if he was worth it. You nodded."

Rory shook his head, not understanding.

River smiled whimsically. "I always knew what Amy's answer would be. I'd spent years listening to her stories about the Doctor. But you," she reached forward and clasped her hands over his, "you never make snap decisions. You think about your answers, and you don't let anyone else do your thinking for you," she said in an admiring tone.

Rory blushed a bit, secretly thrilled, but looked away, then quickly back when she squeezed his hands again.

"I've always had great respect for your decisions. I always knew I could trust them. I value your advice." River smiled, a world of affection in her eyes.

Rory suddenly scoffed, even though his heart was pounding with pride. "Then why didn't you ever take it?" he demanded, thinking of all those times he'd admonished her as Mels, only to be ignored.

"Oh, well, you were my father after all," she said, casting him a flirty twinkle. "What teenager listens to her father?"

Rory stared at her openmouthed. He stared down at the ducks. Suddenly he pointed a finger at her. "Peck her some more!" he ordered.

River threw back her head and laughed.

For more stories by this author click on "betawho" at the top of the page.

Please take a moment to leave a review. Thank you.