Holding On

By SerenBex

Scifi / Adventure

I Learnt From the Best

Dear RandiS. I would have replied personally to your review, but you're anonymous, so I couldn't.

Firstly, thank you so much for commenting – it means a lot to know that you're reading and have 'fallen in love with this story' :)

Secondly, I'm incredibly happy that you now love with River! That's my mission in life – to make people realise how wonderful she is! Well, it isn't really, but if I manage to do that then it's a bonus! :D

And thirdly, this is almost the last part of the story and I'm very sad. But I can't just keep going with it… can I? I am tempted, but surely it would get boring? I think I could easily be persuaded to write more… it's not exactly a chore! :P But only if people actually want to read more. So let me know ;)

Love Bex x

Also want to say a massive thank you to my constant and totally lovely reviewers Shifuni and nicoleniks94. It means a lot that you take the time to comment. Also, massive thank you's to everyone who reads, alerts and favourites. THANK YOU! :D

Right… being emotional over… back to the story!

River raised a hand to her face and felt the dampness of tears on her cheek. Her eyes flicked open; why had she been crying? It had probably been to do with something that the Doctor had done. The Doctor… the…

She leapt out of bed, looking around her in confusion. She wasn't in her bedroom on the TARDIS and neither was she in her Stormcage cell. The woman was standing in her pyjamas in a nicely decorated bedroom that she didn't recognise. Why was she here?

Then she remembered what had happened; Big Bang two, rebooting the universe. So how did she remember it? It was supposed to have rewritten their histories and erased the Doctor from their memories. But she still remembered him. And that wasn't possible.

"Evie…" She whispered, wrenching open the door and rushing along the landing. She threw open doors, looking for her daughter. Every single room was empty. There was no sign of the teenager anywhere. She slumped to the ground, burying her head in her hands, letting hot tears drop onto her arms.

It was so unfair; she remembered the Doctor and her daughter and yet they were both gone and she would have to live with painful memories. Throwing back her head in anger, the woman spotted a previously unnoticed door at the other end of the corridor. A tiny spark of hope lit in her chest and she stood shakily.

Placing her trembling hand on the doorknob, River took a deep breath and pushed open the door, unsure whether she wanted to see inside. A figure in the bed stirred as the door open, a girl turned and gazed at her with large, greeny-blue eyes. The woman took a deep shuddering breath and sat on the bed, leaning over to hold her tightly in her arms.

"Mum… what's wrong?" The teenager asked. Then she gasped and pulled away from her mother's embrace, remembering. "What… how… how am I here? How can I remember everything?"

River laughed, her face lighting up. All her worries had melted into nonexistence when Evie had called her 'Mum'. All her worries except one, but she thought she knew how to sort that one out.

"Listen, I don't know what happened or how, but that doesn't matter, alright?" River said seriously gripping Evie's arms and staring into her eyes. The teenager nodded trustingly. "We need to find a way to make Amy and Rory remember the Doctor."

"Today's their wedding!" Evie exclaimed suddenly realising. "Today's the day my grandparents are getting married!"

River sighed and smiled at her daughter's excitement. "Then you'd better get dressed, Sweetie, we've got a wedding to get to."

x-x

"I thought you said we were going to the wedding." Evie moaned as her mother led her towards a large country house. They'd used the teenager's Vortex Manipulator to take them to the right place, but then River had announced that they weren't actually going to be attending the wedding after all.

"No, I said we had a wedding to get to. Different." The older woman said with a smirk. "Now, Sweetie, you have to keep the receptionist busy so I can get this to Dad."

Brandishing her TARDIS shaped diary at her daughter, River laughed, realising that the girl was still trying to work out the difference between the two sentences. As she moved towards the entrance, Evie grabbed her black fur coat, pulling River backwards.

"How am I supposed to keep them busy?"

River shrugged and smiled indulgently. "You learnt from the best, I'm sure you'll find a way. Come on, there's no point me going in until they're distracted, is there!"

Evie raised her eyebrows and walked into the reception area more confidently than she felt. River gave her a moment or two before she went in. Without glancing over, she made her way around the hall and pushed open the door on her left. It couldn't have been more perfect timing; Rory was standing, alone, in the centre of the room.

"Hello, Rory." River called, moving slowly towards him, her stiletto heels clacking with each footstep.

"Hi… Do I know you?" He asked vaguely. River just smiled fondly and held out the diary, not answering his question.

"Can you give this to Amy? It's a present. If she asks about it, tell her it's to do with that old wedding saying; it's for luck."

With that she turned, not waiting for her father to answer, heading back to the reception area to pick up her daughter and wait for the perfect moment to nudge Amy in the right direction. She let out an exasperated sigh and glanced heavenwards as she spotted the teenager.

Evie was sitting on the desk with her legs stretched out in front of her and her skirt hitched up far above a level that was respectable. She had thrown her head back, giggling at something one of the rather dazed looking men at the desk had said. The men's eyes were transfixed on her and she flipped her hair seductively.

River marched over, an eyebrow raised and her hands on her hips. The teenager glanced at her noticing the look in her eyes, before turning back to the men and twisting round so that she could slide off the counter, flashing even more flesh in the process.

"Sorry boys, I have to go." She said with a smile. The younger of the men handed her a scrap of paper, which Evie tucked into her cleavage, winking. River was outraged at her behaviour; her facial expression reflecting her anger. Then the older man beckoned Evie forwards, whispering something in her ear. The teenager giggled and threw a glance to her mother. "Oh, really? I wouldn't even try it. She's a bit… difficult… to handle. See ya!"

"Evie!" River hissed after dragging her daughter outside by her arm. "What the hell were you doing?"

"You told me to distract them. Besides, mother, I learnt from the best." She said meaningfully raising her eyebrows.

River couldn't help smirking at that; she had known introducing the girl to the hallucinogenic lipstick when she was thirteen had been a bad idea. "Oh, Sweetie."

"Yeah… I was brought up by the woman who can make Daleks beg for mercy." Evie continued. River's mouth dropped open at her words and the teenager smirked, shooting her a glance. "Did you really think I was just going to leave you alone with it?"

"Yeah, well, at least I didn't start crying when the TARDIS went crazy." River told her smirking.

"I think you'll find you were the one that made me hug you and wouldn't let go!" Evie retorted quickly, an identical smirk on her own face. They both laughed and River flung an arm around the teenager giving her a quick kiss on her forehead before pushing her towards the bin.

She shook her head smiling and waited for Evie to bin the phone number the man had given her before dragging the teenager the long way round the building so that she could walk past Amy and Rory's reception and make sure her mother had got the message.

x-x

In the darkness, the two women saw a blue police box. They smiled, neither having to look at the other to know that their expressions were identical. Quietly they moved forwards until they were standing in front of it. The Doctor had walked straight past them, taking the TARDIS key out of his pocket with his back turned.

"Did you dance?" River asked, her voice husky. "Well… you always dance at weddings, don't you?"

"You tell me." He said, turning and smiling.

River laughed slightly. "Spoilers." Now she was very glad she hadn't revealed anything in the Pandorica; it would have complicated things no end.

"The writing's all back, but I didn't peak." He said, handing River her diary.

"Thank you." She said smiling at him in a way Evie had seen countless times before. The Doctor handed River back her Vortex Manipulator and the teenager decided it was time for her to give them some privacy. She wasn't sure where exactly he was in his timeline, but it couldn't be that far, because he didn't know who they were yet.

"See you later, Doctor." She said smiling at him. The Doctor didn't question the fact that the two women had appeared here together or that they were obviously intending to leave in the same way. He grinned back, before his eyes drifted over her clothes and his eyebrows shot up.

"Evie… never wear that outfit again." He ordered. "In fact, burn it. Burn that outfit and then buy a big, baggy onesie; onesies are cool."

She laughed, shaking her head, and retreated into the shadows, just far enough away that she wasn't involved in the conversation, but near enough so that she could hear it. While hearing her mother being flirty made her slightly uncomfortable, when she was flirting with the Doctor Evie didn't mind.

"Are you married, River?"

In the dim light, Evie could just make out the expression on her mother's face. River was smirking slightly, but not giving anything away. "Are you asking?"

"Yes."

River smirked even more. "Yes."

"No… hang on, did you think I was asking you to marry me? Or… Or asking if you were married?" The Doctor asked, suddenly flustered. Evie could hear a hint of panic in his voice. She snorted with stifled laughter in the background, knowing that this question was totally redundant.

"Yes."

"No? But was that yes or… yes." He was struggling to clarify the meaning of her word. He would be struggling for a very long time; River was an expert at keeping secrets.

"Yes." She breathed, leaning forwards slightly and staring into his eyes. He sighed.

"River… who are you?"

She hesitated, beckoning Evie back to her side. "You're going to find out very soon now. And I'm sorry, but that's when everything changes."

Evie stood beside her mother, who slipped an arm around her waist and pressed the button on her Vortex Manipulator, causing them both to vanish. The Doctor stared at the empty space for a moment or two, smiling fondly and wondering about the two females, before turning and entering the TARDIS.

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