Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

River of No Return

A crunching rumbles through the rocks behind the Doctor.

But he is watching the spot where Jack used to be, wondering and wandering and wondering at how the man managed to… not see it for so long. Or maybe it was… well of course it was -him-, not -him-. Obviously.

Crunch. Crack.

Crumble, crumble.



He looks up, but not behind, to find a woman’s shadow picking its way along the curves and corners of his stony perch, pleased with itself.

“…-her-self, my love,” River says softly, draping her arms around him.

My god, she’s wearing a sundress.

And faded jeans.

One of his old ties, slightly burnt.

A photograph, he thinks, in red stiletto heels.

“Which one are you, anyway and how can you walk in those?”

River lets her chin down onto his brown hair, resting her lower jaw as though about to set an animal free into those wilds of deepest darkest field mouse. Her fingers snake over his arm, guiding his muscles until he is forced to turn his head to look where they are pointing together.

Two towers in the distance. Singing. The end of her, then.

An involuntary shudder takes him; her warm hands catch the feathering sunlight all the way down as it plays along his backside in an undecided halo.

He feels warmer.

“It’s your dream, beloved…” she murmurs at his ear, into his brains, melting like white chocolate with bits in as the dense bright heat is shoving between them, the words effecting the gleam off a cold sausage tin, “… you tell me. But this is where I get off. See you soon, and thank you for the screwdriver.”

A kiss becomes a nibble at his ear, teeth chattering to a different drummer’s resonance.

He gives her a hand down the lumps of rock, sighing only when her flesh has long abandoned his fingers, and the scent of her perfume is a bookend against the dawn spilling over the empty space where the towers were standing.

And so she leaves him, like a photograph.

He sighs again.

Perhaps later, he’ll try for a smile.

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