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Welcome

By pinetree13

Adventure / Romance

Chapter 1

The Doctor now stood in front of a TARDIS blue door, waiting to ring the doorbell. He knew this was River's flat, the one she had moved into after being freed from Stormcage on a pardon. He also knew that this would be the first time she met him outside of prison, which was why he hesitated. It was completely ridiculous, but he was slightly nervous about how she would react now that she was free.

However, he couldn't help himself eventually, so he rang the bell. The door was opened almost immediately, as if River had been standing behind it and waiting for him to ring. She was wearing a short blue dress that made the Doctor forget how to breathe for a moment. But the most beautiful thing about her was the way she was smiling at him right now. "Hello, Sweetie."

It took the Doctor a few seconds to remember how to speak. "Hi, honey. I'm home."

This made her laugh, and she stepped aside to motion for him to come in. She led him to the living room and sat down next to him on the couch. "You know, this freedom stuff is really quite wonderful."

He smirked. "So how have you been using it?"

"Oh, I haven't done much really. I bought a flat, took a few trips. So far there hasn't been much that I couldn't do when I broke out."

He almost made a smart comment, but thought better of it. Today was the last day he wanted to risk annoying her. After all, it was only her first night of freedom. He wanted her to enjoy it. "Would you mind showing me around?" he asked, genuinely curious.

She gave him a grin that was too sinister not to mean trouble. "Of course." They got up, and she led him to every room in her flat, giving a few pieces of information here and there. By the time they ended up back at the living room, the Doctor noticed that she seemed to have left out one important room.

"River, I think you must have forgotten your bedroom," he said.

She smiled at this. "Would you like to see it, then?"

"Um, sure." He was totally oblivious to what she was trying to do, which made it all the more fun for her.

"Right this way," she said, grinning. She led him to the room, closing the door behind him. "Oh, Doctor, you're so naïve."

The Doctor's expression now changed from confusion to success, as if this had been his plan all along. "Believe me, I knew what was going on the whole time."

This completely caught River off-guard. He was usually so oblivious. Then again, this was an older version of him, and she could tell.

He now wrapped his arms around her waist. At this, she threw her arms around his neck, kissing him forcefully. She was pleasantly surprised when he responded the same way. Then he was pulling her backwards to the bed, and she landed on top of him. After that, they completely let go of the outside world, content to just be in each other's embrace.

The next time River opened her eyes, it was morning. She didn't turn over, for fear of what she might find. After all, the Doctor had a tendency to leave unexpectedly. The day before had been one of her best, and she didn't want to wake up to wonder if it had all been a dream.

However, it wasn't long before reassurance came. She felt a strong arm wrap around her and pull her closer. Now she turned to face him, only to find that he was still fast asleep. His expression became worried as he dreamed, and he continued to pull her closer. She wasn't complaining, though. She reached up her hand to stroke his chest in an attempt to calm him in his nightmare. It seemed to work.

Pretty soon, he slowly began to open his eyes. River was the first thing he saw. "Hello."

"Hello."

They just laid there contently for a few minutes before getting up to get dressed. River pulled on his shirt, and he smiled as he found another one in her closet, as if she knew that he would be coming soon.

They ate breakfast in silence until River decided to ask, "Why didn't you leave?"

The Doctor didn't know whether to be hurt or confused by her question. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, usually I wake up to find that you've left. Why did you stay this time?"

He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. Every time he had left as she had mentioned, he had been called by someone in trouble, and simply couldn't resist going to help them. He always assumed River knew that, and he certainly had never meant to hurt her. "I . . . I'm sorry. I didn't realize it upset you."

"Every second I'm not with you upsets me." She said this slowly, as if she had been choosing her words with great care.

The Doctor gave a sad smile. "Me too. And to be clear, I never left you on purpose. Things just always seemed to . . . pop up."

River was relieved to hear that at least he had some real reason. "You never answered my question."

"Ah, yes. Well, the reason relates to what I said earlier, about how every second I'm away from you hurts me. So what I really want to know is . . . do you want to come with me?" River didn't answer right away, as she was in shock. The Doctor seemed to think she actually had to consider it. "I know it's dangerous, but I promise I will do everything I can to—"

"Yes."

"Wait, what?" The Doctor was surprised at her quick response.

"Yes, yes, of course!" River was so happy she was practically in tears. She knew she could never travel with him as long as she was in prison, but now that she was free, this was all she had ever wanted.

"You don't care that it will be extremely dangerous?"

"I know you'll never let anything bad happen. Besides, I always have plan B," she said, motioning to her gun.

The Doctor laughed in a mixture of relief and joy. "Well then, what are we waiting for? We have a universe to see!"

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