Breathless laughter filled the console room as the two occupants collapsed against the TARDIS doors in relief. Another near miss. As it happened, tonight was just one of the many adventures the pair returned from giggling like school children and happy to still be alive.
That’s one of the many things that surprised him about her, the fact that after every adventure she would giggle gleefully. Giggling just didn’t seem like a very River Song thing to do. But oh how she did. She really was a mystery to him, not just in the sense of him not knowing who she was but every new thing he found out about her surprised him. He found himself constantly rethinking his view on her. She could go from sexy space vixen to gentle archaeologist to caring companion with just one wink or gentle touch or soothing word. Every time he thought he had her sussed out, she would change from one to the other. She was like her namesake in that she was every changing and could not be defined or contained. It was endlessly frustrating and he really shouldn’t like it as much as he did.
The Old Girl hummed at their backs as they regained their breathing and came back to themselves, sneaking glances when the other wasn’t looking. Finally the Doctor came to his senses and climbed to his feet, offering her a hand that she accepted with a fond smile.
“Where to next, Doctor Song?” He asked from behind the time rotor, stealing glances when she wasn’t looking.
Her skin was flushed from all the running and she had a smudge of ash across her right cheek. Her hair was a golden halo around her head, curls flying everywhere. It reminded him of time, untamed and winding, not to be controlled. He often found himself wondering how she got it like that. Surely it couldn’t be magic.
She caught his eyes from across the console and smirked. “Sweetie, you’re staring.” She stated in amusement.
Flustered, “I was not, I was just… River, is your hair magic? Because I think it must be, there’s no other explanation.” She laughed heartily at this, her eyes lighting up with amusement but just a slight flicker of exasperation too. How many times must he have asked her this question? “Why would you think that?” She laughed, voice laced with light and music.
“It’s just that… River, you have space hair!” he almost shouted, cheeks red with embarrassment but his eyes curious for an answer. “It really would explain a lot if you were magical.”
“No Sweetie, my hair is not magical,” He visibly deflates at this, “But I do have space hair.” His face lights up in wonder. “How-“
“Spoilers” She sing songs and he glares at her from where he is standing just beside her now, unable to stay away from her; like a moth to a flame.
“You and your spoilers. Will I ever know?” He meant for it to sound grumpy with slight tones of admonishment but it came out sounding far too fond for his liking. “Maybe, if you’re good.” She whispered, so close to his ear that he felt the words tickle along his cheek sending shivers down his spine. His gaze dropped to her mouth.
Last time he had seen her had been in America when she had kissed him. He had been so surprised that her flailed like a windmill and made a complete idiot of himself. But her lips had been so soft and inviting against his own and he wanted to - maybe if he kissed her this time. He was leaning in and just as her breath caught in anticipation…
The TARDIS shuddered to a landing, letting the two know that they had reached their destination. This jolted the pair back to reality as eyes met and River pulled away with a sigh. She moved over to the jump seat to pick up her bag.
The Doctor dropped his head to his chest, releasing a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. Well so much for that then. Maybe it was for the best. He knew that once he had started, once he had kissed her there was no going back.
She came up to stand behind him and he was shocked to find that he had been lost, thinking about how she made him feel of all things. Pull yourself together Timelord.
He stood, walking over to the door with her and leaning against its frame in what he supposed was his attempt at nonchalance.
“Thank you for tonight, I had a good time, Doctor.” She smiled as she said this, albeit somewhat sadly. She leaned up and pressed a light kiss to his cheek.
“’Till the next time, Doctor Song.”
“I look forward to it, Sweetie.”
“I’m counting on it.” He whispered to himself as he watched her walk back into her cell before turning around and leaning against the TARDIS doors with a stupid grin on his face.
“Was that River?” His thoughts were abruptly shattered by the voice of one Amelia Pond.
Suddenly flustered, the Doctor stuttered. “W-what? W-why would that be River? It could have been anyone.” He stopped at Amy’s raised eyebrow.
“Because you have lipstick on your cheek and that smitten grin you always get when you’ve been out with River.” Her incredulous look quickly turned into a devilish smirk. “You like River!” She sing-songed, skipping towards him.
“I do not!” He squeaked.
“Yes you do!” She taunted. “Your voice always goes high pitched when you’re embarrassed or trying to hide something. You fancy River.” Gleeful in her torment, Amy looked far too smug for his liking.
“It’s nothing,” He mumbled. At Amy’s winged eyebrow he conceded, “It’s no big deal. It’s not like I’m going to marry her or anything”. Amy snorted in indignation and he blushed beet red. “We don’t know that!” He exclaimed.
“You are so married.”
“Amy -!” He choked.
“She’s Mrs. Doctor from the future and you know it.”
“Amelia, River is –“
“Special? One of a kind? Your spacey-wacey mate?”
“Just admit it. You like her and she’s going to be your wife one day and she makes you awkward and flustered because you never know the right things to say and you want to take her out on dates and buy her flowers from Mars or something. You want her to-“
“Of course I like her!” He growled in frustration. “How could I not?! She’s clever and mad and quick and flirty and unbelievably sexy and has more love and trust for me than I ever even thought possible. What person in their right mind wouldn’t be in love with her?!” He shouted.
Mouth hanging open in shock, “I never said anything about being in love with her.”
“What?” The Timelord squeaked once again.
“You just said you loved River!” Amy exclaimed in triumph.
“No- no I didn’t.” He was slowly backing up towards the console and away from her, ready to run for it when…
“Sweetie? I think I left my diary here earlier. Have you seen… Oh, Amy. Hello.”
The Doctor stood frozen, looking between the two. “River, can I just have a word?” He croaked. “Sure, Sweetie. Is everything ok?” All he got out was a mumbled “mmm-hmmm” before he was leading River out of the Tar and into her cell.
Before she could say anything he pressed his lips to hers in a gentle, hesitant kiss. He didn’t try to take the kiss any further, just the soft brush of his lips against hers, their breaths mingling until her lips began to move against his. This kiss wasn’t a battle but a unity. Their mouths moved together until they had to stop for breath. She could feel his hearts hammering in his chest and sending reverberations to match her own. No matter how far along in their time together she was or how long they’d been married, he still made her feel like a school girl having her first kiss. She was just better at hiding it.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t even ask.” He spoke softly, his forehead resting on hers and her hands placed over his hearts.
“You never need to ask with me, my love.”
“Never?” He asked in awe of the trust and loved laced within those words.
“Neve-“ He pressed his lips to hers again with even more confidence this time but breaking off abruptly when a thought sprung to his mind. “Are you mine, River?” He looked down at her questioningly, anxiously awaiting the answer. Her eyes soften at the nervousness and unsureness portrayed through his ancient eyes.
She smiled up at him just to see her smile reflected by his. “Always.”
When he returned back to the TARDIS sometime later, it was to find the Girl who waited and the Last Centurion curled up in the jump seat with Amy eyeing him knowingly with a smug grin plastered onto her face.
“Shut up, Pond.”