Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Eleven/River Song
Summary: The mask remains in place.
A/N: A belated gift fic written for ozmissage, who requested anything with River Song. Beated by blackmamba_esq. Any lingering mistakes are mine.
River finds it very difficult not to touch him when he frowns like that. She also finds it hard not to correct the mistakes he’s already made, or teach him things that he told her himself. The mask she’s cultivated for these moments stays in place most of the time; the wicked smile, the cocky wink, but the eyes must give nothing away, not to even the most casual onlooker. She can’t afford to give anything away (he’s taught her well—told her so much), but she wonders if he’s ever had to be this strong, ever had a person that defines every single moment of your life bounce in and out of it, like a leaf floating on a breeze. She doesn’t think so. But she could be wrong, and it’s not like she can ask him anytime soon.
He says, “I won’t always be around to save you.” But that’s a lie; she knows that even if he doesn’t. He also talks endlessly about rewriting time, about changing what for her has already happened and that make her furious—so angry that he would be flippant about what’s so precious to both of them. She’s only hit him once (a late night argument, when he was too much himself and she felt like someone else entirely) and they haven’t gotten to that part yet, which means hitting him now would change their future—it would make that the second time she’s hit him and would only—well prove him right.
So the mask remains in place, the eyes blank as he takes risk after stupid risk, jeopardizing their weekend in Belize and that horrible month in the penal colony, and that one night—that wonderful, gorgeous moment in her London flat that brings tears to her eyes when she thinks about it.
He says time can be rewritten and she says, “Don’t you dare,” with more anger than she intends, but she’s not made of stone is she? The mask slips, just a second, but long enough for him to see too much of her too soon. He says “River,” and she can’t bear it, the weight of them is too heavy, but she still manages her wicked smile and cocky wink.
“You have no idea what you’ll miss out on.”
His look is thoughtful, with none of the irritation that usually follows her veiled hints at their future. He takes her hand and kisses it softly; gallantly, the first time he’s done this, but definitely not the last.
“Perhaps not River Song,” he says, and grins. “But I’m starting to get an idea.”