Word Count: 647
Characters: Doctor/River, original characters
Notes: This story came about as a desire to tell the story of the Doctor properly falling in love with River, which you can see starting at the end of "A Good Man Goes to War" and culminating with his fierce drive to protect her in "Let's Kill Hitler." Something happened between those two in the 3-month gap for the Ponds. It was also spawned by seeing gorgeous pictures on Tumblr of cities created out of trees and the tale of Jim the Fish that's in the diary excerpts of "The Eternity Clock." When I saw the tree cities, I knew that there was a story that needed to be told.
Summary: Oh, but it all made sense now. River Song was Melody Pond, and Melody Pond was River Song. And River couldn’t tell them that she was Melody because with one single misstep, she could have easily wiped herself out of existence. That, the Doctor knew, would be a very bad thing - a story of the three months between "A Good Man Goes to War" and "Let's Kill Hitler."
He could hear the shouts as he left, the begging from Amy and Rory, but River would handle it. He trusted her to take them home, to tell them what they needed to know without endangering any timelines. His hands hit the console, flicking the switch that sent him into the vortex as his heart did a giddy little jump. He trusted River Song. And wasn’t that just a brilliant thing? Well, especially brilliant since about 10 minutes earlier, he'd wanted to strangle her with his bare hands. He’d thought she’d betrayed him, had toyed with him and left him to dangle, not caring about him nearly as much as she claimed.
Oh, but it all made sense now. River Song was Melody Pond, and Melody Pond was River Song. River couldn’t be there because her baby self had been, and that would have been a nasty paradox and a half. He’d learned that one the hard way when an adult Rose had wound up in the same room as an infant Rose, and let’s not even discuss the paradox that should have happened with multiple versions of Amelia Pond around. And River couldn’t tell them that she was Melody because with one single misstep, she could have easily wiped herself out of existence. That, the Doctor knew, would be a very bad thing.
He jerked the monitors down and displayed the images of the little girl from Florida he’d culled from his memory, side-split with the TARDIS’ data file on River. He fisted his hair, the excitement waning a bit. “Stupid Doctor, stupid, stupid,” he spoke aloud to the empty console room. “Of course River and the little girl were the same. She was practically broadcasting it when we were inspecting the suit. How much does she remember?” He could see the resemblances between the child and the adult. The little girl, when you looked at her closely, was very much the offspring of Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. The shape of the face was Amy’s, the hair was Rory’s. The eye shape was Amy, the color Rory’s. And that nose? All Pond.
Adult River looked somewhat different, but that had to account for age. He frowned. There was less of a family resemblance there, though he could see Rory still in the eyes and Amy in her face. The blonde seemed to be her natural hair colour, and that leaned to Rory’s side. Still, she wouldn’t have lost that much of her childhood looks unless …
“She can regenerate.” The giddy excitement returned, and he pirouetted. “She can regenerate! Of course! Human plus! Not just human plus, but maybe more Time Lord than human. I need a sample of her DNA. Something from her room.” He leaped up the stairs and nearly skidded into the wall. Did River even have a room? Something pricked in the back of his mind to go check his room, but he blushed and quickly backed away. Well, yes, they did the kissing thing. The one time at least. It’d been a very enjoyable kissing thing, and he wasn’t that dense. He knew it’d would eventually be far more than a kissing thing. But, one thing at a time. Figure River out, then all that other … well … stuff.
He bounded back down the stairs to the console. “I need to talk to River,” he told the TARDIS as he began keying in the coordinates for Stormcage, around the time he’d taken Rory to earlier in the day for him. “You’ll take me to her?” He patted the console as the TARDIS wheezed in response before settling gently. Without checking the monitors, he sprinted to the doors, flinging them open to greet the dimness of Stormcage.
And found he was somewhere very different.