"Tell me Raggedy Man!!”
“It is none of your concern Amelia!” The Doctor toggled with a few switches on the console to turn around and see Amelia Pond standing there with her arms crossed and a looking at him with a look that said ‘I am so going to kill you if you don’t’ but he wasn’t giving up. He was older than her, much much older. Yes he had to agree that his little Amelia Pond was no his mother-in-law but still, there were some things which were private and where he took River to, on their wedding night was one of them.
“Not my concern ?” her accent growing thicker as she spoke. “Of course it’s my concern. She is my daughter! Daughters and Mothers talk about cuh stuff you know ? I already missed out on much on ..”
“I am not going to get pulled in by that tone and puppy eyes Pond! You know that” he grinned slyly.
Amy’s expression grew cross and he saw Rory entered the room. He had finally told the Ponds he was alive and wasn’t really surprised to see they already knew. River! he thought, his amazing magnificent bespoke psychopath. His wife.
“Umm so what’s the discussion here ?” Rary asked looking confused.
“He refuses to tell me where he took our daughter after marrying her!” Amy accused the Doctor.
“Well it is sort of priv…” Rory began but immediately stopped seeing the glare Amy was giving him.
“Sorry Ponds! Not telling. Where do we go to on our first adventure back ?, now that I’ve risen from the dead and all” He jumped around toggling with the console controls.
“Let her decide” Amy suggested indicating towards the TARDIS.
“aah ! Good idea Pond. Sexy! take us wherever you want” The Doctor grinned.
Amy whispered low enough that only she could here. ‘Mother to mother, you know I deserve to know where he took her. I know you do but I deserve it too don’t you think ?’
The TARDIS came to life and moments later came to a halt!
“C’mon Ponds let’s see where we are” the Doctor rushed off towards the exit, Amy and Rory just behind him.
Opening the doors he announced “Behold! and welcome to Calder…Calderon Beta ? Sexy what sort of prank is this ? You know I came here already with ..” he trailed of and then the thought struck him. He looked at Amy who had a grin on her face.
“Looks like she not only likes the kid but the mother too” Amy smiled walking out.
The Doctor humphed. Clearly cross with his Tardis and his companion. Looks like he was being dominated by the women in his life.
“So Calderon Beta! This is where you brought River ?” Rory asked coming to stand beside him.
The Doctor nodded. Well since they were here, it was good to just show them around.
“Well Calderon Beta. Boring. Planet of the Chip Shops” he said.
“Wait you brought River here ? Amy looked confused. It wasn’t really a special place. It was Normal. The last thing Doctor or River rather Doctor AND River would do was normal.
“I did” The Doctor had a smile on his face, clearly remembering the memories.
“but .. but why ?” Amy asked.
“Because … follow me” The Doctor started running with Amy and Rory following.
He took them back to the Tardis and a moment later they were on a mountain in the middle of a see and beside them was a huge tree. Well even huge didn’t begin to describe how massive that tree was. Which branches spread across, the tree in itself was no less than a forest once you climbed on top. A few people had even put up shops amongst the branches. The visitors were few because it was no less than a feat to reach here but that just made the place more romantic and beautiful.
“Ooo! nice” Amy smiled looking around. A few people were sitting here and there. Couples mostly. Some definitely doing it, not really caring about who was watching or not, and that lead to another thought.
“So Doctor, you and River, newly married, snuck out here, and did what ?” she wiggled her eyebrows and smiled. Rory coughed not really wanting to find out what his daughter and his friend were up to.
“What else would we do Pond ?” The Doctor started, confusion clear on his face “Of course we sat here and read a book!” He grinned.
“Wha ..” Amy shouted and coughed. Then she went on to laughing. Rory himself couldn’t help laughing a bit. “You … you came .. here .. with River .. in this secluded place… in the middle of a sea… on a tree.. on a mountain top….. with no one to disturb you.. and you read a book ?” She asked still trying to reign in her laughs.
“Well .. I mean.. River likes reading you know ? She really enjoys it and I brought her here on 21st September 2360 when one could see more stars in the sky from the top of the tree than in any other point in history ” He was crossed. Well in his idea it was a romantic date. River liked it. She had said she did. She was smiling. She read and he listened. She had such an amazing voice.
“Well Raggedy Man if that’s your idea of a romantic first night then .. look even grandad over there is getting some action!”
The Doctor turned around to glance at the man Amy was pointing to. The grey haired man had a blanket wrapped around his shoulder and it seemed like someone was sitting beside him. Well even he and River had sat like this. Blanket wrapped. Reading a book. However what Amy said made sense when the person beside his leaned up to kiss that man. It was romantic, seemed intimate and it was this grey haired man with …. RIVER ???
The Doctor was shell shocked. He could recognise that space hair from anywhere. That was definitely his wife. River. With a stranger. Kissing him. She was smiling after he pulled back and the man was smiling too. It was so intimate. They looked so much like they were in love.
“Uhh Doctor ?” Rory asked. Almost whispering. Doctor realised that Amy and Rory were here. They must’ve seen her too.
Before Doctor could say anything, he saw Amy walking towards the couple. He needed to stop her.
“Amy no!” the Doctor shouted while running after her.
At the voice of the Doctor, River seemed to have frozen. So was the man beside her.
The Doctor finally managed to halt Amy but realised it was of no use because they were standing just a few feet away from these two.
River slowly turned around to look at her parents and The Doctor. Shock clear on her face. She looked more mature, a little older than he’d seen her before and had she put on weight ?
River glanced from Doctor and then to Amy and Rory standing beside him and tightly gripped the shoulder of the man sitting beside her. She let out a choked huff on seeing them and the Doctor wondered why though he didn’t care about it because all he could see was River’s hand on the shoulder of the man beside her. He was infuriated when he held her hand. He was holding his wife’s hand. His. Well apparently it looked like she didn’t consider this marriage real.
“Sweetie .. I” she began. The man beside her turned around as well. He was mature, looked around River’s age and he had huge massive eyebrows. More massive than this tree. He didn’t look better than him, the Doctor thought uncertainly.
“River who is this and what are you doing here ?” Amy asked instead. Arms crossed and disappointment clear on her face.
The man beside River stood up and held out his hand for River to hold when she was finding it slightly tough to stand up. The Doctor was about to go ahead as well but halted when he saw River take the other man’s hand and when she did stand up, well none of them were ready or what they saw. They couldn’t be. Standing in front of them was a River Song. A pregnant River Song. She certainly looked like she just a few months away from giving birth.
The Doctor was left flabbergasted. How could she be pregnant ? That wasn’t possible. He and River hadn’t .. done it. She was here, pregnant and with her stood a man he had never seen before. What if .. did this baby belong to that man ? or worse did sometime in his future he knocked her up and then didn’t come back ? So she ended up with this old guy ? No! he would never do that. Not to River. So that means this man ..
“Oh my God!” Amy’s shocking remark broke his train of thought. “You’re … you’re ..”
“Pregnant. Yes mum” River said softly. A tiny smile along with a positive glow on her face. She looked up at the man beside her and he smiled down looking at her.
River then looked at the Doctor and her smile softened. She looked contradicted and a bit hurt but it wasn’t as if she was hurt because of him but for him!
“Sweetie I ..” River began but the Doctor turned around. he wasn’t ready for this. He felt betrayed. Hurt. He knows that he had put River through too much. She was in stormcage because of him. He hadn’t really told her about his feelings but he did love her and now she. He walked away.
Amy looked as ‘grandad’ was about to go stop him but instead River held his hand and shook her head and walked after him.
“Sweetie .. Doctor .. Doctor Please” she said. He could hear the pain in her voice and he halted and turned around to come swiftly and help River.
“Thank you” River said softly “The baby has been pretty active today”
When the Doctor didn’t say anything she looked up at him.
“Can we talk ?” she asked. He wanted to say no but how could he ? It was River and he couldn’t say no to her. He nodded and held her hand. They walked up towards one end from where they could see the evening sky.
“You’re gonna be coming here with me in a few hours.” she said.
Then the Doctor realised. She meant the date. This was a few hours before she and him had come here for their first night.
“River did I .. did I knock you up and then leave you ?” he asked hesitantly.
“Well we read books the whole night sweetie, I don’t think that’s how one knocks up someone” she replied.
He smiled despite the situation. She always had found a way to tease him. “You know what I mean River” he said getting serious again.
“No, it’s his” River said softly pointing to the man standing there. The grey haired man now talking to Amy and Rory.
“Oh!” the Doctor replied. Confused what to say next.
“It’s not what you think sweetie” she said. He was tough to work young. Especially when he’d just gotten married and pretty vulnerable.
“I don’t know what I think” The Doctor huffed.
“There’s always just one man I have ever loved my love and she belongs to him” she said resting her hand on her stomach.
“I thought .. I thought you loved me” River’s heart hurt at the vulnerability in his voice.
“Yes ..” she said smiling.
“Wait .. is that Yes. or Yes ??” he asked.
“Yes ..” she replied. River Song. Just as infuriating as the day on Amy and Rory’s wedding. A similar conversation played in his mind.
“River I ..” He sounded irritated and was cut off when she said “You’re the only one I have loved Doctor”
“but you said .. this baby .. she .. I …” and then realisation dawned on him “that’s me ?” he asked. His voice reaching a new pitch. That eyebrows. The Grey haired man. That was him ? But how ?
“Yes Sweetie” she answered.
“I don’t understand, this is my last regeneration River, how can that be me ?”
“Spoilers ..” ugh! she always did that. Always.
“River you know that none of us will remember this moment once we reach the Tardis. He and I, if we’re the same person have spent way too long together. The Tardis matrix will wipe off this meeting from all our minds to avoid a paradox”
She laughed and then said “You found home sweetie. They gave you a new set of regenerations”
“I … I found .. home ?” he asked. She could see tears building up in his eyes and tried to hold back hers. She had seen a similar expression on the Doctor’s face when he told her he’d been to Gallifrey and once again when he took her there.
“You did my love.” She replied choking.
A thought suddenly came to his mind.
“River. When are we for you ?” he asked.
“I .. we .. we’re now living in Darillium. Since an year” River sounded happy and sad but then saw the Doctor’s face pale at the mention of the place. He had loved her , she hadn’t noticed but she did now.
“You .. we .. Darillium ?” he asked and she nodded.
“So I finally took you there huh ?” he asked.
“You did. We’re one year into the most amazing 24 years of our life Doctor” She said assuring him that she is happy. That she’s ok with the fact that they’ve been to Darillium.
“Good good .. I’m happy.. you’re happy, so I am ..” he grew silent and reached out, entwining his hand with hers and she squeezed his palm softly. No matter what the face, she had loved the Doctor. This man. The last time she had seen him, it was in Manhattan where they lost the two people who were now talking to her husband. She knew that she wouldn’t remember this meeting but for now it felt good.
“So we’re having a girl huh ?” He asked a moment later.
“Yes we are” she replied and looked at him. He was grinning widely. His eyes carried that shine she loved to see. He was so younger than the one she now lived with. Her heart skipped a beat.
“I always wanted a daughter. I like daughters. They’re sweet and funny and .. I am going to spoil her rotten. Give her everything she wants. She’s gonna be a princess” he said excitedly and River couldn’t help stop a sob that threatened to escape. He was so excited. He was probably much earlier in their time streams and still he was so happy. She knew he’d never get a chance to meet this kid but that was ok.
Her husband. The face she lived with now had been equally excited. He had already planned what he would do once their daughter came into the world. He was already thinking of whether she should go to the Time Lord Academy or not. She was a hybrid like her mother. Human Time Lord but he was Lord President and he could send her to the Academy. River had said that he was thinking too much but he had refused saying that no amount of preparation would be enough because they’re daughter deserved the best.
She rested her head on his shoulder and he wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
“I’m glad I make you happy River” he said.
“You. He’s you. A different face but you both are same. My Doctor. You both make me happy” she smiled.
“So is he … is grey-haired man .. funnier than me ?” he asked hesitantly.
“Umm .. funny isn’t exactly a way to describe him” She answered.
He moved back and looked at her shocked. “Don’t tell me I’ve grown old and grumpy” she frowned.
“Well ….” she trailed off enjoying this turn of conversation.
“He rubbed his hand over his face and groaned.”
They both saw Grumpy. Yup that’s what the Doctor will call him now. Walk towards him with Amy and Rory. Amy grinning brightly.
“You knocked up my daughter Raggedy Man” She accused him as soon as she came to stand in front of him.
“Well it’s not me you know ?” he said. Ok he was him but still, he wasn’t totally ready to share River yet.
“Well doesn’t matter. Thanks to grandad here by granddaughter is gonna be half scottish” She grinned and then grimaced.
“You know how weird that sounded right ?” Rory asked.
“Yeah .. I do” Amy said and River laughed. It was good to see her laugh.
“Congratulations River” Rory said and was a bit surprised when River moved ahead to hug him. He sure felt that she was holding back a sob and wondered why but he knew better than to ask. Amy joined in the hug and it was indeed a wonderful sight to see. 3 Generations together.
The Doctor looked beside him to see Grumpy giving a tiny smile. Maybe he wasn’t that grumpy afterall.
“So you thought of any names ?” Amy asked moving back.
“Roriya Amelia Song” The Scottish Doctor said grinning. The Doctor couldn’t help but grin too. Named after both her grandparents. Yeah he approved of the name.
“Thank You” Rory said recovering from the surprise.
“I just hope she does have that nose Roman Pond” The Doctor said.
“Oi! This is an amazing nose” both River and Rory said unanimously and they all chuckled.
“The Doctor said none of us will remember this meeting” Amy said, sadness lacing her voice.
“Sadly yeah, too much of complications” River added.
“No that’s ok. That’s fine. I’m happy for you both” Amy said a moment later.
“The sun is setting” Twelve said and looked at River.
“I’ll be bringing you here any moment now” Eleven said looking at River.
She nodded. “So that means goodbye huh ?” she asked.
“Never say Goodbye Professor Song. Say Till the next time!” eleven replied grinning.
So River smiled and said “Till the next time .. Doctor”
He moved ahead to hug and and she returned it.
“See you around Professor Song” he whispered in her ear and moved back. Grinning. River could feel her eyes tear up. Pregnancy hormones.
“Bye River” Rory and Amelia said hugging her again. They felt River hug them tighter.
“Bye mum, bye dad” she responded.
Walking away. Eleven halted for a moment and turned to Twelve and said “Thank you” and Twelve nodded.
They saw as Eleven and The Ponds went back into their Tardis knowing that the moment they took off they’ll forget this meeting.
“We should go back too” Twelve said.
“Yeah” River replied still looking at the place that was occupied by eleven’s Tardis a while back.
“You miss them ?” he asked. Holding her hand. He was still surprised how comfortable he felt with holding her hand now.
“And .. uh .. him ?” He asked uncertainly. River looked up to find him seeing everywhere but at her. Realising her husband of jealous of himself, she rested a palm on his cheek. He didn’t flinch anymore.
“I do sweetie. I did marry that goofy old man and we parted after Manhattan and haven’t met before this. I however right now am happy. More happier than I’ve ever been. Here. With you and her.” she said resting her hand on her bump. The Doctor’s hand joining it as well.
“Good because I’m happy too” he said. He then rubbed her cheek with his thumb softly and added “Let’s go back, my date with you here was disrupted and I didn’t get to spend as much time with you as I would’ve wanted here”
“Well if I remember, before coming here, we were spending time together, in our bedroom” she winked.
“My bad bad girl.” he laughed and then said softly “Let’s go home” He held her hand as they walked back to their Tardis. Knowing that once they’re back they’ll forget this meeting. He would have to bring her here some day again. Some day where they wouldn’t be disturbed with his previous faces. Maybe they’ll come here with Roriya, the next time they do. He grinned at that thought. His life had always been dominated by the women in his life.