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Fanfiction: Another Beginning

Fandom: Doctor Who
Summary: River Song finds an intriguing blue book and instructions to deliver it to a wedding...
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Missing scenes from The Big Bang.  Spoilers for The Big Bang and Pandorica's Box.  Suggestion of River/Doctor.  Mention of Rory/Amy. 
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.  Written for entertainment purposes only.


Another Beginning

She's digging in the soil of a planet somewhere in the Cordian belt. It has long been deserted and the barren landscape of never-ending dry, orange ocean bed suits River's mood. She feels like she's missing something; something important. The feeling has been nagging at her ever since she woke that morning and been surprised at the sky above her head. The brief notion that she was expecting a prison cell would worry her if she wasn't so aware that she was lucky not to be behind bars after her last skirmish with the Gelvians.

She wipes the back of her glove over her forehead and leaves behind a smudge of yellow as she breathes in the perfumed air. It smells like the roses on Locato Prime but the beauty of that memory is spoiled by the knowledge that she's surrounded by decaying fossils from the ocean bed.

River shakes off the feeling and returns to her work. The trowel hits something and River immediately stops. She switches tools, carefully extricating her find. She frowns and sits back on her heels.

It's a package, wrapped in brown paper with her name clearly written on it.

Her heart is racing in her chest because she knows - knows - that the package is important somehow. It's something momentous; something that's related to the missing piece that she feels deep down in her soul.

And her mouth twists at that. She's not particularly religious; has never worried about heaven or hell, and her soul's fate. But as her hand touches the badly tied string, for the first time she truly thinks about whether there will ever be redemption for her. She swears loudly because she's perfectly happy with her life and choices, thank you very much, and besides, she's never thought herself a coward. She forces herself to pull the string away and set aside the brown paper.

It's a blue book. Something stirs inside her - a half-formed thought that never finishes; a half-formed image that is too blurred. She opens it and finds a letter tucked betweens its empty pages. She takes a moment to admire the smooth blank pages. The sense that there should be words and pictures in the book assails her strongly. The sense of ownership is stronger. This is her book - no: her journal.

How did it end up here, River muses. She opens the letter with a briskness that hides her nerves.

'River, deliver this book to Amy Pond on the day of her marriage to Rory Williams, Earth, 27 June 2010.

The Doctor.

PS. After she marries him, of course, but before the dancing. Can't stand all that standing in church stuff.

PPS. Make sure she sees you.

PPPS. Meet me afterwards by the TARDIS so I can give you your - the book back. I promise I won't peek.'

A part of her protests immediately. The journal is hers. Hers. Her lips set mutinously. But a larger part of is intrigued. Who is this mysterious Doctor? And how does he know her? Who are Pond and Williams? And what is the TARDIS? Why 2010?

Time travel was involved clearly in burying the book, River determines, tapping the journal thoughtfully. It's very clever, she allows almost admiringly. A message left in a package buried in the ocean bed of a planet she has chosen to excavate. She would have been more inventive, but that goes without saying. The unknown Doctor goes up in her estimation and her curiosity is peaked. She was never one to refuse a dare.

She quietly staggers to her feet and packs up her belongings. She heads back to her small shuttle ship. If she's going to travel in time she'll need a few things and a shower, not necessarily in that order.


It's not the first time she's cheated and lied to secure something she needs. She secures the time travel watch around her wrist and checks her appearance in the mirror. She rereads the letter and sets the coordinates. She's done some research. She's found nothing on the Doctor or the TARDIS. It's like they don't exist at all. And she doesn't understand what is so important about Pond and Williams. They lived a pleasant life in a small English village with three children in total before dying of old age. There's nothing remotely interesting about them or their progeny.

River questions for the umpteenth time why she's following instructions from someone she has never met before. She sighs and acknowledges that she wants to meet the Doctor and presumably he'll be there for the dancing.

The nagging sensation that something is missing is stronger now; almost like an itch beneath her skin.

She shrugs on her coat because she's checked the historical archive for the weather report for the day and it will be cold and wet. Her lips curve into a smug smile. It is England and Earth, after all. Homesickness sweeps her for a moment. It's been so long since she went back - not that she can go back in her own time. Jail has never been particularly appealing to her.

She takes a deep breath and hits the activation button.


Knowledge sweeps back into her like a tornado.

The Doctor.

For a second, the universe is balanced on the fine edge of knowing and not knowing. She knows a life without him and a life with him, and she marvels at the idea that she could ever forget him. Bastard, she thinks affectionately, knowing that he's somehow using this fleeting moment when the two universes exist side by side to bury the book for her to find.

The universe rights itself and all her memories are suddenly just there and the existence without him bar the last few weeks since she unburied the book are banished.

He's done it again, River thinks with fond exasperation; flown into the beginning of the universe and survived; defied the odds. There's a murmur of jealousy that Amy should be the one to bring him back from the void but River is aware that the young redhead was the only one in the universe who could bring him back - who could bring them all back, and there is a much larger rush of gratitude.

She makes her way to the TARDIS. She could let herself in but she's only too aware that the TARDIS blew up the last time River flew her and while she knows - hopes - that she had nothing to do with that, she still doesn't want to risk it, just in case.

When he finally appears, her breath catches. For one insane moment, she just wants to wrap herself around him and kiss him senseless. She stops herself though because he's never been one for post-adventure histrionics or even during-adventure histrionics. So she smiles and she spars because it's expected, and delights in leaving him confused and befuddled even though she has the bitter taste of her warning to him on her lips. She watches as Amy then Rory enter the TARDIS and it disappears. She envies them: the Doctor's Companions. Her relationship with the Doctor is so much more complicated and tangled through time.

She's hugging the journal to her heart. She's only too aware that its pages are now filled with stories of her encounters with the Doctor, their tumultuous relationship and her redemption written out in ink, blood and tears. She knows she's not where she's supposed to be - jail - now that the universe has righted itself with his presence within it again.

River blinks back the tears and clutches her journal tightly as she presses the button to shift through time and space. They'll be looking for her and perhaps it would be best to sneak back before they discover she is even missing rather than face the penalty of her escape. Soon, the Doctor will meet her for the first time and discover some of who she really is. He'll give her the journal and its pages will be blank and empty for real. Her hand slides across the journal's cover. She and the Doctor: they are always beginning, River muses fondly. And in the millisecond of thought before she travels, River finally wonders if there is an ending.






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