A Name I Call Myself

by nostalgia [Reviews - 1]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Fluff, Het

He had promised her more stars in one night than at any other time in the history of the universe. River wasn't in the mood to try counting them, but she was prepared to believe him.

The Doctor pointed at the sky. “That one's my favourite.” He moved his hand to the left. “That one's rubbish, don't go there if you can avoid it.”

River smiled indulgently. “I have to admit, I didn't think you were the marrying kind.”

“Technically, we're not married.”

Her smile disappeared. “Pardon?”

He looked sideways at her. “I didn't tell you my name. So we're not married.”

“Oh.” River didn't attempt to hide her disappointment. He'd hurt her and he'd damn well know about it.

“So,” he continued, “I'm going to tell you now.” He hesitated. “If you want me to?”

“Why wouldn't I want you to?”

He looked nervous. “I'm not a very good catch. I don't have a job and I live in a mobile phone.”

She laughed. “Well, I'm in prison for murder and I poisoned you on our first date.”

“Surprisingly that's not the worst date I've been on.” He leaned towards her, stopped with his mouth at her ear.

He told her his name,

River gasped softly. “Oh, but that's beautiful.”

“You can't tell anyone my name,” he said, looking very serious.

“I won't,” she promised.

“No, I mean you can't. You literally can't. They wouldn't hear it.”

River frowned. “That doesn't make sense.”

“They take your name when you leave,” he said softly, and River knew without asking who 'they' were. “But you need it to marry, so they let you have that.” He shrugged. “It's not important.” He looked up at the stars again.

“It is,” she said. “You need a name.”

“I have a name,” he said, shaking his head. “I've had lots of names.” He nudged her with his elbow. “'Sweetie,' for instance. I like that. Just don't call me that in front of any Daleks, they're incorrigible gossips.”

“I'll bear that in mind.” She leaned against him, her head on his shoulder. “I wasn't always River Song,” she mused.

“I liked Melody Pond,” said the Doctor, “it's a good name.”

“Melody's dead,” she said firmly. “She's gone.”

“We're not defined by who we were,” he said, quietly. He took her hand in his. “River Song is a good name too. Beautiful, in fact.” He studied her carefully. “I'm not an expert in these things, but I think that you're probably quite beautiful as well.”

“Thank you. I think.”

The nervous expression was back. “I told you I'm not a very good catch. I'm terrible at romance. Need an empire toppled in half an hour, no problem, I'm an expert. Tender words of love? Useless at that.”

“Nobody's perfect, my love.” She touched his cheek. “You don't have to say it, I can see it in your eyes.”

“You're supposed to be looking at the stars,” he admonished lightly.

She leaned in to kiss him. “I am.”