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I Said Thank You For Two Thousand Years

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River strode into the Tardis with firm, determined steps and eyes locked on to the console. The Doctor smiled over it as his hand dropped from the door control. He stepped into her path to meet her and his husbandly chuffed feeling got squashed a second later when his wife pressed a quick kiss on his mouth as she moved around him. That wasn't very like her. She did know she was his wife, didn't she? Her light dress and sandals gave nothing away about where she was in her timeline; she hadn't come on board from Stormcage either and the vortex manipulator didn't help because she had the unnerving ability to pick them up whenever something happened to the previous one. Even in time periods when the Time Agency stopped existing.

She laid her hands on the console and looked up the time rotor. "You know I just came from the Pandorica. It's the first chance I had to come back and thank you." Her one hand reached and drew gentle fingers on the glass. "You saved me. With your last few breaths and for two thousand years, you kept me safe. Just you and me that whole time. Your console was the first and last thing I saw each part of the loop and you were the only voice I heard. Thank you is pretty small next to that."

Rory had guarded the box containing Amy for two thousand years; the actual box containing River had done the guarding herself for those same years.

River laid her forehead on the console for a long moment before she said softly, "I wish I could have done something for you in all that time."

"You did. You kept her from being alone." The Doctor's sudden thought after saying this was that he shouldn't be there, shouldn't be saying anything at all. This moment was private and he should have left immediately when he realized it. But there was something hypnotic about the Tardis and River when they talked.

She pressed her lips to the console like kissing Amy's cheek before she turned away. He watched her walk up to him and put his arms around her as he felt hers slip around his waist. She settled into her spot against the side of his neck.

"And, you, my love, it's so good to see you."

He would tease her later about how brilliant he had been so many years ago to land inside the exploding Tardis with a vortex manipulator. He would return her torment about answering his questions with that enigmatic Yes each time. But not now.

He kissed the head of curls nestled under his chin. "Hi, honey. Glad you're home."