River sauntered into the console room; her hair was tied back with a pencil poking out of it. She was carrying a large textbook and a scribbled upon note-pad. The Doctor looked up expectantly.
“Well it looks as though we’ll be following the human track with this,” she said as she approached him, rubbing the study-cramp out of the back of her neck. “As far as I can tell at the moment anyway, it shouldn’t deviate, which is probably just as well, because I can find next to nothing on Gallifreyan gestation in the library. Honestly Sweetie, you’d think you of all people would have information on your own physiology.”
“It could be dangerous to leave that kind of material lying around; someone could use it against me,” he grinned and tapped her on the nose.
“Who, me? Never!” she laughed.
“So, what’s the norm for humans, then?”
River opened her mouth to answer, then stopped and looked at him dubiously. “How long have you been knocking about with humans now? Surely at some stage it must have come up? And for heaven’s sake, my mother was pregnant with me when she travelled with you!”
“Technically, she wasn’t. If you recall?”
“Still, you weren’t curious enough to look it up?”
“I’ve always been more an anthropologist than a biologist I suppose.” He shrugged.
She had to admit that she had been quite thick to have trusted what he told her and not done her own research. God, when had she become so lax? There was no point mulling over it now, it was done and decided without a word from either of them. There was a time when she would have considered other options, but she was someone else entirely back then — she thought more like he did now. He’d said once that he’d ‘Doctored’ her and she supposed that this was a prime example. Not that she minded thinking like him — she only minded him being smug and insufferable about it.
She rolled her eyes and explained. “The ‘norm’ for humans is forty weeks, give or take. Side effects and levels of discomfort vary.”
“Any side-effects for the male?”
“Only that he’s a lot more likely to be on the receiving end of a slap from the grumpy female.”
“Forty weeks, eh? I don’t suppose you’re going to let me out of your sight, are you?”
“Nope. Forty weeks for me is forty for you too. No cheating.”
“It’s the least I can do, I suppose. Did I mention that I’m sorry?”
“Only a few hundred times,” she said, putting her books down and folding herself into his embrace. “Don’t be sorry, it’s okay. It will be okay.”
He plucked the pencil from her hair and kissed the top of her head. “So, how far into the forty weeks are we?”
“The first two weeks counted are even before conception for some obscure reason,” she started.
“That was easy.”
“Quite. Then it’s about another two before you can diagnose — well done on that by the way.”
“Thank you, it’s a gift.”
“According to the scan we have six weeks done and dusted already.”
“Yes, I used the ultrasound in the medical bay. It was the only way to be accurate.”
“What did it look like?”
“A blob with a heartbeat.”
“Can I see?”
“I thought you were more of an anthropologist?”
“No harm in dabbling in other sciences is there?”
She laughed. “Fine, but there’s not much to see.”
Lying on the table, she concentrated and lined up the scanner-head low on her stomach. She tilted it, looking over at the screen. “There.”
“Where?” he said squinting at the screen. “That dark bit, with the flashing thing?”
“Yup. What do you think?”
He shrugged and made a noncommittal sound.
“Don’t worry, it will be far more interesting once I teach it how to fire a gun.”
He glared at her only to find that she was teasing. “Shut up,” he said and kissed her.