Words spread across all of time and space ought to have a profound meaning, ought to be the most important in the universe.
In this case, they simply read, “Hello Sweetie,” and it makes her grin that wicked familiar grin and it makes him smirk because this woman is amazing. And then they start running, because her team has accidentally released a hoard of Scarabians from an ancient tomb, and they’re really quite difficult to stop. Better to let them live out their twenty-four hour life and die, because they should be sterile by now.
Their story starts at the end and runs from there… always running, and maybe it’s not entirely sane, but they both breathe the excitement with shining eyes and cling to each other, because surely something this effervescent can never end. For once, he is not pulling someone with him—they are both running, for the freedom and the thrill of this life, manic glee written across their faces.
He is always there, the TARDIS humming gently in the back of her mind and letting her know he is near, even when they don’t see each other. They cure a nest of Urabii Fledgelings of mating madness and save a planet together. She systematically dismembers a Krafayis their third evil overlord lowers into their prison cell to kill them, and for once he doesn’t scold her. Then she produces a sonic blaster (never does tell him how she smuggled it in), and they escape. They also (possibly on accident, neither of them will say) explode the evil overlord’s palace. And then they sprint.
There is a desert planet in the Zeus Theta system where only the desperate live. And scattered among the beings that have fled another life are cast-off children with dirty faces and tattered clothes. River is born there. When she’s six she meets him for the first time, pinned down by a sand rat and about half an inch from death. She calmly raises her blaster, shoots the sand rat between the eyes, and helps him struggle from beneath the creature. Better hurry, she says, or the flies will get here before we’re gone. They can eat a human in ten seconds.
Well I’m not exactly human, he replies.
She doesn’t stay with him, then, but he does convince her to let him take her to an academy on a slightly safer world, and she begins a new life there. She earns a degree and pulls a stint as a time agent, and she travels the universe searching for something new. He leaves Rory and Amy with a child on the way and briefly travels with Jack in search of a nasty alien race flitting through the stars and wiping out young civilizations. He doesn’t come back for her until she’s twenty-seven, and then the tiny blue diary he helped her color when she was a child begins to fill with words and sketches in a thousand different inks. There’s color in their world when they aren’t together, but somehow they make things glow.
They blow through the Bone Meadows and pause briefly in Asgard and dance and run and tumble across the stars, two of a kind.
There is never a memorable thing she does that he doesn’t share, even if he’s only sitting in the dark corner of a dingy bar, unseen but not unnoticed. He sits in the row at the back during her graduation (wearing a turban for some reason she’d rather not think about), but at least he is there. He watches as she hands off (slightly illegal) ancient artifacts to a famous trader, just in case things should turn bad. She always sends a quiet, secret smile in his direction before she leaves her business—whatever it might be—behind.
They’ve done so many brilliant things together, River and the Doctor. They shine together.
Watch us run.