River was angry, no, angry was just too much of a weak term to express how she was feeling. River knew about the past companions, their names, how they left. Everything. Except for one of them.
Every time her Doctor would let something slip he would pull back and talk about something else entirely. As if there was a stronger force prohibiting him to talk about... Whoever this woman was.
She was filed in the TARDIS' library as "The Bride", and subtitle said "Earthgirl" written in Gallifreyan, in that sloppy, tight handwriting that could only belong to the Doctor. And she only knew it was the file she was looking for because of a birth certificate, that she couldn't read it fully, but it displayed the the name.
The lines were blurred and River could tell it was the TARDIS' way of telling her to let it go. But she couldn't, and she wouldn't. It was her right to know everything about every woman that came before her. He was her husband after all.
"Please, please, tell me more about her. I need to know who she is! Why does she seem so important and..." another line revealed itself, right at the end of the heavy file. It said: most important woman in the whole of creation. "Well, clearly she is important but isn't this a little of an exaggeration of the importance of an ordinary human being?"
"There is no such thing as an ordinary human." she turned abruptly at the sound of his voice.
"Everyone is important. You always said that."
"Not always." he grabbed the file from her hand and put it back on the shelf, mentally telling the ship to hide it safely this time. And she did. "Do you know that once I met a cowboy? Nice man, he said that Stetsons were cool. I liked him..."
River moved to the door before the Time Lord could leave. "I'm only letting you leave when you tell me all there is to know about this... The Bride, the Noble woman... Who is she?"
"It's what she is filed under in the TARDIS' database." He smiled a sad but sweet watery smile and his eyes looked incredibly old, like a very old memory had set itself in front of him.
"On the day I thought was my Doomsday... I lost Ro..." he started.
"Rose, I know. You've told me all about her. How you never said goodbye, not the first time. And then she came back and for some reason you didn't want her anymore."
"I never said that."
"But you did let her go again, didn't you?"
"While I was not saying goodbye to Rose, a woman appeared inside the TARDIS. We were parked in the vortex and somehow, she was there. Dressed for her wedding and furious. Really, really, furious. I got slapped once... Actually twice that day, but it doesn't matter. I saved her life, or so she thinks. She saved mine. I asked her to come, she said no."
"And that's it? She gained the title of 'most important woman in the whole of creation' because of one day?"
"She got it for one moment. One shining moment... You study, River. You are an archeologist, have you ever heard of The Doctor Donna?" River stopped breathing.
There was some very few, but very clear documents about the day the Earth was stolen among many other planets and that the only thing known was that reality was saved by an impossible event in the form of a human woman known as The Doctor Donna, much of what it's known of the event came through the Oods, so it was all very enigmatic.
"What happened to her? How did she save all that's known? All of creation by the hands of a human, I always believed it was a legend and in fact it was about you."
"I didn't do a thing. I was being held captive while she did all the job."
"And how was she? I know about Rose's obsession with Pink and Martha's obsession with cleaning. What about her?"
"She was brilliant!" he said almost gushing, she thought. He put his hand back on the shelf and the file appeared again.
She took the file in her hands and watched him leave the library as if nothing had happened whistling some old Earth tune, that she believed was from a band called The Mosquitoes, or some other insect.
River started to go through the file, curiously hungry for details. She learned every line, every little thing in it. One day she called Doctor "Spaceman" by mistake since she had been so emotionally invested in the file.
River was angry, no, angry was just too much of a weak term to express how she was feeling, she was beyond angry. Why couldn't her meetings with the Doctor follow a logical time sequence?
When she sent the message she had hoped to get her Doctor, the one with the tweed jacket, the bow tie and, if she was lucky, no stupid hat. She hadn't asked for an early version of him, a Doctor who didn't know who she was, like she always feared.
River thought that probably he learned how to find better companions with the years, because this one, whichever of them she was... So very demanding, wanting to know so much more than she should...
"Donna!..." the Doctor said something else, but to River's ears it had stopped in that name.
"Donna? You are Donna Noble?"
Donna was the woman she could never compete with. The Doctor didn't leave her, he didn't choose to see himself without her. The Universe gave him two options, two impossible and horrible options. Be without her, knowing she was alive, or watch her die in his arms. But he couldn't leave her, so since he could no longer see for her needs, he made her millionaire so she would have everything she needed.
It all changed in River's mind when she realized she can't compete with the dead wife. When you become the Doctor's wife, you need to understand that it's like marrying a man that had many wives before you. No need to worry about the ones that had left.
However there is that one, the one who died. The one who left without wanting, begging to stay as he begged for another option, anything... And that option never came.
No one could ever call him Spaceman again, he once was Donna Noble's Spaceman, and he still was.
So River found herself telling Donna everything she could that would not ruin the time lines. For this woman in front of her was the only one she would always respect.
The woman destined to be an eternal bride in the Time Lord's eyes. A Bride the first time he saw her, and every single time after that one.