Chapter Twenty-Four, Part Four: The Eye of FatimaMature

“Well I have to say I’m not surprised, you daft sod. You sleep too much. Wake up or I’m going to tell the first Time Lord I see about you and Elizabeth the First.” 

“Mmm, no, I don’ wanna grow up. M’ a Toys’R’Us kid. And Bitey the Cybermat for President… nuffle, mminghatoddylala…” <snore> 

River feels her cheeks flush with hot blood. Bastard. As she watches and feels, he falls asleep again. 

“He might need the healing coma, but with the added stress of the child, only Providence can tell.” a new voice offers, so young, so… crisply female, yet old like new snow. 

River feels a small hand on her head, the weight of fingers strong and delicate. They are stroking her hair. 

“I am Borusa, Lady River; I was one of his Academy tutors.” the little girl adds,  granting a short smile to the back of River’s head, “Although, that was some years back. And I was a man. Certain roles have since reversed, despite me.” 

Footsteps quicken all around them. 

Borusa stiffens and pats River’s head again, then steps back and to the side as a bedraggled rainbow of a processional makes its ambling way forward to them. 

A man in red is there, in front, his black hair greying, his levelled gaze a frozen galaxy masquerading as two blue marbles, stone face fixed on the Doctor. 

River’s back is to him when she speaks. 

“Is this mess your fault?” she asks the man in red, posing the question by association to the figures behind him. She doesn’t have to look to know it is. 

In his sleep, the Doctor shivers against her, snuggling in. 

“Yes.” the man says quietly. Then he gets to one knee and waits. The air is still, and no one breathes.

The End

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