(because apparently I can’t write fic without part of it turning into meta)
They’re still strange to her, hugs – and she’s not a hugger except for when it comes to her mother. First person who ever had the nerve to hug her was Amelia, when she was little, and it doesn’t fail to occur to River that it had to have taken guts. She’d ducked out of the seven year old’s arms in an instant, because really – she hadn’t known what they were, hugs. There wasn’t a point to them, the wrapping arms around each other – no point she’d been told of, after all. Touch was meant to correct, to show her she’d done something wrong, to teach – or to harm, to kill.
The first person to ever really hug her had been her father. Rory the roman, Rory the nurse, Rory her father. She’d read the legends, of course, but two years of being there with them, her parents, and she’d come back one day bumped and bruised and bleeding and Rory Williams, still just Rory back then, but so definitely her father – he’d put an arm around her shoulders awkwardly and told her his Mum kept bandages in the cupboard and he could reach them with her help, and that they didn’t have to tell her.
Maybe she hadn’t run that day because she’d barely been able to, or maybe just because she’d been tired. And it wasn’t the best hug she’d ever received, but oh, it was definitely her favorite.