I was at a symposium, the same as any other, when there was an explosion from beneath the stage. Then there was screaming. The next thing I knew, people were trying to escape the cramped amphitheater, from this . . . thing, with tentacles. I began to run toward the exit, trying not to get trampled by the panicked crowd when suddenly I was knocked back by a man in a brown suit running in. I nearly fell to the floor, but he grabbed me by the waist and pulled me toward him, keeping me on my feet.
"Sorry about that." He turned his all too serious face toward me, and stopped, staring from a moment, then with a surprised little grin he said, "Fancy meeting you here."
"Excuse me, do I know you?"
He seemed surprised by my response for a moment, "I would guess not." Then the creature howled. "Hold that thought a moment, would you." He gently moved me behind him, and then turned toward the stage, produced a small contraption from his pocket, pressed a button and it starting emitting a bright light and loud jarring sound that drove the creature back to the underground it came from.
"Now, where were we." He turned back to me.
"How did you do that?" I asked him.
"Oh, this thing?" He held up his device like it was the most ordinary thing in the world. "Biometric Laser Generator, with a bit of MP3 Technology crammed in. Snatched it off a Pink Floyd roadie back in the eighties. That was a brilliant fellow, way ahead of his time," he explained with a sort of detached nostalgia. "But that's not important, you were about to tell me your name, weren't you."
"I'm Doctor River Song."
He took my hand almost lovingly, and said with a smile that could light up the darkest night, "River Song, what a lovely name, I'm The Doctor. So, you coming?" And without another word he took off for the hole in the stage, and incredibly, I followed.
We were walking through an old sewer line beneath the amphitheater. The walls were slimy, and it stunk of, well what you would think a sewer would stink of. The Doctor didn't seem the least bit bothered by any of it though. He seemed almost giddy to be here, chasing after this dangerous creature that had taken refuge below the city.
"Nathan would never believe me if I told him what I was doing," I said, almost at a whisper.
"My fiancé, he's a Marine biologist with the University Aquatics Department."
The Doctor stopped, as if stung by some unseen force, "Your fiancé? Really?"
"You say that as if you don't believe me. What it is, you don't think that I could find someone to marry a woman like me," I answered, a little annoyed with his shock.
"No no no," he floundered, "You're a lovely woman, I have no doubt you have had many a suitor in your life." He returned to walking, "So, tell me how long have you to been together, I mean, you know, romantically speaking?"
"Wow, that quite awhile. How long have you been engaged?"
"Eighteen months. We've been having trouble finding a day we are both free," I explained.
"Seems to me, if two people REALLY wanted to get married, they would force it into their schedules as opposed to waiting for a day to free up on it's own."
I swear I thought I saw a smile on his face when he said this, and some of the tension left his shoulders. Why would insulting my relationship relieve him? I wanted to be mad at him, but there was something about this Doctor that kept me from being angry. Instead I was just curious, yet strangely drawn to trusting him completely. It didn't make sense.
Suddenly, he stopped again. Then he turned back toward me, his finger to his lips. He used his other hand to indicate that the creature was just around the next bend. I started feeling a bit scared for my life, yet strangely excited too. What had this man done to my senses that a near death experience seemed like a fun day out?
It was huge, this creature, larger then it seemed in the theater. Was it growing? The Doctor had run around the bend with his little light show emitter device, forcing the creature back into a corner. He shouted at the beast about The Shadow Proclamation, and I swear I saw it shiver in fear. Then the power source on the Doctor's device failed and the creature lunged at him. Grabbing hold of the Doctor with one of its long tentacles, it lifted him into the air and began to swing him around the room. It appeared to be trying to hit him against the walls and pillars of the sewer system, but the light show must have disoriented it, causing it to have trouble with its fine motor skills. I yelled at it and threw a rock at its head to draw its attention away before the Doctor got hurt. Another tentacle came shooting toward me.
"River," the Doctor yelled in fear, but I had ducked out of the way and run behind a large pump that was sitting in the corner of the room. This put me just out of its reach.
The beast went back to swinging the Doctor toward the walls, getting closer with each try. I found a long piece of lead pipe lying on the ground, grabbed hold of it and ran at the beast. I slammed the pipe down on the tentacle holding the Doctor with enough force to break bones. The creature howled in pain and dropped him. No sooner had the Doctor landed did he pull something from his pocket that resembled a large penlight and pointed it at the creature. Before he could push a button though, there was a large flash of light and the beast was gone.
"It teleported back to the ship, won't be hearing from it again." The Doctor smiled down at me and then pulled me into a hug. "You were brilliant, by the way."
I was shaking and couldn't stop giggling. The adrenaline rush was going to wear off eventually, but at the moment I felt wonderful, and so I kissed him. He pulled back and stared at me for a moment as if trying to decide what to do next, and then he seemed to just give up and he kissed me back. He kissed me as if he had waited a lifetime to taste my lips. It was deep, passionate and full of desire, yet with a twinge of unexplainable sadness. Then he was gone, walking back the way we came. I was left standing there, trying to figure out what had just happened, and what it had meant.
We climb back up onto the stage and walked out the front door of the theater. Then, walking down the sidewalk, he turned into an alleyway just a block up the street. I'm not sure why I followed him; perhaps it was a need to discover more about this strange man, but when I turned the corner I saw the strangest thing. A large blue box, seemingly made of wood, with a lighted sign on top signifying it was a Police Public Call Box. The Doctor snapped his fingers and the doors opened, and I stopped. Inside I could see a room of immense size that just didn't seem possible. He turned to face me, leaning in the doorway with a smug little grin on his face. "This is the TARDIS. That's 'Time And Relative Dimension In Space.' And yes, it's bigger on the inside. "
"It's a space ship?"
"Yes, she's my spaceship, and a time machine." He smiled more the further my jaw dropped. I was at a loss for words. A time machine, it was any archeologists' dream come true, and here it was right in front of me. All I could do was dream of the fantastic journeys I could go on, journeys to the past, to the future. Journeys with the Doctor.
"Fancy a little trip. I could have you back before you know it," He said as he stepped to the side, beckoning me aboard. I was about to take a step forward when real life came crashing through the fantasies playing in my mind, and I stopped.
"Can't, or won't?" His smile had faded, and he looked a bit disappointed.
"Both, really. It wouldn't be right."
"Because of Nathan?"
"Okay, that's okay, uhmm, but let me give you something. A thank you for your help."
He ran back into the ship, pulled open a grate in the floor, and lifted out a large trunk. He removed a small book from inside the trunk and hurried back to the door. "Here you go, I made two of them, but I've already started writing in mine."
He handed me a small leather bound diary, and the cover looked almost exactly like the exterior of his ship. "Just a little something to remember me by, in case we ever run into each other again."
"Thank you," was all I could say as I gazed down at the gift. When I did look back up, he had shut the doors and the TARDIS began to make a loud noise, like nothing I had heard before and slowly disappeared from view. I opened the diary to the first page, and knew this was not the last I would be seeing of this strange Doctor and his wondrous TARDIS.
To River, Write it all down, everything we do. You won't want to forget a moment of it, and neither will I. See you again soon.
He collapsed into the captain chair as the TARDIS entered the vortex. Now she had met him, they were even. She had never mentioned a fiancé, of course she never mentioned much at all, spoilers. Oh, but that kiss spoke volumes. Now she had the diary, and he knew she would be writing in it about today. He fought the desire to peek into the finished volume he'd snuck out of The Library. No more spoilers.
He had been alone ever since Donna, but he didn't feel alone anymore. Even if he was the 'other man.' He smiled, despite himself.