The Doctor clenched his eyes shut tightly as he was sprayed with a mixture of bad breath and saliva. The scream chilled him to the bone. He didn't need to turn around; he didn't need to be told what was behind him. Eyes now open; he stared coolly across to Miss Scarlett.
"Sonic," he said calmly.
She shook her head in confusion, 'What?' she mouthed.
"Sonic screwdriver!" he yelled in frustration diving at her. It was just as well and perfectly timed, as the Krillitane began to strike. Snatching his faithful device from the utterly confused stranger he rolled onto his back just in time to see the Krillitane diving at him.
"Aahh!" he cried desperately feeling for the button – Got it.
"Oh! My god!"
The Krillitane came to a halt most certainly, blinded and paralysed by the Doctor's 'weapon', it proceeded to collapse almost as planned on top of the Time Lord.
Completely buried beneath the creature the Doctor's muffled cries of protest and indignation could be heard. The only free hands in the room began working to push and shove and roll the beast off of him.
He was greeted by happy blonde curls.
"You stole my sonic!" he cried through gasps. She stared apologetically down at him. He looked a state; hair unruly and wild, tweed jacket hanging off, bow tie askew; all topped off with an indignant expression plastered across his pale, sweaty face.
"Sorry?" she offered finally.
"Oh… Yes. Sorry. And that's supposed to make it all better?"
The woman paused for a moment, seemingly considering this rhetorical question, "Yes," she said simply. The Doctor watched her take the few paces towards the hostage. He was angry with her and yet somehow it seemed to be melting away; she fascinated him. Sitting up he watched her mercilessly picking the pockets of their rival. Taking numerous cards from a variety of hidden pockets, "Come on," she said briskly sweeping past him towards the open doorway. The Doctor, stunned by her sudden command simply watched her disappear from view, still sat in a heap on the floor, "We haven't got all day… Come on sweetie…" She'd popped her head back around the doorway, she added to her statement a meaningful look, full of 'now… or else'.
The Doctor sat weighing up his options. He could either continue the game alone, potentially ending up in this precise scenario all over again, or he could take this woman's implied offer of an alliance and stand more of a chance in this crazy maze. The low grumble of the stirring Krillitane sealed the deal of an alliance, ensuring that the Time Lord was soon closely behind the wispy red material powering along the corridors.
"You called me Sweetie…" he said suddenly hurrying to fall in step beside her.
"No one just calls me sweetie"
"Well… Now they have"
She disappeared into a room to their right. The Doctor stood feeling completely useless. Was this really what it felt like? Had she felt this way in the library when he hadn't recognised her? He frowned to himself feeling involuntarily hurt by her complete lack of acknowledgement. The Doctor followed her into the small room. It was a study. The walls were lined with bookshelves; a sole chair stood facing an empty fireplace, beside it stood a small side table equipped with reading lamp and a few books.
"Who were you talking about? In the other room, you said, you said he's like fire and ice…"
"Oh, no one…" she replied barely turning to look at him as she replied.
"Tell me," the Doctor insisted.
"It's a silly legend," she turned to face him suddenly, "When you're held in storm cage with no hope of escape, you'll believe anything. Anything to make it more bearable"
The Doctor moved over to the green leather chair perched near the empty fireplace. He flicked his sonic at the few wooden logs, they burst into flames, illuminating the room in a warm amber glow, "Try me," he said firmly.
She hesitated, clearly eyeing the doorway – her escape route. The Doctor's firm stare forced her to sink down onto the rug in front of the fireplace. She looked up at him and for the first time since they'd encountered one another the Doctor could see her face. She hadn't changed a bit. Thick masses of curly blonde locks, deep, mysterious eyes, full and inviting lips. Yes, it was her – River Song. He couldn't help but smile warmly, encouraging her to open up to him.
"There's a man. A lonely man. He wanders through the universe, helping people, saving people, giving people hope and keeping the evils of universe living in fear. He never asks for thanks, never asks for anything in return. Some say he's as old as time, some say that he is time itself. He's the last of his kind, a lonely angel, so far away from home that it's impossible to return…"
"River…" he stopped her from continuing. He cringed realising that she had yet to introduce herself with her true name. She stared at him, eyes wide.
"Who are you?" She stood up quickly. The Doctor rose from his seat, prepared to stop her if she tried to flee.
"I'm him," he said quietly. She stared at him disbelievingly, her eyes begged for some kind of proof, some kind of reassurance that he wasn't some, mad man. He willingly obliged, anything to stop her from running away, "It's like when you first find out that the world is spinning and you don't quite believe it, because everything looks perfectly still," their eyes met for a moment before he fixed his back onto the empty space before them, "I can feel it," his fingers felt for and tangled in hers, "The turn of the world. The ground beneath our feet, spinning at 2,000 miles an hour, the whole planet is hurtling through space at 70,000 miles an hour and I can feel it. We're falling though space, you and I. Barely holding onto the surface of this tiny planet, and if we let go…" He released her hand, "That's who I am. I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm 907 years old and I've seen it all. I'm the last of my kind and so, so far away from home"
"You aren't how I imagined…." She moved closer to him, resting her hand against his cheek. Her eyes explored his features with interest. In this light he was desperately handsome; she withdrew her trembling hand quickly.
"Well how did you imagine me?"
"Um…" Her expression didn't radiate 'impressed', but he knew that was just River's way. She'd never been easily impressed by anything or anyone – not even him clearly.
"I've had worse," he assured her adjusting his bow tie in defence of himself.
"So you've met me before, you know my name…"
"You know mine too"