Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.

A/N: Written in July 2010 for the spoiler_song ficathon at LJ and the prompt 'River, breaking back into prison'. I'd like to think it hasn't been jossed yet.


River landed as gracefully as she possibly could; her bare feet made only a low thump, and she gave merely the tiniest gasp when she realised just how cold the concrete floor was. (Had she designed a prison, she certainly would not have left such a convenient maintenance hatch halfway up a wall and so close to the ventilation shafts… but she was glad someone had.) It was too bad leaving a wonderful summer night for this, but it was not like she had a choice.

She moved from shadow to shadow, walking on tiptoe, listening intently for any heavy footsteps; making for her cell as slowly as possible. Her dress was cream satin and tailored (long story), with a full skirt for running. She wore several strings of pearls, and a brooch made out of a hundred pink diamonds. Well, she'd put her attire to good use.

She strode past the quiet cells, dangling her fabulous new pink heels in a lazy grip, copying the arrogant gait of the average guard just in case someone glimpsed her, not that she would fool anyone. (No one would look, though. They would all be sleeping, trying to wile away the hours. And if anyone did see her, would they believe their eyes?)

She stopped outside her cell door, sighing softly. It was not like coming home, not in any sense of the word, but she still felt a sort of calm satisfaction at having arrived where she was supposed to be. No one had missed her, that much was obvious. Her cell was unguarded, undisturbed, and just as dark as the others. She'd been gone forty minutes. And, well, as usual, time was relative. She hacked into the electronic/magnetic lock with a mere couple of taps of her fingertips — it was ridiculously easy, once you'd travelled to the future and peeked at the codes.

Breaking out had been necessary, it really had. She had always liked being unruly. She had also, regrettably, learned she had to pay her dues.

The cell smelled of the remains of some half-edible meal (some kind of fish, she thought; it had been a long time since she'd been served it) and the very expensive perfume she had hidden for special occasions — such as going out.

She had taken her time getting ready earlier that evening, many years ago and very far away. It would be terribly unnecessary to wash off her makeup, because which jaded guard would notice a bit of mascara and some perfect eyeliner? They barely even noticed her lipstick anymore. And the hair - she was too pleased with it to bundle it up in a ponytail. It was properly clean and just curly enough. She had even touched the colour up a bit, hadn't been able to help herself.

The dress, the jewellery, her adorable purse… She should hide it, all of it. Ought to. But she wanted to pretend for just a little bit longer. The crisp scent of proper night air was still in her hair, in her clothes, on her skin.

She pulled a dreary blanket off her bunk; wrapped it around her shoulders and sank down on the mattress, next to the self-facsimile she had left there. She leaned against the wall and pulled her feet up. Then she placed the purse and the heels gingerly in her lap and made sure the blanket covered everything from her red toenails to the pearls at her throat.

She ought to stay now, in prison. Get this sentence over with. And yes, she deserved her years behind bars, but not in the way they all thought.

She'd brought some biscuits wrapped in a napkin, and her small hip flask now contained about a glass of champagne. The biscuits were divine; chewy in the middle, and, she imagined, still a little bit warm. The champagne still had bubbles, and a great many of them rushed up her nose when she took the first too-enthusiastic sip.

This time she really would stay. This was where she belonged for a long while yet. She'd serve her time and leave in the correct way, like all the others had to.

She would stay. (If not, of course, it was absolutely necessary she break out again.)