The Most Intelligent Man in the World

A River/Eleven short by The Mathematician
Most thoroughly inspired/aided & abetted by Chelsea


It doesn't take long for River to realize that she counts the days between their adventures.

Not that she doesn't carry on and enjoy herself when he's absent—she does, and often her studies and interests sweep her away and she'll completely forget about his existence for an hour or two. Still, it's impossible for her to ignore the fact that ever since he swept into her life like a hurricane, proudly showing off that daft box of his, she's experienced a state of mind that has heretofore been foreign to her:

Boredom.

Not that she's bored whenever he isn't around to carry her off to the next adventure. On the contrary, she still finds plenty with which to amuse herself in her notable day-to-day. Still, she has moments where she stares out the window and realizes that she is sick of everything and simply wants him to come back so she can do something. She once prided herself on being sufficiently active-minded enough to keep herself from ever being bored, and it stings a little, knowing that she's just as vulnerable to the state of mind as everyone else.

Having reached this realization, she understandably feels a rush of conflicted emotion when she hears the familiar sound of the TARDIS materializing in the courtyard outside of her bedroom that evening. On the one hand, she's elated, exhilarated, ecstatic—she thought she knew what happy was before she met him, but nothing she's yet experienced can compare to the sharp, potent mix of excitement and joy she feels every time she hears the wheezing noise that announces his arrival.

On the other hand, she's a little peeved, and more than a little scared. Who is he to make her discontent with her current pattern of existence? More importantly, what if he suddenly stops coming back? Oh, he keeps hinting towards some big, important future together (she'd be lying if she said the thought wasn't a glorious one), and she's inclined to believe him, considering all he knows about her. Still, she can't shake the creeping feeling that one day, without any sort of warning, he'll stop returning and she'll spend the rest of her life waiting for a man that will never come.

That won't be me, she resolves fiercely as she buttons a blouse over her camisole. No matter how bloody fascinating the man is, I absolutely will not spend my life lounging around, waiting for him to come back on a whim. I swear.

She finishes pulling on her boots and gets up, going to the window and opening it silently. When she and her parents had moved to this place years ago, she had consciously chosen the one bedroom in the wing that had a sturdy trellis running up the wall next to the window. That trellis had been her constant companion in the last years of her teens, and even though she was now an adult, she still preferred to use it rather than take the stairs. Stairs could result in awkward questions, and she preferred to keep the Doctor her secret, at least for now.

She found him in the courtyard garden, a dozen feet from the TARDIS, on one knee by the koi pond and completely disregarding the damp soil staining his pants. He glances over his shoulder at her, and she feels her heart jump at the sight of his wonky, glorious face, that stupid floppy hair falling over his forehead. "Look at this," he says enthusiastically, "look!"

I don't want to be so happy to see him, she thinks, but nonetheless, she grins and drops down on her knees beside him, one hand on his shoulder as she peers over at whatever has captured his interest this time. He's tenderly touching the leaves of a plant she's seen a thousand times, fingertips skating over the pods almost reverently. "Never seen this before. Astonishing, this place. You can visit a million times and still be unfamiliar with the plant life—don't even get me started on insects, you should be grateful the little buggers don't have the vote or you lot would be enslaved."

"That's a Tiger Claw," River says, silently marveling to herself once again at his ability to be excited and enthralled by even the most mundane things—him, a man who makes a living out of being and doing the extraordinary. Not for the first time, she wonders how a being that has lived a millennia (give or take a century or two) manages to be so childlike. "Can't imagine how it got in here."

"What, it wasn't planted?" he asks, looking over his shoulder and raising an eyebrow in interest.

She grins, realizing that if he hasn't seen it before, then she can show him—"Absolutely not. It's considered a menace, as far as plants go—and this one looks like it's about ready to… ah, yes. Here." She reaches over and rearranges his hand, pausing slightly at the tingle she feels at the touch of their fingers—she'd felt it the first time they touched, had been stunned that it wasn't a myth invented by novelists, and continues to be amazed each time it happens (which, for the record, is practically every time). She puts his index finger and thumb around the base of one of the pods, which does indeed look like the claw of a tiger. "Pinch it," she advises him.

He stares at her, big-eyed as always, then returns his attention to the plant and, ever-so-carefully, he fulfills her request. The top of the pod splits open and dozens, hundreds of tiny spiders come dashing out.

River has never been afraid of spiders, snakes, or all manner of other nasties that her peer group seems to abhor, but still, that many teensy creepy-crawly things aren't exactly appealing, if only because she doesn't relish the thought of searching her clothing later to make sure one hasn't gotten lodged somewhere. The Doctor, however, laughs aloud, that joyous "Ha-haaaaaaa" chortle he makes when he's witnessed something particularly clever.

"Ohhh, look at that," he marvels as they go scattering, and gently releases the pod just before they can begin clambering all over his hand. "Brilliant. How did this planet get so many marvelous life forms, River?"

She smiles at him, squeezing his shoulder before standing up. "I don't know. You tell me."

"Can't do that," he says, rising and dusting the wet dirt from his hands as she heads over to the TARDIS. She's not sure why she's walking away—maybe to see if he'll follow, maybe to distance herself from him before he can turn that peering squint on her, the intense one that makes her feel like she has no secrets. She stands in front of the police box, still not entirely comfortable with entering it alone, and reads the sign in front for what feels like the hundredth time.

"Could show you, though, if you like," he says, and suddenly his voice sounds a lot closer. She determinedly pays him no attention, though she can hear the slightest rustle of clothing as he moves behind her.

Free for use of public, she tells herself, just as he swoops in beside her, resting an elbow on the door and leaning into it oh-so-casually, too casually. "River," he says, taking on that low-voiced rasp that she pretends never to notice and ducking his head so that she can't avoid looking at him without obviously trying to avoid looking at him, "you seem a little bit… out of sorts tonight. Is everything all right?"

His face is, frankly, distracting, those eyes narrowed and focused on her quizzically, a little suspiciously. She swallows hard, looks at him, and forces a smile. "I'm fine. Bit of a headache." Not at all caused by me trying to puzzle out exactly what you're doing and whether you intend to keep doing it.

He stares at her for a second, then points at her, smiling slightly. "Liar," he says, and swings past her into the TARDIS. It makes her indignant enough to follow him, which she does, pushing the door shut behind her.

"You think I'm lying?" she challenges him, leaning back against the door and lifting her chin defiantly.

"Oh, I know you're lying," he confides in her cheerfully, back to her as he approaches the console, shaking his hands out as though he's just punched someone. He hasn't, of course—no, apparently, it's simply impossible for the man to be still for more than a second.

River should find this annoying. By no means should she be wearing the slight, affectionate smile that refuses to budge from her face, but she can't seem to get rid of it. He's accusing you of lying, she thinks, and although the accusation is a true one, the thought is enough to make her go deadpan again. "Oh, really? How do you know?" she demands, folding her arms beneath her chest.

He points over his shoulder as he bends over the control panel, just a quick flash of the hand. "You haven't learned yet not to gulp when you're about to tell a big one," he calls out, gently teasing.

Well, shit, River thinks. She tightens her arms and scowls, and he glances quickly back at her.

"Oh, there's no need to sulk," he chastises her. "We're going to Vienna! Vienna, yeah?"

The promise of an adventure makes River thaw somewhat, and she loosens her arms, approaching the console as he circles it, tweaking a switch here, adjusting a knob there in preparation for their flight. "What's in Vienna?" she asks, reaching slim fingers out to touch something shiny and green and thinking better of it at the last second, drawing back. She hasn't yet been able to get a proper chart of the console, and until she knows what everything does, she thinks it wise to refrain from messing with it too much.

"What's in Vienna?" He looks up at her, eyes wide, mouth just slightly slack. She stares at him, unblinking, playing the role of the clueless little girl because she wants him to tell her, to get excited about it, and he yields. "Oh, well… fantastic balls, legendary architecture, lovely, perfect sausages, and last but not least—a gentlemen known as Ludwig van."

A smile emerges radiantly on her face. "We're going to visit Beethoven?" she asks, unable to restrain her excitement, despite the fact that she had been annoyed with him not five seconds ago.

"Visit him—oh, we're paying a debt collecting call," the Doctor exclaims, looking over at her with a grin, a grin that she can't help but return. "Man owes me ten pounds. Terrible gambler, River, don't you know—excuse me," he says, reaching past her, his sleeve brushing against her hands, which are planted firmly on the console.

"I didn't, but thank you for telling me" she says, the slightest hint of a wicked grin forming at the corner of her mouth. The Doctor gives her a worried look.

"Now, River, don't take advantage of him—he's an eccentric, doesn't always—"

"You did," she counters stubbornly. He stops mid-word, double-taking, face crumbling slightly as he realizes that she has a point. He raises a warning finger, shaking it at her a few times before he manages to find his words and use them.

"Don't—now, don't you change the subject, River Song. We're talking about treating our hosts well, you understand? Don't want incident like the fiasco with the Mirror of Larken." This last part is muttered beneath his breath as he turns away, but she hears it regardless and grips the console as her eyes light up fiercely.

"You didn't tell me it was supposed to be that filthy!" she protests sharply. "I thought I was doing them a favor!"

"Who goes on a visit and cleans?" he demands, throwing his head back and his hands up for a split second before cranking something and sending them flying. River tightens her grip and tosses her curls out of her face as they hurtle through time and space.

"The thing was disgusting!" she defends herself. "There were bogeys all over it!"

"Well, thanks to you," he roars over the chaos, "the Larkenians will suffer from three millennia of bad luck!"

"Oh, they'll be fine," she bellows, skittering across the room and finding an alcove in which to brace herself. "Luck doesn't exist anyway!"

"Oh, you're going to really regret you said tha—"

The statement dissolves into a shout as he lunges for a lever that has gone flying away from the TARDIS core, and River shuts her eyes. He really needs to practice his driving skills is the last thought she has before they crash-land in Vienna, 1799.


Vienna at the turn of the century is beautiful, River thinks. I think it would be vastly more beautiful if I had time to enjoy it, but noooooo, we have to run for our lives from an angry mob—

"River," the Doctor says, prodding her in the side over and over again as they run, almost a nervous tic and absolutely distracting (not even in the pleasant way), "River—DUCK!"

She gets her head down just in time to avoid flying pottery, and as it shatters over her head, his hand snatches at her wrist and she allows him to hang on to it because at least it stops him poking at her like a fretful six-year-old. For all that he's the oldest person she's ever met, she certainly feels like his babysitter at times.

"You didn't mention the fact that Vienna has a fierce and active witch-hunting gang," she snarls through tightly gritted teeth as they reach the outskirts of the village.

"You didn't mention that you've a birthmark on your shoulder; that might have qualified as pertinent information!" he counters. He isn't even the least bit short of breath. Amazing. She wonders how often he does this, and then crushes that train of thought before it has time to flourish and grow. She doesn't want to know.

"It's a birthmark, I didn't—"

"Oh, it's a sign and seal of your covenant with the devil for them!" he says, loudly to make himself heard over the sounds of the clamor behind them.

"Well, that's great, really—"

"THERE'S the old girl!" he cries in delight, and River nearly cries herself out of relief as they hurtle towards the TARDIS. She realizes a bit too late that they're not slowing down, then—wham—they slam into the side of the blue box and the Doctor pushes fiercely for a second before the door gives way and he spills inside, River following him and leaping over him as he tries to stagger (completely ungracefully) to his feet.

"Out, out, out of the way and get us out of here," she orders fiercely, and he manages to get up, dizzily lurching towards the control center as she slams the door closed and leans hard against it.

She thinks he might have hit his head, since he's a bit clumsier than usual, but then they've taken flight and she breaths a sigh of relief as the TARDIS rumbles them away to safety.

Shortly thereafter, he throws the brakes, and she flips around, opening the door to see that he's parked them safely in her courtyard at roughly the same time of night that they left. Nodding with approval, she closes the TARDIS up securely and heads up to join him as he rests, arms braced along the console and head dipped as he regains the breath she hadn't noticed he'd lost.

"What the hell was that?" she demands as she approaches, putting her arms behind her back so that she doesn't have to decide what to do with them. He glances over and shoots her a sly grin before standing up straight, raking his hands through his hair and rearranging it meticulously as he steps up to her, a little close, but close is better than far.

"Either Beethoven thought you were a witch and summoned the hunters in to deal with you, or the hunters thought Beethoven was a witch and were having him watched. More likely the former, though. He's eccentric, but, y'know—history."

River shakes her head fiercely. "Witch hunters? In Vienna?"

"Hey, the hunt had died down but people love a good scapegoat," he declares. "Look at us, appearing out of nowhere, outfits different from the locals'… I guarantee there's been a crop shortage or increase in teen pregnancy, something of that sort on the rise lately."

River thinks about this, and then, completely without her own permission, starts giggling. He gives her a quizzical look, and all she can say in response to the unspoken question is, "We found a witch, may we burn her?" before collapsing into laughter.

He stares at her blankly for a moment, and she's afraid that it's gone completely over his head (which wouldn't surprise her in the least bit, all of time and space at his fingertips and she doubts he's got much time to watch Monty Python), and then his eyes flash and it clicks. "Oy, she turned me into a newt!" he exclaims, and the two of them collapse into laughter, more out of relief than amusement at the old classics.

Somehow, they end up in a weak-kneed pile braced against the TARDIS console, giggling and sitting side by side with arms pressed snugly together. River finds that she quite likes this, even if her heart is thumping a little too quickly for comfort and her stomach feels like it might take flight of its own accord at any moment.

Out of the corner of her eye, she sees the Doctor's head turn, and she looks over to meet his eyes. He offers her that grin of his, one part amusement, one part cheekiness, two parts mischief. "Tell the truth, River," he encourages her. "You love it."

Yes, I do, she thinks, and realizes as she glances from his eyes and his mouth and back again that her blood is pumping from the fear and exertion, that the most magnificent man she's ever known is right there, and that she's about to do something very unprecedented and very ill-advised.

She leans forward and kisses him for the first time.

And… nothing. She waits politely for a moment, but kisses—the worthwhile ones, anyway—sort of require participation from both parties, and she is getting nothing from him.

Shit.

She breaks away rapidly, not looking at him, dropping her eyes immediately and scrambling to her feet. "I—I'm sorry," she stammers. River Song is not the stammering type, not ever—except, apparently, now, when faced with crippling embarrassment in the face of her own folly.

How could I have read that wrong? Does he treat all girls like that? Take them on adventure, tease them, engage in flirtatious body language—and it wasn't just tonight, either; he's been doing this during the entire time she's known him, almost. As short as that time (altogether) has been. River is still young, still fairly inexperienced in the ways of men—boys, certainly, but men are an entirely different breed. She's never gotten no reaction before, and feels as if she must have committed an unspeakable crime in order to deserve that lack of reaction.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she says, cursing herself internally—she's lost him for good, now, she's sure of it, and her life will never be quite as scintillating again.

She reaches the TARDIS door and goes for the handle. She gets it open maybe an inch before his hand collides hard with the door, knocking it shut again. His voice is calm, just a low purr in the quiet of the room: "Just where do you think you're going?"

She blinks at the long fingers holding the door shut just in front of her face, taking a moment to understand. After what's realistically probably only a second or two, she turns to stare up at him, pitifully confused. "I… I'm sorry, but—?

"Sorry? Sorry for what?" he asks, still in that extraordinarily soft, unassuming tone. He's just standing there over her, arm blocking her way out, eyes fixed on her face, and as she stares at him, she feels a stirring of something deep in her gut.

Anger.

Oh, he's messing with her—she's certain of it, and she has no intention of taking it without a fight. Embarrassing a girl like that, toying with her—she feels it creep into her expression and tries to control it, but she hasn't yet learned to keep from wearing her expressions on her face, and she knows the exact moment that he sees it—his face lights up, ever so slightly, fiendishly.

"Now, there's the girl I know—" And the growl's back, low and triggering a thrumming in her lower belly, a feeling that has nothing to do with anger. "Now," he says very quietly, enunciating very carefully as he drops his head closer, "where were you going again?"

River could jump him, she knows this—he's almost literally asking for it. Then again, she's been mistaken regarding his intentions before, and she really doesn't like the fact that he's toying with her, excitement in her stomach or not. So she smiles. She puts on a sweet tone, entirely unlike her, and asks him with a bat of the lashes for good measure: "Did I say I was going anywhere, Doctor? You oughtn't jump to conclusions. Aren't you supposed to be the most intelligent man in the world?"

He pushes closer, just a centimeter or two, but it seems like so much more, what with their proximity. "Oh, you're going to be sorry you said that," he declares with the very smallest of snarls, upper lip hitching for half a second to bare his teeth.

She pushes back. "Oh, is that so?" she challenges him.

He looks at her for a moment, brow furrowing ever-so-slightly. "River Song, I'll have you know that my intelligence has saved your life countless times—" he begins, and, seeing her eyes light up in interest at the prospect of a story and realizing that he's deviated from the problem at hand, he physically waves the tangent away. "Not the point," he says dismissively, and one hand touches the side of her face, a finger ensnaring itself in a strand of curls.

Not one to be easily bested, she reaches up, grabbing the edges of his coat lightly. "Oh? Then what is the point?" she asks, dropping her eyes momentarily as, almost in spite of himself, he steps forward, nearly closing the small gap between them. He tugs slightly, and she bites her lip to keep from responding in any other way.

He stares at her for full moments, that same maddening smirk surfacing on his face. He pulls the curl again, harder, and accordingly she bites her lip again. "Interesting," he murmurs lowly.

"Do you mind talking sense?" she asks, masking that torturously nice discomfort with irritability.

He releases the curl and points at her face. "That. Thatright there," he says, making several quick circular motions to indicate her face. "The presumed annoyance, the lip-biting, the coat-grabbing, the reaction—" Lightning-fast, he ensnares her hair and gives it a quick tug, sharper this time, and she gasps sharply before she can help herself"when I do that. Oh, yes, River Song, you're trying your very hardest not to admit to yourself what's plain for any intelligent—" He pronounces the word deliberately, lifts his chin very slightly and looks askance at her, very pointedly"man to see."

His hand slides almost caressingly to her neck and she wishes it hadn't; her heart is beating so quickly that the heightened pulse will be right at his fingertips, and judging by the slightly widening smirk, he's noticed. Determined to force bravado till the very end, she meets his eyes heroically. "Oh, yes, Doctor? And what's that?"

His eyes flicker rapidly from her eyes to her mouth, back and forth multiple times in rapid succession. The tip of his tongue emerges; he very quickly and deliberately licks his lips. "Well," he says lowly, and for half an instant, he's pressed close to her, his chest just barely brushing her own, but more importantly his hips against hers own—ah, the hips, and she understands now.

And suddenly, the solid physical warmth of him is gone, and she blinks in surprise as she realizes that he's somehow made it three feet away in all of a second. "Well," he says again, louder and cheerfully, "If you can't figure it out on your own, I certainly won't be the one to explain it to you. I've been called a Bad Doctor enough in my day; I don't need to add 'corrupting the youth' to my already respectable list of nefarious ventures."

Bad Doctor, indeed. River isn't amused, not in the slightest. Standing up straight and taking a step away from the wall, she straightens her blouse—not that it particularly needs it, but she's feeling considerably rumpled—and then puts her hands on her hips. The Doctor glances away quickly; she's channeling her future self so perfectly right now and it takes all of his self control to keep his distance. Indignantly, River demands, "Who's 'the youth'?"

He shoots her a look, the slightly narrowed eyes and pursing lips that say come on, darling, you know better, and says, "You, Miss Song, YOU'RE the youth. You're just a little girl playing at a very big game—" and though River knows he's not just talking about them, here, now, it certainly FEELS like he's referring to their private game exclusively—"and it would be irresponsible of me, you know, to plant ideas in that brain of yours."

Okay, now she's mad. River is actually anchored to the spot in fury and indecision. There are a million things she wants to do to him right now, not the least of which is slap him upside that unusually-[beautifully-]shaped head of his. Whistling jauntily, he heads back to the console and starts rummaging away at something, pretending that the discussion is over.

Which it is not.

River reaches a decision. In almost perfect silence, using the soft tread that has always assisted her in gathering information, she swiftly approaches him from behind. She stretches out a long arm, grips his tweed-clad shoulder tightly, and wrests him around to face her. She only has a split second to register the expression on his face—wide eyes and surprise, is it? yes, mingled a bit with... is that triumph?—before she grips the back of his neck with her other hand and holds him firmly in place as she crushes her mouth against his.

Ah, and how that man does respond. After a split second of stillness, he lurches into action, bringing his body flush against her and urging her backwards, and she yields to the force, too distracted by the talented tongue that certainly attested to him being the most intelligent man in the world to notice that he's taking her straight to the wall.

Her back collides with considerable force; his hands are suddenly at her wrists, bringing them up and locking them against the wall above her head. Acting on pure intuition now, she thrusts her hips forward—almost as if he'd predicted it, he rears back, doubtless intending to tease. She takes advantage of his sudden distance, launching herself forth and twisting him around and just like that, their positions are reversed.

She splays her hands along his thin hips as he snarls long fingers in her hair, pressing her hands in hard—a pain that he thoroughly appreciates, judging by the slightly strangled moan he looses into her mouth. She breaks away, working her way up to his ear and murmuring, "Too much for you, sweetie?" before giving his earlobe a quick, naughty tug with her teeth.

And from somewhere deep in the back of his throat, a growl comes ripping up and out, sending a shiver straight down her spine and spawning goosebumps on every inch of her skin. His hands suddenly leave her hair, but she has no time to voice her disappointment before they're at her waist. His grip tightens on her, and she just has time to think he can't possibly before he hoists her off the ground, removing any traction she has and reversing their positions again, slamming her against the wall with considerable force this time. As he apparently has no intention of setting her down, River locks long legs around his waist, a waist which is pitiably masked with far too much clothing, she notices.

Their eyes meet—his mouth is open, he's panting slightly and his hair is spilling down over his forehead, but his eyes are fiercely joyous, as if this is a fight he's been looking forward to for ages. She purses her lips slightly and cocks an eyebrow as she reaches up and tugs sharply on the bowtie, loosening it with one quick gesture, and, grabbing the loose ends, she pulls him forward into another vehement, delightful kiss.

She releases the bowtie and her hands go to the edges of his coat- anticipating her, he shrugs his shoulders back, allowing her to slide the tweed down over his arms. She's barely discarded it before he seizes her wrists and uses one of his considerably larger hands to force them up over her head and hold them there, his chest and hips keeping her pinned against the wall.

She tugs at his grip, thoroughly intending to tear that shirt directly off his back, quite looking forward to scoring the skin with her nails, but he's having none of it. With his free hand, he toys at the hem of her shirt—another moment, and he's slid beneath, but just the fingertips, lightly stroking the soft, taut skin around her belly button.

The touches send feathery vibrations shooting southward, and she breaks the kiss and throws her head hard back against the wall, biting a moan in half in order to keep him from seeing exactly what he's doing to her. A quick glance into his eyes proves that the effort was futile. The lines around his eyes are creasing ever-so-slightly with that teasing smirk, and she hates him for it.

"You are an intolerable bastard," she growls through tightly clenched teeth. He shakes the spill of hair out of his eyes and the smirk simply widens as he scrapes her stomach lightly with his fingernails, making her gasp.

"You like it," he accuses her softly.

Two can play at this game, River thinks, and shifts her hips, managing to sink a bit lower on the wall. Perfect, she thinks, and then tightens her legs and grinds.

The Doctor's jaw drops and another one of those delightful strangled noises escapes him as his grip loosens. River is one who knows how to take advantage of a situation, and she quickly frees both hands, swatting his away and getting a grip on his collar. Before he can recover, she grinds into him again, feeling the evidence of his appreciation in very sharp detail, and then rips his shirt straight down, sending buttons flying everywhere. Pressing her advantage, she presses her shoulders hard against the wall, using it for leverage to push against him. He loses his balance, and down they go.

They land in a sprawled heap, and the Doctor hits his head with a considerable thwack, which gives River pause. She frowns as she sits up slightly, trying to get a look and see if he's hurt, but if anything, the injury has encouraged him. His hands find her shoulders, and with a growl, he brings her hard down to the ground and straddles her in one swift, fluid motion.

She wants to laugh aloud, but something in his eyes worries her, and the laugh dies on her lips as she stares up at him in something akin to fear. "Ah," he murmurs ever-so-softly, hair in his eyes as his fingers ghost lightly over her lips, exploring, "I've got you, you bad girl. Now, what do you suppose I should do with you?"

River reaches up, going for his hair, but he swats her hand down before it gets more than an inch from the ground and pins it, repeating the move when she tries it with her other hand. She bucks her hips, testing him, trying to throw him, but he rides it out patiently, keeping hold of his position. River is suddenly forced to face the fact that she is very... very trapped.

She can't exactly find it in herself to be upset about this, though. "Hey," the Doctor says, calling her attention back to his question by dropping his face down right in front of hers, rubbing her nose with his ever-so-slightly and in a playful manner that completely belies the strength that currently imprisons her, "That wasn't a rhetorical question."

"Give me a minute to think," she says sharply, and he leans back, pulling a face at her. Almost without thinking, she lifts her hips to push herself against him, only to find empty air as he raises himself up a few inches. He raises his eyebrows and looks down at her, lips parted as if to say -oh, would you look at that.-

"Ah," he chides her teasingly. "Girls who don't complete their assignments don't get rewards. It's a rule. It's in the book. Well, it's in a book." She arches up further, but he's just out of reach, and she groans aloud in frustration.

"I'm not a girl," she complains, almost whining, and his brows shoot up.

"Good heavens, I certainly hope you are," he says, forehead immediately furrowing. "Because otherwise I've been terribly mistaken all this time."

She meets his eyes, scowling. "I'm a woman," she clarifies sharply.

The playfulness drops away. His upper lip creeps up snarlingly, baring his teeth for an instant, and he only has one thing to say in response to that: "Prove it."

Her eyes widen, and then the brows rush down in determination and with an almighty heave, she dislodges him, following him back around to the floor—he's not fighting very hard, clearly recognizing that such a challenge obviously requires some sort of slack on the leash—

Do not think about leashes, she orders herself strictly as she presses heated lips to the side of his smooth throat, just below the ear. He elicits a slight groan and writhes beneath her—it's ever-so-slight, true, but it's still a writhe, and she smiles against his warm skin, scraping it lightly with her teeth and getting a reflexive growl out of him before she returns her attention to his mouth.

They're no longer fighting in such earnest. His lips beneath hers are pliable and responsive, tongue reacting to hers almost lazily—he's carrying on with the dare, taunting her with his mildness. She doesn't like that control, and decides that it's high time she wrest it away from him. As much as the thought of a wild Doctor scares her, she's caught glimpses of his darkness now and again and is quite intrigued by it, is fairly positive that it will be come visible in a big way in the bedroom.

Bedroom being a figurative term here.

She shouldn't like the idea of rough sex with the good Doctor, the gentle Doctor. She does, a bit.

She plunges her lips towards his clavicle, bared by the thin undershirt that is the only thing covering his torso now that she's divested him of his jacket and shirt. He definitely appreciates her use of tongue, she thinks; one of his hands tightens convulsively in her hair as he exclaims "Ah!" and the other is stretched out above his head, tightened in a white-knuckled fist as he arches his back, rising up partially from the TARDIS floor.

Ahh, that insistent pull at her hair is making her lose her breath, sending chills across her skin and tightening the ache between her legs. She shifts slightly, reveling in the pleasant grind, and decides that that's plenty of foreplay, thank you.

For once, River has put her analytical self aside and is obeying hormones, though if she thinks about it, she realizes that there's something way, deep inside of her that is entirely convinced that anything she chooses to do with (and to) this man would be the exact opposite of a mistake, which fuels her potent desire to continue.

Lips still working at his throat, sucking and biting softly and earning little bucks and heavy breathing from him, she splays her hand across his chest, between them, and slowly, fingernails dragging across the thin fabric of his undershirt as she goes, she works it downwards.

She reaches his belt and makes short work of it, not even glancing down as she loosens and unbuckles it. Unfortunately, the clinking of the buckle seems to stir him from his state of moaning bliss. His eyes, which have been half-to-mostly-shut as he enjoys her ministrations, fly open, and he suddenly jerks away from beneath her mouth.

River sits back, startled, as he hoists himself from the floor—at least, his upper half, the half that isn't pinned down by one of her legs on either side of it. He leans back, bracing himself on one hand, staring at her wide-eyed and bringing up the free hand to interpose an index finger between them in warning. "River—River, wait just a second, now—"

Her brows rush down in disappointment. Wait? Is this really the time for second thoughts? "Wait, why?" she demands impatiently, shaking her curls out of her eyes and pressing her lips together disapprovingly as she gropes rather incorrigibly at the waistband of his pants.

"Ah, ahh, ahhh," the Doctor says, quite clearly panicked, and he tries very hard to scootch out from beneath her without losing his trousers—something she has no intention of letting him do. She shifts her hips, reaffirming her position atop him, and lurches forward to seize his wrists.

Her face is mere inches away from his, and she resists the urge to kiss him again, instead studying his face and the pitiful panic it wears now with confusion. Her voice has softened from the playful purr when she speaks again: "What's wrong?"

"I… er—" He tugs at one wrist, and she releases it—he uses the freed hand to scratch the back of his head ferociously, probably right around the spot where he bashed it earlier. "River, have we ever… done this, ah, before?"

She lets the other wrist go and sits back on her haunches, and when he scoots back this time, she makes no attempt to hold him down, letting him escape this time. He edges back against the wall, busies himself with buckling his belt all over again, and then looks up, watches her out of one eye, wary, as if he realizes that he's said something not exactly kosher.

River stares at him. "What do you mean, have we done this before? You know we haven't," she says, hating the little vein of uncertainty in her voice. Sometimes, he says things that just throw her for a loop, and this is one of those times.

"I thought not," he mutters, almost to himself, then lifts his voice—"That was the first time we—well, that we did anything, right? Kissed, or just—" He trails off and lowers his chin slightly, awkwardly. She swears that if the man blushed, he'd be crimson right now. He was lucky he didn't if talk of a bit of groping and grinding was enough to make him uncomfortable.

She realizes that she's wearing the slightest of sharklike grins and slumps resignedly. Even with the sexual frustration, he still warrants adoration. She should hate him right now, should feel rejected and insecure, but all she can feel is intense amusement. Well, and maybe a lot of leftover tension.

Damn it. She was really looking forward to finding out just how much experience he has under his belt, but she can tell by his face that it isn't going to happen. Without her permission, her face shifts into a sulk and she draws her knees up, resting her arms there and burying her face in them. She doesn't particularly care if he thinks she's being childish, that she's pouting—she's disappointed, damn it, and confused to boot. Why the hell doesn't he remember that no, they've never done that before?

She hears movement but refuses to budge, and within seconds he's crouched in front of her, gently wrapping long fingers around her wrists (sore wrists, she notes; the flesh feels bruised to the touch. She hadn't noticed how rough he had gotten, and a little thrill shoots through her at the realization), and pulls them away from her knees so he can see her face.

"River," he says gently—ugh, she loves the way her name rolls off his tongue, doesn't want to love it, is aware that it'll help him get out of this quagmire he pitched himself into, but she can't help herself. She is deadpan as she stares at him, though; that's a start.

"River," he says again, "my dear girl, my bad girl, my clever girl—I promise you that good things are coming. For you, for us—good things, fun things!" His excitement grows and is infectious; she has to fight not to smile. "Just… not this, not yet. I can't—it would mess up the whole—"

He cuts himself off, and as she stares blankly at him, he gnaws briefly on his bottom lip, searching her eyes. "Right," he mumbles. "I sound like a blathering idiot, don't I?" The smirk pulls irresistibly at the corner of her mouth. She nods, not trusting herself to speak without laughing. He shakes his head, shrugs. "Ah, well. I've done worse. You'll understand this all very soon, I promise, but this is supposed to be our first kiss, River—not anything else just yet. And I'm not going to change that up."

Supposed to be—what is he talking about? River wonders. She doesn't bother asking, though—questions in the past had been answered by a singularly obnoxious smirk and the one-word catcall, pronounced with total satisfaction, as if he'd been waiting for decades to say it: "Spoilers."

She can't resist one last attempt, though, and brings her knees down, leaning forward and catching his face, getting one last good, voracious kiss for her trouble. He responds enthusiastically enough, but breaks it off before she starts groping, letting out a soft groan and resting his forehead against hers.

"Nice try, River," he says softly, looking her in the eyes, "but I'm Gallifreyan. I can control my libido."

She thinks he's bullshitting, though. It takes him more than a minute before he seems comfortable enough to stand up.

Fin


AN - This was most definitely written to satisfy my friend Chelsea's craving for young!River/Eleven fic and is most definitely somewhat crackheaded. I'm still a bit shaky on my personal canon for River Song, so if this seemed a bit... flighty, I apologize. Still, I would love, love, love to know what you think, so drop me a line, please.