Amy and Rory waited in their living room for the Tardis. He had given them a date, a time, and had told them to bring five quid each and a spatula between the two of them. Amused and intrigued, the couple waiting on the living room rug for the Doctor, money in their pockets and a black spatula in Rory's hand.
"What in the world could he want with a spatula?" Rory wondered.
"He's the Doctor. I'm sure there's a reason for it," Amy replied as the unmistakable sound of the Tardis began to fill their living room. The Tardis materialized perfectly between the TV and the bookcase, not knocking a single thing out of place. The Doctor tossed open the door,
"Did you bring the spatula?"
Amy rolled her eyes.
"Hello to you too, Doctor."
He hugged the couple enthusiastically, then spotted the spatula and snatched it from Rory.
"Brilliant! I needed this!" He bounded into the time machine and Amy and Rory followed, Amy rolling her eyes and Rory sighed. At this point, the Doctor had dashed out of sight, leaving husband and wife alone in the console room.
"Any idea at all why he wanted that?" Rory asked, "Any idea at all?"
"Not a clue. I actually want to know what I needed to bring five quid for. I mean, it's not as odd as the spatula, but when have we paid for anything with the Doctor? Ever?"
"That's actually a really good point."
Both of them paused to think, leaving the Doctor time to come back into the room, carrying an enormous, very burnt pancake.
"Bit late, but better than never, eh? What do you think?"
"What did I tell you about using the stove?" A voice came from the hall and all three of them turned to see River Song standing there in skintight leather pants and a flowing cream colored top. The Doctor pouted,
"It's not a pancake for eating. Technically you told me not to cook on the stove. Since I wasn't making food, it's not cooking. So…I'm in the clear. Right?"
"What does the pancake do?" she sighed, exasperated.
He swallowed and said in a rather subdued tone, "Well…you see…"
"Doctor," she warned.
"It's a surprise?" He offered with a weak smile.
"I hate surprises."
"You're calling me a liar?" She raised her pale eyebrows at him, challenging him to say yes.
"Well…not exactly. Sort of…but not really…"
Turning away from River, he beamed at the Ponds.
"We're going to the beach!"
"Couldn't we do that in England?"
"Well we could, but then we'd be on an English beach, wouldn't we? Much better to go somewhere new. Like the tropical planet of Freya II. Lovely planet, Freya II; lots of beaches. And banana groves! Love a banana grove. Great for potassium and all that."
Smiling and still holding the pizza-sized pancake, made a face and dashed from the room, calling,
"Hang on a moment; I need to put this down."
He returned with the pancake and the spatula, which was melted beyond recognition, both in a large, clear plastic bag. He smiled at Rory in a friendly way.
"I'll return the spatula once we use the pancake."
"No…really. You can keep it," Rory said, trying to be polite about the fact that the Doctor had ruined a spatula that he had considered his favorite.
"Honey, we need to talk about the whole cooking thing," River said, sounding rather displeased at being ignored.
"And I think that we ought to go get on swimming suits," Amy said hurriedly.
"And towels too," Rory added.
"Leave the ten quid!" the Doctor called and the couple each stuffed a five-pound note into his hand before dashing out of the console room.
The Doctor hit a few buttons and switches on the Tardis, pulling it into the time stream. He slipped the five-pound notes under one of his braces and piloted it until it landed smoothly (for him anyway). He shot a quick, nervous glance at River, as he ran for the Tardis doors.
"Be back in a moment, honey!" He flashed her an equally nervous smile and bolted into a rainy London street. He returned ten minutes later with a large bag containing a lot of smaller paper bags filled with sweets.
River was waiting for him, leaning against the Tardis console. She was wearing a sundress now, deep red and loosely fitted. Her gaze was fixed on the door so that the moment he entered, he was staring straight at her, and she at him.
"Honey, I'm home," he announced with a hesitant grin, repeating the words he said when the Pandorica opened. She responded the same way as well.
"And what sort of a time do you call this, then?"
He held up the bag like a peace offering. "I bought ten quid's worth of sweets."
"And ate at least three quid's worth no doubt."
He swiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. "Well those were the three quid that you contributed…so I figured that nobody would mind."
"The pancake, Doctor."
"Yes…the pancake. I really think you should wait for the surprise, it'll be a good one." Shooting her another mildly terrified-looking grin, he dashed to the wardrobe to get a swimsuit.
River sighed and pulled a chocolate out of one of the bags and bit into it. It had a cherry center and she licked the syrup off her lips, wondering what in the world she was going to do with that ridiculous man.
He returned in a wetsuit, snorkel, and flippers. Amy and Rory lounged in his bench-chair and Amy laughed as he walked into the console room.
"What in the world are you wearing?"
"It's a wetsuit. Wetsuits are cool."
Surprisingly, River grinned widely, a sort of I-know-something-you-don't-know-and-it's-really-juicy grin. She smiled at the Doctor, stepping away from the console.
"Pilot away, sweetie."
He managed rather well, considering the fact that he was in flippers, and they were soon safely landed on Freya II on a hot, sunny beach. Rory rubbed sunscreen on Amy's back as she glared at the sun.
"Sometimes I really hate being ginger."
"Never hate being ginger, Pond. I've been hoping to be ginger for a while now. Hasn't happened yet."
Amy sighed and the group laid their towels on the sand. The Doctor was sweating; after all, wetsuits are really warm and it was at least ninety degrees Fahrenheit outside, under the glaring sun. Rory stabbed a sun umbrella into the sand above everyone's towels. River declined the shade and moved her towel into the sun. Sighing contentedly, she donned a pair of sunglasses and slipped off her sundress. Surprisingly, her bikini, though black, was actually quite modest (for a swimsuit, anyhow). She sat on the towel and raised her eyebrows at the Doctor.
"You hot, sweetie?"
"Fine, thanks." He tugged at the collar of the wetsuit; it covered most of his neck.
"What about that pancake of yours, Doctor?" Rory asked, still a bit miffed about his spatula.
"Yes Doctor, what about that pancake? River asked, smiling in a way that would have looked menacing on nearly anyone else.
"Right, the pancake. I'll go fetch that."
He returned with it and carefully removed it from the large bag. Gingerly, he tossed it onto the wet sand and dashed back towards them, skidding onto a towel, tossing sand all over River. As the waves came in towards the pancake, they rushed around it, and then dragged water back over it. The Doctor blinked for a minute, then turned towards Amy and Rory, his expression a mixture of interest and relief. That was just about when the pancake exploded into a rather impressive display of multicolored sparks.
He smiled weakly at the couple, forcing out a slightly strained-sounding,
River snorted and stood up, beginning to brush sand off of herself. It was sweltering outside and both Amy and Rory took a quick dip to cool off before rejoining them on the towels. The Doctor followed suit, and returned, still looking really uncomfortable.
"Why don't you just take off the wetsuit?"
"I'm fine, really."
He lasted about half an hour before, with a sigh, he unzipped the front of the wetsuit and began pulling his arms out, facing the Ponds as he did so. He was wearing swim trunks underneath the wetsuit and with a sigh of relief, he tossed the thing onto the sand behind them.
"Better?" Amy asked, amused. He nodded.
"You really ought to put on sun screen. I don't know if Time Lords can get skin cancer, but I'm pretty sure that you get sunburn like the rest of us."
"I'll get your back if you like, River called from behind him. He was still facing the Ponds, cross-legged on his towel.
"I'm all right, thanks."
"Doctor, you really ought to put on some sunscreen," Amy agreed. "Protects you from UV rays and all that."
"Nothing to be ashamed of, sweetie," River called, her tone a little too helpful.
"I'm really all right. Really. I'm fine."
"Sweetie," River called. Her tone was different now, confused. "What's this?"
Curious, the Doctor turned to look at her. She was grinning wickedly and holding a seashell.
"That's a seashell, River. Why in the world—"
"Doctor!" Rory exclaimed, startled. "What on earth happened to your back?"
"Job hazard," the Doctor replied quickly.
"It's really the neck that I'm more interested in," Amy remarked, her grin growing to match River's.
The Doctor's back was scored with red streaks in sets of five, like claws running down his back. On the left side of his neck, carefully concealed until now, were undeniable sets of teeth marks.
"What've you been doing since we saw you last?" Rory asked, reaching out to examine the Time Lord's back. "Have you put anything on these? They could get infected."
Amy waggled her eyebrows suggestively, "Yes Doctor, what have you been doing. These marks almost look like they were made by a human."
Rory suddenly closed his eyes and nodded, "Ah. Never mind then. Might want to put something on those later; keep them clean and all that."
River lay back on her towel, looking extremely innocent.
"I think I'm going back in the water," the Time Lord announced and he stood, dashing towards the water. Amy slipped on a pair of sunglasses and lay down on her own towel.
"So…River. Any interesting adventures recently?" Amy asked.
"Oh," River replied, a self-satisfied smile on her lips, "A few."
"Find anything good?"
"Let's just say I made a few conquests." Still smiling, she turned over and lay on her stomach, sunning her back. "Very rewarding conquests."