The TARDIS console is rattling as they burst through the door, the Doctor slamming it shut behind them, an accompanying harmony to the continuous boom coming from outside.

"Well Sweetie," proclaims River slightly breathlessly, stepping up to the console and pressing several buttons. The rattling stops and a small mirror pops out of the empty air. The Doctor shakes his head. The things River manages to convince the old girl to do amaze him, especially as the TARDIS continues to refuse to take him anywhere within five miles of the London Hat Museum. He suspects favouritism. River examines her reflection with a frown before beginning to pick pieces of molten rock out of her wild blond curls.

"When you said you were taking me to see the biggest volcano in the universe erupt, I didn't expect to find myself standing right on top of it."

The Doctor moves too, standing behind her and helping to pull the fragments from her hair.

"If it makes you feel any better, I wasn't exactly expecting it either,"

She rolls her eyes at the mirror and a row of bright red lights starts to flash on the console. If he didn't know better, he'd say the TARDIS was laughing at him.

"And that," she turns around and indicates their singed, still smoking clothing, "is why this is the last time I let you drive. I'll happily give up the element of surprise if it means holding on to my life,"

He winks.

"You say that, but you always give in eventually. You know you enjoy our little holidays,"

Their diaries for once are relatively up to date with each other, meaning that inside jokes and words like 'always' can be employed with causing a great deal of confusion. He savours moments like these, when their interactions are uncomplicated by the ebbs and flows of the time stream.

River snorts.

"Oh come Doctor Song, you were very fond of the dry swamps, as I recall,"

"Sweetie we nearly drowned. In sand. Twice,"

"I read your excellent thesis on the culture of the ancient Dune peoples, you called them fascinating,"

"Yes, I was also the first archaeologist to put forward the theory that they ate people,"

"It was a simple misunderstanding,"

"Only over whether they were going to boil or roast us,"

"Admit it, you had fun. And you got to shoot things,"

She pulls a few levers as she considers this, only a quiet whooshing noise to tell him that she's just plunged them into the time vortex. It's so much more fun without the stabilisers.

"Trying to fire a gun during a sand storm is an experience I'll certainly never forget," she concedes, a slow grin spreading across her lips.

"Much more interesting than anything you ever do with that Nestene duplicate of yours,"

Her smile widens.

"Sweetie, do I detect jealousy in your voice?"

He pushes his chest out indignantly, trying to look old and wise.

"I am nearly one thousand years old. I do not get jealous,"

"Oh good, so you won't mind if I take him up on that cruise then," River reaches for the old fashioned phone affixed to one of the columns, eyes gleaming.

He grabs her wrist and pins it behind her, leaning forward so that their breaths mingle.

"If you do that River Song, I am afraid I shall have to handcuff you,"

He leans down to kiss her but suddenly she twists out of his grip, reversing their positions so that his body is pressed against the console instead of hers. There's a flash of metal, then he hears a loud click.

He looks at her incredulously as he realises that his arm is now firmly attached to one of the many miscellaneous handles scattered amongst the controls. The metal links of the handcuffs jingle as he tries to free himself, to no avail.

"Why do you even carry these around with you?"

Her lips twitch, but the rest of her face remains solemn, eyes wide.

"You were forcing yourself on me Doctor, I did what was necessary to protect my honour,"

He glares at her playfully.

"What honour?"

River arches a perfectly plucked eyebrow, hands on her hips. The pose, he is certain, is designed specifically bring to his attention certain aspects of her physiology that she knows he is very fond of. And presently unable to reach.

"Just for that Doctor, I'm going to leave you here while I go and take a shower," the thought of River undressing certainly isn't making his current predicament any more comfortable, "maybe when I get back I'll let you make it up to me,"

And with that she begins to walks towards one of the exits, hips swinging a little more than he is sure is strictly necessary.


She reaches the door before turning round and blowing him a kiss.

"I'll see you soon my love,"

"River I'm serious!"

She doesn't come back. He can hear her laughter echoing down the corridor.