sex is like Chinese food

She woke with a gasping breath, her heart racing as she struggled with the darkness for a moment. Over the years in Stormcage, she'd grown accustomed to the constant presence of at least some light. So upon her release she'd naturally sought to remove all reminders of prison from her new home. She painted every wall a different colour, stuffed too much furniture into too-small rooms simply because she could, and she slept in the absolute dark.

Of course, a side-effect of this was that she often felt confused if she woke in the night. It took a moment for her brain to remind her where she was. "Time." She mumbled the word sleepily and her alarm clock by her bed lit up at the request. Eleven minutes after three – she groaned, rolling over and only then did the noise register. The constant electronic sound of her door buzzer. She sighed, putting her feet on the floor and standing as she stumbled over to pick up her gun from the dresser before she made her way to her front door.

She didn't need the gun. The closer she got the louder the buzzer became but she could hear him calling her name incessantly over the noise of it. Throwing the weapon on the hall table, she turned a lamp on and huffed in irritation before yanking the door open.

"River! River! Rive- oh!" He was leaning on her buzzer, a ridiculous grin on his face as he dragged the syllables of her name out again and again. His bow-tie was crooked and his face flushed, and he had a plate in his one of his hands while the other was waving his sonic screwdriver about. "There you are –took you long enough, you know. I was getting really impatient. And really hungry. River. River. I brought you biscuits."

He shoved the plate under her face before standing and finally stopping the sound of her buzzer and she sighed softly, taking the plate from his hands before he dropped it. He walked through her door to stand next to her, his pace uneven and weaving slightly. "Doctor, what are you doing here? It's the middle of the night."

"I know! Isn't it romantic? I brought you exactly eleven jammie dodgers – I thought you'd like the symbolism you know – and look! Look!" He waved his hands over the plate, narrowly missing smacking her in the face with his sonic as he looked at her expectantly. "Look what it says!"

She glanced down at the plate in her hands, on which the biscuits were laid out carefully in a heart shaped pattern. Or what she assumed was supposed to be a heart shaped pattern – one side had slightly more biscuits than the other, resulting in a rather wobbly looking heart. "It's a heart." She spoke finally and he clapped in excitement.

"Yes!" He glanced down, finally noticing the sonic in his hand and he frowned. "What was I doing with that? Oh I remember. Sonicing and entering. Not the same as breaking and entering at all. Wonder why I forgot what I was doing? Oh, yes, I know! I got distracted by the jammie dodgers. Because – River, River are you even listening?" He'd tucked his sonic away as he spoke and removed his tweed coat, looking around until he spotted the coat tree. He tossed his coat in that general direction and laid a hand heavily on her shoulder, shaking her slightly. The biscuits slid across the plate precariously.

"I'm certainly trying to listen." She muttered before moving out of range and putting the plate down next to her gun on the hall table. She closed the door and jumped when she turned around because he was following very closely behind her. "Sweetie, when are we for you?"

"Oh I don't know, I'm sick of that diary. I don't care." He pouted a bit before brightening. "Aren't you going to eat them? The jammie dodgers? I brought exactly eleven you know-"

"Yes, you said that. Are you drunk? That's not even possible is it?" She frowned up at him and he leaned in closer, sliding one finger down to the tip of her nose and grinning.

"You're so clever River. I like that, I really do. You know what I like?" He stopped speaking; clearly expecting a response and she crossed her arms and leaned against her front door with a sigh.

"What?" She indulged him and he clapped before pressing in closer to her.

"I like that you're so clever I never have to explain things to you. I think things and it's just like you get them, five seconds – no! Two seconds after I do. I like that, I do. It's like you're magic. Must be the hair. River," he looked at her seriously, one hand coming up and taking a curl of her hair between his thumb and forefinger and twisting it gently, "River is your hair magical?"

She laughed out loud at that, and took his hand in hers. "You are drunk. How did that even happen? How did you even get here?"

"S'just earth alcohol that I process quickly. Alien drinks are something else entirely. The Ponds and I went to a space bar. Rory couldn't stop laughing at the term – but no matter. They're tucked into their bunk beds and I decided to fly here. I can't quite recall why. Or even how I knew you were here. Maybe Sexy knew? She does read my mind you know." River nodded as she picked up the plate of biscuits from the table in one hand and led him back down her hall and into her bedroom with the other. She turned her bedside lamp on with a touch and placed the plate beside it, while he flopped down heavily on the bed. He only remained upright for about thirty seconds before he fell back with a laugh.

"You won't get sick will you? I swear Doctor – I will hurt you if you get sick."

"You don't love me enough to take care of me? Wait – silly question. Of course you do. You love me, River Song. Shhhh. Spoilers." He giggled faintly at that and she sighed, running a hand through her hair before she bent down to unlace and pull his shoes off. Once she did that she pushed him until he was laid down on top of the covers, his hands held up in front of him as he studied them. "My fingers are ridiculously long."

She almost choked at that, sliding onto the bed next to him with a stifled giggle. "I quite like them."

"Because they're long? I suppose, physically speaking, that would be a plus." He was whispering now before rolling over to face her and tucking his hand beneath his head. The other hand traced her jaw line and she swallowed heavily. He'd just as much as admitted that this was pretty damn early in their timeline for him. "You're quite pretty." He spoke suddenly and she smiled in response.

"Am I?"

"Yes. I like your eyes. And nose. Your whole face actually, is the kind of face I think I could look at forever, and never grow tired of it." His voice was a whisper again and she turned her head to see him better, ignoring the obvious irony of what he was saying. Clearly he was early on enough that he didn't know. Not yet.

"What in the galaxy did you drink, Doctor?"

"Oh I don't know. It was green and blue. Pretty colours. Has your hair always been like this River?" His hand has travelled up into her hair and she doesn't really mind – in fact she was finding this whole evening entirely enlightening. She often wondered what he thought of her this early in his timeline.

"Like what?" She asked and he smiled, tangling his fingers in the curls.

"Wild, untameable. Magnificently curly. Such a reflection of you, really. It's so soft." He was watching her carefully as he spoke and she grinned in response. She enjoyed this – he was talking to her in a way he hadn't done, not in a long, long time. For her anyway.

"Have you never touched it before?"

"No. Well a bit. Once. Accidentally, sort of. You kissed me and I almost put my hand like this," he demonstrated and she nodded slowly, remembering it well. "but I was afraid that wasn't the right thing to do with my hands. Silly hands. I always want to touch it though. Just to see how it feels."

"You can touch it whenever you like, you know. And?" She cleared her throat, and looked at him expectantly. "How does it feel?"

"Addictive." He responded promptly. "I think I hurt you that day. I didn't mean to. I've been thinking about it."

"You're crossing your own timeline, you realize Doctor. That's already happened for me." She pointed out gently and rolled fully on to her side so that they were stretched out and facing each other.

"I know. It's why I came here. Why must we adhere to this stupid back-to-front rule? That's ridiculous. I have a time machine. I should be able to come whenever I please, and I please to come now. To this you. I like this you. You know everything and follow my rules even when I ask you not to – so loyal, Dr. Song." His hand was stroking her hair gently now and she sighed softly.

"That's not a rule, really sweetie. Just how I experienced it. So far." She was flattered in a way – that he wanted this version of her. He inched closer, scooting his hips across the bed with an innocent smile. "What are you doing?"

"I liked the kissing. It was nice." She could feel his breath across her cheek and she nodded mutely. "And it shouldn't be – our last kiss shouldn't be like that."

"It was your first." She pointed out and he huffed in frustration, his fingers tightening in her curls.

"We can share them. Two first kisses; two last kisses." She met his gaze for a moment, and her hearts pounded in her chest. She hated talking about the lasts. She just never wanted it to end. Ever. "River, can I – may I kiss you?" He looked nervous, pale and she wasn't entirely sure he wouldn't be shaking if his hand wasn't already in her hair, the other one tucked beneath him.

"You never need to ask." She smiled, and watched the tension bleed out of his frame. He leaned forward and she let him lead the way. It was a gentle brush of his lips against hers and her eyes drifted closed as her hand moved up to stroke the side of his neck softly. When his hand slid out of her hair and down over her shoulder and side to grip her hip, his mouth became less hesitant, less unsure. Her mouth opened beneath his on a sigh and then she could taste the strange mixture of whatever he'd been drinking earlier, and the sweetness of biscuits. She smiled against his mouth as he pulled her toward him until she was flush against him, their bodies aligned from shoulder to hip.

When he finally moved his mouth away, she was laughing breathlessly. "Why are you laughing? That's not a good reaction to a man's kiss, River." His voice was petulant and she smiled at him, her hand still on his neck and she could feel the steady rhythm of his pulse beneath her fingertips.

"I'm just happy you're here. Happy you came. I'm just really very happy right now." His pout disappeared at her words and he stared at her seriously, his face inches from her own.

"It's very frustrating you know." He spoke after a moment and she blinked in surprise, before arching an inquisitive brow at him. "This. Us. You." He exhaled and his hand slid up her back until it rested on the nape of her neck, underneath her hair. "I don't know everything about you yet, I shouldn't trust you but I do. Have from the first time I met you, River. You're mysterious and exciting and a puzzle to be solved. You're beautiful and loyal and have this absolute faith and trust in me. Our whole lives are a giant catch-22, how could I ever resist you? I tried you know. I did try. A bit – not very hard actually, come to think of it."

She watched him as he spoke, how his gaze slipped across her faces like a caress. His thumb was stroking the skin of her neck while his fingertips flirted with the curls in her hair. "Shh." She finally hushed him, leaning forward and pressing a swift kiss against his mouth. "I don't want you to regret coming here in the morning."

He kissed her back for a moment, his mouth soft against hers while his fingers curled around the curve of her neck. His hands never stayed still – never ever in all the times she'd been with him. His fingers traced over her like she was the surface of a tactile map and he had to learn the lay of the land. It was something he would just keep on doing, their whole lives. She'd never asked why. "I won't regret the coming here. Maybe the saying too much bit, but I always do around you. Someday – you'll say too much to me. I think I'll enjoy it." His voice was a whisper against her cheek, and she could smell strawberries and alcohol - it wasn't entirely unpleasant.

"You talk too much." She breathed the words out, and his head lifted until his mouth met hers again. He kissed her fiercely then, with a strength that she knew shocked him. It didn't shock her a bit - his hand curled around her shoulder and his fingers bit into the skin there, but it was a welcome sting. The kind that shot straight through her, to her very core. He drew her bottom lip in and bit down gently and she moaned into his open mouth. He struggled for a moment as he shifted up onto his elbows until his hand was free to trace the length of her body, while the other gripped her shoulder tightly.

His long fingers brushed down the length of her, skating lightly over the swell of her breasts and downward over her ribs. He paused by the indent of her waist, his hand curling over her there, his palm flat above her hip – just a thin layer of silk separating her skin from his. He pulled back then to stare down at her, his eyes bright and his face flushed. "Do you ever wonder River, if we did things the normal way, at the same time – what would have happened?" His voice was hushed, almost reverent and she smiled up at him.

"Sometimes. Sometimes I think about it just to convince myself that this – how we are doing it – is better. I wouldn't give it up for the world." Her voice was equally low and he smiled brightly in response, his face lighting up.

"I think so too. I promised you I wouldn't change it. I'm glad you made me promise." She felt her hearts seize in her chest, beating a wild tattoo against her ribs as she dragged a smile from somewhere within her soul. Despite how clear he sounded now, he was drunk. She shouldn't be doing this. Shouldn't be touching him in ways she shouldn't yet, shouldn't be listening to him talk to her in ways he would never forgive himself for.

"Spoilers, sweetie." She shushed him, placing a finger over his mouth gently. He shook his head, a smile stretching his lips under her touch.

"Sorry." He apologized before her slid his hands around her, pulling her into his side as he rolled onto his back. "Probably wasn't the brightest idea for me to come here – but it's easier to say all these things to you because you know almost everything. I like it when you know everything. It's sort of like falling in love in retrograde isn't it? I'm learning to love this version of you while you constantly shift under my feet – like quicksand. It's actually just complicated enough that I'll never be bored – that's good right? Do you think I can keep coming back here? To this you?"

She ran a hand over his chest, feeling his hearts beat beneath her palm as she tucked her head into his shoulder, and listened to the rumble of his voice. She did love to just listen to him talk, sometimes. A very good thing, since he liked to listen to himself talk too. "They're your rules to break, my love." She smiled against his the cotton of his dress shirt and felt remarkably content.

"I will. I think I will. You'll see me again and again before the end, River Song. Just you watch. I'll bring you biscuits every time." He sounded stubborn, like a pouting child and she giggled against him softly.

"As what – a payment plan? Biscuits for sex – is that the going exchange rate now?" She spoke tongue-in-cheek and he huffed underneath her, his hands pressing firmly into her back as he attempted to pull her closer.

"They weren't for that! They were just – jammie dodgers! It's the most romantic biscuit around – look they've even got little hearts on them! How is that not romantic?" His voice was small as he argued with her and she laughed, lifting her head to look up at him briefly.

"I know you didn't come here just for that. Though I can't promise not to have my way with you should you show up with a plate full of love biscuits and not drunk." Her fingers curled around the buttons of his shirt and he glanced down at her with wide eyes.

"You'd do that just for jammie dodgers?" His voice was unsure, and she detected a hint of arousal in there- enough to make her want to roll her eyes in exasperation. Of course he was the one man in the universe who would find that a turn on.

"I'm just that easy." She teased him, and he let out a little guffaw of disbelief that she felt earned rewarding. She leaned up, pressing a kiss to his mouth, and he immediately pulled her even closer, his mouth opening over hers. She whined breathlessly as he slipped his tongue into her mouth to lightly stroke against hers. She closed her eyes, getting lost in the moment until he pulled back once more, leaving her to drop her forehead against his shoulder as she breathed in and out. When her head felt clearer, she looked up to find him studying her intently. "Of course, this all depends on who's holding the plate of biscuits."

"Just me then?" He grinned smugly and she turned her head and pressed two quick kisses over each of his hearts. He pulled her even closer, his arms impossibly tight around her, but she found the sensation eerily calming. Her heart rates slowed down and she breathed in the scent of him deeply. This was what had been missing from this place. It wasn't home without him.

"Just you then, my love."