Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Doctor Who or the Beatles. Only my love for them both.
The Doctor and River were practically skipping down the darkened street, their fingers entwined, singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" between bouts of laughter.
"That was amazing!" River marveled, "The Beatles! Live!"
"I know!" The Doctor replied with a grin, "And that's not even the best part!"
"Really? What's the best part, then?"
"The TARDIS actually fits in! Look at her, she's perfect!" Beaming, he walked up to the TARDIS right next to an actual police box on a corner. The brilliantly impossible blue of the TARDIS made the weathered box next to it look all the more mundane. But the Doctor still seemed thrilled at the very notion as he gazed back and forth between the two.
River smiled as she watched him walk around the boxes, looking at them from every angle. "It probably would've been a little more subtle if you'd parked on a different corner."
"Aw, where's the fun in that? No one notices anyway. How often do I get this chance?" He leaned against the authentic police box, grinning.
"You have a time machine, sweetie. Every day, if you'd like."
The Doctor made an impatient little noise and waved a dismissing hand at River before stepping over to the TARDIS. He froze just before he opened the door.
"My love, are you okay?" She reached out to place a hand on his shoulder but he turned, revealing a mischievous glimmer in his eyes.
Giggling like a schoolboy, the Doctor took River's outstretched hand then led her into the TARDIS and up to the console. "You stay right here," he said. "I've got an idea." With that, he took off down a corridor.
She called after him, "Should I be worried?" But he was already out of earshot.
River leaned back against the railing of the platform and gazed up the TARDIS's central column. "How have you put up with that man for hundreds of years?" She looked down again. "I wish I had the chance to find out what it was like." Her mind wandered through memories of him. There were entirely too few. But then, even if she had memories of a million years with him, it would probably still feel like not enough.
The Doctor's voice came from the corridor bringing her out of her thoughts. "Ready?"
"I suppose I have to be!"
He came out dressed in a suit exactly like the Beatles had on in the concert, except for one minor detail.
"I don't think they were wearing bow ties!" She laughed. No one could make her laugh like the Doctor could.
"What?" He straightened the tie calmly. "Bow ties are cool." He turned to the console and fiddled with a couple buttons. The opening notes of the Beatles' "I've Just Seen a Face" echoed through the TARDIS.
He turned to River, holding his hand out while moving toward her and began to sing. "I've just seen a face, I can't forget the time or place where we just met. She's just the girl for me and I want all the worlds to see we've met, mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm."
"Oh dear, you're a horrible singer!" River covered her mouth to suppress a giggle.
He took her hands and led her in a clumsy dance around the console, stepping on her toes more than once as he sang. "Had it been another day I might have looked the other way and I'd have never been aware. But as it is I'll dream of her tonight, di-di-di-di-n-di. Falling, yes I am falling, and she keeps calling me back again."
"And a horrible dancer!" She kept up with his haphazard steps, loving every moment.
The Doctor slowed to a stop and spoke melodically more than singing. "I have never known the like of this, I've been alone and I have missed things and kept out of sight but other girls were never quite like this." He tapped the tip of her nose. "Mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm. Falling, yes I am falling, and she keeps calling me back again."
"You better believe I'll keep calling you back."
"You better believe I'll always come."
"I know you will. You always did."
In unison they exclaimed, "Spoilers!" They laughed and hugged tightly.
River leaned back, keeping her arms around his waist. "You're adorable."
The Doctor tilted his head to one side and arched an eyebrow. "I thought you said I was horrible."
"Yes," River agreed. "Horribly adorable."
They gazed into each other's eyes then came together for a kiss. It was sweet and gentle, containing both the promise of new love and the comfort of decades-old companionship. The Doctor tried to not be as awkward as last time. He was still a bit rubbish, but at least this time she was smiling as they parted.
"May I stay?"
The Doctor jumped backwards as if River had suddenly transformed into a weeping angel. "River! What? Here? Now? But I-I-I-I, well, see... I don't… what I mean is…" He wrung his hands nervously as he tried to look anywhere but the woman in front of him.
River cupped his cheek in her hand and turned his face back to her. "Don't worry; I know it's too early in in your timeline for that." She paused as he flustered again at the implication. "I just don't want to go back to Stormcage. Not yet."
The Doctor took a deep breath and nodded. He pondered for a moment. "We could go to the library and read together. I could read to you."
River smiled. "I'd like that."
They strolled together down the hall, nudging gently into each other from time to time and giggling like a couple of love-struck teenagers. He opened the door to the library and bowed to River. "Milady?"
"Thank you, kind sir." She curtsied back then entered the library with the Doctor close behind.
"Okay, what would you like to hear?"
"Surprise me." She settled herself on the sofa and tucked her legs beneath her.
The Doctor studied River for a moment before he turned and retrieved a beautiful green leather-bound book with gold edging from a shelf. He sat next to her on the sofa and tilted the book toward her so she could see the cover.
"Oh, A Tale of Two Cities. I do love that one."
"I figured you might."
River took the Doctor's arm and draped it over her shoulders as she curled up against his chest. She felt him tense slightly at the contact then relax and pull her a little closer. The movement caused some locks of her hair to brush across his face. The Doctor inhaled the scent. He was glad he was sitting because his body seemed to go a bit weak on him. A vague thought crossed his mind that if he kissed her head, he could smell more of her hair. He gazed longingly at the wild curls but couldn't summon the courage.
Suppressing a wistful sigh, he opened the book on his lap and began to read. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…"
Closing her eyes, River let his voice wash over her. She tried to keep her mind in the present. It didn't matter that tomorrow he'd be that much further away from her. All that really mattered was right here, right now. And right now was perfect.