"River… It's not that I don't love playing with you… er…" the Doctor stuttered as River glanced over her shoulder with a flirty grin. "Playing games! No, no! I don't mean like that!" he protested as she made a low purring sound in the back of her throat. "Really! But why do you always have to make everything so… so… naughty?"
"Come now, sweetie, it's all in good fun," River said as she continued to stride confidently down the TARDIS corridor. "I've even agreed to let you wear your fez. Besides, you don't think I'll actually win, do you?"
"What? No! It's just, well see… you only have the dress and… and… whatever er…" He waved his hand up and down searching for the least embarrassing word, "uh… undergarments… and look at how many different pieces I have on. It doesn't seem very fair. To you, I mean."
"I'm willing to take the risk," she smirked as she stopped at the door to the library. "Oh, and by the way? It's just the dress." She gave the Doctor a wink over her shoulder and entered the door. Taken slightly aback, he cleared his throat and nervously straightened his bow tie before following her.
Inside the library, River had settled herself on a plush chair by a magnificent chess table of intricately hand carved blue-grey wood. Set into the top were alternating lapis lazuli and creamy marble squares framed by a thin vein of silver. "So, timed or untimed?" she asked.
"Well…" the Doctor began, a confident grin spreading across his face as he sat in the chair opposite her. "I actually am sort of a genius at this game and I don't know that you'd be able to keep up, so we probably… should… do… un…" His voice trailed off as River's eyebrow arched dangerously high.
"Timed it is, then," she said coolly as she began setting up the board, choosing the deep blue lapis lazuli pieces with silver flecks for herself.
"You can be white if you want." The Doctor paused, choosing his words carefully. "Er, ladies first?"
"Age before beauty," she replied with a sly grin. "Besides, I like the blue pieces."
The Doctor removed the creamy white marble pieces with gold flecks from their storage drawer, setting them up on his side of the board. River set the game clock before she leaned back in her chair and gazed expectantly at the Doctor. He started the clock then slid a pawn to e3 and pressed the button signaling River's turn. Without a pause, she moved her pawn to d5 and tapped the clock, starting the Doctor's side again.
"You really don't have to go easy on me, Doctor."
"I don't plan to," he said as he took River's pawn.
"Well then, let's play."
The pieces danced across the board, each side capturing miniature stone warriors from the other. Finally, River had the Doctor trapped. "Checkmate."
"No, no, can't be!" He studied the board, acutely aware of the smirk spreading across River's lips. "There's always a way out," he mumbled to himself.
"Not always. Not unless you plan to cheat." River replied.
After a few more moments of study, the Doctor looked up at River with a defeated look. "Fine, you win."
"I'll have the bow tie, then, please."
"I gave you that one," he said as he untied his tie and handed it over. "It'll be over after the next game."
She tied it around her neck. "There, see? Now it's at least best two out of three. Little more fair for you?"
The games became faster paced and more strategic. The clock barely had enough time to get started before the turn changed hands. Though he had one less article of clothing with each passing loss, he felt like it was becoming increasingly warm. Out of habit, he kept reaching up to loosen his bow tie only to remember that River had it on her lovely neck.
Finally, he was sitting in nothing but his boxer shorts and fez. He felt her gaze as he considered his next move. It seemed that she was paying more attention to him than the board. He was good with chess, yes; he could determine the best move quickly. At least he still put some thought into each of his moves. But there she was, leaning comfortably back in her chair as she moved the pieces effortlessly like she already knew the exact combination of moves that would win her the game.
The Doctor reached for a piece and she clucked her tongue. He looked up at her then back down at the board, moving his hand to hover over another piece.
"Mmmm…" mumbled River.
"May I just move?" demanded the Doctor feeling a bit flustered and irritated.
"I'm not stopping you, sweetie." She gave him an innocent smile.
He put the tip of his finger on his knight and glanced up at River. She was still smiling. "Maddening woman," he mumbled under his breath as he moved the piece. As soon as he withdrew his hand, he saw it. The knight had been all that was protecting his king from her queen.
"Checkmate," she said in the same sing-song voice she usually saved for the word 'spoilers.'
As he reached up for his fez, River stopped him. "Oh no, that's not what I want."
He glanced down at his boxer shorts and his eyes widened. "But River! I don't have anything on under these!"
"I know," she said, her eyes sparkling. "Now hand them over."
"Why do I feel like I've been hustled?" he asked as he stood to take his shorts off. "Why did I even agree to this? What lunatic taught you to play anyway?"
"Well, I'm certainly not going to teach you now!" He threw the shorts at her so they landed on her head, covering the knowing smirk on her lips.
"Oh yes, you will," she replied as she took the shorts and dropped them on the pile of the rest of his clothes.
"What makes you think I would I help you do this to me?" He motioned up and down his body as he stood there completely nude except for the fez perched on his head.
River stood and sauntered over to him. She leaned into his body and whispered in his ear, "Because of what I'm about to do to you, my love." His mind fogged over slightly as she nibbled on his earlobe. She stepped back with a mischievous twinkle in her eye and took his hand, leading him from the library. As he followed, he decided that he'd need to do a very good job of teaching her chess when she asked to learn.