"Now I'm not telling you anything…" muttered the man in the purple jacket, nervously straightening his tie. He glanced around the empty restaurant.

"Spoil-" started the curly-haired woman, but the man raised his finger to her lips. She smiled under the pressure. He dropped his hand and smiled back, but it didn't reach his eyes, those ancient eyes that she had known her whole life. Sure, they had changed, and she never knew what he was going to look like, but those eyes almost always seemed to the stay the same. This was a new face they were staring out of, the first time she had seen this body. The last time she had seen him he had floppy hair and an absurd chin. That was the man she had fallen in love with. But she had changed herself, so she wasn't one to judge. And she was enjoying this body, felt more at home in it than any of her previous ones. Melody Pond was finally starting to be River Song.

River returned her attention to the Doctor, who was in the middle of a long-winded speech about paradoxes and "just plain cheating." She rolled her eyes at him, and he caught the signal. She understood all of that nonsense; he had brought her up specifically so she would. One hundred years throughout time with that man had made even his more eccentric ideas make sense.

"Right. I like to ramble… that kind of man." He muttered, pulling his hands through his short hair. River understood. Regeneration was a sketchy business. You never knew who you were going to be; both physically and mentally. She was still in the process of figuring herself out.

"Anyway, you said this is the first time you've met me in this form," He took a moment to survey her in her black satin dress, and a smile touched his lips and his eyes. She knew what he was thinking. Even though he had changed, his attraction to her had not wavered.

"Yes I did, sweetie," she answered, giving him an once-over as well. The purple jacket was a bit much, but the penchant for bowties and strange hats seemed to have disappeared. Hopefully.

"Yes, that too…" he grinned, catching her glance. "Do you like it?" He asked, raising his arms to allow her to look. A plain black shirt underneath that jacket with a lighter purple tie, and black slacks… He looked almost normal. River wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

"I haven't decided yet." She laughed. He pouted at her jokingly, and she leaned in for a kiss. Instead, he pressed his forehead against hers, something he had never done. He stared into her eyes, and once again she marveled in how little they had changed. A smile reached into them, and they lit up the way she loved them to. She returned the expression. Somehow this was as intimate as a kiss.

"Anyway!" He shouted as she sat back in her chair, returning her attention to the chocolate masterpiece in front of her. "Easily distracted. That's two fatal flaws in a few minutes. You bring out the worst in me, River Song." She smiled at him, mouth full of cake. "To business. You need to find me and bring me home."

To most people, this wouldn't make sense, but River completely understood him. A past or future incarnation had been taken to a different universe, and the Doctor needed River had to bring him back to this reality. She simply nodded, still enjoying her cake.

"And like I said, I'm not giving anything away. But it's… it's an unusual place." He looked at her, and she raised an eyebrow. She had had unusual. It couldn't be any worse than when he took her to the planet Barcelona, with the no-nosed dogs. Actually, that wasn't too bad, it was his constant running about while they were there asking why their dogs smell so bad if they have no noses. She had to forcibly drag him off of the planet.

"Very unusual," he muttered, looking at his hands and flexing the fingers, as though he had forgotten about them. River shrugged that off. It was probably not that bad.

After a moment of examining his digits, the Doctor clapped his hands together and said "Right! So you're going to need this, this, annnnddd this." He pulled items out from under the table: an inter-dimensional transport gun, a small perception filter device, and a mirror. She didn't even question this last object; figuring it was part of some crazy scheme. She picked it up gingerly and looked at herself in it. When she lowered it, she saw the Doctor watching at her, smiling slightly.


He shook his head, still keeping his eyes on her. "This is how I saw you the first time I met you." River's face dropped. That was what she was afraid of: meeting the Doctor and he not knowing her at all. That would be the thing to kill her.

He noticed her sudden change. "What?" He asked, up on his feet and moving towards her. Before he could get to her and wrap his arms around her, she raised her hand and looked at him.

"Spoliers, sweetie." She whispered. The Doctor moved back, and scrunched up his face as if in pain. River shook her head, curls bouncing. "It's no matter. It's a while off, I'm sure." She made herself smile, and though unconvincing, it seemed to ease the Doctor's mind a little. He sat back down.

"Right then…" he started awkwardly, still unsure if the woman across from him was composed. River smiled at him a bit more brightly, and he couldn't help but return it. "That's really all I can tell you about your mission. Just… go and get me. You'll know me when you see me." The Doctor shrugged. "I hope you like apples." He said nonchalantly, causing River to give him another skeptical look.

He smiled. "Spoilers."