Last chapter! Thanks once again for everyone that has read/supported/reviewed this story. I thought the last chapter got a bit angsty as this was supposed to be a light-hearted fic so this chapter is back to fluffyness.
Eyes Are Red and Tears Are Shed, The World's You Must Have Crossed
They travelled back in stony silence. He landed the TARDIS in the normal noisy way and she opened her mouth to utter some witty retort but shut it again. She found herself in her garden, the depressing dark house stood ominously in front of her. It was late evening and the sleepy village was soundless and calm. Soon she would be alone again.
"It's the same day as I picked you up... just."
"Thank you," She turned to him, he would not meet her eye. "You coming in?"
"I should get back."
"New companion to pick up I suppose... I take it mum and dad have already..." He begged her not to finish the sentence, he couldn't think about them tonight on top on everything else.
"Yes." He answered before she could continue. "I'm on my own for a bit."
"Right. Well thank you for a wonderful day." She was trying too hard to sound cheerful instead she sounded annoyingly and falsely pleasant.
River stood on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. He stiffened and once again she tried and failed to ignore it. As she turned to leave he grabbed her wrist. He looked as shocked as she was at the movement; his reflex had acted of its own accord.
"Why don't you hate me?" His voice was stiff. "All the things I've done to you; your childhood stolen, your best days in prison, everyone thinking you're a murderer. You should really hate me."
"I thought we weren't mopping on my birthday."
She sounded light-hearted but he could see the tears in her eyes, she was trying so hard not cry, threatening them to fall. He reached out and drew her into his arms kissing her temple as it passed his lips.
"I'm sorry." He whispered into her hair. "I'm a class A fool. I've ruined your birthday... I wanted it to be perfect."
"Why do you keep saying that? Why does today have to be so much more perfect than the rest?"
Because it is the last one he answered inside his head. Because you are perfect and for once he wanted to reflect that. Because I love you. But he could never tell her that.
"Can we pretend the last half hour didn't happen?" He felt all the tension drain from her body as she nodded.
She pulled away smiling and led him by the hand.
"Come on, you owe me cake."
As they walked hand in hand along the silent street River shivered suddenly cold in spring night with nothing but a thin layer of lace covering most of her body. The Doctor sheltered her in his jacket and threw an arm around her. She fitted into his side perfectly. River smiled as she looked up at him, the night really had been perfect. Fair enough there had been some wobbles but it wouldn't be them if there wasn't. And the somewhat rough coupling that he thought was disastrous she considered wonderful. She couldn't remember ever coming so hard in her life. She reddened at the thought.
"I'd have never pictured in some place so..." The Doctor trailed off, looking around the quiet country surroundings for linguistic inspiration. "...peaceful I suppose..."
"Storm Cage was so very unpeaceful; the alarms, the constant thunder... I just wanted somewhere quiet. I'm hardly ever here what with teaching and field work and madmen in blue boxes that keep turning up on my doorstep..."
"I've told you, you need to watch out for those!" River laughed and he kissed the top of her head, squeezing her even closer into him until they looked as if they were one. "So where in this lovely little village are we going to find cake at 12am?"
"It might not be New York but there's a half decent cafe just down the road."
"Open at this hour?"
"Darling who said anything about open?"
"River..." He growled in warning but she was already running ahead, her giggle echoing in the soundless rural surroundings.
The street had barely any lights and soon she had disappeared into the darkness. After a few steps he almost tripped over one of her blood red heels lying in the middle of the road. Frowning he picked it up and called her name. No reply. He continued holding the shoe in one hand until he came across its pair lying in an identical fashion a few feet further on. She was leaving him a trail ... of clothes. So he could soon add breaking and entering, robbery and indecent exposure to his list of criminal activities he'd engaged in this evening. Not to mention the acts committed in Central Park that weren't just illegal but downright sinful. And people accused him of being a bad influence. River Song his bad, bad girl. All his. His wife.
The next item he collected was his own jacket, still warm. Then he reached a crossroads and was unsure of whether to turn left or right. To the right under the direct glare of a rare streetlight was the next piece of her clothing. A small scrap of lace. His mouth went dry. As he picked it up he realised it was still wet; it could have been hers or his own desire that had spilled onto her underwear but for some reason the idea that is was a mixture of the two made him tingle all over.
"River?" He chocked. From a couple of doorways down she shushed him. She was crouched on the floor unpicking the lock with a hairpin. The rest of her attire still remaining intact on her body and the Doctor would be lying if he said he wasn't at least a little disappointed. "You can pick locks? Why aren't I surprised?"
"Oh Sweetie this is escapee skill number one. Kovarian was nothing if not thorough... gotcha!" She stood and opened the door with a smug smile. The smile soon dropped from her face as they stepped over the threshold and a loud siren began to wail. River turned to him, her eyes wide in surprise: "Shit!"
"What do we do now?" He hissed.
"Grab a bakewell tart and run!"
/ / /
River doubled over still giggling hysterically and taking rasping breaths of air. One hand held her stolen pastry, the other clutching the stitch in her side. She was gasping with the combined effort of sprinting and howling with laughter. River felt a hand on her arm spin her round as the Doctor kissed her firmly but softly. She beamed up at him. As the first rumble of thunder started above she threw her head back to look at the cloudy sky. The Doctor took full advantage of her exposed neck by placing a solitary concrete kiss at its centre. She looked back down and burst out in a fresh wave of laughter:
"Where's your cake?"
"I didn't have any hands left!" He held her shoes in one and his jacket in the other, her underwear sticking out of the pocket of his trousers.
She stood on tiptoes, having to stretch even further than usual as she was currently shoeless. Her lips hovered over his:
"Well maybe if you're nice I'll let you share." He kissed her again.
/ / /
By the time they had reached her house the cake had been devoured and the heavens had opened. They took cover under her porch. Once again they resembled love crazy teenagers kissing in the pouring rain like they were acting a scene of an awful rom-com. River wished the day didn't have to end.
"I should give you back the dress. Might need it next time I visit." She turned her back to him. "Can you give me a hand?"
He placed the shoes and jacket on her dry porch and torturously slowly unzipped the back of her dress. The newly exposed skin exploded in goose bumps as the chill of the wet night hit it. The Doctor ran a hand down her bare back trying to warm her but it made her shiver all the more. She turned, her gaze fixed on his face and she slipped the dress from her shoulders and let it fall to the ground. She wore a strapless black corset and nothing else. Suddenly the underwear was burning a hole in his pocket, scolding his leg.
"Do you still have to rush off?"
They entered the house, the clothes forgotten on the doorstep.
/ / /
Weeks later he found them.
He was in the console room talking so quickly he was babbling like a brook, explaining some excitingly fascinating, monumental event to his new, young companion. He danced and whirled around the controls; his enthusiasm infectious. The new companion was still in that brilliant stage where everything was brand new and met with wide-eyed amazement. Her innocence still breath-taking.
He was admiring her inexperience, looking over his shoulder at her as he ran around the circular station. He wasn't looking where he was going so he tripped and stumbled and they fell to the ground.
He hadn't stopped since he last saw River. Adventure after adventure, breaking in the new girl. He hadn't slept, he hadn't changed. They were still in his pocket.
"Is that underwear?" The companion asked, startled.
Buggar. How to explain to that?
"Ermm... no... no... that's..." He snatched them and stuffed back into his pocket before she could examine them any further. "...nothing. That's nothing."
She looked like she didn't buy it but shrugged and wandered away regardless. Once he was alone he took them out again and examined the lace in his hand. He held them to his nose; if he closed his eyes he could imagine River was standing in front of him. And suddenly there were tears in his eyes.
"We did run, didn't we?" He whispered into the thin material.
He opened his eyes but it was not River standing in front of him.
"Are you okay?"
The Doctor tucked them away, in the inside of his tweed jacket, next to his pounding hearts.
"I'm perfect. Now where was I?"