Wandering Off

River looked around, where was that husband of hers? She rolled her eyes; he was worse than a child, always getting distracted by something, an ice-cream truck or a pet store. She looked around and found him staring in a shop window, with a small grin pulling at her lips she realised it was a jewellery store.

She walked over to him, stopping directly behind him, knowing he knew it was her, and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, kissing just below his ear, whispering, "Looking at the jewellery, Sweetie?"

The Doctor smiled and turned in his wife's arms kissing her lips quickly, "Only looking," he told her,

River gave a mock pout, and the Doctor grinned, kissing her again, "Unless, would you like to pick something out?"

River laughed and glanced briefly in the window, seeing exactly what she wanted, "I was rather hoping you could buy me my wedding ring."

The Doctor frowned, picking up her left hand, "You already have one," he pointed out,

"Yes," River smirked, "but so does that shop window," she pointed and the Doctor turned to see exactly her ring shinning back at him,

"How will I know when to give it to you?" he asked,

River raised her eyebrows, "Darling, how many times do you think we meet as man and wife, and I'm not wearing it?"

He smiled, "Once?" he asked,

"Once," The Doctor grinned and kissed her, River laughed, pushing him away, "Oh get off," she grinned, "You buy that, I'm going to go wander." She kissed his cheek and started to walk away, calling over her shoulder, "and buy one for yourself too, we don't need your next companion thinking you're available,"

The Doctor laughed and headed into the store as River walked away. She minded her own business really, just walking and enjoying the atmosphere around her. She smiled and turned a street corner, where a series of market stalls were set up, and walked along them, smiling at passers-by and politely declining the attention the stall keepers gave her, giving her cheaper deals and offers for whatever they were selling. It startled River, as she reached a fork in the road, the markets heading down both options, to see a young woman crying silently.

"Are you okay?" She asked, knowing how hard it could be for a human on a non-humanoid planet like this,

The girl jumped, but looked extremely relieved to see someone who wasn't the native being, who were purple scaled beings, rather like lizards, but with six arms, two heads and four legs, who scuttled across the ground quickly on all-tens and stood up on their legs to reach between 5 and 6 feet. This girl had long straggly blonde hair and brown doe eyes, blood shot from crying. She stared at River, seemingly to judge if she could trust the stranger, and ultimately gave in, because she shook her head, a fresh wave of tears slipping down her face.

"I'm lost," she whimpered, "I don't- I don't even know what planet I'm on, or what those people are and I just want to go home."

River sympathised for the girl, wrapping an arm around her, "Are you here with someone?" she asked, "Do you have a way to get home?"

The girl nodded, "But I don't know where he is, or how to find him and he'll just be mad. I'm always getting lost, getting into trouble…"

River sighed, "It's okay," she whispered, "I'll stay with you until you find your friend, and if you can't, then we'll go find my husband and he'll find him, and take you both home." She smiled reassuringly, "Okay?"

The girl nodded, wiping her eyes with her ratty jumper sleeve, "Thank you,"

"That's perfectly okay." River reassured her, "This planet is called Himaliyah, in the Frixon galaxy. The native people," she indicated the crowd, "are perfectly friendly, they're called Himahs, and they won't hurt you. I promise."

The girl nodded, not completely convinced, but she allowed River to take her by the hand and lead her through the crowd, back the way River had come, and into a small café. "What would you like?" River asked, "Money's not a problem, I have my credit stick, I'll pay." When the girl looked at the menu clueless, River cut in again, "Where are you from? What planet?"

"Earth." The girl whispered, and River smiled,

"Me too, how about this," she pointed to an option on the strange girl's menu, "It tastes exactly like fish and chips, but don't ask what they use instead of potatoes." After the girl agreed River raised her hand, a Himah scuttled over and stood, pulling a small disk from a pocket of its apron. River ordered clearly, so the disk would record the information correctly and both heads of the Himah smiled,

"Human girls are you?" it asked in a polite voice, "the cook will be pleased, she has a thing for human girls." The head that didn't speak winked at River who laughed, and then the Himah turned and scuttled away.

"See? " River asked, "perfectly friendly, if not a little flirty."

The food arrived quickly, along with two drinks that were "courtesy of the cook", and they ate. When the meal was over and River paid, she turned to the stranger with a smile, "Shall we go look at the market now you've calmed down?"

They did so, wandering together, River explaining what various things were as they passed them, until, "Rose?"

Both girls whipped around to see a tall man with short dark hair and a black leather jacket jogging forward, "Don't wander off, I said, and you what do you do? You wander off! Where have you been Rose, and who's this?"

Rose just fell against the man, hugging him tightly, "I'm so sorry Doctor," she whispered, and River froze.

Rose... Surely not. Not Rose Tyler. But River knew it was, just by looking at that man, his eyes so familiar, so old, yet so young, younger then she'd ever seen them. Too young. He didn't meet her until after Rose, she knew, otherwise he never would have told her about Pete's world.

"Doctor," Rose said, "This is- God, I never asked your name! You've been so nice-"

"It's perfectly okay," River told her, "I'm… Melody."

"Rose," said the blonde, "and this is my friend that I told you about, the Doctor."

River smiled in greeting, she couldn't manage much else, it didn't end up mattering though, as just then another voice called out and River whipped around, "There you are!" exclaimed her Doctor, "Really, I've been looking all over for you,"

River turned to Rose and the past Doctor, "This is my husband, Dr. Song."

"I wish you would stop introducing me like that," her husband grumbled, before turning to the two people in front of them, "hello I'm-" He cut off, recognising the pair and quickly swallowed, "I'm John. Jonathon Song."

"I'm sorry, we have to go," River said, "It was very nice to meet you Rose," she hugged the girl, "Doctor,"

"You too." Rose smiled, "Thank you,"

River smiled and took her husband's hand, pulling him away, he grumbled something angrily at her that Rose didn't hear, and River just laughed, "Oh Sweetie, don't try to be threatening, you're hardly a big bad wolf- more of an over excited puppy."

"Bad wolf," Rose's Doctor whispered softly.

"Just a coincidence yeah?" Rose asked, worried,

The Doctor looked at her, "Course it is! Come on, back to the TARDIS, before you go wandering off again."

END