Another little River/11 scene. As usual, these characters aren't mine. (But I rent them during the long stretch between seasons...)
River entered the TARDIS control room, fresh from a long hot shower. She hoped that she had finally rid herself of the sardine-soaked-in-nail-polish-remover smell that was the normal Salnderan body odor. They claimed that you got used to it after the first week or so, but very few travelers stayed long enough to actually test that theory. Still, the side trip had been worth it for the chance to see the tablets of Grodis firsthand.
She looked around for her Doctor, hoping that he had also taken care of the noxious smell that had permeated even his bow tie. She heard muttering, but he wasn't making himself readily visible. The muttering escalated to soft cursing, and she followed the sounds below the glass floor to find him alternatively pulling, sonic-ing and twisting various wires in frustration. Fortunately, the smell was gone, so at least he had taken care of that issue before starting whatever project caught his attention this time.
She stretched out on the nearby chaise lounge to watch him in action. "What are you working on, sweetie?" she asked.
"I'm trying to stabilize the spatial configuration matrix system for the chamber hall. Rooms and walls are shifting randomly. It's been going on ever since I got rid of your parents' bunk beds. Nothing's been the same since." The Doctor grunted. "My shower's shrunk so small that I can't fit both elbows in at the same time. It's getting ridiculous."
"Hmm, that's odd, mine's bigger this time." River commented. "And it has those extra sideways pulsating nozzles now too. I thought you put them in to surprise me. They're very nice." River tried a little flirtatious smile, "I could show you how they work..."
The Doctor wasn't in the mood for the tease, "Go ahead, rub it in. We all know she likes you better. She's not very subtle about it."
River reached up and stroked the beam above her. "Mmmm, we do have a certain understanding, I guess. We look out for each other."
"At my expense, it seems" the Doctor grumbled. "It's not like I use my room that much, but I do like to have a place to keep my bow ties organized. Every time you're in the TARDIS, she reconfigures it somehow, and your room gets bigger while mine gets smaller. It moves, too – my room was the first one on the right at the top of the stairs for the past several hundred years, but now I'm down the hall, around the corner, up two steps, next to the broom closet. And the door sticks."
River chuckled, "Oh sweetie, lighten up, she's just playing with you."
"Easy for you to say. She's even stealing furniture from me now." The Doctor continued, "That chest with the Gallifreyan symbols on it that showed up in your room? That used to be mine."
River slid off the lounge chair and slipped her arm around the Doctor. "Do you think that, maybe, she's trying to tell us something?" she asked with a mischievous smile.
The Doctor gave her a shy but defiant look, "That's our business, not hers."
"Maybe so, but she does have the advantage of being able to see all of time and space simultaneously." River posited, "You've said that she may not always take you where you plan to go, but she usually takes you where you need to be."
The Doctor turned and looked at her earnestly, "I'll get there, River," he said quietly. "It's all still new to me. I'm only beginning to understand what it all means." He reached out and fingered her hair gently, "I never planned for this. I never planned to need someone like this."
She smiled and stroked his cheek, "I know, sweetie; there's no rush. We have all of time to explore," she reassured him. "And I enjoy us in any configuration. Each rediscovery is part of the fun for me." She reached up and gave him a gentle but lingering kiss.
That was enough to distract him from his reconstruction project. He maneuvered the distance back to the chaise lounge and lowered them both to its surface. He wasn't ready for the room yet, but the lounge chair under the control room was a nice place to be. For now.
The chaise lounge would fit nicely in that new alcove in her room.
The TARDIS hummed.