Well hey there! This is a small oneshot about the Doctor and River and one of their dates. Hope you enjoy :)
When River Song took a stroll from her jail cell that morning she did not expect to be finding herself where the circumstances at hand had thrown her. Of course, it was her tradition to meet with the Doctor regularly whilst serving her time in jail – those guards never learnt, despite the four hundred and thirty two locks that supposedly stood in the way of her freedom – but this 'date' was far beyond what she expected of him normally. She remembered how he'd offered her an arm into the TARDIS as she slithered out of her cell, the alarms instantly screaming in her wake, but before the guards had even opened an eye she'd been away with him, just as she liked it.
"Where are we going this time, sweetie?" She'd asked him in her favourite flirtatious tone, one she reserved for him and only him. His gaze had locked with hers, those dark orbs that could appear so dark and merciless at times, yet so witty and juvenile at others, glittered with yet another of his secrets.
"Spoilers," he'd merely whispered.
Yet this was hardly a spoiler, River thought to herself as she watched the dull English countryside fade away into an endless blur of green through the dusty window. In fact this was pretty much the last thing she would have wanted for a date with the Doctor – but at the same time it was so very him that she shouldn't have really been surprised. A loud whistle from the train nearly made her jump out of her skin again; she turned to the Doctor and said, "I'm not really sure how you consider this to be date-worthy, Doctor."
The Doctor's head whipped up at the sound of her voice, irritation mixed with a splash of the child she knew still played a large part in his life sparking through his eyes. Then he looked back down at the contraption he was holding tightly between his hands and began to press the buttons rapidly. The process was over within ten seconds, and as the Doctor looked back up at her, smiling softly, River felt the identical device she too held in her hand vibrate slightly, and sighing, clicked the 'Enter' button on the keyboard to display the text message the Doctor had sent her.
'You're not allowed to speak, remember? That's another scone for me!'
River glanced back up at the Doctor, unable to hide a smile. He was gazing at the tiers of scones, sandwiches and other delicious desserts that sat beneath them, fingers were moving up and down as if he were playing an invisible piano as he fought with himself over whether to choose the scone with jam or cream. Finally selecting the former, he gave River a smug smile before biting into it, smacking his lips as he did so. The couple in the seats across the aisle from them turned and glared at the Doctor, the woman wrinkling her nose and the man shaking his head. River couldn't help but stare at them: the female wore dark green dress that stretched down to her knees, with an odd looking hat on her head and her hair piled up on top of her head, whereas the man wore a simple suit over his generous proportions, a moustache that looked as if it could end the lives of six people in one morning positioned between his top lip and nose and a top hat perched neatly on his head. Definitely very 1900s Britain, she thought to herself. The second world war was just about to break out. If only they knew.
River opened her mouth again, but the Doctor pointed a finger at her. Sighing dramatically River grabbed the mobile phone she had been given and began to type furiously back.
'Why are we even doing this? Wouldn't it be much easier to speak?'
The Doctor's reply was instantaneous. 'Why are we even on a steam train? Wouldn't it be much easier to take the 24th century Hoverloco?'
'That's exactly what I've been wondering myself, you know.'
'Yes, but steam trains are FUN. This is technology at its very best, River, and it's just started to explode into something absolutely glorious. More discoveries were made in the 1900s than ever before. The motorcar was only discovered a good twenty years ago now, as well as the production line; the washing machine; the hoover...'
'And world war,' River replied back, 'as well as the nuclear bomb.'
'Yes, well, you know what Humans are like. Get themselves a bit carried away sometimes. I blame it on all the cigarettes personally, all the smoke probably went to their heads.'
River smiled and looked back outside the window. She'd never expected to enjoy a trip on a steam train, but somehow she was. That was just one of the many wonders that the Doctor could perform. He whisked her off her feet so many times, taking her to so many amazing places to have such wonderful adventures... but she always had to go back to jail. It was only right, she supposed, but sometimes she wished she didn't have to. Then again, that was another story for another time.
She turned and her hand hovered over the last remaining jammy dodger, watching as the Doctor's face melted into one of pure horror.
"Don't do it!" He suddenly blurted out, louder than he'd probably intended. The couple across the aisle once again turned and stared disapprovingly, but the damage had been done. Shaking her finger in a similar way the Doctor had, River plucked the biscuit off its tier and took a neat little bite into it. Then, reaching for the teapot next to her, she quickly sent back, 'Tea?'
'You little madam.'
'You naughty boy.'
All of a sudden, there was a nasty grinding sound from beneath them. The train shuddered, causing the teapot to tilt slightly, pouring the milky brown liquid all over the table cloth. Audible murmurs began to resonate around the carriage, yet the Doctor and River stayed silent, as if still playing their game of scones and texting, yet observing all the same. Outside, the greenery, which had once flashed by as easily as a breath of earthen wind, began to slow until the shapes of the hedges and the trees became much more clearly defined. Finally the train ground to a halt. Silence fell.
The controller appeared in the doorway just a few moments later, already looking dishevelled and pale.
"Apologies ladies and gentlemen," she said, "we seem to have hit a mild technical fault. I'm sure we'll be on our way in a minute, but until then-"
"Well, it's a good job that I'm on board then, isn't it?" River's heart sank as she registered the Doctor's voice. In the time it took her to turn her head to face him, he was already on his feet, his psychic paper out at the ready.
"John Smith," he said, "I'm a train engineer, and this is my assistant Miss..." The Doctor paused, searching for a name. "Miss Thomasthetankengine."
"Miss Thomas the what?" said the controller, eyes darting from the psychic paper to River. She sighed, giving the doctor the filthiest look she had ever given him before.
"Thomasthetankengine," said the Doctor, before leaning in, "she's from Yugoslavia, a great find in my opinion."
The woman nodded, eyeing River warily. Trust the Doctor. Sighing and clearing her throat, she said, "Zhat is vight. I like ze trains." A moment's pause before she made a slow, deliberate chugging motion with her arms. The couple across the aisle stared whilst the controller's eyebrows disappeared into the tendrils of her fringe. A brief spasm of humour passed across the Doctor's face. Perhaps that hadn't quite been as Yugoslavian as River had hoped.
"We'll take a look at the engine of the train if you like," said the Doctor, "I'm sure it's nothing as you say, but just to be sure..." Without even waiting for a response, he marched past the controller and towards the boiler room. River had no choice but to follow on behind.
Of course, the Doctor had no idea what he was doing – and threw himself whole-heartedly into hot water by claiming he knew what to do when it was discovered that there was in fact a serious problem with the way the engine was converting the heat from the fire into kinetic energy to drive the train. Needless to say he made it worse, meaning what should have taken about an hour to fix was now going to take a good three.
"Well, at least I tried," said the Doctor as he and River began to head back to the station along the tracks, a whole string of abusive words clinging to them as they left, after having being kicked off the train completely for being vandalists and frauds. River could only smile sadly.
"Miss Thomasthetankengine?" She said, "Yugoslavia? Really?"
"Well," said the Doctor, "all that matters is that I didn't. Jammy dodger?" He dug into his pocket to bring out one of the many biscuits that had been sitting in front of them on the train. River stared at the biscuit, then at him; the biscuit, then at him.
"You saved the biscuits from the train?" She said, amazed.
"And the sandwiches, and the scones," said the Doctor, patting another one of his pockets. He suddenly frowned and reached into the inside pocket of his tweed jacket.
"Oh, and the teapot," he said, bringing out the little piece of china, "as well of the teacups. Say, River, what do you say to a picnic beside the tracks?"
River smiled. "I wouldn't miss it for the world. Just no texting this time, alright? We're going to speak like the good old English chaps did back on the stream train."
The Doctor sighed before returning the grin. "Whatever you say, River Song. Whatever you say."
Hope you liked this, please review!