Chapter 1

"Sweetie, would you please just hurry up!" River called from the console room down a long, echoing corridor of the TARDIS, "I really do not want to be late for this, and from what I remember, neither do you." She smirked to herself as the memories of what she was about to experience for the second time flitted across her mind.

"River," Came the exasperated reply as The Doctor appeared from a completely different corridor from which she had been shouting down, "you are standing in the middle of a time machine, and there is absolutely no chance of us being late." She raised her eyebrows and he turned his head with a sheepish look on his face. "Anyway, I am still not convinced this is a good idea, crossing your own timeline can be very dangerous business."

"Doctor, I remember this happening, and time and space remained wholly in tact, so if you would just stop fussing and land her…" She broke off as the familiar vworp vworp of the brakes surrounded her ears and turned to face him "Thank you!" She made for the doors and heard him following,

"Are you sure this is what we were dressed like when we, you know…"

"Picked me up?"


"Yes, Doctor, I haven't forgotten a single detail about tonight!" She winked at him before disappearing through the Police Box doors and he rushed after her, excitement and anxiety sitting side by side within him.

They emerged into a small, dimly lit bar. A single white candle was set upon every table, softly lighting the faces of the varied species within. Everybody sat in pairs or small groups, all except for one curly-haired individual sitting alone at the bar. River's eyes fixed onto her younger self and she grabbed The Doctor's hand, pulling him along as she sauntered over. They came up behind her and River leaned down to whisper in her ear, "Hello, sweetie." The younger River jumped and her head whipped round to find the source of the familiar voice. Mouth open, she stared between The Doctor's face and her own, for once in her life she was at a loss for words at the sight before her. The older River laughed at her reaction and put a finger to her younger self's lips. "No need to panic, sweetie. Come on, the TARDIS is just over there."

The younger woman looked over to where her older self had gestured, and after a few seconds she spoke up, "Where are we going?" The Doctor gave her a curious look, "Don't you want to know what's going on?"

"There's two of us and one of you, Doctor, that can only mean good things." She winked at him as he shook his head, a small smile playing on his lips "Always the same River" he muttered.

"Come on then!" The older River grabbed her own hand and started a brisk walk back across the bar. "We can touch, then?" the younger River asked as they approached the doors. "Oh yes" the older woman answered, fixing her with a flirty gaze, "We can most definitely touch."