A/N: I wrote this back in January of last year for the Spoiler_Song AU challenge. A selection of photos were posted and we had to write an AU fic using one of the photos as inspiration. This was my photo, just take out the spaces in the URL - 28 . media . tumblr . com / tumblr_lezcymX7Pb1qahilko1_500 . jpg

By Any Other Name

"Oh, but that's so wrong."

Her hands stilted at her breasts, freeze framing her reflection in the mirror: a wash of long flowing silken snow, crested with a mound of bound ginger ringlets, with a few stray rings framing the temples around her eyes. "And you would be an expert?" she queried, studying him from his faraway reflection in her mirror.

"Just an observer."

She allowed her hands to trail the length of her waist, palms up with only the backs of her fingers airbrushing the gown, until they fell into a comfortable silence at her sides. The silken shawl that craved to poise itself around her bare shoulders had instead fallen across her hands, held back from the floor only by the loosest of contact. "Since when does an observer interfere in the affairs of men?"

"If you are a man, I hadn't noticed."

She turned exactly thirty degrees and the shawl fluttered to the carpet in a lucid near-circle. An inspection was in order and she took him in thoroughly: lanky limbs, tweed jacket, chunky boots, burgundy bowtie, the symmetrical face of a baby, a shaggy mop shading his eyes, and a hint of red braces. He was out of place and not just in twenty-first century bridal shop. The corners of her mouth pinched into dimples. "What voyage brought your life here?"

"Shallows and miseries?"

Her cheeks bloomed like two, ripe, miniature apples. "I like a man who holds his Will."

"What would we be without it."

The statement hung in the air for as long as she held his gaze. Then she abruptly turned away, reassessing her reflection in the mirror. "Why are you here?"

"Are you asking me or yourself?"

Her shoulders rose to meet her ears and fell back into place like the tide. "Why does any woman try on white dresses in a shop for brides?"

"You're missing something."

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue," she crooned. "No, I assure you, I have everything I need."

"Except the groom?"

She folded her arms across her breast. "What makes you think it's not a bride?"

His gleaming eyes followed the curve of her nose, rolled over her lips, shadowed the length of her arm, and shadowed the fingers that belied her flesh. "No ring."

The tip of her tongue slipped between her teeth and scaled the flush of her lips. Her arms unraveled and she grasped clumps of the silk between her fists, hoisting up the floor to reveal bare feet. One after the other, she stepped a foot out of the shawl circle and closed much of the gap between them. "I like you."

"So why are you really here?"

"A friend of mine likes to try on wedding dresses for fun. We make up salacious stories just to see the store keepers expressions." Her ginger brows piqued with mischief.

"And where is this companion now?"

"Skipped out right before you arrived to get some fish n' chips."

"In a shop with white gowns?"

"Did I mention we often get thrown out?"


They both looked up to see a young woman with legs as long as time itself and a mass of flaming hair, stolen right out of the pages of The Little Mermaid. Tucked in the crook of her arms were two paper cups of soda and in her hands she held a double tray of fish and chips.

"Your friend?" he presumed, with an amused smile.

"Amy," she introduced saucily, with a flirtatious shake of her hips. "And you are?" Her eyes pounced back and forth between the two other parties before she chose to unload her arms on a vacant chair. "On second thought," she purred. "I think I'm getting a call." Her hand descended ever so slowly into the bust of her blouse and retrieved a cellular phone, though it didn't seem to be vibrating. "Oops! Looks like I missed it, better call back, hadn't I?" With a wicked smirk, she skipped out of the room, unabashedly tugging at the edge of her mini skirt as she went.

"Forward, isn't she?"

"Forward, backward, upside down…but enough about Amelia. I'd like to know-"

"Who are you?"

"Didn't you hear?"

"A professor," he nodded, extending a hand. "But your name?"

"The Professor, sweetie." The words were punctuated with a wink. "And you?" She accepted his hand, wrangling his slender fingers with her ring barren hand.

"Doctor John Smith."

"John Smith," she teased. "Ordinary name."

"And what's in a name?" he challenged, catching the twinkle of the cosmos in her eye. "Is any name really ordinary? Names hold power, didn't you know. And now you know mine."

"Mmm, I was right. I do like you. Tell me, Doctor Smith, you seem so fond of old Will. Fancy a chance to meet the old Bard?"

"And how would a lady such as yourself manage that?"

She strode across the carpet and grasped the handle of the door that was marked Dressing Room. She pulled it back with the most knowing of grins, revealing not an empty room, but breathtaking blue box that filled the space. She grazed her hand lightly against the door, easily pushing it open. "Step into my office…"