Disclaimer: I own nothing but student loans and some cuddling elephant salt and pepper shakers. The latter of which is actually a Christmas gift. So suing me would be great. In fact, I invite it. Take my loans, make me see the error of my wicked ways.
A/N: I wouldn't recommend that you read this, but then, I can't really stop you. Also it's set with an olderish River and a youngerish Doctor — post-Byzantium for the Doctor. I don't know when exactly River would be, and I'm sure there are very many inaccuracies. This is very frivolous. You have been warned.
The Doctor didn't get drunk very often. In order to get drunk, he needed to put a concentrated effort into doing so—two hearts resulted in blood circulating twice as quickly, and thus any given drink cycled through him twice as quickly. His physiology could be manipulated in order to get him very drunk very quickly, then, if he so chose, but since the standard drink contained but an ounce of alcohol, it tended to carry with it an instantaneous kick, but after a few seconds he was absolutely fine and unaffected. Not that the Doctor often had enough downtime to have a drink at all. Not that the Doctor's idea of an evening out was a bar.
But on occasion, his travels brought him to a bar in search of information from a contact he had been told would likely be drowning his sorrows in a pint. Amy was asleep in the Tardis, and regardless he needed a little distance from his enamored companion—he was very fond of his Pond, but not quite in the way she seemed to desire. Luckily, from what he could tell, her interest in him wasn't romantic so much as—he gulped—sexual, but he had a plan in the works the find her fiance and bring him along, so he presumed the situation would be resolved soon enough. So with a brief nod he shoved that to the back of his mind, and entered the dimly lit institution with an anxious resettling of his bow tie.
He was planning on getting in and out as quickly as possible. His eyes roved over the people milling about, giggling and drinking and flirting and flitting. The women looked like to many bits of colorful wrapping paper, blowing about the dark floor and glowing in the warm, muted lighting; he briefly lamented that he hadn't changed from his tweed, but the thought was abandoned as a bit of movement caught his eye.
Seated at the bar, legs elegantly crossed, waving with one hand and sipping her drink through a straw with the other, River Song grinned at him. The Doctor scratched his cheek and rocked forward on his toes, nodding his head in acknowledgment. The last time he had seen River was the crash of the Byzantium, and though that adventure had lessened his discomfort with their situation, she still made him intensely nervous, and his instinct was to turn and run. She arched a brow at him when he didn't move, though, and with a sigh and a lurch the Doctor made his way toward her. Sliding onto the barstool beside her, the Doctor twiddled his thumbs, his eyes decidedly avoiding her for a moment before he adopted a cheerful grin.
"Hello, Dr. Song."
"Hello, sweetie," she responded, her voice smooth and rich as honey. She took another long sip of her drink. She eyed him carefully, and his feet swung where they dangled from the stool. There was no sign of her journal. "We're not very far along for you, are we?"
"I don't think so..."
"Certainly not Berlin, then. Demon's Run?"
"Hm," she hummed, her eyes narrowing thoughtfully as she took another sip of her drink. She licked her lips, and the Doctor coughed, wondering if there was any chance of Amelia waking up and coming to find him. The prospect of contending with the full potency of River Song on his own was daunting. In his tenth regeneration she had bombarded him at Asgard with a picnic basket and a very red smile—he had been cranky, but she had been very patient, and eventually they had settled into a comfortable banter and lively discussion, but clearly somewhere in the future he was—they were—more intimate with one another, because the looks she gave him sometimes were enough to make him blush and the way the woman ate a strawberry was positively criminal. Oh, yes, the Doctor thought, this was certainly a dangerous situation. He wanted nothing more than to escape, but for some reason he found himself leaning a little nearer to her as she responded instead. "You don't know who I am yet!" she exclaimed a little abruptly, letting out a brief, musical laugh. "Oh, this is going to be fun. The Pandorica?"
"I still think that's a myth."
"Alright," River said, nodding and shifting her weight toward him slightly. "I think I've got it. Drink, sweetie?"
"I'm not sure that's a good idea—I'm here for a thing, you see and—"
"Things will wait," River said with a wave of her hand, grinning broadly. The Doctor found himself smiling reflexively in response.
"I don't know..." the Doctor fiddled with his sleeves, still kicking his feet, his eyes on his hands until he heard her laugh once more.
"Look at you," she said with an indulgent smile, waving to the bartender, "you definitely need a drink, else you're bound to make me nervous."
"I can't imagine River Song is easily unnerved," the Doctor murmured, accepting the drink the bartender brought him skeptically. Her giggle made the hair on the back of his neck stand on end, and when he turned to look at her he found that she was much closer, and she reached up to touch her finger briefly to his nose.
"Wouldn't be the first time you made me squirm," she said, and the Doctor felt his ears go red. He tried to stammer something in response but couldn't quite manage it. River took pity on him. "Drink up, Doctor. It's on me."
The Doctor dutifully sipped his drink with a small grimace, his eyes caught on her like a burr in lamb's wool. "You know, alcohol doesn't really affect me as it does you, River."
River rolled her eyes, and he detected a certain shred of patronization on her smirk as she reached into her clutch and produced a flask. Grabbing his drink, she poured a small measure of silver liquid into his glass. "Better?"
"Perhaps if I had any idea what you just did. Not to mention the fact that I'm not sure it's a good idea to be accepting a drink spiked by some unidentified silvery stuff from your flask, when I still don't actually know who you are—and not that you're not great, and all, but I'm not sure if I can necessarily trust you when it comes to this—"
"I'm a fifty-first century girl," River said with a wink, allowing the small spoiler, though her timeline was too complicated for it to actually be of any use to him, "we do everything better.Especially alcohol. Hypervodka. Incredibly dense, incredibly potent. It'll do the trick, even for you."
He looked about to protest, but she seemed to anticipate it, and reopened the flask to pour a few drops into her beverage, stirring with her straw before taking a sip. "Perfectly safe," River said, licking her lips again, "as long as you can hold your liquor."
The Doctor mulled it over for a moment before deciding to simply go along with it. He was incredibly curious about River, and people tended to have looser lips the more they drank—besides, he could always hop in the Tardis and come to the bar last night in order to find his contact. Tonight, the Doctor was off duty.
The Doctor took a healthy swig of his drink. "Yikes!" he exclaimed, smacking his lips as the hypervodka burned down his throat.
"Fifty first century," the Doctor repeated, feeling a little more relaxed after having decided to spend his evening with River. She nodded and drank her drink without even blinking. "Interesting time." She raised her brows, apparently in agreement. He glanced at her, —in what he hoped was a subtle manner—taking in the form-hugging cut of her navy dress, the smooth curve of her legs where they crossed, where her feet disappeared into her red heels, back up to the haughty smirk of her lips and the glow of her green eyes beneath bemusedly raised brows. "Certainly explains a lot."
The Doctor filled his mouth with his drink instead of answering, not having meant to speak out loud. When he swallowed and cringed, he found her still waiting for an explanation. "It's just the fifty-first century pheromones—I mean, you are quite attractive and I'm sure—it's not, or, urm, it is—it could be the pheromones, not that I'm saying you're not, because you clearly are and—"
"You're wittering, sweetie."
"Have another drink."
The Doctor did, happy for the reprieve. He looked at his half full glass, sloshing around the liquid for a moment before tossing it all back with a shudder. River raised a brow at him.
"Well look at you," she said. "Now, where's Amy?"
"Asleep," the Doctor said, surprised to find himself feeling a little lightheaded. "We need some time apart, I think."
"Not to mention you hardly ever sleep a wink," River commented, finished her drink and signaling for their bartender to bring them two more. The Doctor just barely refrained from asking her how she knew his sleeping habits, but found his lips curling into a silly grin anyway. She sidled a little closer to him, her knee pressing against his. "You two didn't have a row, did you?"
"Nah," the Doctor said, enjoying the warmth of her knee against him. It felt intimate, but familiar. Comfortable. River was forward and brazen and a little mad, but she never pushed him. "She seems to have misinterpreted my intentions."
"She tried to kiss me, River."
River's jaw dropped. She pinched the bridge of her nose, looking vaguely ill as she responded, "someday, Doctor, looking back on this conversation is going to make you very uncomfortable."
His head swam a little as he tilted his head to the side. "Why is that?" She didn't answer. He smiled, and suddenly his fingers were ghosting along the bare skin of her knee where it met his. Her eyes glinted. "Jealous, River?" The words left his mouth before he could stop them. She busied herself removing the flask from her clutch once more—of course River Song would consider a flask necessary enough to be crammed into her clutch when she went to a bar—and topping off their new drinks.
"Somehow I doubt Amelia Pond is going to threaten my future with you, sweetie."
"We have a future, do we?" he asked as he lifted his drink to his lips once more, enjoying the feeling as the subtle buzz of intoxication made itself known in his system.
"Spoilers. You know I can't tell you anything."
"Ah," the Doctor said, leaning close enough to her that her breath caught, and he had the pleasure of seeing her surprised. "But, Dr. Song, can you dance?"
"I'm sorry?" River said, but the Doctor just grinned at her, his palm flattening against her knee. She shifted nearer to him, her knee insinuating itself between his legs. "Oh, Doctor, no. I can dance—you can't."
"I can too!" he cried indignantly, taking a lengthy quaff of his beverage before slamming it on the counter and sliding to his feet, entwining his fingers with hers and pulling her toward the dance floor.
"Sweetie, this is the twenty-first century. It's not exactly waltzing," River said as they face each other, standing on the fringe of a mass of people, writhing and moving to the heavy bass and quick beat of some generic song.
"I can do it," he said enthusiastically, and she patted his cheek with a laugh.
"Oh, dear, I do believe you're a little bit drunk."
"It's your fault," he grumbled, though he didn't deny it. The Doctor could count on one hand the number of times he'd been drunk, but he liked the feeling—his mind was racing, but in a one-tracked sort of way. Normally he thought about hundreds of things at once; being in a room full of people was slightly distracting for any sort of telepath, but even without the ability to squeeze himself into the minds of others if he so desired, he tended to over-think everything and try to take every aspect of every moment in. Even his good moods were tempered by thoughts of darker times racing in the back of his mind. But now all he could think about was how very nice the dim lighting made River look, how her eyes sparkled, how tight her dress was, and how he loved the sound of her voice. Nothing else—there was the moment, the shining, slightly aslant, a little bit wobbly moment, and his mind was fully present. "Teach me, then. You say I'm so awful. Teach me."
River raised a brow at him but didn't respond verbally, instead stepping toward him and grabbing his hands, pulling him toward her and into the mass of people. In the crowd it was hot and a little bit damp, but the Doctor found he didn't altogether mind. The bass vibrated the ground and rolled up through his feet, trilling his nerve endings and making him feel as though he were completely removed from the universe. River slung her arms over his neck and pressed herself gingerly against him.
"Very drunk, then," she amended, shifting her hips to the rhythm of the music, and the Doctor grinned, his hand fluttering about uselessly for a couple of moments before settling against the small of her back. She drew herself nearer to him, and he exhaled deeply, his focus shifting to the feeling of her body against his. She felt so warm and alive beneath his fingers, solid and strong but delightfully feminine, the fabric of her dress soft. Amy had felt squirrelly and uncertain and wrong. But there was nothing wrong about the press of River's hips to his as they rolled against him, nor the caress of her fingers at the nape of his neck—nothing wrong at all.
His fingers danced up and down her sides as though he were playing her ribs like piano keys, light and unsure, but with an undercurrent of bravado brought on by her hypervodka. She leaned forward and buried her face in his neck, inhaling deeply as his hands traveled downward, and she gasped against his skin as he brushed the very top of her ass; she ground against him a little more firmly, one leg slipping between his. He groaned, the sound lost in her delightful hair—when her tongue darted out and drew against the underside of his jaw, the Doctor thrust unconsciously against her, drawing her more tightly against him. Oh, it had been so long since there had been anybody with whom he was more intimately involved. While Amy's advances had been unwanted, he was still a man to some extent, and parts of his biology that had been so long ignored had been resurrected. In this body there had been no one at all. His tenth regeneration had fooled around from time to time, but rarely had he taken anybody to bed—there was once with Jack, the Doctor recalled, and a number of close calls, but his doppelganger in the parallel universe probably got more action than the Doctor ever had in his place. But he wanted River. Needed her. Had to have her. And the prospect made his hearts somersault in his chest.
"Sweetie," River whispered, the word turning down at the end into a sort of breathy moan as his lips brushed against the shell of ear. "We should sit back down."
"But we're dancing," he protested, even as she disentangled herself from him. "Dancing is cool. I thought I was dancing just fine, so you should come back here..." he trailed off, wrapping an arm around her waist and trying to pull her to him, but she just laughed delightfully and slipped away, maneuvering herself off of the dance floor. He followed her back to their bar stools, preferring to stand, pressed against her knees before her. Her expression was conflicted as she looked at him, reaching her hand up to adjust his bow tie and brush her fingers against his cheek.
"Oh, my love," River murmured. He smiled blissfully, stoking her hair with one hand, the other delighting in the sleek skin of her knee. She closed her eyes as he brought his forehead to meet hers, his hand sliding further up her leg, dancing along the hem of her dress. "You're not making this easy."
"Really?" the Doctor asked, moving to block the view of her legs from any onlookers as his hand slid beneath her dress, stroking her inner thigh. He was dimly aware that his forwardness was entirely related to his intoxication, and that if he tried to walk without her to counterbalance him he'd probably look entirely ridiculous, but he didn't particularly care. She smelled delicious, and the only thing he could see in her was possibility, and hope, and happiness—and the little gasp that escaped her as he brushed his fingers against the edge of her underwear drove him positively mad. "I thought I was being quite easy."
"That's not what I—" he cut her off by pressing his lips to hers, firm and insistent. She fisted her hands in the thin material of his button up immediately, pulling him to her and opening her mouth beneath his touch. He responded enthusiastically, his tongue rolling against hers, his mouth hot and wide and wet and she tasted of time and citrus and liquor and something else entirely, something thick and musky and he practically lunged at her, moving both of his hands to press against the sides of her face, stroking her temples. Her enthusiasm nearly brought him to his knees—he had heretofore found her obvious love for him extremely uncomfortable, as he hadn't been able to return it, but now he found it heady and lovely and warming; he may not have loved her yet, but he cared for her, and to feel her against him, to feel her response was more intoxicating than any hypervodka. His hips pressed against her knees until she spread her legs and allowed him to insinuate himself against her, feeling her fully, hot and wonderful, against him, and his moan was euphoric and unconscious and he was inches away from inviting her back to the Tardis and stripping her naked just to feel her pressed to him from head to toe, just to hear her moan, just to be able to press his lips over every glorious, mysterious inch of her perfect skin, to worship her with his body—oh, he hardly knew her, but he wanted her in a way he hadn't wanted anybody in so long, and not just because she was classically, wonderfully, overpoweringly gorgeous, or because the deftness with which she wielded a gun made his stomach twist in unexpected way, but because she knew him. There was no explaining or excusing or hedging or hemming or hawing with River—it had scared him for a long time, but in the moment her kiss and her foreknowledge only made him want to know her.
"You feel..." he murmured when she broke away, trailing off for lack of suitable adjective. She was breathless, her eyes were dark, and though the Doctor hadn't exactly been playing the fieldever in his nigh thousand years of life, he knew that look, and he grinned a little giddily as she entwined her fingers with his. "We should go."
"The Tardis. The moon. Outside. The bathroom. Mars. I'll take you to Gallifrey before it—I'll take you anywhere, River, you and I, let's—"
"Darling, slow down," she said with a kind laugh, smoothing a hand over his face and brushing his floppy hair back. "It's too early."
"It's too early, Doctor. I shouldn't have let you drink. I didn't think you'd react like this. I thought it would take you a bit longer to be completely enamored of me." She batted her eyelashes.
"I'm not..." he trailed off when she raised a brow. "I also like fezzes," he said nonsensically, and she snorted. "And bow ties and all manner of things that aren't you, River Song, so..."
"Oh, hush," she said, kissing his cheek. After a brief moment of scowling, the Doctor regained his perspective.
"So? Where shall we go?"
"We're not going anywhere." She shoved him gently away from her even as he asked for clarification, sliding to her feet. She drew money from her clutch to leave on the bar for the bartender, before stopping before him with a semi-regretful grin. "You should get back to the Tardis. I don't really trust you out in the world inebriated. You're hard work enough sober."
"Where are you going?" he whined, placing his hands on her hips.
"I have some business to take care of."
"Aren't you drunk? You should be twice as drunk as I, being human and all."
River grinned. "Goodnight, sweetie." She leaned up onto her toes and planted a firm, open-mouthed kiss to his lips, her arms wrapping around his waist. Before he could possibly respond, she had slipped away with a wink and a wave, and the Doctor was left, feeling bereft and already sobering up enough to know he'd absolutely have to pick up Amy's fellow tomorrow morning, as he'd be far too hungover to handle her on his own. He sighed, rubbing his forehead with his hands and turning to leave the bar, trying to stave off any and all thoughts about the lovely, elusive, bewildering Dr. Song. The moment he stepped out the doors, however, a pair of cops were on him instantly.
"Good evening," the Doctor said, hoping they weren't going to ask him to say the alphabet backwards, nor ask him to walk in a straight line, because he wasn't sure how likely he was to make either happen.
"Hey, buddy. There was a robbery at a museum a couple of nights ago. Know anything about that?" One officer asked, the other coming to corner the Doctor against the wall.
"No. Should I?" the Doctor said, though something niggled at the back of his mind.
"What's in your pocket?"
The Doctor reached into his pocket—which absolutely had been empty when he'd left the Tardis—to find a small, rustic statue. He laughed and laughed and laughed, realizing that River must have slipped it into his pocket when she'd kissed him. He flipped it over, reading the note on the bottom, which very politely asked him to get it off the planet and bring it to her in Stormcage. River Song was mad and impossible and dangerous and lovely and it occurred to him that he could very easily lose himself in someone like her.
But first, he needed to deal with the local authorities before Amy woke up.
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