a/n: written for the Snogging Meme on LJ for irony_rocks' prompt, "handcuffs"

Insanity (Is Just Another Word For Making It Up As You Go)

"Riv- River! River! Slow down!"

The Doctor stumbles, legs flung out and feet barely on the ground as River turns another sharp corner. He careens outwards, contorting his body to avoid hitting passersby as she drags him along, cuffs stretched taught between them as he tries to keep up.

"Wh- where are you going?"

"This way!"

River throws a glance - and a few shots as well - over her shoulder. The Doctor trips again, staggering sideways and forward to avoid the plasma bursts.

"Oi! Watch the hair!"

"Sorry, sweetie!" she calls back (not all that apologetically, the Doctor notes), tugging at his arm as she rounds another bend. The Doctor lurches forward, still attached to her by the cuffs on one wrist, and nearly dives headlong into a produce cart; River's firm yank sideways reroutes him at the last second before she pushes him suddenly against the stone wall of a back alley, clamping her cuffed hand across his mouth.

"W'r 'u do'ng?"

"Shut up!" she hisses, peeking out of the alley then ducking back in and pressing herself against the wall next to him. A small group of soldiers run passed, shouting and waving what look to be very, very large swords.

"River." He taps on her arm with his free hand. "River, they've got swords. Big swords. Big, long, very sharp, well maintained, not so wibbly-wobbly swords, probably used for swordy things like- like fighting and pointing and- and- and beheading!" His eyes widen and his voice drops to a high-pitched (manly) whisper. "River! They've got beheading swords!" He makes a slashing motion across his throat, bringing her arm up with his and smacking her hand into the wall. "Sorry. Swords."

"Yes, dear, swords, and if you keep shouting about them they're going to hear you and use the swords. So shut up."

"Yes, fine, good, shutting up." Pause. He frowns. "Hang on, did you just tell me to shut up?"

"Doctor-" she groans.


"Doctor, seriously, this is not the time-"

And then the sound of footfalls, River's obscene cursing in Gallifreyan - "River! I didn't teach you that! Did I teach you that? Where did you- Oi!" - and they're running again - "What is it with you and the running?" he gasps out, ducking swiftly as she shoots a pile of barrels to cause a road block.

"I take my cues from you, sweetie."

"Stealing the 41st Declaration of His Sovereign's Ban'lok Orchestral Score out of Prince Zarlik's back pocket at the Ru-Annual Royal dinner party was not a cue!"

"You said he stole it in the first place! I just stole it back."

"I was going to ask for it first!"

River grins, sliding passed a cart full of scarves and dodging another group of soldiers as they appear from the side alley. "This is much more fun, don't you think?"


She pushes him suddenly forward through a gate on the outskirts of the town, then proceeds to drag him around the outer walls, dust clinging to their heels.

"This is not where I parked!" he cries (again, in a deep, manly way), trying to dig his feet into the ground to slow her pace.

"I moved her," she shouts back, checking over her shoulder every few moments as if to make sure he hasn't snuck off somehow.

"You haven't been in there for hours, how could you have moved her?"

"I asked her to relocate!"

"You - you- you can't just- just send her a message and have her pick you up wherever you want!"

"You can't, but I can."

The Doctor sputters, then nearly slams into River as she skids to a halt in front of a very steep -

"River, is that a cliff?" He peers over the edge and down. "That's a cliff!" he bursts out. "This is a cliff! A very very big, tall, steep, rocky, death-type cliff!"

Behind them, the soldiers are gaining ground, and the TARDIS is nowhere in sight.

"River!" he hisses, "We have to surrender. I'm sure we can - I can - talk my - our - way out of this, so if you could just listen to me for once and do what I say we'll most likely get out of this just fine. Or at least okay. Maybe a bit maimed, but it's better than de-"

"Doctor, do you trust me?"

He groans. "River, seriously, now is not the time to-"

She turns toward him, eyes sharp, and holds his gaze. "I need to know. It's still relatively early for you and I need to know-"

"Early?" he baulks. "We're married! How much later can you get then married?"

River's lips curve up in that familiar, annoying, condescending, unbearably sexy way, and he knows what she's going to say before she's said it: "Spoilers."

"River," he says seriously, "We've got no way out." He makes a swinging gesture with his arm. "Swords! Cliff! Not good and very not good!"

"Do you trust me?"

He sighs heavily and rubs his forehead briefly. "Yes, River, of course I trust you, I just don't see what-"

Before he can finish, River pulls him close, grabs the back of his neck and kisses him. He's gotten fairly used to the kissing now, grown rather fond of it, really, quite fond, the kissing and the hands and the occasional moaning - okay, often moaning - and even the tongues and so he's a bit distracted for a moment by lips and curves and hands! seriously, how many hands does she have? before he pulls away - "River, what are you-?" and sees that familiar, terrifying, intoxicating, lipshandsmoans-inducing look in her eye as she grins. "River, don't you dare-"

"Geronimo," she grins, and steps backwards off the cliff.

"Hey! That's my li-"

The rest of his sentence gets lost in what he will later describe as a gruff, brave, manly, well... shriek.