Well thank you so much for the fabulous response to the first chapter darlings, I was very surprised! Glad I'm not the only one who finds the idea of River meeting future companions very interesting :)
As mentioned, this one is still with a mid-timish Doctor but an earlier, much younger River. I suppose it could run straight on linearly for the Doctor and Lora form the last chapter but in my head I kind of imagine Lora having met River one, maybe two more times although probably briefly, and River has probably been polite but paid her little attention. But whatever, it's not really important. I hope you enjoy!
Tropicana, was the very unoriginally named planet the Doctor had taken her to today. Called so, funnily enough, because it was pretty much a very large tropical paradise, a popular holiday destination for intergalactic tourists and the inhabitants and peaceful, simple race.
So far, Lora was impressed, it had to be the nicest place he'd brought her so far - she felt as if she were on some sort of idyllic holiday the moment they'd stepped out of the Tardis.
The two stroll steadily down a sandy beach, chatting easily. The sun is blazing down (so, so hot) and everyone they pass seems to be smiling. Some sort of restaurant/bar looms up ahead, tables and chairs set on the sand surrounding a counter and a bar sat just off to the side. Everything was made of bamboo and soft island music rings out cheerfully.
Lora points to it and asks a question and the Doctor opens his mouth to reply when, at the same time, the two spot a familiar curly haired woman over at the bamboo bar, laughing and chatting to the barman as she sips from a florescent-pink cocktail like drink.
"Oh brilliant," Lora mutters under her breath as the Doctor halts abruptly.
Lora rolls her eyes. "Yes, I can see that."
"Yes but it's…she's young. She must be - she doesn't drink anymore - or she won't do…well not since, after…we won't go into that." He glances at Lora. "She's younger than you last saw her Lora, younger than…I've seen her in a while and -" he watches as she hands some money over to the barman and then leans forward to press a chaste kiss he readily accepts to the corner of his mouth. A grin crosses his face and he immediately hands her the money back and pours her another drink. The Doctor rolls his eyes. "Oh yes - very young."
"So she doesn't know me yet, is that what you're trying to tell me?"
"She won't, no - and she's, well…well she's young."
Lora rolls her eyes. "So you said - and anyway - she doesn't look that young to me," she mutters the last part under her breath but the Doctor hears and rolls his eyes. Women.
"Maybe we should go," he starts saying, quickly turning to walk away, "I don't think she's seen us we can just -"
Lora grabs his arm and spins him back round with a "Too late."
He sees River's eyes locked onto him, a smirk on her face and an eyebrow raised. She gives him a wave, waggling her fingers in a way he knows she intends to be inviting.
He sighs and runs a hand through his hair. "Why don't you wait in the Tardis? I'll just say hello, won't be long…"
"What?" Lora demands, offended. "No way! You should know by now I am not a 'wait in the Tardis' kind of girl Doctor!" And with that she is marching off towards River, head held high. "You coming or what?" She asks, turning back briefly. The Doctor lets out a heavy sigh, knowing this can never end well, and hurries to catch up with his young companion.
"Now Lora," he tells her quickly as he jogs up alongside her and they walk towards River. "Just remember she won't know you and she won't be the River you've met either -"
"Yadda yadda whatever Doctor, come on lets just go say hello and then we can go to that festival thing you mentioned yeah?"
One more sigh before they draw close enough to River for her to put down her drink and turn to face them properly, elbows leant on the bar behind her.
"Well hello sweetie. This is a nice surprise."
"For me too." He has a small smirk on his lips as he takes in the sight of her, dressed in a thin flowing white summer dress over a blue bikini. Bare feet, hair wild as ever with a flower tucked behind her ear. "You look good." He can't help the compliment slip from his lips.
She smiles and shrugs. "I try. You look the same as always. Don't you ever get bored of tweed?"
"Shouldn't you tell me?"
"Ah yes but you know that would be spoilers."
He laughs with her and their eye contact is only broken by a loud throat clearing next to the Doctor.
"Ah yes! River this is Lora, Lora, River Song."
Lora offers a tentative smile and a 'hi', although it is laced with underlying hostility. River doesn't't bother trying to be polite, she merely glances at Lora, raises an eyebrow and comments to the Doctor, "you must be an older you. They're getting younger."
"River," he warns in a low tone.
"What?" Lora demands with a frown.
River gives her a very fake smile. "Nothing dear."
"So, what brings you here?" The Doctor quickly asks.
"Oh you know. This and that."
She quirks an eyebrow. "Nosy."
"Fair enough," he laughs, and then forces his face straight and lifts a scolding finger. "And I saw what you did to that poor barman - you can't just use your lipstick to get out of paying for anything, it's stealing River."
"Oh hush," she waves a hand at him, rolling her eyes. "It's not stealing, he enjoyed it." She waggles her fingers at the barman who waves back with a dazed and happy look on his face. "And I'm running low on cash."
The Doctor sighs. "What am I going to do with you?"
"I can think of a few things," she grins cheekily.
"So Doctor," Lora says pointedly. "Did you say this whole planet was just made up of beaches?"
"Pretty much," he replies as he turns to her, delighting in the chance to share some of the billions of facts he has recorded in his head. "The whole planet is just islands, there's eighty-four-thousand-and-thirty-two in total and they -"
"Sweetie, what did you say you were doing here again? Following me were you?" River interrupts rudely with a grin to him.
"Excuse me," Lora tells River. "He was just answering my question thanks."
"Actually, he just loves any excuse to show off his knowledge." River counters.
The Doctor frowns. "Now, I -"
"And you might as well stop looking at him like that," she continues, "he won't notice and you're really not as important to him as you think."
"Oh?" Lora replies, "and who the hell are you to him? You don't even travel with him!" She challenges with a air of superiority.
River smirks wickedly.
"Now -" The Doctor begins to caution but she cuts him off.
"I'm his wife, darling, is who I am." She tells her smugly.
Lora looks at her like she just told her she's his pet parrot. "No you're not."
River laughs. "Yes. I am."
"No you're not, I'm not stupid of course you're not - is she Doctor!"
He scratches his face nervously. "Well -"
Lora pales. "…Is she?"
"Er - well see…" He looks to River for help but she is simply watching him with a raised eyebrow and a smirk on her face and he knows she's enjoying this far too much. "The thing is - technically -"
"Oh technically nothing sweetie," River cuts in with a roll of her eyes. "We're married and you know it. Even if you don't count the first one there was that ceremony thing with the ribbons we did on Sarra 3040 - although we were quite drunk…" She falters at his blank look. "Or haven't you got there yet?"
"Whoops. Sorry," she grins, "still getting the hang of this spoiler thing."
"Wait, wait," Lora interrupts, a hand held up before her and a look of disbelief on her face. "Are you seriously telling me you're married to her, Doctor?"
"Well I haven't told you yet but - um, yes. What she said. We sort of are. Married that is."
Lora gapes for a moment before asking pointedly. "Well how come you never told me - never even mentioned that you were married - let alone to her - you wouldn't even tell me who she was!" She looks at River after saying this, clearly expecting a hurt reaction to her words.
Instead, the curly haired woman merely laughs again. "No, he wouldn't have. We've our reasons don't we sweetie?" She winks at him.
"What reason could you possibly have not to ever mention the fact you have a wife?" Lora demands of the Doctor but her question is really directed at River.
"Oh reasons you couldn't ever even begin to understand…" River looks her up and down. "How old did you say you were again?"
She glares back. "I didn't."
"Sixteen, seventeen maybe?"
"I'm twenty-one actually!" She snaps and River raises an eyebrow.
"Oh Doctor. Practically robbing the cradle aren't you? Won't your mummy be wondering where you are?"
Lora opens her mouth but the Doctor quickly steps between them with his hands held up.
"Alright that's enough River."
She pulls a face but obeys, taking a sip of her drink.
"So sweetie," she says, putting the drink down and deliberately turning her back on Lora as she faces the Doctor. "When exactly are we for you this time?"
He raises a slightly teasing eyebrow at her. "Further along than you, I should think." He taps her on the nose fondly.
"Oh really?" She asks, leaning in to him a bit.
"Hmm," she runs a hand absently up the lapel of his jacket. "So you know me better than I know you right now?" Her voice is dripping with flirtation and her tone implies indecent thoughts behind her words.
"Suppose you could say that."
"Erm - Doctor," It's Lora, a very put-out expression on her face as she (somewhat childishly) tugs on his sleeve to get his attention. "I thought we were here to see that festival?"
"Oh - right. Yes, we are -"
River cuts in. "The Festival of the Sun? It's supposed to be quite the event - do you know the inhabitants of this planet think the sun is a living thing watching over them? It's sort of like their God, I suppose."
"Sorry," Lora says curtly, "you weren't invited."
"Well I just invited myself."
"Now, now," The Doctor tries. "Why don't we all just go together?"
"But Doctor, your psychic paper remember - always gives you authority to get in plus one? Sorry River," she says, thinking she's very clever and not sounding sorry at all.
"Or," River suggests, "you could just go on your own. With a bit of luck you might get lost."
"Or why don't you get lost and the Doctor and I can just go together like we'd already planned." Lora bites back.
River looks at her with raised eyebrows and turns back to the Doctor. "God she's annoying - how the hell do you put up with her - why do you even have her travelling with you?"
"Well she's getting on my nerves! And I only get to see you once in a blue moon it's hardly fair that you've dragged along your little piece of this month's arm candy!"
Lora gasps and the Doctor cringes. "What the hell did you just call me?" She demands angrily.
"Well that's all you are, dear - don't fool yourself into thinking you're anything else to him - keeping up appearances is all it is, right Doctor? Like to have your little plus one wherever you go so you've got someone to show off to don't you?"
"River!" He exclaims angrily, then turning to Lora; "That's not true, Lora, she's just -"
"Just a bitch, is what she is!" Lora spits angrily. "I can't believe you're married to her Doctor, my opinion of you has just plummeted!" She stands up straighter, sniffing crossly as she tosses her electric blue hair back over her shoulder. "Forget the bloody festival, I'll be in the Tardis. And I think I might want to be taken home when you decide to join me." And with those words she whirls and stomps back towards the blue box.
"Truth hurts, doesn't it darling?" River calls after her.
"Drop dead!" She throws back before she marches into the Tardis and slams the door so hard it makes the Doctor wince.
He rounds on his wife. "River," Oh he's cross, she can tell by that tone before she even looks at his face. "That was not nice." His words are ground out, with a growl to his voice.
"Oh - sorry," she says, in a flippant tone, a smirk crawling onto her face. "But look…we're alone now." She steps closer to him, running a hand up his chest as she leans in as if to kiss him but he grabs her hand before it can reach his bowtie and halts her movements.
"I mean it. You can't speak to people that way - she's a good girl River, and she's only young."
"Oh yeah," she snorts. "She's young alright - and don't tell me how I can and can't speak to people Doctor, you're not my bloody father."
"No, and if Rory were here he'd be ashamed. You've probably really hurt her feelings - think how you'd feel!"
"Well I don't care," she snaps, turning to start walking away from him, down towards the beach.
"Well you should," he says walking after her. She ignores him and he follows her until she comes to a stop just before the blue ocean stretching out in front of them. "River?"She doesn't reply and he watches her shoulders lift and drop in a huff. Although he can't see her face he knows there's a pout on it and finds it quite ironic that she's accusing Lora of being a child when she's the one throwing a strop and sulking.
Again, he gets no reply and he folds his arms.
"Why aren't you speaking to me?"
Still, she ignores him and he moves round to stand in front of her, arms still folded as he looks down at her face, now stubbornly turned to the side. His eyebrows shoot up when he recognises the expression on it.
"You're jealous," he says with surprise.
"Well she's twenty-one for God's sake!" She blurts out, and then huffs again. "And she's pretty. No, she's bloody stunning - and don't pretend you didn't notice! - I'm allowed to be jealous."
Not expecting her to have admitted it, the Doctor's face softens. "River. I promise you there is absolutely no need for jealously of any sort."
She snorts as if what he'd said was ridiculous.
"Oh come on Doctor. She gets to be with you all the time - travel with you, see the stars with you -"
"River, we do that together -"
" - Live with you! And here's me - I'm your wife for Gods sake and I'm lucky if I see you one day to the next - it's months sometimes and I never know when the next time will come - do you know what that's like? And there's her - some girl from…nowhere, some nobody who means nothing to you and she gets to have you all to herself - " her voice has risen as she speaks, her face growing steadily redder as she talks herself into a frenzy " - and damn it I don't like it! I don't like it Doctor, that you have these female companions travelling alone with you - and I know I have no right, and I know that's just you and how you've always lived but I can't help how I bloody feel!" She takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry," she says, quieter. "But I can't help how I feel." Her voice breaks on the last word and the Doctor is astonished to see her eyes well up with tears.
"River -" he begins, not really sure how he's planning to continue but she halts him anyway with a hand held up as she shakes her head and then spins to face away from him, wiping at her eyes.
He doesn't know what to say (hell he'd never been any good with crying females) and so is uncharacteristically silent for a few moments. He finally hears her give a deep sigh and decides she sounds like she's got herself under control so he deems it safe to step forward and tentatively wraps his arms round her from behind.
"River Song," he says quietly in her ear. "You're my wife."
She sniffs. "I know."
"Nobody else is."
"You know I'd have you with me all the time if I could, you and me, travelling through time and space together, running together…but you know we don't work like that."
She nods in agreement. "And we can't, I know." Another sniff. "Suppose I just hate that someone else gets to. I know I'm being selfish. I'm sorry."
He shrugs. "So you're not perfect…I blame the human in you."
She laughs softly at that and turns in his arms to look up into his face. She sighs. "Oh Doctor. Why couldn't I have fallen in love with a normal man?"
He smiles. "Because to do that you'd have to be a normal woman."
She smiles back at the compliment and leans up for a kiss he readily gives, his mouth moving against hers sweetly as the hot sun beats down on them.
Their arms are still round each other when they part, their foreheads resting together lightly.
"So." The Doctor says. "You, me, Festival of the Sun?"
"What about Lora?"
"Yes, Lora too."
"Thought you were taking her home?"
"Oh she was just angry. She'll be fine."
River pulls a face and steps away from him, shaking her head. "Thanks sweetie, but I'll have to give it a miss - things to do anyway."
"Legal things, I hope Doctor Song?"
She winks. "Can't make any promises."
"River," he begins in that warning tone of his but she cuts him off with a laugh.
"Be seeing you sweetie," she says as she starts to walk away, turning back to add. "Oh and next time - come alone?"
He smiles. "I'll try."
"You do that," she says and he watches her stride off, that white dress of hers blowing in the hot sea breeze.
He sighs heavily and starts to make his way to the Tardis. One upset woman dealt with; one to go. And he wonders to himself why he doesn't just stick to being alone.
Sorry for the fluff, I can't help myself. I love writing young River so much but do find it harder than writing her older, simply because we've got so much less to go on. Hope I did a well enough job :)
Think I will try making this into some sort of little series as I got such an enthusiastic response to the idea after the first chapter :) I do have a couple more ideas so I guess I'll see what comes up!
Please tell me your thoughts on this, and any suggestions for further situations are welcome! Much love sweeties xx