"But I don't want to! There's nothing wrong with fezzes... is there?"

The TARDIS was unyielding. He was going to find a different fashion accessory if she had to drag him all through time and space by his hair to do it. She wasn't even a biped - now, although she had been for a bit, with the kissing and the biting, which were fun - and even she could see how awful those fezzes were. Worse than celery stalks as lapel pins, worse than knit scarves several metres long. If she'd had eyes, she would have rolled them in exasperation. As she didn't, nor did she have a foot to stamp, or hips on which to put her hands (or hands for that matter), she just shook herself a bit more violently than usual on her way to the Stormcage. If anyone could convince her beautiful thief he needed something else to wear, it was his other wife.

River Song heard the vroop vroop noise of the TARDIS materializing and looked up from the book she was reading. He'd just dropped her off about an hour before; had he forgotten something? She stood and slipped on her heels, then walked to the bars of her cell to wait for him. The TARDIS fully materialized and he stepped out. He looked angry, but not in the quietly-angry way that meant trouble. No, this was the shouting-angry Doctor, the one who was frustrated and irritated but not ready to do violence.

The flick of the sonic screwdriver towards the security camera was rather more sharply executed than usual, and he strode to her cell with a more purposeful gait than the casual sexy saunter she loved so much. Uh-oh. "Hello, Sweetie." He mumbled something as he sonicked her door open. "I'm sorry? I didn't catch that." The mutter was a little louder this time, but still pretty unintelligible. She shook her head. "Sorry, my love, could you repeat that, please?"

"I said," he ground out through clenched teeth, "that Sexy is making me go shopping. Shopping for clothes, because apparently these aren't good enough for her refined tastes. I ask you, some of my former selves wore vegetables and she objects to a perfectly good fez?"

River bit her tongue so hard it hurt. She must not laugh at him, or he'd dig in his heels and never give up the damn fezzes. If it was up to her he wouldn't wear hats at all... except the occasional top hat. She licked her lips. The top hats - and the white tie and tails he wore them with - were just fine by her. Hmmm... that gave her an idea...

She stepped out of her cell and right up to him. "I'm sorry, my love," she whispered. She kissed him softly on the lips, took his hand, and pulled him toward the TARDIS doors. "You know I'm not the biggest fan of your fezzes, but I wouldn't make you give them up." Except in my dreams, or to help out the Old Girl, or... whenever I had the chance, really, she thought. And now I do. "If the Old Girl wants you to, though, we'd better respect her wishes..." They climbed through the doors. "We wouldn't want her to dump you into a black hole in a fit of pique over your hat, now would we?" Sorry for suggesting you would, Old Girl, she thought, but I can't use brute force on him the way you can. She felt a wash of amused agreement and affection from the TARDIS. "So... let's think of what you would like to wear that'll still satisfy her, shall we?" And she drew him down to a small sofa that had materialized off to one side.

He was pouting a bit. On any incarnation but this one, he'd look stupid wearing that expression, she thought, amused, but this one - my Doctor - just looks adorably young. She curled up against him, reaching up with one hand and pulling his head down to her so she could place a soft kiss on that lower lip. It trembled very slightly and she deepened the kiss, cupping his face in her hands and just sinking in. She loved how he tasted, like cinnamon and vanilla and... and Time, somehow. His hands buried themselves in her hair as he kissed her back, slowly and gently. And thoroughly... they were both a little breathless when they broke the kiss. "River?" He cleared his throat. "Er... River, maybe we should try business before pleasure, eh?"

She looked a little dazedly at him. "What? Oh, right." She made to sit up straighter, but he eased her down, her back against his chest, her head under his chin, cradling her with his long legs on either side of hers down the length of the sofa. "So..." She was trying to keep her voice casual and conversational after that kiss... she wasn't sure whether she could. "So, what can you wear that the TARDIS won't find offensive?" A screen obligingly folded out in front of them, with the words "Clothing Shops" emblazoned on it in bright blue flashing letters. River touched the words and raised an eyebrow at the next option. "Oh, really, Sexy, the first thing on the list is boxers? In TARDIS blue with little pink hearts? I rather think not..." She had a definite sensation of, of course not, child, but you're not the only entity who can manipulate him, now are you? Hush, now, and she stopped herself just before the chuckle escaped. She felt the Doctor shift his weight uncomfortably behind her as she tapped another button on the screen. "Hmm... patterned socks, Hawaiian shirts - not very you, that one, is it my love? - paisley handkerchiefs, matching bow ties and braces..." She broke off as he grabbed her wrist.

"Those, yes. Matching bow ties and braces. Bow ties are cool! And I never thought about having patterns on them, and matching braces, lovely!" He was starting to get enthusiastic about this, and he reached over her shoulder to tap at the screen himself. "Oh, and patterns that don't match but do co-ordinate, and..." It was his turn to break off as River turned her head and kissed the soft spot where his neck and jaw met. He jerked a bit, then settled into letting her nuzzle his throat, his breathing getting faster. "Just... just let me order these so as to appease the Old Girl," he gasped, pressing buttons as fast as he could. She nipped at a particularly sensitive spot and he moaned and shut his eyes, his left hand woven into her hair and the right flailing randomly until it hit the "Order" button on the screen.

The screen moved up and out of the way as the Doctor's right hand wandered to join its mate in River's hair, and he dipped his head down to return the kiss. Several minutes of lips and teeth and tongues and murmurs and breathless moans later, they heard a sharp, short ping from the console in the center of the room. They ignored it. River nibbled on the Doctor's ear and he moaned again, louder. Ping! The sound was more insistent now, but they still managed to ignore it, because his hands were out of her hair and trying to unfasten her belt. PING! "Oh, all right!" they both gasped at the same time, breaking apart and then bursting into uncontrollable giggles.

"Er, Sexy..." the Doctor said whilst trying to straighten his clothes (what few he still had on - he was down to his trousers, with the braces hanging off his hips) and catch his breath, "Did you need something in particular, or were you just interrupting because you're jealous?" Both he and River felt that wave of exasperation (bipeds!) and scorn (of course I'm not jealous; if I were d'you think you'd be here?) and impatience (just open the doors, would you?). So he did, and outside the doors was an enormous parcel bearing the legend TIES R US - we also do braces and belts! The R was backward. River, looking over the Doctor's shoulder, was reduced to giggles again, but she gamely helped him pull it inside the blue box, who shut her own doors this time... rather emphatically. "Right! Let's see what we've bought, shall we?"

River eyed him. He thought he could turn it off that fast, did he? I think not. She got another wave of amusement from the TARDIS. Glad you're not angry, Old Girl, she thought with affection, and received a similar feeling in return. She went to where the Doctor was perched on the edge of the sofa, happily pulling Styrofoam pellets out of the box and tossing them over his shoulders, and she sat behind him. "What are these? These are lovely, just delightful, really! So bouncy and light and..." he trailed off as River leaned over him, and he could smell the spicy-warm scent of her (bouncy, light) ringlets of hair as they tickled his cheek. "Right! On to the bow-ties. And the braces, mustn't forget the braces!" He pulled a bow-tie out of the box. It was a violent shade of purple, with what looked like yellow-green six-pointed stars scattered over it. The braces that went with it were just the purple, for which River was rather profoundly grateful. She sighed. Perhaps she and the Old Girl had done their job too well, replaced one silly obsession with another.

She decided to take action. She was good at action. "Let's try them on you, my love. But first we'd better remove the ones you've already got on." She unclipped the braces from his trousers, brushing against him teasingly. He shuddered, his eyes glazing over, and she climbed into his lap, facing him, while she worked on tying the new bow-tie around his bare neck. She was intent on the task, and he leaned in and kissed her unhurriedly on the lips. It was her turn to shiver as he nibbled on her mouth, and the hands working on the bow-tie dropped helplessly onto his shoulders. She whimpered into his mouth and wriggled deeper into his lap, toppling him back onto the sofa and landing on top of him.

His kisses got more fervent as he licked and sucked the soft skin from her mouth along her jaw to her ear, and she moaned. His hands were busy at the buttons of her dress and hers were buried in his hair as he nipped at her ear. "River..." he breathed into the ear, "Touch me again. Please. I need..." He trailed off as she did just that, unfastening his trousers and slipping her hand inside. His head fell back and he groaned her name as she stroked him. His hand slid under the open bodice of her dress and he caressed the silky skin there, drawing a matching groan from her. They stroked and caressed, undressing each other until all that was left was the garish bow-tie, and finally she took him into her body and they began to move together. At the end they shouted out their joy in each other, and came to rest, entwined on the sofa in a heap of cushions and a tangle of bow-ties and braces.

He turned to his side and propped his head on his hand, looking River in the eyes, and smiled that mischievous grin he got when he was feeling particularly smug. "Now, River Song, Melody Pond, my naughty wife... and you, you Sexy Old Girl... did you ladies think I was that naive? That I wouldn't notice you were conspiring against me to get me to give up my hats?" Oh no, River thought, he has that glint in his eye. The madman-with-a-box look. "And look what I got! A fresh batch of bow-ties and braces, and most importantly, hours spent with my two favourite people in all of time and space. Hours with you both without having to run for our lives or save the universe. And that... that's cool."