The Doctor took in his surroundings. He heard the sound of heels and newly polished shoes scrape across the laminate flooring, and saw that the lights had dimmed into a dark purple which reflected off the floor, which causing a beautiful colour to shine upon every dancer's faces. All the men wore black sleek tuxedos, joined with a black tie. The Doctor huffed to himself as he looked at his own attire- which was a lot harder to do as he was meant to concentrate on dancing- the Doctor wore a white tuxedo with a red bow tie. He thought he looked cool. But then when he looked back up he indulged in River's clothing. A red dress, which nicely matched with his bow tie- might he add, hung remarkably to her curves. As she danced he had glimpses of her beautiful tanned thighs through the slit of her dress, which elegantly ran up her left leg. The Doctor gulped in anticipation and attempted to focus on dancing. Somehow, even if he was to try and close his eyes, he would be drawn to River. The perfume was enough as it was, the sweet scent attacked his lungs as he engulfed in the delicious drug. He swore that it wasn't just the lipstick that was hallucinogenic. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on the music, but by closing his eyes his senses became maximized and unbearable- the feel of River's silky red dress between his fingertips, and the sparks of excitement that coursed through him whenever he twirled her around. Her hair tickled his chin as she leant her head on his shoulder. The Doctor become so distracted by River that he had forgotten his footing. He stomped onto River's foot none too gently which caused to wince in pain. She softly pushed him back to look at him,
"Sorry, I Just- It was my fau- I sorry," the Doctor stuttered as he tried to apologize. River rolled her eyes,
"You're a terrible dancer, sweetie," River proclaimed, once again she took his left hand gently and started up a momentum. The Doctor snorted and took a step closer to River- personal space be damned.
"Doctor Song," he stated firmly with an attempted serious face, which River knew he faked, "I can tell you now, that I so happen to be a professional," he pronounced the word with strong emphasis, "in the department of…" He paused to think of the right word, River arched her eyebrow.
"It's called dancing sweetie," River finished off his sentence with a smug grin. The Doctor faltered but interrupted her with another twirl, bobbing his tongue at her in the process- like the nine hundred and seven year old Timelord he was.
"Yes, well, I'm still a better dancer than you," The Doctor argued playfully like a little child. River smirked while a plan formed inside that manipulative brain of hers,
"Care to place your money where your mouth is, Doctor?" River dared as she closed the small gap between them.
"Fine," The Doctor agreed, he stuck his tongue out as he thought of the rewards. "If I win… I get to keep all of my hats without you shooting them off, or doing anything to harm them." The Doctor moved his hand to the lower part of her back as they continued to dance, River smiled,
"And if I win, I'm aloud your suit." River told her end of the bargain as she got pulled away and back in again by the Doctor. His nose screwed up and his eyebrows furrowed,
"My suit?" He asked in a confused tone as he looked down on himself, "But River, why would you want my suit, that's a boring deal," he complained, "what can you possibly do with my suit?" River smirked,
"Maybe, I'm just letting you have the better bargain as I know I'm going to win," River answered with a challenging grin. The Doctor smiled, "Don't want to be too harsh on you now." She paused and turned around, "I'll just go and ask for a change in music, this is just a bit too slow for me," River acknowledged as she waltzed her way over to the band which performed at the top of the ballroom.
The Doctor watched River as she walked past the circular tables and chairs to make her way to the band. If he were asked his opinion of the band he would say they were very good, not the best, but good. The piano in the background mixed with the singer out front was a beautiful match. He noticed how River waited for the song to end before she suggested a song to the piano player. The Doctor saw the old man shake his head. From all he could make out, he was apologising to River for something, but then he saw River ramble through her dress, the Doctor looked at her puzzled, 'what in the-' but then The Doctor's jaw dropped. River had given the old man an object, an object probably worth millions then; specially due to the fact they were in the seventies. The Doctor was left dazed.
"But, that's the Crystal of Bandamoon. That's just a fairy tale!" He exasperated, only to himself, giving him quite the few stares. He watched as the old man took the object with a bug-eyed expression. He smiled at River with the widest grin and pearly white teeth. The Doctor didn't see anything else as some people blocked his view with their dancing. He huffed and shook his head, "River," he sighed just before he heard the lead singer interrupt everybody from dancing.
"Okay now everybody," the woman on stage announced as she tapped the microphone for everybody's attention. She waited for all the eyes to be drawn to her. "I want you all to grab a partner now, cause it's…" the man in the background started up an intense drum roll, "Salsa time!" She shouted excitedly as she raised her hands in the air. All of a sudden, all the people sat on the chairs that surrounded the ballroom had rushed their way to find a partner. The Doctor panicked and searched around the ball room for River but she was nowhere to be found. Instead a man, with striking red hair- as hot as River's dress- came toward him awkwardly with his hands raised,
"Hey mate, I don't know where me' dates gone, mind if I ur-" the man requested awkwardly as he approached the Doctor. The Doctor gulped and pulled at his collar, "cause otherwise we're gonna' be loners' on a dance floor." The man added. The Doctor didn't have time to respond as the man grabbed both his left and right hands, "Won't be for tha' long anyways." The man encouraged. The music began in the background, starting off at a slow pace, which made the Doctor feel even more awkward. The Doctor looked around at the other people, to see what they were doing. They were all just swaying from left to right, so the Doctor did just that,
"So," the Doctor spoke as he attempted to break the awkward line, even if he was miles beyond that, "what's your name?" The man smirked as he swayed to the left,
"The name's Tron Stuart.. the third," he answered casually. "'Bout you?"
"The Doctor," he replied honestly, Tron looked up at him with a questioning expression. "Just the Doctor."
"Well, the Doctor, who's ya girl, or man even," Tron corrected, "I don't judge." The Doctor hesitated as he looked through the crowd,
"She's just a friend," he stated as he then found the curly blonde headed woman. Tron laughed,
"Ah, I see. Still in that friendship zone, I feel fo' ya buddy," Tron admitted as he tapped the Doctor on the arm, "pretty hard place to escape." The Doctor's head snapped from River to Tron,
"What makes you think I want to escape?" He asked curiously, an eyebrow arched. The man shrugged his shoulders,
"Didn't say you did." He replied with a set tone. After those few words neither Tron nor The Doctor said anything, instead they just swayed from left to right awkwardly. The Doctor still looked for River, after looking at Tron he had lost River in the process. The Doctor coughed,
"So who's your date? You said you lost her," the Doctor asked, just trying to make conversation. Tron sighed,
"Don't have one really, mate. Just needed an excuse to dance with ya," he admitted. The Doctor's cheek flushed, Tron laughed, "don't flatter yourself mate, I'm just on the lookout." The Doctor arched an eye brow,
"On the lookout, how do you mean," the Doctor become slightly excited, as he hoped some sort of alien or monster was on the loose. Anything that was to get him away from the dancing.
"For the girls, man," Tron pointed it out to the Doctor, as if that should have been obvious. Tron started to chuckle to himself, "Wahey, looks like ma' brothers got his in the bag." He nodded to the back of the ball room. The Doctor turned to look where he was pointing and instantly gripped onto Tron's hand a little too hard, but he didn't say anything. All on the other side of the ball room, River was dancing with a stranger, a stranger who looked exactly like Tron- flaming red hair and a smart tuxedo. The Doctor grimaced at the man's hand placement, a little too low on River's back for his liking. "Damn, that woman's beautiful, wouldn't mind a bit of that myself." The Doctor tensed at Tron's words. He felt like punching the man, but resisted the urge. "And to say my brother was a terrible dancer, ha, he sure learnt fast." The Doctor's jaw tightened. Luckily the music began to change tempo, Tron friendly slapped the Doctor's arm, "Well, it was nice dancin' with ya' bro, catch ya' later, yeah." And the next thing the Doctor knew Tron had been pulled away by another dancer. The Doctor sighed with relief.
The Doctor stepped on his tip toes as he tried to find River before he was planted with yet another stranger to dance with. However, no such luck was found. He rolled his eyes as he returned to his normal height.
"Excuse me?" The Doctor heard a voice call. "E-Excuse me," the voice called again. Somebody pulled onto his tuxedo from behind. "Listen young boy," the Doctor was yanked and turned around, behind him an old woman was stood in front; hand on hip with an unpleased expression on her face. The Doctor smiled,
"Oh hello," he greeted, "are you lost? Cause I know where the elderly limbo is if you want me to-" The woman smiled and pulled at his cheek,
"Well, aren't you a cutie? Look at those little dimples. My grandson looks just like you, you know." The old woman commented as she pulled at the Doctor's right cheek. The Doctor looked at her confused,
"A cutie?" The Doctor repeated offended. "No, no, no. I'm the Doctor.. I'm not," he used a hand gesture, "cute!" The older woman closed in on the Doctor,
"Dance with me, cutie," she ordered as she pulled the Doctor in. The Doctor protested all he could, but that was some strong, old lady. The Doctor grimaced,
"Shouldn't you be with the older people, I don't know, knitting. Knitting is all good fun when you-"
"Knitting's for old people!" The woman replied back. The Doctor gulped, not daring to compete with the crazy lady. The old woman stepped onto the Doctor shoes so as the Doctor was doing all the work, and she placed her head on his chest. He felt very awkward. He looked round helplessly, wanting anyone to come and save him. Somebody tapped the Doctor on the shoulder, he turned around pleadingly,
"I see you like your older woman now Doctor," he heard River whisper in his ear. His smile faltered,
"River, this isn't funny, what am I supposed to do?" The Doctor asked urgently, "she's a terrible dancer." He added on as he remembered the bet they were playing. River chuckled in his ear,
"Sorry, sweetie," she apologized, not really sorry at all. "I think you could learn a move or two from her," she spoke sarcastically. The Doctor then turned around fully to look at her with an annoyed face. Then he saw the man who she was dancing with properly. A man, who had way too much gel in his hair, held his arm around River's waist. He was quite stocky, but very handsome. The Doctor's jaw clenched together,
"I'll…" His voice cracked up. The man who was holding River laughed at the Doctor sheepishly, as if he were something he could chew on. The Doctor gulped, "I'll keep that in mind." The stranger with River tightened his grip on River,
"C'mon, I've still got to show you some of my moves." The man said purposely loud enough for the Doctor to hear. The man placed his hand in his inner pocket and pulled out a rose. River gasped as the man placed it in his mouth and dipped River down. The Doctor held his breath, seeing her fall made him feel on edge. After all, it was always him who would catch her. Not some gel headed, self-loving, rose-in-the-mouth-
"Spoon," the Doctor said out loud in a whisper, only quiet enough for him to hear. The man picked River back up, she was flustered and red and parts of her hair had come out loose. The Doctor thought she looked stunning. River took the rose from her mouth, the Doctor freaked- 'since when was it in her mouth'-, and gave it back to the man. The man shook his hand,
"No you keep it," he gestured as he placed the rose in her hair. "Suits you better."
'Suits you better,' the Doctor mimed childishly, tacking the mic out of him. Then the Doctor furrowed his eyebrows, a woman- a very beautiful woman- who was dancing with another partner, stared at the Doctor. He gave an awkward wave but then looked back at River, or more so looked at the man who held River. He huffed as he looked at his partner. The old woman still rested her head on his chest, the Doctor frowned. He couldn't tell whether or not she was actually alive. She wasn't moving. The Doctor thought of the best plan possible to check whether she was alive or not. He poked her. The woman stirred and looked up at the Doctor in annoyance,
"It's a good thing you're cute," was the only thing the woman said.
The Doctor wasn't able to finish off his sentence as the old woman pulled off from the Doctor and smiled,
"Ohhh, I've got to go find another partner quick," she commented. Then the Doctor understood, the tempo had changed, meaning a switch in partner.
He quickly scanned the room and found River; but that man was still with her. The Doctor felt himself tense up again. But then realised the man was saying good bye so the Doctor quickly stormed over to her, dodging many people and nearly falling to the floor, but was cut off short when that familiar woman which he waved to earlier blocked his path. She smiled sweetly,
"Will you dance with me?" She asked innocently. The Doctor wanted to just say 'no, I want to get to River' but knew that would be rude. Instead he faked a smile and forced himself to say,
"Yes, okay." The girl gave a wide smile as she closed up on the Doctor, all too comfortably. The Doctor went to move from side to side, like he did with the others. But the woman grabbed his two hands and started to dance at a fast pace. The Doctor hesitated and the woman acknowledged this, she squeezed on his hands,
"You have to move you know," she joked as she span herself around his arms much like he did to River not too long before. His muscles were still tense and the girl rolled her eyes, "just relax, and listen to the music…" She commented as she took one step forward, with her left foot, and one step back. "My name's Talia," she announced as she span again. The Doctor seems to be more relaxed, he managed a smile,
"Nice to meet you Talia," he followed her footsteps. One left, one back, one forward, one right, basic routine. The Doctor chuckled, "you sure know how to dance Talia," he complimented as he took a step right. Talia smiled,
"And with whom am I dancing with?" She asked nonchalant. Then she pinched the Doctor's left hand, making him let go, letting her fall without her actually hitting the floor, much like you see in the movies. The Doctor pulled her back up,
"T-The Doctor," he answered.
"Well, nice to meet you Doctor." They continued to dance the next few minutes, with more of her falling and him catching, it was quite a thrill, and he certainly learnt a few extra moves. Just as he was thoroughly enjoying himself he caught a glimpse of River. He didn't deny it; he knew she was going to be somebody big in his life. But something told him to stay weary of her, well according to all the people's he's seen anyway. Yet Father Octavian's words still came back to him now and then 'she killed a man… A hero to many'. But all that would melt away when he stared at her, of course he wouldn't actually tell River he had a little boy crush on River. He laughed at himself; he didn't want to feel pressured into liking her. She trusted him completely and he knows she would do anything for him, and that scared him. Although, if he took a step back and just looked at her, properly. He would admit, he did have feelings for her, even if they were tiny ones, but he had a feeling they would soon evolve into something more. If he was true to himself, he denied River, denied the fact that she would someday be his… Well... What? His wife? His lover? He didn't like to be forced into things, he liked to be his own person, and that's why he reckons he was so stubborn at River in the Byzantium. But all that is soon contradicted when he feels that. That burning feeling inside of him when he sees other man sprawled across her. He couldn't control it, it was just natural. Like he wanted to push the men away and claim River as his own, but she wasn't, is she? He pondered about the answer to that question.
The Doctor woke up from his day dreaming and concentrated at what he was doing. He was stood in the ballroom with Talia stood looking at him worryingly. He shook his head,
"What?" He asked. Talia laughed and rolled her eyes,
"I said 'who's that?'" She nodded in the direction of River. The Doctor blushed,
"Just a friend," he said too quickly as he tried to dance and distract himself from looking over toward River. Talia laughed,
"Is she your girlfriend?"
"Hundred per cent," he stated, unsure himself. Talia gave him an unconvinced smirk, "Okay, ninety nine point nine per cent sure….. Or maybe seventy." He paused and looked over at River. He gazed over at the man dancing with her. His eyes widened. It was the man. The man he had danced with at the beginning, the man who said 'wouldn't mind a bit of that myself'. The Doctor tensed, "Okay, make that sixty per cent."
"It's a least forty per cent." Talia mentioned. The Doctor turned to look at her, a challenging expression, he laughed.
"No, no, no, no. Over fifty, at least." He argues back, that time it was Talia to laugh at him.
"You've been staring at her the past five minutes, I think 'over fifty' is abit of a stretch, don't you?" The Doctor faltered,
"Minus one hundred," the Doctor finally said. He felt very smug. Talia arched an eyebrow,
"So you're minus one hundred per cent sure that woman over ther-"
"River," the Doctor interrupted.
"River, is your girlfriend?" She asked, laughing as she did. The Doctor furrowed his eyes brows, completely confused. He sighed and turned to look at River,
"Truth is I don't really know…" The Doctor spoke honestly. Talia looked at him with a saddened face,
"Tell you what, the next dance is the last one, if we move closer now, you'd be able to get to River for the last dance." She explained as she continued with the dance steps. The Doctor scratched his head,
"But what will I do th-"
"Then," Talia interrupted him that time. "You tell her how you feel." The Doctor thought, it was all a bit cheesy, wasn't it? A sort of thing you'd have seen in a movie. But River did say 'and that's when everything changes', right? So maybe they change cause of that moment. The moment when he admits his feelings. He thought, what are his feelings? How did he feel about her?
"Well, there's only one way to find out."