I know I promised a series, but I assure you, it is coming. In the meantime, I just had to write this one. It was a suggestion from my friend, and I couldn't resist. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to BBC, not me, etc.
The Doctor looked around the empty cell. This was strange. Usually when River left she would leave a note or message of some kind. Further investigation told him that she had been gone nearly a week. Even if she was mad at him, she wouldn't be gone this long. Something was wrong.
He took out his screwdriver and began scanning the ground for footprints. Looking at the information gathered, he saw lots of prints made by heels (no surprise), but then something caught his eye. They were large footprints, and judging by the shape, the shoe must have been expensive . . . in 1985 America. The Doctor concluded that whoever had taken River must have been a high-class man from this location.
He didn't waste any time. As soon as he had enough information to work from, he set off. He took out a dirt sample he had taken from a footprint while investigating and scanned it. The scanner confirmed that it was from New York City, 1985. The TARDIS, knowing his intentions, automatically began the flight.
Only minutes later he landed. He stepped out of the blue box to find himself in the middle of the city. It now struck him that he was in the middle of a huge city looking for a specific person who could be anywhere. This may be harder than he thought.
Gathering what he knew, he began asking people on the street who the richest person in the city is. Remarkably, they all seemed to have the same reply: "Mark Jackson". The Doctor had never heard the name before, but after a few identical responses, he flagged down a taxi.
"Take me to wherever Mark Jackson lives." At this, the driver began to laugh.
"Sorry, but you don't have enough money to talk to his doorman," he said, still laughing.
The Doctor reached into his bigger-on-the-inside pockets and pulled out some money. It must have been a lot, because the driver took one look at it, turned slightly red, and sped off to his destination.
After about five minutes, they arrived. The Doctor tipped the driver generously before getting out to look at the mansion standing before him. He hesitantly rang the doorbell, and a butler appeared.
"Um, hello. My name is . . . John Smith. I would like to speak with Mr. Jackson, if that's all right."
The man at the door looked bored. "Do you have an appointment?"
"No, but it's kind of important." The Doctor felt a little uncertain, so he slipped the man a hundred dollar bill.
"Right away, Your Majesty," said the man before hurrying off to get his master.
The Doctor smiled to himself. "Your Majesty". I could get used to that.
A few minutes later the man returned. "Right this way." He led the Doctor to a large sitting room. "Mr. Jackson will be here shortly."
It was mere seconds before the tall, dark-haired man who must have been Mark Jackson arrived. He happily shook the Doctor's hand. "You must have really made an impression on my servant. He thought you were a king!" he said, smiling happily. "You probably already know who I am, but who are you and what brings you here today?"
The Doctor stole a glance at his shoes. They were an exact match to the footprints in River's cell. "My name is John Smith, and actually, I came to ask if you've seen my wife," he answered, expression darkening the slightest bit.
This statement sent Jackson into a bout of laughter. "Oh, Mr. Smith, I've seen thousands of women out on the streets of New York. What would possibly make you think I'd know your wife even if I did happen to see her?"
"Then allow me to describe her: curly blonde hair, sarcastic, loves guns. Ring any bells?"
Jackson's face turned so pail that the Doctor expected him to faint. "I'm sorry to say that I don't know anyone of that sort, but I'll keep my eye out." The Doctor saw him almost imperceptibly push a button on the table behind him, so he figured he better form a plan quickly. He sonicked the door to lock it, and just as he suspected, there was pounding from guards on the other side. His time was limited.
"Call them off or I will use this," he said, pointing the screwdriver at Jackson's face. The Doctor just hoped that he would believe it was dangerous and not just a harmless tool. "Now!" Jackson gulped and pressed the button again. The banging at the doors ceased. "That's better," said the Doctor, calmer now. "So now I just need you to tell me where my wife is and why you kidnapped her. I will assume she's not dead, because that would be very unfortunate for you."
Jackson sighed before replying. "River happens to be my girlfriend. I asked her to come with me, and she gladly accepted."
"Liar!" the Doctor pushed him up against the wall, pure rage written all over his features. In all actuality, though, he couldn't really tell if the man was lying or not, and that was what scared him the most. "Tell me where she is!"
Jackson could barely speak, as the Doctor's hand firmly clutched the collar of his shirt. "I'm sorry, but she is not taking visitors at the moment, but I'll be sure to tell her you stopped by."
At this, the Doctor thrust him aside, and was about to go search for her when he saw Jackson reaching for his guard button again. He turned to push him away, but a noise stopped him. It was a series of low, dull thumps that were coming from the second floor in the room just above them. The Doctor pushed Jackson to the ground to secure a head-start before running as fast as he could down the hall, up the stairs, and in front of the specific room.
Here he stopped, as he did not know what he was going to find. All he could here were Jackson's words floating around in his head. They couldn't be true, they shouldn't be true, but he couldn't rid the doubts from his mind. He mentally prepared himself for whatever he would find. All this happened in less than a second, as the guards were close behind him. Now he sonicked the door open, then locked it behind him.
It didn't take him long to take in his surroundings. It looked like a normal room with a bed, nightstand, dresser, and closet. So where was River?
Suddenly, the closet door was kicked open, and the Doctor found himself staring down the barrel of a pistol. He quickly raised his hands in surrender. However, when the curly-haired attacker saw who it was, she dropped the gun and ran into his arms so quickly she almost knocked him over.
The Doctor was overjoyed to see that she was unharmed, but still afraid of what she might say. "River, why are you here and who is this man?"
River sighed in exhaustion. This wasn't what she expected the Doctor to say after leaving her in Stormcage for nearly six months. "Mark is my ex-boyfriend."
The Doctor let out a huge breath that he didn't realize he had been holding. "Ex?"
"Yes, ex. In case you haven't noticed, I'm married."
This was such a relief to hear. "So then how did you end up here?"
River shifted a little at this. "Well, Mark showed up at Stormcage and asked if I was single. I told him no, of course, but then he asked how long you had been gone." The Doctor himself was curious about this, as he never really knew the time from River's perspective. "I told him it had been six months, and he said that you probably weren't coming back if it had been that long."
The Doctor's face fell into an expression of complete disbelief mixed with despair. "River! How could you possibly believe that? I always, always come back for you, and I always will. I promised. You know I wouldn't be able to live without you."
"I know, I know! I didn't believe him. I told him exactly what you just told me, but he didn't buy it. He brought me here by force with a vortex manipulator. I didn't even know he had one. The next thing I knew his guards picked me up and brought me here, locked in the closet. I tried to fight them, but they were too strong. All I could do was hope that he had been wrong and that you would come for me." She was talking faster now, on the verge of hysterics.
"He was wrong. I always come. I always, always come." At this, the Doctor heard the doorknob rattle. The guards had found a key and would be in the room in a matter of seconds.
"Sweetie, where exactly did you park your TARDIS?"
He cringed. "A few blocks away."
River now glared menacingly at him. "So how exactly did you plan to make a fast escape, which you always inevitably have to do?" The Doctor shrugged. Taking a taxi had seemed like a good enough idea at the time.
"What about Jackson? Didn't you say he had a vortex manipulator?"
River rolled her eyes. "To get it one of us would have to make it past all the guards safely, take it off his wrist, and punch in the coordinates before being shot."
"Well it is the only plan we've got right now, so I guess I'll give it a go." They backed up to the far wall. The Doctor put his arm around River before sonicking the door. The guards, who had been pushing against it all fell to a pile on the floor.
Together, the two quickly ran down the stairs to Jackson. The Doctor took his vortex manipulator without a word as River held a gun to the millionaire's head. As he programmed in the coordinates, she gave Jackson a small smile before knocking him out with her bare fist.
"Hold on," the Doctor said. She grabbed his wrist, and the next thing they knew, they were safe in the TARDIS.
The Doctor ran over to the console to send his ship as far away from New York as possible. Once again, he was surprised by River's embrace, but this time he was knocked to the ground. Her arms were wrapped around him so tight, he thought she might never let go. But he was okay with that. "How could you possibly think that I would just let you go so easily?"
He lifted his arms to hold her even closer. "I couldn't tell if he was lying or not."
"What did he say?"
"He said that you willingly went with him. I didn't know how long I had been gone. What if it had been a year?" Worry was seeping into his tone.
River knew he was insecure, especially since she often flirted with other men, but she assumed he knew that it never meant anything. All her life she had only really loved one man, and she was in his arms as they spoke. "If it had been a year, I would have said the same thing. You're not always on time, but you always come. Whether it's been a month or a year, you always come."
The Doctor smiled. He hated the fact that he could never make it to a specific time, but that was something he couldn't control. After all, his big blue box had a mind of her own. But he knew she was right. "And I always will."
Once again, reviews are appreciated, as are suggestions. I'll get on that series soon! It'll be worth the wait.