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Song: Set Apart This Dream (Flyleaf) Suggested by: a kiss of winter

Finally, the Doctor thought, stepping out of the TARDIS, A nice, simple trip. For him, the past few weeks had been filled with a lot of running, as usual. Several times he had stopped at some seemingly unassuming planet only to be dragged into the affairs of its inhabitants, as they were often terrorized by some invading alien force. However, he had done his research this time. He'd found the most unassuming, safe planet he had ever seen.

This planet was small, inhabited by a humble, human-like people ruled by a friendly monarchy that had been set in place centuries ago. Contrary to what would be assumed, they had never seen any sort of rebellion. There had always been peaceful harmony here. It was perfect.

Still, the Doctor opened the door just a crack, glancing around before actually setting foot on the planet. After his last several trips, he had learned that not all planets were as peaceful as they seemed. However, upon seeing nothing threatening, he stepped out. All around him were tiny cottages, the inhabitants of which were walking around from shop to shop, buying this, selling that. The whole kingdom was alive with activity. And straight ahead he could see the castle that housed the royalty, standing just a few hundred meters away.

After receiving many warm smiles from the subjects who were milling around, the Doctor gave a sigh of relief, allowing himself to let go of his tension. He was now completely confident that nothing could go wrong. So, he began to wander from shop to shop, seeing everything the little village had to offer. But once he reached the blacksmith's shop, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to find two knights in full armor. "Hello!" he said cheerfully, unable to accept that anything was wrong.

"We're going to need you to come with us," the first guard answered stoically, his hand still gripping the Doctor's shoulder.

"Well, where are we going?" he asked with all the enthusiasm of someone being told they had just won a free vacation.

"To the castle," the second, shorter guard answered. "The princess has requested to see you immediately."

"The princess?" the Doctor asked, confused. "I thought the king only had a son."

"It was all very recent," said the shorter guard. "Just two days ago this strange woman showed up claiming to be the king's daughter. We were all very suspicious at first, but she convinced the king, so that's good enough for us."

The Doctor's eyes narrowed. "This woman, what did she look like?"

"She was beautiful, with curly blonde hair."

"Of course she was," the Doctor muttered, not sure whether to be impressed, annoyed, or anxious. "Well then," he sighed, "take me to your leader." He couldn't resist chuckling any time he got the opportunity to say this.

When they reached the castle, the guards led him into a large sitting room adorned with white furniture with gold accents. They instructed him to sit in one of the two large chairs that were seated across from each other. "The princess will be with you shortly," the taller one said, both of them moving away to guard the door.

Sure enough, in just seconds they could hear the clacking of heels on the stone floor outside. The guards opened the door, and in walked River Song.

"Hello Sw- I mean, Your Majesty," the Doctor greeted her, standing and giving an exaggerated bow.

"You may sit," was her only reply. He did so, and she sat in the chair across from him.

"How did you do it?" he whispered so that the guards wouldn't hear.

She smirked. "I always carry hallucinogenic lipstick in case of opportunities like this."

"Of course," he nodded. "But why?"

"Why would I pose as royalty?" she asked sarcastically. "There are too many reasons to count."

"Okay, then give me one."

The smile she responded with was devious. He gulped. There was no way anything good could come from a smile like that. "Well," she began, standing up now, "for one thing, it's always been a dream of mine. And for another, as long as you're in my kingdom, you have to follow my rules."

He rose to his feet slowly. "And what exactly do you want to do with that power?" He braced himself, not sure he wanted to hear the answer.

"Well, first things first: you haven't told me hello yet."

This wasn't even close to any answer he could have imagined. "Wait, what? But… I did. Right when you walked in, remember?"

"Oh Sweetie," she said, almost patronizingly, "have you forgotten how we say hello?"

He glanced over at the guards, who were intently watching the whole conversation take place from the corners of their eyes. "Now?" he whispered, blushing. "Here?"

She laughed. "Of course, dear, don't be silly."

With an uneasy shrug, the Doctor pecked a quick kiss on her lips. "There. And is there anything else I can do, Your Majesty?" he asked sarcastically, his face still red.

"Well, for one thing, I'm sure you can do better than that."

This time the Doctor smiled, as he always loved when she said things like that. So this time, he cupped a hand to her cheek and kissed her lovingly, as he always did when they said hello. "How was that?" he asked. "Suitable for a princess?"

She scoffed. "Suitable for a professor of archaeology, maybe. But you'll have to do better than that for a princess." She emphasized the word, batting her eyelashes a little for good measure.

He noticed that there was a large couch just a bit behind where they were now standing. "How's this?" he asked, picking her up in his arms and falling onto the couch as he kissed her.

"So far, so good," she laughed.

He positioned himself now so that he was straddling her. "Well just give me another command, Your Majesty."

Something about the way he was on top of the princess must have seemed threatening to the guards, because now they walked over with concerned expressions, swords drawn. "Your Majesty, if this man is bothering you, we can take care of him," the taller guard said, angling his sword towards the Doctor's neck.

Now it was River's turn to blush. She cleared her throat and said, "No, no, I think he can probably stay. You two are dismissed to go about your usual duties. I think I'll be fine for now." The two of them eyed the Doctor suspiciously, but nodded, sheathed their swords, and left. "Now I remember why I don't do this often," River said once the guards had gone. "Princesses get no privacy."

"I don't blame them," the Doctor chuckled. "A man falls from the sky in a blue box and then proceeds to kiss the princess. I'd be suspicious too."

All of a sudden, there came the sound of stomping in the hallway. Seconds later, the door was slammed open. The king, a usually calm man, stood just inside the doorway, fuming. The guards, who stood behind him, must have mentioned the nature of this mysterious man's meeting with the princess. "You get your hands off of her this instant!" he bellowed, causing them both to jump to their feet.

The Doctor held up his hands in a sign of peace. "Your Highness, there has been a terrible misunderstanding. You see, the thing is-" He never finished his train of thought. At this point, he grabbed River's hand and took off running, pursued by the others.

"One day! I just wanted one day without running or danger!" he called to her between elevated breaths.

"But you have to admit that was fun," she answered. "It's just like I dreamed."

"You dreamed I would push you into a couch?"

"Oh, many times," she laughed, panting, "but we're usually not chased out."

"Consider that a bonus."

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