Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. If I did, then I would River wouldn't be stuck in a computer, she'd be out shooting his hats and helping him save the world.

A/N: (Feel free to skip my useless rambling) You all can thank another boring math class for this one! This has been sitting around in my brain gathering dust bunnies for a long time and I finally got around to writing it. It's basically pure fluff, with a touch of H/C goodness, not that much, though. Have fun and enjoy! Don't forget to leave a review :) You're free to muse about where in their timeline they are. I don't think I ever specified it. Could be old River/Youngish Doctor, could be old Doctor, young River...ah...you never know ;).

The Trials of Hairwashing


The last excursion to Ramos-13 had left River more than incapacitated. She hobbled on one broken ankle through the TARDIS halls to the bathroom, desperately needing a hot bath and a cup of tea. The only trouble was that one hand of hers was split open, and the other had a burn from a laser gun. Peachy. She limped into the bathroom and shut the door behind her, turning to stare at her hair in the mirror. Dejectedly, she tried to run one bandaged hand through it and winced. A burning, sharp pain needled from the palm of her hand down her arm. River huffed and took one limp curl between her fingers. How was she supposed to was her hair in this state? She miserably went to draw herself a hot bath, testing the water and bubbles with her mostly-less-hurt hand. As the tub filled she peeled off her mud-caked, blood-spattered clothes and then dipped a toe in the delicious, warm water. Hissing a bit, she lowered herself into the vanilla foam, a smile spreading across her face as she leaned back against the too-large, blue tub. Her eyes closed in quiet delight as the water lapped at her body, soaking away days' worth of grime, dried blood, and tense muscles. There was still the issue of her hair, however. That mop of now-limp, dirty curls that laid listlessly against her scalp. She sighed. There was no way she was going to be able to wash that. Had Amy been here, she would've had no qualms about asking for help, but she doubted the Doctor would be capable of tackling the untamed organism River called her hair.

She blinked when she heard the squeak of the door on hinges and her eyes snapped open. The Doctor's flustered voice echoed in the room. "Oh! River! Sorry! Thought you were in the other bathroom – I'll just-" the Doctor wrung his hands awkwardly and jerked a thumb behind him, unable to unglue his eyes from the sight of his wife in a tub.

River chuckled low in her throat, waving on bandaged hand, "It's fine, Sweetie, we're married, remember? Nothing you haven't seen before."

He swallowed and nodded, then, noticed her pensive expression and frowned. "River, what's wrong?"

"Hm?" She blinked, "Nothing."

"River…" his tone warned.

She huffed quietly, "It's not important, quite stupid really."

"Tell me anyway." He replied, walking over and while still trying to avert his eyes in that cute still-pretending-to-be-a-virgin way.

River sighed softly, "I…My hair's nasty and I can't wash it because of these." She held up her bandaged hands.

He looked visibly relieved, "Oh, is that it?"

River nodded.

The Doctor shrugged off his tweed. It fell with a rustle and pooled in a sepia stream at his feet. He then rolled up his sleeves and approached the tub. Kneeling, he gently guided her head to rest in the water. "Let me, then."


"Hush. Let me." He repeated. River felt tingles spread up her spine as she felt her scalp become soaked in the warm, soothing liquid and fingers carefully ran in her hair. Her eyes closed again as the Doctor raked gently through her curls, separating snarls until her hair was completely detangled and saturated with water. The snap of the shampoo bottle and the floral scent of roses echoed through the room, mingling with the traces of vanilla bubble bath that hung in the air. She hissed slightly at the shock of cold air as the Doctor lifted her head out of the water and slicked his fingers slowly through it, working up a gradual lather.

"Just relax, alright? I've done my fair share of hair-washing," he murmured as he felt her tense slightly. "You saved my life back there, this is the least I can do."

"Yes, especially since it's all your fault," River mumbled for the sake of banter and her own wounded pride.

"My fault?" He protested indignantly, though a laugh slipped through his lips. His fingertips massaged her scalp, sending delicious shivers to the tips of her toes. "May I remind you who flirted with the crown prince?"

River tried to grumble, but it came out more like a congenial hum as his nails scraped affectionately across the nape of her neck and behind her ears. "Darling, he flirted first, what was a girl supposed to do? And it's your fault you got jealous and had to threaten him to get him to stop."

"He was ogling my wife." the Doctor growled crossly, reaching for the sprayer and carefully rinsing out the lather and bubbles from her hair, fingers still loving her curls, tracing their curves, whispering over the tendrils on her neck.

River opened her eyes and caught up some bubbles from the bath on a fingertip, careful not to wet her bandage. She smeared them on his nose with her thumb, her eyes laughing, "Yes, well, I can't really blame him."

A smile curled on the corners of his lips. "Neither can I," he breathed. There was a momentary pause as they looked at each other before the Doctor remembered what he was in the bathroom to do and reached over to grab the blue conditioner bottle. He squirted some on his palm, emulsifying the product between his hands before massaging it into her hair. He seemed to pay attention to each and every individual curl as he wound them around his finger, tugging lightly. River let out a contented sigh, humming in appreciation. His fingertips caressed her scalp in all the right ways, causing relaxation to flood through her body and making her squirm all at the same time. River found herself not wanting him to stop. Too soon, however, he rinsed the condition her out and began to get up.

"Darling, don't you want to finish me off?" River lifted a brow at him as her eyes opened and she stared up at him, mostly Doctor blinked. River rolled her eyes. "You know- I'm your wife, naked in a bath…" she nudged him slightly.

Realization dawned in his eyes, "Guh. R-River…" She smirked up at him deviously and he huffed, "Must you turn everything into an innuendo."

"It's not an innuendo if we're married. And besides, Sweetie, I am an innuendo."

"Not quite, but I know a man who is."

"Ooh! I'd like to meet him, then."

"Dear Gallifrey, no. The Universe might implode." The Doctor replied, scratching his cheek and slipping on his jacket. "Dinner'll be ready soon. You've got three minutes to get dressed."

The corners of River's mouth twitched as the Doctor left. Oh, that was so close to the perfect sentence!