A/N: Howdy! So, given the positive feedback I received when a possible LJ and River spin-off collection from my series The Lunar Cycle (The Hidden Lady of Time to The Beginning of a Family) was proposed, I have decided to write a series of collections for the Doctor and Evy's son LJ ('Little Jonathan' Ianto Smith, on Earth, Sigma to his parents) and his best friend River Song. I would recommend reading The Lunar Cycle to understand some of the references that will pop up throughout this collection, to understand the relationship between LJ and River.
~8~ is a scene break
Imagine LJ to look something like James McAvoy, but with slight differences, to be described in this chapter.
I'm not entirely sure when I will be able to update this story as it will be mostly original chapters, but I am going to try for, at the very least, twice a month. If anyone has suggestions or ideas for adventures or moments they'd like to see played out between LJ and River (that fit with my canon) just drop a review and I'll consider them for chapters :)
Disclaimer…I do not own Doctor Who. If I did, LJ would be real!
River Song sat before a desk of the Luna University, in the year 5123, having just come from Berlin on the eve of war and a rather traumatic experience involving two very important Time Lords. She glanced up at the Earth through the domed glass ceiling before turning her attention to the old man walking towards her, "So then, tell me, why do you want to study archaeology?"
She smiled, "Well to be perfectly honest professor, I'm looking for a good man and a rather impossible woman," she held her TARDIS themed diary tightly in her hands.
The man chuckled, "Aren't we all," he looked down at the papers in his hands, "Well, everything seems to be in order. Welcome to Luna University Miss Song..."
"River," she corrected quickly, "Just River's fine."
The man nodded and stood, looking around the room before calling out, "Oi! You there," River looked over her shoulder as a young man looked up from where he was organizing files to point at himself, "Yes you," the man laughed, "Would you be so kind as to show Miss...River," he corrected, "Around our fine establishment?"
The young man nodded as River stood, smiling, clutching the diary, ready to begin her studies. She walked over to the young man, taking a moment to study him the closer she came. He was tall, with a slightly muscular build, features just a hair away from being chiseled, and brown hair that stuck up a bit. She noticed that he had light blue eyes and a slightly button-like nose that should have been out of place on such a masculine face but seemed to work. He was dressed in baggy blue jeans and a simple long-sleeved red shirt.
He straightened up as she came closer, his hands in his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels as he waited. He nodded towards the door and turned, leading her out, "So," he began as they wandered through the halls, "You're Miss River?" he grinned cheekily.
"River Song actually…" she began, when he snorted and she glared at him, "And what's wrong with that?!"
"Sorry," he tried to sober himself, but just laughed, "But…River? Seriously? Were your parents hippies or something?"
"It's just…River Song? Don't get too many of those do you? Or did you make it up? You made it up, didn't you? You're like a secret agent, aren't you? What, is River Song a codename based on your real one? Are you really Harmony Brooks?" she gave him an unimpressed look, "No…Jingle Mist?" then glared at him, "Ok…definitely not. Oh, I know, Melody Pond!" he grinned widely, but slowed and turned when he noticed River had suddenly stopped dead behind him, a look of shock on her face. He smirked to himself before laughing, "No, can't be that either. Don't worry Riv, you actually look like a River to me."
She blinked, her shock fading with his laughter, "No…" she said, cautious now, "Definitely not a secret agent."
He shrugged, "Oh well, I just sort of guessed that because you look interesting."
She started walking again, "Do I?"
He nodded, "Oh yeah! What are you here for anyway? What's your major? I bet it's something fantastic like…"
He stopped this time, "You're kidding me. Please, tell me you're joking."
She frowned, "No. I'm here to become a doctor, maybe even a professor, of Archaeology. Why? What's the matter with Archaeology?"
"Nothing," he said quickly, too quickly if the narrow-eyed look she was giving him was anything to go by, "Nothing at all."
Her gaze narrowed more, "Got a problem with archaeologists?"
"Not me, no," he shook his head, starting to walk again, quickly.
"Then what was with that look?!" she ran after him.
"Nothing. Really Riv," he stopped to look at her, "Nothing. It's just…my parents…they um…they don't think much of Archaeology. My dad likes to point and laugh at archaeologists," he paused to think, "And then mum tends to smack him upside the head for it."
"I like your mum," River smirked.
He smirked as well, "So does dad."
River shook her head, the two of them continuing on, "So, if your parents are 'against' Archaeology, what are you here for?"
"Seriously?" she eyed him.
He nodded, "Oh yeah. I think it's fascinating to see what the latest theories on time travel are. I mean, you've got that Time Agency, with their silly little Vortex Manipulators, jumping all over the place. My godfather's actually a Time Agent, well, I say he is, but technically I think he retired…or went rogue…something like that. My mum actually managed to make a Vortex Manipulator of her own, but I think dad accidently broke it, he does that a lot, break things. Mum used to tell me about this toaster he tried to…" he cleared his throat, seeing her eyeing him oddly and realized he'd been rambling, "Anyway, I think it'd be interesting to know the science behind it eh?" he grinned.
"So you want to be a Time Agent then?"
He grimaced, "Oh God no! Can you imagine? Travelling around the Universe with those little…space hoppers. It's just embarrassing," River laughed, "No way, no. I want to travel the Universe in an actual time machine."
River shook her head, "And how are you going to do that? Build one out of spare parts? Yeah, they've probably got a manual in the library for that."
He laughed at her sarcasm, "Oh no, don't you know? Manuals are rubbish, at least that's what dad always says. He tends to disagree with them and then they end up getting thrown away. But it's alright, mum's pretty good at fixing things that dad breaks anyway…well, except that toaster. Besides! Everyone knows the best time machines are grown, not built."
"And who told you that?" she asked, unable to help thinking about the TARDIS, what she'd learned about it.
"My parents!" he beamed, "They're quite the experts on the subject."
"I'm sure they are," she nodded her head skeptically, his parents sounded like nutters…well, his father did at least. His mother must be a saint to put up with him.
"Speaking of subjects," he skillfully changed the topic, "Do you think we'll have any classes together?"
She eyed him, "Why do you ask?"
"Well, my mum always said that if you can make one truly good and lasting friendship in your life, you're doing amazing," he rubbed the back of his neck, "That's actually why I applied here. Dad and I think the Quantum Physics program is complete rubbish, but…I just had a feeling that I'd make that sort of friendship, find that sort of friend, if I came here."
River blinked, sensing something in his words, "And you think that might be me?"
He shrugged, "Only one way to find out eh?"
"I doubt it," River shook her head, starting to fear a little bit for the man's sanity, they'd only just met and he saw them being lifelong friends, "I'm in the Archaeology program, you're in Quantum Physics…I don't think they overlap very much."
"Ah, but my minor does."
"And what's your minor?"
"History of course! I can't go whizzing about time and space without knowing the history I'm about to land in can I? What if I change something that's supposed to happen and end up altering the fate of the human race?! What if I…accidently step on a butterfly or something?"
River laughed, "How on Earth would stepping on a butterfly change history?"
"I haven't the faintest," he remarked promptly, "But what if it did? I'd need to be prepared. Mum says you should always have a backup plan."
She nodded, "Your mum sounds very smart."
She considered it, "I suppose we will see each other around then."
"Good," he smiled, "I'm glad Riv."
She stopped, "Why do you keep calling me that?"
"Yes. My name's RIVER, not Riv."
He shrugged, "I can't give my best friend a nickname?"
"I'm not your best friend."
"Says you," he smirked.
She rolled her eyes, "I've known you for five minutes!"
"So?" he asked, "First impressions are made in the first ten seconds."
"And you think, from your first ten seconds with me, that I'll be your best friend?"
"I know it," he gave a sly smile.
"And I know you're completely mad."
"Runs in the family I suppose. I mean my mum's pretty sane, dad's a madman though, sort of balance each other out they do."
"Funny…" she eyed him, thinking of how she'd been raised, what she'd been raised to be, "Seems to run in mine as well."
"See!" he beamed, "We're two peas in a pod, you and I."
"Sure," she patted his shoulder jokingly.
"Oh come on Riv," he smirked as she glared at him for calling her that, "Give us a chance yeah? You never know, we might end up best friends. Oh!" he suddenly cheered, making her jump, "We can partner up in History! We can help each other with our assignments and homework and projects and preparing for tests and when we graduate, probably at the same time, we can go off and travel in time! I'll 'build' my time machine and you can control where we go! Just imagine, not having to dig through history but see it actually happen right before your eyes. What a team eh? You pick the place and I get us there. Space and Time, I'll be Space and you be Time, ours to see. Spaceman and Timegirl we'll be. Best friends, travelling the stars, seeing the Universe turn in front of us, seeing time unfold before our very eyes! We'll…"
His mouth was suddenly covered by River's hand, "Do you EVER stop talking?" she asked him, though she was smiling.
Any other person would have probably been severely disturbed by what he was rattling off, all these plans that he was making, having only known someone mere minutes…but…she WANTED that. She wanted to see everything he was talking about, experience it. She wanted to have the sort of friendship where she could help someone and be helped in return, depend on someone, share those experiences and even those little everyday things. And here was this boy, whom she barely knew, offering just that.
He pulled her hand away from his mouth, grinning sheepishly, "Sorry. I get that from dad. The gob that wouldn't stop."
She laughed, shaking her head as she took her hand back, "How about this…" she trailed a moment, blinking, "What's your name again?"
He laughed, realizing he'd forgotten that this River hadn't met him before, "LJ. LJ Smith."
She nodded, "Well, LJ, how about we finish the tour and then you can ramble all you want about these adventures we'll have during lunch? How does that sound?"
He beamed, "Sounds like the start of a beautiful friendship Riv."
She rolled her eyes at the nickname, "We'll see."
LJ smiled as she turned and walked away, "YOU will," he said quietly, already knowing that the woman heading down the hall was his very best friend in the world as he was hers…or he would be, one day.
"Come on LJ!" she shouted.
He laughed and jogged down the hall after her.
A/N: This collection is going to be about River and LJ, probably focusing more on their time at Luna University, at least till after Series 7 is over because I have something planned for The Angels Take Manhattan that I don't want to spoil in this series. So far, my plan to begin this series is to do a small collection based on time, for example…the first chapter is First Impressions, the second might be something like Second Chances, the third…Third Time's The Charm or something similar, and so on. After that I might consider fleshing out the episodes with River in them as I mentioned that LJ was always lurking in the background, so I'd like to write a 'behind the scenes' version of the episodes based on him and what he's doing while River's facing Weeping Angels or the Silence and all. By the time I finish that, Series 7 should be done and I'll do some of their own adventures through time and space :)
This series is also going to explore how LJ and River built up the friendship they have by my The Graduation of River Song chapters. I hope you liked their (River's) first encounter. Cover to come :)