Prompt:Someone among my online friends wrote something commenting that depending on how you describe the movie, you might think the person was watching "The Runaway Bride" instead. So... rewrite TRB or somehow combine the two. I don't care as long as it ends up Doctor/Donna. I can even tolerate some Doctor/Rose stuff, given what I understand about TDB. :)
Disclaimer: I own a copy of The Decoy Bride DVD; does that count?
A/N: Written for the doctor_donna (Not So) Secret Santa ficathon as a Christmas gift for tkel_paris. After health setbacks I'm slowly getting there, love!
A/N2: having only heard of Irving Braxiatel via fanfiction instead of the Doctor Who published stories, I am well aware I am probably stomping all over canon. Since when did I let that bother me?
River Song crept up to the hooded figure, and whispered, "Tell him to choose somewhere other than here."
The recipient cast his eyes along the dimly lit ancient corridor that they stood in, looking for possible eavesdroppers as the flames of the nearby torches cast long shadows. "Where shall I suggest, my Lady? For I have no notion of where to point him."
River had a ready answer for this, and was pleased with his response. "Tell my Lord that there is a small planet called Earth we can go to. That should please his senses," she said with a knowing smirk.
"Indeed he does know of such a place. He has often related stories of it in the past." Her companion joined her glee at such irony. "May I inform him that this is your wish?"
"No, I want it to be a complete surprise for him, Braxiatel," she informed him, and then laughed. "Spoilers!" She then patted his cheek patronisingly and sauntered off to complete her own plans.
The twin suns beat down upon the Citadel, showing it in all its glory; but the Time Lord known generally as the Doctor did not see any of that. All he was aware of was the mutterings of the people around him. There was so much to do, with the catering, the ceremony, and rehearsals for each ritual involved. Almost too much, considering the importance placed upon this upcoming wedding. His fears would not have concerned him if he wasn't deeply involved in the outcome. Everything depended upon this union of Houses.
Except the fuss such a connection between Houses was causing created all sorts of problems, and he hadn't wanted much of a do in the first place. He had wanted an extremely quiet wedding with his chosen bride, since he felt the ritualised ceremony should not become a circus.
His brother appeared by his side, having removed his hood, offering silent comfort as they stood looking out onto the lush landscape. "Why don't you have the wedding somewhere less… public, Thete?" he suggested.
"Like where, Brax?" the Doctor wondered. "Everywhere we go there will be people wanting to see."
"You sound a bit down for a man who's about to marry the love of his life," Braxiatel jested.
The Doctor sighed. "I'm sure I'll love her in time. It is my destiny to marry her after all."
Braxiatel wasn't wholly convinced. "Doesn't sound like a brilliant reason to me."
"Well, you don't have the honour of our House resting on your shoulders in this matter," the Doctor countered.
"Duty," Braxiatel sighed, and they shared a compassionate shrug. "But you are lucky to have such a woman as River Song."
"I am indeed," the Doctor heartily agreed.
"It would be even better for your nuptials in such circumstances if you were well away from prying eyes of the city." They stood contemplating this for some seconds, and then his brother suddenly burst out the suggestion, "How about a little planetary backwater I know, called Earth?" Seeing the disbelief on his brother's face, Braxiatel added, "Nobody ever goes there; it's far too primitive for their fancy tastes. And I hear it can be beautiful."
A smile stretched over the Doctor's face, and he slapped his brother on the shoulder in delight. "Splendid idea! Let's see if we can make the necessary arrangements in time."
The Doctor stood on a deserted London street in the early hours of the morning and sneered in disgust. "Is this what they class as civilisation?" he wondered out loud. "It all looks very primitive."
"Don't be so xenophobic," his brother warned playfully. "According to one of your books, this planet can be very welcoming."
"I said that?" the Doctor asked in disbelief. "I wonder where I got that idea from?"
"Some lame academic, no doubt. How do you fancy finding a cup of tea?" Braxiatel asked.
"They do tea here?! If they also serve biscuits with it, I shall learn to love this place," the Doctor retorted, not expecting anything of the sort to happen.
"In that case, I suggest we find a friendly native and discover the local hospitality," Braxiatel suggested; and led them towards the nearest collection of humans during what was commonly known as the early twenty-first century.
In next to no time they were caught by the interested attention of one Wilfred Mott, a long term newspaper seller and purveyor.
"And what can I do for you two fine gentlemen?" Wilfred Mott enquired when two strangely dressed men appeared in front of his newspaper stand. He rubbed his old gnarled hands together in glee, and to keep himself warm in the chill wintery sun. His fingerless gloves tried their best to do so, but there is a limit to everything.
Braxiatel approached Wilf first, since as the elder of the two it was his place to. "Good day, my fine upstanding man. Would you be so kind as to direct us towards an establishment that serves a decent cup of tea?"
"Now you're talking. Hmm, where around here serves decent tea?" Wilf pondered as he considered them. "Don't touch that muck they call tea in McDonalds, whatever you do. No, what you want to do is get yourselves down to the café on the corner of Entwhistle Street and Clarindon Road, three doors along from the Three Penny Laundromat. Do you know it?"
"I am afraid not, my good fellow," Braxiatel politely replied.
"Oh it's easy to find. You can't miss it," Wilf encouraged them, pointing down the street. "You see that green car up on the corner? Turn right there and you'll see it as a clear as day." Wilf then indignantly protested when the man tried to place a coin in his hand, "Here, what are you playing at?!"
"I am merely rewarding your helpfulness," Braxiatel answered.
"Well you can keep your money," Wilf insisted, and pressed the coin back into his hand. "Advice is always free; but you can buy a newspaper if you like."
They exchanged a glance, and then Braxiatel said formally, "Very well." He picked up the nearest newspaper and handed over the coin.
"That'll do nicely," Wilf remarked cheerfully.
"Good day to you," Braxiatel chimed with the Doctor.
"And to you," Wilf answered, briefly saluting them by tipping two fingers to his woolly hat. He then watched the two gentlemen adjust their leather gloves and almost march down the road towards the café he had directed them to.
"Splendid tea," Braxiatel commented as he sipped his chosen beverage.
"Most refreshing," agreed the Doctor. "How will we choose where exactly the wedding ceremony will take place?"
Braxiatel considered his answer carefully. "Perhaps we can ask another local native? So far they have been most accommodating."
"Quite so." The Doctor peered out the large shop window onto the street before them. "I suggest you find such a friendly native while I peruse the locale. I have a fancy for finding a suitable gift for my betrothed before we leave this destination."
They nodded their agreement to this plan.
The busy street was unlike any planetry market he had visited in the past. It was unusual to see goods being offered for sale behind plates of glass and he was curious to find out why this was the case here. One particular shop window held a display of intriguing items that he felt inclined to investigate further. Deep in thought, he wondered if his betrothed would find such primitive designs pleasing or disgusting; so he flung open the door with an embarrassed air more than arrogance. What he had not expected was for there to be a female member of the species standing on the other side of his obscured vision.
There was a scream of shock and pain before an irate ginger haired woman scowled at him. "Look what you've done!" she angrily hissed at him. "You've knocked my coffee all down my front!"
The evidence of this accident was all too clear, and was spreading all over her coat in a rather messy stain.
"Oh, I do apologise," the Doctor stammered, and grabbed some nearby paper serviettes off a counter to mop up some of the spillage.
"What the hell are you playing at?! Get your mitts off me!" she yelled as she staggered back from him.
"Do be careful," he warned, seeing her becoming unbalanced and fearing she would end up sprawled on the floor. In an effort to stop such a thing happening, he immediately took hold of her waist and held on tight.
"Hands!" she cried out, and slapped away his grasp on her hips.
"Please forgive me, miss. I meant no harm, but merely to assist you," he stammered out as he tried to dismiss his hurt pride.
"Miss?! Do I look single to you?" she instantly wondered, to his surprise, and shook the wet coffee remnants off her hands. "No harm done, I suppose; although this coat is probably ruined."
"Let me recompense you," he immediately offered, and dove into his inner coat pocket to seek out his wallet.
"I don't want your money, so there's no need to flash it about like that," the ginger vision before him remarked as she dabbed desperately at the coffee stain again. "Just promise me you'll be more careful next time how you walk into a shop." She then turned to call out to someone behind her in the shop, "See you later!"
With a tsk in the Doctor's direction, she pushed passed him and left him standing feeling chastised. He tried glancing over the items in the shop after that, but his enthusiasm had gone for the task and he soon left empty-handed.
Braxiatel recognised the Gallifreyans who appeared on the pavement near him almost immediately. Their scent gave them instantly away as being nonhuman. Drat! This secret wedding was in danger of being not so secret after all. What he needed was a way to detour them; lead them nicely astray for a few hours if he couldn't manage a few days.
Casting his anxious gaze around the vicinity, he caught sight of the old newspaper seller again. The fellow had been most accommodating earlier in the day. Would he know the answer to this possible problem? All he needed was some extra time before River turned up for the actual wedding, and after that it wouldn't matter. The necessary deed would be done.
With a renewed determined air, Braxiatel approached Wilf to ensconce him in an informative conversation.
River Song materialised in London mere seconds later. She absolutely loved this place: the location, the time, the whole connection it had to her family. When she had originally read the tales the Doctor had written about the place she had just known she had had to meet him in person. When the opportunity had come up to join Houses with him, the choice had been reflexive in her case. She knew she had wanted to marry him as soon as the idea had been raised. How could such a marriage fail when they shared such a basic love? Any other love would naturally follow, logic told her; and she was already intensely fond of him.
She trusted Braxiatel to set up the wedding scene. All she wanted was to be married in this place that she had grown to love so much. It was a dream come true. The ceremony was arranged, the groom had arrived, and there were a few last minute details to sort out; that was all.
With a happy sigh, she thought about the robes she had chosen to wear for her nuptials. They were a cross between the Gallifreyan formal robes worn for any ritual, and the local custom of wearing a veiled headdress and a long white dress. The overall effect was beautiful, and she couldn't wait to wear it all for her future husband and House member.
That was when she spotted the Gallifreyans who had landed uninvited, and a curse passed her lips. Why had they shown up now? And why were they so interested in witnessing the ceremony? All she could contemplate was her irritation that her romantic ideal had been shattered. How dare they? How dare they crop up and take away the last vestige of privacy with this arrangement?!
Fuming, she stomped away in disgust.