The prompt for this fic comes from Phoebe Cloud. It's a little shorter than usual, but I think it works well as a shorter story.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the nice people over at the BBC.

"No! Wait! Just stay still for one moment!" The Doctor twirled around as he attempted to control the madness around him.

"Something wrong, dear?" River smirked as she entered the room.

"Yes!" he said, motioning to the three young children that surrounded him. "I've tried at least ten times to put them to bed, but it's hopeless!" His desperation seemed thoroughly amusing to the four and five year olds that had now begun to sonic each other.

River just shook her head, laughing. "Aren't you the one who acts like a five year old nearly all the time?"

"But this is different! They won't listen to reason!"

She couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous expression of exasperation that now covered his face. It was difficult to resist the urge to tell him that this is how she always felt with him.

"River, it's not funny!" At this, he put on his classic pouty-child face, the one that River just couldn't ignore.

"Oh, fine, I guess I could do something. But you have to do something in return." Her face was sly now.


Perfect. "Even let me fly the TARDIS for a few months?"

His jaw dropped. "M-months? No, that's ridiculous, River!" She shrugged and turned to leave, so the Doctor piped up again. "Okay, fine, whatever. Just help me!"

"Okay, sweetie," she smiled deviously. "Rose, Amy, Rory!" The three children stopped immediately to stare up at her, Rose, the eldest with her big blue eyes, and Amy and Rory, the twins, with their clever green eyes. "I think that's enough playing with Daddy. Off to bed now!" At this, the three of them rushed off to their rooms at once. Meanwhile, the Doctor stood by gaping.

"How did you do that? I'd been trying for an hour! Wait… you didn't put them up to this, did you?"

She just gave another one of her devious smirks and shrugged. "I will neither confirm nor deny anything."

For a moment, all he could do was stammer in a mixture of confusion and surprise. When he was finally able to get out a coherent sentence, though, he said, "Was it really worth it? All that just to fly the TARDIS?"

She waved her hand dismissively. "Oh, no, not just that. You're very good with the kids, sweetie. I thought it might be nice to see them out of your control for once."

The Doctor rolled his eyes, smiling. Down the hall came the sounds of giggling and tiny footsteps, and both parents couldn't help but smile. "Well, shall we tuck them in together?" he asked, already over River's little trick.

She smiled and took his hand. "Gladly."

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