Sing a Song of Souffles.
"Brilliant! You were BRILLIANT!" The Doctor beamed, pulling Clara into a tight hug and kissing her hair. Clara grinned back, and pushed him off her gently. "You weren't too bad yourself!" she replied, ruffling his hair, causing the Time Lord to pout like a petulant child and catch her hands in his own. "Enough of that!" he scolded before letting go of her to pat his jacket pockets, looking for his TARDIS key. "Where is it?" he muttered, checking every possible place it could be hidden (which was an awful lot, considering it was a "smart jacket." Usually they have no pockets but because it is the Doctor, naturally it had hundreds of hidden hidey holes for small objects.) Clara just giggled and held up the small silver object, causing an annoyed sigh to escape the Doctors lips. "I will never understand HOW you manage to do that!" he groaned as she opened the door and practically skipped inside. He just rolled his eyes and followed, soon smiling again because he just could not stay mad at his Clara.
"So, where too now miss?" he said with an elaborate bow in Claras direction. "Your wish is my command!" She smiled wider, leaning on the console, thinking for a moment. "I don't know Sir! If only i had a guide to all of time and space to recommend something amazing for me to see!" she gave a dramatic sigh, and turned round to look at him, smirking a little. He just returned her gaze, stepping a little closer, taking both her her hands in his. "Well, if you did, I'm sure he'd say"-
"Oooh, i'd suggest the meadows of Gozelot in the 17th millennia, that's rather nice." came a voice from the hall. Both turned to look, Clara ridiculously confused, and the Doctor rolling his eyes, and sighing. A figure walked out of the shadows of the corridor, and leant casually on the railings. "Or maybe shes more of history geek, in which case the Fourth of July in 1958 was a night to remember, wouldn't you agree sweetie?" Red lipsticked lips curled up in a self satisfied smile as the Doctor sighed. "Hello River."
Professor Song sauntered down the stairs and over to the pair, wearing a glamorous evening gown (where did she even get that many gowns from?! And why would she need them shes an archaeologist for gods sake!) wild hair as untameable as ever, and high heels clicking on the metal floor of the TARDIS. "Well aren't you going to introduce us?" She asked, smiling a little too sweetly at Clara, who looked at her, confused. "Doctor who is-"
"Professor River Song." The older woman said, holding out her hand for Clara to shake. She did so, and River noted, slightly self satisfactorily, that in doing so, the young brunette had been forced to release her husbands hands. "Clara Oswald." She replied, "I'm sorry what are y-"
"I'm the Doctors wife." River interrupted again, before releasing Claras hand and turning to her husband, glad to see that he looked like he was internally kicking himself, and that his pretty little companion looked as though she'd just had the London Eye dropped on her head. "Did he forget to mention?" She gasped, obviously knowing that he wouldn't mention it. Why would he?! It wasn't as if the had a conventional marriage. But they were husband and wife nonetheless. Clara blinked a couple of times and let this information sink in. She looked to the Doctor for confirmation, and a single glance in his eyes told her everything she needed to know. "Right then," she said quietly, still a little shocked, "I'll um... give you guys some space... looks like you need a little time to um... yeah." And with that she brushed past the Doctor and disappeared down the hallway. The Doctor covered his face with his hands, took a dooe breath and looked River dead in the eye. "How did you even get in here?" he asked, voice a little clipped with irritation.
"Good to see you too darling!" She simpered, walking around the console, hand trailing over the various instruments that drove the ship.
"A little forewarning next time would be nice." He huffed crossing his arms over his chest. Clara was probably angry at him now. Brilliant. And he now has a lot of explaining to do.
River guessed his line of thought and merely smirked, coming to stand in front of him, looking up at her husband. "But where is the fun in that?" she teased, "And anyway, when one's husband is off with a pretty young thing seeing wonders of the universe, one has to take it upon themselves to do something spontaneous or i may just lose my husband to a teenager."
"Clara is not a teenager she's a perfectly mature adult! River, why have you come here? You never just 'Drop by' so what kind of trouble are you in now?" he asked, arms still crossed defiantly. Once he might have fallen for her fluttering eyelashes and playful smirks but she had just been rude to his companion, and seemed to have shown up out of the blue, with no other purpose than to get him in trouble. He'd been having such a good day as well (he and Clara had stopped a passenger liner from crash landing into the ocean and causing a tidal wave that would have sunk most of Japan in the year 4520 and had been thanked with unlimited turns on the ships waterslide and free sushi) and he didn't want it ruined. But now Clara was upset, River was overly confident (and now clingy it would seem) and the Doctor.. well he was annoyed now.
River just ignored his inner turmoil and held his steely gaze, with a look that would make any human man cower in his boots. "I know I told you not to travel alone but this is ridiculous Doctor." she hissed. "Imagine how it feels to be excavating the Temple of the Old Gods in Ahkaten, studying their murals, just to find out that they were based on stories of a "courageous Doctor, and his beautiful companion Clara". Well, even if I managed to brush that off, I still did a little digging around and it turns out you apparently spent years in isolation thinking about her? Painted pictures of her? Raced to her side from 1207 without even a moments hesitation even when she didn't ask? How long did I wait for you, where are my paintings. I'm sorry if you think I'm being a bit petty but I don't even remember a gentle kiss after I witnessed my own parents death. I needed you, i really did, and then i find out you're off pining after some pretty little brunette, and showing her the wonders of the universe."
River had become more and more agitated as she continued, and the Doctor was getting more and more annoyed. Eventually he just cut in, saying "River, excuse me if I'm wrong but I believe you were the one who rejected the offer to travel with me. Were you hoping i'd pick up another married couple? Hoping it'd be a little gang all over again? Well I'm sorry to disappoint you River but it had to be Clara. No-one else." He took hold of Rivers arms, in a firm grip. He had to explain. She wouldn't like it one bit, but she had a right to know. "When i married you, it was an act of desperation in a parallel world, in an attempt to save the universe. I'm sorry, but I am not in love with you. I love you, yes, but in the same way I loved Amy and Rory. You're their daughter, you're like family to me. If there'd been any other way i'd probably not have married you, im sorry but it's true."
He took a deep breath, letting her take in what he said, and loosened his grip. "But Clara," he continued, "Something about her.. the way she just was so comfortable talking to me about that snowman, called me silly, chased me, tested me, made me smile after so so long... I lost her River, and it killed me. It really did. In so little time she became so much and i let her die. But the universe gave her back to me. They gave me back my impossible girl. And River she'd the reason I'm here today. If i hadn't have found her i'd me moping on a cloud in Victorian London. Is that the life you wanted for me?" His eyes pleaded her to understand. River was his friend, a good friend, a sister and he needed her, but she needed to accept Clara too. The TARDIS was already rejecting her and if River rejected her too then he didn't know what to do. He felt as though he was being torn between his past and future, being forced to choose between his friends and Clara and it was tearing him apart.
River saw this despair in his eyes, and sighed. Shrugging his hands off of her, she strode away, and down the hallway, leaving him a little bemused, but he dared not follow, as he had a feeling he knew where she was headed next.
Meanwhile, Clara had found herself in the library on her favourite chair, trying to ignore the fact that the Doctor was up there with his wife doing god knows what. She was heartbroken, and utterly humiliated. Over the course of their time together, she had allowed him to enter her heart the way no other man ever had, and she utterly adored him. His childish quirks, his vibrancy and joy in everything, but also his darker, brooding side that was covering the years and years of sadness and grief. She had even begun to think that maybe he had started to return her feelings, but now she knew it could never be. He was married. Married. And he'd kept it from her. Bloody fantastic.
She heard the sound of footsteps nearby and sighed. "Leave me alone, in reading." she called out. "That's funny." River quipped, turning into view, "because usually when a person is reading, they have a book open. And by the looks of things, you don't."
Clara looked up, and met the eyes of the woman she wanted to be. What she wouldn't give to be the one the Doctor wanted to spend his life with. But alas, it seemed that this River woman had taken that spot long before Clara had showed up. She sighed and stood up, composing herself. "Hello." She said quietly, not really knowing what to say.
"Clara, isn't it?" River asked, and the younger girl nodded. "Well, Clara, I'm leaving for a bit. I just wanted to say thank you. You've looked after him wonderfully, and I'm sorry for being so rude earlier. It was totally uncalled for and I hope you will forgive me."
Clara merely nodded, realising what these words were. They were her dismissal. She wasn't needed anymore, the Doctor had his love back. She wouldn't let any tears fall. She wouldn't cry. Instead she smiled. The Doctor was going to be happy, he had his wife back, and trusting by her display earlier, she was fiercely protective of him, so chances are he'd be relatively safe at least. So though she could feel her heart breaking, she grinned. "Thank you." She said, holding her hand out for River to shake.
River, having not heard any of Claras internal monologue, was a tad confused. She had heard that this was a feisty, quirky young girl, who no-one could quite work out but right now she was being downright confusing. She shook her hand, eyeing her a little warily. "You're welcome, I guess."
Clara was pleased. She'd made peace with River, and could leave with no hard feelings. She didn't want to cause her Chin boy pain.
She turned to leave but just had one more thought that she felt she could share with River. "Um, I don't suppose that you could convince your husband to dress his age could you? Never really understood why he feels the need to dress like an eighty year old man..." she laughed, and River could only roll her eyes. "I know!Isn't it irritating? Try to go somewhere nice, and he's wearing tweed! Maturity of a twelve year old, and the clothes of a pensioner. What shall we do with him?" Clara gigged, "How about we hold his bow tie hostage until he wears something decent?" she suggested, and River just laughed. Maybe this was why the Doctor liked this girl. She could bring out anyones playful side.
Clara laughed with her, before taking deep breath, her former sadness threatening as she remembered what she had to do now. "Right. i'd better be off! Goodbye!" she waved as she turned to leave, and River just smiled after her. Maybe the Doctor was right. Maybe the Universe had given him a companion to keep. Maybe, just maybe, she would be the one to save him.