"Sweetie, the bowtie really doesn't go with that haircut, River grinned and bit her lip, her eyes bright as candy drops.

The Doctor blushed. All the way up past his hairline she was fascinated to see. His hair was almost completely gone. Just a short, thick, buzzcut pelt remained. It made him look very fascinatingly craggy. River tilted her head, considering.

"Oh, don't you start!" The Doctor rubbed his head, as if he still wasn't used to the lack of locks. He looked down, hunching a bit defensively, and she realized he really was embarrassed.

She sauntered up to him, tipped his chin up with one long fingernail. "Sorry about the scar," she said, and placed a soft kiss on the scar that reached a good few inches into his hairline.

He blushed again, even deeper. "Well, if you will insist on carrying handcuffs with you wherever you go..."

It was an old argument, and one he had no chance of winning. "Sweetie, it was either drop the handcuffs or fall off the ladder. It's not my fault you ducked and ran into my sword."

He rubbed a hand down his face, "Yes, well, if they hadn't made you an honorary Musketeer you wouldn't have been wearing one."

She grinned and leaned right into his face. "But I looked good in the uniform," she purred.

His eyes jumped to hers and gave her a very direct look. She gave him a very wide grin.

"Too bad about the handcuffs," she trailed a finger down the placket of his shirt reminiscently, "although the cravat..."

"Yes, well," he interrupted abruptly, clearing his throat. "Forget about the handcuffs."

She gave him a pouty lipped little moue, she flirted her eyes up at him through her lashes. His temperature rose several degrees.

Her eyes went up to his head. "So what did happen to your hair?" Considering the short furry cut, his wrinkled forehead, and his ears sticking out endearingly - "You look a bit like a gargoyle."


She laughed and ran a hand over the short furry crop, it was unexpectedly soft and pettable under her hand.

He jerked his head away. "I'll have you know, this was not my fault!" He pointed to his head. "We were running from a Drashig and fell into a gastric pond."

River pulled her hand back. "We?"

"Is that River?" came the unmistakable voice of her mother from the upper hallway.

River turned in dawning horror.

Amy and Rory trotted down the stairs.

The Doctor yelled desperately, "It's not my fault!"

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