River and the Doctor's relationship is very timey-wimey. Sometimes she's the older in their relationship, sometimes he is. But one thing is for sure, it's always a surprise, and unexpectedly, full of hidden rewards...
The Doctor was alone in the Tardis, happily working on the console. He felt a hand grip his thigh.
He jumped up, hitting his head on the underside of the console and scrambled out, crabwalking sideways frantically away from that grasping hand.
He stared. “River!”
His curly haired wife grinned at him, her hand still on his thigh. “Hello, Sweetie.”
He hyperventilated and lay back down on the glass floor, puffing. “Don’t do that to me!”
Her hot hand petted his thigh. “Sorry, Sweetie, I couldn’t resist.”
“What are you doing here?” He was trying to ignore the feel of her hot little hand on his thigh. He swiveled his eyes down to her, looking her up and down, trying to gauge how old she was this time.
“Do I need a reason?” she asked archly. She’d switched to tracing scratchy little spirals on his leg with her fingernail. It was making his brain fizzle.
“Of course not, I just didn't expect you, that’s all.” Very deliberately, he sat up, captured her distracting hand, and placed a kiss on the back of it.
“Ooh, la! So genteel!” she gave him a coy sideways look and a flirt, wiggling those beautiful shoulders at him in her gray tank top.
Anything to move her hand, he wasn’t entirely sure the adrenaline pumping through his system was still from the surprise.
He stood up, pulling her up by the hand. He looked her over quickly and reset the Tardis safety systems. Obviously if she’d got in they weren’t working properly. He threw a gimlet look at his traitorous time machine then looked back down at his wife.
Sweatpants, clunky boots, sports bra and tank top, looking like she’d been digging ditches all morning, yet no less gorgeous for that. Very earthily attractive he admitted to himself.
“When are we for you?” he asked. Early he’d bet, she still had that challenging raw edge, that sense of testing him, and her place in his life.
She shrugged. “I decided to give the new security system at Stormcage a run for its money. This seemed like the obvious place to go to in case of problems.”
He smiled down at her. Early indeed. He bonked her affectionately on the nose. “Too right.” He kicked his toolbox under the console and turned back to her. “Have you had breakfast?” He liked it when he got to be the older one in their relationship. He liked taking care of her for a change. It made him feel all protective. Not that River had ever needed protecting. But it was nice. It made him feel every one of his mature years, but in a good way.
She grinned at him. “Do you have any cantaloupe?”
His heart pattered a bit. They’d gorged on cantaloupe during their memorable weeklong first honeymoon. “I’m sure I can find some.”
He reached out and grabbed her hot hand and pulled her along. She gripped back, and followed.
He’d held a lot of Companions hands over the years. He’d always needed a hand to hold onto. But no one else’s hand had ever fit his quite as well as hers did. When she was older, she tended to stand more by his side, as equals, fighting alongside him. When he was younger, she had been the one to grab his hand and drag him away from danger.
But he liked this time the best, when she was still young, still a bit unsure, holding tight, needing that reassurance, letting him, for just a little bit, lead.
Trusting him, when she was not one to trust anyone.
Her hot little hand, holding tight, his more-than-a-Companion.
He looked back at her, smiling.
She was staring at his bum.
He rolled his eyes. Some things never changed.