It's River's first wedding anniversary since her last kiss with the Doctor. She's not handling it well.
"She's in there," the sweating man waved at the bar. "She's crazy! Unfortunately, she's also a good shot."
"What set her off?"
"Hell if I know," the little man rubbed his bald pate. "She came in looking like she wanted to drown her sorrows, and next thing I know she's shooting shit out of my bar!"
The tall man patted him on the shoulder, "I'll see what I can do."
He walked into a smoking rubble of a bar. Tables were turned over, drinks spilled, bottles shattered, glass crunched under foot.
He found her sitting in the corner, back to the wall, a whining gun in one hand, and a half-empty bottle of Tequila in the other. From the evidence on the table it wasn't the first.
"River," he muttered calmingly.
She looked wired, her eyes electric, as dangerous as someone with nothing to lose. She shot at him. The bolt sizzled over his shoulder, close enough that he felt the heat of it sear past his neck. He felt the floor vibrate as something landed with a thud.
She shifted green eyes to him, sharp, cold, pitiless. Her hair looked demonic, flying every which way. She looked like the embodiment of Kali, goddess of death. She had a line of three hash marks on her arm. She calmly reached over and drew another beside the rest.
He looked up from her smooth, marked forearm and was horrified to see a tear slide down her cheek.
He felt his hair prickle and stand on end. She flicked a control on her gun with one long red fingernail, and shot a plasma burst at him, he instinctively twisted sideways on his hips, the fireball slid past him and blasted out the side wall.
"What the hell? River!" The blast wouldn't have killed him, but it would have hurt like hell. He turned back to see her throw the gun away and lift the bottle to her lips.
"I think you've had quite enough of that," he reached forward and wrenched the bottle out of her hand.
He suddenly found his face slammed into the table, his arm yanked up behind his back, and the bottle falling from numb fingers. He slid sideways out of the hold, spun and knocked her feet out from under her. She dragged him down and suddenly he was rolling on the ground over broken glass and shattered tables, abandon chairs shrieking as they were shoved aside.
It wasn't how he'd have preferred to wrestle with River, but there was no getting out of it. She was stronger than she looked, and she fought with the complete focused silence of a trained assassin. He dodged a knee, twisted out of a headlock, ducked a chop, and felt pain flair up his side as she broke a rib with her elbow.
"Dammit, River! That hurt!" He scrambled away, knowing he was alive only because she hadn't been trying to kill him.
He sat down in the wreckage, back against a table eight feet away, panting. She sat in the broken glass and puddles of liquid, shoulders hunched, boneless, wild hair hanging down in her face. She looked tired, drunk, and devastated.
"How much have you had to drink?" he asked. Fingers gingerly testing his ribs.
"Not nearly enough," she shook her head, her fluff of hair looking like a brillo pad with bits of woodchips clinging to it.
He looked around at the decimated bar. There appeared to be four tall aliens in watered silk suits lying around in various poses of "not getting up again." And the leg of another showed over the top of the rubble that had been the side wall. He'd have to get his crew in to clean it up. He turned back to her, and forgot them.
"So what is this all in aid of?"
She looked up at him, her green eyes were swimming with tears. He felt his heart squeeze with shock. She looked totally lost. "I want my husband!" she wailed. She hid her face in her knees, wrapping her arms around them, rocking tightly.
"Hey, hey, sweetie," he crawled over and patted her shoulder.
"Don't call me that, Jack!" she snarled, lashing at him.
He immediately backed up at the lethal look in her eye. Even drunk she was dangerous. Especially drunk.
"If you want him, why don't you just go get him?" he asked reasonably, carefully.
"Back to front," she muttered into her knees. He could hear her voice starting to slur.
She turned her head on her knees, resting her cheek on them, looking at him. "Today's our anniversary," she said calmly. Too calmly. She sounded broken. Defeated.
That was something River Song should never be. Defeated. Jack felt his heart beginning to pound.
"Congratulations," he forced himself to say clearly, ignoring the dread that was creeping over him. The floor felt hard, and his chest felt heavy. He cleared his throat. "How long have you been married?"
"247 years," she said softly, longingly, looking as if she was going to start crying again.
Jack felt tears beginning to burn at the back of his own eyes, he blinked them away. She didn't need him bawling on her neck. He cleared his throat again, "Is he...?"
Her eyes snapped to his. She saw the question there. "NO!" she jerked upright. Total rejection of the thought in her form.
He felt his spine slump with relief. He let out the breath he hadn't realized he was holding. "Then why...?" he waved a hand around the ruined bar.
She laid her forehead on her knees, closing her eyes, starting to look a little green around the gills. She was wavering.
"Last kiss," she mumbled into her knees.
"What?" Jack asked, frowning.
She turned her head to look at him. "We had our last kiss," she enunciated clearly, as if she was punishing herself by saying it aloud. "Timey Wimey. Back to front." She waved her hand angrily in the air, waving the idea away like she was swatting at swords. "He doesn't know me."
She buried her face in her knees, she pounded her forehead on her knees a couple of times, as if she was trying to pound the idea into her head, forcing herself to face it. "He doesn't know me..." She started shaking. She wrapped her arms so tight around her knees he thought she might internally combust from the pressure.
"I want my husband!" she wailed softly into her knees, almost inaudible, and yet screaming. He knew the words weren't for him. She sat, and shook, and rocked, growing tighter and tighter, stiller, and denser as if she was trying to prevent herself from moving, from going anywhere, from doing anything. From reaching out and taking what she needed.
He gritted his jaw. She looked like a little girl, lost, alone. Her own strong arms holding her, her back exposed, vulnerable. He reached behind him, then hit her in the head with a table leg. She slumped to the side, unconscious.
He tossed the leg aside angrily. "Timey Wimey, my ass!"
He reached down and scooped her up.
The Tardis was right where he remembered it being. In the century he'd waited for his Doctor to return, he'd charted every appearance of the Tardis. Every Doctor. Including the future ones. Then future ones.
He kicked at the Tardis door with one booted foot.
The door ripped open. "What do... Jack!" the voice changed from irritation to delight. Then to horror, "River!" He held his arms out instantly and Jack breathed a sigh of relief, he recognized her.
Jack dumped the woman in his arms. She was limply unconscious, covered in scratches and bits of glass, her hair matted and flecked with splinters of wood, and she smelled like a brewery.
The Doctor clutched her to him as if she was the most precious thing in the universe.
"What happened?" he asked, eyes wide. Staring down at his wife like he couldn't believe his eyes.
"Are you two married?" Jack asked, eyes narrowing, ready to snatch her back if this was the wrong Doctor.
"Yes!" the Doctor answered instantly. He shifted his grip and brushed her hair back from her face. Jack could see him cataloging her injuries, he noticed the hash marks on her arm and paled. He looked up at Jack, his face a question.
"Then, Happy Anniversary, Doctor," Jack said, leaving it to River to answer the questions or not, as she chose. He knew better than to stick his oar into this timey-wimey relationship. But his heart solidified. His face turned to stone. "And you had better love her like there's no tomorrow," he said, in deadly earnest.
The Doctor paled even further. "Spoilers?" he croaked softly, dreading the answer.
Jack looked down at the woman the Doctor was clutching to him. Even unconscious she seemed to have relaxed, breathing easier with her head tucked in the Doctor's neck. Jack reached out and ran a hand gently down her gritty hair. "No." He shook his head, feeling a pang of jealousy, but also a sense of wonder.
"But if you don't, you're a damned fool."