River Song was not one who often spent time dressing up. More often than not, the Doctor would arrive on her world for a visit and find her still in the dusty clothes she'd been at the architectural dig in, leaning over some artifact and incorrectly guessing what it was. He often said it was "endearing", if a little dirty.
But tonight, no, tonight was a special night. Tonight, River emerged from the bedroom in a floor-length dark red opera dress with her hair piled on the top of her head.
"Are you sure this counts as an anniversary?" she asked. She stepped forward and straightened the tie on his new suit.
On the best of days, the Doctor was not a romantic. On the worst of days he would wax on about how very much he hated the idea of domesticity and with romance came the domestics. But sometimes, on very special occasions, he would do something like this.
"Well, we're hardly on the same timeline, are we?" he replied.
"That's never made you want to celebrate an anniversary before," she said, crossing her arms.
"And when was the last time I took you to dinner? Besides, you'll love it. Berrillum food is unlike any other world. Slices of light cut into pasta and sprinkled with Vercasian sugars." He smiled widely and, as it often did whenever he visited while he was older, it didn't quite reach his eyes.
River nodded, and then passed him to put a note on the plate of hot tea and lemon biscuits she'd left for her usual Saturday visitor. Jenny, the Doctor's daughter, had visited often, occasionally making River's home her port of call. The Doctor hadn't mustered up the courage to speak to her. Not yet. But he would. River would convince him, someday, and they'd be a proper family, him and Jenny.
Out with your Dad for dinner. It's our anniversary, apparently. I'll bring you something back from Berillium. -R She placed the note delicately next to the ceramic teapot and picked up her handbag and journal before heading towards the TARDIS.
"If our anniversary only comes when I finish a journal," she said, "Then it's not quite our anniversary. I've got a page left."
"You can put tonight into it," he said. For a moment, the Doctor looked unbelievably sad. Sadder than she'd ever seen him. "Dinner and the Singing Towers. It'll be perfect."
"Perfect?" she asked, curious but not wanting to pry. "Willing to bet your life on that?"
He smiled then, small and tight. "Always."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 451