On Holiday ((Doctor, River, and Jenny))
River had managed to get two sides of the TARDIS at least standing up, but she was having a hard time shaping the sand for the other sides. It was braced against what she had built, but it kept slipping back down whenever she moved it. She looked up, squinting her eyes and smiled at Jenny. “Of course! Maybe you’ll have more luck getting those sides to not fall down continuously.” She moved over so Jenny could kneel with her if she wanted. “Have you ever made one of these sand sculpture things?”
She made careful shapes in the sand, trying to get the doors just right. Tilting her head didn’t seem to help make the doors any less lopsided. “This top just doesn’t look right,” River commented, frowning. “This is harder than it looked.” Taking a break, she glanced up and saw the Doctor handing over a bag of treats to some adorable children. She grinned as he came down to join them and brushed some of the wet sand off her fingers on his calf. “Oh, thank you!” River picked up a small plastic shovel and smoothed out her failed door, starting again.
“It’s just an excuse to be splashed,” River chuckled. “No cause for offense, just fun.” River finished making her door to the TARDIS straight and sat back, a smile of triumph on her face. Just to be cheeky, she drew a rough shape of a bow tie in the middle of the door. “What do you think?”
Down the beach, the little girls with their treats were making loud sounds of delight. River grinned to see them and went back to perfecting the light bulb on the top, but something else caught her attention. Up where they had parked the TARDIS, a figure covered from head to ground was standing very close to the ship, even going so far as to reach out and run their hand down the door handle. River sat up and gestured sharply with her head to the figure. “Who goes snooping around a police box in the middle of our vacation?”
Jenny smiled at her dad. “Well, teach me to listen and communicate and we can tackled the meringue together,” she offered cheerily.
She watched River work with the sand and saw how it really was terrible building material. “No,” she said, kneeling beside her, “I’ve never built one. I hope this isn’t supposed to be a very lasting structure…” she commented as she mimicked River and started to push the sand around with her bare hands.
She looked up at River when she looked away and followed her gaze to her father. She smiled, watching him hand the sweets to the children. He looked so happy. She wondered how he would have felt if she had walked out of The Machine as an older child and not a full adult. She lowered her head and continued to work the sand.
She pushed her earlier thoughts away and smiled with he returned with tools for them to use in the sand. “Have you ever built one of theses before, Dad? You can be our guiding architect.” She said. She looked back to the TARDIS for reference and frowned at the figure.
“I don’t know, River. Do you know them, Dad?”
“I’ve worked on the meringue for a few decades, I’m not sure I’ll ever get it, but we could have fun trying,” The Doctor said laughing and leaning his face up to the sky. “Well, as long as splashing is all in fun, dear.”
The Doctor grinned at her bow tie drawn in the middle of the TARDIS door. “Looks perfect. I have built dozens of sand castles. You girls don’t seem to need my help, you’re naturals.” He flicked some sand at Jenny. He waited for her to look up before crossing his eyes and sticking out his tongue. “Maybe we could see how you do at ice sculpture.”
The Doctor looked toward the TARDIS. “Nobody should be bothering with her at all. The perception filter keeps most people away. The people that do see her usually just ignore her.” He frowned as he tried to see the person touching the TARDIS better.
On Holiday ((Doctor, River, and Jenny))
River kept swimming, pushing her legs and arms to move as quickly as they could. She could hear her hearts beating in her ears, the thrill of being chased plastering a wide smile on face even as she ducked under the waves to avoid a large swell. When she surfaced, she was out of breath and had to rest. It was just as well, since she didn’t expect to have gotten this far. She looked back and noticed they hadn’t moved very far at all.
Shaking her head, she waved and shouted, “Slow pokes!” She could touch the sandy bottom here, so she made her way back to the beach, wanting to shake some of the sand and salt out of her hair. River stood in the shallows for a moment, taking a deep breath of the sweet salty air. Down the beach a little she could see young aliens stacking sand on itself to make a structure. She watched them for a moment, letting a handful of wet sand run through her fingers.
It was much harder than it looked to find the perfect place for a sand sculpture. River had never built one before, so the concept of digging a moat first to catch the waves was lost on her until she was slammed from behind by a particularly big incoming wave. She finally had a spot that was out of the reaching tendrils of the waves. River glanced over her shoulder to look at the TARDIS, hoping her sandy version of the wonderful ship could do her justice.
“Can you teach me to do that? To speak everything whenever I want?” Jenny asked, hopeful. “I wonder what everything else around us is saying. It must be fascinating to hear it.”
“It isn’t beach rules,” Jenny said as she swam after River, “it’s tactics.” She swam after River, ready to return her splashing, but she was distracted by the young aliens that River was watching. What were they doing? It certainly looked like they were having a lot of fun doing it.
She walked up onto the beach with her after making a mental note to return the splashes later. From the sounds of it, they would be here all day so there was no rush. She saw what River was trying to create and smiled. “Mind if I help?”
The Doctor grinned at Jenny. “You can already talk to anything you like. They won’t understand you, but you can talk.” He smiled. “I can teach you how to listen and how to communicate with them. I can show you how to hear the sound the stars make and feel the planet rotate beneath you, but I can’t show you how to make a decent meringue.”
He followed Jenny at a slower pace and laughed when River called them slow pokes. He stayed in the water and watched River try to build something with the sand. She looked like she’d never built a sand castle before and it made him a bit sad. She should have built hundreds with her parents watching and laughing or helping her build. He shook the twinge of guilt away and got out of the water.
Jenny had approached River, but he walked past them to his small beach bag. He fumbled around inside it for a bit. He finally had to stick his arm in up to the shoulder. He heard a pair of small giggles and looked in the direction they came from and smiled. He saw two small Ukkans standing there giggling at him.
“Hello,” he said brightly his hand searching for his sand castle building supplies.
“You’re funny, mister,” one of the small Ukkans said. She played with one of her purple tendrils.
“You should organize your bag better,” the other girl said smiling. “It will save you time when you wish to find something.”
He grinned. “But this is more fun. Aha!” He whooped at his hand closed on the small box with all of his supplies in it. he pulled out the box and put the bag down. “Do you like marshmallows?”
The girls looked at each other and frowned. “We don’t know,” they said in unison.
The Doctor grinned, pulled out a small bag of them and handed it to them. “Show your mum and make sure to share.”
The girls ran off giggling and the Doctor walked back to River and Jenny. “Thought you might want some tools,” he said flopping down between them. He placed a kiss on River’s cheek. He smiled at both of them. “I still don’t understand beach etiquette when it comes to splashing.”
“I’ve been sending out a message. A distress call. Outside the bubble of our time the universe is still turning, and I’ve sent a message everywhere. To the future and the past, the beginning and the end of everything. ‘The Doctor is dying, please, please help.’”
“River! River, this is ridiculous! That would mean nothing to anyone!”
Just watch her face fall… she thinks she’s never going to kiss him again and knows she’s that much closer to the day he doesn’t know her at all. She’s hardly even hearing him as he rambles on.
they are pretty damn cute together though.
I’m not running away from things. I’m running to them before they flare and fade forever.
For nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart. (x)