Author's Notes:
This is an idea that's been percolating for a while and I've finally managed to get it out of my head; with how blatant River’s sexualization is in the show, I imagine her taking Eleven to a brothel isn’t much of a stretch. I'm telling the events of a single evening from three different perspectives – River’s, Eleven’s, and Rose’s – in that order.

If you're big into Eleven/River, this fic is not for you. I'm not bashing River, but this fic isn't complimentary to her relationship with Eleven. You have been warned.

I have no beta, so any mistakes are mine.

She had, of course, expected some difficulties in the endeavour. He’s always been a difficult man, spiralling steadily downwards since, well, for as long as she’s known him, but the drop has been so much worse since Amy’s exit from his life. She loves him though; for all his faults and stupidity, he’s still the best man she knows.

He needs this, even if he’ll never admit it; she can give him this.

Getting to this point was surprisingly easy though, but then, when you’re into adventurous sex knowing the best places to get a leg over is really just part and parcel of the whole River Song package; probably why he never thought to question her invitation to meet here.

Durlinga on Malaxia is the only place she trusts to handle this sort of request. They’re not exactly hidden from sight, but they are discreet and they’ll make anything you want happen within the confines of their building – provided you can pay for it. Their list of Cyprians is long enough that finding the right woman for the job was simple enough.

Hal’ena - River won’t refer to her by anything else – didn’t even bat an eye during the explanation of what’s needed. The credits changed hands and the facility’s technology did the rest - blue skin changed to pink, raven hair to blond, green eyes to brown, a small mouth widened to accommodate toothsome smile. In the end, the transformation was so complete, had the original girl stood next to her, even he wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference; at least, not until he touched them. But then, that’s why this costs so much - body mods are a pittance compared to memory and personality implants; for a telepath, there’s little point in the outside, if the inside doesn’t match.

See, easy - money really can buy everything.

He of course knows her tastes by now, so asking for a rendezvous here is really no surprise to him. The trading of innuendos in the lift has him so distracted that when they reach the room he doesn’t even notice where he is at first. She knows the moment he realizes - his manic voice dies and he stills like a deer in headlights, eyes fixed on the sleeping girl swathed in a pink-covered bed.

This is for him so she leaves closing him into the fantasy, never realizing how much she would come to regret it. She watches through the observation glass as he startles, whirling to face the door she’s just closed, his fists clenching as the storm builds.

For a moment, she wonders if he’ll thunder out of there, raging at her for this. A part of her wants to break it off, but the careful line he’s drawn between his past and present has already been crossed; it’s much too late to undo this now. All she can do is hope he’ll forgive her.

The girl shifts, waking and he stiffens, breaking his harrowing glare and freeing River from its grip. All it takes is one groggy word from a girl long gone and the veneer River has seen him paint over himself for years - breaks. The girl is on her knees with him in an instant, murmuring concerned words and applying a comforting touch. He just shakes his head and pulls her into his lap, cradling her as he whispers into her hair.

He kisses her then, lips pressed to her crown, brow, cheek, and hands, but not her mouth. His grip gently pulls her up and into an embrace, voice uttering a delighted laugh. A body filled with nervous energy held in check, waiting patiently for her to dress.

He doesn’t look.

A battered book is his excuse to pull her close, squishing them into a reclining chair. He holds her in one arm, taking her hand, bushing a thumb across her face even as she rests it into the crook of his shoulder. He never tries to touch her; hands never wandering to a breast or under her shirt, never grazing a thigh or her backside. He just holds her, smiling - happy.

River can’t help but think this would have been bearable if he’d just strip her down and fucked her. It might have even been enjoyable to watch them. But this - this is agony.

Not once in the years she has known him, has he ever looked at her like that. He’s held her, and danced with her, and fucked her, and run into danger with her, but she realizes - she’s not enough. She has never been enough.

She can’t watch anymore of this.

The next time she sees him she doesn’t mention what happened; neither does he. She does her best to pretend it never happened. Instead, she seeks adventure on her own - to live a life for herself and not for him, even though they keep running into each other and having fun.

Eventually, she doesn’t think about it anymore, but she never does goes back to Durlinga.