September 17, 2002. Paris.
It’s opening night for the exhibit “Manet/Velazquez, The French Taste for Spanish Painting” at the Musee d’Orsay. Sophie Devereaux is at opening night, but her focus is on an older acquisition in the gallery— Combat de taureaux. This Manet painting was acquired in 1976, well before this dual Manet and Velazquez exhibit. Sophie’s not sure why she’s attracted to the painting. Maybe it’s because of the realism in the painting—she envisions herself in 1880s Spain watching this bullfight. Maybe it’s because of the pileup between matadors, a horse and a bull in the middle of the painting. Maybe it’s both.
Sophie is in the corner watching people move away from Combat de taureaux. Her plan is to sneak off into the ladies’ room, put on a mask, run outside with Combat de taureaux and hide it in her loft. She doesn’t know what she’ll do with it yet, but she’ll figure out something. Sophie smiles. Art theft is incredibly easy to do in Europe because of laxer security.
After a few moments, the room with Combat de taureaux is completely empty. Sophie sneaks into the women’s bathroom and puts on her mask. She walks up to Combat de taureaux and takes the painting off the wall. No alarms go off, and she does this in front of a CCTV camera with no shame.
As she turns around, a woman in a blue gown is in front of Sophie. She has blonde curly hair, what appears to be a very large wristwatch on her left arm and a really large toy gun in her right hand.
“I was admiring that painting you’re stealing, sweetie,” the curly-haired woman says to Sophie.
“I don’t understand English,” Sophie says to the curly-haired woman in French.
The curly-haired woman clears her throat. “Unfortunately for you, I can also speak French. A friend of mine taught me. Put the painting back.”
The curly-haired woman cocks her gun. “Put it back or I shoot this pistol. It’ll be like you never existed.”
Footsteps were approaching the Combat de taureaux room. The curly-haired woman grabs Sophie by the waist and presses a few buttons on her wristwatch. Within seconds they’re both gone from the Musee d’Orsay.
Sophie and the curly-haired woman land in Sophie’s flat.
“I assumed this was your place,” the curly-haired woman says in French. She puts her pistol in her holster.
“It is.” Sophie says in English, dropping the French accent. She takes off her mask. “Who are you? And where are you from? I feel like I’m in Forbidden Planet.”
“I’m River Song.” She extends her hand to Sophie. Sophie shakes it.
“I’m disappointed French isn’t your mother tongue. Your French is impeccable.”
“Now why on earth would you steal this painting?”
“I…don’t know, really. I guess I like it.”
“I stole a painting once, but it was to attract someone’s attention. And it was from a private collection, not a museum like the d’Orsay.”
“So you’re saying art theft is okay as long as you don’t take it from a museum?”
“I said I was trying to get someone’s attention, sweetie. I was saving the world.”
Sophie looks puzzled. “Oh, okay. Now I know I’m really in Forbidden Planet.”
River looks at Combat de taureaux, which is leaning against a wall in the flat. “I think I know why you like this painting so much.”
Sophie shakes her head. She says nothing.
“You need a good fight in your life. I can give you one.”
River kisses Sophie. She strokes her hair. Sophie leads River to her bed. There, the two women tussle as they take each others’ gowns off. Their underwear goes off next.
The two women end up scissoring each other in bed, hanging on for dear life on the edges. The scissoring’s furious—there’s a lot of sweat, the women are flushing and the two of them are sopping wet from their grinding. Turns out River’s just as good in bed as Sophie is.
Sophie comes first. As Sophie’s basking in the aftermath of her orgasm, River takes her right leg and humps it until she reaches orgasm. She lies beside Sophie, taking deep breaths as she recovers.
After River recovers from her orgasm, she gets up, puts back on her clothes and pistol and grabs Combat de taureaux. Before Sophie can grab River, River programs her wristwatch and she’s gone.
“Crime doesn’t pay, sweetie!” she says as a bright flash takes her out of Sophie’s apartment.
Sophie lies back in her bed. “Guess I’ll have to plan another trip to the d’Orsay to steal that painting again.”