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Lay Me Down

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I Will Lay Me Down

When you're weary
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

Her hands skirt over the keys.

Her pretty boy is over there, flirting with Jack as though he hadn’t just got washed by fifty other tongues.

Martha is sitting at the bar. There’s a pink neon light above her head, flashing Eat Me, like the cake in Through the Looking Glass.

It’s the instrumental version now, classic and jazzy, because the boys have forgotten to keep singing. She sighs and performs another run.

I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

The club doors open again. In comes a feliniform clubber girl with Egyptian cheekbones and high ears, in nothing but short grayish hair tipped in gold. With a tufted tail. An Abyssinian.

Naturally, the Doctor’s eyes float over her. He’s wearing his eleventh body, as a lark this time, right down to the tweed and the bowtie. As for the cat, she’s like an art piece to him. They all are.

As she plays the next run, River calls out, “Watch out! His bowtie is really a camera!”

The Abyissinian roars with laughter, then puts an arm around him and Jack.

They cackle together.

River decides this must be an old friend, and smiles, launching into the next movement of the song.

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

The Doctor is raising a glass to the cat woman now. Jack’s hand is on her grey-gold buttocks, tight and sleek, grabbing a bit of thigh. But the green eyes, those lovely hazel and chalcedonies, they’re on her. On River. She can see him looking in the reflection of his glass. And he knows it.

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

His irises dilate suddenly, as thought awareness is swallowing them. He’s up in a moment, his hand against the Abyssinian’s slender chest, his fingers hunting through her close fur. Then he pushes her down.

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

Jack is looking down. He doesn’t like what he sees. His fingers twitch around his Webley, but the gunman in the Gaberdine suit runs smack into Martha. She smashes a glass over his head. He goes down.

River wants to get up, so badly, but if she just keeps playing, if she just keeps… but the song is almost… it’s almost…

She can’t hear them, but she can read their lips. She has to, because the Doctor is on the floor. The cat woman isn’t. His blood is streaked across her face in the most beautiful pattern River has ever seen. It’s like a rose, with petals and everything.

JACK: Jesus, he’s going.
ABYSSINIAN: Oh goddess, I didn’t even know him. Was he a good man?
MARTHA: The best.
JACK: It went through both, Martha. Oh god it went through both. He’s gonna-

River gasps. Jack’s mouth is obscured by the Doctor’s hand as he reaches up. By the look on their faces, he must be smiling.

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

She finishes the song, then pushes away from the piano, training her sights on the pool of blood spreading out from his body, between their feet. Her high heels click like tap shoes on the dance floor. Nobody’s moving.

They don’t move as she kneels down and presses her face to his chest, holding his arm against her .

They don’t move as she unties his bowtie, then slides his tweed jacket off his body.

She puts it all on, first the bowtie, then the tweed. one last kiss to lips that are, strangely and not so strangely, warm now, before she straightens and stands. Her eyes are fierce and dark, and full of brightness.

She’s got work to do.