"I remember this," Jack muttered, more to himself than anything else.
The Firefly sitting there on the Eavesdown Docks was old and held together with no more than spit and glue. Once upon a time that very model had saved his life while in between transports, and this forgotten sector of space had been only humans. He had almost forgotten about that, but now he was living through it again, on the slow path. He'd done this before, once upon a time, a younger and cockier version of himself stowed away in a smuggler's compartment smelling of cherry blossoms for stealing one too many things of value.
"It hasn't happened yet," came a voice at his side.
Jack turned and saw the slim young woman with the wild hair and long legs ending in bare feet. "What was that?"
"You're an anomaly. A fixed point in time and space where the flow cannot move, but must move around. I am the thing that time resembles."
Well now. That was quite the mouthful of metaphor. "And you are?"
"Captain Jack Harkness," Jack replied, resuming the comfortable pseudonym. It was rather like a worn coat. He knew all the rough places in it already, knew the comfortable bits, and it fit just right when nothing else did.
Her lips quirked into a smile. "Disingenuous, but I will allow the discrepancy. Your other names are lost on the flow of time."
"You speak like a Time Agent."
"That hasn't happened yet, either."
"Then..." Jack's brow furrowed. "How do you know these things?"
She pirouetted around him, laughter in her step. "I can't not know these things. I can't not feel these things. They are and always will be, and I simply am."
He caught her arm and she spun to a stop. "River."
He'd known other Rivers before, though he couldn't tell if she was one he had known. He was on the slow path, and these things were different now. "How about we get to know each other better?"
"I stand in your wake," River replied, lips curling into a smile.
She was flexible, he had to give her that. She bent around him and they flowed from one position to the next. She appreciated the form of his body, the pleasures he was able to coax out of hers. River was a quick study, working his nerve endings almost raw before she stopped, laughing at his cries of ecstasy.
"When you meet me again, think kindly on me," Jack told her, returning her to the little Firefly at the docks.
River smiled warmly, linking her fingers through his. "Of course. I'll show you my favorite hiding place. No one will ever find you."
Jack had to laugh. He had thought she smelled familiar, even if she didn't look familiar. "I'll be good to you, I'm sure of it."
"Of course you will. But it hasn't happened yet." River's smile was warm and inviting even as she danced back onto the ship. "I know I'll enjoy myself very much when it does happen."