Chapter Four

"Lori, we have company!" Jim yelled as they came into the house.

Directly inside the door was a short hallway. Directly to their right was a small raised wall that went around the space where a staircase led downwards. Inside the hallway was a small wooden table and an old grandfather clock. Jim directed everyone to take off their winter gear and put the coats on the partition and the boots by the stairs. When they walked into the lounge, Amy made a face. The décor was from the 1970's including lime green shag carpeting, lime green drapes over the bay window and an orange sofa. At the back of the huge lounge was a long dining table with a metal chandelier over it. In the corner was a cabinet with a few knickknacks on it. Beside the sofa was a couple a reclinders, some old wooden tables and over by the partition was a huge TV on another wooden table. A little boy was sitting in front of the TV watching cartoons. He turned his head and looked at everyone when the came into the room. The boy looked like his father, dark hair and blue eyes with a plump face and slightly plump body.

"That's Tom," Jim said, pointing to him before he went through a doorway off to their right. The Doctor peeked inside and noticed it was a kitchen. Directly beside the doorway was an olive green refrigerator and across from that was a stainless steel stove embedded in a formica countertop. Mounted in the wall to the right of it was a microwave and under that was the oven. At the back was another countertop with wooden cabinets above and a double sink. A woman with long brown hair was at the sink washing dishes. She looked over her shoulder and smiled at Jim as he came up to her and kissed her.

"This is my wife, Lori," he said to the newcomers. "Lori, this is the Doctor, River, Amy and Rory. They want to spend Thanksgiving with us."

Lori did a double take.

"Are these relatives of yours?" she said to her husband.

"No, ma'am, we're British," Amy said. "We're hiking across Indiana and we wanted to stop and spend Thanksgiving somewhere."

"In the middle of winter? You must be really dedicated hikers," Lori said.

"We're extreme hiking," the Doctor said. "It's a new sport."

"Well…I guess you're welcome here. We're having a bunch of our relatives over tomorrow and we're making plenty of food and they're bringing in more. You'd have to sleep downstairs in the den. We have a fold out couch and we have sleeping bags you can use."

"That sounds lovely," the Doctor said.

"And if you don't mind, could you help out?" Lori said. "I'm trying to fix all this food, I could use the help."

"We'd be delighted," Rory said while everyone else nodded.

"I'll go rustle up some blankets and sleeping bags for them," Jim said. "There's another TV downstairs and a DVD player, you're welcome to it. We also have a fireplace down there and I can build a fire for you tonight."

"Sounds great," the Doctor said.

Jim left the room in search of bedding and the Doctor and his family came further into the kitchen. When they walked past the fridge, they could see another countertop with cabinets above it and four high chairs so people could sit and eat at the counter. Beyond that was a small wooden table, a wall phone, a small knickknack display of thimbles and a white wall clock. Off to the left of that was a sliding glass patio door leading to the second floor deck. On the deck were a few wooden deck chairs and a metal table, all snow-covered at the moment. The Doctor walked over to the dish rack beside the sink, grabbed a small towel and began to dry the wet dishes. Lori thanked him while Amy, Rory and River walked over to the kitchen table. Off to the right of the table was another doorway that led back into the living room and Tom was standing in it now, staring at the newcomers. Off in the distance, they heard Backstreet Boys playing and high-pitched giggling.

"So, where are you from?" Lori asked the Doctor while they did the dishes.

"I'm from London," the Doctor said.

"Wow, I've never been there," Lori said. "I lived all my life in Indy."

"You have to go sometime, London is brilliant," the Doctor said.

"I'd feel so out of place there. I'm a country gal," Lori said. "I think I'd get lost there."

"Nah, it's not that difficult to navigate. Not with so many famous landmarks there."

"So, what kind of name is Doctor?" Lori said, looking at him while she pulled a small pot out of the soapy water.

"It's an affectionate nickname," the Doctor said, smiling. "My real name is Bartholemew."

"Ugh, I can see why you use Doctor then," Lori said while the Doctor chuckled. "So you're seeing the great state of Indiana then?"

"Yup. I love the US, such an interesting country with interesting people."

"Well, I hope you think that way about my relatives," Lori said.

"Why? Are your relatives interesting as well?"

Lori made a face.

"You could say that," she said. "Me and Jim have strange families. Racists, alcoholics, people with anger management problems, you name it, we got it."

"I've seen worse in my travels," the Doctor said. "I'm very much a people person. I love meeting new people."

"Well, you won't be disappointed tomorrow. We have a full house so enjoy the space while it lasts," Lori said. "Thank you for helping me," she added when the Doctor dried the last dish and put it away.

"No worries, I don't mind earning my keep," the Doctor said. "Whatever you need, I'll be happy to help."

"Well…do you and your friends mind coming with me into town. I need to pick up a few groceries. And supposedly it's going to snow again," she said, glancing out the window. "We're out in the country and when it snows hard, sometimes it takes the plow awhile to get to us."

"I'd be happy to help," the Doctor said, pleased that he was going to see more of the surrounding area. "How about it? You lot want to do a bit of shopping?"

"We'll be happy to help," Amy said while she, River and Rory got up from the table.

"Let me go tell Jim and we'll take my car," Lori said, wiping her hands on a dish towel before leaving the room.

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