Chapter Six

"Here you go," Lori said as she drove down the country road. "Now you can look at Indiana from the comfort of a car and not have to trudge through the snow."

"Not much to look at," Amy said while they looked out the windows at barren, snowy fields, trees and cows.

"And that's why we wondered why you'd pick this place to take a hike through," Lori said, looking over her shoulder at her. "Not the most fascinating place on Earth."

"Yes, but it looks quite peaceful," the Doctor said.

"Yeah, peaceful to the point of boredom," Lori joked.

They went down a hill and they looked at a farm just off the road. More cows grazed in a field beside it and there were a couple of brick houses on either side of the road just up from it. Beyond that was a small bridge and Lori slowed down slightly while going across it. Then they went up another hill and stopped a few feet beyond that. They drove down snowy country roads that had occasional houses in between the fields. She turned again and headed towards a bend in the road. Snow covered trees lined the road and there was a deep ditch on either side of it. Lori chatted with her new friends while she headed towards the curve in the road. Suddenly, without warning, a young doe leapt out of the woods, went across the ditch and up a short incline to the road. Lori gasped and everyone tensed while she slammed on the brakes. It wasn't enough to stop and they all gasped again when the passenger side of the car hit the deer's rump and she went head over heels into the ditch.

"Oh God, I didn't mean to hit it," Lori said while the Doctor got out of the car.

Amy rolled down her window and stuck her head out while the Doctor walked to the edge of the road. The deer was in the ditch, alive but stunned and he watched her struggle to her feet.

"Come on, girl, get up," the Doctor said while he watched the deer test her back legs. "You can do it."

He breathed a sigh of relief when the deer finally got to her feet. It stood a moment, looking at the Doctor out of the corner of her eye before it leapt up the incline and sprinted back into the woods.

"She looks okay," Amy said from the car.

"I think she is, just stunned her for a moment," the Doctor said. "I think it frightened her more than anything."

He walked to the front of the car, put his hand on the hood and bent over to check for damage. He shook his head and got back inside the car.

"I think the deer is alright," the Doctor said, shutting his door while Amy rolled up her window. "And there's no damage to the car that I can see."

"I'm glad, on both counts," Lori said. "I hate hitting animals, makes me feel bad and I'm glad she lived. But those deer are a menace around here," she added as she drove off. "They used to be scarce around here but they allowed them to breed and overpopulate and now you have to be careful because they can jump out from anywhere."

She slowed her speed the rest of the way. When they finally reached the city, she went slowly down a large hill and the Doctor noticed a sign off to his right welcoming them to New Castle. From the hill he could tell the city was small. Not a lot of people were out and they were able to drive to Marsh Supermarket in about five minutes. Lori pulled into a parking space near the large brick building and everyone got up.

"I was thinking about hamburgers and French fries for tonight," she said to them. "Just keep it simple. And get some essentials in case we get more snow. Look," she said, pointing up at the dark grey sky. "I think it's coming. It's a good thing you found our house. You better get some food for yourselves in case it snows heavily and you can't get back to your car. As you can see, we have more than enough space and you're more than welcome to stay with us."

"Thank you," the Doctor said. "And don't worry about paying for us, I have money. In fact, let me take care of the grocery bill as thanks for inviting us in."

"Are you sure?" Lori said. "You don't have to."

"No, you need to save your money for you and your family. I insist," the Doctor said, holding up his hand.

"Thank you," Lori said. "I'll get the essentials and the stuff for supper. You get a little extra food for yourself and I'll meet you up by the cash registers."

The Doctor nodded. Amy waited until they got inside and they grabbed a shopping trolley after Lori did. Lori pointed up to the registers and told them to take their time since she needed to get several things. Once she was gone, Amy nudged the Doctor.

"Okay, where did you get the money then?" she said to him as they walked towards the aisles. "You never carry money."

"True. But I had the TARDIS make some for me. I was always going to offer a bit of money to whoever we ran into as thanks for inviting us in."

"Hey!" Rory said, grabbing the Doctor's arm.

He stopped and gave him a quizzical look and Rory pointed to a sign on the wall by the cash registers. The sign was near a small bank and it said START AN ACCOUNT WITH US AND RING IN 2014 WITH MONEY IN THE BANK.

"It's 2013 then," Rory said to them.

"Good eye," the Doctor said. "So we're in New Castle, Indiana on the day before Thanksgiving, 2013. And we learned all that without asking."

"We asked the cows," Amy said. "Course they said this was Corntopia."

"Perhaps Corntopia referred to their field," the Doctor said while they walked on. "So…what sort of nibbles do we want?"

"Crisps," Amy said. "And pop."

"Popcorn," Rory added.

"River, what about you?" the Doctor said.

"Well, since you're paying for it all, I'd like filet mignon, lobster tail, some caviar; the best steak money can buy."

"Popcorn it is then," the Doctor said while his companions giggled.

They found the aisle containing bags of crisps and soda. They slowed down and the Doctor stayed with the trolley while everyone else fanned out to look at the selections. The Doctor picked up a bag of cheese popcorn and examined it for a moment before putting it back. He felt someone touch his arm and smiled when River came up to him with a bag of generic crisps.

"Contrary to what I was saying earlier, I thought I'd get the supermarket brand of crisps so you'll save money," she said to him as she put it in the trolley.

"I have about 500 American dollars on my person, I think I could afford more than the generic brand of crisps," the Doctor said.

"Wanna say that louder?" Amy said over her shoulder. "I don't think the thieves in here heard ya."

The Doctor stared at her a moment before propelling his trolley towards her. Amy yelled and ran away while the Doctor stopped the trolley and snickered.

"I'll get you for that," Amy said, shaking her fist at that.

"Yeah, I'm trembling, Amelia, truly I am," the Doctor said, leaning on the handle of the trolley. "Who needs Daleks when you're around menacing the universe."

Amy hurried out of the aisle and the Doctor snorted.

"See, I make people tremble in their shoes," he said to River. "They flee in fear of me."

"Of course, dear," River said condescendingly, patting his arm.

"Don't you have nibbles to find?" the Doctor said to her.

He looked around when Rory put a bag of pretzels in the trolley. He grinned and snatched the bag up.

"Pretzels? Are we in a pub then?" he said, waving the bag in Rory's face.

"No, because there's no lager in the trolley," Rory said, playfully snatching the bag away from him.

"Alcohol, that's what we need," the Doctor said, slapping his forehead.

"Yeah, just what we need, you drunk on Thanksgiving," River said dryly. "You're already immature enough without adding booze to the mix."

Amy came back into the aisle with a large bottle of Glen Livet in her hand.

"Funny you should say that, Melody," Amy said, putting the bottle in the trolley.

"Take it back," the Doctor said, picking it up and handing it to her.

"No, Lori said we could get anything we want so I'm getting this. This is my nibble," Amy said, pushing his hand back down into the trolley.

"Fine, I'll drink it all and bash you on the head with the empty bottle," the Doctor said.

Amy stuck her tongue out, took the bottle out and walked away while the Doctor looked at River and rolled his eyes. He looked at Rory when he put a 2 liter bottle of Coke in the trolley.

"You're boring, you know that?" the Doctor said to him. "Predictable. Salty snacks and pop."

"You're the one that just sent back the bottle of Glen Livet," Rory said with a shrug.

"That wasn't in my budget," the Doctor said. "I don't mind getting Mad Dog 20/20 though."

"Oh God, if you're drinking that, I'm going back through the snow to the TARDIS," River said. "I'm not gonna sleep beside you tonight if I'm covered in your vomit."

"You mean at some point in your future, you're not covered in my vomit?" the Doctor teased.

"No and that is most definitely a spoiler," River said while Rory chuckled.

The Doctor looked at Amy when she came back around the corner carrying an enormous package of t-bone steaks.

"My nibble," Amy said, putting it in the trolley.

"Okay, we'll tie them to you and send you into the cougar cage, I'm sure Spot will enjoy them and you," the Doctor said.

"Oh yeah, about that…thing in the cage. If you can talk to cows and dogs, you talk to that cougar and tell him not to kill us," Amy said, pointing to him.

"I will if he gets out of the cage and comes after you," the Doctor said. "If he doesn't, I'm going to relax and enjoy turkey and not worry about it. Now take this back."

"Yes, dad," Amy said sarcastically while she snatched the package up from the trolley.

"I'm 907, I am most definitely old enough to be your father, grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather…"

"Yeah, yeah," Amy said as she walked out of the aisle.

"And hurry up, Lori doesn't want to be here all bloody night," the Doctor called to her.

He leaned up from the trolley, walked over to the snacks and selected another bag of generic crisps and a Coke.

"Crisps and a Coke, how boring and predictable," Rory said as he stood nearby.

"Just trying to be like the apes I know," the Doctor said haughtily while he dumped them into the trolley.

River walked over and selected a small glass jar of ranch chip dip and put that in the trolley. The Doctor picked it up and made a face while he looked at it.

"Processed junk," he said as he put it back into the trolley.

"Oh, and the Coke and crisps aren't?" River said.

"They're less processed than that is," the Doctor said, pointing to the jar while River grabbed another bag of generic crisps and a bottle of Sprite.

"There. I got Sprite just to be different," she said, putting the items into the cart.

Amy came back around the corner and let a large hunk of cheese fall into the trolley.

"There," she said.

"This is what you're getting?" the Doctor said, picking up the cheese and showing it to her.

"I like cheese," Amy said.

"You better like constipation as well," the Doctor said, letting it drop back into the trolley.

Amy stuck her tongue out. She grabbed a bag of cheese popcorn and another bottle of Coke and put them in the trolley.

"So…if we get snowed in, we're living off crisps, pop and a large hunk of cheese," Rory said, looking in the trolley.

"I have a remote control that can call the TARDIS to me. We can leave at any time," the Doctor said. "This is sufficient for snacking. Now…are we finished?"

Everyone nodded.

"Good, let's walk up to the front and look for Lori then," he said.

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