Chapter Seven

After the Doctor gave Lori the money for everyone's groceries and she paid for it, they put the grocery bags in the trunk and got back in the car.

"When we get home, I'm hoping you can meet my other two daughters," Lori said as she drove. "I have a nine and fifteen year old. The nine year old is named Michelle and the fifteen year old is Brittany. I wanted to warn you about Michelle though before you meet her."

"Why? Is something wrong with her?" the Doctor said.

"Well…yes and no. I mean there is technically something wrong with her but I don't see it that way. Michelle has Asperger's Syndrome. Very mild case but she's very shy, especially around strangers. But most people who have Asperger's have very high IQ and she does. Her IQ is 140."

"Brilliant," the Doctor said, smiling.

"Yes. We think so. We wanted to put her in a gifted school but we don't have the money but she's already skipped a grade. But that means some of the kids pick on her and tease her and she keeps to herself a lot. She loves to read though. She taught herself to read when she was three and books are her greatest love. You'll never see my daughter without a book nearby."

"I love her already," the Doctor said. "I'm also an avid reader and I love intelligent people."

"Well, you'll love her then," Lori said. "But I just wanted to warn you that she doesn't say much and she might seem a bit distant until she gets to know you but she does have a sense of humor. She just doesn't show it to everyone. She's very loving and friendly, just socially awkward in many ways."

"So's this one," Amy said, poking the Doctor in the back of the head.

Lori giggled when the Doctor tried to swat at her while Amy ducked.

"Brittany's a normal teen girl which means she's moody and resents authority so beware of that too," Lori said to them. "But that's our family, take it or leave it. Of course, there are the inlaws who'll be here tomorrow so be sure to get plenty of rest because they're quite rowdy, among other things."


When they got back home, Lori led them upstairs. She paused at the beginning of the long hallway. They heard Backstreet Boys coming from the room at the end of the hallway but now there was no laughter.

"That's Michelle. Backstreet Boys are her favorite band," Lori said. "Follow me."

Everyone walked behind her.

"This is the bathroom," she said, pointing to the first room on the left. "Feel free to take a bath, shower or use the toilet. This," she said, pointing to the door immediately across from it, "is mine and Jim's bedroom. This door," she said, pointing to the door beside the bathroom, "is Tom's room and across the way is where Mandy sleeps."

They looked in and saw Mandy sitting on the floor of her room playing with some Barbie Dolls. They waved at her and she waved back as they passed by.

"And this," she said, pointing to the room to the left of the end room. "Is where Brittany sleeps."

They looked inside and saw a girl laying on a white daybed by a window, she had long dark hair like her mother that cascaded down her back. She was on her stomach reading a book and looked up when everyone walked in. She gave a confused look to her mother and pointed to the strangers.

"These are guests for Thanksgiving," Lori said to her. "This is the Doctor, his wife, River and their friends, Amy and Rory. They're from England."

"Cool," Brittany said.

"Everyone, this is my daughter, Brittany," Lori said.

"Hi," Brittany said, waving, while they waved back. "So, can you say something British? I love British accents. I think they're cool."

"Oh, um…" the Doctor said before walking over to her. "Wotcha, mate, I notice you're having a dekko at a book. What's the book called?"

"Hunger Games," Brittany said, holding it up to him.

"Brilliant. That book is wizard."

Brittany laughed.

"I like your accent," she said.

"Cheers," the Doctor said with a bow. "Pleasure to meet you."

"And you," Brittany said, shaking his hand.

"Cheerio then," the Doctor said, waving while he walked back to his family.

"We're having hamburgers tonight," Lori said to her while everyone went out.

"Okay, mom," Brittany said before turning her attention back to her book.

Lori stopped them a moment before looking into Michelle's room.

"Honey, we have guests and they want to meet you, is that okay?" she said.

"Yes," a soft voice replied.

Lori nodded and they went inside. What caught the Doctor's attention first were the two large wooden bookcases by her cupboard. They were filled up with books. And there was another smaller bookcase by her pink daybed, also filled with books. Michelle was resting in a Spongebob beanbag by the bed, reading a book. She looked at the newcomers with wide eyes and sat her book down on her lap while her mother came over to her.

"Honey, this is the Doctor, River, Amy and Rory. They're staying for Thanksgiving," she said. "This is Michelle."

Everyone waved to her and Michelle waved shyly.

"You love books?" the Doctor said gently to her.

Michelle nodded.

"What are you reading?" the Doctor said, pointing to the book in her hands.

Michelle held it up. On the cover was a picture of Saturn and above it was TIME/LIFE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE. The book was a heavy hardback book and very thick. The Doctor glanced at his family and began to slowly walk towards her.

"Can I see what you're looking at?" he said to her.

Michelle nodded and he walked over to her side and bent over slightly.

"Ah, the planet Venus," the Doctor said, looking at the photo of it. "Very lovely planet. Do you like books about outer space?"

Michelle nodded.

"I do too," the Doctor said.

"I love to read," Michelle said softly.

"Me too. It's wonderful."

Michelle nodded and smiled.

"Where are you from?" she said softly.

"London, England," the Doctor said.

He watched while Michelle picked up a purple satin bookmark and marked her place with it before closing the book. She got up and walked to the bookcase nearest the cupboard. She looked over her books before selecting another heavy hardback one. She held it up and showed it to everyone.

"Ooo, Visual Guide to London," the Doctor said. "So you're quite knowledgeable about London then?"

"The Queen lives in Buckingham Palace," Michelle said softly. "It's in Westminster."

"Wow, she is brilliant," Amy said while Michelle gave everyone a proud smile.

Michelle took the book to the Doctor and he thanked her while he took it from her.

"I would like to be friends, Michelle. I hope we can be good friends with you, all of us," the Doctor said to her.

"Honey, you wanna come help us put away the groceries?" Lori asked.

Michelle nodded. She picked up the book she'd been reading and the Doctor smiled when she held it close to her body while she followed everyone out the door.

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