Chapter Twelve

The Doctor asked Lori and Michelle to sit in the seats behind the console. Lori sat down and looked around hesitantly while Michelle plopped down in her seat, giddy with excitement. She watched while the Doctor and his family worked the console and hung on to the seat when the TARDIS went into the vortex. Two minutes later, the wheezing and shaking stopped and the ship stilled.

"Okay, gotta explain to you that I'm going to open the front door and let you look out but don't go outside because you won't be able to breathe without spacesuits. The TARDIS will give us air so we'll be protected. Okay?"

Lori nodded.

"Did you hear that, Shelly?" the Doctor said. "Stay in here and don't go out the door."

"I won't," Michelle said.

"Okay, come with us and we'll show you Venus," the Doctor said.

Lori took her daughter's hand and they headed down the stairs behind the others. The Doctor opened the door, peeked out and then pulled the doors back. Everyone stepped aside and let Lori and Michelle come up to the front. Lori's mouth dropped open when she looked out and saw a barren rocky surface and a sky that was completely clouded over. Rain was falling and when it hit the ground, it made a slight hissing sound while little wisps of clouds rose up.

"See, rubbish planet," the Doctor said, pointing to the ground. "Ugly planet. The Venusians have to live underground because that rain there is sulfuric acid."

"Are you serious?" Lori said.

"Very serious," the Doctor said.

"Are they hostile? The Venusians?" Lori said, putting her hands on Michelle's shoulders.

"Not towards Earth," the Doctor said, shaking his hand. "They are a bit warlike but Earthlings are primitive to them and they don't see you as a threat. Besides, you lot are too busy fighting amongst yourselves to fight them."

"Ain't that the truth," Lori said.

"Now see, I could push you two out the door and let you suffocate to death but I'm just standing here letting you enjoy the view. I'm not a threat. In fact, I saved the Earth from real threats countless times. I protect your planet."

Lori looked at his family and then nodded in agreement.

"He's wonderful," Amy said. "A bit of a cheeky smartarse at times but he'd never hurt ya. We wouldn't travel with him if he was some sort of deranged monster."

"But you're from Earth?" Lori said to Amy.

"Rory and I are from Leadworth in England. Boring place," Amy said while Rory snorted and nodded. "River was conceived in here on our wedding night but she's part human."

"But she's older than you are so how can you be her parents?" Lori said.

"Wow, we're going to have a lot of explaining to do now," the Doctor said to his family. "Listen, how about a break from fixing dinner and we can go get a snack somewhere and talk. I will get you back safely, promise, but it's a long explanation and perhaps it's best if we went somewhere and talked."

"Okay, well you haven't hurt us so far," Lori said. "What did you have in mind?"

The Doctor sucked on his cheek while he thought. Then he grinned.

"Shelly, wanna go see London?" he said to her.

Michelle nodded her head rapidly.

"How about some authentic English fish and chips. Sound good?" the Doctor said to Lori.

"Actually, yes, that does sound good."

"Great. Now the two of you can see something other than Indiana for a change," the Doctor said, closing the door.

He told them to sit back down and Lori squeezed her daughter's hand while the Doctor gleefully inputted a destination for them.


The TARDIS found a nice sunny day in London in June of 2013 and they landed within view of BuckinghamPalace. The Doctor pointed it out to Michelle as they stepped out of an alleyway and laughed when Michelle's eyes grew wide at the sight of it. They walked to a chippie and Amy and Rory brought everyone fish and chips and tea. They sat at a table near the back and ate while the Doctor gave a basic explanation of who he was, where he came from and what regeneration was and explained how it applied to River. Both Lori and Michelle were enthralled, both by the Doctor's tale and by the fact that there in London on a summer day eating fish and chips. Lori glanced at her daughter and noticed she was having the time of her life and realized that the Doctor was a good person and that he was a good friend for her daughter to have.

"So that's kind of the basic overview of my life," the Doctor said when he finished his explanation. "We're just travelers, that's all. We like experiencing different things and meeting new people and we love your family and especially our new friend here," he said, reaching across and patting Michelle on the head. At first, we were going to keep it a secret from you but Shelly wanted you to know so we could bring our ship into your house."

"Well, you can keep it in that storage room, no one ever goes back there," Lori said.

"Thank you," the Doctor said.

"What about Jim and the rest of the family? Immediate family, I mean. You don't wanna be telling the others you're an alien when they come in the morning," Lori said.

"Well…" the Doctor said, looking at his family. "Would your husband freak out? I'm sure the children would understand but…"

"We don't want the cougar after us," Amy said.

Lori snorted.

"Over my dead body," she said, rolling her eyes. "Actually, I told my husband to get rid of that thing. We have four children and I'm worried something might happen to them."

"I was thinking the same thing," the Doctor said.

"But his brother Billy got it for him and Jim doesn't want it but we have to figure out a way to get rid of it discreetly."

"Well, the Doctor could take it into the TARDIS and take it off your hands," Rory said.

"Yeah and take it to a zoo somewhere," Amy said.

"Would you?" Lori said.

"I'd be happy to and I could find it a good home in the wild," the Doctor said.

"Then you are more than welcome at our house," Lori said while the others laughed. "As for Jim…I'm not sure. A few years ago, there was something about a flying bus and flying manta rays here in London?"

The Doctor snickered.

"Yup, that was me, I made the bus fly," he said. "The stingrays were aliens from another world that wanted to devour this one and turn it into a desert. I stopped that from happening."

"We weren't with him when that happened," Amy said while Rory shook his head. "I was in Leadworth, dying of boredom at the time. See, I met him when I was seven and he told me he'd be back in five minutes and it ended up being twelve years later, which better not happen again when you take them back," she said, giving the Doctor a pointed look.

"The TARDIS was damaged and wonky at the time, I can control it now," the Doctor said dismissively.

He eyed his family when they gave each other pointed looks.

"But I'm glad you accepted us," the Doctor said.

"Well, thank you for befriending Michelle," Lori said.

"My pleasure," the Doctor said, pinching Michelle's cheek. "She's a cutie."

"Doctor said I could go with him and travel someday," Michelle said to Lori.

"Oh?" Lori said with a grin while the Doctor's family sniggered and the Doctor blushed slightly.

"Well, it's not a definite, yet," the Doctor said. "But she does have the makings of a good traveling companion so perhaps I'll keep her in mind."

They finished off their meal with small talk before heading back to the TARDIS. When they were inside, the Doctor told them to wait a moment while he shut the front door. They watched while he bounded up the front steps and up the back steps and out of the room. He returned ten minutes later, holding a large leather bound book to his chest with one hand and carrying a tiny Perspex box in his other hand.

"I thought perhaps as a show of good faith on my part, I would give you gifts," he said to Lori and Michelle. "Shelly, because you love books so much, I want to give you this very old book on the history of my planet for you to enjoy."

"Ooo," Michelle said, taking it from him while Lori patted her shoulder.

"You have to take good care of that, sweetie," Lori said to her.

"I will, Mommy," Michelle said, holding the book close to her body.

"And for you, I wish to give you a preserved leaf from Gallifrey," he said, handing the tiny box to her.

Lori took it and her breath caught in her throat while Michelle stood on her tiptoes to look at it.

"It's silver," Lori said, letting Michelle look at it.

"Yes, we had silver leaves on some of our trees," the Doctor said.

"But…no, I can't. This is from your home," Lori said.

"And I have several preserved leaves, I'd like you to have this one as thanks for letting us be a part of your family for awhile."

"If you have several, can I have one?" Amy said, leaning in.

"No, because I broke my bum bone when I went down the hill and you did nothing to assist me so it's not a sausage for you, I'm afraid," the Doctor said.

Michelle giggled when Amy blew a raspberry at him.

"Now, let's go back to your house and relax," the Doctor said.

Lori smiled and put her arm around her daughter while she held the book against her chest with one arm and examined the leaf in her other hand. Amy, Rory and River escorted them back to the seats and Lori and Michelle watched while the four of them took their new friends back home.

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