Chapter Two

The TARDIS materialized in the corner of the large kitchen at about 6 P.M. in the evening. The Doctor opened the door and called out when he didn't see anyone in the room. He was carrying the box containing the crystal in his hands.

"Hello, we've arrived!" he said while Donna and River came out behind him.

They stood in the kitchen and looked around. The area was clean with brand new appliances and furniture. They heard the TV in the distance but there was no sign of anyone.

"Maybe they went out for awhile," Donna said to him.

"OKAY, WE'RE LEAVING! HAVE FUN!" the Doctor yelled before he turned and stomped his feet on the floor. "WE'RE OFF TO SEE THE UNIVERSE NOW! BYE BYE!"

He smiled when he heard some giggling coming from behind the open doorway. He turned to see Mandy shyly poking her head around the corner.

"Ps and Qs!" he said, rushing to her. "I thought someone might respond when I threatened to leave and here you are! My little Ps and Qs!" he said, scooping her up for a hug. "Why it was just a year ago that I first met you, picking bogeys out of your nose while you sat in your father's truck. Ah, memories!"

"You came!" Mandy squealed.

"I came!" the Doctor said, matching her squeal. "I most certainly came. So…where are the others? They didn't leave you in charge, did they? Because the house looks clean and that's not like you!"

Then he heard giggling coming from behind the TARDIS. Everyone turned to see Michelle sticking her head out from behind it.

"You almost landed on me," she said to them.

"You mean I missed! Blast, I was hoping for a splat!" the Doctor said, putting Mandy down.

Mandy hugged River and Donna while the Doctor went over to Michelle and hugged her.

"And you, my Bookworm, how are you?" he asked Michelle.

"I'm chuffed," Michelle said.

She giggled when the Doctor's mouth fell open.

"Do my ears deceive me or did you just use something British?" he said.

"Yup, I did," Michelle said.

"Then…that means….you'll be British?"

Michelle giggled when the Doctor sniffed and wiped an imaginary tear from his eye.

"At last she listened to me. To think I lived to see this day," he said with a fake sob while Michelle giggled. "So where is everyone else?"

"In the living room," Michelle said to him.

"Okey-dokey," the Doctor said.

He hugged her briefly and turned to go see the others while Michelle hugged Donna and River. He was about to go through the doorway when Brittany suddenly jumped out and yelled "BWAH!" at him. Tom came out from around the corner and the two of them giggled while the Doctor stared at them calmly.

"You do notice I didn't wet myself, yeah? Because I didn't," he said to them before giving them hugs.

Brittany and Tom gave Donna and River hugs while Mandy and Michelle followed the Doctor through a short hallway into the lounge. Inside the lounge, Lori and Jim were watching TV while Rose and John sat at a card table. Rose and John had five cards face down in front of them and there was another set of five at an empty chair. The rest of the deck was in the middle of the table.

"Sorry, the children wanted to get to you first," Lori said while she and Jim got up. "It's nice to see you again."

"And you," the Doctor said, putting the crystal down on the coffee table as Brittany, Tom, River and Donna came into the room.

Jim and Lori said hello to Donna and River while Brittany walked to the empty chair at the card table and sat back down. The Doctor looked at Rose and John. They looked healthier since he last saw them. Both of them had gained a bit more weight and both had longer hair. Rose wasn't wearing her wig and her hair was short and cut in a pixie cut that the Doctor found cut. John's hair was sticking up in a short spiky look.

"We were playing poker," Brittany said to him while everyone picked up their cards.

The Doctor sauntered over to Rose and looked over her shoulder. He studied her cards before walking around to the others. John gave him a wary look when he breezed by him before stopping back at Rose. Then he picked up the deck, looked through it, selected the ace of spades and put his finger to his lips and said, "Shhhh" while he tried to pass the facedown card to Rose.

"Oi," John said.

Brittany and Michelle giggled at the deer in the headlights look on the Doctor's face as he froze with the card inches from Rose's face.

"Sorry, force of habit. I can't help helping my companion, you know," he said, putting the card back in the deck and shuffling them before putting them back.

He gasped when he felt someone kick his ass again. Grumbling, he walked over to the crystal and turned it on. Amy was standing by the table, giving him an impish grin.

"If you don't stop kicking me in the bum…" the Doctor said to her.

"Why? What you gonna do, Raggedy Man, you can't get me," Amy said smugly.

"John, do something! We must reach the afterlife so I can kick Amelia's bum in return! That woman is driving me to distraction!"

Amy giggled at the stunned look on John's face.

"I'm half human and I don't have my entire Time Lord mind so why are you asking me?" he said.

"Because he's lazy and he doesn't want to admit that he can't get here to get revenge," Amy said.

"Pond, go…float on a cloud somewhere," the Doctor said to her.

"I don't float on clouds, that's a myth," Amy said.

"Rory! Where are you? Control your wife!" the Doctor yelled while everyone laughed.

Rory appeared by the doorway. He had on oven mitts and was holding a small ceramic dish with meatloaf inside it. He was wearing a little apron that said KISS THE DEAD CHEF on it.

"Is something the matter? I was about to put dinner in the oven," Rory said, feigning confusion.

"Nah, the Doctor is just sore that he can't get to us," Amy said, waving her hand dismissively. "Go ahead and put the meatloaf in the oven before Benjamin Franklin comes over."

"Okay," Rory said before vanishing from sight.

"We have dinner parties with famous people," Amy said to everyone. "Most of them knew the Doctor and they have some interesting stories to tell us. So if you don't mind, Ben is coming over and I need to be a good hostess. See ya all later! Bye, Raggedy Man! Bye, River, love! Cheers!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the Doctor muttered as she vanished from view. "So where is Rex then?"

"Out back doing his business. The children wanted us to put him outside so he wouldn't spoil their surprise," Lori said. "I called your other friends and told them about this. Everyone is coming but Jack is in Cardiff and asked if you can go get him? He said he a vortex manipulator but you forbid him from using it so now he has to ask you for rides."

"You don't forbid me, Sweetie," River said to the Doctor.

"Because I know you'll break my arms off if I muck with yours," the Doctor teased his wife. "Okay, I'll go and fetch him then."

"Can I come with you?" Michelle asked him.

"Oh, I suppose so but you must give me something in return," the Doctor said to her.

"What?" Michelle said.

"Say chuffed again."

"Chuffed," Michelle said.

"Ooo, I love hearing her say that," the Doctor squealed while everyone laughed. "Say gutted now."

"Gutted," Michelle said.

"See, she's turning into a British person, just as I planned. Alright, my Bookworm, you can come with me to Torchwood then."

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