Author's Note: Hello! Firstly, apologies must be made for the lateness of this chapter; things have just been crazy. Secondly, thanks to everyone who has reviewed my story. It is always appreciated. Third and lastly, multiple persons have suggested that I lengthen the chapters- hopefully this one is to your satisfaction. ;) Thank you!
I lunged, crashing to the floor- and managing to grab hold of the girl's wrist. Slowly, painfully, I hauled her inside. She scrambled to sit against a wall, tucking her knees up to her chest and trembling. I shut the door and glowered at her.
"What do you think you were doing? You could have gotten yourself killed! Why didn't you listen to me? Why doesn't anyone ever listen to me?"
I took a deep breath, closing my eyes, and went to stand by the console. I had to stay calm, for the Ponds' sakes. Had to think straight, be clever. A voice interrupted my thoughts. A scared voice. "What was that? Where are we?"
"We're roughly 900 meters above eighteenth century England," I said coldly. "And I told you not to open that door." I jabbed a finger towards the door, my voice rising despite my efforts. "Which you ignored. You are a guest here, and if you want to stay alive, you have to listen. My box, my rules."
She stood up, her cheeks flushed with an anger that also banished her fear. Or temporarily silenced it, at any rate. "Well I didn't ask you to drag me in here! You pulled me. If I'm a guest, that makes you my host- and you'd best start acting like one. For instance, you could stop yelling at someone you haven't even introduced yourself to."
I sputtered, unable to come up with a snappy reply. "You don't- that was- but-" Then I stopped, fuming silently for a moment. I sighed. She did have a point. "Okay. So. What's your name?"
"Pleased to meet you, Emma. I'm the Doctor," I said, inclining my head in a slight bow and waiting for the inevitable question.
"The Doctor... There's thousands of doctors out there, and you expect to be recognized by just your title. So, no name, Dr. Such-and-So?"
Now that really was interesting. I took a good look at her and nodded once. "Emma Baker. You're different. Different is good. Keeps things from getting boring."
After a moment of heavy silence, I realized that she was still waiting for an answer. Oh. Right.
"No, no name. Just the Doctor."
"Do you ever wish that you did have a name?"
"Hah! And get confused with all the other John Smiths in the universe? Not likely. Might as well settle down and get a regular job, eh? Spend day after day doing the same old boring things."
Emma met my eyes squarely for a moment, then looked away and changed the subject. "Fair enough. So. We're somewhere above England...in the 1700s?"
"And...how exactly is this possible?"
I rolled my eyes, not turning away from the controls. That button needed pushing, and that lever- no, that one- had to be pulled halfway. If we didn't want to drop out of the sky, that was. The Tardis wasn't comfortable; it wanted to land. "Be patient, girl," I muttered, then spoke to Emma. "You haven't worked it out yet? I've already told you what 'Tardis' means. Come on, Emma. I know you've got a brain, so use it!"
Oh, that was a bit rude- I probably shouldn't do that so much. Emma didn't seem to notice, though. I could almost hear her brain plugging away at the problem, puzzling it out. Impatient, I turned from the controls to watch her. It couldn't be that difficult to understand. Could it? Amy and Rory had gotten used to the idea pretty quickly. But then, they were quite extraordinary themselves, my Ponds.
When Emma spoke she did so slowly, choosing her words with care. "Your Tardis... it's a machine, but probably with some form of sentience or independent intelligence. It can travel through space, disappearing from one point and appearing in another. Though not quite instantly, I think. You can't just push a button; you've got to actually navigate. And if your claim to our whereabouts- well, whenabouts, I should say- is true, then it can also time travel, presumably taking itself and those inside to any point in time and space. Simply put," a wry smile tweaked her features as she continued, "...it's a magic blue box."
I just stared. I'd had clever companions before, oh yes, but none were quite like this. And it wasn't just the amount of clever she had, it was the sort of clever it was. No one had ever simply analyzed the Tardis like that before. To tell the truth, it made me a little bit nervous. And very, very excited. When I spoke again, my voice was low and earnest.
"I have been told by several people, some very dear to me, that I shouldn't be alone. I didn't always take that advice. Right now, for example, I'm not travelling with anyone. It's just me. So, Emma Baker, how would you like to come with me?"
"Do I really have a choice? You've already got me inside your magic box. If you don't want to let me go, I've no chance of escaping. You can take me where and when you like. You could drop me off in the middle of Antarctica in the third century and just fly away." She leaned casually against the wall, no trace of fear in her voice or expression.
No one had ever put it that quite that way before. It seemed that I would have to get used to a lot of new things, with her around. But new things could be quite fun, so that was all right. I searched her face, wondering what she was thinking. "And that thought doesn't scare you? I don't scare you?"
She pondered that for a moment, scrutinizing me. "The power that this machine has is just... incredible. Mind-boggling. And you could easily choose to abuse it. Of course the devastation that would follow such a choice terrifies me, right down to my toes. You, though- you don't scare me a bit."
"Brilliant! Let's get started then!"
"Hold on, Doctor. I didn't say I wanted to go with you."
My excited, boyish smile sort of froze in place for a moment, then faded. "Oh. I'll just- put you back, then. Or I can take you home if you like. Put you right outside your front door."
Emma raised an eyebrow and folded her arms. "I didn't say I wanted to go home, either."
I frowned at her, puzzled. "Well, you can't possibly want me to take you to third century Antarctica."
A grin spread across her face and lit up her eyes. "Of course not. However, you shouldn't make assumptions so readily. They can be dangerous, you know. Now, to answer your previous question; I am coming with you. I wouldn't pass this up for the whole world!"
I couldn't help it- a laugh burst out. "Haha! That's wonderful, but you're gonna get more than the whole world, believe you me because, Emma Baker, you're gonna get the whole universe. Now. The Tardis wants to land, so I'm going to take her down and see if I can get a trace on whatever ate the Ponds' memories. Hold on tight, Emma. Geronimo!"