Chapter 1A: Asking Her
"Yeah, I can't."
He was stupid. So stupid to be asking some stupid ape to come along with him. He's fine on his own. Didn't want anyone with him, really. But her... well, she saved his life, didn't she? Wouldn't be right not to ask her to come along. Honestly, if he went around falling into danger and never thanking the people who helped him, what kind of person would that make him?
Besides, he had fun while he was with her. Smiled a bit more, and that could be a good thing. So he thought that maybe, just maybe, he didn't want to be alone after all.
How stupid it was of him to ask though. Of course she didn't want to come. Who did? Leave behind a nice comfy life on the couch to have to run for your life on a regular basis? Forget it.
He laughs to himself slightly. Besides, she's right. That Rickey of hers really does need help. Stupid lump indeed. Just standing - no wait, cowering - there while his girlfriend risks life and limb to save the day.
Bronze medal in gymnastics. He smiles again. She probably wouldn't mind running every day. And she wanted to go, he's almost certain of it. That slight twitch forward, the impulse to go for it, held back by the responsibilities of the mundane life. Well, if that was all it was, he could just drop her back a few minutes after they left. But if she's too stupid to figure out that basic benefit of a time machine, then why should he bother?
...He told her about the traveling in time part, didn't he? Yeah. Time and relative dimension in space. It's the very first word.
...She wasn't really listening then, was she? Too busy worrying about her melting boyfriends head to catch that one vital word that he didn't bother to emphasize.
Would she have come if he told her that? Said he could take her across the universe, but as far as she knows that just means green women and planets that look like rock quarries. She's got no idea what's out there. The vast variety of life and culture. But a time machine - any human can understand the possibilities of that.
Well, blew that one then didn't he. But what's he talking about, 'blew it'? Blew what? Didn't really want her to say yes. He's fine on his own. Doesn't need someone to look after. Someone to ask stupid questions. Someone to get in the way. Someone to look impressed when he gets it right. Someone to swing in and help when things get tough. Someone's hand to hold. Someone to hold his.
He's going back, isn't he? Oh yes, look at that. There go his hands, flying across the controls to land him back in front of her. Just a few seconds past. He's going to look like such an oaf. I mean really, who goes back to ask a second time? Certainly not him. No, he will not ask twice. That's pathetic. He's got a reputation to uphold. Sort of.
The TARDIS stops moving and he stands still for a moment, debating. Can't back out now. She must still be out there, so they've seen him. He's not asking. It doesn't matter that much. He's just giving her enough information to make an informed decision.
"By the way, did I mention? It also travels in time."
He smiles and backs away, leaving the door open, and realizes that he wants nothing more than to see her walk through it.