The Doctor stood in his TARDIS. He listened to the gentle hum of the engine as the central column rose up and down. He felt the slight chill of the metallic console as he caressed his hand over the controls. He flipped open the scanners to watch the majestic spectrum of colors as he whirled through the Time Spiral. He felt safe, he felt at home, he felt... alive.
And then he woke up. The dream vanished back into the unattainable abyss. His eyes fluttered open, and he discovered himself in the confines of the beige walls of the UNIT laboratory. Lying in front of him on the desk was a small component of the TARDIS splayed open.
He stood up, arching his back to ease the ache from the uncomfortable position of his rest. He then picked up the disassembled component and stared at it for a moment before tossing it back on the table in disgust, mostly with himself for even attempting such a futile act, and partially with the Time Lords for putting him in such a position. He walked over to the window and peered off into the morning sky. How he hated the Time Lords for stranding him here. He was never meant to stay in one place for so long. There were so many worlds out there to explore, so many possibilities, so many distant planets that he can never even see whenever he would look out into the polluted night sky, but he knew were out there, somewhere. Earth was a wonderful planet with so much to offer, but the sky was filled with jewels, and his greed consumed him.
The Brigadier entered, disturbing the Doctor from his thoughts. "Hello, Doctor," he said, staring at the Doctor's abandoned work station. "Still fiddling about with that machine of yours, I see."
"Fiddling?" said the Doctor, angrily. "I'll have you know this requires a highly delicate procedure, and it would help me greatly not to be disturbed... by anyone."
"Quite," said the Brigadier, stoically. He had learned that the best way to deal with the Doctor's unforeseeable mood swings was not to deal with them at all. He raised the files he had been holding in his hand. "There's been an extra-terrestrial sighting several kilometers east of here. I'm sending out a squad to investigate."
"Why would anyone want to visit Earth?" the Doctor grumbled, still upset from his previous thoughts.
"Well, you're here, aren't you?" the Brigadier replied.
"Don't remind me," said the Doctor. He was stranded on a grade three planet without even the proper technology to make even an honest attempt at fixing his situation. Worse yet, he was stuck with the Brigadier and all of his under-handedly contemptuous remarks.
A moment later, Jo entered, a bright smile on her face. "Good morning, Doctor. Brigadier."
"Good morning, Ms. Grant," said the Brigadier.
"Good morning, Jo," sighed the Doctor.
Noticing the Doctor's gloomy demeanor, Jo asked, "Why so glum? Didn't you hear about the aliens? Come along, each day brings so many new and exciting things, doesn't it?"
"Yes," said the Doctor, picking up his cape and wrapping it around his neck.. "I suppose you're right. Come on, let's go an investigate these sightings." Just because he was in bad spirits was no reason to worry Jo. And the Doctor had to admit that she was right; there was much to discover just lying at his feet. He had never stayed in one place long enough to realize all of its day to day wonders. He never would have appreciated this side of things if it wasn't for Jo and her very human quality of optimism. And as Jo wrapped her arm in his and they followed the Brigadier out into the corridor, the Doctor mused that perhaps Earth wasn't the worst place to be stuck, after all.
And yet... as he left the base, he couldn't help glancing up wistfully at the boundless morning sky.