Many weeks had passed and that newspaper still sat on his coffee table, that newspaper declaring the spaceship a hoax. He couldn't quite bring himself to throw it away.
Arthur sipped at his tea. They never had let him back inside. It was just as well, he figured. As old as he was, he knew next to nothing about aliens. He likely wouldn't have been much help... but damn it all. It aggravated him that he hadn't been a part of his country's history. Such a momentous occasion, even if they had labeled it untrue.
He put on his shoes. Arthur was out of his favorite tea, so he made a trip down the street to the store to fetch some. Everything seemed so odd now. Many people pretended that the spaceship had never crashed in the first place. Others were convinced that it had been real and were now trying to contact aliens. Still others believed the newspaper's story about the hoax. Arthur thought the whole thing was stupid. But humans were humans.
He picked up several things and walked home from the store, deciding to take a quicker route by alleyway. He turned the corner, and there it was. A big. Blue. Box.
"Oi, excuse me!" A thin man with spiky hair and a blue suit squeezed around Arthur. "Sorry 'bout that, don't mean to be in the way!" He pulled a key out of his pocket and shoved it in the lock.
Arthur was so flabbergasted that he forgot to speak. This man looked nothing like the Doctor he had seen weeks previously, but if the key was any indication, he at least knew the Doctor.
"You know the Doctor, don't you?" Arthur suddenly blurted out.
The man paused and turned around, hands in his pockets. "I do know the Doctor, who might you be?"
"Ah... My name is Arthur Kirkland-"
"Oh, I know who you are! You're part of that lot that fancies themselves countries." The thin man was bouncing on his feet with a big grin plastered on his face.
"We are countries-"
"I know, I know. How's that going, by the way? There must be a lot of you by now."
Arthur just raised a bushy eyebrow at him. "Is the Doctor here anywhere?"
"What d'you mean? I'm the Doctor!"
"...You're the Doctor?"
The thin man in the suit waved at him. "Hello!"
"You certainly don't look like the Doctor. He's a bit older than you."
"Nah, you mean I'm a bit older than him!" He went back to trying to open the TARDIS's door. Arthur was becoming increasingly irritated at the man's chipperness.
"Well?" The man in the blue suit walked into the box and popped his head out. "Are you coming or not?"
Arthur considered it for a moment. He was aware that since it could disappear, there were likely other things about it that made it much more than just a big blue box. He wasn't much of a risk taker, generally speaking, but he stepped inside all the same.
He almost dropped the bag of tea. Inside was the most magnificent looking room, adorned with all sorts of metal and what he assumed to be some sort of... main panel.
"Welcome to the TARDIS! The universe's taxi! Not your taxi of course, but it can take you anywhere, anywhen and anywhy. Well, still working on the anywhys, but anyway!" He flipped a few switches and pulled a lever or two.
The man's swift speech vaguely reminded Arthur of Alfred, only without the annoying insistence that he be the hero. Arthur took a look over his shoulder, then slowly walked up the ramp. "So..."
"Yes?" The man flipped another switch and looked at Arthur expectantly.
"What is it?"
"The TARDIS! T.A.R.D.I.S. Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It's a time machine that can go anywhere in the universe."
"Really now." Arthur was fairly skeptical about that, but he had seen the machine disappear before, so... "Alright then, take me somewhere!"
Instead of being put off, the Doctor laughed. "That's the spirit! Where shall we go, then?"
"Somewhere not on Earth." Arthur answered, still looking around the inside of the machine.
"I know just the place! Hang on!" He flipped a switch and Arthur heard that noise and saw the machine in the middle of the room begin to move. He lost his balance and almost fell over, but he caught the railing just in time. He had the vague sense that the machine was moving.
The thin man suddenly pulled a lever and the hum of the gears stopped. "Here we are then! Go have a look!"
Arthur turned toward the door, then hesitated. "If we're on a different planet, how can you be sure there's air?"
"We're not on a planet," the Doctor replied, slipping his hands into his pockets once more. "Open the door, but don't step out."
Arthur took the few steps to the door and pulled it open. What he saw looked like clouds... clouds of every color imaginable, writhing and twisting and moving across the- the...
"We're in space!" He yelled and quickly shut the door. "There's no air in space!"
The Doctor just grinned. "No worries, the TARDIS generates a containment field, nothing can get in or out unless I say so, even air."
Arthur raised another bushy eyebrow, but quickly went back to the door to continue staring at the clouds. After a moment or three, he spoke. "Where are we?"
"The Medusa Cascade." The Doctor stood behind him, peering out at the clouds himself. This place was an important place to him, but Arthur wouldn't know that.
"And... where is the Medusa Cascade?"
"Thousands of light years away from Earth," was the answer.
"Hn." Arthur stood for what seemed like hours, but only a few minutes had passed before he spoke again. "Doctor?"
Arthur couldn't see him from where he stood, but he could hear the smile in the alien's voice. "Yes?"
"Do we... get out here someday?"
"'Course you do! Takes a long time, but it happens. You even colonize new planets and help create new species!" The Doctor's voice sounded excited.
Arthur turned around. "New species?"
"Of course! I'm not the only alien out there. There are plenty more."
"I see." Arthur mused. A planet colonized by only Englishmen sounded good to him. No Alfred to speak of.
"Well we should be off then!" The Doctor flipped another switch and the door closed on its own. "Back to good old London!"
The TARDIS spun and whirled and within seconds, Arthur was back home, in the exact alley that the Doctor had taken him from.
"Well, there it is!" The Doctor closed the door behind him and leaned up against the blue box that he knew so well.
"Huh. Just like that..." Arthur trailed off for a moment, noticing the Doctor's cheeky grin. "You just think you're so impressive."
"I am so impressive!" He replied. "I once helped myself stop a black hole the size of Belgium from destroying the universe. That's impressive."
"Belgium?" Arthur questioned.
"Yes. That's what I said, Belgium."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Arthur said, a bit heatedly.
"What?" The thin man in the blue suit looked at him strangely.
"What are you saying about Belgium?"
The Doctor laughed and pushed the door to the TARDIS open. It wasn't long before the machine was making that sound, the sound of the universe, and he could see the blue wood slowly fading away.
Regardless, Arthur felt the need to yell after him in comment.
"I don't think Belgium would appreciate you calling her fat!"