Henry is 28, Clare is 29

"You did an excellent job flying the TARDIS, River." A curl of ginger hair brushed against the Doctor's milk-chocolate cheek. "Won't be long until-"

"Until I can fly it better than you?" River grinned, brushing a snowflake off her bare hands. "You must hate that."

"Spoilers," He stepped out of the glow of the streetlights so she couldn't read his face.

"I like that phrase. Maybe I'll steal it from you someday."

"Well, actually—"But the Doctor's reply was cut off by the improbable appearance of a naked man at their feet.

"Ooah!" The man moaned.

River took off her black fur jacket and offered it to him. "Are you alright? What happened to you?"

"Henry," the man moaned. "Drank too much again. Stupid time travel. What year is it?"

"'Fraid we can't tell you. Just popped in for a quick visit ourselves."

Henry glanced at the Doctor's plaid shirt, 1970s leisure pants, and purple Crocs. "Are you a time traveler too? I've never met another…"

"Yes. How did you guess?"

"When you have to steal clothing, looking like a fashion plate assembled by toddlers is pretty common," Henry muttered before looking at River. "You look too well-dressed to belong with him."

"Can't turn down a stray, especially not him."

"Maybe that's Clare's reasoning." Henry glanced out across the lake. "After dinner last night, well—"

River's jacket dropped into the snow, no longer covering a drunken, inadvertent time traveler.

"Henry?" The back door of a nearby house opened, revealing a woman in her late twenties with tired eyes. Watching, waiting eyes. She spied the two of them standing nearby. "River! Doctor! Come on in! My, you're even wearing the same clothes."

River and the Doctor glanced at each other before walking over. "You know us," he offered, extending a hand. "But we don't know you."

"Just like Henry," she smiled and opened the door. "The wrong order. I'm Clare, Henry's wife. But it feels strange to reintroduce myself to you."

"I know how that feels." The Doctor walked inside and kicked off his crocs. "River and I have had a rather time-twisted relationship for ages. She's just beginning now, while I'm a bit further along."

"How old is Henry, then?" River asked.

"Eight years older than I am,"

"The one we saw outside was in his early twenties."

"I suppose, if this is the first time you've seen him, an explanation is in order. Would you like some coffee?" Clare asked. At their affirmative answers, she took two mugs from the cabinet. "Henry has chrono- impairment disorder. In times of stress, his internal clock resets itself to a different period of his life. Recently, he snapped back to his elementary school in the middle of the night. One moment he was talking with me and then next—nothing but a pile of clothes on the floor." She handed a mug to the Doctor.

"And he comes back?" River said.

"Yes. He always comes back. By this point, we're learning at the same pace. But it was so strange when I was younger—I knew him more, and he knew me less every time. By the first time we met on his timeline, I knew more about his chrono-impairment t than he did." Clare laughed softly. "I think I scared him off the first time."

"Occupational hazard of time traveling," The Doctor hid his expression by raising the mug to his lips. "But I think we'd better be off. It was just a quick jaunt, you know, teaching River to fly the TARDIS."

"Well, I've never been able to keep a time traveler when he had to go." Clare smiles sadly. "Goodbye. And River, I've thought about what you said—"


"Will say, I suppose. The ocean is a frightening place—but it can be beautiful too."