Note to reader: It's finally here: A Time Lord's Path! It took me forever to find a name. And it's not even very good, but I couldn't think of anything else. I'll bet you that I'll come up with one as soon as I post this. Sod's Law is such a bitch. But anyway, it's here and it's full of Merry and Paris, 1872. Please tell me what you think. It might be a few days or so before the next chapter is up; sorry! Believe it or not, I do have a life other than Doctor Who... Ahahaha, just kidding. I'm sure that there was something else that I wanted to explain, but I cannae remember... Urgh! Never mind. Hope you like this though!
"What I don't understand is how we got off that ship alive." Merry said as she sat on the steps of the TARDIS, watching her father fiddle around with some misbehaving wires. The old girl had hit a bump in the Rift mid-flight, causing them to land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Right at the bottom, to be precise. After convincing Amy that it wouldn't be a good idea to open the doors when the protective field around them wasn't really working, the Doctor had swiftly got to work on repairing the damage.
"Well, it's quite simp-" the Doctor cut himself off with a loud yelp as the wires he was holding exploded and ignited a spark. Blowing out the little flame, he continued, "That's quite simple. I convinced him to teleport me back to the TARDIS. I then towed his ship half way across the galaxy until we'd found a compatible energy source, and voila: Captain Cearnaigh-Faolán zoomed off into hyper-space."
"Without an apology or a thank you?" Merry asked sarcastically.
"Actually, he was very apologetic. He even left you a gift… which I think I've lost already. Sorry about that." The Doctor said as Merry rolled her eyes. Soldering a few more wires together successfully, he muttered, "Poor guy…"
"Poor guy?" Merry asked incredulously, "He nearly made me into petrol stew!"
"One: his ship doesn't run on petrol. Two: I wouldn't have let that happen. And besides," the Doctor continued, sucking his burnt index finger, "The only reason he reacted so inadvisably was because his mate and cubs were on the evacuation shuttle. The cubs were only three days old. He was actually a really nice guy. Not amazing at small talk, but he made a mean space whiskey." The Doctor paused, adding, "You were unconscious for that bit."
The young girl rolled her eyes as the Time Lord snapped the goggles onto his forehead and jumped off his swing. He rushed up to the top of the stairs, followed by his daughter.
"Well, OK. But he still could have been a little nicer. And I wouldn't exactly want to run into any of his friends." She commented, sitting on the bar railings, "It's a wonder you're still here, after all the aliens you've met."
"Not all creatures are out there to get us, Merry." The Doctor argued, "The Fuath are, by nature, actually quite a primitive race, apart from the space shuttles and such like. They prefer to live quietly and rarely having anything to do with space and other creatures."
"What about the Banshee?" Amy asked from her spot on the sofa, where she lay in Rory's protective arms, "From what Cearnaigh said, it sounded like they're as bad as the British government."
"Or worse, even." Rory said, shuddering in mock horror. Amy smacked him lightly in the chest.
"That's really not our problem." The Doctor answered, "Anyway, he sounded pretty proud to be their 'servant', no matter how strict the rules are. If you think about it, keeping to strict rules is much better than having strict rules and letting things fall through the net." There was a general murmur of agreement, so the Doctor began flicking some switches on the TARDIS console.
"Now who's for an adventure?" he asked, clapping his hands together, "What about, oh I don't know, Paris?" At this he gave River a conspicuous wink. She grinned and Merry convulsed slightly in disgust, moving to stand on the other side of the central column. The Time Lord leant around to push down one of the many levers, and River took the opportunity to whisper in his ear.
"Do you really think that this is a good idea?" she asked. Nonchalantly fiddling with the monitor, he replied.
"Why wouldn't it be?" he muttered quietly, frowning as the screen before him whirred loudly.
"Merry's eighteen; she's not exactly blind to these sorts of things. And if she's going to be prone to dangerous tantrums, isn't it best we avoid anything that could cause one?" River asked, pressing a button and efficiently returning the screen to normality. Looking put off by her interfering, the Doctor pressed the same button, reversing the effect with a frown.
"She won't be there. We can get rid of them easily enough." He commented.
"And what about my parents?" she asked.
"Well, them too. All three of them." He replied stubbornly. River sighed.
"Fine. I just hope you're right." She said flatly, walking around the console to her daughter. The Doctor eyed her suspiciously. Merry seemed to be handling everything very well.
Suddenly, the TARDIS landed noisily.
"Paris, 1872!" the Doctor cried, "Early January; excellent."
"Why?" Amy asked curiously, leaning against the console.
"Lots of governmental rubbish happens in March, and it wouldn't be a good thing to get tangled up in." he explained offhandedly, "Now who's hungry?" Running to the door, the Doctor pulled River with him as they flew out of the door and onto the Paris street.
Snow fell readily from the dark navy sky.
"Real snow!" the Doctor cried, letting go of River's hand to spin around, gazing at the sky. The stars were clearly visible and they seemed to twinkle contently above, watching the people below with great interest and pride. He heard Amy giggle as she and Rory stepped out of the TARDIS. Grinning uncontrollably, the Time Lord turned to face his friends, noting that they looked just as happy, "Allons y!" As he was filled with the warm and fuzzy feeling of reliving the past, the Doctor twirled on his heels and set off down the road.
People garbed in thick winter dress hurried along, scarfs, hats and gloves covering almost every inch of their naturally exposed skin. Small groups of children played in the snow outside tall almost gothic houses, their cries of delight echoing down the road. Everything was covered in snow and the water of the river that they were walking by was completely frozen.
"Where are we eating, then?" Amy called after the Time Lord. He stopped and turned around to face them.
"I don't know. Anywhere, you choose." He decided, grinning widely. His expression was reflected in every face, but one: Merry's. She just looked at him blankly before turning her attention to the people going past.
"Well, then. If you say so." Amy said, skipping off down the street and pulling Rory with her. River followed them with a slight roll of the eyes. Merry stayed standing where she was, until she realised everyone had moved on. She wandered slightly, heading after her family. The Doctor pulled back, coming up beside her.
"Are you alright?" he asked in concern. It took her a while for the question to register, but eventually, she replied.
"Of course." She said.
"It's a lot to take in, isn't it?" He said understandingly. She nodded.
"Yeah. I don't think it's quite hit me yet." She replied, "I always dreamed about you taking me on trips and stuff, I just never really thought that it would happen." The Doctor frowned.
"Never?" he asked.
"No, you always said that it was too dangerous. Even though I'd been in danger from the moment I was born…" she trailed off and looked into his eyes, "You don't know what happened when I was born and… how I was delivered, so I probably shouldn't say anything more." But the Doctor was intrigued. Evidently there was some mystery shrouding her birth.
"What do you mean?" he asked eagerly, but at the same time, worriedly. She smiled gently.
"Spoilers." She said.
"Urgh. You are just like your mother." He grumbled.
Laughing, they reached the three Ponds, standing outside a cozy looking restaurant. They went in and were seated at a table in the corner of the room, far away from the nattering of a table of local housewives. It seemed that, although the food was amazing, it wasn't a place that the rich visited very often. Candles lit the room well and the young girl serving them – Merry was surprised to discover that she and the girl were of similar ages – was friendly beyond compare. Wine was all around, except that Amy couldn't have any, Merry was under age, and the Doctor just didn't want any. So, more like drinks half the way around. Using what he could find in his seemingly endless pockets, the Doctor left a healthy tip.
"So, what you're saying is that Shania Twain's 'That Don't Impress Me Much' was actually about you." Amy repeated as they exited the restaurant into the cold street. The Doctor grinned.
"Pretty much." He said, before adding, "She fancied me."
"Oh, clearly." Amy snorted, taking Rory's hand as they walked, "Where to next?" The Doctor looked to River, giving her a meaningfully look before turning back to Amy.
"Well, I've heard that there's this great spot for top class buskers. Perhaps you could go and take a look at them? I've heard that they're very good." He suggested.
"Wait a minute," Rory said as Amy narrowed her eyes, "What do you mean? What about you?"
"Well, I have some work to do back in the TARDIS and I thought that River could help me. You two can take Merry and explore." He said, just about managing to sound nonchalant.
It was obvious that neither of them believed him and he was so terrified that he didn't even want to look at Merry to see her reaction. After a few awkward seconds, in which the Doctor remained perfectly motionless and calm, the Ponds caved.
"Fine." Rory said, turning to his granddaughter, "Come on, Merry." The two of them walked off away from the Doctor but Amy stayed to whisper threateningly in the Time Lord's ear.
"I don't know what you're up to, and I don't think that I want to, but you'd better not hurt my little girl." She growled. The Doctor didn't respond; he only let a small amused smile slip from the side of his mouth. Eventually, Amy jogged after Rory and Merry, catching up with them fairly quickly. The Doctor watched as Amy muttered something to her husband who turned to glare at the Time Lord briefly, before being pulled away gently by his wife. Merry waved to her parents, and then followed suit.
Slowly, the Doctor turned to River.
"Looks like it's just you and me then." He said teasingly. The archaeologist smiled.
"Shame. I rather like threesomes." She said mischievously, as he licked his lips absent mindedly and replied suggestively.
"Back to the TARDIS it is, then."