The screeching of the TARDIS brakes brought him out of his daydream, and he pushed himself off of the railing to walk over to the console. The Doctor reached for the scanner and spun it around to face him. Blank. He hit the side of it, as a bit of violence seemed to scare the telly into working. But obviously the TARDIS was less prone to frighten as easily. Though, in retrospect, he supposed that after she had been shot at, crashed into, and had fallen of a cliff - in addition to other dangers - the pounding of a fist didn't pack quite that much punch. The telly had led a relatively quiet life.

Having showered and changed into a fresh costume, the Doctor was ready. After having made such a deal about the Ponds dressing properly for 1945, he had taken his own advice and dressed appropriately for the 1940s beach scene. He was clad in white light-weight cotton trousers and matching blazer with a pale blue polo shirt, completing the look with light-colored braces, two-toned loafers, and a light-colored trilby. Most importantly, his trousers covered his ankles. He took great care to make that happen.

The Doctor walked casually towards the TARDIS door, practicing his swagger. He feared it looked more like a limp, since he was still a little new on his gangly legs. Perhaps he needed a gimmick; he always felt more secure when there was a gimmick, and the absence of his bowtie left him vulnerable. He darted off to his closet of vintage wonders and found just what he was lacking – a hand-carved wooden walking stick with an ivory handle. He twirled a bit in front of the mirror, investigating both front and back.

Yes, now he was ready.

The Doctor decided to leave Amy and Rory to sleep off their V-J Day drunken adventures – by the smells of them, he figured he had quite some time before he would need to return to the TARDIS. After taping a note to the wall outside of their bed chamber, he walked through the control room and stood in front of the TARDIS door. His insides were doing those in-like acrobatics again, and he took a deep breath to try and calm his excitement. He opened the door and stepped through…

Please be Honolulu…please be Honolulu…

…into a forest. He turned back to the TARDIS door, but it had shut and refused to reopen. Apparently his sonic was only useful when his ship was cooperative.

It didn't take much investigating to know that he wasn't in Honolulu. He wasn't anywhere near a tropical climate. In fact, he was in the exact opposite of where he expected to be. The cold wind blew through his blazer and sent a chill to his bones. He looked upward and studied the bit of sky that was visible through the trees. Definitely Earth. That was as good a place as any to start, he supposed.

He wrapped his blazer tight around him and began walking through the forest. The Doctor knew that he was in or near a mountain region with a mild winter climate, but other than that, he was clueless. A gust of wind sent his trilby flying across the forest floor, and he chased it as it bounced along. He finally caught up to it at the tree line and leaned against a tree to catch his breath. The amount of exercise into which he had been forced over the last several hours was absolutely criminal. When he was able to comfortably continue without hyperventilating, he pushed his way through the tangled brush and stepped into a meadow.

Out in the open the cold wind was even more brutal, and little flecks of white had begun to dance around his face. Snow. It was snowing. He lowered his head and clutched the blazer tighter around his middle. His hat blew off once again, and the Doctor couldn't have cared less. He continued journeying across the open field, heading nowhere and everywhere at once. There was another tree line several hundred yards in front of him that looked to be divided by a road. He needed to get to that road.

The Doctor walked for what seemed like miles and could have been, as the wind kept pushing him backwards with nearly every step he took. He was cold. He was wet. He was tired. He was lost. And he was alone. He had been all those things before, but he usually had someone with whom to share the misery. Misery truly did love company.

He almost shed a tear of relief as he crossed the ditch that separated him from the road. Now, he had only to wait for the next vehicle to come along. And so he waited.

And waited.

And waited.

He kicked the rocks that were scattered up and down the dirt road. He picked some up and threw them at the trees on the other side. He drew a hopscotch gameboard in the collecting snow and jumped around to stay warm. He sang a few of the songs that were still racing through his mind from 1945 and danced them out. He practiced his sonic quick-draw.

And he waited again.

He had almost given up and headed back to the TARDIS to beg and plead entrance when he heard a noise in the distance. He looked down the road towards the rumbling. Suddenly, around the bend, a square-topped black car took the corner on two wheels. It was approaching at an alarming speed, and he backed up cautiously near the ditch. This was not a train he planned to catch. He tried to look like he wasn't stranded on the side of the road in the middle of wherever the hell he was. The car flew by him, leaving him in a cloud of wet dust yet thankful to be alive.

Then he heard the screeching of brakes and saw the car back up almost as fast as it had skidded by. It stopped beside him, and the door opened from the inside.

The Doctor bent down to the car's level and threw up a frightened wave. "Thanks, but I think I'll wait for the next one."

"Doctor, GET IN!"



He leapt into the front seat, and River sped off before the door was even shut. "River, the door….umm, the door is…" The fight the door had been having with the winter wind came to an end as the Doctor watched it sail off to the side of the road. "…gone. Yeah, the door is gone. RIVER, THERE IS NO DOOR!"

"Hello, Sweetie…and hold on."