A Companion in Solitude

Chapter 7

"Doctor!"

The Doctor turned his head slightly and peeked over one shoulder. It was dark in the room, and he was confident that Amy would walk by without a second glance. He heard her footstep as she investigated the nooks and crannies around the console. She was humming to herself. It was that song. His stomach lurched a bit. She was supposed to have already retired for the night. It never failed: whenever he needed to be alone, humans swarmed around him like tiny insects with tattoos and thumbs. The steps got closer and louder, as did the humming.

"Oy, Spaceman!" She yelled. He saw a flash of legs and ginger rush by and returned his attention to the desk. He wanted to feel guilty for hiding, but there were grander things for which guilt was necessary.

"There you are," Amy said as she stepped inside the door. "I know you heard me-" She cut off her thought. She looked quickly left and right, turned and looked out into the hall. She strained her neck left and then right again. She looked up and then right once more. And then she was gone.

The Doctor waited for it.

After enough time had passed for her to walk back to the console and return, he saw her stroll by again and heard, "…three…four….five…..fifty-seven…hmmm, fifty-eight." There she was again, all legs and bewilderment.

"Yeah, you've been adding on since we left, I see. I thoroughly investigated. This shouldn't be here." She said, matter-of-factly.

The Doctor slipped the loose bowtie from around his neck and began to wrap it clockwise and counterclockwise around one hand. "This has always been here, Amelia Pond."

"I'm quite right that it hasn't. The arcade has always been the 17th door on the left, now it's the 18th. I am well-versed in TARDIS floor plan. You know, after the sauna incident." She raised one eyebrow.

"It's only proper that you knock before entering a room."

"Yeah, well, now I count. And this is new." Amy plopped down in a chair opposite him.

The Doctor leaned forward in his chair, propped his elbows on his knees and continued to trifle with the bowtie. "Sometimes rooms exist in the TARDIS only when I need them."

"Why?"

"Wh…why? What do you mean 'why'?" He wanted to swat at her.

"What's the point? When you've got unlimited space, why hide a room? It's not like its sticking out to trip over," she reasoned.

"Why not hide it if it's not being used?" he countered. Buzz, buzz, buzz, little insect.

"What if I'm here with you, and I leave my banana on this desk. We walk out and a few minutes later I realize, 'Hey, I don't have my banana'. oh yeah, it's in this room. But you're in the loo. And by the time you come round again, my banana is all brown and disgusting. A perfectly good banana gone to waste because the TARDIS has cloaked a room." She took closer notice of her surroundings, but wasn't particularly impressed. "Now I want a banana."

The Doctor rubbed his face and looked up at the intruder. "Amy, did you want something?"

She excitedly turned back to face him, "Oh yeah! Well, Rory said it could wait, but I thought you could use some cheering up since you're about as much fun tonight as a crack in the wall. We got you a souvenir."

She reached in the pocket of her short dressing gown and pulled out a trinket. Amy stood it proudly on the desk and beamed from ear to ear. "Ha!"

"What is it? Is that a wee Silent?"

"Isn't it brilliant! It's a bobblehead! It's not a Silent, exactly, but it is an alien. Isn't it fantastic!" She danced a little gig in her chair to express her joy with herself.

"What does it do?"

"It's a bobblehead. It bobbles…" Amy thumped its head. It moved erratically. "Its head, you know...bobbles. It's a…uhhhh…bobblehead. Of an alien…" She looked a little less impressed with her genius as he stared blankly at it. "For the TARDIS cosole."

"Is that what humans think aliens look like? Green little torsos with clown feet, unusually long arms and great big unstable heads?" He looked at it dumbfounded and defensive. "I have sensationally proportioned arms and legs, I think. And this head was an excellent choice as well." He continued to stare at it while taking measure of the size of his own head. "Yes, this head is as near perfect as one could hope."

"Okay, it's rubbish." She leaned back in her chair, defeated, until something else caught her attention.

"Doctor?"

He flicked the alien's head and tried to mimic the movement until he got a bit dizzy. "Yes?"

"There's a window behind you." She stood up and walked over. "Is that space out there?"

He joined her and placed his hand on the thick pane. "It would appear so."

"There's a window in the TARDIS? Are there other windows in other hands-off rooms? Did you cut your lip"

"No. Never has been. Not even in this room." He took a last glance into the blinking darkness and returned to his seat, ignoring her last question. "It was here when I opened the door. But it wasn't here last time…"

"Did the TARDIS do it?" Amy scrutinized its every corner. "Do you think it would lift?"

"I'm positive the TARDIS did it, and I don't think it would be wise to try it out," he warned.

She lost interest after he killed the adventure of it and walked towards the door. She stopped short as she passed by the desk. "Doctor, is that what I think it is?"

"That, it is." His answers had hung heavy with questions ever since he picked them up hours before.

"When did you get it? And how?" She was afraid to get too close, so she continued towards the door a bit.

"Some time ago. The how's not important." He replied, giving up very little. "Rooms are cloaked for a reason, Mrs. Pond. Not only from you. Sometimes the TARDIS won't even let me in here."

"What makes the difference? Why is it here tonight? And where did that window come from and why?" All very valid questions, none of which could be satisfied with simple answers. So, he answered with silence. The Doctor spun slowly in his chair and watched the universe swoosh by them.

Amy understood that questions were answered in his own time and headed out the door, stopping only to ask, "Doctor, what happened while we were gone?"

The Doctor's only response was the low-pitched humming of a familiar tune.

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