"I think you're getting the hang of landing," Amy praised.
"What are you going on about? I'm sitting here on the rail with you," the Doctor retorted.
The Doctor ignored her and hoisted himself off the railing, walking towards the console. "Well, Ponds…let's just see where we are," he said as he reached up for the scanner.
"Why can't we just be surprised?" Amy asked with a childlike expression.
"We could be anywhere! What if we need an environment check?"
"When have you ever done an environment check? Besides, the TARDIS brought us here. We're probably safe," Amy jumped down, ran around the console and took the stairs two at a time.
"What are you saying?" The Doctor peeked under the scanner and stared at Amy with furrowed brow but she was paying him no mind.
"RORY! We're here!"
"You looked, didn't you?" He could actually hear Amy's eyes roll.
"Of course, I did. I'm not going to tell you where we are, but I am going to advise a wardrobe change," the Doctor explained.
"What? For weather? Oh no, is there snow? There's snow, isn't there?" Amy whined and then complained to the air. "I thought you liked us."
"No. No, it's not snow. I just think you'd enjoy it your time here if you looked….well, the part. I've got some things I can give you both. Give me a mo'."
The Doctor disappeared down an unexplored corridor and returned with two sets of clothes.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding," Rory pleaded.
"Oh, I am going to be so cute," Amy giggled.
Rory tried once again, "Really? The hat too?"
"Of course, Rory! And I promise that you won't be the only. In fact, this is what you want to be wearing today, my funny little friend."
"Where are your clothes?" Amy inquired.
"I fit in everywhere I go, Amy." The Doctor smiled smugly and made great sweeping motions with his arms up and down his body. "This is a classic."
Rory was skulking down the hall to change. "Old, you mean. You meant to say 'old'."
"Hurry along, now. Let's get a move on!" The Doctor was awkwardly excited, and Amy laughed at him cheerfully.
There was great potential for innocent fun and tomfoolery, and the Doctor was anxious to see what was in store for them.
The Doctor suppressed a giggle when Rory emerged from the corridor. He instead focused on Amy. "You look fantastic, Mrs. Pond. Shall we go?"
"Yes, we shall!"
When the TARDIS door opened, they were met with shouts and the faint sound of big band music. They had landed discretely in a back alley, and they watched as a sea of people marched down the street, all smiling and laughing.
Amy's face lit up. "Where are we, Doctor? When are we?"
"I'm sure it will be obvious when we step out of the alley. Come along, Ponds. Stick close and look up. If we get separated, send a message to me via the psychic paper."
The street was packed, but they found a small hole in which to wedge themselves and followed the crowd. Rory looked at the Doctor and nodded knowingly at the hundreds of similarly dressed men – sailors in their finest whites. Amy looked up animatedly. "Is this Times Square?"
"Yes, Amy. This is most definitely Times Square," the Doctor said proudly, almost as if he had built it himself. "And there is the when…"
Amy and Rory followed his pointed finger to a scrolling marquis above them. Japs Surrender.
"1944? 45?" Rory asked.
"Precisely, August 14, 1945. My best guess, judging from the crowd, is that the American President just announced," the Doctor supposed. "I wonder what the likelihood is that we'll see The Kiss."
He looked incredulously at Amy. "What kiss? THE kiss. Probably the most recognizable of the 20th century."
"Yeah, Scottish," she reminded him, pointing at herself.
"Oh, Amy Amy Amy. This wasn't just America's war, you know. It was fought across three continents for six years, more than two before the Unites States even became involved. You were there, remember?"
Amy nodded, the recollection of meeting the Prime Minister made her heart smile, which her face reflected.
"However, the joy and relief of the end of the American conflict in the Pacific was probably best captured when an American soldier grabbed a nurse as she passed him by and gave her a victory kiss," the Doctor went on to say.
"…and this is the place…" Amy said in amazement.
"I remember that photo," Rory said.
The crowd had thinned out a bit the further down Broadway they walked, but it had become noticeably livelier. Big band music blared from a café, and couples were swing dancing and jitterbugging on the sidewalk. Amy began to sway with music, and even Rory rocked back and forth as they watched the scene unfold. It wasn't long before a dancing couple made their way over to the Ponds, taking them by the hands and dragging them into the celebration. They reluctantly joined in and became a part of history in little more than the blink of an eye. They waved to the Doctor and disappeared into the crowd, leaving him alone in a crowd of thousands.
He began walking down Broadway, against the traffic. The smiles and laughter were contagious, and he found himself grinning at the strangers who passed him by. He shuffled through the confetti and shredded paper that filled the street, weaving in and out between abandoned vehicles.
The Doctor had to admit that the TARDIS had been spectacularly on-point with dropping the Ponds in this of all happy places. This happened to be one of his favorite moments in time as well, but he was disappointed that his request had gone ignored. It seemed that everyone had someone, even total strangers were bonded together in victory and national pride.
The smell of something sweet and intoxicating wafted just over the heads of those celebrating. He followed the smell to a street vendor and chuckled aloud. Candy floss. He saw the vendor passing the treat out randomly as people walked by, and the Doctor was one of the lucky few as he was given a heaping helping of it. His intention was to save it for Rory, but his instinct was to gobble it up. Which is exactly what he did.
The Doctor leaned back against a storefront and propped a bent leg on the window. All-in-all, he would have to say that this trip had been a success. It was hard not to be happy during such a joyous occasion. Night was starting to fall, but the residents of New York continued to congregate in the streets. Kids were running free while their parents stood on front stoops and exchanged stories with neighbors. Civilians would stop servicemen in the street to shake their hands or give them a pat on the back. And the Doctor knew that celebrations like this were occurring across the nation in cities and towns - large and small, and he also knew that this Bravest Generation had yet to even see their greatest achievements. He couldn't seem to wipe the grin off his face. He loved to see the human race in all it's glory - it occurred so rarely.
The sound of a rather popular song that he had long enjoyed could be heard from a building across the street, and the Doctor followed the sound. As he neared, he saw that it was coming from the local U.S.O. center. He reached in his jacket pocket to pull out his psychic paper for military identification, but he was waved on through the doors. Every American had served his or her country and was welcomed on that night.
The room was about equal parts servicemen and regular Joes, and, as usual, the lady volunteers milled about to make everyone feel that there was absolutely no better place to be. Someone must have been standing ready with victory decorations, as red, white and blue streamers, banners and balloons hung from corner to corner. Off to one side was a bar and opposite it across the room were a handful of couples dancing to the popular wartime songs being played.
He made his way over to the jukebox and was hugged by two women and a soldier before he had crossed the room. He had been standing there for several minutes examining the contents when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
Turning around, he saw a petite brunette looking up at him with amusement. The Doctor suddenly felt very socially awkward. "Umm…hello there. Nice party you're having. I was just…umm…trying to decide which…."
"You're cute, Mister."
Mister? How old did he look? "Thank you, I think…" His eyebrows turned inward as he contemplated the varying ways the situation could go.
"So, a friend of mine wanted me to pass a message along to ya," the young girl managed to say between chews of her gum.
He stood there for a few seconds as the girl curiously pondered his face. "OK….I think I'm ready. Let's hear it."
"She said I have to tell you in your ear," she answered, adding, "She's a little peculiar."
Any other time the Doctor would have been skeptical about letting a stranger that close to his face, but it was V-J Day. Nothing bad happened on V-J Day. He bent down to give her easier access.
"You got it, Mister?"
He tried to keep his cool and look unaffected and failed miserably. "Loud and clear. Thanks, kid." She walked away hurriedly, and he ran to catch up to her.
She stopped and spun around on her heels. "Barbara."
"Barbara. My name is Barbara, but everyone calls me Bobbie. You can call me Barbara," she informed him.
"Okay, Barbara. Tell me, please. Your friend? Is she here?" He asked, unable to keep the excitement from his voice.
"Sure!" When the Doctor took his eyes off of her to scan the crowd, Barbara skipped off into the maze of people.
He walked the perimeter of the room twice and couldn't locate her. As he found himself back at the jukebox, he propped an elbow on its side and his weary gaze fell to the dancing couples.
Where he saw the smiling face of River Song, who greeted him from across the room with a wink and blown kiss before she was whisked in circles by her partner to disappear from view.