Later that day, after I get off work, I decide to visit the cemetery before I go home. On the way over, I find myself thinking more of the Doctor. And as I walked up the hill to my mother's grave, see a figure standing there, I finally start to believe.
“You're him, aren't you? The Doctor, the man my mother always spoke of.” I stood beside him, he towered over my short five foot height. I glanced at the grave, seeing the bouquet of lilies on the dirt. I smiled faintly, and looked up at him.
Blue eyes stare down at me and he smiles. “When did you figure it out?” He asks.
I shiver even though the heat from the sun was all around us. Looking around, I find apple and cherry blossom trees scattered around. Birds chase each other and rabbits hop around the ground. The scene was beautiful, like a painting should be, but I couldn't help missing my mother more than anything.
“On the drive over. And then when I saw you here, I knew it must have been true. But how? Like you should be twice this age, with blonde hair.” I laugh, staring at him.
“Your mum explained about me right? I'm a Time Lord, I move through time and space and all that jazz?” He quirks an eyebrow up, smiling. I smile and look at the ground.
“Si, in a blue box.” I stare up to him. He nods and stares back at the gravestone.
“There was something I never got to tell your mother. I can regenerate, up to twelve times might I add. So, I'm able to be reborn so to speak, when I die near the Tardis.” I nod, because really, what else could I do in a situation like this?
We stand there for a while longer, just talking about my mother. The Doctor explained his adventures he had with her; the ones too scary for my mother to tell an eight year old. I explain how she was as I grew up. How she would put me to bed and tell me bedtime stories of their adventures. We spoke and spoke and spoke. And by the time I realized it, night had fallen. Time seemed to have escaped us and the two of us both stopped, looked around and started to laugh.
“Seems we lost track of time.” The Doctor says. I loved his voice, there was just something about it that made me smile.
“Seems we have,” I say and smile. However, I didn't want our time together to end. So blushing in the dark, I look up and bite my bottom lip. “Would you want to come over for dinner? Unless, uh, you have an alien race to save or something.” I was thankful for the darkness to hide the flush that had crept up onto my face.
The Doctor grinned. “Don't want me to leave either?” His lips turn into a smirk and I roll my eyes. Kneeling on the ground to say my goodbyes to my mother.
“Hmm, my mother never said you were a prick.” I laugh.
As we walk down the hill to my car, the Doctor links his arm with me. “Must have come with the regeneration.” I shake my head, but the Doctor just laughs.
We get to my car and I get into the drivers seat, motioning towards the passenger. Nervous, I start to play with the radio as he steps in.
The Doctor must have picked up on that, because as I started driving, he began playing with my radio. First, he picked a Mexican channel, then a rap channel, and then a very static filled station.
“You going to pick a decent station anytime soon?” I joke, wondering how this Doctor was different than the one my mother knew. Regenerated. So they were like completely different people. I wonder if they acted alike, or if they were complete opposites. Couldn't be that different, the two both seemed way too excitable.
As we drive through the town, brightly colored houses pass by us. The Doctor stares out the window. Watching the colors blur, no doubt thinking about the last time he was here. I stare straight ahead in silence, not wanting to interrupt the Doctor's thoughts or anything. By the time we reach the hills and trees, the comforting silence helps me forget all about the sadness that's been consuming me.
The last ten minutes of the drive, the two of us talk about nothing in particular, but about the books we've read over time. The Doctor, more or less, was a slow reader and I couldn't help but giggle as he spoke of reading a book for nearly a year before finishing. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him watching me as I spoke of the books I've read. The good ones and boring, the outrageous and plain stupid. But he never seemed bored as I spoke. He listened intently, like he actually cared.
“Hope you don't mind, I'm only making pasta. You do eat right?” We step out of my car and walk towards the house. Inside, it still smelled of my mother. “I mean, do aliens eat actually food?” I blush and smile to hide it. I walk through the foyer and hang my coat up, while taking the Doctor's coat.
The Doctor laughs loudly, the sound bouncing off the walls. When I glance up to him he grins. “Actually, I only eat human flesh.” His face is dead serious.
I nod solemnly as we walk past the picture of myself growing up I glance back at him to find his glaze locked on mine. “Well, you're in luck. I've just killed three people yesterday morning. They're upstairs.” The Doctor cocks his head to the side and rolls his eyes. I smirk and the two of us venture into the kitchen.
I sit myself on the counter as I boil the water, the Doctor walks around the room. “I remember when they were building this house.” He says, looking all around.
“How many times had you visited?” I ask as I put the noodles into the boiling water.
He was now staring off into space, his blue eyes lost in memories. He smiles to himself, and I stay quiet. Not wanting to interfere. “Only twice. I visited the day they started construction on this house. It was your mother's dream house. She always spoke of how she'd make it big or marry rich and then she'd have this house. She'd draw pictures of it sometimes too. But this day, it was November 22nd. It was just after dawn and the foundation was just being placed down. Your mother and father were standing far enough away with a smile on each of their faces. You look a lot like her. Same blonde hair, same short height. Your hazel eyes come from your father though. As do most of your facial features. Except your nose.” He smiles. “Your nose is your mother's.
“Anyway, I parked the Tardis far enough away so your mother wouldn't hear it. Then I walked up behind them. Of course she somehow knew I was going to be there. She turned and her smile grew. It had been many years since we had last seen each other. Your father turned then and smiled, happy to finally meet his wife's best friend.
“Your mother looked different then, she had a wedding ring on her left hand, and was sporting a tiny baby bump. When she asked if I'd known what she was having, I just zipped my lips up, not letting her know. She told me she had a feeling it was a girl and that they were contemplating the name Tierney or Charlotte. Your parents were so happy and in love, it was like their happiness was contagious.
“That night I had dinner with them, and your mother asked about my recent adventures and if I've had another companion since her. I told her of a girl named Jessica who had come along with me for a few adventures. She didn't quite fit the life though, so I dropped her off home.”
By then, the two of us were settled at the dinning room table, pasta on our plates and soda in our cups. I sat across from him and I could see he was both happy and sad thinking of my mother. “And then?” I asked, twirling the food on my plate. I loved listening to the Doctor speak. I didn't want him to stop.
He takes a bite and ponders for a moment. “The next time was two years later. The day of your father's funeral. You, your mother, and I stayed late at the funeral, staring at the stone head. Neither of us spoke, we just stayed silent, letting the wind carry on a conversation around us. You were so fragile looking in your mother's arms, and she looked like she was about to crumble. I took you from her and the moment you were safely out of her arms, she crumbled to the ground. Your father was the only man I knew she loved. Besides me of course. But our love was different. We loved each other like brother and sister. But your father, your mother loved him so much, it broke her heart the night he died.
“After that, she asked if I'd stay, but I told her I had to go. Of course I offered you both to come along. But she said that the Tardis was no place for a baby. I agreed and we went our separate ways. I didn't come back. Because I knew if I did, I might be tempted to stay.”
I didn't realize until then that I was crying. Tiny tears splashed onto my half empty plate. “Why?” I cleared the shakiness from my voice. “Then why'd you come back now?” I cocked my head to the side, my bangs falling in front of my eyes. The Doctor's cheeks turned a tad red and he smiled, almost embarrassed.
“I wanted to meet you of course.” At that, my cheeks tinged and I continued eating in silence. We finished up dinner without speaking. It wasn't awkward or anything, it was a peaceful silence. A few times, I glance up to find the Doctor staring around the red walls, almost as if picturing my mother here.
When we finished, he helped me clear the table and he insisted on doing the dishes since I cooked. I told him he didn't have too, that I could do them in the morning but he just shook his head.
So I gave in and sat upon the back counter tops near the sink as he washed the dishes. He had long graceful fingers with a few tiny scars here and there, and I wondered where he's gotten them. Whether it was fighting an alien, or just getting it caught in the controls.
It felt nature to be with the Doctor. There was nothing awkward about it. Even when things fell silent it was peaceful, and calming. I could easily imagine him being the kind of person I would have brought home to my parents while in high school. I blushed at the thought, and hid my face before the Doctor could notice.
When the Doctor was finished, he dried off his hands and threw the dish towel on the counter. Then he turned to me and smiled. “So, ready to go?” He asked, taking my hand and headed towards the front door.
“Wh-wh-what are you talking about! Go? Go where.” I stammered, my eyebrows scrunching together, confused. I tripped as the Doctor dragged me along, obviously on a mission.
He looked back just then and smiled. “Well, anywhere of course. We could go to the planet Panterra, or to the Golden City of Lyrics. Of course there is always...” The Doctor begins spitting out places and ideas. I grab a hold of a door frame, stopping the two of us in our tracks.
The Doctor so lost in thought, staggers, looking at me with such a confused expression I had to hide my laugh. “I mean, Doctor, what do you mean? I'm not going anywhere.”
Shock overtook his face of confusion. “You don't want to come?” He actually sounded a bit offended and sad. He cocks he head to the side, his brown hair falling over top itself. “Why?”
I felt as if I kicked a puppy, his face was so sad all of a sudden. “I barely know you! And you expect me to go traveling with you? I've known you for around what? Eleven hours?! I wouldn't even give my number to a man I've know for eleven hours. I know you think having me will be like having my mom around, but-”
“That's not what I want.”
I stopped mid sentence. I figured having me, would be like having my mother back. But I wasn't like her. I was loud and too excitable. She was levelheaded, I got angry quickly. We were different. “Then why...?” I didn't understand.
The Doctor took a step towards me. We were close enough for me to feel his breath on my forehead. “I came here to ask you to come with me. I don't want you in place for your mother. I want you because I want to know you. Because I've seen us together and we're an amazing team.”
I was speechless. I stand in the doorway, unable to move. Could he be telling the truth? All my life I played it safe, never going outside my own little box. I had a choice right now to change it all, and I had to decide now.
I began to run towards my staircase. Halfway up, I heard the Doctor call my name. “Tierney, where are you going?”
I looked down and grinned. “To get my clothes of course. Your Tardis may have a lot, but I'll still need a few things.”