The TARDIS landed in its usual spot in Isabelle's back
garden. There was now a permanent indentation of a square on her lawn from all
the times the Doctor had come to take her away.
It was mid April, her time. The air was cooler but it was still raining. They had just left France on ninth of July in 1916. Isabelle and the Doctor ran from the blue box to her house laughing and still wearing their WWI garments.
"Care for a spot of tea and some dry clothes?" she asked the Doctor when they were inside her kitchen.
"That would be grand," he said as small pools of water collected at his feet on the linoleum.
Isabelle took the Doctor to the spare bedroom. She found some clothes of her late husband's in the wardrobe and laid them on the bed. The bed was a four poster with a patchwork quilt laid over the duvet. The walls were dark blue. The floor was wood with a burgundy oriental rug with a large flower motif in the centre. From a cupboard in the hall, she produced a white towel. When she re-entered the room, he had already taken his coat and tie off. He was unbuttoning his khaki shirt. She stared as he removed it. Her cheeks flushed crimson. She looked down seeing the towel in her hands, she held it out to him as she cleared her throat.
"Towel to dry yourself. The clothes might be a bit big but the length should be okay," Isabelle said but her words were broken up.
"You look embarrassed to see me like this," he said blatantly as he took the towel from her. "Have you forgotten that you've seen me undressed before when you fixed my leg."
"Yeah, well, I was taking care of you. Now, it's different. I care for you," she said looking into his eyes. His eyebrows raised and she couldn't look at him anymore. "I'll be in my room if you need anything," she added quickly removing herself from his presence.
When she entered her room, she silently banged her head on the wall in embarrassment. She took off her wet clothes donning on a dressing gown and went into the bathroom for a shower. She had nearly forgotten about her arm when she felt the water sting the wound. The water was warm and inviting but she did not linger long. She was toweling herself off when there was a soft knock at the door. Quickly putting on her dressing gown, she opened the door. The Doctor stood there in a white t-shirt and clean khakis. He hadn't put on the jumper she provided.
"You need that arm bandaged," he offered. She nodded.
"I keep a medical kit in the hall closet," she informed him. She left the door open as he went back into the hall.
The Doctor retrieved the kit from the same closet where she had gotten the towel for him. When he walked back into the bathroom, she was sitting on the toilet lid. She had taken her arm out of the dressing gown but made sure the rest of her was still covered up. Her modesty made him smirk. He set the kit on the edge of the sink and took out the antiseptic. Using a bit of cotton, he soaked it with the medicine.
"This might hurt a bit," he said with a smirk.
"I'm well aware," she returned. He dabbed at the wound. "Crikey, that does hurt," she said through clenched teeth.
"Ah, shoe is on the other foot," he mentioned.
"Ha, ha," she said sarcastically.
The Doctor took a swatch of gauze, pressed it against the wound, then wrapped a roll of bandage around her arm.
"There you are. You'll be as good as new in no time," he said.
"I'll let you get dressed, alone," he said with a slight smile.
"Thank you," she repeated smiling in return. He left and closed the door quietly behind him.
When she emerged dressed, he was downstairs in the kitchen leaning against the counter with his hands in his pockets. He definitely looked different in the oversized Irish wool jumper and khaki trousers. The light colors washed out his complexion. Darker colors suited him much better. The tea kettle was just beginning to whistle. He poured the water into a tea pot. After a few minutes of silence, he poured the tea into two cups. Putting two lumps in his cup, he looked over at her with a questioning eye.
"Two please," she said.
He put three lumps into the cup. She smirked because she really did like three lumps of sugar. He handed her the cup and saucer. Taking it and grabbing the canister of biscuits, she went into the dining room. They sat facing each other for a moment sipping tea and eating biscuits. He leaned forward gripping his cup with both hands. His visage changed to one of seriousness and asked, "Why did you volunteer to go up in the airplane?"
"Because it had to be done, without hesitation, or the British would have lost the war and the human race would have been eliminated by aliens. It was for the good of the planet and the universe."
"That's what I do, all the time," he said. "Why didn't you let me?"
"You deserve a break every once in a while," she offered. His eyes fell from hers. She reached over to take one of his hands into hers. "You're not alone anymore. We can do this together. If I have to give up everything to do it, I will. I don't have anything left here anyway." He looked up.
"You would give up everything for me? For the rest of your life?"
"I can't let you do that." He pulled his hand out of hers gripping his cup again.
"If something should happen to me, or . . . you would need somewhere to return to."
"The house is paid for. It can sit here for all I care. Maybe come back every once in a while to cut the lawn," she said with a bit of a laugh. "I can always find another job. Besides, you still have three more lifetimes to live. What could possibly happen to you before it happened to me?"
The Doctor looked contemplative for a moment staring at his hands around the cup. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then he lifted his eyes to hers once more.
"On one condition," he started.
"Yes?" she said as her eyes sparkled with excitement.
"I want to meet your parents," the Doctor said.
"My real parents? But I don't even know who they are," she said.
"No, your adoptive parents," he corrected.
"And they're dead," she reminded him. He glared at her with disbelief. "Oh, you mean go back in time to see them. I . . . I have no problem with that. Just, why?"
"I have my reasons," he said vaguely.
"And you're not going to tell me, are you?" she queried.
"Nope," he said with a smirk.
"Fine," she said but smiled. "I trust your reasons."
"I think I've just invited you to move in with me," the Doctor said with a smile. Isabelle started laughing.
"I think you did," she said smiling.
"So what are you going to pack?" he asked her then finished his tea in one swallow.
"Clothes, mostly. I don't need much from here. It's all just memories," she said with just a touch of sadness. "I'll be making new ones with you."
The Doctor smiled. Isabelle stood up taking hers and his cups into the kitchen.
"Go pack. I'll take care of this," he said from the kitchen doorway. She nodded as she set the teapot next to the sink. "Is a half hour enough time?"
"Sure," she said before she went upstairs.
Isabelle went to retrieve a black duffel bag from the spare room. She noticed the Doctor's wet uniform was laid across the desk chair. Taking out a hanger from the wardrobe, she hung up the clothes. She placed the hanger on a hook on the back of the door to allow the clothes to dry. Finding the duffel bag, she went into her room to start packing. She packed as much as she could in the bag before taking one more glance around her room standing in the doorway. A small smile etched across her lips as she closed the door. Then, she turned to go downstairs.
"Ready?" the Doctor said abruptly standing in front of her with a grin.
"Blimey, you scared me!" Isabelle exclaimed nearly jumping out of her skin. "Yeah, I'm ready."
They walked down the stairs and out the back door. It was still raining, pouring, in fact. Standing under the overhang they looked out to the TARDIS.
"Here, let me take that," the Doctor offered indicating her bag. She handed it over to him.
"This is it," she said in barely a whisper.
"Yup," he replied.
A smile grew from ear to ear on her face. The water poured off the overhang like a waterfall. "Geronimo!"
They ran across the garden towards the TARDIS giggling like two school children. Half way there, Isabelle stopped. Shock splashed her visage like ice water had been thrown on her. The Doctor had already made it to the TARDIS door and was unlocking it.
"I forgot something. I'll be right back," she said.
The Doctor stood in the doorway of the blue box out of the rain watching her turn around. Before she could take a step she froze in her steps as a green ray rained down on her. In a second, she vanished in a scream.
"Isabelle!" the Doctor shouted. He ran out to the spot where she once stood. Immediately, looking up into the raining sky, he squinted against the water droplets. No spaceship was in sight. Taking out his sonic screwdriver he scanned the area getting a reading on the alien residue, then rushed back into the TARDIS nearly tripping over Isabelle's duffel bag he dropped just inside. He thrust the screwdriver into a port on the console and stopped in front of the view screen. The alien race that produced the beam popped onto the screen. It read Dwa Gela Kind. All at once, the Doctor set the coordinates for the planet of Drolth.