A warm breeze blew through the TARDIS from outside. It was
very sunny and warm. The big tree in Isabelle's garden cast a shadow over the blue
box. Music poured out of the opened door. The song was upbeat and the Doctor
was dancing around the console as he worked on it. There had been a slight
glitch in the navigational system that sent them hurtling towards a developing
planetary system which nearly got them killed. The Doctor, with Isabelle's
assistance and a paperclip, managed to make a detour to Earth. What better
place than Isabelle's house. At the moment, Isabelle was sitting on the jumpt seat
with her hands tucked under her legs giggling at his antics.
"Get up and dance, Isabelle," he prompted as he danced closer to her.
"I don't dance," she said as she shook her head.
"Oh, come on. One dance," he said.
"Uh, uh," she murmured still shaking her head. He continued to dance around her grinning as she smiled at him. The music began to fade.
"New song is coming on. Come on," he urged. The next song wasn't an upbeat song. It changed to a more slower and softer song. "Ah, now you have to dance with me. I can't dance to this alone," the Doctor said holding his hand out to her.
"Seriously, I can't dance. I'll step all over your toes," she said.
"Better my toes than my . . . ," he began to say but stopped. He lips broke into the sweetest smile without showing his teeth and he let out the breath he was holding. "Just dance with me."
Giving in to his insistence, with a coy smile of her own, she took the Doctor's hand as she hopped off the seat. He pulled her in and placed his right hand on the small of her back and extended his left out at chest level for her to place her hand into it. There were a few inches between them as he started swaying. Isabelle moved her feet and immediately stepped on his foot.
"Sorry," she apologised.
"'S all right. No harm done," he said smiling. "Follow my lead. Don't worry about your feet. Keep your eyes on me."
Struggling to ignore her feet, she did manage to lock her gaze onto his brilliant blue eyes. Soon, she was relaxed and followed him around the console room as the song progressed.
"There you go. You've got it," he said.
A smile lit up on her face. "I'm dancing," she said.
He pulled his left hand into his chest. They were comfortable with one another. Evidence of that was when she laid her head on his shoulder. He shut his eyes for a brief moment savoring the instant. He turned his head to rest his cheek on her forehead. Her nose was pressed to his neck. As the Doctor gazed around while they danced, his brow started to furrow as if he were thinking about something awful. His features changed. His eyes widened and he swallowed hard. He slowed their dance until they were stopped but the song wasn't over.
"Why are we stopping?" she asked quietly lifting her head to stare at his scared face.
"I'm not sure we should be doing this," he said moving away from her.
"It's just dancing," she said honestly with no expression.
"Is it?" he questioned. They stared into each others eyes. Unsaid words were thickening the tension in the air until she severed it like a knife.
"No. So let's keep dancing," she breathed. Uncertainty made her outstretched hand tremble. She licked the dryness from her lips.
The Doctor didn't take her hand immediately. He hesitated. Fear mirrored in each of their faces. Finally, he took her hand and began to dance with her again. Terror still showed in his eyes as he held onto her.
"What do we do now?" she spoke softly. Her face melting into worry.
"Keep dancing," he replied breathlessly.
"What do we do when the music stops?" She looked at his face but he kept his eyes averted from her.
"I don't know," he said like a breeze. He held her closely. He nuzzled his face against her breathing her in, caressing her hair.
Isabelle's arms wrapped themselves around him. Her eyes were pinched shut as she gripped the back of his jacket.
"Oh, Isabelle," he breathed into her hair. "I don't ever want to give you up," he whispered so softly she almost did not hear it.
"Then, don't," she said pulling back a bit to look at him. He looked like a frightened boy. "What are you afraid of?" she asked.
The Doctor stopped their dancing. Pushing her hair behind her ear, he gazed upon her before he spoke.
"Losing you," he answered.
They stood there staring at each other until the music subsided. The Doctor surrendered his hold on Isabelle as he went to turn the music off. He remained at the console for a short duration then finally stole a glance at her.
"Play it again," she said. A weak smile gently caressed her lips as happy tears made her eyes glisten.
The Doctor looked down at the buttons in front of him. He leisurely pressed the button to make the song repeat. The song played for half a minute before either of them moved.
As if synchronized, they both moved towards each other. And they danced again.
The rest of the day was more somber. Isabelle assisted the Doctor with the repairs to the TARDIS. She trimmed her lawn while he made them tea in her house. She paid her bills while he tidied the rooms. Most of the day was spent in silence, each one not sure what to say to the other.
Finally, that night he was the first to speak once they were back in the TARDIS.
"I think it's your turn to pick where we go," the Doctor said staring at the view screen.
"No, it's yours," Isabelle said with a mouth full of banana while walking out of the corridor into the console room.
"What are you eating?" he asked taking his eyes off the screen.
"A banana. You want one? Good source of potassium," she said.
"Why not," he said. "I'm feeling a bit peckish." He gave her a smile and she grinned back just before rushing back down the corridor briefly to get another banana.
When he heard her footsteps behind him, he said, "Where did we get bananas?"
"Oh, when we were in Villengard. Those huge banana groves. I just took some," she said as she moved to stand beside him.
"The last time I was in Villengard there were weapon factories there. I caused the reactor to go critical and it vaporized everything," he said nonchalantly.
"Well, I'm glad you did, because these bananas are really good. Here you go, Darling," she said handing him the fruit.
"No pet names. I can't stand pet names," he said peeling the yellow fruit.
"Ah, sorry, it's not a pet name. If you're with me, you're a Darling. You're part of my family now," she informed him. He scrutinized her for a second as he took a bite of his banana.
"Why didn't you keep your husband's surname?" he said through the mush in his mouth.
"After he passed away I didn't want to dishonor the name so I changed it back."
"What do you mean 'dishonor?'" he said then took another bite. She swallowed her last piece.
"I'm cursed, Doctor," she said sedately.
"There is no such thing as a curse. Curses are like superstitions, they're all in the mind," he said pointing to his head.
"Not me," she said stoically. "Everything I have ever loved, has died."
"I'm not dead."
"That's not funny," she said looking at him harshly. "When I was seven years old I won a goldfish at the fair. It didn't even last twenty-four hours. My parents got a cat when I was twelve. A year later it accidently jumped into the rubbish bin just before the truck came round. I saw the orange tale fly into the back of the truck. The man never saw it and pressed the compactor button."
"I'm sorry about your fish and cat, but that is hardly a curse."
"I'm not finished," she said with a bit of force. Isabelle looked down at her fidgeting hands before continuing. "When I was eighteen, I was driving mum and dad downtown to do a bit of shopping. A delivery truck slammed into the side of the car. I walked away with barely a scratch on me. They didn't survive. Then, there was my husband. I wanted to surprise him at work with a little visit. They called him down to the office from the factory, but he never came. They said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for me. Now, Doctor, say I'm not cursed." Isabelle stared at him waiting for a reply that never came. "Finish your banana and tell me where we're going today," she said dropping the topic.
He continued to stare at her as he finished his banana. She held out her hand for the peel and he gave it to her. Again, she left to dispose of the banana remnants and returned shortly. The Doctor was leaning on the console with his arms crossed over his chest as she went to the view screen to see where they were going.
"You think it's going to happen to me," he spoke.
"No," she answered plainly turning to look at him. "You're different. Something in my heart tells me I need you and not just for a short time, but for a long while. I feel like I was meant to travel with you." She ended with a smile.
"You do seem to belong here. Let's hope it stays that way," the Doctor said with a shy smile. Then he clapped his hands once rubbing them together and added, "So now, where are we going?"
"Where you go, I go. It doesn't matter," she replied keeping his gaze.
He grinned at her and said, "Then, off we go wherever the TARDIS takes us."