Welcome

Chapter 13

"So where is Rain, anyway?" Rory asked as they talked in the sitting room, waiting for dinner.

"I asked her to come in, but I think she'd rather be alone," was Amy's reply.

The Doctor, however, was still optimistic. "Oh, I'm sure she'll come in soon," he said as he casually wrapped his arm around River's waist, drawing her closer to him. Rory cleared his throat and glared, though, so the Doctor loosened his grip.

Then there came a knock on the door. "See, I told you she'd change her mind," said the Doctor as he got up to answer it. However, once he saw who it was, his expression turned from glee to confusion. He fully expected to see Rain, and there she was, but he hadn't expected her to be with anyone.

The man next to her looked to be about the same age as her. He was tall with unruly black hair. His eyes were dark brown, nearly black themselves. He looked as though he hadn't shaved recently, so the bottom half of his face was covered in stubble. From just looking at him, the Doctor assumed this man had given up. He didn't know how right he was.

Rain, on the other hand, wore an expression that was more confident and hopeful than he had seen yet. "Hello, Doctor."

The Doctor was slightly speechless at the pitiful sight of the man, but he was able to answer. "Um . . . hello, Rain. So who's your friend?"

"Oh, this is Jet," she said, motioning to the man, who nodded in greeting. "I just saved him."

As if the Doctor wasn't confused enough as it was, this totally threw him off. "You . . . saved him?"

Rain nodded. "He told me he was alone, so I invited him over. Can we come in?"

The Doctor scratched his head. "Sure . . . I guess." He turned to allow them entrance and called over his shoulder, "Amy, I think you're going to need to set another place at the table."

The first part of dinner was spent recounting the story from the park. Jet didn't say much, only nodded and smiled. Everyone could tell that he didn't exactly seem like he wanted to talk, so they didn't press the subject.

Somewhere in the middle of dinner, the conversation transitioned into the Doctor and River's latest adventures, leaving out the search and rescue, of course.

Jet wasn't exactly sure what to think of this. Part of him dismissed the stories as gibberish, but the Doctor wove the stories so intricately that he couldn't help but wonder if it was all true. This wasn't the only strange thing he sensed about this family, either. The couple Rain had described as her parents hardly looked old enough to have a child her age. And the couple she called her grandparents were actually younger than her parents!

All these things made Jet even more inclined to believe the stories of the man everyone was calling the "Doctor." This family was definitely strange, but for some reason he felt right at home. If anyone else had been telling these stories, he would have dismissed them as insane and run away. But instead, he was drawn to them. Not only that, Rain had saved his life. It didn't matter that he was the one who had endangered it in the first place; it still counted, and he felt as if he owed her something.

Soon, Jet found himself laughing, responding, and joining the conversation, much to his own surprise. No one ventured to ask him what had happened, or why his life had needed saving, and he was grateful for that. Still, he knew he would find himself confessing everything to these people anyway.

Slowly, the conversation died down as everyone finished their meals. Jet stood up. "Thank you all so much for welcoming me. It means so much more than you could know. But I think I should be going now."

"Wait!" Rain called as he turned to go. "Where are you going to go? I thought you said you had no one left." Someone in the room gasped. They had known that Rain had saved his life, but they didn't know anything else about this strange man.

He didn't turn around to face her for fear that if he did, his resolve would be broken. "Don't worry about me. I can find a way."

Rain looked to the Doctor pleadingly, and he nodded. "Jet, did you believe all of those stories I told?"

This surprised him so much that he had to turn around. Although, he wasn't actually sure what his answer would be. His faltered as he spoke. "I . . . I don't know. I'm not really sure."

"Well you should, because they're all true. I'm really a time traveler. We really went on all of those unbelievable adventures. Just ask Rain."

Jet looked at her for confirmation, and she nodded. For some reason, her agreement made this easier to believe than anything the Doctor had said. "So? So what if you're a time traveler?"

The Doctor stood, walking over to where he stood. "So I'm asking you to join us."

Jet laughed. This was definitely the first time he had been asked to travel through time and space, and he still wasn't fully convinced it was possible. However, if there was anything, anything at all, that could take him away from his current situation, he would be willing to try it. "As much as I'd love to forget this whole planet, how do I know that you're not insane?"

The Doctor smiled. "This is my favorite part."

After saying their goodbyes to the Ponds, River, the Doctor, Rain, and Jet made their way outside to the TARDIS. At this point, Jet smirked and said, "So this is your time machine? It looks a little small."

At this, the Doctor smiled and snapped his fingers, revealing the vast expanse of the TARDIS's interior. Jet was rendered speechless, so the Doctor answered for him. "Yep, it's bigger on the inside. So now do you believe me?"

Jet nodded, his mouth hanging open slightly as he stepped inside. Once he recovered his speech, he said, "So you really do have a time machine. And you really want me to come with you?"

It was Rain who answered. "Yes."

He smiled down at her as River (with the intervention of the Doctor) began pressing buttons and pulling levers to find a new destination. All of a sudden, he wrapped her into his arms, tears practically spilling out of his eyes. He murmured something that was just barely intelligible: "Thank you."

To her own surprise, Rain felt herself returning the embrace. "You're welcome." When they broke apart, she noticed something wet on her face. That was weird; she couldn't really remember the last time she had cried. But it felt good. When Jet reached down to entwine his fingers with hers, all she could think about was how today had been the best day of her twisted life.

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