"I did not think it was possible to build something so high up!" She took a hold of the railing and glanced over the side, the look of awe on her face something the Doctor found himself quite fold of.
He grinned, stuffing his hands in his pockets and sharing the view, "Well, the wonders of modern technology, Reinette. Build a structure like this, only take half a decade or so, change the world."
"You can see all of Paris!" The awe did not diminish, if anything the talk of technology seemed to make it grow.
A nod. "Well, until recently, all buildings were required to be smaller than this one, so anyone could see it whenever they wanted to."
"I'm inclined to agree with you, there."
She pointed, "You can see the Military school I built from here. I'm surprised it's survived this long!" Her voice held more than a small note of pride.
"Oh, it survives much longer than this."
A grin. "Tell me, Doctor. Why is it called the 'Eiffel Tower'?"
The Doctor gave his head a bit of a scratch, "Well, that's…well, I…I haven't the foggiest."
New York, USA
The Doctor's look was one of something very like irritation, and he took a sip from his wine while shaking his head.
"What?" his companion, Maggie, asked, the look of innocence on her face too wide-eyed to be anywhere near the truth.
"Frank Sinatra," he said, giving her a look, "Just take me to see young Frank Sinatra, and that's all."
Innocent blink. "So?"
"So, what were you doing, trying to get backstage? Something about flirting with the performers?" the Doctor crossed his arms and gave her another annoyed glance.
"Did you see him?" Maggie insisted, "You would've flirted too! If you weren't straight…not that…well, I don't know. Are you straight?"
"We are not talking about me."
Maggie let out a laugh, tossing her hair and crossing her arms, "Jeeze, Doc. Learn to have a little fun, will ya?"
A snort. "Kindly refrain from addressing me as 'Doc'."
London, United Kingdom
So. It wasn't the Tereliptian gun going off that started the Great London Fire. Well, the Doctor might've counted himself as pleased at the knowledge of that, it was something he didn't have to blame himself for.
Then again, he did bring Sam along for this ride.
"You can't just do a magic trick like that!" the Doctor snapped, "What did you think would happen, they'd just think your finger on fire was funny?"
"Pink fire, can't forget the color change, Doc." Sam, of course, still hadn't stopped laughing. Quite disconcerting, that. The Doctor began to doubt that the other man would ever take him seriously.
"We're lucky we even got out of there without being cinders ourselves!" The Doctor snorted, and felt verymuch like an old man chastising a child. Funny, that, considering how much older Sam was to himself.
"Was supposed to happen anyway, wasn't it?" Sam asked, though it wasn't really a question, "Great London Fire, I remember that."
The Doctor nodded, "Yes, yes it was." A pause, "Can you turn it back to normal fire-color, though? All that pink is making my eyes hurt."
"How about green?"
A sigh, "Okay, blue. But only for a moment. Don't need to confuse the historians anymore than this already will."
Washington DC, USA
"But she doesn't look anything like me!"
Henriette snorted, crossing her arms, "She's blonde! And completely idiotic, I can't believe that anyone would ever even think----"
The Doctor, around a mouthful of a few concession-stand candies, turned to look at his companion, "Most of these people were born hundreds of years after this took place. They haven't even the faintest idea what you look like, let alone what he looks like."
Another snort, and a very irritated glance at the large screen. "That man is far too obnoxious to have ever been anything like Jack was. He reminds me of my husband, not the man I loved."
"Well," the Doctor gave his head a bit of a scratch, "American cinema, never seems to get anything right, does it?"
"Think we can go meet him?"
"This Heath Ledger? Tell him not to do this picture, because it's so terrible?"
"Certainly not. This is quality entertainment." A pause. "For America, at least."
"This is so embarrassing." The Doctor scratched his head.
Alan gave the skinnier man a nudge in the ribs, "Will you kindly be quiet? Some of us are trying to enjoy the moment here." He popped a piece of popcorn in his mouth and glanced back through his binoculars.
The car in the distance shifted slightly, then began to rock back and forth. A huge grin spread across Alan's face. The Doctor, if possible, blushed even harder than before.
"900 years of space and time travel, and I've never taken any of my companions back to see their own virginity being lost."
"You asked me anywhere I wanted to go, and, fascinating as Santa in the North Pole would be, it's rather removed from my principle object of interest. Myself."
"Right, of course. Should never have taken you along with me."
"You keep saying that, but I know you don't mean it. My winning personality beats out your embarrassment every time."
The Doctor sneered, then glanced over at the rocking car. He pulled his own binoculars out and gave a bit of a surprised look. "Fourteen, huh?"
"And two months."
A bite of popcorn, "Not bad."
The leaves fell down in a gentle rain of ash, and despite the Doctor's panic that he would run into himself in this place, he had to admit the entire world was quite beautiful.
"They thrive like this, truly?" Aislinn asked, gently touching a perfectly-shaped ash rose. Her touch, amazingly, did not cause the flower to crumble, not because of its sturdiness, but because of the gentleness of her touch.
"The trees, the whole forest," the Doctor replied, stuffing his hands into his pockets, "Petrified. Neutron bomb, mixed with the natural radiation of the planet." A pause, "You did take that pill I gave you, didn't you?"
A pause, and the Doctor could've sworn she was fishing it out of her pocket to take just then. For a woman her age, she did sometimes seem so distracted.
The Doctor could understand, of course. For all the destruction this planet was the cause of, the forest was quite beautiful.
Aislinn's fingers danced along the bark of the trees, almost like some form of communication, and she dropped to press her hands against the ground.
"How does the world feel?" the Doctor asked.
The TARDIS gave another heave inside of the Doctor's mind, and the aged Timelord wobbed down the corridor, hand against the wall to fight off the nausea.
"Kitty!" he called out, "Kitty!"
"Yes?" A familiar head poked itself out of a wall.
A very annoyed look in her direction, "How many times do I have to tell you to not do that!"
"It's not like I'm hurting anything," she insisted, stepping out of the walls, "I'm just compressing my----"
"The TARDIS is not like your average wall," he said, "It's a living being! Doesn't appreciate being walked through! And besides, what happens if you make a wrong turn, eh? Wind up in the vacuum of space, or worse, the Voide, or the time vortex! What would you do?"
Kitty, apparently, was rather undaunted by the thought of space-time-vacuum death, "You worry too much about this. We're supposed to be having fun remember?"
"Can't exactly have fun with a whole heedful of nausea."
The young woman practically leapt over to the Doctor, tossing her arms around his neck, "Take me somewhere, then," she said, beaming. Her smile took out the nausea, at least.
"Somewhere without walls."
"Well, it's nice to see I wasn't simply making an assumption. You really are a good driver."
"I know how to drive myself around," Kitt replied, beaming, "Been at it a while now."
The Doctor nodded, grinning a bit as the Berlin countryside whipped past them. The sky was a crystal sort of blue (the day picked especially for its lovely weather), and the trees shone bright green in the summer light.
While he couldn't remember the name of the racetrack, the Doctor did know that if a car like Kitt wanted to drive it, it must've been a pretty decent road, in general. It was paved smooth, with an amazing view---well, a slightly blurred view, as the smooth road was only more reason for Kitt to reach top speeds.
"This is considered one of the most difficult racing courses in the world right now," the Doctor said, relaxing against Kitt's interior seats.
"Piece of cake," Kitt replied easily, twisting around a difficult turn before speeding up along a straightway.
"Well, clearly you've got to have someone in tune with their vehicle to be able to call it a…uh, piece of cake," the Doctor grinned madly, enjoying the twists and spins.
"Not everyone can pull this sort of ride off, Doc."
A sigh, "Kindly refrain…oh, nevermind."
"Fred?" The Doctor crossed his arms and glanced around the TARDIS corridors with a bit of a miffed look, "Fred! We've arrived!"
Where could that girl be?
As if the Doctor had to ask.
After a few moments, he pushed open the door to his immense library, five stories of books and paperwork, a lifetime of collection in one room. Naturally, seated in the middle of several large piles of books, was his companion, who was chewing on the end of a pigtail and reading a very large volume from Traken.
The girl looked up in surprise, "Yes?" She always had that wide-eyed look of wonder that both pleased the Doctor and concerned him. No one should be that excited over the simple things she found exciting.
"We've arrived," the Doctor repeated, giving her a smile, "Reading up before we go?"
Fred nodded enthusiastically, "I wanted to have a background on the quantum pin galaxy layouts that Remus had written about before I talk to him. I mean, it's so easy to mistake the quantum pin for a serenix pin, and I don't want to look like a total noob by asking him the wrong question."
A pause. "Quite. Don’t worry, you'll be surrounded by students that have been studying these galaxies for years. I've no doubt that you'll outshine them all with your week's worth of studying." For anyone else? That would've been sarcasm. For Fred? Complete honesty.
The girl bounced to her feet, "Can I dress in the Traken garb you've got in the wardrobe room?"
"Oh, all right."
"Yay!" Another bounce, then she all but danced out of the library to the wardrobe room.
A small smile, "Earthlings."
"Drinking alone?" the Doctor slid up next to the man at the table, his own wine glass in hand.
The man who, despite his traditional musketeer garb, appeared to be quite intoxicated, looked up at the Doctor, "I'm having a moment, here."
"Yes, yes, I know, you take your drinking seriously." The Doctor had heard it all before. Tough men who seemed to think that alcohol solved their problems, but they hid their intoxication under a mask of 'seriousness'.
"Yeah, I do," the man replied, probably a little more forcefully than he'd intended.
A grin broke out on the Doctor's face, "Let me guess. You loved a woman once."
"That's how all these stories start, innit?"
"True," the Doctor couldn't help the grin on his face at the man's words. "You loved her," he continued, "You protected her, took care of her. One day, you discovered she wasn't who she said she was, you gave her up to the law, and lost her. Must've hurt, I know, I've been there."
The man gave the Doctor a look of surprise, "H-How do you know that? Who've you been talking to? Is it Porthos? That fat---"
"No, Athos, I've been talking to you."
"I'm the Doctor, you're my companion, and you're blind drunk in the middle of the 22nd century's yule bash. In your uniform---where did you get that?"
"They're giving them away at that stand over there---" Athos pointed at the costume replicator machine on the other end of the bar.
The Doctor nodded, "Ah. All right. Am I going to have to carry you?"
"Nope," Athos stood, then dropped down in a heap.
"What's that one?" The young boy's finger pointed at the creature whose head poked out of the water.
"Brontosaurus," the Doctor replied, "Looks like it's bathing to get out of the heat."
The young man's enthusiasm, if nothing else, was the main reason the Doctor chose this time to come to. Brandishing an old-style camera (the boy said it belonged to his brother at one point), Dennis began snapping photographs of the dinosaur as it munched happily on the leaves of a nearby tree.
"Look! A baby one, too!" Dennis grinned madly, and snapped more photos. The Doctor was, as always, amazed at the boy's ability to speak as though everything ended with an exclamation point. All the same, he did make for quite the interesting companion. Youth versus the Doctor's age. It was quite refreshing.
"Can we go to a mountain! See the pterodactyls, too!" Were either of those questions?
"Oh, all right," the Doctor grinned, "Just for a bit, then we'll get you home before your next class, all right?"
A look of worry crossed the Doctor's face, "First, uh, I think we should move back to the TARDIS."
"No! I've got a few more shots to take, yet!"
"No, Dennis, now would be the ideal time to run."
Giving the Doctor an irritated glance, Dennis pulled out his wand and aimed it at the Tyrannosaurus that was barralling towards them. "Petrificus totalus!"
The monster, naturally, froze, looking quite terrified. Dennis beamed, and snapped a few photos.
"Brilliant," the Doctor said, grinning with admiration.
"That's all that's in here, huh?"
"I can see why you got bored of this place quickly."
Universal Alliance Artistry Convention
"Away! we know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou - who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet."
The immensely tall creature finished the recitation, and its horns curled around with emotion. It's voice had been booming out for the last hour, and it was, in the Doctor's opinion, the best reading of the poetry he'd been to in centuries.
"He's from Cesoraph," he explained to his companion, "They were introduced to Earth poetry in the late 56th century, and it quickly spread amongst the Cesoraph nobles as a symbol of intellect and emotional maturity, to have at least 300 different authors memorized."
"Do any of them know mine?" his companion asked.
"Yours are practically a requirement. Romantic author, visionary---though you already know that---the nobles only want the best."
Byron swallowed, still a bit in awe of the room and the aliens around him, and the fact that he'd been listening to one of them quote his poetry for the last thirty minutes. "What year is it now?"
The Doctor glanced down at his watch, "76899."
"And they still remember me?"
"Yes," the Doctor nodded, "No one lives forever in body, but your works? They never, ever die."
Highland, United Kingdom
"Real magic?" The look of disbelief on Olivia's face was so very adorable. Not just because the Doctor was always quite fond of outspoken blondes.
"Yep, real magic," the Doctor replied, switching off the stabilizer on the TARDIS and landing them quite squarely where he'd wanted them to go. Even the right year. Not bad at all.
Olivia shook her head, "That's not possible, there's no such thing. It's illusion, it's---" she gestured at the TARDIS console, "Technology."
"You pick up fast on these things, do you?" the Doctor's smirk just wouldn't go away.
"You told me, Clarke's law," she said, reciting the words slowly, "Any advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic. Like Angier's machine."
"Yes, very like that," the Doctor agreed, tossing on his coat and heading towards the door, "But the reverse is also true."
A very long pause, and Olivia followed, "Any advanced form of magic is indistinguishable from technology? I don't understand."
The Doctor nodded, "I understand that, I don't understand myself half the time."
"So where are we?"
The Doctor grinned and pushed open the door.
"Welcome to Hogwarts."
"Where to now, Ace?"
"Yes, the TARDIS."
There are worlds out there, with the skies burning, the seas asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. C'mon, Ace, we've got work to do.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 2,897 (not including dialogue from "Survival")
Special thanks to all muses involved. =)