Other parts: Part One
"You know, if you could just take the time to understand how very practical steam is in a ship."
"A space ship can't use steam. You've got to just have them on there for show."
"For show! I'm not from the species that puts spoilers on sportscars, Jim."
"Hey, those look cool."
"I've seen the modifications you make to the Enterprise."
"I would not!"
"You know, there is a hotel right there," Dorothy said, slipping between them and tucking herself next to the Doctor's arm. "Just in case you two really needed to get that tension out."
The Doctor rolled his eyes at first, but then turned to her. "Will you tell him how important steam travel is to time and space machines?"
Dorothy turned to Jim. "He does have an absolutely ridiculous number of Steam Enthusiast magazines lined up in the hall closet."
"Thought that was some part a fetish," Jim grumbled. "Or for paper macheing up some other part of the engine room. Since we can use anything to put together that box---"
"Jim!" Dorothy hissed. "Don't insult the TARDIS!"
For all that the Doctor found himself frustrated with Jim, he found the relationship he had with Dorothy positively fascinating. It wasn't quite a brother-and-sister relationship, it wasn't quite the tension he had with her, it was something else. Something that made him vaguely-but-not-quite jealous, not that he'd admit it, of course.
Still! Las Vegas, in the middle of one of the biggest parties of the year. Well, if the Doctor was honest, it was more like the party of the year. Decade, actually. And what a decade it was. The next would be significantly more fun, but the Doctor didn't want to spoil either of his companions on that.
"The next decade's gonna be better," Jim said to Dorothy. "I read about it---"
"Shh!" the Doctor snapped. "No spoilers!"
"Sorry, Dorothy." It was sort of eerie, the fact that they'd said that at the same time.
But this part of the world was lovely, if heavily commercialized. The Doctor liked the bright lights, and he knew enough about Las Vegas to give a proper tour-guide style talk as they passed a few of the buildings. Not exactly everyone's cup of tea, but the Doctor enjoyed it.
"Hey, Doc," Jim asked, turning to him. "How are we going to eat? Drink? Gamble---anytihing? My credit units are from a few centuries in the future."
"Oh, that's all right," the Doctor said, pulling out his sonic. "I've got this, and they've got automated money machines. We'll be all right." A beat. "And please refrain---"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Jim walked ahead, grinning up at one of the large, neon spaceships that lit up to look as though it were flying around a restaurant. They were very different, the Doctor and Jim, but they shared one love: The stars. It was probably one of the only reasons they suffered each other as well as they did.
Dorothy gave the Doctor's arm a tug. "Doctor," she said. "I—" She'd been looking up at the sky, but she shook her head, unsure.
It wasn't so much the uncertainty in her voice that worried him. It worried him, of course, because Dorothy rarely spoke without knowing what she wanted to say, and even if she didn't know exactly what she wanted, she aimed for foot-in-mouth before stammering into silence. It also wasn't the pained sense of fear in her voice that worried him. Really, at this point in their lives, the Doctor had pretty much come to accept the fact that they would be dealing with frightening things at least once a week for just around forever.
No, no, it was what she called him. Not Stringbean or Beanpole or Skinny or Pretty Boy or some other ridiculous nickname. It was Doctor. And that meant something serious was on her mind.
"What's wrong?" the Doctor asked, stopping as they walked.
"Doc! Dorothy!" Jim called. "I think you two should come take a look at this."