Muriel thought she was dreaming. She turned around the room, soaking in the impossibility of it, taking in every detail she could. If this was a dream, then why could she see so much and with so many details? Wouldn’t her vision be hazier?
The decor of this room, well, the control room of his spaceship, was a mixture of old-fashioned Earth Victorian melded with alien technological elements. In the corner she saw regular old books on a dusty bookshelf, and next to it a small ornate chair with end tables at either side. One table had hot tea steaming from the pot next to a well-loved, dog- eared book, and the other table glowed with another Victorian looking oil lamp. Everything looked positively ancient to her, but it looked like the Doctor still found some use in these old items.
In the background, a record was playing. She would swore it was almost steam punk looking. But the blue glow of the center console threw off her senses. She was definitely in something otherworldly, but his tastes were definitely of a simpler time on Earth of the past.
“Well,” he said, grinning happily at her silence and roaming eyes.
She threw up her hands, giggling. “I’ve never seen anything like it! How--? How is it so big in here when we came through a tiny old police box? Is it folded space? I’ve heard about that.”
“That is an interesting question I never get tired of,” the Doctor said smoothly. He smiled and stared at her happily, and she felt her heart swell as she stared at his smooth face and his medium length blond hair. Uh oh, if she wasn’t too careful she would fall in love with this alien being. Her chest felt hot as she looked into his eyes. This was a dangerous path, she thought to herself.
She couldn’t possibly love an alien she just met! No matter how handsome and awesome he was, and she was sure, as old and well-traveled as he was, he just didn’t go around picking up random women for love. No, this was a man all about running away from danger and finding adventure.
He was definitely her type too, which made her inwardly groan.
“So, your spaceship… it can go anywhere yeah?” she asked.
“Oh yes. Anywhere and anywhen,” he enunciated.
“Oh, OH!” It dawned on her. Freaking H.G. Wells, of course it was old-fashioned in here! He had a time machine.
“Sooo, fancy a trip?” he said smoothly.
She bit her lip. That was another dangerous proposition. She might never leave once they got going. “Um, where would we go?”
The Doctor opened his arms. “Anywhere you like! Anytime you like! The possibilities are endless.”
She paused, silently considering. There were a lot of options buzzing around in her head, but it was her heart that stopped her. She realized something, especially the way he was eager to take her along to wherever just after they’d met.
Sure, they met under constrained circumstances. He’d saved her life from the war in the urban areas, and he had brought her here - to this safe zone away from the death and destruction in a rural refugee camp. She had hoped that she could reconnect with her father who had also been in the safe zone, but many reports had told her he had died saving someone else’s child from a random blast. The Doctor must have taken pity on her, and he wanted to show her his ship and offer her a trip among the stars.
But the Doctor didn’t pity her at all, she realized. The Doctor was alone himself and needed a friend.
The prospect of traveling with him was even more amazing, but it wasn’t what she truly wanted.
“I want to go to Rygus 7, in this time, Doctor,” she said. “It’s one of our Earth colonies,” she said. “The rest of my family is there. At least, I think they are. My great aunt and uncle emigrated there before the war. I know…. I know Rygus 7 is at peace, and if I have family there…”
The Doctor nodded, albeit he looked a little sad. He was more alone than she was, and he was seeing that too. He wouldn’t gain a new companion this time, and she wouldn’t fall in love with him only to be heartbroken later. She had a life to live on her own, and she knew that life began anew on Rygus 7, searching for her own people and family.
“Alright, I can do that, Muriel. I can help you find your family on Rygus 7,” he said with a soft smile.
“Oh, thank you, Doctor!” she said. “And in the meantime….” She hesitated. “Could you take me to see the birth of a star first? I always wanted to see it, and of course I don’t want to impose….”
He grinned at her and he began fiddling with the controls of his center console. She could hear the noises as the ship powered up.
She mimicked his grin. “We can take the long way around to Rygus 7,” she said jubilantly.
“I was just going to say that,” the Doctor said, and away they went.