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Back in Time for Tea

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1

There’s a small tea shop on the sandwiched between a boutique and a grocery store. It’s brick red with a bluebird roosting in the first ‘A’ of their sign which read ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’, The inside is painted a soft, warm red and is decorating toe to tip with fairy lights that twinkle like the stars, there were only four people at the time when the blonde walked in.

“Oh, this’ll do fantastic! ” she announced, stumbling over herself slightly, “Early days…” she mumbled.

“Ma’am?” said a barista holding a box of lavender, regarding her with a friendly eye, “What can I get ‘cha?”

“Ooo!” she scanned the menu, completely forgetting her reason for being there, “Could I get a…they put that into tea? Ain’t that weird, aye?”

The barista laughed but seemed antsy to return to what she had been doing. The blonde stared at the menu for another minute before her mind reminded her what her purpose was, she gasped sharply, startling the barista who spilled a bit of the lavender.

 “Booking!” she remembered, she recomposed herself, “Do you offer booking for a party? Well not really a party, really it could be called an intervention. With party hats. No, no, no party hats that’s silly…he would enjoy it, though. Okay, we’ll put a pin in the party hats.”

The barista looked at her with a face that was half-exasperated/half-intrigued―a face the blonde was awfully used to. “Uh,” the barista began, “yes we do…how many?”

“Well,” the blonde laughed, “there’s an awful lot of things I still have to get in order. I have to pop a bubble universe, mess with four time machines, talk to a fish about a paradox, topple ten…wait, no…fifty governments, and send my wife a lovely reality pistol that technically could get me in trouble with the Shadow Proclamation. Fatal trouble. To be completely honest.” the blonde ran a hand through her dyed locks as she quickly listed her chores to the increasingly confused barista, “But, if everything goes to plan, about fifteen people.”

“...Okay. When?”

“One week.”

The barista’s eyes widened, “You’re gonna get all that done in one week?”  

“You’re right, losing my edge in my old age.”

The barista rolled her eyes subtly but she continued to schedule the party. “Is that all, ma’am?”

“One last thing.” she drummed her fingers on the table, “You and your barista friends need to be far, far away from here on that day. Paradox, not pretty when they go wrong.”

“Well, I-I’m sorry, ma’am but the staff…needs to be here.”

The blonde smirked, “Let’s make a deal.”

So, 20,000 dollars and three secrets of the universe later, she had gotten the entire staff to agree to not show up a week from now. The blonde happily headed towards the door waving goodbye to the group of people before the same barista, who was now wearing a necklace from a galaxy made completely from diamonds, stopped her,

“Wait, ma’am, we need a name for the party.”

The blonde smiled, “Put down: The Doctor, thirteenth.”

“The Doctor?”

“Yup!” she set one foot out the door, “One week!”

The blonde disappeared and the tea shop tried to return to usual business only for the blonde, the Doctor, to reappear in the shop behind them seemingly coming from the kitchen accompanied by an odd grating sound. The group jumped as she suddenly spoke,

“Nope, nope, changed my mind; take the pin out, it's a definite yes on the party hats.”