Shawn followed Amy as she took him on a tour of the TARDIS. It was massive. The first time, he had never left the control room and the second time he had been dying, so his memory wasn’t that great. “How do you remember where you’re going?”
“I do get lost sometimes still,” she answered in that cute accent. “But I’m getting better at navigating.”
Amy showed him the library (don’t need that), pool (only for cannonballs), and the wardrobe “room”. It was more like a mall-sized thrift store. “I think I’m in love.”
Amy laughed. “Never took you for a clothes horse, Shawn.”
“I may not be as savvy as Gus with designers, but I put a lot of thought into my choice of clothing.”
“It does take time to pick out the right T-shirt and jeans combination.”
“Of course it does. They are the outward manifestation of my inner mood.”
Amy just shook her head and took him back to the console room. The Doctor rubbed his hands together at their arrival.
“Just in time. We’ve arrived. I’ve chosen somewhere calm due to the fact that you’re still recovering.”
“So, where are we?” Amy moved around to the try and look at the monitor.
The Doctor switched it off. “Not telling. Shawn has to observe and tell us.” He smiled widely.
“Think of it as a test. Two hints: we’re on Earth and it’s not a war zone.”
Armed with this information, Shawn opened the TARDIS doors and stepped out.
Amy made to follow but the Doctor shook his head. “Let him look without an audience.”
Amy sat in the jump seat. “Why did you take Shawn on this trip?”
“After what he did, I felt he deserved it. The fact that he knows a couple friends of mine helped.”
“He has a personal letter signed by the Queen hanging in his office,” she said. “Must’ve done something big.”
“Yes, he must have.” His tone made Amy think he knew exactly what it was Shawn had done. “I think he’s had enough time.” The Doctor headed for the door.”
“Good, because I’m dying to know where we are,” she said as she bounded after him.
Amy stepped out of the TARDIS and onto the set of a BBC period drama or Gosford Park. It was breathtaking with the clothes, the cars and even the buildings.
“Shawn,” the Doctor prompted.
“Um…London, early May 1920. Before you ask, the clothes and the cars. My mom loved watching Masterpiece Theatre.”
“Are you sure it wasn’t that poster advertising Houdini at the Palladium?” Amy questioned.
“That might have played a small role,” Shawn grinned. “Oh, that would be so cool. My dad taught me how to pick locks and get myself out of handcuffs. He tied me up once and timed how long it took me to get free.”
Amy could not understand how Shawn could sound excited about such things. “Why would he do that?”
“He wanted me to be a cop so he trained me how to get out of tough situations.”
“Have you used any of it?”
Shawn looked at her as if to say “what do you think?”
“Okay. Amy, I think a visit to the wardrobe is the next point of order for you,” said the Doctor. “You need to find something a bit more…appropriate.”
Amy looked down at her clothes. “What’s wrong with this?”
“Just look at what the other women are wearing. If you go out on the pavement wearing that, people will stare, and not in a good way.”
“They’ll think you’re a fallen woman, a lady of easy virtue, a good time girl, a soiled dove--”
“Fine! I get the picture.” She headed back to the TARDIS. “What about him?” She jerked her head in Shawn’s direction. “I don’t think a hoodie and jeans were acceptable wear at this time.”
“He’s American,” the Doctor explained. “They’ll find It amusing.”
With a groan and a roll of her eyes, Amy went to change into something “appropriate”.
Shawn had looked about in amazement. His jaw had dropped to the ground the moment he had stepped outside. It had all been so overwhelming, until he heard his father’s voice in his head telling him to analyze what he was seeing. So Shawn had switched off his emotions and categorized everything. It was the Houdini poster that had made him lose his cool. Maybe he could get some pointers. Yeah, Dad had taught him some stuff, but this was Harry Freakin’ Houdini! When the Doctor and Amy had stepped out, he tried to act blasé about the whole thing and not jump up and down in excitement.
Standing now with the Doctor, he looked out of the alley and watched the men walk by. No one was wearing anything that resembled his hoodie. “Maybe I should just change into a jacket.” He turned to head into the TARDIS.
“Hand me your phone.”
The Doctor held out his hand and Shawn dug his phone from his back pocket and gave it over. The Doctor dialed a number. “Amy, can you bring a jacket for Shawn? Yes, you were right.” He ended the call and gave Shawn back his phone.
“What did you do?” He stared at the device in his hand. “How did you get this to work 90 years early?”
“You can make and receive calls anywhere. No roaming.”
Shawn stared at the phone in wonder. “Guess I should call Jules as promised.” He dialed. “Hey, Jules! Yeah, we’re in London. The Doctor’s got something lined up. We’ll be heading out in a second, we’re just waiting on Amy.” At that point the redhead came out of the TARDIS and Shawn gaped despite being on the phone with his girlfriend. “Tell everyone I’m doing great and I’ll call again later. Love you!” He barely heard her say she loved him back as he ended the call staring at Amy. “Wow!”
The dress she had on was simple; ankle length in off white with some pattern embroidered on the hem, cuffs and neck. It was quite the transformation. “What’re you lookin’ at?” she asked as she handed over a brown jacket. “Is there a spot or something?”
“You look amazing.” Shawn changed into the jacket and put his hoodie into the TARDIS, closing the door behind him.
The Doctor locked the door. “Now everyone will stare for all the right reasons,” he smiled. “Shall we?” He held out his arm for her.
Amy wrapped her arm through his. Shawn came up on her other side and she repeated the gesture.
“So now where?” asked Shawn.
“Perhaps just a stroll the fashionable streets, get a feel for the time.”
Walk? Really? Shawn was never one to walk if he could take his Norton or a car instead. He looked at the cars on the street and almost laughed at the so-called speed they achieved. Maybe walking would be faster in this instance.
Amy felt like she was playing dress-up. The gown was gorgeous but it just didn’t feel real, somehow. Walking with the Doctor and Shawn through a London that was familiar in some ways was a good thing. At least she had a general idea of the layout.
They walked along Picadilly and Shawn’s eyes were everywhere. She could only imagine what something like this did to his eidetic memory. “You’re not going to overload, are you?”
“Not if I file it away for later. This is just so cool. Gus is gonna be so jealous. He’s the one for history and stuff.”
“What about you?”
“I just travel for the experience. I get bored, I move on.”
Amy liked that attitude. If she could have escape Leadworth earlier, she would have. Of course, she wouldn’t have met the Doctor the second time when he came back for her – 12 years later. She wasn’t about to let him leave her behind again.
Her stomach let out an unladylike growl and she hoped the others didn’t hear it. Shawn’s wide grin told her that he had.
“It’s a good thing we’re here, then,” said the Doctor.
The Doctor motioned with his arms and she noticed they were standing in front of the Ritz. “Really? Oh, wow!” She looked at the Doctor. “You do have money for this? Real money?”
“Do you really think so little of me, Pond? Guineas, sovereigns, shillings, pence, the whole lot. I got it when you were giving Shawn the tour.”
“Ooh, tea at the Ritz. You both behave yourselves. I want nothing to ruin this.” She walked purposely towards the door.
When the doorman held the door and nodded his head with a “good day, miss”, she had to hold back the girlish glee that ran through her at that moment. She had to be sophisticated and elegant. She tried not to gawp as she looked about the gorgeous lobby. With the Doctor and Shawn, she walked into the Palm Court. It was just as she had imagined it; marble columns, gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers.
“Jules would love this,” said Shawn a little wistfully. “’Course, I could never afford it.”
“I’m sure you could find something similar close to home,” she said.
At the table, Shawn pulled out her chair and pushed it back in once she was seated. “I saw it in a movie once,” he responded to her look.
She also noticed he was wearing a tie. “What’s with that? You didn’t have that on before.”
“Required. I had a spare in my pocket,” said the Doctor as he perused the list of teas. “At least they haven’t banned jeans yet.” He beamed at them. “Earl Grey or Darjeeling?”