The doctor moved around the console of her tardis with anything but elegance. Graham was surveying her with a look of concern but it was lined with happiness. He loved travelling with the ‘fam’ (as she insists on calling them now) and seeing Ryan come out of his shell and become more confident with his dyspraxia was one of his favourite things.
‘‘CUSTARD CREAMS!’’ With the volume and suddenes of the Doctors exclamation, Graham could very easily of had a heart attack,
‘‘Bloody hell Doctor, you better watch out. I’m getting on in my old age. We can’t all live forever like you.’’ It was true, his joints were starting to ache more and his shortness of breath was more prominent. He was dreading the day when he had to come back to the tardis and decline a trip because he couldn’t handle it.
‘‘What do you mean Graham? Are you okay? You feeling tired, sick, dizzy or odd?’’ The doctor came up to Graham’s face and looked at him through what looked like a futuristic stethoscope, next she pulled at his ears and squished his face together.
‘‘You seem fine, don’t scare me like that Graham!’’ She started to walk off chucking her things into smaller cubby-holes of the console as she went,
‘‘Also, the misconception that I live forever is totally wrong. I regenerate. I’ve been given the same amount as all people from Gallifrey, although I do tend to go through them rather quickly. But someday they will run out.’’ She sounded quiet but at the same time, she didn’t seem to be too bothered by the idea that she will soon die like everyone else.
‘‘That’s not what I meant Doc, I meant that one day the inevitable will happen,’’ He paused as she turned to him frowning,
‘‘I won’t be able to come on these trips anymore, more doctors appointments, less time and less energy. It’s bound to happen at one point Doc. Look at what happened to Gracie, things can take sudden turns out of the blue.’’ With the mention of his late wife, Graham became teary and lent against the railing. The doctor all but leapt across the tardis and stood in front of him, frowning once more but her facial expression was laced with empathy and fear.
‘‘I cannot apologise enough for what happened to Grace, and I promise that Ryan and Yaz are in my duty of care. As well as you, I make sure to keep everyone up to date on their health checks conducted my the tardis. If you need any help with your health, then you can always talk to her!’’
‘‘Talk to the tardis?’’ The doctor almost rolled her eyes, how many times had she had this conversation with her makeshift family,
‘‘Yes, she isn’t just a ship Graham. She’s a hospital, a house, a friend. Whatever you want her to be.’’
Her facial expressions softened, she allowed her walls to come down much more for her companions. More than she had for anyone else in a very long time. She understood the risks that came with this, she knew one day she would have to explain that she would change, and that while she would still be the same person on the inside ,she would still be the doctor, she would be different. She could be another moody old man, or a middle-class middle-aged woman. But most importantly, she knew one day that she would have to leave her companions behind. She couldn’t go through what she had before with Clara, despite her being a time traveller herself now, the burden that it would place on them would be destroying. Having to leave family behind and never return to earth long enough to explain what was happening. Living life on the run from their past. Running away from Gallifrey was still a small niggle in the back of her mind, when she had returned in her past regeneration and spending centuries in that psychological prison after Clara died. She couldn’t do that. Not again.
‘‘Graham, I assure you that even though there will come a day when we will have to stop travelling together, I will make sure you have the best time leading up to that. I don’t want you to have to think about being a burden on the rest of us, you’re not. You mean a lot to me and the two kiddies…’’ The doctor and Graham pulled a face,
‘‘Thought I would try that out… Nope… Not doing that again…’’ Graham chuckled at her childish innocence. She was so pure, yet he knew what she could be. He knew that a mere mention of her name could inflict a fear so strong into enemies veins that they would disappear and never return. ‘The oncoming storm’ and ‘The destroyer of worlds’ were only two of them that he had heard of so far. When he looked at this seemingly young woman, he could never imagine her acting so out of character that these names were placed upon her. Yet he knew, and he awaited the day when he saw justice given to those names.
‘‘It’s alright Doc, and you’re right. I’m glad we chatted about this, The kids mean a lot to me. As do you.’’The doctor gave a small smile at this and turned away, to hear that he cared about her worried her. Even though she gave advice not to worry or think of such endings, she couldn’t help but go against it. A thought popped into her head, if he couldn’t always go fleeing from a strange alien, she would just take him somewhere where there aren’t any,
‘‘YAZ! RYAN!’’ She bellowed, God knows where they were on the Tardis. However, they appeared a few seconds after her call,
‘’You don’t need to pack anything, but all of you are to follow me!’’ She hopped around, pressing a few buttons and pulling a few levers making sure they were situated somewhere safe in the earth’s atmosphere. Yaz, Ryan and Graham all looked at each other and shrugged, following swiftly after the Doctor down the hallways of the spaceship. She stopped when she came to a large wooden door and pressed buttons on the keypad next to it,
‘’Just thought we could do some relaxing’’ and she pushed the door open to reveal a large field with a fountain in the middle. Central park. Graham’s last place to visit on his bucket list.
‘’Wow! This is amazing, how come we’ve never seen this before?’’ Ryan asked walking into the middle of the simulation,
‘’Because i’ve only just changed it. I took the date of september 5th, 1989. A lovely day, warm temperatures and everything else you would need for a calm trip.’’ One they were all in, the doctor grabbed a picnic basket that was resting on the edge of the large fountain and layed down a blanket. Food was arranged, along with drinks for the small family. Graham smiled as the two young companions ran off looking at the surroundings of the simulated New-York,
‘’Since you won’t always be in the mood for running from aliens, you can always chill out here and relax with the fam. You don’t need to be worried anymore Graham, I will be here to protect and care for you. No matter what is needed.’ The doctor sat down on the blanket with him and handed him a sandwich. He knew he would be okay, he knew Ryan and Yaz would be happy and safe once he was gone. However, most importantly he knew that the doctor would always be there and he would enjoy every minute he spent with his family until his last breath.