The TARDIS center console had been acting up again, leaving the pair of travelers drifting in space. And probably time, Chloe thought, because things were weird and worked like that and she wasn't going to question it any more than she had to. The Doctor was trying to fix it, but there wasn't really anything she could do to help, so she sat cross-legged on the console bench and watched.
"Is there anything I can do?" Chloe asked again, trying not to twiddle her thumbs. Usually when this happened - and this'd happened more than once - she could head outside to whatever planet they were stuck on and see the sights. That wasn't such a good idea while drifting through the time vortex.
The Doctor looked up as if remembering she was there, and in doing so accidentally pulled too hard on some spindly lever, pulling it right out of the socket. "Er," he said, looking down at the thing through a pair of goggles, then holding it out towards her. "Here, take this for a moment."
Chloe chuckled and took it. She turned it over in her hands a few times before asking, "Are you even sure you know what you're doing?"
"Of course," the Doctor said with a smile, "me and the old girl have been together for over 900 years." He patted the console, and a spark jumped on the other side. Grimacing, he hurried to fix it.
Chloe narrowed her eyes. "What does that even mean?"
"What?" the Doctor asked, distracted.
"'900 years'. What does that mean - 900 Earth years? 900 Galifrayen years? How would you even measure your own time, when you're constantly jumping around through the time vortex?"
"It's like..." he started to say, then was silent for a moment as he concentrated on the TARDIS console for another minute. The Doctor finally looked up at Chloe again. "Earth years - I always use Earth years when talking to humans. And the TARDIS keeps track of her relative time, for me."
"And could the TARDIS tell you exactly how old you are now?" Chloe asked, skeptically.
The Doctor glanced at the central column, which wasn't moving. "Well, not at the moment. Besides, age isn't important - why should anyone care about something like that? It's not like that changes anything."
"It kind of does. I mean, you're technically an old man anyways, if I don't know exactly how old. You could be 900 or you could be 1000 or you could be 10.000." Chloe was silent for a moment, watching the Time Lord fiddle with the instruments. He said nothing in response, avoiding her eyes.
"You don't actually know, do you?" she asked. Before he could respond, the console sparked again and the lights reappeared, the TARDIS humming back to life.
"Aha, yes! See?" the Doctor shouted gleefully. He pointedly ignored her question, snatching the lever out of her hands to replace it on the console. "We're good to go! Where should we head to next?"
Chloe rolled her eyes.