"Unless, I don't know. You could come with me."
"Sorry, I can't. It's just, somebody has to look after this lump."
So he left. It's not as if she really mattered. She wasn't the first to turn down an offer of companionship. There had been Grace . . . Amazing Grace . . . Still, there was no time to dwell on past disappointments when there was so much in the universe.
He ended up in Boston, 1773. All around him were people dressed as natives, yelling about taxation and representation and equal rights. He stopped one man and asked, "This wouldn't be about the tax on tea, by any chance?"
"Indeed it is. But it's about more than that, you know. This is about being controlled by one island an ocean away. This is about making sure nothing like that ever happens again. We are sinking tea for liberty!!" The Doctor sighed. He'd forgotten how superior those stupid apes could act. Pity about the tea. All those teas, just dumped in the harbor, never to be drunk. But still, nothing is better for dealing with rejection than revolting against some distant controlling government. Exactly what he had done when he was a young Time Lord.
Suddenly, he saw a tall man in an overcoat and converse sneakers. That was definitely anachronistic. Was it possible that another Time Lord had survived his inferno? Could this be his redemption? He had to find out.
"By order of Article Fifteen of the Shadow Proclamation, I request a Parley."
"The Shadow Proclamation!? That's one of my favorites for alien invasions!"
"Please identify yourself."
"I'm The Doctor; you should know that!"
"But . . . I've never been you!"
"Well I'm in your future. How many times do I have to go through this same thing before I get it? Anyway, I need to get back to the TARDIS. I got trapped on Earth back in 1758. Well, first I saved Madame de Pompadour from the clockwork men and met a horse. But I'm ready to take the easy path now."
"Are you seriously telling me that I'm going to lose the TARDIS, waste fifteen years of my life and just ask for a lift? What am I coming to?"
"Oi! It wasn't a waste! I spent a couple years with Reinette, and spent the rest sightseeing in Europe. Even met Giacomo Casanova. Nice man, him. Not as stunningly handsome as me, but still nice. And I helped develop some crucial equations."
"Fine, whatever. Where do I need to go?" . . .
When he opened the door of the TARDIS, Rose Tyler turned around. "Doctor? My old Doctor! I thought you'd never make it!" She rushed up to hug him and he instinctively jerked back from her embrace. "But I thought you couldn't change back. How did you do it?"
"What are you talking about? I didn't change back! I haven't even regenerated yet. What are you even doing here, anyway?"
"But Doctor, I've been traveling for years with you. Don't you remember?"
"Hold on a minute. I need to talk to myself." And he closed the doors in her stunned face.
"Sorry about that. I must have gotten us into the wrong millennium. Wrong galaxy even, I've never gotten that far off course in my lives."
"What makes you think we're in the wrong time?"
"Well, for one thing, Rose Tyler is outside --"
"She's here? I made it, you made it! Thanks to myself!" He rushed out like the maniac he was, yelling, "Rose, Rose! It's been so long! I thought I'd never see you again! I took the long path, but I'm here now."
"Doctor? One minute you look the way you used to and you don't remember anything we did together, and the next, you're bounding into my arms. What's going on?" Then his past incarnation came out again. She looked from one to the other. And back again. "Time Travel?"