Breakfast in the TARDIS is usually a rather haphazard affair, happening whenever anyone wakes up or is feeling breakfasty. The TARDIS's kitchen usually comes up with something, but it can vary a bit: toast and cereal, kippers and grapefruit ("with a cherry on top, look!" points out Ace), and sometimes things that neither Ace nor Hex recognise but that they presume must be alien breakfasts, meant for past (or maybe future) inhabitants.
"Mel was before me and she was human," says Ace, with her mouth full of something purple and, they both have to admit, rather tasty, "so it can't be hers."
"Who was before Mel?" asks Hex, wondering whether adding ketchup would be a good idea.
Ace shrugs. "Dunno, exactly. I get muddled up. The Professor said something about a penguin, so the kippers were probably for him."
"I don't think penguins eat purple gloop with blue sticks in, though," says Hex.
"Probably not," Ace agrees.
Breakfast may be variable, but there is one constant, at least for breakfasts that Hex is late to:
"Ace, did you drink all the orange juice again?"
Somewhere in the TARDIS, he can hear her laughing.
"The Q's on a double letter score, so that's twenty, plus one, one doubled is two, three more ones and a four, that makes thirty, all on a double word score, so that'll be sixty points altogether please."
"Qroltny?" asks Hex sceptically. And with some difficulty.
"It's an Elnetti word," Ace tells him, straight faced. "Means mittens. Oh yes, you never met the Elnets, did you?"
"Doctor?" appeals Hex.
The Doctor is half sitting, half lying in his favourite armchair next to the fire. He lifts the hat that's covering his face (Hex isn't sure whether to assume he's dozing or plotting) and inspects them both.
"I generally prefer not to get involved in situations like this," he informs them, and lowers the hat again.
Ace grins, and adds the points onto her already impressive score. Hex sighs, and goes back to trying to get something more impressive than "cat" out of his letters.
He isn't entirely successful.
Ace wins. She usually does. She always wins at Monopoly too. Hex would suspect her of helping herself to money from the bank whenever his back was turned, but he doesn't need to: he's caught her at it several times.
The only way for him to triumph at TARDIS games nights, he is beginning to realise, is to cheat better.
Hex had been travelling with the Doctor and Ace for quite some time before he dared to begin investigating further into the TARDIS. He feels a lot more confident now, but still hasn't quite shaken the feeling that he should take a ball of string with him every time.
The swimming pool has become almost an old friend, a sign that he's nearly back on the map, but this time he's been wandering for a while and still hasn't seen it. He's just starting to worry when he finds something far better.
Opening a nondescript little door he finds himself in a room full of grass and sunlight, rolling hills and clear blue sky as far as the eye can see. He takes off his shoes and socks and steps inside; the distant sound of birdsong greets him. He finds an inviting patch of gentle slope, sits down, and just gazes for a while, amazed all over again at how something so big can exist inside something so small.
After a while, he hears the sound of the door opening, but he doesn't turn: there's no need, no threat here. A few moments later, Ace sits down beside him. She's barefoot too, and she burrows her toes into the sun-warmed grass.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" she says.
"I like to come here sometimes and look at the view for a bit."
"It's like being somewhere else," says Hex. "Like, how can we still be inside the TARDIS?"
"I know. It's wicked, isn't it?"
Hex looks over at her sitting next to him, her face tilted upwards to catch the sun. "Yeah. It is."