Sophie was in Manchester when the Doctor came back. Later, looking back on the events that were about to take place, Craig would wonder if the Doctor had known that. It would be just like him to know something and pretend that he didn't.
“She's in Manchester for a Hen Night,” Craig explained when the Doctor asked.
“All that way just to pick up a chicken?” asked the Doctor, possibly unaware that he was quoting an old advert. The Doctor was curiously inconsistent about his knowledge of popular culture.
“No,” said Craig, “her sister's getting married and they've gone to get drunk and leer at male strippers.”
“How very wholesome,” said the Doctor without a trace of irony.
“She's just looking,” said Craig, “it's not like she's going to run off with one of them.”
“I didn't say she would,” said the Doctor, apparently confused. “Oh! You're worried about that? Don't be, she loves you.”
“Why are you here?” asked Craig, better late than never. “Have you lost the TARDIS again?”
“No, she's parked up the street. Took a bit of a shine to that BT phone box. Silly old thing.” He smiled contentedly and sat down on the sofa. “I've come to see you, Craig. One friend visiting another, like normal people do.”
Craig nodded and sat down in the armchair. “So what's been happening to you, mate? Anything exciting?”
“Amy got married to Rory, who came back from the dead. I rebooted the universe. Amy got replaced by a melty clone while she gave birth to River Song, who might possibly be my wife in the future. Which means I've kissed my own mother-in-law.”
“Just the usual then,” said Craig weakly.
The Doctor nodded. “Yes, pretty much. You?”
“I feel like anything I said would look pathetic after that.”
“Oh, but Craig, you have a great life! You've got a house and a girlfriend and a job! I envy you so much!”
Craig was surprised by this. “What, really?”
The Doctor shook his head. “Not especially, no. I just thought that would be the right thing to say.” He looked a bit bored already. He fiddled with his bow-tie.
“So...” said Craig,
“So,” said the Doctor.
“Do you want some tea? Or I've got -”
“It's about our UST,” said the Doctor suddenly.
“Unresolved Sexual Tension,” the Doctor explained. “I've been reading about it on the internet. It's when you have an unspoken sexual attraction between two — or possibly more — people and it hasn't been acted upon yet.”
Craig turned that over in his head a few times. There had to be an angle where it looked normal. “I don't think we have that,” he said, finally.
“We do,” the Doctor insisted. “Can't you feel it? All tingly in your stomach?”
“Are you sure it's not something you ate?”
“There comes a time in a man's life,” said the Doctor, “when he must explore his sexuality.”
“I don't need to explore my sexuality,” said Craig. “I've explored it with Sophie.”
“Explore it with a man,” said the Doctor patiently.
“I'm not gay,” said Craig. “Not that there's anything wrong with it, some of my best mates are gay, but I'm not.”
“Which of your best mates are gay?” asked the Doctor. “Sean?”
“Well... none of them, but that doesn't mean I hate gay people.”
“I never said you did.”
Craig stood up. “I don't feel comfortable having this conversation.”
The Doctor stood as well. “I'm sorry, but it's important to me.”
“Are you feeling gay, is that it? Look, mate, it's fine if you like other blokes.” He patted the Doctor's shoulder in a gesture of manly solidarity. “I didn't think you'd be worried about something like that, what with you being an alien and all that.”
The Doctor drew himself up. “Time Lords aren't bound by such petty categories,” he said rather pompously.
“Is there someone you fancy? Because, you know, if I learned anything from you it's that you should just come right out and say it.”
“You're right,” said the Doctor. “Craig, I'm madly in love with you.”
“Yeah, that's how... wait, what? Me? You're madly in love with me?”
“Yes,” said the Doctor. “I can't stop thinking about you.”
“I... Doctor, I'm flattered that someone like you would think I'm worth fancying, but I'm not gay and I've got a girlfriend.”
“I've got a girlfriend as well,” said the Doctor. “Sort of. I think. To be honest I'm not quite sure what our relationship actually is.”
“Does she know that you fancy me?”
“She's the one who said I should visit you and 'sort it all out'.” The Doctor leaned in and quietly added “She wanted me to take pictures, but I said you wouldn't be into that sort of thing.”
“Have you ever kissed a man?” asked the Doctor.
“Then how do you know you don't want to?”
Craig tried to think of a good answer to that one. It was a stupid suggestion, but the Doctor was really, really good at making stupid things seem totally sensible. “I think of you more as a friend,” he said.
The Doctor placed a hand on Craig's cheek. “I want to kiss you. I want it so much that my bones ache.”
Craig felt a bit out of sorts. Something about the Doctor was quite attractive, but he felt sure it wasn't a gay thing. He heard himself say “If it makes you feel better, I suppose you can.”
Then the Doctor was kissing him, not quite as chastely as Craig had expected. He hadn't thought there'd be tongues and a bit of gentle biting. Stubble scratched at his chin but apart from that it was actually pretty pleasant.
“Hmm,” said the Doctor.
“What?” Craig managed.
“Nothing,” said the Doctor, “let's just skip to the steamy sex.”
“Woah, there,” said Craig, “I'm not going to have sex with you!”
“Why not?” asked the Doctor, with a look of genuine confusion.
“I'm not into gay sex! Not the bloke kind, anyway. If we were both girls that would be different.”
“Oh, Craig,” said the Doctor with a sigh, “oh, you astonishingly average man. That's what I like about you.”
“Can't you just like me from a distance? A distance where we don't have to have sex?”
The Doctor nodded sadly. “I suppose I'll have to.”
“Sit down, we'll have a few beers, we'll watch some football on the telly, and we won't have sex.”
The Doctor sat back down on the sofa. “If you think that's for the best.”
Craig fetched some cans from the fridge. “We'll just forget about all that kissing stuff. It wasn't really the best idea.”
“I liked it,” said the Doctor, taking a can and opening it with some difficulty. He took a drink. “I hate beer,” he announced before taking another mouthful.
Craig settled back down after switching on the television. “So, are you bisexual or what? I thought you had a bit of a thing for Amy?”
“I didn't,” said the Doctor unconvincingly. “But that's not the point.”
“I don't mean to be nosy, it's just -”
“I kissed the TARDIS,” said the Doctor. “She was a woman at the time.”
“Did she have...?” Craig gestured in front of his chest. Here at last was a subject that held great interest for him.
“Quite large ones, actually. And breasts.”
“Right,” said Craig, confused yet again. “Have you thought about getting a boyfriend?”
“I've been a bit afraid of letting another man get close since one of them went evil.”
“Still, that's only one of them. I'm sure it wasn't your fault.”
“Probably.” The Doctor took another drink. “Are we going to have drunken sex?”
“No,” said Craig, determined to avoid having gay alien sex, drunken or otherwise.
“Oh,” said the Doctor, putting his beer down on the coffee table. “I thought that's where this was going.”
“You're not very good at romance, are you?”
“I'm good at everything!” the Doctor exclaimed indignantly.
“Have you and your girlfriend... you know?”
“I know what?”
“Have you shagged her?” asked Craig patiently.
“I might have,” said the Doctor. “I'm almost certain I'm going to, but she's in prison at the moment for killing someone. I think it's me she killed.”
“Doesn't that put you off her a bit?” asked Craig.
“I find it quite attractive, to be honest,” said the Doctor. He seemed a bit confused by his own thoughts on the matter.
“You're really weird,” said Craig good-naturedly.
“Thank you.” The Doctor looked at the television. “Is this that game we played when I lived here?”
“Yeah, it's football.”
“It's quite homoerotic,” said the Doctor, thoughtfully. “All the sweaty men running about in shorts. I'm surprised they show this before the watershed.”
“Doctor, it's football! Football is the least gay thing in the world!”
“Are you sure about that?” The Doctor leaned towards the screen. “I like that one with the number on his back.”
“Why don't you whisk him off into space?” asked Craig tiredly.
The Doctor stood. “I think I will.”
The Doctor held up a hand. “Don't stop me, I'm in love. I'm ready for a whirlwind romance.”
“Doctor, footballers aren't gay.”
The Doctor looked at him pityingly. “Craig, there are twenty-two healthy young men on that field, do you really think none of them would like a bit of gay sex in the showers after the match?”
“Well... I never really thought about it?”
“Right.” The Doctor looked at his watch. “I can be there five minutes ago, but that would be crossing my own timeline and that's almost never a good idea.”
“Wait until the match is over!” cried Craig, who wasn't a very romantic person when you got right down to it.
“If it's important to you, Craig, my friend, then I'll wait until it's over. But I have to go now, because I can't wait until I see sense.”
“Good luck,” said Craig, surprised to realise that he actually meant it.
And as suddenly as he had arrived, the Doctor was gone. Craig settled back down to watch the match and finish his beer.
“I should have known he was gay,” he said to himself, “he was always so clean and polite.”
And with that Earth-shattering thought, the love of the Doctor and Craig was laid to rest.