“No, no, no, you've got it all wrong!” The woman in the plaid skirt and white Converse sat wildly gesturing in one of the booths, somewhat loudly making a point to her friends. “I mean, yeah, the new stuff's really cool too, but the old stuff had, like, a real story going on, you know, proper stories and acting because everything else was shoddy.”
Jamie quietly sat himself one of the bar stools and looked round the pub. It looked a bit opulent, not at all like the pubs he was used to. Certainly the clientèle was more — enthusiastic. He'd insisted on going in because the name had reminded him of Victoria, but the women were very loud and perhaps a bit drunk.
Jamie nudged the Doctor who beamed at him.
“Students from the University,” he explained.
A thin, annoyed-looking waiter took their order for two pints — Jamie settling for a local brew, the Doctor instead sticking with a slightly sweeter cider.
As the women's laughter grew louder, Jamie clung to the Doctor.
“Ooh, I'm going to be so hungover for my supervision tomorrow,” one of the women moaned.
Another encouraged her. “Oh, don't worry, your supervisor is brilliant, I'm sure he won't mind.”
The woman in the Converse extracted herself from the booth to order another pint. She spotted Jamie and the Doctor and squealed in delight. Jamie reacted by clinging closer to the Doctor.
“Oh, my, gosh,” she breathed, “like-minded people! You too, huh! Fantastic costume, really! Good to see some other proper Classic fans. You're so my OTP. You — you know what I mean. That's just — that's just brilliant.”
Jamie pulled the Doctor close. “Wha's she on about, Doctor?” he whispered.
The Doctor explained from the corner of his mouth. “I think we skipped a universe, Jamie. She's a fangirl.”
Jamie now positively braided his hands in the Doctor's coat. This was a completely normal reaction to something scary and did not at all indicate anything else.
The woman in the Converse received her pint and grinned broadly at the couple.
“You really both do look brilliant, you know!”
She buried herself in the booth again.
The annoyed-looking waiter made his way over to the Doctor's and Jamie's side of the bar with a stern face.
“No smoking in here, mate.”
“Since when?!” an indignant voice rose slightly in pitch.
Jamie looked 'round to find a choir-boy-looking blond-haired man dressed in a tweed suit and a jumper with a lit match in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
“Oh, it's you! That is, it's me!” the Doctor chuckled next to Jamie. “I didn't think I'd pick up smoking again, though.”
The blond man looked at him in utter consternation. “Just who on Earth are you?”
Jamie took a sip from his pint. At least with pints you sort of knew what to expect.