The Doctor danced tirelessly around the console, wringing hands, pirouetting, coattails swishing about, a shiny velvet top hat sitting on the idle time rotor.
“What a splendid idea, old girl.”
He abruptly stopped when he noticed Jamie in the doorway. He coughed.
“Oh, hello, Jamie.”
“Have we landed?”
The Doctor beamed at him. “Indeed we have.” He swiped the hat from the rotor. “And I've a surprise for you.”
Jamie narrowed his eyes. “A surprise? Aye. Th' TARDIS's gone off course again, hasn't she?”
“No, Jamie. For a change we are where we wanted to go. Now, fetch that basket, will you?”
He flicked the switch for the doors, awaiting signs of Jamie's delight.
Instead, Jamie asked, almost smugly, “are ye sure, Doctor?”
The Doctor turned around. His broad grin fell as he noticed the damp, dense greyness.
Jamie stepped exploratorily over the threshold, his footsteps sounding squishy as his feet embedded in the grassy mud. He bounced slightly, testing the soil, then turned around and smiled excitedly at the Doctor.
“It's just like th' glens at home!”
The Doctor's hearts cringed at 'home'.
He didn't want to let go, not this time.
He flung his hat in a corner and stepped out of the time machine, forcing a smile. “Hmm. Yes. I should've known that February in Scotland isn't right for a picnic. Jamie, leave the basket.”
Jamie considered him, incredulously. “We're home?”
They always left when they returned home or found somewhere they were happy.
The Doctor coughed. “Ah, yes, well, the TARDIS landed us here and her database said you'd travelled with us for 668 days and she...”
Jamie grabbed his hand and pulled him away from the wee blue box into the vastness of the glen.
The doors closed softly behind them and the Doctor could've sworn he heard a chuckle in his time machine's mechanical rumbling.
Jamie had wanted to take in as much as possible of the land he once left behind, but their wild wanderings across the misty glens, on a virtually frosty afternoon, without a coat, had chilled him to the bone. The Doctor could see it in the way the boy clamped his hands around himself, and in the way he shivered.
The Doctor placed his hand on Jamie's shoulder, to stop him, to reach out. “Jamie.”
Jamie merely looked at him, his face blank.
“But you're freezing. C'mere.”
Jamie almost buried himself in the relative warmth of the Doctor, his face pressed against the Doctor's neck.
The Doctor's hearts skipped beats.
“Are you happy here, Jamie?”
The Doctor held him tighter. Jamie's breath felt warm on his neck.
He couldn't let go, not this time.
“I'm always happy with you, Doctor.”
The Doctor smiled into Jamie's hair.
“Let's go back to the TARDIS before you're hypothermic.”
“Aye. Let's go home.”