He perked up as soon as he heard the creak of the door. This was always his favorite part, when the stranger entered the Tardis. It never really got old seeing the gaping jaws hit the floor, without fail. He turned towards her, spreading his arms out wide.
"Welcome aboard, feel free to take a quick gander around while I set a course." He immediately turned back towards the console and typed furiously as the readings began to fluctuate. He stared intently at the screen, squinting his eyes for a moment before murmuring;
"Now we’re in the curiouser range."
She couldn’t help but to start laughing at the utter magnificence and absurdity of it. There was the impulse to run back outside and to take another look around the exterior, but something told her it wouldn’t be of any use.
It really was bigger on the inside than the outside. Impossibly bigger. It wasn’t a case of misdirection, of the blue box disguising an entry into the adjacent building. Buildings didn’t hum like that. Not the way the outside and now the inside air hummed. She could feel it.
Harleen did a series of slow pirouettes, as she made her way around the center. She barely noticed as the doors closed and the column in the middle of the console began to rise and fall. She could just hear the faint grinding noise she’d heard before bumping into the strange, tall man.
"Wait, did you say set a course?" She stopped suddenly and placed both hands on the console. "Set a course for what? To where? How?" She shook her head and came around to stand next to him. "I don’t even know your name and wow, this is not even, uh, probable, I guess?" She poked him in the shoulder, leaving a faint depression in the leather of his jacket. "You. Who, what, when, where, why, and how." She punctuated each with a jab of her finger.
His eyes met with hers, obviously trying his best to keep his amusement hidden about another first timer. “I do tend to follow the Tardis, especially when it comes to anomalies.” He nodded towards her again and started walking towards the blue box. “If you want to find out and, if you really want to, go home, then come on.”
He opened the door and entered the box without another word. He walked down the stairway and took a small hop towards the console, pressing buttons and staring at the analysis he’d left the Tardis running.
"Hm, curious, but not quite curiouser yet."
Harleen wasn’t given to following strange men into even stranger boxes, especially when said box was utterly out of place in a New York City alleyway. But he’d figured out she didn’t belong in the then and he had mentioned home. And there wasn’t anything truly threatening about him, at least nothing that registered with her. He seemed more amused than anything.
She drew her lips together in a moue of irritation and cautiously walked toward the blue box. She took a look to one side, then the other, and stood in front of the opened door with her hands on her hips. “Police public call box. Pull to open,” she murmured, reading the face of it. Harleen made another face and thought a moment. “Wait. Pull to open the big door or the little door?” She reached out and absently touched the handle on the left.
She gasped and withdrew her hand immediately. She stared at the box and then reached out again.
It looked like wood, but it didn’t feel like wood. Rather, it didn’t feel right. There was wood grain and paint, but it didn’t feel like it was real. It was difficult for her to describe. And the box, the surface, it felt warm. Not standing in the sun warm, but a something on the inside of it was warm sort of warm.
It also… hummed beneath her hand.
Harleen drew in a deep breath and slowly released it. “Sláinte,” she said, as she crossed the threshold.
"No, I’m not, and I know when someone else is not local to this time period either." He looks towards her pointed finger then back at her, crossing his hands in front of him. "You’re lost, and whatever brought you here caught the attention of my Tardis." He leaned his head towards the blue police box.
"So what’s your story, all-blonde-and-no-bite?"
Her mouth worked open, then closed, then open, and then closed again as she considered the multitude of responses. “Is this some weird sort of come on or something? I ain’t a working girl, you know. ‘Side, you don’t want any of my bite, Stretch.”
She wore her annoyance and curiosity like a shield. The fact that the strange, tall man had pretty much surmised her predicament within minutes of meeting her didn’t sit well with Harleen. “And yeah, maybe I am lost. What does that make you then?” She took a step forward and arched an eyebrow at him. “If your big blue box found me, what, you just go along with?” She narrowed her eyes at the police public call box a few feet away from them. “What’s a tardis, then? And what was that flashlight thing you were waving around and pointing?”
With that, he clicked the screwdriver back into place, putting it back into his coat pocket. He turned to her with a stern look in his eyes, almost a mix of exasperation and concern.
"You’re not from here, are you?" He stepped closer, getting a good look at her facial features.
"And I don’t mean New York, I mean from this point in time."
She instinctively took a step back, arching away from him. “Not from… what are you talking about?” She gave him a weak laugh and looked around the alley way. She calculated escape points in case things took a turn for the decidedly hinky.
"This point in time? You mean, like, time travel or something?" She snorted and shook her head. "No way, that’s all sci fi and stuff." She made a half circuit around him and directed an index finger his way. "You’re not from around here either, are you, Stretch."
As he felt the smaller person hit him, he looked down at her and raised a brow. “I didn’t realize there was back alley traffic, my apologies.” With a quick grin he nodded to her and reached into his coat pocket, pulling out his sonic screwdriver, taking a moment to look over it in surprise.
"Ooh, new casing. I rather like the blue lens."
With a press of the button, the screwdriver lit up with its continuous chirp as he aimed it around the immediate area. Realizing the young lady was still there, he looked to her over his shoulder.
"Are you lost or something? Or you just fancy bumping into people at random?"
"Back alley…" She let the comment evaporate as she watched him pull what looked like an over-sized pen light out and start waving it around. She wondered if it was a piece of technology she had yet come across. Or if it was just a flashlight that made noise.
At his question, she stared up at him and narrowed her eyes. “I’m into bumping into weird guys in alleys, no.” She bit her bottom lip and looked to the side. “Lost or something. Both sound right,” she muttered. In a louder voice she added, “You lose something or what?” She nodded at his hand.
"Where to now I wonder, all of space and time and so few choices." The Doctor mused to himself. Freshly regenerated, sporting some new clothes and an itch for adventure, He danced around the TARDIS controls, pulling levers, pressing switches, winding cranks and other various machinations. Just as he thought he had set his course, the TARDIS shook violently, knocking the timelord to the ground.
"Oi! Warn me next time you want to protest." He jumped to his feet and made a dash straight for the keyboard, typing with unmatched speed.
"Well now, I’ve never seen such a large cluster of anomalies since…." He paused for a moment, a lingering memory working its way back up. Shaking his head, he looked towards one particular reading. "Well now, aren’t you interesting.."
With a daring grin on his face, he pulled a lever as the familiar moan of the TARDIS sounded loudly as it materialized. He dashed out the door to the loud and bustling streets of New York.
"New York? America of all places? Well, this is going to be a fast trip."
It wasn’t easy to hear over the normal, or what passed as being normal, New York ambiance. The city wasn’t exactly louder than she was used to it. It was just… different.
Lots of things were different for her now. This Cyber Monday thing, for example. That was not something that existed where she was from.
It had been a tough few months for her, being so far from home but being home. It wasn’t anything she spoke to others about. There were some people she could share confidences with, even speak frankly with, this wasn’t a subject you could just bring up.
How do would she even begin to explain the fact that she was 16 years in her own future?
Although she was in the future, her future, she knew that the noise didn’t have a place there. It was like this grinding of gears, like the Subway and the buses and icebergs all trying to avoid a collision.
Her innate curiosity got the better of her, as it usually did, and Harleen Quinzel found herself drawn toward the source of the sound. She rounded a corner was suddenly face to face (more like face to black t-shirted chest) with a tall, lanky, madly grinning man saying something about America.
She stumbled backwards, maintaining her balance. “Woah, hey, watch it, okay?”