Zoe Heriot was sitting on her bed in her room, down the first corridor on the left from the main console room, pass two doors on the right before turning left again, turn right at the corner, third door on the left. Her room was spotlessly clean, and strikingly bare compared to the Doctor’s and Jamie’s. However, there were a few small things beginning to trickle in, a poster of an ‘oldies Earth band’, according to the Doctor, whose music she’d enjoyed, a mirror with a butterfly design on the corner above her dresser, a pair of rainboots waiting in the corner for their chance to be used for the first time. A few little things that said very little about who Zoe Heriot was, because she was still trying to figure that out for herself. It was a big change, from the Wheel on Saturn to the TARDIS on...well, anywhere. Everywhere, even. No longer was Zoe the walking computer whose head was stuffed full of facts and statistics; now she was a companion, a younger sister, a friend, who could laugh and tease and shout in fear and anger. She was a real, true person now.
And right now she was reading up on an old custom that the Doctor had mentioned from Earth. He’d seemed delighted, clapping his hands and grinning in that way that made his lined face seem strangely youthful. He’d told her that it was a time when family and friends gathered from all over worlds to exchange love and gifts and enjoy each other’s company. It sounded lovely, to Zoe, but she couldn’t help but to notice that Jamie had looked distinctly put out by it. She couldn’t imagine why. The holiday sounded like a much-needed break, and even its name was almost magical - Christmas. Zoe was excited. And so, wearing her purple sparkly jumpsuit, with her neat bob of hair pushed back behind her ears, Zoe read a book about what people did on Christmas. There were plenty of stories that centered around the holiday in the Doctor’s library; it appeared to be one of his favorite times. Most of the stories were completely fictitious, but, for the most part, the general theme remained between both the fictional and factual books.
Zoe knew two things for certain. First, that she needed to find presents for the boys, at least one apiece. Next, that the TARDIS needed some serious redecoration. For some reason, the general colors of Christmas appeared to be red and green, but it was accompanied by silver and white in the form of tinsel and lights and snow. She was almost certain that the TARDIS’ temperature controls would refuse to drop low enough to produce snow, since, because of the Doctor’s cold-blooded nature, it could prove disastrous, but the astrophysicist was nearly certain that she could hang lights and tinsel. 97.86%, in fact. She’d done the calculations, and, provided they ran into no major emergencies, it should go over well.
Two hours later, Zoe’d read three more books and decided to root through the storage room of the TARDIS, provided that one existed. She’d asked the Doctor, who’d lead her on a winding passage that she memorized without trying, but it wouldn’t matter because the TARDIS liked to change passages around, all except for bedrooms so her passengers wouldn’t get too confused. The Doctor had told her to be careful of what she came across, with a somewhat nervous look on his face, but then grinned and said he was sure it’d be alright, and surely that thing couldn’t be around anymore. Zoe hadn’t had the chance to ask just what ‘thing’ he could be referencing before he disappeared back down the hall, murmuring something about biscuits. And so Zoe found herself now, surrounded by extraordinary disarray, rooting through old boxes and bags in search of anything remotely festive, while simultaneously doing her best to watch out for...things. She had managed to find a few bundles of lights already, but they were all the wrong colors - blues and oranges and purples - and were hopelessly tangled up. She wasn’t the type to give up, however, and kept at it doggedly.
Zoe wasn’t sure how much time had passed exactly before she heard footsteps as someone joined her. Actually, she was quite sure it was approximately twenty-two minutes and thirteen seconds, but she hadn’t been focused on that, so who knows.
“What’re ye doing rootin' about in here, Zoe?” an accented voice asked. Zoe turned to glance at her fellow companion, leaning against the doorway with his hand on his hip. Jamie was the strangest anachronism of all of the many that Zoe had witnessed on her travels. He was devoutly Scottish, and wore his red tartan kilt unrepentantly. Along with it he wore wool socks and sturdy boots, and still had his dagger - his dirk, he insisted - strapped to his hip. However, in complete contrast, he wore turtlenecks or vests, or even neckerchiefs around his neck. Despite being painfully slow in many areas, and sometimes backwards in his thinking of the roles of men and women, due to being from 1746, the Doctor always reminded her, Jamie was incredibly perceptive in others. He wore a wristwatch that he’d gotten as a present from the Doctor and their previous companions Ben and Polly, once he’d learnt how to tell time. Another companion Victoria had taught him how to read, even if he was still very stilted at it. But that was the amazing thing about Jamie, she supposed. He was so far behind, and yet he accepted things far quicker than even Zoe sometimes, and simply did his best to save people. She had to admire him for it.
“I’m looking for Christmas decorations,” Zoe replied, gesturing to the tangled bundles of lights at her feet. “Do you know where the Doctor might keep anything like that?” Jamie’s face fell immediately, and he shrugged.
“Don’ ask me. The TARDIS won’ let things stay put. The Doctor wouldn’t even know where they were if ye asked him,” he responded. Even though Jamie’s comments about the Doctor were sometimes unkind, Zoe had to admit that she agreed with this one. She sighed heavily and sat down on the unopened box to her left.
“I’ll never get the TARDIS decorated in time for Christmas,” she moaned.
“Why’re ye even bothering? It’s not like we’re on Earth,” Jamie pointed out. Zoe gave him a frown.
“Why are you so adamantly against us celebrating Christmas?” she asked. The piper held his hands up.
“I’m not against it! I just think that Earth traditions should stay on Earth, is all.”
“Well, we could ask the Doctor to take us to Earth for Christmas then,” Zoe suggested.
“Och, we’ll end up on some other planet at the wrong time anyway,” Jamie countered.
“Fine. But I want to decorate anyway,” Zoe said, getting frustrated at her friend’s behavior.
“Fine,” Jamie replied, then turned on his heel and walked away. To Zoe, it appeared that he was pouting. She was almost certain they’d be hearing a bagpipe solo soon, as was common when Jamie McCrimmon was in a sour mood. Huffing at his childishness, Zoe put herself back to work.
Later that evening, Team TARDIS was sitting at the dinner table, though the Doctor was only there for courtesy’s sake, seeing as how he didn’t need to eat as much as his human companions. Zoe watched the Doctor as he sat mostly still at the table, waiting for her and Jamie to finish eating. The Doctor was a little man, though she had no place saying so since he was taller than her. His hair was in constant disarray, brushed messily into his face. His clothes were no better. He wore a shabby frock coat with impossibly big pockets over a wrinkled blue button-down shirt, a spotted bowtie held onto his collar with a safety pin. He always wore wrinkled, loudly-checked pants and scuffed boots. And he always acted like a child, clapping and jumping around and laughing joyfully, or holding his finger up to his chin as he squinted contemplatively. But Zoe knew better. The Doctor’s lined face was wise beyond her years, almost as smart even as her. And he was no fool. The Doctor played dumb, but he was dangerous and cunning, and she’d seen him be fearfully cruel, and imaginative. She could only be glad that he’d never turned his anger on her. She feared she may not escape unscathed if he did.
The Doctor was currently watching Jamie and Zoe eat their lasagna with polite patience. He’d been interested in trying more ‘Earth-y’ foods recently, and they’d explored pizza, beef stew, and fish fillets, among other things, some dishes more successful than others. Zoe would classify this particular one as at least a relative success.
Zoe supposed that she may as well ask now, while everyone was gathered, and not running for their lives. “Doctor,” she began. Said alien’s kind blue eyes turned on her curiously. “Well, I was wondering. I wasn’t able to find any good decorations in the storage room for Christmas, you see. And Jamie pointed out that it was an Earth holiday,” the Scot stiffened, “ and we’re not even on Earth, so I thought we could take a holiday to Earth and celebrate there, at one of those big parties you mentioned!”
The Doctor was grinning widely now, and his arms were slowly raising, getting dangerously close to clapping loudly. “Why, Zoe, that’s a splendid idea! Well done, yes, I don’t see why not, we can go to Earth and celebrate!”
“We’d never get there anyway,” Jamie told them.
“Well, we could still try,” the Doctor said with endless patience, clasping his hands and smiling in a pleased way at Jamie. The latter only frowned and went back to eating.
“So, when can we leave, Doctor?” Zoe asked. She really was beginning to get excited for this, and resolved to ignore Jamie if he was going to try and bring them down.
“Well, if you’d like, we can leave as soon as, well as soon as you’re both done eating,” the Doctor suggested, already beginning to stand.
“I don’ want to!” Jamie said suddenly. The Scot put his fork down forcefully and pushed his chair back, scowling as he stood.
“Now, Jamie,” the Doctor began, but Jamie paid him no heed as he stormed from the room. So much for ignoring him, Zoe thought. The Doctor lowered himself back into his chair and looked after his friend with a deeply troubled look on his face.
“Doctor, what’s wrong with Jamie?” Zoe tried, leaning forward with concern creasing her brow. The Doctor glanced at her distractedly, then shook his head and made sad little sounds.
“Oh, oh, well you see, Christmas is one of Jamie’s favorite holidays,” he said as though that explained his outburst, wringing his hands worriedly. Zoe blinked.
“One of his favorite? But he acts as though he hates it!” She really didn’t understand this ‘emotions’ thing yet. The Doctor was still shaking his head, and murmuring something about ‘knowing this would happen’. Zoe waited, but when he didn’t explain further, she prompted him again, “Doctor?”
“Oh, Zoe, my dear, I’m terribly sorry,” the Doctor said, and this time he looked at her. Zoe relaxed in her chair, knowing that now he would really speak to her. “You see, Zoe,” he began, “back on Earth, Christmas is a very family-oriented event. Jamie used to spend his Christmases with his father, brothers, and Alexander and Kirsty McClaren. But, since his father, brothers, and Alexander died in the war...oh, I’m afraid the occasion is dredging up unwanted memories.” And the Doctor went back to making his sad little sounds. Zoe was beginning to understand, though.
“You’re saying he misses his family?” she asked, for clarification. The Doctor nodded in confirmation.
“Then surely a party would raise his spirits?”
The Doctor stared at her silently for a beat. “Yes, yes, that it might, Zoe!” he exclaimed, now fully standing from his chair. “Yes, we’ll see if the Old Girl will take us to Earth.” Zoe noted how he all but admitted that the TARDIS was the one in charge in their travels, while, with Jamie in the room, he was always adamant about being perfectly capable of steering the ship. The Doctor began to hurry to the console room. Dinner forgotten, Zoe got up and went after him.
Jamie McCrimmon was pouting. Of course he’d never admit to it - he was just thinking, he'd insist - but he was. He was sitting in his room on the floor, holding his bagpipes in his lap, but not playing them. Rather, he gazed silently at the wall, a pensive look on his face, his bottom lip jutting out just a bit. Why did Zoe and the Doctor have to be so insistent upon celebrating Christmas? It was a dumb thing to do, being time travelers and all. They could go to that planet that the Doctor had mentioned once before where they celebrated seven months out of their ten-month year. If they could get there, that is. Which they probably couldn’t. Of course, that train of thought made him feel marginally better; they almost certainly would miss Earth by miles, or Christmas by months, or both if the TARDIS was feeling finicky. He wouldn’t have to deal with it at all.
No sooner than the thought had materialized in his mind, Jamie felt a familiar tremor in the TARDIS, shortly followed by a low boom, almost felt more than heard. They’d landed, wherever it was that the TARDIS had deemed appropriate. Feeling smug in the fact that they certainly hadn’t made it to Christmas on Earth, Jamie pulled himself to his feet and put his bagpipes down, then started on his way to the console room. He found the Doctor and Zoe inspecting the readings on the dials with obvious hope, and crossed his arms expectantly.
“Well,” the Doctor said, glancing at Jamie to acknowledge his appearance, “it appears to be quite cold. We’ll need coats.”
“And gloves, a scarf, and a hat for you, Doctor,” Zoe reminded the cold-blooded man.
“Yes, yes,” he agreed. Jamie remembered the first time he’d been told that the Doctor was reptilian, and after having the word explained to him, thinking it so strange that his body temperature would adapt to its environment and could kill him. He remembered that he’d pitied him in that moment, for perhaps the first time, but certainly not the last.
“The atmosphere is breathable,” Zoe continued. “I can’t get a solid reading of the year, though. As usual.” Her tone was sly there.
“We can always ask the locals what year it is,” the Doctor said quickly, steering the young girl off the track of poking fun at his broken TARDIS. “Come on, you two, let’s get our coats.” The man beckoned his companions to follow him to the wardrobe. Neither Zoe nor the Doctor even bothered asking Jamie if he’d rather change into pants to spare his legs from the cold as they collected their garments. The Scot trailed after the others as they bustled back into the console room and opened the doors. They stepped outside, and immediately felt the chill. Jamie shoved his hands into his pockets and surveyed their surroundings quickly.
All around them were shops and people and cars and snow. It was late at night, and the stars twinkled down at them cheerfully. Overshadowing them, however, was endless lines of strung lights draped across storefronts and trees and handrails. Everywhere Jamie looked was snow and lights and pretty displays of precisely-wrapped boxes. Dread began to trickle into Jamie’s mind, and settled heavily in his stomach. It certainly looked like an Earth Christmas. He hazarded a glance at his companions. Zoe was grinning widely, and turned to latch onto the Doctor’s arm.
“Oh, you did it, Doctor! Well done! It’s Christmas time on Earth!” she exclaimed with utter ecstasy. The Doctor returned her grin and glanced around himself with an all-too-pleased look. Of all times for the Doctor’s steering skills to begin working, Jamie thought. Now, they’d both have to celebrate Christmas and listen to the Doctor gloat over his absolute control over his ship for who knows how many weeks.
“Now then, let’s see…,” the Doctor trailed off and approached a young woman walking by with her arms full of bags. “Excuse me, miss. You couldn’t happen to inform my companions and I when and where we are?” He had a polite smile on his face and his hands clasped in front of him, but he still earned a skeptical look.
“Have you been drinking?” she asked, eyeing the trio dubiously.
“Well, maybe just a little,” the Doctor agreed, in hopes of getting her to tell them.
“Why, you’re in London. It’s Christmas Eve!”
“And what year would it be now, ma’am?”
“You really have been drinking, then, haven’t you?” The woman laughed a little and shook her head. “It’s 1969!”
The Doctor’s face lit up, and a grin spread across it, enhancing his laugh-lines ten fold. “1969,” he repeated. “Oh, that’s lovely, just wonderful. Thank you very much, have a merry Christmas!” The woman smiled politely and nodded at the odd bunch, then went on her way. Jamie narrowed his eyes as he thought, watching the Doctor carefully.
“Doctor,” he began, “say, the 1960's…”
“Yes, we've landed just shortly after Ben and Polly went on their way,” he agreed, turning his blinding smile on the piper. “And I’m willing to bet that Ben is back on shore for Christmas. Let’s, why don't we see if we can’t pay them a visit, hm? London 1969, how lovely.”
“Where would we even find them, Doctor?” Jamie asked doubtfully, still in a sour mood. He pulled his hands out of his pockets and crossed his arms.
“Why, shopping, of course! Polly was quite the one for that, I remember…”
“Ben and Polly were your traveling companions before you met Jamie or me, right?” Zoe asked, and Jamie felt a twinge of bitterness, because of course she was right, when was she not right? Why did she even need to bother asking when she was never wrong? But he let the bitterness fade at the innocence of the question. And of course, the Doctor was ever the patient paternal figure.
“That’s right, Zoe, and if I know those two, Polly will have adopted Ben as her official bag-carrier. Now, let’s see,” he mused, turning away from his companions to face the storefronts. He began to walk in a seemingly random direction, headed towards the busier areas of the city. Jamie scowled as Zoe began to follow him, and he had no choice but to do the same. After a few steps, the Doctor paused like he'd forgotten something, and began rooting around in his endlessly large pockets that Zoe informed him worked on the same principles as the TARDIS, with big words and explanations that Jamie simply didn’t understand. It took him a few moments, but the little man found what he’d been looking for and pulled out two small pouches. He handed one to Jamie and the other to Zoe, and grinned again.
“Buy yourselves something nice with it,” he told them. “Merry Christmas.” Zoe's face lit up like the lights all around them. She looked back and forth furtively, as though trying to figure out where to go first, but the Doctor solved her problem rather quickly. He spun again and set off at a brisk pace. Jamie and Zoe hurried to catch up with the little man.
Jamie couldn’t help but notice how happy the lassie was to be shopping, and it reminded him suddenly of Polly’s excitable personality, and the realization that he could be seeing her again tonight really hit him. Ben and Polly had been his family, along with the Doctor, for nearly a year, after all. Seeing them go had been sad, but he hadn’t been alone, and had known that Polly would get back to her friends and Ben back to his ship. Victoria’s leaving had been worse, harsher, having left them simply because she was fed up and scared, and to stay with people she barely knew to top it off. Jamie decided not to go down that road right now - he didn’t need more unhappy goodbyes to spoil the night.
“Jamie,” Zoe said, smiling up at him blindingly, her head only just reaching his shoulder. Jamie hummed at her. “Tell me about Ben and Polly, won’t you? I want to know who I’m about to meet.”
“Oh, well,” the Scot began, and scratched at his head absently. “Ben was a sailor for the Redcoats, but he was an alright lad despite it.”
“Is a sailor, Jamie. We’re in 1969, remember,” Zoe corrected him.
“Eh? Oh, aye. Le’ me finish, won’t ye?” He waved away her half-serious apologies and went on. “So Ben sailed. Polly was a bull-headed lass. Bit like you and that Isobel we met with the Cybermen and the Brigadier. She was nicer than Ben, too.”
“Ben was mean?”
“Not mean exactly, but he wasn’t always sweet, I’ll say that. Made fun of me for all sorts of things. Bit like Alexander, he was.” His voice was more strained now, as he spoke of his close friend, who had watched out for him, only to die trying to protect them from the Redcoats. What was it about Christmas that brought up so many horrible thoughts?
“Is,” Zoe corrected him again, but this time less sharp, and she had a thoughtful expression on her piksie-ish face. Jamie watched her carefully. Who knew what trouble they could get into with Zoe thinking hard. He still hadn’t forgotten about how she and Isobel had broken that Vaughn chap’s super-computer by talking nonsense at it, just for fun. She was dangerous when she pleased to be.
“Hurry along, won’t you two?” the Doctor suddenly called. Jamie and Zoe looked up to see him several meters ahead of them, waving them over to him energetically. They jogged resignedly over to him. It was no good trying to make the Doctor slow down when he got excited, much like when he, Jamie, and Victoria had landed on that beach and he’d tossed his clothes off, then dove into the sea in his underwear. Jamie and Victoria had been left by the TARDIS shaking their heads as he shouted at them to join him with buckets and spades for sand-castles.
When Jamie and Zoe caught up to him, the Doctor brandished his hands out towards the store in front of them with a blinding smile. The two humans inspected the displays curiously, then gave the Time Lord twin blank looks. The Doctor’s smile dropped, replaced with a disheartened scowl.
“Well, don’t you see?” he asked, gesturing to the store again. When neither companion offered an explanation, he sighed dramatically and shook his head in apparent disappointment. “Look at all this stuff - a store dedicated just to Christmas, isn’t it? We can shop and look for Ben and Polly! Come on then, you two!” Without waiting for any sort of agreement, the Doctor bustled Jamie and Zoe in through the doors, to the cheery chime of a bell. A very tired-looking employee glanced at them and offered a half-hearted ‘welcome’, then went back to gazing at the floor. Never mind the less-than-friendly reception, Jamie was glad to be inside where it was warm; he had the worst feeling that much longer in the cold and his knees would turn blue.
“Let’s split up,” the Doctor suggested with a grin, and then he was gone in the crowd of people. Jamie did a full circle trying to see where he’d gone, but the little man had disappeared. Zoe giggled at him and went off her own way. She, too, was soon gone, slight frame enveloped in the throngs of customers. Jamie leaned up on his toes and tried to see either of his companions, then settled back down and sighed when it was apparent that he was on his own. Unable to just stand there inside the door, Jamie began to walk aimlessly. He let his gaze flicker over shelves of scarves with puffy balls on the ends, endless rows of manufactured ornaments, snowmen and reindeer and presents topped with fanciful bows. There were things he didn’t understand, as well, strange little contraptions with pretty glitter and bright red and green colors.
It was when he’d paused to pick up one of these strange little things - a little glass bowl filled with white specks and a tiny snowman sitting inside - that he heard the voice.
“Wait! Is that Jamie?” The voice was far enough away for Jamie to be uncertain exactly where it’d come from or if he’d heard it quite right. He glanced up in an attempt to clear his confusion.
“It’s gotta be! Jamie’s the only one I know that’s crazy enough to go out in that getup in this sort o’ weather!” This voice was lower, if only slightly. And now Jamie saw the speakers.
Two people pushed their way through the browsing customers towards him. They looked hardly any different than they did three years ago from their perspectives. The first to reach him was a tall girl with long blonde hair and wide eyes, framed by heavy makeup. She was wearing white gloves, and a stylish coat, probably - Jamie didn’t understand styles in other time periods. The second figure was a little shorter than the first, a boy with dirtier blond hair than his counterpart and a sharp brow. He was wearing a more modest coat, and dark gloves. Ben Jackson and Polly Wright, in the flesh.
“Jamie!” Polly squealed, grabbing both of his arms and pulling him into a crushing hug before he ever got the chance to speak. He choked and wrestled out of her grip embarrassedly. Ben just stood before him with his eyebrows raised.
“What’re you doin’ here, mate?” the sailor asked. Jamie went to answer and was cut off by Polly again.
“Is the Doctor here too? How are you here?”
“Polly!” Jamie exclaimed finally, daring to want to get a word in. Once both of his past companions quieted, shrinking under the piper’s hard stare, he nodded. And then he smiled widely. “I can’t believe ye’re actually here! It’s good to see you again!” Jamie’d never been much one for words, so he didn’t say how much he’d missed them, and how strange and yet absolutely normal it was to see them standing before him again.
“How’d you get here?” Polly asked, visibly forcing herself to be calmer this time.
“In the TARDIS,” Jamie said.
“What? No way, you’re saying that thing actually took you somewhere you wanted to go?” Ben asked, mouth agape in exaggerated shock. Polly smacked him lightly on the arm, but she seemed surprised herself.
“That’s just the thing, we weren’t trying!” Jamie told them, putting his hand on his hip.
“That’s the secret of the TARDIS then,” Polly said, and nodded sagely. “You can go anywhere as long as you’re not trying to get there.” Ben laughed at her joke, while Jamie tried to puzzle out the logic of it, settling for nodding absently.
“Is the Doctor here, then?” Ben asked.
“Oh, aye, he’s just over…” Jamie glanced around, then put a hand on his stomach and glanced sheepishly back at his friends. “Well, he’s somewhere in the store. Probably.”
“Let’s find him, then,” Polly suggested, grinning. Jamie nodded and went to follow the Londoners when Ben frowned at his hand.
“You got money to buy that, mate?” he inquired. Jamie followed his gaze and saw the glass ball he’d forgotten he’d been holding.
“Oh, no, I was just looking,” he said distractedly and retraced his steps to set it carefully back on the shelf.
“It’s a snow globe, Jamie,” Polly supplied. Jamie nodded knowledgeably.
“Aye, I was just looking at the snow...globe,” he said quickly. It didn’t escape his notice, the smirk that Ben gave Polly, and the look of ‘behave’ that she shot back at him quickly, before turning back to face Jamie again.
“Right, the Doctor, then,” she said brightly. The three of them set off in search of a little man with an outrageous fur coat, clashing wool gloves, and a fuzzy hat. They wandered through countless aisles, pushing past people as politely as they could manage, but Jamie felt as though they were going in circles, and he didn’t see the Doctor anywhere. After scouring the whole store, the trio gave up and stood stationary in the back corner, mostly out of the way.
“You’re sure he’s in here, Jamie?” Ben asked.
“Aye,” Jamie replied with more confidence than he felt. “The Doctor would ne’er leave me and Zoe alone.” Not without good reason, at least.
“Who’s Zoe, then?” Polly asked, looking intrigued.
“Not someone else the Doctor accidentally kidnapped?” Ben suggested, only half-joking. Jamie blanched, realizing he’d all but forgotten about Zoe in the flurry of excitement. He jumped forward a pace.
“Zoe!” he called. Polly came forward and took his arm carefully, looking concerned.
“Jamie, what’s wrong?” Jamie paid her no heed, clenching his fists, upset at himself.
“I’ve lost both of them!” he complained. “We always lose the Doctor, but I lost Zoe too!”
“Jamie, mate, calm down. I’m sure she’s still here somewhere, right?” Ben intervened quickly.
“Yes,” Polly soothed. “Let’s look for them both. Come on then!” Jamie was still fuming at himself, but he consented to keep looking for his missing companions, and followed after Ben and Polly. Another trip around the store, and Polly was the only one who still held hope for finding either missing persons. By now, though, Jamie was no longer angry, but worried. He wasn’t scared for the Doctor - the wee man had probably landed himself in some trouble, and was surely talking his way out of it somehow - but Zoe was from years and years in the future, and if she ever got lost, he wasn’t sure what would become of her. He could only hope she’d had the sense to stay put in the store somewhere.
However, it turned out that Jamie needn’t have worried. Not ten minutes later, they found the small girl in a lively conversation with a middle-aged man, speaking in words that were long and complicated, and meant nothing to Jamie. He, Ben, and Polly merely watched for a few minutes, none of them eager to interrupt the two. They both had the strangest light in their eyes, and seemed utterly oblivious to the world around them. Jamie could only stand the nonsensical words for so long until it got old, though.
“Zoe,” he said loudly. Zoe blinked at her new friend, then looked around her before she spied Jamie. She brightened again and turned to face him.
“Oh, Jamie, there you are!” she said in a pleased way. Jamie crossed his arms and studied the man with her, feeling that over-protective anger that one did over a younger sibling.
“Who’s yer friend then?” he asked. Zoe’s grin only grew, and she gestured to the man.
“Jamie, this is Ian Chesterton! Mr. Chesterton, this is my friend Jamie McCrimmon.”