Running away from Gallifrey had not been an easy choice. He had to leave his family behind, his friends and even -- no , he dare not think about that so early on. Only Larn had come with him, and only because she had absolutely refused to stay when he was leaving to see the stars -- even though that was not exactly his primary reason for leaving, and he never actually corrected her assumptions so he did it all the same, if at least for her.
They travelled so far in that old Type 40 TARDIS nobody had wanted, so far he knew not even the Celestial Intervention Agency would be able to follow them if they even cared for that daft old man and his granddaughter.
Eventually they ended up in a rock that the Doctor (which was the name he had chosen a few decades before) had studied a bit at the Academy and one which Larn seemed so obsessed with: Sol-III, or planet Earth, as it was commonly known in its galaxy. Home to the “mighty” human race. Larn wanted to see the era when they had first begun space exploration, but the Doctor -- just to be safe -- considered it a better idea to arrive a century before that, since they would be ignored more easily than when humans were so eager to discover and contact alien life.
And so they arrived in a junkyard in a city called London in the northern hemisphere of the planet. Larn wanted to interact with the humans, and since her physical appearance matched that of a human teenage girl, the Doctor agreed to have her attend a human school for youngsters who looked her age (although she was 75 years older than her 15-year-old “classmates”), and this left the Doctor a lot of time to think about what he had actually achieved by leaving.
It was not a pleasant time for him when Larn --
no, Susan, she goes by Susan now
was away. He pretended he was fine; oh yes, he was good at pretending. He was good at acting like a simple grumpy grandfather (it was better than a grumpy father; now
had been a difficult time for him); he read books and tried to get their time machine to work properly because it kept using cold water in the shower when all he wanted was to feel warm and at peace
like the two suns back on Gallifrey had made him feel
He knew who would have been good at fixing all of his problems, and he didn’t just necessarily mean the TARDIS. But he dare not think about that. About the man who had been his dearest friend and -- again with that. It had meant nothing. It had certainly meant nothing to the other, since he had decided that the noise in his head had actually been more important than the Doctor after all.
Shut up, old man, this attitude will get you nowhere.
And so the days turned into months and sure enough they had been four months living among the humans -- or at least Susan had, because the Doctor had barely left the “police box” he now seemed to live in -- when one day Susan returned later than usual and… she wasn’t alone, to the Doctor’s horror. He tried to distract her companions and guide them away from their “home”, and he would have succeeded had it not been for Susan’s sudden and accidental interruption, revealing the Doctor’s deceit. Concerned, the humans literally pushed their way inside the blue box and honestly the whole thing was ridiculous enough already for Rassilon’s sake --
The Doctor was not amused. He was grateful for the humans’ concern for Susan, he really was, but now they had discovered their secrets and okay he could have tried deleting their memories of the whole affair and drop them off at Coal Hill but he had never really been the best at telepathy, not as much as… okay how was he not supposed to think about him when he was everywhere he looked? The audacity .
So yeah, he took off
in a panic
and tried to get rid of the teachers by dropping them off in their own prehistory. Not his best moment, but really who had entered whose time machine uninvited? How was he supposed to react? Ridiculous, the whole affair.
All the same, that is how it started. The Doctor, Susan Foreman, Barbara Wright and Ian Chatterton -- wait or was it Chisterson? honestly human names were unnecessarily weird -- travelling inside the TARDIS while the Doctor put his best efforts in not crashing into a star even under the pressure of being yelled at to be returned to a very specific period of time and space by the whim of the two intruders and even Susan -- did they even know how difficult it was to navigate through the Time Vortex? No? Okay then please why couldn’t they all stop assuming it was that easy to find that very insignificant time-space location?
The Doctor didn’t want to admit it but… he had actually grown somewhat fond of the two humans. They had such a unique view on just about everything, and it was so refreshing. They reminded the Doctor why he had wanted to see the universe even as a kid; there was so much to explore and see and love that he couldn’t believe why he had ever lost that sense of intrigue that was so present in his companions.
They had such adventures, the four of them. Among their many many interesting anecdotes was the discovery of the Daleks (a race of evil hate-filled creatures encased in metal), meeting Marco Polo, fighting the Voords, the Aztecs (he almost got married, which had been… weird, he had never actually thought much of marriage except for when there was still a chance he could -- but not anymore, especially not since it seemed unlikely that he would ever return to Gallifrey, or that Susan would for that matter, which meant that she would never get to marry another Time Lord and wow wasn’t
doing wonders for his guilt and regret), the Reign of Terror (France! The Revolution! Fun!
Until they were all involved and suddenly it wasn’t so fun
), and that time when they had finally made it back to Barbara and Ian’s era but they were all tiny and honestly why did the universe punish him so much, what had he ever done wrong?
From the Doctor’s perspective everything was perfect. So just like his childhood dreams and love, it couldn’t last.