Author's Notes: Many thanks to Morganeth Taren'drel for beta-reading this for me! We bounced this chapter back and forth a few times before it was ready for sharing. Also thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter, your reviews made my day! Sorry for the delay, here's the second installment. I hope you enjoy it~
Disclaimer: Still not mine!
Normally if someone were to claim that the weather was reflecting their mood, the Doctor would be the first one to tell them that it was nearly impossible (for a human, anyway. There were the Rainmakers of Senkar VII, but they viewed rain as a good thing, a blessing to be celebrated, so they would not have said that the current downpour was depressing at all). If anything, a person's mood was much more likely to be affected by the weather, rather than the other way around. Now, however, he couldn't help but feel the rain was fitting, despite the fact that it was not in the least bit influenced by his mood.
Such thoughts kept his mind away from subjects he did not want it to go near, at least. They also worked to prevent him from noticing the cat darting between his legs - not until it had already settled on the console of the TARDIS, anyway.
"That's no place for a cat," the Doctor told the feline, taking off his dripping coat and draping it over a rail. The cat didn't seem to care, as it simply meowed at him and continued cleaning mud and rainwater from its fur and paws.
The Doctor moved back overto the door, opening it. "Really, the entire TARDIS is no place for a cat. You ought to find shelter elsewhere." The cat ignored him completely, so he continued. "It moves and rattles about. I'm not staying here, even if you ask nicely," the Doctor explains. "I shouldn't. Can't."
Silence was his only answer, the cat staring at him pointedly. While he knew he could simply remove the cat the old-fashioned way - give it the old heave-ho - for some reason he couldn't bring himself to do so.
The Time Lord closed the door, letting his sentimental side win this once, even if it was just for a cat. He supposed he ought to find out the cat's gender, if only so he could stop mentally referring to it as "it."
Priorities! First, he needs to be Somewhere Else, with the capital letters and everything.
He quickly came to the decision that he may as well put his stowaway to work. He wouldn't be able to rely on it to help if he had a specific destination in mind, but with one as vague as Somewhere Else, he felt a little feline assistance wouldn't go amiss.
"You aren't going to like this," he told the cat, and once the TARDIS was moving, the cat very quickly proved it to be true. The Doctor would even go so far as to say it was an understatement, with the way the feline's back was arching, its fur standing on end. He shifted the panicking feline now and then, moving it to a different control when he needed one to be pushed, pulled, or clung to. He couldn't help but grin when he realized that, intentionally or not, the cat was proving to be an able assistant in piloting the TARDIS.
It was some time after they had settled in their new location before the cat felt comfortable enough to leave its latest perch. Once it did, it immediately expressed its displeasure with its claws in the Doctor's jacket.
"I don't like cats," the Doctor told it matter-of-factly. "Particularly not ones that try to shred my clothes while I'm still in them!" Mercifully, the cat's claws didn't quite reach his flesh, so he set to work on smoothing its bristling fur until it relaxed again, the gentleness of his actions at odds with his words.
Once the cat's claws were no longer creating tiny pin-prick holes in his jacket, the Doctor set it back down on the console without much concern(really, any cat-hair-related damage was already done - once it left the cat's body it would get wherever it was least convenient, and nothing could deter it) and pulled his coat back on, satisfied that it was dry enough to wear. That done, he made for the door and pulled it open, lifting an arm to shield his eyes from the light. New Sunlight, he supposed the people must call it here on New Earth, though of course the star shining above and warming the atmosphere was in no way related to the star humans had once called the Sun.
He stepped out onto the grass, then turned to regard his companion, raising an inquisitive eyebrow. The small feline seemed hesitant to follow him. He made a show of breathing deeply.
"See? Perfectly safe," the Doctor said with a grin. "Smells like apples. It's the grass." Finally, the orange tabby took a few tentative steps outside the TARDIS, sniffing the air. Watching the cat's ears twitch in different directions as unfamiliar sounds reached it, the Doctor closed the TARDIS door.
"Knew you wouldn't skip this," he told his newest companion. "You know how that saying about cats and curiosity goes."
If the cat did know, it chose not to respond, instead choosing a particularly nice stalk of grass to chew on. Almost immediately it stopped again, giving the grass and then the Doctor an offended look.
"I told you. Apple grass," the Doctor said, bending down to scoop up the cat. "Mind your claws," he added, "Janis wouldn't be happy if the next time I see her, my coat's all hole-y."
Once the cat was nicely settled into his arms, the Doctor chose a direction at random and walked towards the skyscrapers looming above. He made a mental note to pick up some cat food, or at least some tuna. The cat was a little light for a full-grown cat, making the Doctor think it had been a while since it had a proper meal.
As they made their way through the city, practically alone on the sidewalks, the Doctor pointed out various landmarks and buildings, telling the cat whatever history and quirky facts (or fictions) he knew about them. He was most certainly not thinking about the last two companions he'd brought here, or the fact that he'd never gotten around to showing Donna this planet. No, such thoughts would be entirely ridiculous, not to mention completely unhelpful.
"Right!" The Time Lord exclaimed suddenly, flipping the cat over gently in his arms, causing it to give him an indignant look, meowing at him in protest. "One mystery solved. You're a boy!" He figured he was imagining the disdainful look on the cat's face that seemed to say 'you're just figuring that out now?' The Doctor turned the cat back the right way, and the orange tabby settled into his arms once again.
"I don't suppose you'll be able to communicate with your more evolved relatives of this era," he mused to the cat thoughtfully. The cat simply meowed back at him, seeming content to be carried around (as long as he wasn't flipped over again, anyway). The Doctor had no way of knowing whether the cat could understand him or not, much less actually reply.
"Only one way to find out," he said, glancing down at the orange tabby that was settled quite contentedly in his arms. "How do you feel about meeting some family? Very, very distantly removed family. You might not see much resemblance, but I assure you there are shared genes... somewhere."
Author's Note: Well, I decided to try giving this story a shot from both perspectives, which means the next chapter will be through the kitty's eyes again. I hope it doesn't seem to be moving too slowly. If you want to, let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!