Canton Everett Delaware checks his silver watch, then gazes again at the reflection of himself in the unrelieved blackness of the dwarf star alloy block prison.
The Doctor is late.
Which, knowing what Canton now knows, could mean only one thing.
A double entendre of galactic proportions.
The first time the Doctor had shown up with a beard had been about five months ago after the revelation of the Silence, no Ponds in sight, looking half-way between panic and elation. He’d said he was late. Then he’d explained further. And elaborated. With hand signs. Then he’d told Canton about the dwarf star alloy box. And they’d gone for a quick run in the TARDIS, picking out baby things and straitjackets in the 51st century. Damn but the alien was unique. And good for a laugh. The slightly-mad, but decent, type. Then they’d gone somewhere called Gallifrey for about three minutes, and the Doctor had come back three months older with a bit more weight on him.
“Erm, had to tell the father… turned into something of a quickie. Right then! Back into the jacket and beard,” he’d said. Then they’d returned to Area 51.
That had been then.
As the TARDIS comes in silent for the second time, he steps back while the ship adjusts an infinite array of physical and sub-physical differentials which he will never begin to understand or care about. All he knows was that another version of the Doctor has come to take the place of the one in their little black box, and his Doctor will leave. Which is what they all want, for one reason or another. Besides, soon the bodies will arrive, and the jig will be up.
They have to get this done before then. It’s what the Doctor said. Well, one of him, anyway.