Oh, how he longed to see Amy's Bambi-brown eyes widen, whilst Rory's jaw gape beneath the longest nose seen since the Great Emperor of Cra'kil had requested his nation to weave a handkerchief for his 1302nd birthday.
But time was precious. Which was wonderfully ironic if you happened to be the last Time Lord.
Of course River would have to explain it fully. The Gallifreyan lettering on his cot wouldn't provide the same wave of euphoria and relief it had for him. She would have to think fast. Perhaps faster than she'd ever had to think before in her life.
The Doctor suddenly felt a savage pang of remorse. He had left Amy in an incredibly dark place back there. And he could never pretend to understand the pain he had inflicted upon her. That raw stab of loss. In a blink of an eye her world had crumbled around her, leaving only a dark emptiness in its wake. Even if he did manage to bring Melody back, nothing he could say or do would fully fill that void. Time could help heal, but the scars would always remain.
That was something he knew he could understand.
Pulling himself from his reverie, the Doctor strode up the steps to the raised control decking, the undulating walls of copper and brass strobing ethereal lights over his features from the console.
Spinning across the smooth glass flooring, his tweedy arms already skimming the nouveau typewriter and adjusting the brass taps, he stabbed in the coordinates. Finding a Time Lord - even one laced with the faint elements of his people - wouldn't be tricky. The Time Vortex herself would inadvertently lead his TARDIS straight to Melody Pond, thanks to the Artron cells that fizzed and fused through her DNA. The pure, untempered time fuel that had taken aeons to evolve and re-evolve within Time Lord genes, had been one of the first things the Doctor had noticed on that medical history holofile.
The way it had knitted its silent golden dance through Melody's blood, writing and rewriting cells faster than any human, had helped confirm both his delight and fear of what it could mean.
But right now, Melody's impossible birth didn't matter. Nor did the designs of Madame Kovarian.
All that counted was the promise he had made to Amy.
Hands falling effortlessly to charge the atom accelerator, to crank the directional pointer or just to ding! the dusty motel service bell for the fun of it, the Doctor guided his TARDIS through the buffering winds of time, in his element, next stop: everywhere.
And that was when everything changed.
With a wheezing, grinding, groaning sigh, the TARDIS landed with a solid thwump!
The Doctor glanced up from the scanner, eyebrows raised. For a long beat all that could be heard was the settling creak of ancient alien engines.
"That's it?!" His voice rang through the burnt-orange room, sounding strangely small without an audience.
Hands moving in broad, confusingly wild gestures, he bounded down the steps.
"Vworp-vworp? Bingo? One semi-skimmed Time Lord to go no fuss?" He still couldn't managed to hide the incredulous edge to his voice.
He flourished a finger at the console.
"Either you're very good..."
The same finger found himself.
"Or I'm very good..."
He rubbed the side of his cheek as he finished nervously,
"Or we're both in a lot of trouble."
Taking a moment to straighten his deep crimson bow tie, more out of habit now, the Doctor purposefully stepped out of the TARDIS, pulling the wooden door closed behind him...
...and stepped into a wall of stagnant air that reeked of only one thing:
Suddenly the Doctor felt a biting chill skitter down his spine like a Racnoss hatchling.
Because the stale stench wasn't the worst aspect of the room.
Nor was the blood red lighting that threw the towering shelf of simple hinged boxes into sharp relief.
It wasn't even the ghostly murmur of the TARDIS as it was stolen into the darkness behind him.
It was the realisation he knew where he was.