"Tut, Peri. I promised Erimem we'd show her the Eye of--"
"But it's boring there. We've seen it fifty times already!"
"Ah, but she hasn't. And it isn't boring. It's tranquil. After what we've just scraped out of, I'm sure you can appreciate the effort."
"I want to go to this shopping. What Peri has described to me sounds very exciting! Surely we can do this, and attend to the Eye later? You're a--a Time Lord, yes?"
...what a dreadful time for them to make a valid argument against him. And Peri's triumphant smirk didn't help matters at all.
"Yeah, Doctor. We can go there any old time. But Christmas shopping needs a certain mood. Pizazz for the season! And time travel doesn't catch that all the time, you know."
"What about London? When was the last time you had tea with the Brig?"
He can't exactly remember how that landed him in the spot of agreeing to let them go, but there it is. At least he doesn't have to go with them, even if there's a good chance the Brigadier might no longer be there. He's not sure why he agreed to let them do this in Earth's 21st century, either, but, well... they've promised not to make trouble. They stand expectantly near the door like children waiting for permission to go and play in the snow as he navigates the landing and dematerialisation. The coordinates check out. Early December of 2009... Peri was vehement that he make certain not to land them in the last Friday of November, for some reason, but she wouldn't elaborate. Viewscreen... check. It looks safe enough. He goes for his hat.
"Have you got your satchels?"
"Enough layers? Lists, idents, key, what have you?"
Peri rolls her eyes. "Yes, dad. We'll be back by sundown, okay?"
"Very well. Don't bring the whole of London down on our heads, please."
It's amazing to see how quickly they disappear as soon as the doors open. Adjusting his coat, shaking his head and laughing to himself, the Doctor steps out the door moments after them, locks it behind him and ventures out of the alley to glance up and down the street it opens to, enjoying the stark city winter and the bustle that still cuts through it. He does a marvy job of blending into the crowd, he thinks, and weaving through it without causing a fuss... until, distracted by the shapes of snowflakes he's noticed in the process of waiting to cross the street, he starts forward and collides directly with someone at the curb, sending half their boxes to the ground.
"Oh! Terribly sorry," he mutters, stooping to pick them out of the snow. "Where is my head?"