A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
Life As You Know It by avoria [Reviews - 72] Printer Chapter or Story
Author's Notes:
After half a minute or so goes by, it’s pure misfortune when both men speak at the same time.

“How are you getting on with this life?” the Doctor asks, just as Mickey says, “You know she’s got feelings for you, right?”


Interlude — The Stuff of Legends


Rose pulls open the door and pops her head out. Her face instantly becomes alive with joy, and she turns back into the TARDIS, meeting eyes with the Doctor.

He smiles smugly.

“Seriously?” she asks, evidently unable to keep the excitement in her voice at bay.

The Doctor just tips his head, not answering, and beside him Mickey smirks. Rose glances between them and narrows her eyes good-naturedly.

“You’re both in on this, aren’t you?”

Both of the men shrug and avoid her eye, at which point Rose bounds over to both of them and flings her arms around their necks.

“Thank you,” she says warmly, looking at each of them, and then she’s merrily skipping off towards the door again. “You coming?”

The Doctor and Mickey exchange an equally pleased glance, then head down the ramp after her, the Doctor shutting the door behind them.

“Good idea, mate,” Mickey mentions quietly to the Doctor as they follow a few paces behind Rose. “Look how happy she is.”

The Doctor brushes it off. “Well, it was your idea. Coming here for a bit of light relief — absolutely what we all needed. Spot on, if you ask me!”

“Didn’t actually know there was a planet that was made of fun-fairs, though, did I?”

Hollow, child-like music echoes around the trio as they walk deeper into the heart of the fair. It’s a planet that hosts an all-day funfair, a tourist place on an asteroid out on the third belt of Hortu. With a skyline that’s always twilight blue and a constant twinkle of stars, it’s one of the more perfect places to come to relax.

Bright, colourful lights dance over the frosty ground and the faces of the public as people mill through the rides. It’s an exciting and fun atmosphere that all three could do with after their recent adventures.

Rose is the first to race up to one of the rides and haggle outrageously with the attendant. The Doctor and Mickey just amble behind, watching pleasantly and indulging in the whims of their favourite woman. That is, until the Doctor suddenly breaks into a jog and joins Rose in front of the gruff-looking ride attendant. He pats his pockets up and down, before nodding and searching through one flamboyantly.

“Lost something?” Mickey asks, coming up on Rose’s other side. She looks at him and gives him a warm smile, lights twinkling in her eyes.

“Ah,” the Doctor says, pulling out a battered looking wallet. “Thought I’d forgotten something. The rides here aren’t free, Rose. You have to pay. I’ve got some money in here. Hold out your hands” He tips a few oval discs into Rose’s cupped hands. Grinning cheekily, he meets her eye. “Now, don’t spend it all at once.”

She rolls her eyes. “Yes, Dad.”

The Doctor jerks his head and Mickey makes his way over to collect an equal amount of coins from him.

“Now, you’re both free to go on this planet wherever you like,” he informs while replacing the wallet. The ride attendant looks on idly. “Any of the rides, any of the views or surrounding area. Obviously you can’t just wander in to somebody’s house, but that’s common sense.”

Mickey laughs. “Sounds like something you’d do, Doc.”

“Anyway,” the Doctor continues, seemingly not having heard him, “my point is, think of this as a holiday. We’ve had a bit of a tough lot recently, and, well...” His eyes fall on Rose and the gaze locks and holds. “You deserve it.”

After a moment she nods and pockets her money. “Right, then, the first thing I wanna do is go on that.” She points above them, to a large Ferris wheel that spins above their heads. It’s fairly basic as rides go, but it’s also one of the prettiest. Intricate drawings line the wheel’s supports and the music drifting from it is one of the more serenely beautiful pieces.

Both the Doctor and Mickey make a doubtful noise.

“Oh, come on,” Rose tries with a positive tone. “It’s not that bad. It’s just a wheel.”

“I’m... not a fan of heights, Rose,” the Doctor admits, his face pleading when he looks at her. “You understand.”

It’s impossible to tell whether he’s being sincere of if he’s just making up an excuse, but dutifully she turns to Mickey with an eyebrow raised expectantly.

“Sorry, Rose,” he laughs sheepishly. “I sorta wanted a go on the dodgems.”

She looks between them, then shakes her head. “You’re both such boys,” she complains. “Fine, then, I’ll go on my own.”

And up she steps to the attendant’s ticket box, asking for one ticket, then crossing the threshold of the ride to wait until it stops and she can get on.

The Doctor and Mickey stand a little way to the side, far enough back to watch her when she gets on but out of the way of passers-by.

“Definitely a good idea,” Mickey comments as Rose finally climbs into one of the circular orbs when it stills. “It’s about time that girl had a rest.”

“Tell me about it!” The Doctor laughs. “She’s always on her feet, always raring to go. Sometimes I still have to force her to go to bed. ‘Rose,’ I tell her, ‘you’re just a human. You can’t cope with being awake like I can.’”

Mickey snorts. “I bet that goes down a treat.”

The two men smile and fall into silence as the ride starts up again. Rose waves at them from her seat and, candidly, they both wave back.

“She’s one hell of a girl,” Mickey comments idly, watching as the wheel spins.

The Doctor nods in agreement. “Mm.”

“Think she knows it?”

“Oh, I shouldn’t think so. Things like that tend to go right over peoples’ heads.”

Mickey smiles to himself and nods. “Yeah. Like when someone fancies you.”

The silence that follows is decidedly more awkward than the first, and both men make a conscious effort to keep their eyes on Rose.

After half a minute or so goes by, it’s pure misfortune when both men speak at the same time.

“How are you getting on with this life?” the Doctor asks, just as Mickey says, “You know she’s got feelings for you, right?”

After a few more moments, Mickey sniffs awkwardly. “’S all right. Takes a bit of getting used to.”

“Yes,” the Doctor laughs, nervously. “Yes.”

“Was that — ?” Mickey begins.

“Er, no. I mean, yes, but no. It wasn’t.”

“Right.”

“I don’t think it’s got much to do with me any more,” Mickey says as Rose loops around to their side again. He smiles at her. “She’s kind of... a bit... y’know. With you.”

“Oh, she’s just used to this life,” the Doctor replies flippantly. “She gets a bit caught up sometimes. I wouldn’t be so quick to give up on her if I were you.”

Mickey ponders this, his face thoughtful. “D’you think?”

“I think...” The Doctor pauses for a moment, collecting his thoughts. “I think she’s young. Very young; far too young for my world, at least.” After a further moment, he adds, “You both are.”

“So, what? Are you saying — ”

“I’m not saying anything. Well, I am, but there’s no subtext. No hidden meaning. And, to answer your question... Yes. I know.”

Mickey nods. “You gonna do anything about it?”

Quite calmly, and with a hint of a content smile, the Doctor responds, “Tell me what I could possibly do, Mickey Smith, and I’ll do it.”

The young man fades into quiet thoughtfulness, an answer seemingly impossible. The Doctor gives a nod.

“Precisely.”

The ride above them draws to a halt and, slowly, people start filing out of the orbs. The Doctor and Mickey walk over to meet Rose at the end, who remains completely unaware of the conversation they’ve just had.

“All right boys?” she asks, her tongue snaking its way to the corner of her mouth.

“Enjoy that, Rose?” Mickey asks teasingly, giving her waist a bit of a squeeze.

“No cheek from you,” she warns with a smile, “or you’re sleeping outside the TARDIS tonight.”

“Oi!” Mickey protests, looking at the Doctor. “She can’t do that. Tell her she can’t do that!”

The Doctor, with a wink towards Rose, shrugs his shoulders. “What can I say, Mickey-boy? When the lady has her mind set, even the time vortex can’t stop her.”

She nods in resolute affirmation, then turns to Mickey. “Coming on the dodgems?”

His eyes linger on the Doctor for just a moment before he turns to her and smiles. “Wouldn’t miss it. Come on, you.”

Together, they link arms and disappear into the throng of crowd, leaving the Doctor to stand and watch.

“Funny couple, them.”

It takes a few moments for the Doctor to respond, unaware that the words were spoken to him. He turns and looks up to the ride attendant, who is looking after the young pair with mild interest. The Doctor turns back, looking the same direction.

“Yes. I suppose.”

“We don’t usually get humans this far out. Not unless they’re making a delivery,” the attendant notes as he sits back in his seat again.

“Why ever not?” the Doctor asks, looking around at the spinning wheels of rides and fun stalls of games. The lights and music are never-ending, a constant cycle. “I’d have thought this was the perfect place to relax.”

“Oh, it is, sir. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just usually a bit far out for humans unless they’re here by a different order. There’re plenty more places to go if they want to ‘relax’.” He pauses, scraping a clawed finger across his chocolate brown chin. “They must be pretty important to be out here for a rest.”

The Doctor smiles. “Oh, yes. Very important. I’d say those two are two of the most important people I’ve ever met.”

The attendant sits up, his eyes interested. “Really?”

“Definitely,” the Doctor answers, looking at his friend. “The best. A real duo. A lot of people owe their lives to those two.”

“You don’t say... Who are they?”

It takes the Doctor a moment to reply, but his eyes glitter with pride when he does. “The stuff of legends.”
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