Reunion, for the First Time by spastasmagoria [Reviews - 7] |
“They both take after you. Put everything in their mouths, eat everything in sight and never, ever…EVER shut up.” With tired, almost trembling fingers, she pressed the adhesive tape onto the plastic poop-catcher and began redressing the whining little sausage quaking with the force of her tears in a pink footie sleeper.
Standard disclaimers. Beta's still settling after moving, so it's unbeta'd... this was for the LJ Five First Lines challenge... all five minifics are 500 words exactly :)
#1 Reunion, For the First Time.
Rose shoved the crying infant into the Doctor's arms and muttered, "he's your problem, too, you know."
The Doctor looked down at the gelatinous bit of flesh sobbing inconsolably in his arms at a total loss for words. He’d been about to say something terribly clever to Rose as he bust into the room, but she’d just taken one look at him and frowned and handed him one of the colicky infants in her arms in exasperation, as if he’d been late showing up to assist her.
No hi, Doctor, how’s it going, Doctor. How’d you get through the void, and into this other universe, after you said you couldn’t, Doctor. It was…here this is your problem.
So he just bounced the brown-haired bundle of squishy flesh and smelly nappy as Rose, clad in well-worn flannel night pants and a wrinkled t-shirt, stood over a changing table with the other cranky bit of chubbiness and stink, stripping off the disposable and wiping the excess of magnificent orange Time Lord poop from a female baby bottom. And he did so without a word.
“They both take after you. Put everything in their mouths, eat everything in sight and never, ever…EVER shut up.” With tired, almost trembling fingers, she pressed the adhesive tape onto the plastic poop-catcher and began redressing the whining little sausage quaking with the force of her tears in a pink footie sleeper. “After this… You can watch them. I’m taking a nap. I don’t think I’ve slept in a week.”
With a deftness borne of experience, she swapped children with the Doctor in one smooth motion and began stripping the nappy off of the other one. The girl looked up at the Doctor with big brown eyes, blinked a few times, then stopped in mid-cry, her mind seeming to find the very thing it had been looking for–another mind to connect with.
Without even thinking about it, he turned his mental to the boy, sending soothing, comforting thoughts. After a few more sniffles, he too fell silent, simply watching his mother as she finished up the change job and redressed him in a yellow sleeper.
Sighing, she turned to the Doctor. “Figures, they have been crying for seven months, you show up and they stop.”
The Doctor looked from Rose to the boy, then to the girl in his arms then back to Rose. “Uh…sorry?”
Rose slid the other child into his free arm, then rubbed her eyes tiredly. “Can ya keep ‘em quiet while I get forty winks?”
“Aren’t you going to ask how I did the impossible?”
Trudging toward the nursery door, her bare feet padding against the hardwood floor, she didn’t turn back until she was in the hall. “What? Got them to stop crying? I figured it was some Time Lord-y thing.”
With that, she went to her bedroom, leaving him with two freshly-clad bundles of baby to corrupt–er–get acquainted with. “I’m the Doctor, and I get the impression we’re related.”
#2 Trouble With a Capital T
"He has your eyes," the Doctor says, nudging the squirming mass towards Jackie.
She looked far too smug when she took the boy from the Doctor, and made no move at all to help him with the girl. With a smirk she sat back down on the sofa in the over-sized lounge of Rose’s flat. “And your mouth. The other one too.”
The girl began munching on one of his lapels and he looked to Jackie, to see if that was a bad thing. Personally, he didn’t care. But he really didn’t want any Jackie-ire. He’d been about six years without, and he could safely live another six. “I thought you said she’d be thrilled to see me.”
The woman shrugged. “She was, wasn’t she? I think she’d give half her inheritance to the first person who got them to be quiet and let her get some sleep.”
He ran a hand over his face. “Thanks for that. I think. How long’s it been?” He also didn’t have names for the little imps, even. But he figured he’d just best start at the beginning.
Jackie shrugged. “Couple of years? Little bit more, I’d think.”
Gulping, the Doctor felt his palms begin to sweat. No point in wondering to whom these little creatures belonged. That whole ‘psychic experience’ coupled with the neon poop was more than enough proof, but the guilty feeling he got from what sounded to be the typical twenty-two month Gallifreyan gestation period was more than enough to sign and seal that deal.
Oh boy… Rose was going to give him an ear-full when they finally did have a chance to talk. Two years’ pregnant, dealing with babies who wouldn’t shut up because they were looking for a mental connection that just wasn’t there, and there was the whole knocking her up and losing her in another dimension thing to contend with.
The Doctor might as well start picking out new wardrobe pieces for what was sure to be a forced regeneration. “So how much does she hate me?”
“When she gets proper sleep? Not at all. When she’s having a day like today?” Jackie shrugged, leaving the rest of it up to the Doctor’s imagination.
He nodded, and realized he was bouncing the tiny thing in his arms. “If you’re here, why isn’t she getting a break?” It wasn’t supposed to sound snarky, but it had come out that way. Mostly it had been his attempts to cover up his indignation that Rose wouldn’t be getting the help she needed from her own mother, but it had sounded like snark none the less.
Jackie glared at him. “I just got off the train when I heard your ship appearing. She’s had another nanny quit on her, and she’s been too proud to call her mum for help again. She also refuses to leave the Cardiff branch and come back to London so we can help her.”
He sighed. “I wonder just where she gets it from.”
#3 Problem Solving
Sometimes, he wondered why he even bothered trying to explain the difference between the dimensional stabiliser, the vector tracker, the vortex loop and the DVD player.
It didn’t stop him from trying though. He had to try. Eventually it had to have some sort of impact…right? RIGHT? He needed to live in hope.
Because there needed to be some sort of hope that there WOULD be a day when he didn’t have to pry a Dora the Explorer DVD out of the dimensional stabiliser, and then, surely, it would be a sign of the end times.
Usually he didn’t find out a DVD was jammed in the stabiliser until they had a terrifically rocky landing that usually included him bashing his head off of the ceiling and possibly landing in another part of the TARDIS entirely, by the time all the shaking and rumbling was done and over with.
The worst part is, when he got the plyers out to pull the DVD free, he’d inevitably end up scratching the DVD, which meant they’d have to stop back on Earth in the appropriate time period to get new ones. All because everything with a slot on it looked like a DVD player to a three-year-old. Granted they were terribly bright and gifted three-year-olds…but they were well shy of the age of reason and therefore culpability…even by his people’s standards.
Which didn’t make him want to tie the little creatures to chairs while they were in flight any less.
It wouldn’t be that wrong, would it? He could tell them it was a game. They were beginning to understand games and pretend and dress-up. He could tell them that they were captives, and he was holding them hostage, until the Doctor came to rescue them… Oh there’d be hours of fun he could have that one.
But Rose had been angry with him that on time, when he’d put them in that cage…
He’d given ‘em water and toys. He had no idea why she’d been so mad. And he’d been planning on letting them out…just as soon as they’d landed safely at their final destination. It was just… they always found some way to break something necessary for piloting the ship in a manner that didn’t end in him killing them all. From that perspective, he didn’t see anything wrong with cages. Or at least child-leashes. What could Rose possibly have to complain about, with child-leashes. He could tie them to a railing in the console room (preferably one very far away from the console itself) and they wouldn’t be able to make the ship crash, and all would go well.
It was a good plan. It was a fantastic plan.
So of course, Rose had to tell him it was considered cruelty to children. Everything was cruelty to children. Oh no, you can’t Velcro them to the wall. You can’t duct tape them to the buttresses. You can’t put them in stasis till they were three hundred…
#4 I Am Not A Transvestite (not that there’d be anything wrong with that).
"Doctor? Why are you wearing a dress?"
Not… why’re you tied to that big pillar that’s about to be set on fire. Not… where’s mum? Is she alive and stuff? Not even a ‘do you have a brilliant plan for escape?’ type question.
Just… why’re you wearing that dress. Oh, and Penelope was back to calling him ‘Doctor.’ It was all weird and intermittent and depended on whether ‘Normal Penelope’ was showing up to play today, or deranged hormonal pre-teen Penelope was being visited upon them. Today was obviously a Pod-Person Penelope day. Oh well, at least it told him where he stood.
Endrick always called him Doctor now. After that one time, when he’d walked in on the lad… you know. Pinching one off.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Things had seemed to’ve been ok if awkward between them…until he told Rose what Endrick does in the bathroom for an hour after school every day. Then things went to pot. He couldn’t win, really. In fact, he’d given up on the whole ‘winning’ thing about a decade ago. Just wasn’t going to happen in this life. Maybe the next.
Yeah, pigs could fly and he could end up being ginger, too. Mostly they’d probably just continue to find themselves in these awkward little situations. “Penny, can you just, I don’t know… untie me? Before they light me on fire?”
Her chocolaty eyes grew wide and her full lips formed a surprised O. “Oh. Rassilon’s. Beard. You dress in drag. Does mum know you do this? Cos really–I can’t see her being into fetish stuff…”
The Doctor’s teeth ground together for a moment, until Penelope finally drew in a breath to criticize him further. “Can we have this conversation back at the TARDIS?” Mostly because there was a man with a very large torch coming near his pyre. “Save the Designated Driver first…criticize his wardrobe later, got it?”
She shrugged in that special care-free way that she’d obviously inherited from Rose. “I guess.”
Reaching into his jacket pocket, she pulled out his sonic screwdriver, then ducked around the back of the wood pillar and began working on the miles and miles of vine binding his hands behind the plank. “I suppose. But I am telling mum about this. She has a right to know if you’re dressing in drag and stealing her clothes. Are you wearing mascara? Did you steal that from mum too? This is too freaky. Maybe you need to see a counselor.”
He’d explain that the tribe had tried to turn him into a weird sort of human voodoo doll… mostly a dressed-up version of one of their gods that they sacrificed to the other gods, but it’d probably do no good. It was Pod-Person Penelope day today, after all.
So he simply let her prattle on about how he was a failure as a Time Lord and an authority figure…Rassilon! Rose had been right all those years ago. Penny never shut up.
#5 The Big Day
"You may kiss the bride," the minister announced.
Beside him, Rose was sobbing. On the alter, next to her best friend, Penelope was red-eyed. Why did women cry at these things? It was just Endrick binding himself for all eternity to the first pretty girl who’d been willing to give him the time of day. It wasn’t worth crying over.
Well, unless they were crying for the poor girl who was now saddled with a smart-arsed Time Lord with mild dyslexia and no sense of fashion. Ok, from that standpoint, he should be sobbing his eyes out too, crying rivers for poor Alvernia Heperspoon…he liked the girl, and that was just a cruel thing to do to anyone.
Bound to Endrick? That was just… some sort of punishment a nice girl like Alva didn’t deserve.
Well it didn’t help that the poor thing was already eleven months pregnant, and beginning to show. The empire-waist of the wedding gown hid it well enough, but in another eleven months there’d be another Time Lord to corrupt–er–get to know.
Leave it to Endrick to not express proper caution…
Oh who the hell was he kidding? He wasn’t exactly a stellar example of proper prophylactic use.
The bride and groom walked past everyone gathered in the chapel, and Rose squeezed his hand while she wiped her nose with a tissue. “He’s all grown up.”
“That’s a bit of a stretch,” the Doctor muttered in her ear. The term ‘babies having babies’ is what came to mind when he thought of Endrick reproducing.
She pinched his arm as she exited the pew, behind the rest of the wedding party. As they slowly made their way toward the back of the country chapel, Rose slid her arm through his and leaned a little closer, still red-eyed and with a dripping nose. “I never got around to asking you… how DID you get back to the other universe?”
The Doctor shrugged and made polite and mostly sincere waves to various people on their side of the church. “Well, you know. Brilliant, that’s me. It was an impossible thing, so I had to just go and figure it out, because I can’t leave impossible things well enough alone…”
“Oh, don’t be modest.” Sniffing, she dried her eyes, then her nose again, then tucked a loose hair into the natural brown bun at the base of her neck. “So go on. Tell me.”
Looking up at the angels painted on the ceiling of the small church, the Doctor wondered just how much to say. “Well, dimensional rifts are tricky things. They shouldn’t exist, and when they do, they need to be sealed, but sometimes there is some unpredictable anomalous behavior that can lean to unintended consequences and unexpected results upon investigation.”
Rose nudged his arm with her cheek and gave a satisfied, if slightly knowing smile. “You have no idea, do you?”
“Nope.” He popped his P dramatically and it echoed off the church walls. “No clue. Whatsoever.”