The loo was flooding. That just never happened. Well, ok, it hadn’t happened in a long time. Like six hundred years.
Which was the Doctor was standing in the doorway, looking at the mess, while rubbing the back of his head, pondering the whole situation. The whole time, the water was just running and running, making a gurgling gushing sound as it hit the floor.
“Isn’t there something ya can do about it?” a female voice asked from behind him. She wasn’t concerned so much as impatient, the hard stops on her syllables conveyed more than a sigh or a furtive look ever could. The emotion is in the consonants, Handel had told him once. Or lack there of, in Rose’s case. “Because, really. I have to go.”
The Doctor sighed, not bothering to turn around–she’d just bat those eyes at him, and he’d promise her something foolish like the sun, the moon, the stars and a larger bathroom with an Olympic sized tub. It was either the mascara or her eyelashes themselves–they held mysterious and evil powers.
He’d say the subject required further study, but then it would require observing their fluttering, and he’d end up promising her something like a pound of flesh, the remainder of his regenerations and his leather coat just to see her smile. “There are other toilets on this ship, you know. The TARDIS has a near-infinite number of rooms, so go use another bathroom. Leave me to this, and when you’re done, I’ll have it working, good as new.”
Rose came a bit closer, grabbing onto one leather-clad arm, looking around him, at the water bubbling over the side of the bowl. It poured out onto the floor like some new-age water fountain in the front lobby of some quirky architectural firm. “Already tried that. They’re all doing it. Or at least the six I tried.”
Without thinking, the Doctor spun around, his eyes lighting with annoyance. “SIX? And you only JUST decided to tell me about the problem? I’d have gotten me after the FIRST one.”
Huffing, Rose stepped back, attempting to put some distance between herself and the cranky Time Lord. “I really had–HAVE to go.”
Pulling out his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor took a few more steps into the room. His boots squishing against the floor tiles as the disturbed water lapped around him. “Fine.”
Making a few adjustments to his beloved tool, he tried and tried (and tried!) again and again to resonate the internal workings of the toilet into cooperation. After several more minutes and about ten sighs from his companion, the Doctor stopped. Pocketing his favorite toy, he turned around. “What?”
Rose shifted on her feet uncomfortably. “I…really have to go.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes, walking past the girl and into her bedroom. “Look, let me go down to maintenance. There’s probably a broken valve, maybe one of the--” He closed his mouth, seeing ‘that’ look in her eye. “What?”
She smiled innocently, and started with batting the Eyelashes of Rassilon, which would certainly be his downfall one day. “I really--”
His head bobbed. “Have to go. I know, I know. Fine. We’ll stop somewhere.”
Then she did that thing that always made things just a little bit worse in regards to his dignity as a lord of time–her tongue ran over her top teeth and she grinned. “Somewhere where we won’t have to run for our lives before finding a bathroom?”
Arms folded across his chest, the Doctor shifted and made a face. “That hasn’t happened in--”
Rose poked him with her index finger, just below the collarbone. “Yesterday we were runnin’ for our lives before the TARDIS doors even clicked shut.” She looked into his eyes with that light-hearted ease that made her look blameless, but really bespoke just how manipulative she was, and how manipulative she was capable of being. “I don’t want to have to search for a toilet and I don’t want to have to run from the locals, or figure out how a toilet works in the sixty-seventh century on Pluto, or find out exactly WHAT they used before toilet paper in ancient Rome.”
The Eyelashes of Rassilon fluttered one more time, and the Doctor hung his head in defeat, wondering if he should ask her if she’d like him to cut out one of his hearts and give it to her, while he was at it. “Fine. You win. Powell Estate, January 23, 2005, a day upon absolutely nothing of interest happened in London, so much so that it was recorded in history as The Day Nothing Happened–but you just tell your mum we’re not staying for dinner.”
Grinning she hugged his arm and began dragging him to the control room. “Bless you!”
Rolling his eyes, the Doctor got a move on, before he ended up with another puddle on the floor of the TARDIS. “And no mention of a plumbing problem on my ship. No mention of anything technical having gone amiss to your dear, deranged mother.”
In the control room, he began setting coordinates and spilling dials as quickly as possible, running around with a sort of demented energy. “We’re just there for milk, eggs, and you forgot something in your room–don’t know, don’t care what it is–just make something up.”
Rose stopped, and leaned against the doorway, obviously not able to go any further because of her discomfort. “I’ll tell her we’re…” she gasped, a giggle escaping her. “Out of toilet paper!”
Making a face, the Doctor stood back from the controls as the ship yawed through the Vortex. “It’s not too late to change course for Rome, you know.”
Her lips pressed together instantly, but she was having trouble regaining control. Seeing the serious expression on his face, she crossed her legs in front of her, trying to swallow the giggles. “Don’t make me laugh! It hurts!” Her teeth clamped down on her lips as gushes of air escaped through her nose in her attempt to keep it together.
The Doctor shook his head at her. His lips were pulled taught with disapproval, but his eyes twinkled with bemusement. When she was biting her lips like that, eyes wide and nose crinkling, he knew she was in no danger of being made to use facilities in ancient Rome, or of any danger of anything–for that matter. If anything, he was the most likely to end up consuming what her mother passed for tea and then carrying bags of milk and bread back to the ship for her.
The ship stopped its screeching howl, and he held a hand out, gesturing to the door. “And just because I’m such a nice person, I won’t even say ‘you humans.’ I’m not going to say it, or anything like it, about ‘you apes’ and your inefficient biological systems, but just think about what I’d say, if I were to say something of that nature, and consider me to have said it, in your heart. Ponder it deeply and remember this day. The day I didn’t say what I was thinking.”
He almost saved what little bit remained of his tattered, torn dignity, but then his chest did a weird, flip-floppy tha-thunk, tha thunk when she grinned her thanks and dashed on tiptoes and with a bit of a dance out of the ship.
The Doctor gave it about two weeks until any last shreds of dignity he possessed as a Time Lord were devoured by the girl’s mascara-laden lashes of destruction and doom.
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