Story Title: The Interactive Part
Show: New Doctor Who
Word count: 990
A/N: Based on the Whoverse_las prompt of a pic of a big red button.
Psychologically speaking, taking a hyperactive Time Lord to an interactive museum probably wasn't the best idea she'd ever had.
The fact that he had an oral fixation and the attention span of a toddler just meant it was amusement rather than irritation that made her head ache.
“Look at this, Rose. No this. No this!”
He flicked a switch and the gadget spun wildly gaining a whoop of satisfaction from him and three nearby boys.
The boys being all under three feet tall and probably under ten years of age.
900 years her ass.
“Very nice,” she nodded.
The Doctor grabbed her hand and pulled her over to a model of the solar system with plenty of switches to flip, dials to twiddle and things to push.
“Brilliant, just brilliant. Completely wrong, of course. There's another planet between here and Jupiter that no one knows about yet. It's always hidden in the shadow of that star there... which is green, not blue and home to some very nice species of Pollen. Then there's the fact that Neptune isn't actually a planet; it's a scientific research station for the Alleri who've been watching Earth for centuries. They have their own cable channel on you and everything. 'Aliens do the funniest things'. Hilarious.”
Rose rolled her eyes but his attention had already wandered.
“Ooh! Eclipse viewers; that's boxes to watch the sun not boxes to watch a ridiculous film about sparkly vampires. People only watch it because the author is from Alpha Cullen. They're a highly telepathic race. There are subliminal messages hidden in the text. The power of suggestion, Rose. Doesn't affect me, superior biology and all that but humans are completely susceptible. Everyone knows Alpha Culleans can't write worth toffee. Although what toffee has to do with it, I... Rose?”
She wasn't paying attention to him. Her gaze had been caught by another exhibit further along, as she read the title a mischievous smile crossed her face.
Oh, this would be fun.
She turned as he bounded over with his usual infectious enthusiasm.
“What's over here?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothin'.” Rose shifted, blocking his view of whatever was sequestered away in the corner.
He eyed her suspiciously. “What are you hiding?”
“Hiding,” she scoffed. “Why would I hide anything? I think we should go over there.”
He followed her line of sight. “Why, what's over there?”
“Who knows?” Rose shrugged. “And isn't that exciting. Could be anything.”
He folded his arms and looked at her. “What's behind your back?”
“Back of my head.”
The Doctor tried to peer over her shoulder. “You're acting strange.”
“Maybe I'm hungry. Lets go to the canteen. I hear they have banana sandwiches.”
“Banana sandwiches, reall-- hang on. Rose you're trying to distract me.”
She fluttered her eyes. “Who me?”
“Yes you,” he pointed at her. “Now. What's behind your back?”
Rose bit her lip and dropped her arms, moving away from her prize.
The Doctor stared at it.
It was a white box affixed to the wall, screws and wires poking out. It was a functional box. A box that said 'I have purpose', a box that said 'I house some pretty important stuff'.
On the top was a large shiny red button.
The note above the button in large copperplate letters read
The Doctor's eyes widened in delight.
“Ooh, Rose. A button. A big red button. A big red button inviting me to press it!”
Rose grabbed his hand as it inched forward. “But you can't.”
“It doesn't do anything Rose, it says so right there.”
“So why press it?”
Confusion flitted across his face. “Well...”
“How often does a button say 'trap' or 'self destruct'. These things are never labelled. A button that invites you to press it is a button that must not be pressed under any circumstances.”
His mouth dropped as Rose nodded sagely.
“If there's one thing I've learned from travelling with you its that nothing is what it seems, yeah. Don't press it.”
“But-- but--” He looked like she had cancelled Christmas. “Button.”
She shook her head.
He tried again valiantly. “It says that it doesn't do anything, harmless.”
“So why do you want to press it?”
“Just in case.” His eyes lit up. “What if it does do something and they are lying? Are they trying to persuade you to do it or not do it? Why do they want you to press it? Why don't they? And who are they? So many questions, all returning to the fundamental point of what if? What happens?” He shot her a look full of apology. “What happens if I do this!”
He reached out and pressed the big red button.
“Awww!” he sagged. “What kind of rubbish is that? A big red button that doesn't do anything.”
“Oh it did plenty,” Rose grinned and stepped back showing the Doctor the sign over the exhibit.
People are easily susceptible to persuasion and suggestion. The subject accepts uncritically the idea suggested and carries it out almost automatically. Everyone will press the button.
“But... but.. that's cheating.”
Rose laughed hysterically “Aw, poor easily susceptible, Doctor. Did someone say humans were gullible?”
“Superior biology!” She teased but he looked so crestfallen that she gave in. “Oh, come on, let's go find you a button that does do something.”
He looked up at her bashfully. “Can it be a big button?”
“Yeah, a big red button that must never be pressed.”
He laced their fingers together. “Rose Tyler, you're brilliant.”
“I know. Notice I didn't press the button.”