Title- The River in Egypt
Show/Ship- Doctor Who. Ten/Rose
Rating- YT, T, PG13
Disclaimer- I'll offer a reward for the capture of Brendan Block-- everyone loves a bad guy
Summary- The Doctor's oral fixation gets him into a kind of trouble that Rose can't deal with.
A.N- Muito Gracias to my Beta Brooke.
Her eyes widened and she rubbed at them, blinking hard. The vision of the little boy standing in her doorway didn’t disappear proving to Rose’s sleep-addled brain that he was not a hallucination.
Rose clasped the duvet to her chest like a startled virgin. “Who are you? How’d you get in ‘ere? What are you doing here?”
The boy looked bewilderedly at her and swiped his little fist across his nose.
He was wearing a white and blue striped pyjama top that was miles too big for him and bottoms that trailed behind him, one hand holding them up. His brown hair was ruffled in all directions and his big brown eyes seemed to be on the verge of tears.
He gave small whimper and Rose shook her head.
“Don’t cry, s’all right. Just who are you?”
He shrugged his shoulders and the neck of the pyjama top slid down his slim body.
“Well … where did you come from?” she persisted.
“I woke up,” he said miserably, “in this big bed and it was all dark and then there was this light and I followed it and it took me here. I don’t know where I am.”
“Right.” Rose took a deep breath and decided to act like a rational being and not freak out, no matter how appealing that was.
“We need to find the Doctor; he’ll know what to do.”
She slid out of bed, her eyes on the boy like he was about to leap on her and attack.
She reached for her robe and slid into the thick warmness, tying it securely.
The boy looked up at her with a frightened expression and, despite not really being a child person either, Rose’s heart went out to him and she held out her hand.
“Hey, now, it’s okay, sweetheart. My name’s Rose and we’re going to find out where you came from and where your mum and dad are, yeah?”
He nodded tremulously and took her hand.
Rose looked down at their entwined hands, something brushing across her mind. It was like someone had walked over her grave.
She plastered a comforting smile on her face and walked out into the TARDIS halls.
The Doctor’s room wasn’t actually very far from her own and she liked it that way. It was an odd kind of comfort to know that he was nearby in case anything went wrong, as it so frequently did. They hadn’t been in each other’s bedrooms often, but sometimes desperate times called for desperate measures.
She knocked gently on the door, not wanting to wake him if he had finally gotten some badly needed sleep, and pushed it open when no one answered. “Doctor?” she called out as she stepped inside.
The first time she’d visited the Doctor’s bedroom she’d been surprised at the décor within. It wasn’t exactly how she’d imagined the Doctor’s room to be. She’d expected his room to be either cluttered with stacks of papers, books and other paraphernalia or exceedingly Spartan since he didn’t spend much time sleeping.
It was neither.
The room done in rich reds and blacks managing to look both gothic and lush, comforting and warm, with just a touch of foreboding tossed in for good measure. Exactly like the Doctor really.
Evidence of the Doctor’s presence abounded. The black duvet she’d covered him with last night was rumpled with use and lay at the end of the bed. The clothes he’d worn were draped over the black iron chair and the red drapes were half open. His glasses were abandoned on a table along with some papers.
There was, however, no sign of the Doctor himself.
“Doctor?” She called again, in case he was in the bathroom.
The boy tugged her hand arresting her search. “Yes, sweetheart?”
“This was where I woke up.”
Rose frowned in confusion. “What?”
“In there.” He pointed to the bed. “I was sleeping in there when I waked up.”
“Woke up,” Rose corrected automatically and then shook her head. “You were in the Doctor’s bed?”
“How’d ya get there?”
He shrugged and had to pull his sagging trousers up again.
“Well, where were you before?”
Rose sighed in frustration. “You must have been somewhere. What’s the last thing you remember before going to bed?”
The boy wrinkled his nose. “I had a drink and then there was music in my head and I was looking over a hill, a big hill, not a small hill. There were bright lights at the bottom. There was a girl with me and then she held my hand and brought me back and put me to bed.”
Rose bit her lip and regarded him oddly. His description was strangely similar to what she and the Doctor had done the night before. “What?”
He tugged at his neck line. “I’m thirsty.”
Blankly Rose led him to the kitchen, her mind racing. It was pure coincidence. It had to be. It was probably the kid’s nanny or something who’d put him to bed.
The most logical conclusion was that whilst she’d been asleep the Doctor had stopped on a planet and … abducted a small child.
Okay, that was just silly.
So, while she’d been asleep there had probably been some trouble on the planet and he’d gone out and found a small boy who was in difficulty and rescued him. He was probably out now trying to find the boy’s parents. He’d probably left a note in the control room, knowing she’d look there for him first.
She smiled at herself. That was probably it.
The control room was only a short distance from the kitchen and she left the boy tucking into a thick banana milkshake, the Doctor’s favourite drink next to tea, whilst she went to find the actual Doctor.
The TARDIS control room was empty. Her jacket was still where she’d left it, draped over the rail, and her HEAT magazine still rolled up and bracing open the central hexa-something panel that the Doctor had been working on yesterday. There was no sign of the Doctor or a note.
“Okay,” she said to herself. “No need to panic,” even if she could feel herself doing exactly that. “It was probably a life or death situation and he didn’t have time to write a note.”
Probably … and she should stop saying that.
Rose made her way back to the kitchen and smiled down at the little boy with the yellow milk moustache.
“The Doctor loves his banana milkshake,” she said with a smile.
The boy grinned at her. “Banana’s are good. They’re a good source of potassium.”
Rose’s smile became a little more fixed. “Right. What ‘bout breakfast?”
She reached up and took out a cereal bowl from the cupboard next to her. “What d’ya fancy?”
“I want…” He took a deep breath. “A fried egg sandwich with brown sauce, mustard, marmalade and pepper, and sausages with the chewy bits in and not like the ones you bought last week because they were just horrible, you really shouldn’t buy such cheap ones, you get what you pay for, you know, Rose.”
Rose put her hands on the table, concentrating on not falling over. “How do you know what I bought last week?” Or the Doctor’s favourite breakfast?
He opened his mouth to answer and then closed it again, blinking. “I don’t know.” He reached up with one hand and scratched the back of his neck.
The niggling stream of unease that Rose had first felt when she couldn’t find the Doctor was now fast becoming a torrent, threatening to reach for her and pull her under. She took a deep steadying breath but her question still came out weak and tremulous. “What’s your name?”
“I’m gonna need a name, sweetheart.” Rose smiled. “Anything.”
The boy nodded and seemed to be searching for a name. His little face wrinkled in confusion and he sighed, suddenly smiling at her.
The cereal bowl crashed to the floor and Rose’s heart sank with it.
John’s eyes widened, brown eyes with a sparkle that was so familiar. “Rose?”
She stared at him, letting her eyes wander over that untameable hair and those big brown eyes, so deep and timeless … and familiar.
John seemed to get more nervous with every second and Rose tried to stamp down the panic that was making its way through her body. John could not be the Doctor. It was impossible.
He was a small child—
Who’d woken up in the Doctor’s bed
Yet loved all the same things the Doctor did
Who was scared—
But had managed to make it into the TARDIS
And just happened to look slightly similar to the Doctor.
Rose collapsed heavily into the nearest chair and bit her lip. “John … what’s the name of your planet?”
He shrugged, his pyjama top sliding down again, revealing one bony little shoulder. He looked so vulnerable.
“Okay.” She thought some more. “Hey, wanna play a game?”
His face lit up, a maniacal grin spreading across his features. “I love games!”
“Me too.” Rose had played this one with her mates Shareen and Keisha, usually about which boys they fancied, it had an odd way of working.
“Okay, I’m gonna say a word and you’re gonna tell me the first thing that comes into your head, okay?”
“Yes,” he replied fast and Rose couldn’t help but grin at his enthusiasm.
“Okay … tea.”
“And cake!” John giggled.
“Apes.” Rose rolled her eyes at that one.
“Um … Queen?”
“Wolf.” John blinked in confusion at his own association. “Why did I say that?”
“Never mind.” Rose’s throat was dry. “Cats?”
“Chips.” Rose grinned.
“500.” John frowned again.
Rose started to push.
“Who are you?”
Rose pushed her chair back, hearing it clatter to the floor as she stared at the little boy.
John looked scared again. “Why did I say that?”
“It must be buried in you,” Rose said faintly, “like a subconscious thing. Oh, God. You can’t be.”
John pushed away his milkshake. “I don’t like that game anymore.”
He jumped off the chair and headed for the door.
“Me neither,” Rose whispered. “Where’re you going?”
“I want to get dressed.”
Rose trailed after him, her mind working frantically as she tried to come up with some explanation for what she knew just couldn’t be.
‘Couldn’t be’ like a black hole? Muttered a voice in her head. ‘Couldn’t be’ like time travel or meeting Charles Dickens?
She had no answer for that.
John led her to the wardrobe and Rose quite cheerfully decided that she didn’t want to know how he knew it was there. She was happily living in denial right now, trying to convince herself that any minute the Doctor would jump out of a cloakroom and laugh at her for being ridiculous. She’d slap him. First for scaring her and secondly for abducting a small child.
He pushed open the wardrobe doors and stared at the racks and racks of clothing.
Shrugging his bony little shoulders he pulled his slipping pyjama bottoms up and stared at the nearest rail.
“Help, please,” he said and for a moment Rose thought he was talking to her.
With a slight breeze one of the rails of clothes slid along and down, spiralling deep into the heart of the TARDIS, taking jackets and jumpers and dresses and scarves with it. The coils bent and curved until they stopped right in front of the boy, one item left in place.
Rose stepped forward and wondered if she had finally cracked and gone space crazy.
There, alone on the rack, was a tiny, child-sized, brown and white pin-striped suit.
“Huh,” the noise came from Rose’s mouth. “Needs trainers.”
The boy pointed to a small pair of converse trainers perched just on top of the rail. That was when Rose left the land of denial and instead gave up her fragile grip on reality.