"So, why don't you tell her?"

He looked down into the brown eyes staring up at him.

"Tell her what?"

"That you love her."

The metallic clang of the sonic screwdriver bouncing off the console gave him a reason to pull his eyes away as he felt a slight warmth rising in his cheeks.

"What are you on about?" He growled, wiggling under the safety of the central console, sonic screwdriver back in hand. A shadow slowly crept towards him as the unruly mop of brown hair followed, denying him an easy escape.

"She tells me everyday."

He grunted, finding wires to fiddle with. "Course she does. Seeing as how you're only seven and 'cute', how could she not?"

"I'm not cute!" The high pitched voice shot back. "I'm foxeeee!"

Before he could fire back a retort, they were interrupted by a female voice.

"There you are! It's bath time young man."

The youngster waggled his eyebrows with a mischievous grin on his face, then quickly disappeared from view. Twisting more wires above him, he muttered to himself.

"What was that Doctor?"

He looked towards the blond head twisted sideways at the edge of the console peering back. "Can't imagine why I turned into such a pretty boy."

Rose giggled, "I believe you're jealous."

"Of that?" He asked incredulously.

"S'not the first time."

"You and your strays."

She rolled her eyes, "He's not a stray, he's you." Then continuing on, ignoring the glare he shot her. "Or he will be, or was." Her voice trailed off as confusion registered on her face. "I better go see to him."

"Just make sure he doesn't touch anything breakable."

"Breakable? Like what?"

"Like," the Doctor hesitated, "Like everything!" He flung back.

She stifled another giggle. "Right. No touching." She called back as her footsteps faded from the control room.

Sighing heavily, he closed his eyes momentarily. "How do I get myself into these messes?" The only response were a couple small beeps from the console.

"The end." Rose closed the large leatherbound book as the youngster sat quietly in her lap, his head resting against her cheek. He grinned at the figure leaning in the doorway.

"We just read a story about you."

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, "superhero comic?"

"Nope. Little Red Riding Hood!" He stated matter-of-factly.

"Wha-" he began.

"My, what BIG EARS you have." Quipped the child in a high falsetto, as Rose fought to stifle her laughter at the look of shock crossing the Doctors' face.

"Oi!"

The child continued, "My what a BIG NOSE you have."

"I don't have to take that you petulant lil git!" The Doctor snapped as he turned and stormed down the corridor.

Any thought of laughter died as Rose, depositing the youngster, made for the door to stop him. "Doctor!" She called loudly as his footsteps faded.

"Rosie?" The small voice stopping her at the doorway.

Torn between following the retreating figure she glanced quickly behind her, then made a decision. Two large brown orbs brimming with tears, and a quivering lip, had her rushing over to scoop the child into a hug.

"Is he mad?" queried the small voice.

"No, no. It was, probably, a bit rude." She responded, gently rocking him while rubbing his back.

"Rude," he let out a tiny sniffle, "and not ginger." He finished.

Rose pulled back forcing a grin, as she swallowed the lump in her throat, and ruffled the wild flyaway hair.

"Definately not ginger." She agreed, hugging him close. Then laying him back on the bed she wrapped the duvet around him as his eyes drooped heavily.

"I love you Rosie." He murmured, as the days events caught up with him and he snuggled further into the covers.

Rose leaned over placing a small kiss on his forehead. "Love you too, Doctor."

the end