Author's Note: This is a disclaimer, in which I humbly disclaim all ownership of all things Doctor Who. The fact that I've been writing Doctor Who stories for 20 years is irrelevant.

Chapter 1: The Panic of the Time Lord

"Rose!" The Doctor's shout through the TARDIS corridors was enough to wake sleeping gods from the dawn of Time, trapped forever in ages long past. It could not, apparently, make a dent in the slumber of the small human female whose actual name he had just called.

He stormed up the corridor and flung open her door with a bang. "Rose!" he shouted.

Nothing happened, because she wasn't there. He rolled his eyes, and tilted his head to listen. There was the sound of water pounding and something else, and he smiled. Rose was singing in the shower, and her voice was audible even over the water and through the door.

He rather thought his 7th self would have particularly liked her. Her singing voice was perfect for jazz, all smooth and rich and full of soul. Rose had a lot of soul, maybe more than any human being had ever possessed. When she filled her songs with it, there was something that quite snatched your breath away, even if you were a 900 – ok, closer to 1200, but what is the good in counting anymore, honestly – year old Time Lord.

Maybe they could have sung together. That thought amused him, even as it annoyed him. He also wondered if she would have liked him at all back then – he had even looked much older than her, then. Of course, she'd liked his big eared, straight jacketed former incarnation, so it was entirely possible.

He listened with wondering appreciation as her voice wove her spell around him, stood there utterly unconcerned for his dubious welcome, and cherished to his hearts the sound of her own heart pouring forth in the next room. He could only just make out the words if he poured his concentration into it, but he was much too busy concentrating on two other things at the moment. One, of course, was controlling the flow of his blood to prevent it all racing through his body at break-neck pressure. The other was ignoring the sound of the ancient time machine in his head giggling.

He, therefore, also did not hear the shower turn off, nor the sound of soft footsteps. So he was completely blind-sided when Rose stepped from her bathroom, wearing nothing but a tiny pink towel and a dreamy pink smile, into his line of vision. Then, of course, his blood got away and began a headlong plunge on a singular and specific mission somewhere just south of his midsection. He also lost his grip on his jaw, which plummeted in approximately the same direction as his blood.

She glared at him scathingly as he stood there like an emu and blinked at her. Then she advanced on him and, although one part of his body was insisting he stay right there because there would be a good chance of her losing her towel in the fight, she looked entirely too much like an infuriated Jackie, and his more sensible flight instincts kicked in. He turned to the door, hands over his eyes, and bolted, only stumbling a little.

"Let me know when you're decent," he shouted through the door that had slammed behind him. "No, well you're decent, of course, better than decent, quite impressive really, if I had to say so, which of course I would never ever ever do, I mean, not that I looked or anything really, but I mean you couldn't help but notice, at least I couldn't help but notice, so don't think this gives you the right to kill me. There's a queue, you see, really long one, lots and lots and lots of people, and things, and things which are also people, so you can't kill me, although if I had to pick a way I was going to die that wouldn't be quite as bad as say, I dunno, flung off a cliff... no, did that already, never mind. Maybe you could... what was I saying?"

"Doctor!" she shouted through the door, "you're nattering!"

"Oh. Right. Well. Nattering on, let me know when you're..." He cleared his throat, found himself talking around a lump in it, and squeaked. "Dressed, I guess."

Leaning against the wall, he counted to ten, backward, from the highest prime number he could remember. "You could have said something," he muttered at the TARDIS. She was too busy having spasms to even comment, and it was almost brilliant, really, this feeling in his head that his time ship partner, so often more depressed than he was these days, was having the time of her virtually endless life at him.

When Rose came out, he caught her hand and dragged her into the console room with all his usual manic energy. "Rose, you have got to do something!"

"Hang about, me? Doctor, you're the genius, I'm the ape, remember?"

"Right right," he said. "Genius, ape." He pointed to each of them as he said this, and Rose was laughing, mostly due to the fact that he had done his pointing backward for once. Not that he ever called people 'ape' in this incarnation, but the temptation was often there. He stopped and toyed with his ear. "I owe you an apology, I suppose, for earlier. I didn't mean to... I was - am - was and still am, in fact, panicking."

Rose gave him that wonderful smile of hers. "Why, are we in a War Zone or something?"

"No, no, no, it's much worse. We're on Malaclypse, and I don't want to be here, and she won't leave."

"Ok," said Rose, and walked around the console to peer a him. "How can I help, then?"

"Talk to her," he pleaded. "I told her and told her I want to go, and she won't listen to me." He knew he was whinging, getting close to sounding like Mickey the Idiot, back when he was still an idiot, and he didn't care. "I asked her nicely. I pleaded, I begged, I threatened. She won't take off." He grasped a roundhole tightly, fully intent on banging his head against it.

Rose shook her head at him, and came over to hug him, for which he was grateful. "You sound like a kid who's been told he's got to go visit his crazy Aunt, Doctor. What's wrong with Malaclypse?"

"Everything, everything you can possibly think of. They're like that singing fish your mum had. They're like... how do I explain this?" He clicked his fingers sharply. "Look, how many Malaclypse engineers does it take to change a light bulb?"

She blinked at the apparent non sequitur. "Dunno. Two?"

"Yes," he said, "exactly! Two. One to fetch the ladder to the roof and one to chuck brightly colored French bread rolls at the tele."

She considered this for a moment, and then giggled. "You mean they're like you. They like everything with a side of nuts!"

He couldn't help it. He grinned. "All right, yeah, I resemble that, but still." He paused, just for the drama of it. "Don't you think I'm enough to go round, then?"

She rolled her eyes again, and they twinkled merrily at him. "Why? D'you come in six packs, then?" She snorted at him, while he gaped at her, trying to decide whether to grin or panic again. "What'd she say when you told her you'd rather skive off?"

He rolled his eyes, now, and turned toward the corridor to find them some appropriate clothes. "She laughed at me. She's STILL laughing at me."

And then, of course, so was Rose.