A/N: For the record, ScreamsOnScreen has her mojo back XD


Chapter Thirteen

The Kindness of Strangers

Ashley Chambers looked at the cast on her leg bitterly. Nine weeks, the doctor had said. Nine weeks of being stuck inside or hobbling around on crutches because of speed freak Mr Lucas the milk float driver. As if that wasn't bad enough there had been getting visits from the same pair of police officers asking her what had happened. Auntie Clara had done nothing but cry for a long time, which was weird because Auntie Clara never cried. But then as the police kept asking what happened and Ashley only shrugged and told them she didn't know, Clara seemed to lose her uncharacteristic sobs and return to her regular irritable self.

'What do you mean you don't know?' she had demanded. 'You were missing for a whole night!'

If Ashley could have remembered what had happened properly, then she would have been confused to why no one mentioned the fact of her being pulled out of her bed by three strangers. But apparently, no one else could remember that either. As far as Aunty Clara and the police were concerned, Ashley had left of her own accord, and got hit by a milk float in the process.

But Ashley couldn't remember. In fact, she had been as confused as anyone else as one minute she had been in bed, dreaming about stupid Kirsty Mather getting dragged off by the men in the white (spaceship) van, and next thing she knew she was lying in hospital with a broken leg and a fractured collar bone.

But for now the questions had ceased and she was on her own. Most people would probably appreciate that, but Ashley was ten, and she didn't like being on her own. Especially when there was a boring show on TV and she couldn't even get up to change the channel.

Fantastic.

Ashley craned her neck as she heard the door of the ward open, and winced at the pain that shot through her shoulder. The nurse was escorting a young looking couple inside. The man was tall and smiling, with wild brown hair and a pinstripe suit. The woman was slim with bright red hair and dressed quite messily in jeans and a t-shirt that read 'I Rode The Biggest Roller Coaster In The Universe And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt'. To her surprise, the nurse pointed towards her, and the couple grinned and headed over to her.

'Hi!' the man beamed at her. 'How are you feeling?'

Ashley looked at him suspiciously. 'Like I got ran over by a milk float.'

The woman snorted, and glanced to the man in amusement. His smile briefly faltered, but then he smiled brilliantly again and lifted a brown bag.

'I brought you these.' He said proudly, handing her the bag.

Ashley took it tentatively, and peered inside. She glanced back to the two of them. 'You didn't like… spit on them or anything did you?'

The man's eyebrows shot up. 'What? No! Why would I spit on them?'

'He ate a couple.' The woman smiled.

The man looked at her in alarm. 'I did not!'

'Oh liar!' she breathed.

Ashley frowned at the two of them and placed the bag on the side of the bed. 'You do know that this is just a hospital. Not an orphanage. I hope you don't think you can adopt me or something.'

The man chuckled. 'Don't worry. One of you is enough.' The woman jabbed him and frowned. He whined and rubbed his arm. 'Joke!' he insisted.

Ashley continued to look at them both suspiciously. 'Who are you? I'm not supposed to talk to strangers…' She paused. 'But then again my mum is crazy so I suppose I don't have-'

'Listen to anything she says.' The man finished, laughing. 'Yeah I remember.' He looked at her fondly for a moment, as did the woman. Ashley had a sudden, overwhelming feeling that she knew the two of them very well. She could almost swear that the woman was her family. She did bear a striking resemblance to her mother…

'Are you my cousin or something?' she asked the woman.

She half smiled. 'Something like that.' She took a step towards the bed but the man grabbed her arm suddenly. She turned and shot him an irritated look.

'No repeats.' He said warningly.

The woman pushed her bottom lip out with her tongue and made a 'duh' noise at him. He blinked at her for a moment, and then let go of her. He turned back to Ashley again, grinning.

'Well I think that's it. Grapes, small chit-chat…' He paused in thought. 'Oh, and to tell you you're a good runner.'

Ashley frowned deeply at him, not appreciating the irony. The man noticed this and hissed through his teeth.

'Oh right. Yeah, sorry about that.' He glanced to the woman and pushed his hands in his pockets. 'Well, I think that's it. See you later, Ashley Chambers.' He shot her a wink.

Ashley only continued to frown at him. He grinned and began to head away. The woman waved her fingers and then began to follow him, but then turned and came back.

'Next time you see Kirsty Mather,' she smirked. 'Point out to everyone that she has one foot bigger than the other. You don't notice it until its pointed out, but it's really obvious.' She grinned and winked.

'Ashley.' The man said in a warning tone.

The woman, who seemed to share Ashley's name, grinned once more and then hurried after the man.

'You,' he cried incredulously. 'I don't believe you sometimes. It's like you want to destroy the universe!'

Ashley watched them as they headed out of the doors. The woman sighed and shook her head.

'I don't want to destroy the universe. I just want to adjust it to my needs.'

'Pfft,' the man replied as he held the door open for her. 'Next you'll be hunkering down in a metal shell and shouting exterminate at everyone.'

They disappeared out of the ward. Ashley sat silently for a moment, and then turned her attention back to the TV. She cursed lightly, and wondered why she hadn't asked them to change the channel for her.

THE END


E/N: Well I did a copout lol! At least now you all know that if you're being chased by a reaper, just run into oncoming traffic and everything will work out fiiiine! :D

Hope you enjoyed that one. There were a few things I had wanted to do that just didn't seem to happen, like more about little Ashley... but meh I can always come back to it when the series has finished because I probably won't be writing anything else for a while. Speaking of the impending end, i've decided I'm doing 12 episodes altogther because a) thirteen is an unlucky number and 2) I don't have that many ideas and i think using EIAH as a episode is cheating. Although I'm promoting it to episode 10.5 lol. How's that for a copout XD

I have no idea for the next one at the mo, although I have a little idea that will probably spawn into a proper one. The first chapter starts off at a party anyway, which means the Doctor is in his tux and we all know only good things happen to the Doctor in a tux. Well they don't really... he often nearly gets killed but... damn he does it looking good :D

That's enough of my ramble, kiddywinkles, and I shall see you at Episode 10 :o