Author's Note: The second of the holiday gift fics I'll be writing. This one is for shionthekid on livejournal.
Hide 'N' Seek
"3, 2, 1, Ready or not here I come!" Rose yelled, knowing that the Doctor was unlikely to be able to hear her by now anyway. She'd given him sixty seconds to hide, partially because she was getting impatient, and partially because she didn't want him to get too far away. She'd never find him then! And when they were playing hide 'n' seek in a space as expansive as the TARDIS, she had to find all the advantages she could. It had been a silly idea, childish and ridiculous- but so very them.
"You ever think about cleanin' this place?" Rose had emerged from a dusty closet, coughing and wheezing. "Went in there to get that thingamajig you asked for and nearly suffocated." She'd handed him the gadget, which he pocketed. "What'd you have me get anyway? Just described it… don't know what it does."
"It's a reverse invisibility device."
"Makes our surroundings invisible from the inside, so we can see the outside without anything seeing in," he elucidated.
"So like Wonder Woman's invisible jet except… they still just see the police box as is?" Rose queried.
"That's exactly it! Never thought that invisible jet made much sense though. Sure the jet is invisible, but anyone could see her just… floating in the air. Seems impractical to me."
Rose laughed and leaned over onto the TARDIS console. "So why don't you ever use this thing?"
He stepped over to her and grinned. "Because why would I want to look outside all the time before I leave the TARDIS? Ruins the surprise. But I remembered I had it just a few moments ago and thought it would be something you'd like to see."
"Can agree with not wanting to spoil the surprise. But seriously Doctor, that closet was foul! D'you ever clean this place, yeah?"
"Oi! Do you think it's dirty? She cleans herself, but she doesn't bother with rooms that I never use. I tell her that there's no real point in wasting her energy on them." He stroked the console as he explained this, as if assuring the TARDIS that she had not been insulted and that she had done nothing wrong.
Rose covered her mouth, but her eyes were still visibly filled with merriment. "Leave you two alone, right now?"
The Doctor pulled his hand away, as if he'd just touched a hot stove. "The TARDIS is huge. No use messing with the parts I don't use that often. Hadn't been in that closet in oh… fifty years or so."
"Makes sense." Rose pressed against him. "Can you imagine a game of hide 'n' seek in here. Oh I'd've loved that when I was little…"
A grin spread across the Doctor's face, one of those big, maniac grins that were so uniquely him. "Let's do it then. Hide 'n' seek! A game played all over the universe, and it's generally called about the same thing no matter where you go. Seems an obvious name though, you hide… and you seek, so it's not a strange occurrence."
Rose blinked. "You want to play hide 'n' seek? What if we get lost?"
"Won't!" The Doctor glanced back at the console. "I'll make sure she guides us back if we need help."
"Ready or not, here I come!" Rose yelled once more for good measure. She turned away from the TARDIS door, which she'd been facing toward to count, and ran up the short flight of steps after him.
She looked in every room she came across, taking fork after fork and checking nooks and crannies and behind the most bizarre of bizarre items. She peeked under the lawn chairs beside the Olympic size swimming pool, amongst the flowers and greens of the greenhouse (being careful not to let the Tisiniasoin Flesh Eating Flower eat her for dinner. The fact that it was potted made it easy to outrun), and even through at least a fragment of the extensive wardrobe. She dearly hoped the jumper covered in question marks was not his.
It was after around an hour of searching (give or take a bit), that she decided to retrace her steps. He'd only had sixty seconds to find a place to hide, and although he could run fast on his lanky legs, she'd have been shocked had he been able to make it even half the distance she'd covered.
Making her way to the console room, her eyes widened as she spotted a door opened just a crack. No Rose, you've been in this room. It had to have been you who left the door open. She entered anyway.
The room looked like the seventies had thrown up all over it. There were chairs decorated in patterns that were the epitomes of a decorating crime, and a thick red shag carpet covered the entire floor. It was just as ugly the second time as it had been the first. Rose found it hilarious. She searched the room again, throwing pillows and hideous throws aside in attempt to leave no stone unturned (she actually did come across a pet rock). In the corner of the room was a piece of furniture that vaguely resembled a couch, but was covered in some horrid green, yellow, and orange flowered upholstery and had a wood board on one end of it. With an exhausted sigh, she sat on it. Playing hide 'n' seek in the TARDIS had definitely allowed her to discover new areas of the Doctor's 'frankly magnificent timeship,' but she thought maybe it was a bit too large for the game. It was then that she had a flicker of a thought. She glanced at the couch, then again. She remembered a couch like this at her mum's friend's house when she was young. It was ugly then and uglier now, but Estate Life didn't afford them the best of furniture. She stood up and pulled on the cushion near the wood panel.
It lifted up, revealing a hollow area underneath the couch. The Doctor beamed up at her. "Hello Rose. Nice of you to drop in."
"Tag!" She whapped him on the head. "Now get out of there. You might be able to squeeze your skinny butt in there, but I can't."
"Well I have to admit, I'm glad to be let out. Getting a bit cramped, and it smells like Astroturf in here." He crinkled his nose. "No idea why, mind you."
Rose laughed and snatched his forearms, helping to pull him out of the enclosure beneath the couch. "Y'know, I'm not even going to ask about this room," she shook her head as they walked out of the room together.
"Well that's actually an interesting story," he replied and took her hand. She returned the gesture.
"You can tell me another time but… I'd sort of like to see that invisibility thing if we could?"
"Oh right!" He bounced forward, dragging her along with him. "You've never actually seen the time vortex then, have you? Oh it's beautiful…"