The Test

Disclaimer: Doctor Who ain't mine. Neither is Halfords.

Takes place sometime during series two, after The Age of Steel.

Chapter 1: Shareen

The unmistakable grinding sound of the TARDIS echoed through the empty streets of the Powell Estate. An inexplicable breeze made leaves and litter rise from the floor and flutter away as the time machine slowly materialised in front of a graffiti-adorned brick wall. Rose fell out of the TARDIS, stumbling on the pavement and laughing at the top of her voice, tears streaming down her cheeks.

"That was the worst landing ever!" she said when she could finally talk.

The Doctor appeared in the doorway a moment later, a slightly embarrassed frown fixed on his face. "Well, you shouldn't have dared me!"

"I didn't!"

The Doctor locked the TARDIS door, and Rose linked arms with him as they headed down the street.

"You might as well have," he grumbled.

Rose started giggling again. "All I asked was if you had any party tricks. Piloting the TARDIS one-handed didn't exactly work out for ya, did it?"

He pushed her playfully, not letting go of her arm.

They reached the end of the road and stood staring at the crossroads. Rose looked up at the Time Lord with curiosity. "Are you sure it's the only place you can get it is Halfords?"

He nodded enthusiastically. "Halfords is great! Car and TARDIS owners' dream! You'd be surprised what you can find there."

Rose groaned, and looked towards a block of flats. "Well, I'm sure I would be, but considering I don't have a car and I dunno what parts the TARDIS needs, I'm gonna give it a miss. Gonna go see Shareen, okay? Over there, number 45."

The Doctor made a mental note of the flat number, and nodded. Okay, won't be long. Go and have fun."

Rose squeezed his arm affectionately and they parted ways.

Rose wrapped her arms around her against the chill in the air. Normally she'd only be coming back here to see her mum, but Jackie was away visiting family. She'd made a big scene about having to go without Rose, but the latter had held her resolve. She felt a little guilty about it, but ever since Mickey had left so unexpectedly, she'd felt a need to be with the Doctor, as if he would be torn away from her at any moment.

She eventually reached Shareen's flat. She missed her friend, she had to admit. They'd been best friends for years, and she wasn't looking forward to blagging her way out of her disappearance. She took a deep breath and rapped on the door.

Ten minutes later, Rose found herself settled in a squashy sofa next to her best friend, who was beaming like a loon. Two cups of tea sat on the coffee table, and the whole thing seemed so domestic that Rose couldn't help but smile.

"So, I want to hear everything," Shareen was saying in an animated fashion. "Jackie told me you've been travelling; are you back for good now?"

Rose hated the disappointed look in her friend's eyes as she shook her head. "Just back for a bit. Going again later today."

"So soon?"

Rose put on an apologetic face, not really knowing what to say. Travelling with the Doctor for so long had left her domestic social skills in tatters.

"Well, I'm here now," she stated as a peace offering, taking a sip of her tea.

Shareen smiled again. "So, your mum said you've been travelling with some sort of doctor. Is he good looking?"

Rose sputtered her tea, surprised at her friend's bluntness. She'd forgotten Shareen wasn't particularly tactful. Carefully putting down her tea, she tried to formulate an answer.

"Um... I guess." She couldn't help a faint blush rising up her cheeks.

Shareen giggled at her reaction. "You like him!" she said in a sing-song voice.

Rose managed a little smile. She'd missed having a friend to confide in about guys.

"Yeah," was all she could say.

Shareen squealed a little too excitedly. "I knew it! So... what's he like?"

"He's..." An alien? A Lord of Time with two hearts and a living ship? "...He's a good man."

Shareen nodded in approval. "And a doctor! You minx, Rose!"

"Hey, we're not... like that," Rose replied quickly, her blushes growing worse.

"Oh." Shareen thought. "Must be hard, travelling together, and... you know... not together."

You don't know the half of it, Rose sighed to herself.

Shareen watched her reaction carefully. "Does he like you?"

Rose shrugged, taking her tea to her lips once more.

Shareen laughed light-heartedly. "Maybe you should do... The Test."

Rose's eyes boggled at her words. "I'm... I'm not pregnant."

"No, you daft lass! Remember, when we were in school? The Test?"

Rose finally caught on, and smiled at the memory. Back in high school the two of them had used several teen mags and chick flicks to devise a series of subtle experiments to find out if a boy liked them; the whole idea came to be known as The Test. It worked like a charm back then; or at least, it got Shareen a date for the prom.

"We're not fifteen anymore, Shar."

"True, but guys never really grow up, do they?"

There was a knock at the door, and Shareen went to go and answer it. Rose grinned to herself. I guess The Test was a pretty accurate thing to go by...

Shareen returned a moment later with a cheeky smile on her face and the Doctor in tow. He was carrying a bicycle tyre and a few small metal contraptions in a carrier bag. He seemed a bit disturbed by Shareen's giddiness, and smiled at Rose, with a gesture that they should leave.

Rose left Shareen at her door with a big hug. The latter whispered in her ear.

"Don't forget."

"I'm not gonna do it, Shar."

"Trust me!" Shareen looked over Rose's shoulder at the Doctor. "So, Doctor...?"

"Smith," the Doctor replied, to save complications.

"Doctor Smith... any relation to Mickey?" Shareen asked Rose with a questioning face.

Rose made a gesture that said 'don't even go there.'

Shareen took the hint and returned her attention to the Doctor. "Doctor Smith, have you ever heard of The Test?"

Rose's eyes widened, and she glared at her friend, before pushing the intrigued Doctor away.

"Nice to catch up, Shareen, see you again soon!"

The two of them made their way across the street towards the TARDIS. Rose could tell the Doctor was pondering what Shareen had said.

Sure enough, the first words out of his mouth were: "So, what's The Test?"

Rose waved her hand dismissively, already planning her first move. "Oh, nothing." She smiled to herself, mischief in her eyes. "Nothing."


What do you think? I've got some great ideas for this story, so please keep an eye open for the next chapter. For anyone outside the UK, Halfords is a well-known store that sells car and bike parts, but you've probably guessed that lol! Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a review xx