Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story that is recognisable from Doctor Who in its many forms. Everything else however (eg. story plot, original characters, etc.) stems from my own imagination and belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended and I am not profiting financially from this story in any way.
Author's Note: Set post Journey's End and a few years on. Rose and her half-human Doctor are married and working for Torchwood.
Not So Sweet
The Doctor and Rose were wandering the park on one of their rare days off. They'd brought Tony with them and the boy was skipping along up ahead. As Rose chattered aimlessly about nothing in particular she suddenly realised her husband had been quiet for far too long. And, like with a child who was up to trouble, too much silence from the Doctor was never a good sign. She spun around to find him halted several paces back, staring cross-eyed at the gelatinous body pinched between his fingers.
"What've I told you?" Rose sighed, looking at him exasperatedly. "We're almost at the picnic spot. Now put those Jelly Babies away before you ruin your appetite. Honestly, you're worse than Tony. Speakin' of…" She spun around and yelled, "Tony, don't go too far!"
"I won't. Promise," the boy called back.
She then turned back to find the Doctor's cross-eyed staring had moved up to suspicious glaring. The sort of suspicious glaring that usually meant an alien plot was afoot. Unconsciously she straightened and stepped toward him, preparing herself for trouble.
"Doctor? What's wrong?"
"Moved?" she asked and he nodded gravely.
"I can only be the Agobby Consciousness."
"And what's that when it's at home?"
"It's like the Nestene Consciousness, only for compounds containing gelatin and sugar, rather than plastics."
She stared at him uncertainly for a long moment but he remained grim.
"So gummy bears, marshmallows and jellies, all comin' alive to take over the world?" she said and when he looked at her disbelievingly added, "What? It's not out to take over the world then?"
"No- well yes, yes it is. But you're missing the most important part." And he waved the red Jelly Baby dramatically under her nose. "Jelly Babies Rose! They're daring to defile the brilliant and yummy, yet historically-meaningful goodness, that is the Jelly Baby. This cannot be let to stand!"
She sighed, rolled her eyes, ignored his look of offence at her casual dismissal of his sacred confection, and turned around.
"Tony! Come back here quick!" she called then said to the Doctor, "I'll zip Tony home. You head to Torchwood and get the ball rollin', yeah?"
"Fine," he muttered, still put out at her under-reaction to what he felt was a terrible travesty.
"We need to act now! Halt production of all sweets containing gelatin, and destroy anything already in circulation."
"Do you have any idea of the disruption that would cause; the money loss for innocent businesses?" the Director of Operations asked, rubbing a weary hand over his face.
"But I'm telling you, if we don't act now, we'll have an evil Jelly Baby army on our hands!" he cried, not realising how absurd he sounded.
"And you want me to just… take your word on that?"
The Doctor nodded his head, grinning widely. "Yep."
"I'm sorry, no," was the reply, and the Doctor's expression shifted to one of wounded surprise
"That's correct. No. I'm afraid I can't waste resources on your word alone. Not anymore. Not after the last time you claimed an emergency and we sent a platoon of agents to your location."
"It was an emergency," was the half indignant, half guilty reply.
"Doctor," the Director barked, "you called for them because you couldn't open your marmalade jar."
"I've a slight weakness in the dorsal tubercle," he pouted.
"And once they opened it, you sent half of them off to the grocer for strawberry jam."
"I changed my mind about the marmalade," he sniffed, raising his chin in an effort to seem reasonable. "And there was no strawberry left in the cupboard. Really Jimmy, it was a genuine proble-"
"My name," the Director interrupted tersely, "is Director James Connolly. Not Jimmy, or Jim or Jimbo. Director Connolly. Or Director. Or Connolly. Or if you must, James. Now get out of my office."
"What d'you mean, he didn't believe you?" Rose asked, having met up with him in the half mad scientist's lab, half office, that was his assigned space at Torchwood.
"He said no. En-oh. And then he told me to get out."
She groaned. "It was because of the incident with the jam, wasn't it?"
"Not at all. Though it may have been mentioned."
"Well if not the jam… Oh god, you called Director Connolly 'Jimbo' again, didn't you?"
"Rose!" He looked at her, as if offended at the accusation, before returning to his tinkering. "Of course I didn't."
"Jim then," she said, not at all fooled.
"… Really Rose, he was just being unreasonable," he spluttered, and she nodded knowingly.
"Jimmy it was then. Now, what're you doin' over there?"
"I'm building a tracker. Like I did with the Nestene."
"But didn't you need somethin' to trace the signal from? Plastic Mickey's head in that case."
The Doctor turned to look at her then, his expression a picture of woe. She stepped forward in concern and raised a hand to his cheek.
"Doctor, love what's wrong?"
Slowly, he reached behind him and brought forth a scanner-like device. And in the centre, struggling against it's itty bitty restraints, was the red Jelly Baby that had started all this, looking up at them with a snarl on it's squishy face.
"It's just so wrong," the Doctor sighed sadly. "I always imagined if they could move they'd be smiling. Or dancing. A nice rumba or the Macarena perhaps. Or maybe a good old fashioned limbo."
"Well, this is a bit déjà vu," Rose commented as they looked over the railing down at the hatchway below, to which the tracker had led them.
"It is a bit odd that the Agobby Consciousness would choose to nest in the same place the Nestene Consciousness did," the Doctor agreed as they hurried down the stairs. "Oh, that's funny. The nest of the Nestene Consciousness. The nesting Nestene. The nest of the nesting Nestene."
Rose sent him an indulgent smile and tried to lift the hatch, to no avail. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a tube of mascara, turned it upside down and opened the bottom to reveal the glowing pink device built within, then pointed it at the hatch and pressed a hidden button. The tube gave a buzz and when she tried the hatch again, she was able to drag it open.
"Have I mentioned lately," she said, leading the way down below, "how much I appreciate the sonic mascara you put together for me?"
"Not recently no," he said, then jumped down the last few rungs to land beside her.
"Well thanks," she grinned at him, pocketing the device.
"This way," he said, taking her hand.
Ducking under the chains that hung form the ceiling, they carefully opened the only other exit - a large steel door - and emerged into a high ceilinged room with zigzagging stairs and balconies leading down to the ground level, where there was a large pit in the centre of the floor containing…
"Oh my god," Rose gasped, torn between laughter and disbelief. "It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, from Ghostbusters."
And indeed there in the pit curled up on itself was a giant, white, puffy, man shaped creature, looking very much to be made of marshmallow. Not only that but it looked, Rose reflected, quite cute. The Doctor however, caught her expression and spun her to face him.
"Don't go soft on me now Rose," he hissed quietly. "This is not some adorable well-meaning creature. It wants to take over the world. And more importantly think of the Jelly Babies."
As he spoke he waved the scanner under her nose, pointing at the still struggling red sweet. It snarled and attempted to bite his finger. He yanked it back and stared at the little creature with disappointment.
"Alright, alright," she reassured him. "I won't let it's appearance fool me, okay?"
"Good." He nodded seriously.
"You still haven't told me Doctor. If they reject our usual 'leave in peace or else' offer, how'll we defeat them? Anti-Gelatin?"
She had an amused smile as she made the suggestion, but it was wiped clean as her husband stared at her in surprise.
"How'd you know?" he asked, pulling a vial of a glowing green substance from his pocket, and she shook her head in despair
"Am I the only one what's been struck with the feelin' today, that we're just the pawns in the work of an author who can't be bothered to think of a more original storyline?"
He stared at her for a long moment, then shook his head and tucked the vial away again.
"Nope," he stated breezily, "not particularly."
"Right. Just me then."
Deciding to move the plot… ahem that is to say 'mission' along, the Doctor grabbed Rose's hand again and the pair made their way down to the ground floor, somehow miraculously escaping the giant puffy alien's notice.
"Excuse me," the Doctor called, with his usual tact – or lack thereof – finally drawing the Agobby's attention. "Ah yes, hello. I'm the Doctor."
"And I'm Rose," Rose said as it stared up at her with large black eyes. "Rose Tyler."
"Yes, it's nice to meet you. Anyway, we were hoping you wouldn't mind terribly going away. From the planet that is. Specifically Earth. You see I know about your kind and I know you like to settle on a planet, take over the gelatinous compounds, then conquer the native inhabitants before moving onto another planet."
"Oh yes Rose. Regular little warmongers the Agobby. Or rather, big - big warmongers. Anyway as I was saying, we think it best that you just leave now, before I'm forced to take drastic measures."
There was silence for a moment, then two things happened. First, the Agobby Consciousness squeezed it's dark eyes closed in concentration until visible signal waves began to emanate from the marshmallow-like being, projected upwards.
"I take it it's upping the invasion timeline," Rose yelled to the Doctor over the pressure sound of the signal, and he nodded.
Second, the Consciousness let out a loud, low cry. It was, it quickly became clear, a cry of 'at arms', as from every possible hidden nook about them, creatures suddenly emerged. These creatures came in red, yellow, pink, green, purple and orange and were about an inch tall. The Doctor's expression darkened and Rose caught her breath at the sight. The Agobby Consciousness had just made a grave error of judgement, and the Doctor was now going to go 'Oncoming Storm' on it's squashy white butt.
"Big mistake," Rose muttered, taking a step back as he glared down at the Consciousness.
"Oh you didn't. You didn't just threaten me with an army of Jelly Babies. Snarly faced, non-smiling or dancing or limbo-ing Jelly Babies. Well, that is just the final straw."
And with that, he withdrew from his pocket the vial of Anti-Gelatin, holding it aloft. The Agobby moaned loudly and the Jelly Babies little voices squealed in horror as the gelatinous army rushed forward to attack. But they were too late. With a flick of his wrist, he opened the vial and then flung it at the Agobby Consciousness. It groaned, and moaned and suddenly… it exploded.
Rose and the Doctor sat side by side in a debriefing room at Torchwood headquarters, staring across the table at Director Connolly.
"You know, it was a bit useless the way the men you finally sent showed up after we'd saved the world."
"You're being rude again," Rose muttered, shifting uncomfortably in her seat and he looked surprised.
"Really? Was I? Oh, sorry. Still, it took them long enough."
Rose sighed exasperatedly. "Please ignore him Director. I'm just surprised you sent agents at all. From what the Doctor said, you were sceptical."
"Some agents spotted the pair of you racing around London with a beeping scanning thing of some description and reported it," he said, staring at the pair of them, lips twitching convulsively. "I decided I couldn't risk you were right and sent backup."
"Well thank you. Now do you think-" She paused awkwardly. "Do you think we could get out of here now?"
"Of course," he said graciously, almost straight faced. "You'll want to… clean up and such."
There was the sound of snickering from outside the room and Rose pursed her lips in annoyance, knowing that other agents were listening in from outside the door. She really didn't want to go out there. Coming up was bad enough; she didn't want to go back through Torchwood to get out again. Unfortunately she had no choice. Still, at least she knew who was to blame for this situation. Standing, she grabbed the Doctor's arm and yanked him up none to gently.
"Ouch, easy there."
She just glared at him till he was properly cowed, nodded as professionally at the Director as the situation would allow, and headed for the door. Immediately up exiting the room with the Doctor, a flash of light blinded her. When her vision cleared it was to the sight of Jake grinning at them, camera in hand and a crowd of other amused agents behind him.
"Jake," she growled.
"Sorry Rose, couldn't resist," he grinned unrepentantly. "Director Connolly updated Pete on the situation and he mentioned it to me, and I hurried over to get some photographic evidence."
"Rose?" The Doctor stared at her in surprise. "Did you just hiss?"
He quickly realised his comment was ill advised as she turned her glower upon him instead.
"This is all. your. fault," she said darkly.
"Now be fair Rose. It had to be done," he tried to reason but she was already stalking off.
"No jam in the house for a week!" she called over her shoulder.
Gasping in horror, he hurried to catch up and make her see reason. Surely she could not be so cruel. His efforts would be in vain however as when they returned to work the next day, they discovered that some enterprising (and dead when Rose found them) individual had gotten a copy of the photograph Jake had taken and set it as the default company wallpaper. So now, every Torchwood computer in the building sported the image of two of them covered in the aftermath of the Agobby explosion, looking unflatteringly like sticky white snow people with eyes. The sound of the Doctor's wail, when Rose raised his punishment to two weeks, could be heard from every floor of the building.
Reviews make me happy (hint, hint).