Here's a fun little one-shot for everyone. I wrote it to appease the Dark Lord Stormageddon. This is my offering to him.


There was a knock on the door. Craig did not hear it over the wall-rattling wails of his young son, and thus did not answer the door.

When the initial request for entry was ignored, a second, more forceful request was made. The door was pounded hard enough to chip the paint from its surface. These knocks, which sounded more like the war-drums of an approaching goblin army than an entreaty by a friendly visitor, also failed to compete with the raging cries of little Alfie.

"Alfie, please stop crying. Please! I'll do anything. I'll make faces. Look, Daddy's making a funny face." Craig stuck his tongue out and crossed his eyes. Alfie shrieked with such vigor a banshee would have been overwhelmed.

Miffed that his first two courteous requests had not been denied but flat-out ignored, the visitor at the front door did the next logical thing: he kicked the door open. The noise of the door banging against the wall hard enough for the knob to leave an indentation in the plaster finally reached Craig's ears. He froze with the squirming, crying infant held out in front of him.

"Daddy will be right back. He thinks there's someone in the house," Craig whispered to the baby. He then placed Alfie gently in his crib.

If there was an intruder, said intruder had to be brazen, and therefore potentially dangerous. Anyone who broke into an occupied house in the middle of the day had to be an especially determined criminal. Anyone who broke into a house occupied by an infant who was able to shatter glass and instantly induce migraines with his cries had to be deranged. Or completely deaf.

Craig scanned the nursery for anything he could potentially use as a weapon. There was a bin that contained Alfie's dirty nappies, but Craig didn't think he could carry the foul thing without puking. What else was there? The pair of empty bottles was too light to do any damage, all of Alfie's toys were soft and plushy, and his storybooks were all ten-page-long paperbacks. In baby-proofing the nursery, they'd removed all the weapons!

Maybe he could sneak downstairs and grab something lethal from the kitchen. There were knives and forks and heavy pans. Craig dared to imagine himself brandishing a steak knife in one hand and a saucepan shield in the other. Then he remembered that on the stairs, he was as loud as a herd of elephants. The intruder, if there really was one and Craig's imagination wasn't running wild, would know exactly where Craig was and would be ready for him.

Craig was trapped by indecision. Part of him wanted to lock the door to Alfie's room and wait it out. It would certainly be the safest option. But then he imagined Sophie obliviously walking in on the intruder and from there, all manner of ghastly possibilities made him tremble with fear. The intruder could be armed with a knife, or a gun, or an alien laser (Craig was discounting nothing) and Sophie, her arms loaded with groceries, would be helpless.

"If I die, or I disappear and am never heard from again, just remember that I love you," Craig said.

Alfie continued to scream, apparently not caring in the least if this was the last time he saw his Not-Mummy. Craig wondered if the baby would have responded better to Sophie's teary farewell.

Unarmed, Craig crept from the room, quietly closing the door behind him. The door did little to dampen the hysterical cries that could still no doubt be heard anywhere in the house. Maybe, Craig dared to hope, Alfie's crying would mask his father's footfalls. It was hard to imagine anything softer than an explosion being heard over the prevailing wail.

Craig was about to descend the stairs when he heard the stomping of heavy boots marching up towards him. The intruder was coming upstairs, and his footsteps suggested he was big, angry, and could beat his enemies to weepy pulp. Craig regretted ever leaving the sanctuary of Alfie's room. Though if he was going to have his head crushed beneath pounding boots, it would be best the baby not see it.

Wishing the Doctor was there to save him, Craig held his ground and waited as the thudding of the boots became louder. Suddenly, Craig could see the top of the intruder's head. Then the intruder's face. A few moments later, the intruder stood four steps from the top landing and Craig was able to gape at him in a mixture of fear and confusion.

Was this thing human? Craig couldn't decide. It had all the usual human body parts, in all the usual numbers, and nothing extra—no tentacles, third eyes, or probing mouthparts—but the proportions seemed wrong. It was short, and Craig couldn't recall ever seeing someone with a head shaped like that. The clothing—or was it armor?—also suggested this wasn't a normal burglar.

"I don't mean to sound rude, but what are you and what the hell are you doing in my house?"

The weird little bugger squared his shoulders and proudly proclaimed himself to be a Sontaran, and announced his intent was to attend to the crying human infant. Craig's eyebrows shot up until they vanished into his hairline. He hadn't been expecting that.

"That 'human infant' is my son, and I don't need you to take care of him. I've got this under control. Thanks, though," Craig said.

"Nonsense! If the child was being given proper attention, he would not be making such noise. Now, where is he?" the Sontaran asked.

"None of your business! And you're not coming any closer to him. So get out!"

The Sontaran climbed another step and Craig backed away. Then he realized that doing so only showed weakness, and reclaimed his former spot. The Sontaran seemed to accept the challenge and mounted the final three steps. Now that he was on the same level as Craig, he waited for the human to make the next move.

"This is my home and I order you to leave. Do you hear me? Go! I don't want strange little aliens bothering my family!"

"In battle, I would crush your skull beneath my boots and celebrate the ruin of your species. Since I am but a nurse and we have not met on the glorious field of battle, I ask that you do not interfere." The Sontaran tried to step past Craig.

If citing property rights wasn't going to discourage the freakish, bald alien, Craig decided he'd have no option but to fight back physically. He raised his fists in front of him like a boxer and the Sontaran paused. Craig hoped the size difference would be enough to intimidate the alien and send him packing.

"If you come any closer, I'll hurt you. I'm warning you, stay away," Craig said.

"A good soldier never warns."

Before Craig realized what was happening, he found himself on his back with all the breath knocked from him. In the blink of an eye, the Sontaran had laid him flat. As the alien's heavy boots tramped past his head, Craig was left to stare at the ceiling and wonder how it had gotten so dirty.

The volume of Alfie's cries abruptly doubled. The Sontaran thing had entered the nursery. This thought spurred Craig to his feet, even if he still couldn't quite draw a proper breath. Things like breathing were inconsequential when his baby was being threatened by an insane alien nurse.

"Oi, don't touch him!" Craig shouted as he burst into the room.

To Craig's utter, mind-rendering horror, the Sontaran was standing over Alfie's crib and was reaching for the baby. Before Craig could wrestle the alien away, he had picked up Alfie. No doubt out of fear, Alfie stopped crying and gazed up at the new Not-Mummy that was holding him.

"Put him down!"

"This child needs to be fed."

"I'll feed him then! Just put him back in the crib!"

"You lack the necessary mammary glands. I have been genetically modified to fulfill all the duties of a nurse. I can produce magnificent quantities of lactic fluid!"

Craig's mouth fell open. "What?"

The Sontaran cradled Alfie with one arm and with the other struck his own chest. "My lactic fluid provides superior nutrition for all mammalian species."

"You want to…breastfeed…my son," Craig said.

"Precisely."

"Oh my God." Craig felt the world start to spin. There was no way this was happening. This was all a very sick, disturbed nightmare brought on by sheer exhaustion and bad pizza.

"If you are uncomfortable, you may leave." The Sontaran motioned to the door.

Alfie, or Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All, as he preferred to be called, hoped the stranger holding him was going to be his new Not-Mummy. The other Not-Mummy, the one that fed him the horrid stuff from a bottle, didn't know the first thing about what Stormageddon needed. This new Not-Mummy, though he didn't have hair for Alfie to pull, had everything else going for him: he knew Alfie loved to be held, he understood Alfie's cries of hunger, and he made milk.

Stormageddon rewarded the Sontaran's attention with a giggle. He normally reserved those gifts for Mummy, but this particular Not-Mummy deserved to know of the Dark Lord's pleasure.

Craig felt a stabbing pain in his chest that was either a clogged artery or his heart breaking. Alfie, who burst into tears if his father so much as looked at him, had become attached to an alien. So attached that he giggled at the alien. He'd never giggled at Craig. Not once.

"You will make a superb warrior one day. Should we ever meet in combat, rest assured that I will give you a death worth celebrating."

Stormageddon smiled a bright, toothless smile at the Sontaran's promise. It amused him that this new Not-Mummy made such outlandish claims.

"But before that day arrives, you have much growing to do. I have just the thing to encourage your healthy maturation."

The Sontaran began removing the armor from his breast. Whatever he revealed was too much for Craig's mind to process. He collapsed in a dead faint.

An indeterminate amount of time later, Craig awoke to find himself on the couch. He tried to sit up and realized just in the nick of time that Alfie was sleeping on his chest. Craig hastily lay back down before he could incur the wrath of Stormageddon.

Alfie was so small and warm, rather like a cat. Craig smiled at the comparison. He ran a finger through his son's fine hair. Cats were furrier, though. But Alfie was much cuter, and his lack of claws was also nice.

"Suppose it was all a dream, then, wasn't it?" Craig whispered. "Had to have been. Alien nurses and their lactic fluid, what rubbish."

Secure in his convictions, Craig relaxed. Then he yawned. He hadn't been getting more than an hour's rest a night, and trying to sneak naps during the few diurnal hours Alfie wasn't wailing wasn't making up for the forced insomnia. With his sleep cycle so disrupted, it really was no surprise his dreams had turned strange. Plenty of new dads probably suffered from the same thing; not aliens, per se, but dreams that implied they were horrid parents.

Lulled by the bundle of warmth and life that was the sleeping Alfie as much as by his own tiredness, Craig soon fell asleep. He snored. Alfie drooled a large, wet circle on his shirt.

Craig was awoken by someone gently shaking his shoulder. He blinked a few times and discovered Sophie standing next to the couch. She was wearing a radiant smile.

"My boys," she said.

Upon hearing Mummy's voice, Alfie rumbled to life. He forgot all about the big, soft waterbed that was Not-Mummy and began wriggling until Craig passed him on to Sophie. She accepted the baby, who immediately quieted.

Now free to move, Craig sat up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes and stretched. The couch was well-worn, but it wasn't the most comfortable place to sleep.

"You two were so adorable, I didn't want to wake you up. There's just…something," Sophie said.

"Something," Craig repeated.

"Probably nothing, but the door was open when I got home. I was sure I shut it, but it mustn't have latched properly."

Craig's body went cold. Without another word he rushed from the couch and over to the front door. It was now shut, and didn't seem damaged in any way. He opened it and examined it, bringing his face so close to the door that his nose was almost touching the paint.

There was a faint, smudged shoeprint outlined on the door. It was relatively small, certainly smaller than his foot, and it was planted low on the door. The alien from his dream, with such a stocky body, didn't look like he could lift his legs high enough to do the cancan. If the Sontaran—that's what he'd identified himself as, a Sontaran—had kicked open the door, that was the height Craig would have expected him to reach.

Craig was still staring at the footprint when Sophie opened the door and stepped outside to join him. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Just a bit nervous about the door being open. Anybody could have gotten in."

"I'm sure it was my fault. I'll make sure it closes all the way next time. Come inside. I bought biscuits."

Craig nodded absently and Sophie stepped back inside to tend Alfie. Craig lingered a moment longer before wiping the print off with his hand. The chances Sophie would have noticed it were slim at best, but he wasn't taking any chances. An alien lodger had disrupted their lives enough. He wasn't going to let an alien nurse do the same.

The end