On May 13th, 1337 A.D., the sun rose up over the Yorkshire Wolds and drove back the delicate tendrils of mist clinging to the land. In the fields, farmers were already hard at work tilling the soil for the spring planting. Around the small buildings of the village, children fetched pails of water and brought in firewood. In the meadows beyond, sheep were peacefully grazing.
All in all, it was a lovely, pastoral scene, one which was suddenly broken by a loud whoop as a pair of figures came racing around the corner of the village church. A man and a woman, him in a pin-striped suit that absolutely failed to blend in and her in a more traditional dress and clutching a feathered bundle, ran as fast as they could toward a large blue box parked some distance away. Chasing them, and shattering the remaining peace of the morning, was a mob of angry villagers.
As they pulled away from the village, the woman stopped and turned back toward one of the houses.
"No, no, no, keep going," the man shouted, running back to grab her hand.
"But the chicken," she shouted back. "I've still got the bloody chicken!"
He responded by grabbing the bird from her and tossing it quickly and gently to the ground. "It can find its own way home, I'm sure," he panted as he pulled her along.
"Watch it, Doctor!" she shrieked, but too late–they were already crashing through a puddle of muddy water. "Oh, that's going to take forever to get clean," she moaned, seeing her skirt splattered with mud.
Behind them, the throng of peasants armed with pitchforks, clubs, and hammers gave chase, yelling out curses and a variety of threats.
"Key, key, key," muttered the Doctor, as they ran toward the TARDIS. He was patting down his pockets with his free hand.
"Here," gasped Rose, as she pulled the chain from off her neck. She tossed it to the Doctor, and he quickly unlocked the doors, glancing over his shoulder at the approaching mob.
"Again, we're quite sorry" he yelled over his shoulder, as Rose and he nipped inside just in time to avoid capture. "Really, could have happened to anybody!"
He slammed the doors shut and met his companion's eyes. Rose stared back at him silently and then leaned forward to pull something out of his hair. She held it up so he could see. It was a chicken feather.
They both began to laugh hysterically.
"Oh my god," Rose gasped, trying to catch her breath. "You…you with the pig." She was leaning back against the railing to hold herself up. "Oh my god!" Tears of mirth were running down her face.
"Me! What about you, with all the 'Oh, don't worry Mister Village Leader, I'm sure you're hair won't stay blue!" The Doctor cackled at the memory. "I'm not sure he appreciated your reassurances."
"Yeah, well, he'll see I'm right in the end," said Rose, recovering enough to wipe the mud off of her cheeks. "Oh, this is gonna take more than a shower. I'm going to need a proper bath to get cleaned up. We're not going to rush off anywhere in particular just yet, are we?"
The Doctor waved her off and walked over to the console. "Nah. We probably shouldn't dematerialize with that lot right on top of us." He gestured to the monitor, and Rose could see the peasants still circling the TARDIS in apparent confusion. "Don't want to start a panic. We'll give them an hour or two to get bored before we take off. You have time for a leisurely bath. And none too soon," he added, wrinkling his nose at the smell.
"Oh, shut it," she said, laughing and flicking some mud at him. "You're not so clean yourself."
The Doctor glanced down at his muddy trousers and trainers. "S'pose you're right," he said. "All right then, baths all around!"
"So where and when are we going next?" asked Rose with a grin.
"Ladies' choice," said the Doctor grandly. "All of time and space at your disposal – where would you like to go?"
"Hmm," said Rose, thinking it over. "I dunno yet. I'll tell you once I've gotten cleaned up a bit." She headed back toward her room.
When Rose returned an hour and half later, the Doctor was busily patching some wiring into the TARDIS console. The click of her footsteps distracted him for a moment, and sparks flew up from the wires. "Ouch," he complained, sticking his finger in his mouth. He glanced up at her. "Oh," he said blankly. "You look nice."
Rose was wearing a knee-length black dress with elbow sleeves that hid an awful lot of skin and showed an awful lot of curve. She had on heels – honest-to-god heels! – and had her hair pinned back into some sort of elaborate knot that shouldn't stay in place but did anyhow via, the Doctor assumed, some sort of female magic. The whole effect was…sophisticated.
"Thanks," said Rose, amused. She sat on the jump seat and wondered if she was just imagining him checking out her legs.
"So what's the occasion?" said the Doctor, somewhat apprehensively, as he went back to fiddling with the TARDIS wiring.
"Well, you asked where we should go next," said Rose. "And I thought of just the place."
"And where's that?"
"The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire," said Rose dramatically.
The Doctor poked his head up. "You're kidding," he said in disbelief. "Tell me that you're kidding."
"Oh, come on," she coaxed. "Third time's the charm, yeah? I tell you what, we'll only go somewhere on-planet. If we land on any satellites, we hop right back in the TARDIS and get the hell out of there."
"Rose, you do remember I died the last time we ended up there?"
"And yet, here you are," said Rose dryly. "Hanging around like the last guest at the party."
Under the console, the Doctor snorted.
"Now, don't be difficult," said Rose. "I want to see, what did you say that one time? Art, culture, fancy food? Besides, the TARDIS thought it was a good idea—she put this dress out for me when I was done with my bath."
The Doctor sighed as he stood up. "All right, but if I die again, you're not—NOT! — dressing me in Howard's pajamas."