"So how long have you been here?"

"Only a few days," Rose replied, taking a sip of tea. It wasn't the kind of tea she was used to; as it was mainly humans that drank that, it wasn't an option on the average Em Yle vending machine. This tea was stronger, sweeter and had a funny aftertaste she wasn't sure she liked, but was still better than the machine's coffee.

Elsa, the first co-worker to talk to her, was a Yle about Jackie's age who seemed to mother the younger employees. Rose had warmed to her immediately.

"Where are you from?"

"Earth," Rose replied.

"Goodness, that's a long way to come."

Further away than you might think, Rose thought, but just took another sip of Yle tea.

"Did you come on your own?"

Rose shook her head. "Just me and my companion. We've got a flat on Nontun Road."

"Oh, I know that road. It's quite a nice area. Very convenient for work, isn't it."

"Mm, yeah."

Her first day at the supermarket had gone all right. She was worried all the reaching for the top shelves would eventually do her back in, but hopefully it would only be temporary. At the most, it would only be for two years, once the credit system came into the planet. Although whether the Doctor would let her retire in luxury once they could get the unlimited credit was another matter; he could be strangely double-standard about that sort of thing.

She wondered how he was doing, at the flat on his own, whether he had died of boredom yet—or blown up the street whilst trying to beat the boredom. This kind of life did not come naturally to him.

Stop worrying, she told herself. He'll be fine. He's nine hundred years old, he knows how to entertain himself.

"Are you all right?" Elsa asked in concern. Rose forced a smile.

"Yeah, fine. Just trying not to picture what my companion's up to right now."

"Oh, dear. Is he not well behaved?"

This seemed like an odd sort of phrase to Rose, but she didn't question it. "Not really. Well ... it's just that when he's on his own, he gets a bit restless."

"Oh, I ... see." Elsa looked quite awkward. "I'm sorry."


Rose's break ended and she returned to the shelves. Elsa watched her for a while, feeling very sorry for the young woman. Poor Rose, she was such a nice girl, she deserved more. Elsa resolved that, if she ever met said companion, she would have some very strong words to say to that unfaithful bastard.