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Chapter 1 Going To The Dogs…er, Cats
The Doctor is busy rewiring some switches on the console when he hears Rose clear her throat behind him and ask, "So what do you think? Will this do for the Sol 3 Fancy Dress Ball on Samhain?"
He turns around and all further thoughts of completing work on the TARDIS fly out of his head when he finds his wife standing before him dressed as Ginger Spice, complete with red wig. He releases a low wolf whistle while he circles her and grinning salaciously notes, "You know, Rose, this is the first time that I haven't wanted to be ginger."
Rose laughs and declares, "Well, with all of the domestic that you've had to go through lately, I thought that it was time to spice up your life," and she proceeds to imitate a few of the Spice Girls dance moves.
The Doctor grabs her tightly to him and growls, "Oh, yes, definitely." He waggles his eyebrows as he suggests, "Why don't you keep the outfit handy for later?"
Rose's laughter is cut short when they hear a knock at the door. Rose hurries off to change and the Doctor promptly bounds over to answer the door with a huge grin which quickly fades when he discovers the smiling faces of Jackie Tyler and Nana Prentice, who is carrying Haven and has several bags in tow.
Seeing this, he immediately spins around and yells down the hall, "Rose, pack your bags for an extended stay in the Vortex! The last sign of the Apocolypse has just arrived on our doorstep!"
Jackie and Nana's smiles instantly morph into grimaces before Jackie ushers her mum in from the cold. Nana shuffles past the Doctor and almost pokes out his eye with the wing of what appears to be a stuffed black crow perched on top of her black hat.
Flashing back to a memory of the Black Guardian, the Doctor silently muses, Whoever thought that I would ever long for the days when Turlough was trying to kill me?
Rose enters the console room and gushes, "Mum! Nana! What are you two doing here?" as she gives them each a hug and kiss.
Jackie helps her mum off with her coat and hands it off to the Doctor while explaining, "You remember your dad's new salesman, Wilfred Mott, don't you sweetheart?"
At Rose's nod, she continues, "Well, he injured his ankle and has to be taken to Casualty. I'm going with Pete as the healthcare situation's slightly different from…" She catches herself when her mum glances at her curiously. "Erm…from where he's from. Pete's worried that Wilf might have broken his ankle so he's real keen to get him there as soon as possible."
The Doctor imagines with a knowing smirk, I just bet he's eager to get there. Filling out mountains of endless paperwork and tedious questions from healthcare professionals while simultaneously receiving no answers to your own inquiries versus spending the day with Nana? No contest there.
The Doctor sticks his hands in his pockets and gives Jackie a pointed stare. "I notice that you haven't made any mention of Nana and Haven tagging along on your little expedition so I take that you have some bad news for us?"
Jackie briefly scowls at him before ignoring him completely and facing Rose. "Nana's taken a bit ill and I don't want to leave her alone. I was hoping that she could stay with you until we got back from the hospital."
Jackie's eyes fill with relief when Rose answers, "Of course Nana can stay, Mum! Nana's always welcome here, isn't she Doctor?"
The man in question glares harshly at Rose before replying in false cheer, "Of course, I would welcome her here anytime." Then in a much lower tone, "As much as I would the plague."
Sensing the tension in the air, Nana straightens her hat from its odd angle for a better view of the situation. It's then that the Doctor notices an eye patch over the socket where her glass eye usually resides. When Haven draws his attention with a soft mewl, he spies a corresponding eye patch on him as well a nappy.
And I thought that I made some hideous fashion choices in my time, ponders the Doctor.
Rose gasps in concern, "Nana, are you alright? What happened to you?"
Nana strokes Haven lovingly behind his ears while she informs them, "I caught an eye infection from Haven that irritated my eye socket. The ophthalmologist wants me to wear an eye patch until it clears up."
Jackie pats her mother's shoulder consolingly and adds, "Without Mum's glass eye, everything tends to be a bit blurry." She darts a confounded gaze around the inexplicably bigger on the inside TARDIS.
She whispers to the couple, "I've never been gladder of that than I am right now."
Nana inquires, "So this is your ship, then?" She taps her cane on the floor. "That explains the metal grating." She squints at the area around her. "You're right, Jackie, it is crappier on the inside."
Both the Doctor and Rose turn to Jackie with an accusing stare. Jackie avoids their gazes and announces, "Well, time to be off! Pete and Wilf are waiting for me in the car."
"Yes," remarks the Doctor dryly, "revving the engine and all, I suppose." The lucky sod.
Rose reaches over and gives her mum a quick peck on the cheek. "Drive safe, Mum, and give my best to Mr. Mott." I've only met him the once but he was such a sweet old man."
The Doctor sullenly leans back against a strut while he watches Nana and Haven wander around the console room. After Jackie leaves, Rose approaches him and whispers, "Don't look so stroppy, Doctor. She'll probably only be here for a few hours at the most."
"What?" huffs the Doctor incredulously. "Do you have any idea how incredibly long that a few hours are for a Time Lord, Rose Tyler?" He turns to watch their guests with narrowed eyes and grouses, "Just look at them roving around my TARDIS with their one-eyed stares, Rose! It's like being surrounded by Daleks!"
He yelps as Haven's unexpectedly darts across the room to make his way over to them and his claws connect with the Doctor's leg. The Doctor's howls echo throughout the ship while the cat attacks him in a flurry of claws and bites that doesn't cease until the Doctor climbs up a strut to avoid any further abuse.
Rose attempts to shoo Haven away while the Doctor withdraws his sonic screwdriver and shouts, "That's it! Rose, go down the hall, make a left at the stairs and then go down the ramp to the door marked Storage Room C and bring back the box marked K-9 Mark V!
Nana watches the entire affair with mild interest before she orders, "You two, quit scaring my cat!" She issues a few kissing noises and calls out, "Come here, Puss," to draw Haven to her side.
Once Haven's under Nana's watchful eye, the Doctor lets go of the strut and lands on the jumpseat. He stares down at the frayed condition of his trousers and bemoans, "Rose, just look at what that wretched excuse for a feline has done to my suit!"
Another glance downwards reveals an even worse fate that has befallen his clothing. "No!" squeaks the Doctor as he looks down in abject horror at his freshly stained coat. "Why is my overcoat wet?" demands the Doctor as he directs his rage towards Haven. "What kind of a demented fiend are you?"
Haven blinks innocently in response, or possibly boredom, before releasing a huge yawn. Apparently, the full force of The Oncoming Storm doesn't particularly bother a cat.
"Oh, dear," remarks Nana in a mock sympathy, "didn't I mention that Haven's nappy keeps coming loose?" She turns to her granddaughter and states, "I'm thirsty, Rose. Where's your galley?"
Rose replies, "It's not far, Nana." Trying to smooth over what could rapidly become an extremely bad situation, Rose poses, "Why don't we all go there for some lovely refreshments?" As she escorts Nana down the hall, she turns to the Doctor and mouths, 'I'm so sorry'.
The Doctor merely offers a resigned stare in return while he clutches his coat up close to his chest. That is, until it becomes apparently obvious that the coat isn't simply wet but that the damp patches are also emitting a very unpleasant smell.
"Arrrgh!" he growls in frustration. A flash of guilt crosses his face when he sees Rose tense up when she hears him cry out. With a reluctant sigh, he drops onto the jumpseat and tosses his beloved coat onto the ground.
He gazes up at the ceiling while he remembers vows of love, honor and trust, and for better or for worse. However, nowhere, absolutely nowhere, did he recall any mention of Nana Prentice in the ceremony!
With one last sigh, this one of defeat, he rubs his hands over his face before dragging himself out of his seat to trudge down the hall to the kitchen. Domestics, Rose, domestics, Rose. He didn't need the supportive chime of the TARDIS to tell him what he needed to do.
To Be Continued…