Title: Companion Training for Dummies
Spoilers: Light, very light spoilers for the book, ‘The Stone Rose’, some of the series two episodes and foreshowing of Doomsday.
Authors Note: Inspired by prompt 16 in the April Time and Chips prompt table. A huge big thanks to the_lucky_stars for beta reading!
Summary: The Doctor decides that enough is enough; Rose has been kidnapped one too many times. Obviously some training is required.
“Welcome to companion training for dummies,” said the Doctor brightly that morning, as Rose glared at him though her eyelashes. “Not that I’m implying that you’re a dummy; you’re really very clever. For a human.”
She glanced down at the kitchen table, which had been moved from its normal place in the middle of the room to act as a desk, facing the refrigerator for some reason. The refrigerator was now covered with a bunch of different coloured letters, which she was sure had not been there last night. There was no coffee. She glared up at him.
It was barely 6 o’clock, after all. He had bounced into her room only ten minutes ago, woke her from a sound sleep, and then proceeded to drag her to the kitchen with the promise of caffeine. He didn’t deliver.
“Coffee?” asked Rose, her voice still thick with sleep.
The Doctor suddenly realised he wasn’t going to get anywhere with his lesson if Rose wasn’t even awake. He put the kettle on, while Rose rested her head on the kitchen table.
His eyes softened as he watched her doze. She had been kidnapped so many times in the last two years. It sometimes amazed the Doctor that Rose was still here, still whole. She had been turned to stone, had her face stolen, body snatched by Cassandra… (Well, to be fair, they both had, but she had been compressed for much longer) kidnapped by monks and almost made into Rose kibbles for a werewolf. He couldn’t take it any longer. He sometimes didn’t think he would be able to go on if she wasn’t there, the one who had made him alive again. The most pragmatic part of him spoke softly in the back of his mind, whispering that one day she would wither and decay, and that he would be left to live on. Alone.
His eyes closed briefly.
The kettle interrupted his thoughts. At least now he had a plan. An absolutely brilliant plan! Rose obviously required training. Companion lessons, he thought proudly, as if he couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought to do something like this before. How else was she going to know when to run and how not to get kidnapped? She was only a human. But she was his human, one he wanted to stay with him for as long as possible without getting turned into Rose kibbles.
He placed the coffee next to her, and shook her on the shoulder. She woke from her doze and immediately grabbed the coffee. He leaned against the fridge as she drank, and he waited, only somewhat impatiently.
“Finished yet, ready to start?”
Rose shook her head, “I’m not awake yet. Anyway, start what?” She took another sip of the perfectly warm coffee.
“Companion lessons - for Dummies!” said the Doctor brightly.
“For… dummies.” repeated Rose, putting the coffee down. “Companion lessons for Dummies.”
“Yup! Brilliant idea isn’t?” he asked her grinning.
“Oh, not that you’re a dummy - I mean it’s just a name, after all. A catchy name! I mean, I got it off one of your books. I mean, could I have named it companion lessons for idiots…?”
He gulped as her glare intensified
“Now, am I an idiot?” asked Rose, “Or am I a dummy?
The Doctor swallowed nervously, “What about companion lessons for beautiful, brilliant and clever humans?”
“You know more then one?” asked Rose, “Are more ‘companions’ joining this class?”
“Companion lessons for a very beautiful, extraordinarily brilliant and extremely clever human called Rose Tyler?”
Rose nodded, and picked up her coffee. That title she could live with.
“Ok,” said the Doctor brightly, in the tone of someone who was trying to erase the last five minutes from his memory. “Welcome, to very beautiful, extraordinarily brilliant and extremely clever human called Rose Tyler. First lesson, what is the meaning of run?”
The Doctor turned towards the refrigerator and arranged the different colored letters in the word ‘Run’.
Rose put her hand up.
“Where did you get the different colored letters?” she asked, her voice perfectly innocent.
“I mean, they weren’t there yesterday. I know that much. Did you pop out and buy them?”
“Yes. I popped out and bought them,” said the Doctor, “Now the meaning of the word run is relatively easy…”
“What?” asked the Doctor his voice increasing frustrated.
“Where did you buy them?” asked Rose. “I was thinking of getting some for my little cousin. He would enjoy them. He’s about 5. He could move then around on the fridge to spell a bunch of three letter words, too.”
“I got them from the supermarket about two blocks from your mum’s place, now, this is important; the meaning of the word run can be defined as…”
“We’re near Mum’s? Oh, that’s brilliant. I haven’t seen her in a while. I’ve got a load of washing!” said Rose, standing up, “I might go pop out and see her. We can continue this later, yeah?”
The Doctor moved quickly and blocked the doorway.
“No. This is important to me, Rose.”
Rose looked at the brightly colored letters on the fridge spelling out the word run cheerfully, and looked at the Doctor’s earnest expression.
“Why? Why is this so important to you?”
“Do you know how many times you’ve been kidnapped and been hurt whilst you’ve been traveling with me? No. Neither do I, and do you want to know why? Because it’s been too many times!”
“So this is your way of protecting me,” said Rose, “Moving around a bunch of colored letters on a fridge.”
He nodded, and looked her in the eye, “Because, Rose, the truth is… I can’t always protect you, and…I don’t know how….” He couldn’t finish the sentence.
Rose nodded, she knew. She always knew.
She walked towards the fridge, and rearranged some of the brightly colored letters to spell out a sentence beneath the word run. He came up behind her, and watched as she assembled the sentence. Adding one letter there, moving another one there, until it finally said, “Get off quick like”. She turned around and smiled at him brightly.
“I’ve always been a quick learner,” said Rose, “And you couldn’t get rid of me if you tried.”
He grinned and hugged her tight, “I promise never to try - just don’t get turned into Rose kibble!”
‘Rose kibble?’ she wondered, as she returned the hug just as fiercely.
“Come on,” said Rose when he released her, “I want to go see mum. After all, I’m not going to get a chance to do any of my washing here, and I want to give her that stone I bought in the market. She’s going to love it! She’s always complaining that the weather man is wrong.”
“Do we have to go and see her now?” whined the Doctor.
“Do we have to go and see her now?” whined the Doctor.
“Yep, seeing as you parked so close. Mum would kill me if I was this close and I didn’t even pop in to say hello. Beside, if we leave it any longer I’m going to run out of clothes.”
As Rose run off to her room to get washing, the Doctor shook off the traitorous thought that maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. He stopped suddenly; a change was in the air. Something wasn’t right. He felt a sudden urgent desire to set the controls to take them as far away as possible. Was this going to be it? Was this going to be where it all ended?
He shook his head again. The timeline settled. All that was before them was a short visit to Jackie’s to wash some clothes. The feeling of impending doom had vanished leaving the Doctor only faintly uneasy.
He sighed, and walked out to the consol room. Rose would be ready to go in a minute.