Chapter Five

"Okay, now you have to make this bed completely," Jackie said when they got in Rose's bedroom. "Just don't take the eiderdown, take it off and throw it back over the bed. Do it all."

"Yes, Ma'am," the Doctor said with a sarcastic salute.

Jackie glowered at him while Rose nudged her mom and smiled at her to get her to stop being angry. Jackie took a deep sigh and shook her head while they stood against the back wall and watched. The Doctor began to strip the bed slowly, carefully laying the different parts of the bed on the floor and on top of each other so he'd know what order they were in. When he got down to the mattress, he suddenly left the room. Jackie's eyes widened when he came back with the toilet brush in hand and Rose laughed when he mimed cleaning the mattress with it.

"Sorry, I have to muck out the mattress to get rid of Rose's body funk," he said while Rose giggled.

He took the brush back in the bathroom, not noticing the Jackie did crack a smile at that. He came back inside and picked up the fitted sheet. He examined the edges of it while the women watched and began to put it on the bed. He remembered what it looked like and used that to successfully put the fitted sheet on the bed.

"Shoulda come in here and stripped this beforehand so he wouldn't know what it looked like," Jackie muttered to Rose.

The Doctor picked up the flat sheet. He laid it on the bed and began to put it across the mattress. Rose noticed he was doing it correctly but one side was lopsided and was down further to the floor than the other. He didn't correct it and instead grabbed the pink eiderdown and laid it on the bed. Again, he didn't get it centered and now the eiderdown was hanging down further on one side than on the other. He finished up by putting the pillow at the head of the bed, directly in the center of the mattress.

"Um, not quite," Rose said.

"It's finished," the Doctor said, pointing to it.

"Yeah but it's all lopsided. One side is lower than the other," Rose said, pointing to the side of the eiderdown that was nearly to the floor.

"But this is how you do it, yeah? Apart from that, I did it?"

"You did but you have to make it neat," Jackie said. "It can't sag like that, it looks sloppy."

"But apart from that, I did it, yeah?" the Doctor said, giving her a pointed look.

"Yes, you did. You did it," Rose said.

"Thank you," the Doctor said.

Rose asked him to help her center everything. She got on the other side of the bed, stripped off the eiderdown and flat sheet and she helped the Doctor to get it centered and look neat while the two of them made the bed. When it was finished and the pillow was underneath the flat sheet and eiderdown, they stepped back to look at it.

"Okay, yes, this is neater but I did do the basics, yeah?" the Doctor said.

"Yes, you did and that means you got fifty percent of the tasks right," Rose said.

"But only just," Jackie muttered under her breath.

"Well, this has been quite an education," the Doctor said. "Makes me glad to be a Time Lord and have a TARDIS. You lot need to come up with more efficient ways to do things so you can have more time for fun!"

"Yeah, we'll get right on it, Doctor," Jackie muttered.

"So we go now?" the Doctor said to Rose.

"Well, I did want to spend some time with Mum. Can I?" she said to him.

"You can. I'll go and relax in the TARDIS for a bit and let Jackie cool off. Ta ta, Jackie."

"Bye," Jackie said.

The Doctor walked out of the room and hurried out of the flat. When he reached his TARDIS, he flung open the door, stepped inside and breathed a sigh of relief.

"I don't know if I ever told you this," he said to her while he closed the door. "But I appreciate you so much. Because of you, I'm not down on my knees mucking out toilets. You do it for me and I give you my thanks, Old Girl."

The TARDIS rumbled out laughter and gave him a gentle push on the back of his mind. The Doctor, satisfied that he had managed to learn a bit more about the world of humans, walked over to the jump seat. He sat down and put his feet up on the rim of the console while he waited for Rose to return.


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