Chapter Eight

Finally, Ianto and Rose were able to pull the Doctor and Jack apart and keep them from killing each other. After calming down, it was decided they would try a couple more doors and then go back down for dinner. They looked over at the door beside them.

“Okay,” the Doctor said, “this time we go in slowly and cautiously, alright?”

The other three people nodded. They approached the door slowly. The Doctor unlocked the door with the screwdriver, put his hand on the knob, quickly twisted it, and flung open the door. This time all of them hurried back towards the other wall. But, to their surprise, there was nothing in the room. No man-eating plants, no weird glowing orbs. Nothing. Just a white room.

The four of them stood there and stared at it hesitantly.

“Well, we gonna go inside?” Jack asked.

“Um, not sure if I want to,” Rose said.

“No, me neither,” Ianto added.

“Well,” Jack said, slapping his hands together, “I’m the one who can never die, so I volunteer to go in.”

Before anyone could stop him, he stepped inside the room. The other three flinched, expecting a monster to pop up and maul him, but instead, a panel slid open in the ceiling, a disco ball dropped down and ABBA’s Take a Chance on Me began to play. Jack stared at the disco ball while it spun around, casting little balls of light on the wall. Then, he began to tap his feet and nod his head and, to the surprise of his friends, he began to dance around the room. The Doctor, Rose, and Ianto stood quietly and watched him disco dance.

“Come on, guys, come inside, and dance with me!” he called to them.

“Should we?” Rose asked.

“Um, I’m not sure,” the Doctor said, “I’m still waiting for the monster to pop out.”

The three of them continued to stand there while Jack waved his arms and shook his butt in time to the music.

Then, the song ended, the ball went back up in the ceiling and the panel closed.

“Aaaah,” Jack sighed, walking out of the room, “that was great fun.”

“Wow,” Ianto said, “you actually have a room on this TARDIS that doesn’t have something sinister in it.”

“We’ll have to make a note of this room, so we can come back inside and have a party sometime,” Jack said.

“Yeah, I’m still not convinced there isn’t something nefarious in there,” the Doctor said, shutting the door, “the whole Saturday Night Fever thing might have been a trap to lure you in and let your guard down. So, I’ll just reserve judgment on it, for now.”

They moved to the next door. The Doctor unlocked it with the screwdriver and opened the door. In the center of the white room, there was a little one-year-old girl sitting there in her nappie. She had rosy cheeks, blonde curls, blue eyes, and a wide smile. She sat there, staring at them with her wide eyes.

“Goo, ga!” she said, happily.

“Doctor, what is a child doing in the TARDIS?” Rose asked.

“Um…my guess is it’s sitting here being cute,” the Doctor replied.

“Goo, ga, gaaaaaaaaaaa!” the child cooed.

Jack’s heart melted.

“Aaaaaaaaah!” he said, walking into the room.

“Uh, Jack, I don’t know if you should be doing that!” the Doctor said.

Jack picked up the child. The child looked up at Jack with its wide, blue eyes and burbled happily. Jack felt himself melting into a puddle of goo.

“Jack, I don’t like this!” the Doctor said.

“Ah, come on, Doc. It’s a just a cute, little girl. Maybe it’s a robot or something.”

“Yeah, well, I haven’t had the best luck with robots, Jack. I’d rather you just sit it down and come out of there!”

Jack looked down at the child.

“Bah, booooooo, bah!”

Jack smiled and held the child tightly to his chest. He started to come out of the room.

“Jack, I’m warning you, don’t,” the Doctor said.

Jack walked out of the room. He walked over to the Doctor and stood there, holding the child in one arm. The Doctor looked down at the child who was staring up at him with huge doe-eyes.

“Baba!” she said, pointing to the Doctor.

The Doctor sighed.

“Put…her…back!” he said to him.

“But, Doc…”

“Now, Jack!”

Jack blew air out his lips while he walked back into the room.

“Sorry, sweetie,” he said, setting her on the floor, “the Doctor wants you to stay in here.”

“Gah, goooo?” the child cooed, staring up at him.

Jack swallowed hard. As he leaned back up, he hoped that the child would be all right. Reluctantly, he walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

“Happy?” Jack said to the Doctor.

“Yes, because that child is back in the room where she belongs. Obviously, the TARDIS is keeping her in there for some reason and judging from what’s happened so far, I’d rather not find out what it is. Now, let’s go get something to eat. We can explore another time. Follow me.”

The Doctor walked ahead of everyone and the others followed behind him. As they walked, they didn’t notice the door opening and the little child coming out and toddling along behind them.

They turned the corner and stepped back onto the moving pavement. Rose, who was behind everyone else, shoved her hands in her pockets, and rocked back and forth on her heels. Suddenly, she heard a low growling behind her and felt hot breath on her neck. Eyes widened, she turned and noticed a big, red demon staring at her with sinister yellow eyes. She took one look at its long curving horns and huge muscular chest and let out a scream.

“Doctor! Behind us!” she said, turning around.

The others spun around and looked where she was pointing. She noticed the confused looks on their faces and turned back around. The only thing behind them was the child. She was sitting on the moving pavement burbling up at Rose.

“Mama!” the girl said, pointing at her.

Rose looked all around for the demon, but it had disappeared. She looked at the Doctor.

“Doctor, there was this huge red demon behind me. I just saw it,” she protested.

She looked back down at the girl who was giggling and staring up at her with her round blue eyes. The Doctor sighed.

“Stop the pavement!” he yelled.

Instantly, the pavement stopped. The Doctor walked over to the child, swept it up in his arms and walked away.

“Won’t be a moment!” he called out, as he turned the corner.

He carried the child back to the room and sat her down in the center of it. The moment he let go, the child began to wail.

“Dadaaaaaaaaaa!” she sobbed, pointing up at the Doctor.

The Doctor stood there, unsure what to do. Part of him wanted to bolt and lock the door behind him. But, the child was so cute, and now it was crying because of him. Guilt pricked at his mind. Sighing, he picked the child back up.

“Come on, let’s go,” he muttered.

“Gooooo, gah!” the child said, happily.

The Doctor walked out and closed the door. He walked back around the corner.

“I though you were getting rid of her,” Ianto said.

“Yeah, well…I figured that perhaps we can find a home for her somewhere, so she doesn’t have to spend eternity locked in a room,” the Doctor said, as casually as he could, “besides, if there is some kind of demon up here, then I don’t want her up here with it. Now come on.”

Ignoring the smug look on Jack’s face, he walked by him, called for the pavement to start up again and all of them left the upper level of the TARDIS.

Ten minutes later, the child was sitting with Rose in the kitchen. Ianto was in the den and the Doctor and Jack had gone back into the upper level of the TARDIS, searching for the demon. Rose glanced at the child while she rummaged in the fridge. She was sitting in one of the dining room chairs staring up at her with those wide, innocent eyes and Rose felt her heart melt. She was so glad the Doctor had changed his mind about her. She was just too cute. Looking at her, as she babbled out baby talk, she couldn’t bear to think of her being locked away in a room for the rest of her life.

She grabbed the milk, took it out, and set it on the counter.

“Hmmm, what would be good for a baby to eat?” she murmured, sticking her head back in.

She moved things around looking for something. She was examining a bowl filled with some kind of pasta casserole when she suddenly heard growling and snarling coming from behind her. Very slowly, she stuck her head out and screamed when she saw the demon.

“IANTO!” she screamed.

She grunted when the demon struck her face, sending her to the floor. Rose quickly got to her feet and ran past it.


“I’m here!” Ianto said, running in the door.

“The demon’s back!”

She noticed the confused look on Ianto’s face. Spinning around, her mouth dropped open when she noticed the child sitting on the floor staring with fascination at her toes. Rose looked around the kitchen, but the demon had vanished again.

“What is going on here?” Rose said.

She ran over and scooped up the child in her arms.

“The Doctor will know,” she said to Ianto, “come on, let’s go find him and Jack.”

The Doctor rubbed his chin thoughtfully when Rose finished telling him and Jack what had happened.

“And you say, both times the demon disappeared and all you saw was this child?”

Rose nodded.

The Doctor narrowed his eyes at the baby who now had part of Rose’s t-shirt in her mouth.

“Come with me, Rose. I believe I know what’s going on, but I want to make sure.”

He gestured to his three friends, and they followed him as he walked towards the moving pavement.

“Okay, little one, let’s see what you really are,” the Doctor said.

He had brought them all to his laboratory. Without any comment, he had gone over to a metal platform and set the child down in the middle of it. Rose looked at the child who was giggling softly and cast a nervous glance towards the Doctor.

“This isn’t gonna hurt her, is it?”

“Trust me, Rose. If this girl is what I think it is, what I’m about to do won’t even faze her.”

He walked over to a metal box on the wall beside the platform and twisted some dials on it.

“This chamber will form a force field around this child and give her a brief shock that hopefully will irritate her enough to show her true form. Now, stand back.”

Rose backed up and stood beside Jack and Ianto. The Doctor finished his adjustments and put his finger on a little black button.

“Here goes nothing,” he said to them.

He pushed the button and there was a crackling sound as a mini lightning bolt came down and struck the child. The child stopped giggling and cooing and sat there, seemingly in shock. Then suddenly, the deep blue eyes turned yellow and she let out a deep growl. Then, to their amazement, the child grew and mutated into the huge red demon.

“Yup, thought so,” the Doctor said, smugly, “what you see before you is a Diablo, a shapeshifting demon. This here is its true form.”

“But, what’s it doing in the TARDIS?” Rose asked.

The Doctor shrugged.

“Dunno. There’s been a couple of times in the past when I visited their home world. Perhaps this child wandered inside without my knowledge and the TARDIS quickly trapped it and sent it to that room so it wouldn’t wreck havoc. And, make no mistake, what we have here is a child. The adults are much, much bigger and nastier than this.”

He looked at Jack.

“Still want to be her daddy, Harkness?” he said, gesturing to the Diablo.

“Um, no, I’ve changed my mind about that,” he said, watching as the demon morphed back into the child.

“Well, good, because we are taking this child back to its planet and its people. In the meantime, it can stay enclosed in this force field and amuse itself by doing baby things. Excuse me, gang.”

He walked past them and hurried out of the room. The three friends stood there, staring at the Diablo who had gone back to playing with its toes as it burbled happily. They looked at one another, shook their heads, and walked out the door.

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