Chapter Twenty Three

Rose was lying on the sofa watching TV when the Doctor cleared his throat. She looked up and smiled when he entered the room.

"Been thinking," he said to her.

"Don't you do that anyway?" she said, lazily flicking her left foot.

"Funny," the Doctor said before stopping beside the sofa. "No. I've been thinking about your invisibility prank the other day."

"Wasn't my prank, it was the TARDIS," Rose said.

"Yes, but you helped. Anyway, I was thinking could you do it again?"

"To you?" Rose said, raising her head up.

"No. To Jack. He and Ianto came on board the TARDIS again. They're in the kitchen feeding their faces, at least Jack is, and I want to play a prank on him."

"So you want me to become invisible again?" Rose said, sitting up.

"Yes, but there's more to it. I already asked the TARDIS about it and here's what I want you to do."

He spoke softly and Rose laughed gleefully when she heard his plan.


"So, enjoying yourselves?" the Doctor said as he strolled into the kitchen.

Jack was enjoying some bacon and eggs and a soda while Ianto sipped some tea. The Doctor walked over to the kitchen table and sat down in between them.

"I always love coming to the TARDIS, nice to get a break from Torchwood sometimes," Jack said. "And your ship is a great cook."

"Ah yes, she is incredible. That's why I love her so," the Doctor said.

"Yan and I thought about exploring after I finished eating," Jack said.

The Doctor smirked at that. He'd been waiting for an opportunity to tell Jack his prank story and this was perfect. He adopted a casual mien as he leaned back in his chair.

"Jack, you've traveled with me for awhile and I think it's time I told you and Ianto something."

"Yeah?" Jack said.

"Well…this TARDIS is haunted."

Jack paused with a forkful of eggs halfway up to his mouth. He put the fork down and raised his eyebrow.

"I thought you didn't believe in ghosts," he said to the Doctor.

"I didn't but I can't deny what's been happening around here. Mysterious things."

"Uh huh," Jack said. "What sort of mysterious things?"

"Well…centuries ago, there was a horrific gun battle inside the TARDIS. I was in my third life…or was it my forth? Well, no matter, it happened a long time ago and leave it at that. Anyway, an alien managed to break into the TARDIS and he came after me."

"I thought no one could get into the TARDIS," Jack said.

"Well, I was an idiot, had the door standing wide open…or maybe Leela did…or Sarah Jane…anyway, can't remember who left the door open but in comes this praying mantis alien looking to take my head off."

"I thought you said it was a gun battle," Ianto said.

"It turned into a gun battle because the praying mantis shot laser blasts from his bum…that was in addition to his pincers."

"Yeah, why do I not believe you?" Jack said.

"It's true, it's all true!" the Doctor said. "Anyway…I got the upper hand and the TARDIS punished the miscreant by sending him deep into the heart of the ship. Where I s'posed he perished eventually because now strange things happen every once in awhile. Creepy noises, floating objects, that sort of thing. Just wanted to warn you before you began exploring."

"Yeah, I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for an alien praying mantis ghost who can shoot lasers from his ass," Jack said dryly.

"Good. Now, I have to go up to the console room and do a few repairs. Enjoy your day," the Doctor said, getting up from the table.

He turned and sauntered out of the kitchen. Halfway down the corridor, he saw Rose's head floating in midair.

"Have fun, my little ghost," he said as he walked past her.

Rose giggled as the TARDIS covered her head and rendered her totally invisible.

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