Chapter Fifty

Rose was lying in bed, ill with stomach flu. The Doctor had visited her earlier to see if she wanted to do anything but Rose declined, telling him she was ill and had severe diarrhea. The Doctor told her to get some rest and he brought her a glass of water before leaving her alone. She had a small TV in her room so she watched that with her pillow propped up behind her. She was flipping through the channels with her remote when the door opened and the Doctor came in carrying a small container and a plastic spoon. He put it on her bedside table and pointed to it.

"Eat this yoghurt. The live culture helps regulate your digestion system," he said sternly.

"Ok, cheers," Rose said with a nod.

She turned her attention back to the TV but the Doctor didn't move from his spot. Rose looked up at him with a quizzical look on her face.

"I don't see eating," he said to her.

"I'll eat it," Rose said.

The Doctor patted her on the head and walked out. He closed the door behind him and Rose settled back into her pillow. Then the door opened and the Doctor stuck his head inside.

"Eating yet?" he said.

"Doctor, I don't feel like eating right now. I'll eat the yoghurt. Just go and do what you need to do."

"Fair enough," the Doctor said before closing the door.

Rose glanced at the yoghurt and decided to eat it before the Doctor came back and said something. She opened the container and spooned out some vanilla yoghurt. She glanced over at the door when it opened and the Doctor stuck his head inside.

"Blast, she's eating it. I was all set to give a stern lecture!" he said before he slammed the door.

Rose snickered and put another spoonful of yoghurt into her mouth. Then the door opened again but this time the Doctor stepped inside, closed it and got a wooden chair out of the corner of the room. Rose watched while he put it front of the bedside table, sat down and folded his arms in his lap while he stared blankly at the telly.

"I'm eating," Rose prompted.

"Tell me the honest to God truth," the Doctor said, looking at her. "Are you past praying for?"

Rose gave him an odd look.

"Um, no, I think I'll live," she said dryly.

"Okay, just wanted to know if I should find a priest for last rites or that sort of thing," the Doctor said, turning his attention back to the TV screen.

Rose grinned at that and spooned another bit of yoghurt out of the container.

"You're bored and lonely, ain't ya?" she said before putting the spoon in her mouth.

"I well remember a time when I visited a medieval village in Sussex," the Doctor intoned loudly as he stared at the door. "There was a woman there called Shifty McGee. They called her Shifty because she had shifty eyes. Anyway, there was an outbreak of dysentery in the village when I was present. Dysentery means you have nonstop effluent in your smalls and Shifty certainly had that in spades. In fact after the plague past, she was marked forever more with the epithet Shifty McBrownPants."

Rose was now laughing silently while the Doctor stared at the door. A faint smile, however, gave away that he knew Rose was uncontrollably laughing now.

"Doctor, you're gonna give me brown pants in a moment if you don't stop," Rose said, giving him a playful swat on the arm.

"There was another village in Kent where the black plague ravaged the town," the Doctor intoned, ignoring Rose's silent laughter. "I disguised myself as a plague doctor and made visits to the houses but no one appreciated my juggling because they were too busy dying. I thought I could cheer up the afflicted populace but I s'pose not since eventually they stoned me with my own juggling balls and rode me out of town on a rail. Which is saying something since steam locomotives weren't invented yet."

"You're just bound and determined to make me soil myself, aren't ya?" Rose said.

The Doctor turned in his seat so he was sitting in it sideways and stared at her with a wide-eyed expression.

"Quit that, that's creepy," Rose said when he kept on staring.

Rose blinked in shock when the Doctor kept his eyes wide and said, "Hoooooooo," for about thirty seconds before falling silent again.

"What was that about? Trying to scare me?" Rose said.

"I am not of this world," the Doctor said in a low voice as he stared at Rose with bulging eyes.

"Too right. You live in Barmyville and you're the only resident," Rose said.

"I am the Oncoming Stooooorm," the Doctor howled.

Rose snickered and set her yoghurt down because she was laughing so much she couldn't eat anymore. The Doctor picked it up, peered into the container and gave her a stern look as he pointed to some uneaten yoghurt left at the bottom.

"Go away and I'll eat it then," Rose said.

The Doctor put the container back on the bedside table and began to howl like a coyote.

"I'm gonna soil myself laughing, I just know it," Rose said.

"Domo arigato, Mister Roboto. Domo, domo," the Doctor sang with bulging eyes.

"Rose thought for a moment.

"Fuck you, fuck you very very muuu-a-a-a-uch!" Rose sang back.

The Doctor let out a loud gasp.

"Such language. No wonder you're soiling your smalls. It's punishment from the Christian God for blasphemy."

"Somehow I doubt it. Besides, aren't you God?" Rose said sweetly.

"I thought I was. But you're not on the ground groveling and fawning over me so now I'm not sure."

Rose giggled.

"If I do, I might splurt out the back and cover you in shite," Rose said.

"That would be a smelly way to die," the Doctor said. "Not to mention my future self would be in the bath as soon as I regenerated. Plus, my ginger hair would be smelly and dirty. I don't think I would like that at all."

"You're not getting ginger hair…ever. You're going to die gingerless years from now!"

Rose giggled when the Doctor began to breathe heavily while he feigned anger. Then he let out a howl and beat on his chest like a gorilla.

"Finished?" Rose said sweetly when he fell silent and put his arms down.

"Had to let my rage out lest I grab that spoon over there and shovel out your eye like a cherry for your blasphemous comment."

"Would you eat the eye then?" Rose said, enjoying the teasing and banter.

"No, because you had your finger in it at some point and I might get your dysentery. I don't want to be known as Doctor McBrownPants. No thank you! Who knows where that finger of yours has been? Probably been mining for shite in the arse mine for all I know."

Rose laughed and the Doctor allowed a hint of a smile to flicker on his passive wide-eyed face for a moment. Rose mimed digging at her bottom and held the finger up to the Doctor. The Doctor stood up, reached into his pocket while Rose held the finger out and took out his penknife. He opened it up and Rose laughed when he seized her wrist and mimed sawing the finger off. He folded up the penknife and put it back in his trouser pocket before sitting back down.

"I'm bored," he said.

"No, really? I hadn't realized that," Rose said.

"Is there anything you need?" the Doctor said in all sincerity.

"Actually, making me laugh made me feel tons better," Rose said. "And the yoghurt as well."

"I don't get ill like humans do. I'm never sure what you lot need from me."

"Making me laugh helped," Rose said.

"Yeah?" the Doctor said, tilting his head while he gave her a sideways glance.

"Yeah," Rose said.

The Doctor grinned at that and patted her leg.

"Finish the yoghurt as requested or I'll make you juggle for plague victims," he said, standing up.

"I will," Rose said.

"You will…juggle for plague victims?"

"Finish the yoghurt," Rose said.

"Oh good. I thought for a moment I'd have to get the plague doctor outfit out of the cupboard again. Well, carry on."

Rose settled back in her pillow and watched while the Doctor walked to the door, opened it and went out.

"God, I love that man," she murmured to herself when he shut the door behind her.

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