Chapter Fifty Seven

The Doctor eased into the driver's seat and adjusted his mirrors. He frowned when Rose came around to the passenger side and got in.

"There's plenty of room in the back," he said, hooking his thumb back behind him.

"Nah, I'd rather recline the seat. Besides, I want to listen to everyone," Rose said, tilting her seat back.

"So, you can drive then?" Jack said.

"Yes. I had a car back in the 1970's. Named it Bessie."

"Bessie?" Jack said, shooting an amused look at Ianto. "You named your car? Is that an alien thing?"

"Um…I don't think so since Stephen King wrote about a car called Christine," the Doctor said.

"Speaking of horror, wanna watch Wrong Turn Part 2?" Jack said to Ianto.

The Doctor sighed.

"Could you go to the back of the people carrier and turn the volume down? Rose is trying to rest and I don't feel like hearing that chipmunk giggle every five minutes."

Jack and Ianto grabbed everything and headed to the back of the minivan. However, there was soon the familiar pattern of ewwws and giggles and the Doctor shot Rose an exasperated look.

"Hey, Doctor?"

"Yes, Jack?"

"Got a question."


"Okay. In the first Wrong Turn, this man was standing there and he triggered this trap and a scythe swung down, went through the front of his head and his face slipped off his face in one piece. Is that possible?"

Rose giggled at the disgusted look on the Doctor's face.

"I don't know, Harkness. What don't I pull off the road, find a scythe, swing it into your head and see if the face comes off in one piece," he said.

"Ooo and in this one, there was this sexy blonde driving this Porsche and the main hillbilly raised his axe and cleaved her in two with one chop. Is that possible?"

"Like I said, I'll find the nearest lay-by, find an axe…"

"I have a question for you, Jack," Rose said loudly. "If the Doctor wads you up into a tiny ball, will you be able to sort yourself out or will you live your life as a tiny human ball forever more?"

"Thank you! Ah, cheers, my helpmate," the Doctor said, patting her on the head.

"Because I'm guessing you're asking all this to try to gross the Doctor out, am I right?" she said, turning her head to look at Jack.

Jack gave her a "Who, me?" look. The Doctor looked back at him and snorted.

"You know he is, Rose. That's in his character. Just like it's in his character to shag a saloon whore rather than pass her by. He's sore because I disapprove of these slasher films so he wants to let me know what's going on and trying to be sly about it by asking me physics questions. PLUS, IT'S A FILM, JACK!" he yelled back to him.

"But I wonder if you could really do that. Make a face slide off in one piece."

"See, now Rose is interested," Jack said to Ianto.

"In my fifth life," the Doctor said, easing into the passing lane," I took Tegan and Nyssa to a planet that was basically a fascist dictatorship. They had public executions as a warning to dissenters and the favorite punishment was to immobilize a person and run a sharp sheet of metal through him and cleave him in two that way."

"Ewww," Rose said while Jack and Ianto shared a look. "Wouldn't that make a horrendous mess?"

"Yes but the prisoners did the mopping up as a punishment and a preview of what would happen when it came their turn."

"And you ended up a prisoner?"

"No. Tegan did. Tegan had a gob and she frequently ran it. She was arrested when she started speaking out against the executions and the wrong people heard her. She nearly died before I managed to create a distraction and get her out of there. Sorry, my tale isn't quite as dramatic as Jack's but I prefer brevity to long-windedness."

"Bullshit, you talk all day if given the chance," Jack said while Rose giggled. "I remember your ninth life when you would go on and on about stupid shit and poor Rose would be forced to listen."

"Are you talking about this Rose? Because I can't force this Rose to do anything," the Doctor said, pointing at Rose while looking back at him. "I keep telling her not to wander off and lo and behold, she wanders off. I could tie her to a chair and she'd bounce the chair around and still wander off."

"Because I want to give you something to do," Rose teased.

"Usually, I have something to do. I have to stop doing my something to do and go find you," the Doctor teased back.

"This Tegan woman. Would I have liked her?" Rose said to him.

"Um…she was sorta loud and opinionated like your mum. You like your mum?"

"Not enough to travel with her through time and space," Rose said.

"There's your answer then," the Doctor said.

He fell silent for awhile when he noticed Rose's eyelids were getting heavy. He ran the back of his hand down her cheek and told her softly to go to sleep. He rubbed her forearm while it rested on the armrest nearest him and Rose slipped into sleep. He asked Jack to turn the volume down a bit more and he continued to rub her arm while he drove with one hand. When someone screamed during the movie, Jack flinched, looked up at Rose and whispered to Ianto that they would finish the movie later. Ianto nodded and they switched toRiosince they figured a children's movie would be quieter. However, they soon realized the movie had some pretty catchy songs with a samba beat and the Doctor was shaking his shoulders in time to the beat while he watched the movie.

Jack and Ianto were engrossed in the film and looked up when the Doctor began to slow down.

"Pulling off somewhere?" Jack asked.

"No, tailback in front of me," the Doctor said, slowing to a stop.

"Can you see why?" Ianto said.

"No. There's an arctic in my way," the Doctor said, pointing to the semi in front of him.

"Probably an accident," Jack said as he and Ianto looked down at the movie.

"Well, let's hope insane hillbillies aren't eating any dead bodies then," the Doctor said.

"What's happening? Are we there?"

The Doctor winced when he heard Rose's sleepy murmur and realized the motion of the car had helped to relax and lull her to sleep.

"Tailback," the Doctor said, pointing to the truck in front of him.

"D'ya know what happened?" Rose said, straightening up.

"No, I can't see because this thing's in the way. Just go back to sleep. I have it under control."

"No, I'm fine. I just needed a quick kip," Rose said. "How long we been stopped?"

"Only a few minutes," the Doctor said.

Rose frowned when she heard soft samba music coming from behind and she turned her head.

"The hillbillies move to Spain then?" she said while the Doctor giggled.

"No. We turned that off for awhile. We were afraid the screaming would wake you up. We're watching Rio. It's cute. It's about this South American parrot that is kidnapped and taken to America and they find out there are only two in the world so they try to mate him with a female and take him back to South America and they escape into the wild. The other birds are singing and dancing. It's got some cool songs."

"Have to watch that one," Rose said.

"Hurray! We moved two feet," the Doctor said, stopping the car after moving it slightly.

It took them about a half hour to finally get past the obstruction. When the truck sped up, the Doctor saw a red Mazda had slammed into the guardrail to their left. The front was all crumpled up and he could see paramedics working on a woman who was lying on a back brace on the ground.

"I hope she's alright," Rose said, staring at the woman along with everyone else before the Doctor picked up sped and drove on.

She settled back in her seat and listened to the movie. Soon, her eyelids drooped again and the Doctor rubbed her forearm while she slipped off into Slumberland again.

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