Chapter Eleven

"Stevie!" Rose yelled as she and everyone else ran for her dressing room.

Mick, with his long legs, reached it first. To his relief, he found the door unlocked when he tried it and he flung the door open. Stevie was sitting on her sofa and Mick stopped, a confused look on his face while everyone else ran into the room.

"Stevie, love, are you alright?" Mick said. "We heard you scream."

"Yeah, I'm fine," Stevie said, annoyed. "A fucking roadie was hiding in here. He thought he'd be cute and try to scare me and ran out when I screamed. It's nothing."

"Which roadie?" Mick said angrily. "I want to sack his little arse for this!"

"No, it's fine, Mick. Just let it go," Stevie said, holding up her hand. "It's not like we did the same thing when we were younger. Just don't worry about it."

Everyone relaxed and Stevie stood up, apologizing for frightening everyone. She grabbed a black shawl from her clothes rack and put it around her. Mick put his arm around her and they followed everyone out of the room.


"Well, here it is again, home sweet home," Stevie said as she let everyone into her house.

She smiled when Sulamith and Sara Belladonna sped towards her, their little tails wagging furiously. Stevie knelt down and let them lick her face before standing back up. She motioned to Karen who was standing several feet away.

"Karen, can you show our guests where they can stay and let them freshen up while we fix a small snack?" Stevie said.

Karen nodded and asked the Doctor and Rose to follow her while Stevie, Sharon, Jana and the dogs headed towards the kitchen.

"So, how long have you been Stevie's assistant?" the Doctor asked Karen while they followed her upstairs.

"Several years now," Karen said over her shoulder.

"Must be exciting," Rose said.

"Oh, it's a dream come true for me. I've always admired her since I was a little girl so it's a thrill being her personal assistant," Karen said.

She showed them a couple of guest rooms. Both of them were decorated in American Southwest with large king sized beds. Karen showed them where the bathrooms were and asked if they needed anything. The Doctor and Rose told her no and she told them to go ahead and come down to the living room when they were ready. The Doctor told Rose to take the room they were standing in while he took the one across the way.

"This is so brilliant," Rose said. "This is why I love traveling with ya. Meeting all these famous people and becoming friends with them."

"And getting to hang out with them in their houses," the Doctor added as he walked over to a teakwood bookcase and examined a few books. "I see Stevie is a fan of classic literature. Perhaps I can give her a first edition of one of these books as a gift."

"Doctor, do you think Stevie is alright?" Rose said, coming up beside him.

"Yes. Why? You don't think she is?" the Doctor said.

"It's just that…every time we try to go somewhere and land up somewhere else, something bad happens and I'm wondering if there was more to that scream than she let on."

The Doctor raised his eyebrow.

"You think she's lying about that?" he said.

"I don't know but usually when people scream, bad things are happening," Rose said.

"Or she could be telling the truth and someone was playing a prank. I realize we get into a lot of dangerous situations but I don't see why Stevie would lie. She doesn't seem like the type to do that, especially if she was in trouble."

"Yeah, maybe you're right," Rose said. "I s'pose I've been around you so long that I expect the worst now."

"Well, if this is the worst," the Doctor said, waving his arm around the posh bedroom, "I'll take it. I'll suffer through torture like this."

Rose giggled and the Doctor squeezed her shoulder. He asked if she was ready to go down and Rose nodded. They walked back downstairs and by the time they got to the living room, the women were laughing and sipping wine while a large plate of nachos and melted cheese sat on the coffee table along with the bottle of wine and two wine glasses and some china plates and napkins.

"There's the alien," Sharon said, pointing to the Doctor. "Come and tell us stories about your travels!"

"Yes," Stevie said. "Tell us how you turn cows inside out and abduct people for weird experiments!"

The Doctor chuckled while the women and Rose laughed.

"Sorry everyone, I don't do that," he said. "But I can tell you about some of our travels through time and space."

"Pull up a chair then. Have some wine and nachos and tell us," Stevie said, gesturing to the coffee table.

The Doctor and Rose put some nachos on the plates and poured some wine. Rose sat on the large sofa with the other women while the Doctor sat on the floor. The dogs started to go to him but Stevie called them back and they walked over to her overstuffed chair and lay down beside it. For several hours, the Doctor and Rose told them about some of their adventures and Stevie and her friends listened in an enraptured silence. Eventually everyone stopped eating and Stevie and Karen lit some candles around the room and turned the lights off. The Doctor continued regaling them with his stories and when he finally finished one story and rested his voice, Stevie shook his head.

"I always thought there was extraterrestrial life out there but the variety of aliens that you've met and the adventures you've had is mind blowing, Doctor," she said to him. "How have you managed to stay sane?"

"I haven't," the Doctor said with a grin. "But I might ask the same of you after all you've been through."

"Touché," Stevie said while her friends laughed. "I suppose some people have the mental strength to go through Hell and some don't. I consider myself fortunate that I didn't end up insane."

"Same here," Rose said. "Sometimes I wonder how I managed to survive everything I've been through."

"You're a woman," Sharon teased. "We women are far stronger than any man!"

"Yeah, we women can withstand anything," Jana said.

"I suppose you're looking to me to disagree but actually I've had more women than men as companions and it's because I know women are stronger than they're made out to be."

"And he loves showing that to people," Rose said. "I didn't think I could do it and here I am, a pro at time travel."

"I wish I could do it full time," Stevie said wistfully. "But at my age and with my hip I'm lucky just to get upstairs."

They chatted for a few more hours before Sharon, Jana and Karen finally called it a night. Everyone wished them goodnight before they left the room.

"I'm a night owl if you hadn't guessed," Stevie said. "Staying up until the wee hours of the morning is routine for me. But…" she sighed. "I suppose I need my rest too before we go on stage tonight. I'm just glad you chose to come here and come here, as in LA. I feel so blessed that you wanted to see us in concert and took the time to sneak backstage."

She got up and Rose and the Doctor stood up and received her hugs and friendly kisses on the cheek.

"Karen usually rises before any of us so if you want breakfast, it'll probably be cooking when you get up," she said. "The house is yours though, make yourselves at home. Explore, oo and ah over my collection of awards that are gathering dust now."

She grinned and hugged them again after they laughed at that. As she turned to go, the Doctor and Rose didn't notice the evil grin spread on her face and the brief flash of golden light in her eyes before she left the room.

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