Chapter Sixteen

Rose giggled as she lay on the sofa. Snuffy was walking across her tummy, heading for her head, and she was laughing at that.

"No, don't trample me, Snuffy," Rose said as Snuffy came towards her. "No, have mercy, please!"

She laughed when Snuffy stopped at her head and explored Rose's face with her trunk. Rose held up her little finger and Snuffy wrapped her trunk around it and put the tip of it in her mouth. She laughed and stroked Snuffy's back with her free hand. While she was doing that, the Doctor suddenly appeared, leaning over the back of the sofa.

"Hey, Snuffy and I are playing. Care to join in?" Rose said to him.

"I have decided that the day has come when you must be tested," the Doctor said, ignoring her question.


"Yes, to see if you are worthy of being my companion."

"Um, I've been traveling with ya for nearly two years now," Rose said with a frown. "Isn't that proof of being your companion?"

"Unfortunately not. I have given you time to absorb the whole of time and space and get used to the life of a time traveler because now you must undergo the testing."

"Okay," Rose said, not sure what was going on.

"You must answer a single question. If you fail, you will die."

Rose stared at him, figuring he was joking but there was no hint of merriment in his eyes or on his face.

"Die?" she finally said.

"I cannot let you let you leave the TARDIS after all you have seen. You know too much."

"And my mum? Won't she have something to say about that?" Rose said.

"Perhaps, but I will simply refuse to go and visit her and she will wait forever more for you to come home," the Doctor said.

Rose studied his face but he was calm with a passive expression on his face while he gazed at her. Still, she refused to believe he was being serious so she decided to play along with him.

"So...what is the testing then?" she said as she stroked Snuffy's back.

"You must answer one question. One chance to answer the question. Incorrect answer...I snap your neck."

"Okay...what is the question then?"

"You are brave."

"I don't believe you're gonna kill me that's why I'm being brave," Rose said.

"You think you may know me but you don't. There are many things you don't know about me."

"Uh-huh. So if you kill people who get the question wrong, how come Sarah Jane is still living then?"

"She answered the question correctly and proved her worth. It's only when you get the question wrong that you die."

"Fine. What's the question then?"

The Doctor stared at her with silent intensity. By now, Snuffy was back to exploring Rose's face with her trunk while Rose stared up at the Doctor and waited for him to speak.

"Well? Out with it then," Rose finally said after a minute of silence.

"Are you ready, Companion?"

"Yeah," Rose said condescendingly.

"Very well. Here is the question then...two plus two equals what?"

Rose stared at him for a few seconds in surprise.

"Four," she said.

"Correct. You will be permitted to live then, carry on, Worthy Companion."

"Oh, piss off," Rose teased while the Doctor grinned and waggled his eyebrows.

"I never said it was a difficult question," the Doctor said with a shrug. "Apes need simple questions. If I give them a difficult question like quantum algebra, most apes' heads will go ka-boom. Besides, I like you and so does Snuffy so I went easy on ya."

"Sure ya did," Rose said with a grin.

The Doctor picked Snuffy up and kissed the top of her head.

"Is my Snuffikins behaving then?" he said in a baby voice to the elephant. "Is my Snuffy-Wuffy-Doodles having fun? You behave, my little daughter, and keep Rose entertrained with your cuteness and antics."

Snuffy meeed at him and Rose chuckled when the Doctor meed back and put her back down on Rose's tummy.

"Carry on then," he said to Rose before walking away from the sofa.

Rose watched him leave the room before chuckling and turning her attention back to Snuffy.

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