Chapter Fourteen

The Doctor excused himself to use the toilet. Rose watched while he walked off and when he was out of earshot, Jackie shook her head.

"The poor man, I never realized he had such a difficult life," she said.

"I knew there was some darkness in his life but this is the first time he's talked at length about it. I'm surprised he's said this much," Rose said.

"Maybe this needed to be said," Jackie said.

"I think a lot of things need to be said when it comes to him, mum."

They fell silent when the Doctor came back in the room.

"Ah, that's better," the Doctor said as he sat back down. "Lots of tea equals lots of pee."

Rose giggled when Jackie rolled her eyes at that.

"What? That's what happens when you drink a lot of tea," the Doctor said with a shrug. "Anyway, where were we?"

"The funeral," Rose said.

"Yes. Well, the next evening they had the funeral," the Doctor said, settling back in the chair. "I spent the night in the guest room since Arella and I weren't married. Little did I know, Arella was speaking to her mother about me while I slept and telling her about our relationship."

"They didn't know about you and her?" Rose said.

"They thought I was a friend, they had no idea we were lovers," the Doctor said. "Arella wanted to make it official because she was hoping to marry me."

"So you had to get permission from the parents then?" Rose said.

"Well, it was better if you did, although getting married without permission was accepted but like I said, Arella wanted to make it official."

"And she waited to do this while you were asleep?" Jackie said. "Doesn't seem fair to me."

"Well, she told me later she wasn't sure how her mom would react since she just lost her husband. She wanted to tell her and not have me there in case her mother didn't approve. It was a delicate time."

"And did she approve?" Rose said.

"Yes. She was happy for us. Arella had never dated anyone before me. I was her first and she was 136 when she met me."

Jackie's eyes bulged.

"She didn't date anyone till she was 136 years old?" she said.

The Doctor gave her an incensed look while Rose laughed.

"I'll have you know that 136 was still considered a teenager age on my planet, Jackie. I was still considered a kid when I was 90 years old so not dating until that age is not that strange."

"He's 902, mum," Rose said.

"And I can live for several more centuries if I'm lucky," the Doctor said.

"What have you been doing with yourself all this time then?" Jackie said.

Rose laughed harder while the Doctor gave Jackie a long, hard stare.

"I've been knitting," he said dryly. "My fourth life, I made a big long scarf and since then I've been keeping myself busying knitting sweaters for elephants. It's my guilty pleasure."

"Alright, cheeky, I meant have you been travelin' all this time?" Jackie said.

"Since I was 147," the Doctor said.

"And what is that? Teenager?"

"Late teens, yes."

"You must have seen everything by now?" Jackie said.

"A fair amount, yes. Not everything. The universe is a bit larger than that."

"But 147 is when you left Arella to travel?" Rose said.

"Well, I made short trips before that. 147 was when I decided to travel full time. That's when I found the TARDIS and stole her away."

"Stole?" Jackie said. "You have to steal those things?"

"She's not a thing, she's a female and no, most people were given TARDIS's upon successful completion of their driving test."

"And you weren't given one?" Rose said.

"Um…well, I failed my driving test."

"Why am I not surprised?" Jackie said while Rose laughed. "Anything else you like to share with us?"

"Yes, Jackie, I was Jack the Ripper. I carved those bangtails up from neck to navel because they deserved it, the dirty sluts. I was also Hitler. Seig Heil! Oh and I also dress up as Crackers the Clown and pass out balloons to children at funfairs. I consider it my civic duty to make Earth children smile."

Jackie eyed him while Rose howled with laughter. The Doctor shrugged.

"You asked me to share some things with you, Jackie. You didn't specify what you wanted me to share," he said.

"How do you keep sane around him?" Jackie asked Rose.

"I don't. I'm just as barmy as he is now."

"Yes, I believe that," Jackie said.

"Anyway, before we go further with this and Jackie ends up punching me…the next morning, Arella came into the room and woke me up…"



Merzet opened one eye and looked at Arella. She was standing over him, smiling broadly. Merzet opened the other eye and grinned at her.

"Good morning. You're up early," he said.

"I spoke to mother last night," she said, sitting down at the foot of the bed.

"Is she alright?"

"Well, considering she just lost her husband, she's doing well. I told her about our relationship."


"She likes you."

"That's good to know."

"She would like to adopt you into our family."

Merzet sat up and stared at her.

"Seriously? She hasn't known me that long."

"I know but she can see you're a good person and she needs a mature male to help around the house. You could stay here when you come home from the Academy and get free room and board if you'd help out around the house."


"That's nice of her to do that," Rose said.

"Yes but I was in shock for a moment because my own family barely tolerated me. Just the thought that someone thought me worthy enough to adopt me as a son was overwhelming."

"I still think it's silly that you were shunned because of your navel," Jackie said.

"Well, some people on Earth shun people with deformities, don't they? Or shun the mentally ill or the ones who don't quite fit in?" the Doctor challenged.

"Yes, I s'pose that's true," Jackie said.

"Live births on my planet hadn't happened for millennia. Everyone who had been born vaginally had died by the time I was loomed. So no one had seen a navel before. I know it seems like a little thing to you but I've seen some humans mock someone with a pimple on their face. As much as I hate to admit it, my people didn't act like the enlightened beings they claimed to be. In many ways, they acted just as badly as humans. My family were embarrassed because I had this oddity and they paid as little attention as possible to me so no one would associated them with me. So yes, I was shocked that Arella's family wanted me in their lives."

"But if you were adopted into her family, wouldn't that make you and Arella brother and sister?"

"No, they didn't look at it that way because we weren't blood related. Incest was between blood relatives. I was considered a member of the family in a symbolic way but no one batted an eye when Arella and I got married. They would have if we'd been blood related, though. "

"So did you get married then?" Rose said.

"Not yet. Not until later. Unfortunately, when we got back to the Academy, Koschei was there waiting for us."

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