Chapter Sixteen

"Kids, the food is ready," Lori yelled.

The children stopped playing with the Frisbee and came over to the table. The adults let them go first, waiting until they'd filled their plates before getting some of their own. However, Little Tom was looking at Rose as he was getting his plate filled by Lori. He tugged on his mother's sleeve and whispered something to her. Lori nodded and Tom walked over to Rose.

"Hi, Sissy. You want me to get your food for you?" he asked.

"Um…yes, that would be lovely," Rose said.

"Okay, what you want?"

"Oi!" John teased Tom as he waved his arms in the air. "Oi, I'm here as well!"

Tom giggled and pretended to ignore him while John poked his ribs playfully.

"Well, a burger would be nice," Rose said, trying not to laugh at her husband's playfulness with Tom. "Um…perhaps some potato salad and some crisps?"

"Oi, I'm here too!" John said, poking Tom's side while he giggled and kept on ignoring him.

Jack grinned at the Doctor and walked over to John.

"Oi!" Jack said, poking the top of John's head. "Leave the child alone!"

"I'm trying to get service," John said to Jack while Tom walked over to his mother. "I am an invalid as well and I demand a slave to procure my food for me!"

"Oh, for heaven's sake, ya big baby," Donna said with mock exasperation as she got up from the picnic table. "What do ya want, ya invalid?" she said, walking up to him and putting her hands on her hips.

"I would like a burger and some crisps and some potato salad and some of that pork and beans over there," John said, pointing to the picnic table. "And I would like the burger to have some lettuce, onion and a bit of ketchup on it, if you don't mind."

"Okay, wait a tic," Donna said.

She walked over to the Doctor and poked him in the back.

"Your clone wants food," she said to him.

"And aren't you getting him some?" the Doctor said while Donna walked back to the picnic table amidst laughter. "You were the one that got up and talked to him, why do I have to get it?"

"Because I have weak wrists and I can't carry that much food," Donna said demurely as she held up her hands to him.

Everyone laughed when the Doctor and his clone exchanged a look of exasperation. Donna grinned and got up; telling everyone she was just joking and she'd get it before grabbing a plate.


After everyone got their food and Rex got a couple of burgers to munch on, they sat around and chatted while eating. By now, several other people were in the area, barbecuing or sitting in chairs or on blankets, laughing and chatting with each other. In the distance, they could hear the pop of firecrackers and the sizzle of fountains being set off. Little Tom sat near his adopted sister, asking periodically if she needed anything. John was touched that Tom was determined to be a good brother to Rose and take care of her and he could tell that Rose loved it as well.

"So!" the Doctor finally said to everyone. "Today is the day America celebrates not being British anymore! Hurrah!"

Everyone laughed.

"Yes, hurray for the Yanks who broke away from us a long time ago," Martha said dryly. "Nice to know the Septics are still rubbing it in our faces."

"We're gonna live in London soon," Michelle said to her.

"I know! Which makes you cool because you want to live in an awesome city!" Martha said.

"What's Septics though?" Brittany said.

The British people sniggered.

"There's this thing called Cockney Rhyming Slang," Martha said. "They take words and use other rhyming words to disguise the original word. Septic Tank rhymes with Yank which is what you are. Most times you drop the rhyming word so Yanks are Septics."

"Ooookay," Brittany said while everyone laughed. "Yeah, that's something I'll have to start learning when I get over to London."

"We'll help ya out," Martha said. "We'll teach you lot how to blend in and be like the natives."

"Be British in other words," the Doctor said. "At last, Bookworm will have no choice except to conform. If she says macaroni and cheese in London, she will hear "Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee…"

"You be quiet," Michelle said to him.

"No, I'm always right, even when I'm wrong, I'm right, so I will not keep silent. You will conform, mark my words," the Doctor said.

"I see the arrogance hasn't changed with this new body," Jack said to John and Rose.


After eating, the adults talked while the children played nearby. When it began to grow darker, the Doctor took Rex inside the TARDIS so the noise wouldn't frighten him and asked the TARDIS to take him to his personal room so he could relax away from the fireworks. He then brought out some blankets and spread them out in front of the canvas chairs. The children sat down on them and so did Jack, the Doctor, Lori and Jim. John, Rose, Dan, Ruth, Great Uncle Tom and Alicia sat in the chairs and the remainder sat at the picnic table. Michelle looked over her shoulder at the Doctor and then crawled over to him.

"Ew, here comes Cooties again," the Doctor said, making a face.

"I'll sit where I want," Michelle said, plopping her butt down beside him.

The Doctor mimed pulling out a spray can and made a hissing sound while he pretended to spray her.

"What are you doing?" Michelle asked him.

"Cootie repellant, I don't want your nasty cooties all over me," the Doctor said, putting his imaginary can back in his pocket.

Lori laughed when Michelle shook her hair at him and the Doctor recoiled in mock fear.

"Eeee, cooties!" he said while everyone laughed.

He smiled and put his arm around her and Michelle snuggled close to him. She was silent for a moment before speaking to the Doctor.

"I hate the fireworks that go boom," she said to him.

"I'm sorry?" the Doctor said.

"The fireworks that go boom," Michelle said.

"She hates the ones that don't do anything except make a loud boom," Lori said to him.

"Ooooh, okay," the Doctor said. "Sooo…I could terrorize you by asking the TARDIS to recreate that noise whenever you're inside her then?" he said to Michelle.

"You do and I'll kick you somewhere boys don't like to be kicked," Michelle said.

"How do you know where they don't like to be kicked?" the Doctor said.

"Because I kicked a boy there once."

"What? When was this?" the Doctor said while everyone laughed.

"This boy wouldn't leave me alone and called me a nerd and stuff and one day he kept following me around the playground and teasing me and stuff so I hauled off and kicked him in the ding ding."

Everyone laughed harder and the teenagers applauded Michelle while the Doctor stared at her in shock.

"Like I said, the children of this family are dangerous," Jack said.

They laughed even harder when the Doctor put his hand over his crotch and scooted towards Lori while keeping his eye on Michelle.

"Mommy could kick you in the ding ding too," Michelle said.

Everyone laughed when the Doctor jumped up and kept his hands over his crotch while he looked around for a safe place. He walked over to Sarah Jane and sat down beside her.

"Ah, my faithful Sarah, you wouldn't kick me in the ding ding, would you?" he said to her.

Everyone laughed when Sarah Jane gave him a pointed look and raised her eyebrow. She laughed along with everyone else when the Doctor got up and looked around. He kept his hands over his crotch while he walked to Rose.

"Oh? Seriously? You think you're safe with me then?" Rose teased as the Doctor stood beside her. "I've got a cane, you know!"

"Blast, I can't win for losing!" the Doctor said and everyone laughed when he walked towards the barbecue grill.


The Doctor finally set down beside Michelle and as soon as it got dark enough, the fireworks started. The children at the front of the blankets lay back while Michelle leaned against the Doctor and Little Tom sat beside Rose. Every time one of the loud booms went off, the Doctor rubbed Michelle's arm to comfort her when he felt her body stiffen.

"This is wonderful," Sylvia said to her father while they sat together at the picnic table and stared up at the sky. "Odd that we're in the US watching this but it's wonderful all the same."

"Yay, the Yanks are celebrating breaking it off with us, woooo!" Martha said, pumping the air with her fist.

"Should we stand up and yell out that the US should become a part of the British Empire again," Sarah Jane said to Martha.

Martha looked around at the throng of people around them all watching the skies.

"You first, love," Martha said while Sarah Jane chuckled.

As the fireworks rose to a climax, Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA suddenly started playing out of speakers mounted in the trees around them.

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free," they heard him singing while the fireworks boomed. "And I won't forget the men who died who gave that life to me…"

Jack suddenly rushed up to the front of the blankets and burst into song, singing a parody of the song.

"Yes, I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free," he sang to his family. "Because we kicked the British out of here, tee hee hee hee hee."

"Amen, Bro!" a man said who was sitting several feet away from them.

Jack waved at him while he raised his beer to him in salute. Everyone glanced at the man who was dressed in a red shirt, overalls, boots and a red trucker's hat.

"Okay, not saying anything with a British accent until we get back to the house," Martha said softly to everyone at the picnic table.

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