Chapter Two

The Doctor sat on the captain's chair quietly reading a magazine. He had set the coordinates for a nice little planet he knew of where they could hike, camp and do a bit of sightseeing. Until then, he was content to read his copy of Genetic Science Weekly, a magazine that was published on the planet Nephron, the home planet of some of the greatest scientific minds in the universe. He had often gone there in the past to engage in heated debates with the citizens, sometimes spending days or even weeks challenging them and being challenged in return. But, he had tried to go there shortly after he had met Rose and she had found it so boring, that he only went there now to make a quick trip to the shops and pick up the magazines he loved.

He was reading an article on the genetic manipulation of the Hordak herds on Eariton Eleven when he caught the scent. They had recently gone to an outdoor bazaar on Bal'mont and Rose had brought some perfume made from the Bel'ursian flower, a native species. The scent was powerful and heavenly and once the Doctor caught a whiff of it on her, he fell in love with it. The aroma suited her perfectly and Rose knew it, which was why she had taken to wearing it every day since then.

He took a deep breath breathing in the heavenly fragrance as Rose came up to him.

"Ah, I'm so glad you decided to buy that stuff. I love it." He whispered.

"I know, that's why I wear it." She said sitting down next to him.

He smiled at her. She giggled when he put his nose in her hair and snorted loudly.

"At least I know where you're at now." He said.

"Was that a problem before?" Rose asked.

"Well, yeah, there were times when I needed a hug or a kiss and you were off somewhere doing Rose stuff. Now I can just follow the scent like a bloodhound and find you anytime I need huggies and kissies."

Rose smiled. She gave him a kiss and snuggled up against him.

"So, where are your partners in crime?" the Doctor asked turning a page.

"Oh, they're in the den watching Eastenders."

The Doctor glanced at her.

"I thought you watched that too." He said.

"I do, but I felt like being out here with you."

The Doctor grinned. Rose leaned her head on his shoulder. She scanned the article while the Doctor read. She frowned.

"Why are they genetically manipulating these Hordak things?" she asked.

The Doctor paused a moment.

"You know how on Earth they are starting to do genetic engineering on plants and animals?"


"Well, it's the same thing with the Hordaks. Eariton Eleven was terraformed about fifty years ago and it went from being a desert planet to being much like Earth. Once life became easier, the birth rate improved and there was a population explosion. Hordaks are a lot like cows and they have been trying to breed larger Hordaks that can supply more meat and milk for the population."

"Isn't that kinda like playing Frankenstein?" Rose asked.

"Not if you know what you're doing." The Doctor replied. "The Earitons have had experience with genetic engineering; they know exactly what they are doing. In fact, that's how the Hordaks came about. They spliced the genes of two other species and ended up with them because they needed something that would supply food for the citizens. In the wrong hands, yes, it can end up like Frankenstein, but Earitons are extremely careful with everything they do. They run test after test after test before they put any plan into action."

Rose nodded. She really didn't care all that much about Earitons or Hordaks, she just wanted to talk to the Doctor so she could sit and listen to the voice she loved so much and feel his body close to hers. She suspected the Doctor knew that too and that was why he was patient with her questions. That was another difference between him and her other Doctor. The other Doctor had gotten irritated more easily when she questioned things like this, but this Doctor loved her curiosity. He loved showing off his knowledge and was happy to teach her every chance he got and Rose was more than happy to listen, even if most of the time she had no clue what he was talking about. It was better than being trapped in the other universe and not having him around. After enduring two years of hell without him, she was more than happy to put up with the confusing techno babble.

They fell into silence enjoying each other's company as Rose read the magazine with the Doctor. As they read, Rose saw Donna and Martha coming into the room out of the corner of her eye and she looked over at them.

"You missed a good episode." Martha said.

"Nah, the Doctor's a lot better." She said.

"Got that right," the Doctor said grinning at her. "I'm far better than any show on the telly."

"And more entertaining." Rose said.

The Doctor raised her eyebrow when she giggled.

"Not quite sure how to interpret that remark." He muttered.

"You're never boring." Rose said.

"Well, that's good. Nice to know I'm not dull. At least that's something positive."

Rose chuckled and kissed his cheek.

"So," the Doctor said laying the magazine aside. "All ready for our next adventure?"

Martha and Donna looked at each other.

"Depends on if it's gonna be like the last adventure." Martha said.

"Why, you didn't like Farquarantofolios?" he said feigning shock.

"No," Donna said. "We didn't like Fart…Farqon…"

"Farquarantofolios." The Doctor said patiently.

"Yeah, we didn't like it." Donna said.

"What didn't you like about it?"

"I didn't like angry blue midgets tying me down and trying to chop my legs off!" she replied.

The Doctor shrugged.

"I can't help it if there was a royal decree stating no one could be taller than their king." He said. "But other than the fact they tried to amputate your legs, didn't you find the scenery breathtaking? Farquarantofolios is famous for their sunsets and sparkling lakes. Gargaron's Guide to Great Galactic Getaways voted it the most scenic destination three years in a row, not to mention Flipizon's Fantastic Finds said the vistas were worth the trip and of course Ulicar's Unusual and Unsurpassed Universal U-phoric---"

"Doctor, just can it." Donna said sighing.

The Doctor shrugged.

"I'm just saying that every place you go in the universe has both positive and negative things. You just have to look past the negative to see the positive."

Donna looked at Rose.

"He's kidding, right?" she said to her.

Rose glanced at him.

"You're kidding, right?" she asked him.


Rose looked back at Donna.

"Nope." She said.

"Well, forgive me if I couldn't look past the negative of being tied to a board while a dwarf with an axe tried to lob my legs off to see the positive of the bleedin' sunsets." She said to him.

The Doctor glanced at Rose and his eyes sparkled with mirth as Rose grinned.

"Well, in future, we will avoid the planet of the dwarves with the big axes." He said to Donna.

"Thank God for that."

"And instead move on to our next destination, Koyoton, which is a fabulous planet with lush forests, sparkling lakes, beautiful sunsets, and plenty of trails for hiking. I thought we could do a bit of camping out under the stars."

"What's the catch?" Martha said.

The Doctor stared at her.

"Catch?" he said.

"Yeah, what's lurking behind all the lovely things on this planet?" Martha said.

The Doctor rubbed his ear.

"Um…nothing." He said.

Donna and Martha glanced at each other.

"You just got done telling us that every place we go to has positive and negative things. What is the negative about Koyoton?"

"Oh, it's nothing, really, just a little minor thing."

"Tell us." Martha said.

The Doctor looked at Rose.

"Well, the negative is…"

He suddenly thrust his head onto Rose's chest and mumbled a muffled, incoherent sentence. He leaned back up and shrugged.

"See, nothing to worry about." He finished.

Rose snorted out laughter as Donna and Martha sighed angrily.

"Tell us," Donna said to him. "And make it understandable to human ears."

"Alright, there is the minor teensy weensy problem of two warring tribes who like to raid each other's villages for slaves and human sacrifices, but that will have absolutely nothing to do with us whatsoever!"

Donna and Martha looked at each other.

"I'll handle this." Donna said to Martha.

"Be my guest."

Donna walked around Rose and the Doctor and sat down beside him.

"Now," she started to say.

She paused when the Doctor put his arm around her shoulder and his hand on her knee. She stared at the hand on her knee, then on her shoulder and looked at him.

"What are you doing?"

"Settling in for a nice cozy chat with you?" the Doctor said.

Donna grabbed the hand on her knee and put it in his lap. Then she grabbed the other hand and put it on top of the hand in his lap.

"Now, as I was saying," she said as Rose snickered. "I've been traveling with you for awhile and I notice you have a tendency to take us to places where we will end up in some kind of danger or other."

"Mmhmm and I notice that each time I take you to one of these places where you will end up in some kind of danger or other, you get right back into the TARDIS after it, go back into the den, plop your butt down on my couch, watch Eastenders, and wait for me to take you to the next dangerous place. So what's your point?"

Donna stared at him as he grinned at her.

"Well, it's the truth," he said. "You whine and moan about being in constant danger, but at the end of it, you never come up to me demanding to go back home, and neither does Martha. So, apparently there must be something about the danger you both like."

Donna looked at Rose.

"And before you say it, Rose has no objections to said danger because Rose was possessed by a cosmic entity at birth and molded in the exact image of me. And since little ol' me loves being in danger, that means she does too. Ergo, she has no problem with me picking all these perilous spots."

"Speak for yourself, alien boy."

The Doctor jerked his head over at Rose who began to giggle again. He reached around behind her and clamped his hand over her mouth.

"As I was saying, Rose has no problem at all with danger." He said to Donna. "Don't listen to anything she might say to the contrary because the poor thing has Tourette's syndrome and she blurts out things she doesn't mean to say."

He winked at her and took his hand away.

"In all seriousness, though, I give you my assurance, as I always do, that I will try to my very upmost ability not to get us caught or killed. I, of course, cannot give you my absolute guarantee on that, seeing as how I don't control the events that occur in these locations since I am merely exploring the planets and not ruling over them. But, I promise that I will do everything within my power to keep us far, far, far away from the slave catching, sacrificing, warring tribes. Okay?"

Donna and Martha looked at each other.

"Okay." They both said.

The Doctor smiled and nodded. He looked at Rose.

"Okay?" he said.


He clamped his hand back over her mouth and looked at Donna.

"Bloody Tourette's, I hope someday they find a cure for it." He said to her as Rose laughed through his hand.

He took his hand away and leapt up. He checked the monitor and looked back at them.

"Ah, just in time for the landing. So, get ready my intrepid gang of girls, cause here we go off on another adventure!"

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