>> Thursday, 24 June 2010
Part Five - Tricked by Trickery
It was 3 o' clock in the morning and the Doctor was sweating.
It wasn't too warm around him; in fact, it was always comfortable inside the TARDIS and the temperature never usually bothered him anyway. But today, he was suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms, mainly because he'd stayed away from all forms of caffeine as a precaution, and his body wasn't reacting well to it all.
He was becoming increasingly queasy and fanned himself, loosening his tie at the same time. He briefly thought how easy Rose had it all; she was probably sleeping at the moment, away from all her cravings and thoughts. Lucky human, he grimaced.
After taking another sip of some water, he unbuttoned his suit and sat there in his shirt. It was almost sticking to his chest and he dreaded to think what he looked like; probably almost unattractive.
"Ugh," he muttered, running his hands through his hair. He didn't know if he could stand anymore of this... Cybermen and Clockwork Robots were easy, but surviving without tea... he nearly believed it would be the end of him.
Well, not literally. He wasn't planning on regenerating due to a lack of tea, but he just had a habit of being a little melodramatic.
Exhaling a very heavy sigh, he waited for the minutes to tick by and eventually reached for a random book in order to distract himself. He wasn't doing a very good job, though, and his thoughts kept wandering to what state he'd be in a few hours later. Maybe Rose would walk in after a nice night of sleep and just see a puddle on the floor, because that's what he honestly felt he'd be reduced to.
He gulped. It had never been this bad before...
I'll have to take a shower before she gets up, he thought to himself. Nice and fresh... make it seem as though this is all a doddle.
As he devised this plan, a small smile crept onto his face. Just seeing the expression on Rose's face would be brilliant... not forgetting her reaction when they would arrive on the planet he'd thought of.
Standing up and stretching, he decided to occupy himself with counting the chocolate bar wrappers around him. It was out of curiosity, of course, not out of desperation...
Rose's eyelids fluttered open and she groaned a little to herself, rolling over in her bed and checking the time. 9am. Time to get up.
She sat upright and, almost instantly, the Doctor entered her thoughts. What had his night been like? A smile played on her lips just thinking about what he'd been getting up to. Maybe she'd walk downstairs and see a brand new batch of pies for breakfast. Her stomach rumbled at the prospect.
Quickly reaching for her nightgown and clothes, she made her way towards the bathroom, ready for her morning shower. She was astonished, however, after opening the door and seeing the Doctor standing there with a towel wrapped around the lower half of his skinny body. His gaze flickered to her in surprise and he gasped, aware of his half naked-ness. They both stood still, staring silently for a few moments and the Doctor opened and closed his mouth a few times, unable to find any words.
"Now who's the goldfish?" Rose managed, trying desperately to lighten the atmosphere.
"Hi," he said quietly, his face prickling. "Uh... fancy seeing you here."
She swallowed and gathered her clothes that she had dropped on the floor. "Doctor," she murmured, "what are you doing in here?"
"I was baking some pies," he replied bluntly.
Rose raised her eyebrows. "I thought you disapproved of sarcasm."
He grinned, covering his chest with another towel out of self consciousness. "It must be contagious." He added a shudder for good measure.
She couldn't help smirking. "Why are you having a shower anyway?"
He frowned. "Why can't I? It's my TARDIS."
Rose waved her arms around. "It's just that you never have one in the morning... I never see you."
"Yeah, well," he said slowly, shifting about and glancing at the floor. "I felt like one this morning. We've got a long day ahead of us, after all."
She smiled. "Alrighty then. Now shift, it's my turn. I hope you didn't use up all the hot water."
He walked past her, clutching the towel closely to his chest. "Um... could you pass me my suit?" He gestured to the floor. "My hands are... er, preoccupied."
Rose smiled and did as he asked. She handed the suit towards him and frowned, smelling the fabric. "This smells nice," she murmured. "Have you washed it?"
He didn't meet her eyes. "Yeah. I... well, I had plenty of time on my hands."
He headed towards the door, and suddenly remembered something. "Y'know, I never would have believed it to be 45. No wonder I felt sick, I was expecting it to be something like 30!"
Rose frowned. "You what?"
She couldn't get an answer, however, because he had disappeared out of sight. Shaking her head, she stepped into the shower, letting the warm water run over her.
"So, where are we off to today?"
The Doctor smiled widely, watching the TARDIS come to life. "It's a surprise."
Rose groaned. "I hate surprises. Y'know, for once it would be nice to have some preparation. It's always the same with you knowing everything and showing about all over the place..."
"That's my job," he replied, pulling a lever, "so stop complaining."
She huffed. "At least give me the name of the planet."
"Alright, it's called Fria, otherwise known as 'Planet of the Chips.'"
Rose's eyes widened. "Are you kidding me?"
He smirked. "Yeah." She nudged him in the ribs. "No, we're really going to a planet called Maloa."
"Oooh," Rose smiled. "Sounds exotic."
"Don't go saying that to the people who live there, though," the Doctor said. "They might get offended. I've heard that they're nice people, though, very friendly. Then again, that's a matter of opinion... someone once told me..." He trailed off, noticing Rose's blank face. "But anyway, I think you'll like it... for once I might be able to go somewhere and not make any enemies!"
He grinned goofily and Rose had to smile in response.
"Hold on," he suddenly cried, "this might be a bit-"
He trailed off as the TARDIS suddenly lurched forwards. They were both thrown backwards and fell onto the floor, staying there as the ship settled. After a few seconds, everything went quiet.
Rose laughed at the Doctor's understatement and held his hand when he sprinted over to help her upright.
"You alright?" he asked.
"Yeah," she replied. "No major injuries. Though one of these days I actually want to see your license to drive this thing!"
"I would show you, but I've lost it," he answered quickly, reaching for his coat. "Now, off we go!"
When they made their way outside, Rose took a closer look at him. "Hey, are you alright Doctor? You look a little peaky..."
He shrugged off her comments. "Yeah, nothing wrong with me!"
They stepped out of the TARDIS and Rose gasped in awe, taking in her surroundings. The Doctor, meanwhile, had a truimphant smile on his face and also looked around in admiration.
"Welcome to Maloa."
Rose couldn't believe what she was seeing; it was like a paradise. The first thing that caught her attention was the sky above; it was a dark purple and it was filled with hundreds of bright stars, all the size of tiny lightbulbs.
"Is it the night time?" she asked in a breathy voice.
"No," the Doctor replied, "strangely not. This is what the sky always looks like, day and night. It's wonderful, isn't it?"
"Yeah," Rose managed, her heart hammering wildly.
Her gaze moved downwards and, in the distance, she could see several ice-capped mountains, standing tall and proud. To her left were rows of beautiful houses, each looking brand new with beige brickwork and shiny windows. They were all large, almost like mansions, and each had a beautiful garden full of flowers, ranging from all the bright colours she could think of. There was even a colour in there that she couldn't quite name.
To her right, there was a vast lake that seemed to sparkle under the light of the stars. She could see some boats on the surface and it looked as though some people were fishing.
Talking of which, the people around here were quite strange to Rose; they looked very similar to the humans but a little bit different. She couldn't quite put her finger on what the difference was, so she turned to the Doctor for an explanation.
"Well," he said, "they look so close to humans because they are more or less of that species, they've just evolved a bit."
Rose didn't reply so he continued.
"Basically, a few years ago, the humans found the technology that allowed them to go this far into space and they eventually found this planet, completely uninhabited. They realised that it was actually perfect for human life and that people could live here easily and so some decided to stay, completely intoxicated by the atmosphere. Can you blame them really?" he grinned. "Anyway, after time these people evolved; tiny little things that are hardly noticeable but that define them from the usual human species."
Rose frowned. "Why don't all humans just live here, then? It's a beautiful new world..."
"Well," the Doctor began, "it takes a lot of money to travel here so only the rich and famous tend to take the vacations. Also, it's not as big as the Earth and can't really support billions of people."
"What year is it?" Rose asked randomly.
"It's 2153," he informed her. "All the technology has improved."
"Why couldn't they find this planet before?" she asked.
"Dunno," he shrugged, "some say it just appeared out of nowhere, but they sure are glad they know of its existence now."
They walked ahead, the Doctor with his hands deep in his pockets and Rose spinning around, taking in her surroundings. Along the way they passed a few people, who all smiled politely and greeted them with a strange gesture. The Doctor returned this and Rose had to copy his actions; she thought she'd done it correctly, though, because the people didn't seem too offended.
"See, told you the Maloans were friendly," he smiled.
They walked along the clean, spotless pavement for a time Rose couldn't measure and it soon became thirsty work.
"Why don't we meet some of the locals?" the Doctor suggested, pointing to a cafe in the distance.
"Yes," Rose replied excitedly, "Sounds fun."
They walked through the doors into the shop and were immediately greeted warmly. Some fellow customers were drinking liquids of strange colours; purple, blue, even red. Rose vaguely wondered if she'd be able to order something she actually recognised.
They eventually took a seat next to the window and Rose sighed, breathing in deeply. "Hey, what's that smell that seems to follow us around everywhere?"
The Doctor shrugged. "It's probably all the flowers on the planet. It's lovely... makes a change from all the pollution back on Earth."
Rose nodded and they were soon greeted by a middle-aged looking woman. She had friendly eyes and a smile was always present of her face.
"Good day, welcome to Maloa. I'm assuming you're not originally from here..."
The Doctor shook his head. "No, we're not, but we must offer our compliments of this beautiful planet."
She smiled, bowing her head. "Thank you. Are you enjoying your stay?"
They both nodded. "Yes, it's fantastic."
She smiled again. "Please excuse me for a moment."
She rushed off and into, what Rose assumed, was the kitchen. She turned towards the Doctor, sighing. "I want to live here."
Just as he was grinning, the woman walked back, taking a seat and pushing two cups of a strange coloured liquid across the table. Rose frowned down at it and peeked at the Doctor, who looked equally confused.
"What's this?" he asked, eyeing her carefully.
"It's our welcome drink," the lady answered slowly, as though it was obvious. "It's a gift from us to you as a welcome to our planet."
The Doctor smiled, turning to Rose. "Told you they were lovely."
He took the cup in his hands. "Cheers." He then downed the drink in one go and quickly frowned. "Wait, this tastes a little familiar..."
"Familiar?" the woman asked. "What is your planet of origin?"
"Earth," the Doctor lied.
"Ah, then I know why you recognise the taste."
Rose looked at her in confusion, waiting for the explanation.
"That drink is Maloa's version of tea," she told them. "It contains all the same ingredients but we've altered it and added a few different chemicals, mainly to improve the taste."
The Doctor lost his grip on the cup and it clattered loudly on the table. "I... I'm sorry?"
"So what you're basically saying," Rose interrupted, a big smile on her lips, "is that you just let the Doctor drink some tea?"
The woman nodded. "What an odd name. But anyway, is there something wrong with that?"
"No," Rose grinned, drinking her own. "That's perfectly brilliant."
The Doctor looked at her in outrage and shock. "But that's not fair! Rose, I didn't know! It doesn't look anything like tea! It's a different colour! I... I... I never knew! No, this doesn't count! Don't you look at me like that, Rose, you know this isn't right! I was tricked by their... trickery!"
"You know full well what the contract says," she smirked. "And now you've lost!"
He ran his hands through his hair. "No, Rose!"
The woman sat next to them looked at the pair in confusion. Rose quickly explained. "Sorry, it's a long story."
"Yes," the Doctor said, standing up, "and I must apologise, but my companion and myself have to go now."
"So soon?" she objected, looking a little deflated.
"Yes, sorry. Thank you for the..." he paused. "Tea."
Rose snorted at his gritted teeth and they quickly left the room, heading back towards the TARDIS. The Doctor strode ahead silently, feeling very cheated. He threw open the doors with a lot of force and flew inside, hastily reaching for the contract. Rose watched him pull out his glasses and re-read the piece of paper several times. After a few moments, he sagged down onto the chair, completely defeated.
"I..." he started quietly. "I guess you win."
He threw his hands up, while Rose clapped hers together. "Yes!"
He took off his glasses, rubbing his eyes. "I can't believe it."
She stood by his side. "You were struggling though, you've got to admit..."
He didn't answer.
"But now," Rose said in a low voice, "it's forfeit time."
The Doctor met her eyes warily, looking a little worried. "Have you got any ideas?"
She put her hands in her pockets. "Oh yes."
The final part will be uploaded very soon! Thanks for reading.