The TARDIS has broken down, again.
Completely this time, it appears. You flip the monitors on. Off. Back on. No response, of course. Temporal hyperdrive? Inactive. Life stabilizer? Down. Gravity drive? That's working at least. Last thing you need, right? Gears and bits floating everywhere.
"Everything all right, Doctor?" It's Rose, of course. Curious and chipper, waiting for adventure.
"No!" you snap, "It's not!"
"Something's wrong with the TARDIS?" She takes a step back. Guages you. She's learned your moods, you suppose. This one is an unhappy one.
"The TARDIS is malfunctioning," you say. You crawl under the console. Flip a few dials. "It won't land, and life support----"
"What about life support?" Oh, that got her attention. You figured it would.
"It's going down! Core temperature is dropping, and fast! Oxygen levels are decreasing! What did you think? It was up and I just decided---"
"All right, all right!" Her hands move to her hips. "No need to shout!"
"I'm not shouting!"
"Yes you are!"
"Do you have to do this? Honestly, Rose, not now. Life support is going down. I need to fix it."
"If there's no life support..." Her voice is suddenly terrified. A moment passes, then she speaks. "No air, right? We suffocate, here in the TARDIS?"
"We won't suffocate."
"The TARDIS will protect us?"
"Oh, we'll freeze to death first."
"Thanks, Doctor, that's comforting."
"It wasn't supposed to be comforting! I'm trying to fix this!"
You snort. Shouldn't have been so rough. But, honestly, now! Life support's going down! Your TARDIS, your instrument of travel! Breaking down!
"Come on, old girl," you mutter. Fingers work to fix bent wires. Face twisted in a grimace. Rose, naturally, looks particularly bored. Explaining the severity would heighten fear. Which would, of course, inspire panic. It inspires panic in you. It would do the same for her!
It'd be nice to panic together. Right?
"Look, Rose, I'm busy."
"I was just looking 'ere---"
"Rose! Honestly, I can't show you that. Not now. The life support is going down! We'll be dead! You don't want to die, right? Now if you don't mind---"
You sit up; look at her. "Rose," you sigh, "Look, I'm sorry. Really, I am. There's just so much going wrong."
"I don't want to get angry. Honestly, I don't! Just with the life support and---"
"What?" You leap up and glance down. Monitor is blipping, elevation is normalizing.
"Blimey," you mutter, slapping the monitor. For good measure, of course. "Can't be right."
"Maybe it's just a fault? Nothing was wrong to begin with?" She pops her gum loudly. You hate that stupid gum. And she could be right.
"At any rate, we'll land soon." Hands work along dials, setting coordinates. Somewhere with a parts yard, perhaps?
"All right, Doctor." Rose sounds decidedly uninterested. That shouldn't be so damn frustrating. All the same, it is. With a grin, she disappears.
You snort. Somewhere in the Vegela system, yes? Somewhere with a parts yard. And perhaps a psychic. Someone who'll know the TARDIS's mind. Sort out where your old girl went horribly wrong!
Muse: the Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 569