“Come on Rose, you said you wanted to go on a cruise, what’s wrong with this one?”
“I said in the 1930′s in Egypt, can’t you just do this one thing right for me?”
“Oh I suppose so. Are you all packed?” He spied an old-fashioned suitcase by the door. “Right then, 1930′s Egypt, the River Nile. We can take the place of Mr & Mrs Forbes, they just cancelled. Do they know something we don’t?” The Doctor laughed, bumping Rose’s arm while jumping around the console.
“Great. So where’s all your stuff then?” Rose asked him.
The Doctor lifted a small holdall from beneath the console. “It’s bigger on the inside,” he laughed, waggling his eyebrows that drove Rose crazy.
They had just started seeing how far they could push their friendship without actually becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, somewhere Rose didn’t think he wanted to go but occasionally, they would kiss goodnight or spend a few minutes after running away from something and the Doctor was surprisingly a good snogger but it never went any further, not that Rose would have minded but they were just testing the boundaries and she was pleased they had got somewhere.
“So are going to stow the Tardis on board or are we leaving it at the port?”
“Oh I think we can give her a rest, it’s only for five days. We sail from Luxor to Aswan and I hear we all get dressed up in native clothing on the last night, you’ll like that Rose.”
“Only if I get to see you without a shirt and that stuffy suit on.”
“Don’t be cheeky Rose.”
Rose blushed slightly, it hadn’t come out exactly as she had planned. “I meant in traditional Egyptian costume.”
He knew what she meant. He just liked to tease her to see how far she was willing to play this new game. He didn’t mind, it kept her happy and truthfully, it made him happy too and there was no harm in a kiss or two or three now and then. She knew it couldn’t turn into much more but they spent all their time together, things were bound to turn that way and Rose was so unlike any of his last female companions.
“Right, that’s us parked in a storage shed, the port is just outside and we’ll get checked in. Glad to see your attire is of the 1930′s, I like your dress.”
Rose was wearing a flimsy below the knee black floral dress and flat shoes. She twirled around for him to take a look and he nodded his approval. They locked the Tardis, the Doctor patting the door on his way out, picked up Rose’s case and his own bag and stepped out into the sunlight. Rose was amazed at all the bustle going on, people hurrying around, orders being shouted and luggage being taken on board the river boat.
They joined a small queue of people standing before a white clothed table and soon it was their turn. The Doctor got his physic paper out of his out of place jacket pocket, Rose wondering why he wasn’t sweating in the heat and hoping he had at least brought some short-sleeved shirts with him and they got their papers and were shown to a luxurious cabin on the next deck below the main one, Rose open-mouthed at the size of it. It had a living area, a bathroom and a large bedroom with a double bed draped with white curtains hanging from the posts, a large picture window leading onto a small balcony.
The Doctor thanked the steward, who put their baggage by the bedroom door and Rose went to spread herself over the crisp white sheets of the bed.
“Wow, some people know how to live the life of luxury. I wonder how much this thing actually costs, if you have to pay? So are we supposed to be Mr and Mrs Forbes then?” she asked, sitting up in the middle of the bed.
She had been expecting a twin bedded room but they would have to make do for a few nights. There was a large luxury pink chair by the window and Rose supposed the little sleep he needed, the Doctor would take that unless he wanted to take things up a few notches.
“Nah, told them the cruise was a gift by them because they couldn’t make it, we are Dr & Mrs Smith but you prefer to use your maiden name, you’re supposed to be an actress. At least that was what the psychic paper showed them so you can be a drama queen whenever you want.”
Rose threw a pillow at him. “I’ll show you who can be a drama queen,” she laughed.
The Doctor just had to retaliate by throwing it back and so Rose threw it back again, picking up the other one. That led to him taking his trainers off and both of them kneeling on the bed, having a good old pillow fight until The Doctor resorted to tickling and Rose gave up and he raised his hands in victory until Rose pounced on him and sneaked a quick kiss, throwing him backwards, a big grin on his face.
“You did that on purpose,” he smiled, getting up.
“Now who’s the winner?”
“I declare a draw Rose Tyler. Come on, we’ll be setting sail and we don’t want to miss it, all those people waving to see us off.”
He got off the bed and sat putting his trainers back on. Rose crawled up to him and put her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek.
“Ok, we’ll call a truce – for now.”
The Doctor turned to her and she knew he was planning resuming it later.
“So, where are we going exactly? Do we get to go ashore or is it one long cruise?”
“Oh. We get to go ashore, not quite certain where though. Let’s go meet our fellow passengers.”
Rose was about to get up when she stopped. “I haven’t got a wedding ring Doctor, what will people say? They might be a bit strict in the 1930′s about that sort of thing.”
The Doctor dug deep in his jacket pocket and brought out a gold band. “Here you are, one size fits all,” he grinned, taking her left hand and putting it on her.
Rose wondered if it actually meant anything to him but supposed it was just for the purpose of the voyage.
“Aren’t you suppose to ask me first before putting a ring on my finger?”
“You humans and your traditions. OK, you win. Rose Tyler, will you pose as my wife for the purpose of this voyage?”
Rose looked down at the ring. It was as near as she was ever going to get with him. “Yes but with certain conditions.”
The Doctor looked at her. What was she up to? “Rose, I am not getting all kissy with you on deck, they didn’t go in for that sort of thing in the 30′s. Just act like the other couples do and try not to look out of place.”
Rose was disappointed, she wanted to play the role her own way. “So how long have we supposed to have been married and what if the others say they’ve never heard of me?”
“Just say we’ve been married a year and you’re not yet discovered, just small walk-on parts in little heard of plays. You never know, you might actually get discovered while you’re on board, there are probably a lot of rich and famous people taking this cruise, we’ll meet them at dinner. If they ask where we live, just improvise. Say we live on the Powell Estate, in Kent or somewhere and hope no-one else lives there.”
Rose giggled. She knew her estate hadn’t been built at that time. They went up on deck, large tables had been laid out with food and the passengers were helping themselves and sitting at tables in groups of four. There were 24 people on the cruise, there were only 12 cabins on 2 decks and Rose thought they may look a bit out of place but as they sat down opposite another couple, Rose thought she had best keep quiet.
The Doctor however, knew exactly who they were sitting across the table from – he recognised the woman instantly but chose not to let on. He was about to sit next to Rose when he held his hand out.
“Hello, I’m The Doctor and this is Rose – my wife,” he said, taking the man’s hand as he held it out.
“I’m Max and this is my wife, Agatha.”
The woman was hoping she wouldn’t get recognised by the look of it. “I thought I recognised you. Rose, meet Agatha Christie, the author.”
Rose knew who she was. “Nice to meet you, my mum loves all your books, she’s a great fan of yours. Are you writing a novel now?”
The woman looked at her husband. She was supposed to be just taking a break. “No, not at the moment, I don’t have any plans. Are you two newly-weds?”
“Ah, doesn’t miss a trick does she?” the Doctor joked. “Well, we’ve been married a year actually but we’re still on our honeymoon, aren’t we Sweetie?”
Rose thought she was going to throw up if he called her that for the next five days. So much for not getting ‘kissy’ then as he gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
“Then may your honeymoon never be over Doctor, don’t ever get bored with each other. I learned my lesson, didn’t I Max?” she asked, taking his hand.
The man smiled and patted her hand. “Yes Dear, quite right. So what are you a doctor of exactly?”
The Doctor grinned. “Of everything. Well when I say everything, not quite everything, well when I say not quite everything, I mean there are a few things I’m not a doctor of, aren’t I Rose? Rose is an actress, just starting out, aren’t you?”
Rose smiled. He was babbling again and usually there was only one way to shut him up but snogging him senseless on deck wasn’t really such a good idea.
“Then have you appeared in any of the stage versions of my novels by any chance?” Agatha asked her.
“No, it’s just a small theatre company I work with, they’re not very well known. It’s not very well paid but I hope to get discovered one day. That’s why I married John, for financial stability, he’s a physics professor, aren’t you John?”
She got that from when he posed at the school recently, she was just as good at inventing a past for him as he was for her, two could play at that game. He would so get her back for this.
“Oh come Sweetie, that’s not the only reason you married me,” he winked back at her.
Rose felt herself turning red.
The purser announced the voyage would be commencing shortly, for those wanting to wave off relatives and not wanting to miss out, Rose and the Doctor took a place at the railings, waving to anyone who would wave back at them. The cruise consisted of the rest of the afternoon and evening sailing along the Nile and docking the next morning at some ruins they were going to explore, then another sailing down to the next port of call.
Wondering if it had been a good idea to leave the Tardis behind after all but knowing it was too late to bring on board now, where would he hide it anyway? Pulling Rose away from the railings, he took her hand and walked to the other side of the deck.
“Well, five nights aboard a cruise ship on the River Nile. What could possibly go wrong?″ he asked.
Rose was going to ask him why he’d had to go and say that, it was just tempting fate.