Chapter 32

Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor sat in a chair next to Storm's crib as the baby slept. River had given him specific instructions: "All you have to do is watch him while I get some sleep. It shouldn't be too hard."

So far, she was right. It hadn't been too hard. Storm was fast asleep and didn't show any signs of waking for at least a few more hours. The Doctor thought it would be safe to at least walk around for a little while. After all, the TARDIS was so well guarded that there was no way anything could happen while he turned his back.

So now he silently walked about the bedroom that Sexy had put together for Storm. The walls were a soft blue, with a projector that could display entire galaxies all over the room, just as the Doctor had seen once before. Across from the crib was a small chest full of toys and a table that could be used as a changing station.

All of a sudden, a piercing scream rang through the room, followed by several more, which were accompanied by tears. Storm was awake and living up to his name.

The Doctor rushed over to him, quickly pulling him out of his cradle and rocking him gently. But these attempts did little to calm the screaming baby. Even though the Doctor could speak baby, it was quite hard to figure out what he wanted when all he did was scream.

Maybe he was just bored? The Doctor tried talking to him. "Hey, Stormy. No need to cry. Everything's fine. Daddy's here. Oh, please stop crying." Silently, he hoped that the TARDIS had sound-proofed this room. If River was to be woken up, she would never trust him to take care of Storm.

Now the Doctor went over to the toy chest, pulling out a small stuffed dog. He attempted to entertain Storm by adding voices as he showed him the toy. "Hello, Stormy," the Doctor spoke in a low-pitched voice, waving the dog around. This charade quieted Storm for a moment, but he soon burst into tears again.

The Doctor's knowledge on how to handle crying babies basically ended there. The only other reasons Storm could have been crying were that he needed a feed or a changing. Cautiously, the Doctor held up Storm to sniff his diaper. Immediately, his face wrinkled in disgust. Yeah, he'd definitely found the problem.

So now he made his way over to the changing table that he had discovered earlier, setting Storm down on top. Slowly, the Doctor took off the diaper that Stormy was wearing and placed it in the trashcan. This was the point where he realized that he had absolutely no idea what to do next.

Even so, finding a clean diaper would be a good place to start. Unfortunately, the Doctor wasn't exactly sure where to look. So now he went around the room, opening every drawer in sight, yet finding nothing. No doubt Sexy was hiding them from him, he thought with a scowl.

There had to be some in the TARDIS bathroom. He quietly opened the bedroom door, popping his head out to look in both directions, just in case River should see him coming. As he glanced back at Storm, he realized that he couldn't just leave the boy there unattended. So he carefully picked up the now naked Storm—who was still crying—and made his way to the TARDIS bathroom.

Yet, his search through the bathroom cabinets yielded no results. Now the Doctor was getting desperate. River would awake at any minute! What should he do? Still in the bathroom, his eyes rested on a wash cloth folded neatly in one of the cabinets. An idea was beginning to form in his head, so he snatched the cloth and made his way back to the bedroom.

Once inside, the Doctor placed Storm back on the table, applying powders and oils as he recalled seeing River do only once before. He put the wash cloth on Storm as he would put on a diaper, fastening the corners together with some clothespins he had found on his searches.

Perfect! Now Storm had stopped crying, so the Doctor picked him up and began to rock him gently once more, speaking softly as he did. "There, there, Stormy. Isn't that much better? It's not exactly a diaper, but you can hardly tell the difference. You should probably be getting back to sleep now. I guess that would probably be easier if I stopped talking . . . ."

As he did so, the Doctor watched as Storm drifted off to sleep once more. Now he made his way over to the chair where he had originally been and sat down again, still holding his son. Watching Stormy sleep, he realized just how tired he was. Oh well, there couldn't be any harm in resting his eyelids for just a moment . . . .

"Doctor!" he awoke with a start at the sound of River's voice. The first thing he noticed was that Storm was no longer in his arms. He began to panic, until he realized that River was holding the boy, who was still sound asleep.

"River," he said, still drowsy from falling asleep. "You're awake."

"Yes. I am," she replied with annoyance. "But apparently you aren't."

The Doctor rubbed his eyes, still unsure of how exactly he had drifted asleep. "I only closed my eyes for a moment."

River rolled her eyes. "I suppose that's why you didn't even notice when I took Storm out of your hands?" He was about to answer, but fell silent as he saw that River had noticed what Storm was wearing. "Doctor," she said, trying to keep her voice calm, "what exactly is this about?" At this, she motioned to the makeshift diaper.

The Doctor blushed, not meeting her eyes. "Oh . . . uh, that. Well, you see-"

River held up her hand to cut him off. "You know, I don't even want to know. I'll handle this. But one of these days, you're going to have to change him properly."

He sighed in relief, just glad that she wasn't angry. "Yes, sure. Great." He looked back at her hesitantly. "Can I go back to sleep now?"

River rolled her eyes in exasperation but couldn't help but smile. "Sure. Now you can sleep."

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