Ferdie the Great

Chapter Two

In Which the Library is Grievously Misused

To say he was twitchy would be an understatement.

The Doctor was positively vibrating with tension as he stalked his way sharply around a turn and down the next corridor. He couldn't believe she'd do such a thing. His own ship! And it wasn't like it had been accidental, oh no. She knew how he felt about the library. She knew.

And yet she had gone ahead and done it anyway.

It was his haven. A place where he could go shut his brain off (as much as a Time Lord ever really could) and just lose himself in stories for a while. Filled with warm fireplaces, exceptionally comfy chairs from all corners of time and space, and excessively fluffy rugs. There was even the odd bowl of jelly babies here scattered about. He'd spent hours holed up in there simply relaxing, curled up with a good book and, if he was lucky, a certain pink and yellow human. And she'd ruined it.

A gentle melody caressed apologetically against the outer walls of his mind. He ignored it and sped up his pace. He wasn't quite in the mood to forgive her just yet.

He wasn't even sure where he was going to be honest. All he knew was that he needed to move around and work off some pent up energy before he snapped at someone. Of course, he'd have much rather been running all over some alien planet, adventuring and getting into trouble. Now that would certainly take the edge off.

But adventuring wasn't an option right now.

Naturally Rose- kind, wonderful, compassionate, stubborn Rose, would insist on staying in the TARDIS with the stupid cat for a few days, now that it was big enough to be let out of her room. "Just until he gets used to the place." she'd said. Used to the place. Ha.

Little devil was certainly making itself at home, that was for sure. And whose fault is that? He projected rudely. The TARDIS murmured her equivalent of a slightly embarrassed huff but otherwise disregarded his tone.

Coming to a stop outside a partially opened door, the Doctor's hand hovered over the knob as he briefly entertained the idea of using the anti-gravity room to blow off some steam. After a moment he shoved that thought aside and carried on. Perhaps another time.

Gods he could still hear that incessant scratching sound... and the banging! Oh, the banging.

Like a stampede of Krafayis across the ceiling.

A small part of him (the part that was more preoccupied with the hows rather than the whys) had to admit that the design had been quite impressive. The plastic tubing itself had been pretty unobtrusive despite ranging the span of the whole library. Attaching it to the walls and ceilings had been a stroke of genius, keeping it up and out of the way. Although that didn't stop a few offshoots from going through a few shelves here and there.

The scratching post wall had been a good move. Made the tubes easily accessible and spared the furniture. Very practical. Nifty even. The little bubbled windows had been a nice touch as well.

Overall, he'd seen similar designs used for indoor playgrounds. And hamsters.

But what the TARDIS clearly hadn't accounted for was the noise.

The Doctor massaged his temples, resigned, book laying temporarily forgotten in his lap. Hearing the ruckus drawing near again, he sat stiffly back in his chair and opened his eyes to stare balefully up at the ceiling. Ah. Here it comes again.

Like clockwork, a furry blur came shooting around the nearest bookcase, rattling it's tunnel loudly in it's haste. Launching itself toward the first opening it came across, it flew out of the tube and down the wall, pausing mid climb to rip it's claws frantically into the scratchy fabric.

Having had enough of that, it barreled the rest of the way down and came flying to a stop directly in front of him, completely puffed up and on high alert. Than it began to knead it's claws furiously into the carpet, rumbling all the while. After several minutes of this it finally settled down, curling up in the shredded mess it'd made... and there it stayed.

The damn cat had been at it for exactly three hours, twenty-seven minutes, and six seconds. No stops. No breaks. Just pure mayhem, plain and simple.

The Doctor wanted to throw his book at it.

He had come down to the library to avoid Rose and relax after another particularly frustrating failure to fix the chameleon circuit. He'd just had to tell her how easy to fix it'd be this time. How fantastic the TARDIS could be when at her full capabilities.

"Today's going to be the day Rose Tyler, I can feel it!" Ha.

Gods forbid he keep his gob shut for five minutes instead of running off at the mouth about an accomplishment he hadn't even achieved yet. All he'd wanted to do was kick back for a little while and revisit the Chronicles of Narnia. He could fess up to Rose later when it didn't quite sting his ego so much.

At least, that had been the plan.

Of course, none of that had happened. No, instead the Doctor had spent the first hour utterly frustrated and unable to find a single seat in the whole bloody room that the cat didn't feel the need to molest with it's presence. He'd than spent the second hour trying in vain to get his 3D glasses back when the stupid thing had snatched them up right out of his hand.

He 'd only had them out for a moment while he dug through his pockets for his brainy specs. Just a moment. But that was all the little beast had needed.

The third hour had gone entirely toward praying to any deity that might be listening. Yes, it was probably wrong that he'd stopped praying for patience at some point and started praying for the tubes to break... but who needed to know that? It was entirely between him and the deity's blatantly ignoring him.

And now... now it thought it could just curl up right in front of him for a well earned nap like everything was hunky-dory. A-OK. Molto Bene. He hadn't even gotten the damn glasses back.

Snapping his book shut as loudly as possible, he'd stood up with every intention of deeply disturbing the little bugger's nap...

But Rose had swept in all, "Oh, aren't you just the sweetest snuggled up like that!", and gone straight for the cat. Not even a proper hello. Typical.

"How long's Ferdie been napping Doctor? He's been bouncing around all morning, didn't think he'd ever stop." She asked. Blimey, she had no idea... wait, what?

"Ferdie? Really? That's what we're calling it?"

"Yup, Ferdie. Short for Ferdinand." Bending down, she scooped the cat up and positively cooed at it, scratching under it's chin. "Do you like it?" She glanced up at him.

"Uh, well. It's alright I suppose. Could have named it something a bit more useful. Like Alonso. Excellent name, Alonso." The Doctor found himself scratching the back of his head, not quite sure what he was expected to say. "Why Ferdinand exactly?"

"She shot him a look. "You know, like the bull from the children's book." He really didn't. "Mum used to read it to me all the time when I was little." Hoisting the little beast into the crook of one arm, she pointed at him accusingly with her free hand. "And stop calling Ferdie an it! He's a he, aren't you sweet boy?" And there it was. More cooing. The Doctor was really starting to hate it when she did that.

"He's a terror, 's what he is. Speaking of which, just what exactly do you think you've done to my library? Look at it! It's in shambles."

"Don't be so dramatic, your library's fine. And I didn't do anything." She looked up and around, seemingly taking in the tubing and altered walls for the first time since she'd walked in. "Huh. Yeah, certainly wasn't my idea. The TARDIS must have done it all up in here for Ferdie. She likes him." She turned fully in place, observing the extent of the chaos. "Wow. Old girl really outdid hersel- Oh hey!" Hurrying over to the nearest shelf, cat still in hand, Rose quickly bent over and scooped something up. "...Doctor, your glasses..."

He'd never heard Rose sound so apologetic. Turning back, she looked particularly sheepish as she held out the sad remains of his 3D glasses. They'd been chewed to bits. It was a wonder they were even still held together.

One of the eyes was missing.

And just like that, he suddenly remembered why he'd been so annoyed.

"Alright, it's been cute but that's enough. This is all coming down. No more cats in the library. No siree."

"What? Doctor no, come on it's not as bad as it seems. You can make new glasses!" Rose set the cat down on his chair and crossed her arms, frowning firmly at him. She wasn't going to go down easily over this one, he could already tell.

"It's not just about the glasses Rose! That thing has been raising hell in here all morning. It's a library for Rassilon's sake! Not a playground."

"Yeah well, you know what? You've been outvoted. The TARDIS likes it and I think it's adorable so the cat tube stays."

"It most certainly does not."

"Yeah, it really does."

The two stared hard at each other for several moments, neither willing to give any ground. The tension was broken however, by a sudden crunching sound. Startled, they both looked in confusion to find Ferdie perched on the arm of the chair, munching happily away at the remains of his glasses. It had broken out the other eye piece.

"Oh for pity's sake!" The Doctor threw up his hands. "Fine. Keep the library. Run amuck, I don't care. Just keep it out of the rest of my things."

"He's a he, not an it!"

"Whatever!" he grumbled. There were better things to do with his time than deal with some stupid cat.

At least that's what he'd told himself when he'd stormed out. Yet here he was, still very much disgruntled by the morning's events and with no particular outlet for his aggravation in sight. What really did it though, was the fact that she hadn't even tried to see his side. She'd immediately chosen the cat. She'd been choosing the cat an awful lot lately. He had barely seen her since it'd come on board.

Sure, he understood the allure of a new pet but come on! Didn't they have a- a thing? A thing that meant she should be spending an equal if not greater amount of time with him? They'd barely held hands or kissed in days! Let alone done anything else.

It was like being back in his ninth incarnation all over again. When she'd brought that pretty boy on board. What was his name again...? Oh yes, Adam. Now that would have been a fitting name for the little interloper. The name of the inept. Much more suitable.

Maybe if he got her a metal dog, she'd be willing to trade out. Rose had liked K-9 well enough when they'd visited with Sarah...

No, but she'd never go for that. His Rose was a lover, a carer. He had seen it in her eyes hundreds of times before and he'd seen it in her eyes when she'd first shown the cat to him. She was attached. He was stuck with it now, for however long that may be.

There was no way he could convince her to get rid of it. "Not it, he." Rose's voice echoed in his mind.

The Doctor sighed, slowing his pace. Oh well.

He'd been taken by surprise this morning, that was all. He hadn't been properly mentally prepared. Now that he new what to expect, he'd be better equipped to handle stuff like spontaneously appearing jungle gyms and broken things. Rose would grow accustomed to Ferdie and come back to him in time. They'd carry on as always, the Doctor and Rose Tyler.

Just with an occasionally obtrusive third addition.

After all, he told himself, it's just a cat. He'd even used to like the damn things when he was his sixth self. Had a pin of one on his lapel and everything. So how bad could it be?


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