Author's Note: Snarky!TARDIS originated from a thread over at Time and Chips, where Doyle challenged someone to write a fic about Rose 'driving' the TARDIS. You received the first fic so well, I went on to write a series. This is the complete collection, originally written and posted between 2005 and 2011.
His taunting grin was what spurred her into action. She'd watch him do it enough times, why couldn't she?
"I'm going to drive the TARDIS," she announced. "Where are we going?"
He shrugged. "Anywhere, as long as you can actually get there."
Oh how she longed to smack that smug look off his face. She settled for giving the control panel a whack before 'umming' and 'ahhing' over the series of dials, buttons and levers dotted over the surface.
"It doesn't look too hard."
Huh. Famous last words.
"I'd find it a lot easier if you weren't standing there laughing over my shoulder! Go find something to occupy yourself with until I call you!" she snapped. But she didn't mean it, and he knew it.
"I'll be back soon then." It was something she had to learn to do, and he knew that she wanted to do it by herself, to prove that she was worthy.
Silence reigned as she stood over the panel, trying desperately to recognise some of the controls. Taking a deep breath, she guessed.
There was a loud whirring noise. The TARDIS didn't move at all, and for a brief moment she entertained the thought that she'd done it perfectly and the TARDIS had behaved for once. Of course, in hindsight she knew that was one of the worst assumptions she had made.
The whirring had stopped, and was replaced by what sounded like something inside the panel 'cranking'. Then there was silence, broken momentarily by the sound of paper sliding against metal. She looked around, then caught sight of a square piece of white paper against the dark metal of a slot underneath the lip of the panel.
She picked it up and turned it over.
A white background stared back at her, bearing a large bold capital 'L' in bright red.
It had been fifteen minutes already, and nothing untoward had happened. The Doctor wasn't sure whether that was a good or bad sign, but he didn't particularly want to go and find out – he knew what her moods were like and tended to avoid her when she expressed behaviourisms much like an angry bear.
Rose had always suspected the TARDIS had a mind of its own, but this was just proof.
"That's not helpful!" she whined, stamping her foot on the floor and ignoring the fact that she was being overly childish. "I'm trying to help! I don't care if you're jealous or don't like me – I'm here because I want to be and the Doctor wants me to be, and you're going to have to get used to it! Either we can do this the easy way – you and me can work together – or I can get the Doctor to find another TARDIS!"
She wasn't sure whether that was possible, and didn't know if the TARDIS was aware of that, but she thought it was a pretty good threat.
Especially when a dial lit up on the control column. She turned it in the direction she assumed was forwards, then moved onto the next lever that lit up. She continued in this fashion for the next minute, with the TARDIS directing her moves, until the 'engines' started up and the time machine shuddered with its usual force.
Well, that was certainly an improvement, the Doctor thought as he stepped back into the main control room, Rose standing proudly by the door.
"You go first," she told him.
"So I can get shot at if there's a mob of angry aliens standing waiting?" he shot back.
He opened the door hesitantly, but to his surprise was greeted by warm sunshine and the smell of the ocean as he stepped out onto soft white sand.
"Impressive..." he grinned.
He missed the quiet 'thanks' whispered to the TARDIS as his companion followed him out.
He also missed the square 'Learner' sticker that was now stuck to the door of his beloved time machine.