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The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords)

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The Doctor stepped out of his stupendous new TARDIS and saw Amelia Pond curled up asleep on a suitcase. Well, he'd been alone for a long time now and he'd always liked humans, especially the small ones. Anyway she already knew all the rules, and you never know when having a companion little enough to fit inside a suitcase will come in handy.

He knelt beside the sleeping child. "Hello again, Amelia."

Amelia rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "You came back."

"I'm the Doctor, I always come back."

"You said five minutes, it's been hours."

"I'm the Doctor, I always come back eventually. All packed?"

"Uh huh."

"Got your wellies?"

"I've got them on, Doctor," said Amelia, kicking her legs for emphasis.

"Got your bobble-hat?"

"Yes, and a swimming costume. You said there was a swimming pool."

"Well remembered. Got your arm bands?"

"I can swim, Doctor."

"I can't."

"I'll teach you."

"Excellent. Go and put your suitcase in the TARDIS, I just need to get rid of the monoform that's been secretly living inside your house and write a note to your aunt explaining where we've gone."

*

Dear Amelia Pond's Aunt,

I have borrowed your niece for adventures through time and space. Will bring her back tomorrow(ish). Don't worry, she'll be perfectly safe(ish).

Yours Sincerely,
The Doctor (The Last of the Time Lords)

P.S. You now have an extra room upstairs, no need to thank me.
P.P.S. I crushed your garden shed, I'm sorry.

*

The Doctor and Amelia were in the wardrobe room and the Doctor was admiring his reflection.

"A bowtie, are you sure?"

"Bowties are cool," said Amelia.

"What do you know," said the Doctor, "you're wearing a bobble-hat."

*

"Amelia!" the Doctor shouted from outside the TARDIS. "Press the green button down for a count of five hippopotamuses, turn the fishing reel counter clockwise six times and then ding the bell!"

"I can't. They're too high."

The Doctor raced back into the TARDIS, past Amelia and down the stairs. Amelia watched him clatter about down there through the glass floor. He bounced up the stairs clutching a box that had the words Fragile – Contents May Break or Try to Eat You stamped on it.

He put the box down, lifted Amelia up and placed her on the box. "All right now?"

"Yes."

"Right then. "Hold the green button down for a count of five, turn the fishing reel six times then ding the bell."

*

"You." said the Dalek, "Are. A. Very. Small. Human."

"You," said Amelia, "are a very large pepperpot."

*

"About Amelia," said Sarah Jane when the Doctor had stopped by for tea and biscuits, mostly biscuits. "She's very…"

"Scottish, I know. Good, isn't it?"

"I was going to say that she's very small."

"Oh, I know that. It's all under control."

"So you're taking her home?"

"No, but I did get her a box to stand on."

*

"You know," said the Doctor, rubbing his neck where it was aching from having Amelia sit on his shoulders to watch the moon landing. "I've a vat I could put you in until you get a bit taller."

Amelia giggled. "I'm going to get taller anyway."

The Doctor crouched down until he was looking Amelia in the eye. "When?"

*

"Doctor," Amelia tugged at the Doctor's sleeve. "It's my birthday. I've been counting the days and it's my birthday."

"No, it isn't. No birthdays in the vortex." Amelia's face crumpled. "Or," said the Doctor, "everyday's your birthday in the vortex! Lots of birthdays, that's better, isn't it?"

Amelia nodded.

"What do small humans do to celebrate in your time? You're not from the time when they whack a donkey with a stick, are you? I never liked that game."

*

The Doctor and Amelia Pond walked hand in hand into the finest ice cream parlour in the history of the universe.

"I want a scoop of strawberry," began Amelia.

The Doctor wrinkled his nose and stuck his tongue out. "Strawberries, eugh. But, uh, it's your birthday, order whatever you want."

"And a scoop of chocolate, and vanilla, and raspberry, and mint and toffee."

The man behind the counter looked at the Doctor for confirmation. "Get her whatever she wants, it's her birthday. She's-" he looked critically at Amelia "-one hundred and fourteen?"

"I'm eight, Doctor."

"Close enough."

*

"Doctor," Amelia tugged the Doctor's sleeve. "When's your birthday?"

"No, I don't have birthdays."

"But, you said everyday was a birthday here. So if everyday is my birthday then everyday is yours too, right?"

*

The Doctor and Amelia Pond walked back into the finest ice cream parlour in the history of the world.

"Two scoops of your finest custard ice cream, and a fish finger to use as a flake. Oh, and an actual flake!"

The man behind the counter looked at Amelia for confirmation, she shrugged and said, "It's his birthday."

*

The Doctor had been arrested many times, usually for doing something very brave and magnificent that had been utterly misunderstood, but this was the first time he'd ever been arrested for child endangerment.

"She was never in any danger, not any real danger. Well, there was this one time with a Dalek. But you know what children are like, you take your eye off of them for one second and the next thing you know they're off playing with the nearest genocidal alien menace."

"And you're looking after this girl, this Amelia Pond?"

"She's looking after me," answered the Doctor. This did not seem to be the right thing to say.

"But you're not a biological relation?"

"No. Well, biology is terribly overrated. And she's eight, which is old enough to vote on Earth… No, wait. I'm thinking of somewhere else, aren't I?"

There was a knock on the door and somebody else clutching a clipboard came in, they were very fond of clipboards here at interstellar child services.

"Excuse me, sir, I've just spoken to the child and she says this man is her aunt."

'Sorry," said the Doctor. "Silly me, I forgot, I am a biological relation. Aunty Doctor, that's me."

People started scribbling on clipboards.

"No, wait, that's not me. Don't call me Aunty Doctor. Please don't write that down!"

*

Amelia looked at the bowtie bobbing up and down on the water. Everyone seemed to be looking at the wreckage of the spaceship that was sinking slowly into the middle of the lake, all except a blonde woman who was holstering a futuristic looking gun. Amelia trotted over to her and bounced up and down a little till she had the woman's attention. "Who are you?"

"River Song. Who are you, kid?"

"Amelia Pond. Can you help me, River Song? Only I don't think my friend can swim."