“Doctor, what’s this?” Rose asked, holding up a DVD. The Doctor glanced up from the console.
“Oh!” he crowed, brightening immediately. “Veggie Tales! It’s a children’s show from the early 21st century. Created by Christians, they used talking vegetables to illustrate stories from the Bible.”
“An’ why do you have a copy of it?” Rose wondered, confused. The Doctor grinned manically.
“It’s brilliant, Rose!” he enthused. “In the middle, there’s this thing called ‘Silly Songs with Larry’. Did you know, some of them were inspired by aliens?”
“Really?” Rose asked.
“Look, I’ll show you!”
Rose hadn’t known that this meant sitting and watching a cheesy cartoon cucumber sing about some things called Cebu. “What is a Cebu even?” she grumbled. “It doesn’t make any sense!”
“Oh, lighten up. Have a little imagination,” the Doctor said. “Cebu were real creatures. Used to live on Earth. Might even still be there. They are so similar to cattle in appearance that you humans just assumed that’s what they were.”
“So how did the people who made Veggie Tales know about them?” Rose asked.
“Wellll,” the Doctor said, tugging on his ear. “I may have had something to do with that.” He looked sheepish.
Rose laughed. “C’mon, then, show me how impressive you are. I wanna see a Cebu. Think you can manage that?” She smiled a tongue-touched grin, her smile widening when the Doctor beamed back. He whirled around the console, setting coordinates, and Rose grabbed on to the jump seat, eager to see where they would land.
Had Rose known they would end up running for their lives from a group of angry hippo-like aliens by stealing three Cebu hooked to a canoe, she would’ve told the Doctor to skip the adventure. It didn’t take her long to feel as though she was living the situation in the video (well, sorta) that had inspired this whole mess in the first place. When she caught a glimpse of someone filming as they flew by, yelling about Cebu and hippos, she realized that “I may have had something to do with that” meant “I’m fairly certain I accidentally caused something but I don’t know because I haven’t done it yet.”
“Doctor,” she gasped as they threw the TARDIS into the Vortex after abandoning the Cebu and the canoe to the hippo-things, “we are never doing that again.”
The Doctor grinned mischievously. “Running for our lives?” he asked innocently. Rose rolled her eyes.
“No, you daft alien, bein’ pulled in a canoe!” Rose groaned. “Think I’ve got bruises over every inch of my body.”
“You asked to see a Cebu,” the Doctor said matter-of-factly.
“Oh, so now ‘s my fault?” Rose challenged. Her hazel eyes flashed, and the Doctor suddenly sensed an Oncoming Slap.
“No, not at all,” he babbled frantically. “What I was trying to say is that I didn’t have plans for us to end up in a canoe pulled by Cebu, and I hope to never do that again, so as long as you don’t ask to go see Ce—“ he yelped and ducked backwards as she silenced him with a slap. “What was that for!”
“Shut that big Time Lord mouth of yours up,” Rose stated firmly. She pinned him in place with a glare. “Apologize, Doctor.”
“I’m very sorry you got hurt, Rose,” the Doctor said earnestly. “I’ll try to avoid Cebu from now on.” Rose started to relax, but the Doctor just didn’t know when to stop. “But really, if you hadn’t—“