The Shelf Room


Since their escape from the black hole planet and the loss of the TARDIS, the Doctor had been...a bit peculiar. There was no other word for his condition, Rose thought, as he skipped into the kitchen and fairly dragged her off to what he'd dubbed the Shelf Room. He sucked on his fingers along the way, whining about having hit them with the hammer again.

The Shelf Room was aptly named, and a near-perfect reflection of the psyche of a bored Time Lord: that is to say, full of clutter, inexplicable things, and the occasional spots of genius and fire. Examples included the Mysteriously Humming Shelf (which alternated between a perfect middle C and slightly off-tune depending on the barometric pressure), the Slightly Radioactive Shelf (currently blocked off by the Lead Shelf), a shelf smaller on the inside than the outside ("Perfect for displaying collectible miniatures," the Doctor had said, "if we had any"), the Sonic Shelf ("Well, it's like a shelf, but more sonic." "You don't know what it means either, do you?"), the shelf that always hovered exactly 43.2 centimeters off the ground, the Reverse Gravity Shelf standing on the ceiling and tethered to the floor with bungee cords...

Rose could not see anything particularly odd about the latest model. It looked to be made of average quality pine and was stained with a clear gloss. It didn't move, it didn't produce odd sounds, it didn't smell ominously poisonous. In fact, it did nothing at all. Considering past incidents, this was a bit unnerving. "Doctor, doesn't this one...well, isn't it unusual somehow?"

"It's the Perfectly Ordinary Shelf!" the Doctor proclaimed, carefully pronouncing the capital letters. His manic grin slowly faded as Rose just stared at him, and by the time his eyes had reached kicked-puppy status she felt rather bad.

"If it makes you feel better," Rose tried, "other than the Spontaneously Combusting Shelf, they've all been...quite creative. Very handy. I'm sure mum would love the one that picks up BBC 3."

The Doctor ran one hand along the top of the Perfectly Ordinary Shelf, still pouting and mumbling something that sounded like 'perhaps if I painted it blue' before finally responding. "I did warn you I don't do domestic."


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