Read Winner Takes All Online

Authors: Jacqueline Rayner

Winner Takes All

Table of Contents
Collect all the exciting new
Doctor Who
adventures
:
THE CLOCKWISE MAN
By Justin Richards
THE MONSTERS INSIDE
By Stephen Cole
DOCTOR WHO:
WINNER TAKES ALL
By Jacqueline Rayner
This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
Epub ISBN: 9781409073529
Version 1.0
  
10 9
Published in 2005 by BBC Books, an imprint of Ebury Publishing
Ebury Publishing is a division of the Random House Group
© Jacqueline Rayner 2005
Jacqueline Rayner has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this
Work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Original series broadcast on BBC television
Format © BBC 1963
‘Doctor Who', TARDIS' and the Doctor Who logo are trademarks of the
British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009
Addresses for companies within the Random House Group can be found at
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The Random House Group Limited makes every effort to ensure that the papers used in our books are made from trees that have been legally sourced from well-managed and credibly certified forests. Our paper procurement policy can be found on
www.randomhouse.co.uk
ISBN-10: 0 563 48627 9
ISBN-13: 978 0 563 48627 5 (from Jan 2007)
Commissioning Editors: Shirley Patton/Stuart Cooper
Creative Director and Editor: Justin Richards
Production Controller: Alenka Oblak
Doctor Who is a BBC Wales production for BBC ONE
Executive Producers: Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Mal Young
Producer: Phil Collinson
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover design by Henry Steadman © BBC 2005
Typeset in Albertina by Rocket Editorial, Aylesbury, Bucks
Printed and bound in Germany by GGP Media GmbH
For Nick
‘I thought I'd better call home,' said Rose, wandering into the
TARDIS
's huge, vaulted control room and waving her phone at the Doctor.
The Doctor had his arms crossed and was leaning with his back against a wall, staring across at the large, circular structure that sat in the centre of the room, on which a myriad of lights flickered and sparkled. His face shone green in the glow from a tall, thin column in the centre of the structure which indicated that they were in flight. Rose didn't know where they were going, but perhaps the Doctor could tell from observing these things exactly where in the universe the time-and-space machine was taking them. He nodded at her. She felt slightly cheated, having geared herself up for – well, not an argument, just that flicker of displeasure that occasionally crossed his face when she mentioned family.
She pushed a bit further. ‘It's just that my mum'll worry. You know that my mum'll worry. And I did promise. Sort of.'
He nodded again. ‘And you think she'll worry less if you tell her you've been out facing aliens but at the moment you're just spinning through the space-time vortex.'
Rose frowned. ‘She'll worry less if she thinks I'm not dead!'
The Doctor – her best friend, the Doctor, who outwardly seemed to be a striking, forty-ish human with a soft northern accent, but was, she knew, actually a 900-year-old alien from some galaxy far, far away – could be a bit dismissive of her mum's worries sometimes. She wasn't sure if it was something to do with not being human, or just something to do with being the Doctor. She didn't even know if he'd ever had a mum of his own. If you didn't understand mums in general, there was no way you'd get Jackie Tyler.
‘I'll just give her a quick call. Well, I say quick, she'll keep me on for hours, wanting to know everything – she can talk for England, my mum can. Hope you weren't planning to stop off at any planets this morning.'
He grinned. ‘My planet-hopping can wait till this afternoon.'
She smiled back, and pressed the speed-dial button that called her mum. She just had to accept that, through the Doctor's genius, her ordinary mobile could now transcend space and time; if she thought about it too much her mind began to feel like it was overheating.
The phone rang six times before it was picked up, which surprised Rose. Her mum loved nothing better than a good old natter, and the phone was usually snatched up when it had barely got out its first
brring.
‘Hiya, Mum,' she said.
The voice at the other end was exuberant. ‘Rose! What are you doing? Where are you?' Then a slight pause. ‘Are you still with him?'
Rose smiled. ‘I'm just hanging around in the time machine. And yeah, I'm still with him.'
The Doctor looked up at this and did a sarky wave that she knew was directed at Jackie. Rose waved back happily. ‘Mum says hi,' she said, with her hand over the phone.
‘And are you planning on coming home any time soon?' Jackie was saying. ‘Everyone misses you. Mickey misses you. I miss you. You know, one of these days you'll decide to come home and it'll be too late, I won't be here any more.'
Rose sighed. ‘Don't be silly, Mum. I'll pop back for a visit soon. Make sure the family silver gets a good polish ready.'
‘Family silver!' Rose could hear Jackie's voice go up a notch. ‘It might please you to joke, my girl, but I'll have you know that I've just won the lottery.'
‘You what?' Rose said. ‘That's incredible! I don't believe it! How much?'
There was a sound, somewhere outside Jackie's end of the phone call. A shout, or a cry, or something. ‘Listen love, I've got to go now. Lovely to hear from you. Gotta go.'
There was a click, and the phone was silent. Rose looked down at it in surprise. Then, shaking her head, she slipped the phone back in her pocket.
‘Talk for England, you said,' the Doctor commented, strolling over to the central controls. ‘Can't get her off the phone.'
‘My mum's won the lottery!' Rose started pacing around the control room, her eyes shining. ‘How brilliant is that? We'll be able to get a great big house –'
The Doctor raised an eyebrow, gesturing at the enormous room in which they stood.
‘– go on holiday – the Caribbean or somewhere – or Florida!'
The Doctor stared at her. ‘I can take you anywhere in time and space!'
She wasn't listening. ‘I've always wanted to go to Disneyland.'
‘Yeah, brilliant, grown men dressed up as mice and kids being sick on roller coasters. I can take you to planets where there are real talking mice. And ducks!'
She shrugged. ‘But you haven't, though, have you? And you wouldn't take my mum, anyway.'
He grinned. ‘Well, maybe not. Don't wanna scare the mice.' He carried on before Rose could respond. ‘She all happy then, is she? Too busy spending to talk to you?'
Rose grimaced. ‘Yeah, that was weird.' She paused for a second, and then gave him what she hoped was a winning smile. ‘Don't s'pose we could pop home for a bit, could we? Just to check on her.'
‘D'you think something's up?' he asked.
‘No, not really. But she did say something about not being there when I get back,' Rose said. ‘Don't want to turn up one day and find she's gone off to some country mansion and chucked out all my stuff.'
‘A couple of old posters and a teddy bear? Yeah, that'd be a tragedy.'
Rose gave him a mock glare. ‘I'm nineteen years old, I think I have grown out of teddy bears, and I do have a few more possessions than that. Some of which have sentimental value, I'll have you know. So could we go home please? Just for a flying visit, I promise.'
‘Yeah, all right.' He nodded, and started setting a course. ‘I don't know, humans, always come with so much baggage . . .'
‘Yeah, it's a crime, isn't it?' she agreed. And then, after a moment. ‘You don't really think she'd chuck out Mr Tedopoulos, do you?'
The Doctor just grinned.
ONE
T
he
TARDIS
landed in a courtyard on the Powell Estate. Rose popped her head out of the doorway, saw the Chinese takeaway in front of her, the library and youth club over to one side, and realised that the time machine had come back to its favourite spot; it'd landed here before.
She stepped out of the spaceship. On the outside it looked like a tall blue box, an old-fashioned police box – big enough in its way, big enough to fit in five or six people, if they were prepared to be quite friendly, but not big enough to fit in an enormous control room and all the other bits that formed the inside of the TARDIS. She'd come to accept it – funny how quickly you got used to even the most incredible things – but it was something else that her mind didn't really like to dwell on, not the ins and outs and hows and whys of it all.
There to her right was Bucknall House, and there, if she squinted upwards, was number 48. Home. Or was it? She turned back to the blue box. Well, no one said you couldn't have more than one home.
Rose had still got a key, but as the two of them climbed up the concrete steps towards the flat she wondered if she should really use it. Key out of her pocket, look at it, put it back in, take it out again, look at it . . . It wasn't as if her mum was expecting her, and she didn't want to catch her out. If Jackie had won the lottery the champagne would have been flowing a bit, and goodness knows what state the flat – and Jackie – would be in by now.
She hesitated for a moment on the walkway outside the front door, key in her hand. Then she knocked on the door.

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