You Have Got To Be Kidding...
The Supervisor ran his finger along the mark of burnt rubber on the creche's carpet, and thought.
Hmm. The toddlers had broken out (by means of a jet-propelled pushchair, if he interpreted the clues correctly), the parents were going to be back soon and would want to know where their babies were, the playroom had been left seriously damaged... and, if he guessed right, the denizens of This Time Round were about to receive a very nasty surprise.
He grinned. Oh yeah, this was gonna be fun...
Anji looked up from her laptop... and blinked. There was a toddler sitting on the table. Large brown eyes, small nose and mouth, black hair, _definitely_ Pakistani... Anji blinked again. For some reason, the toddler had a mobile phone down her nappy. She reminded Anji of something, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it...
Try sweet reason, Anji's logic said. On a *toddler*?! experience replied. You ain't never _tried_ that... Well, it seems logical, logic replied. Experience threw up its hands, and walked away muttering.
'Err...Hello.' Anji therefore cautiously tried.
'What you doing?' the toddler asked.
'Err... I'm trying to keep track of the companions' share options...' Anji tried.
The toddler looked at the laptop screen, looked at Anji, raised her eyebrows and said 'Get out of Mondasian shares. The economy's taken a _massive_ downswing...'
'You know, you look just like Mum when you do that...' the toddler told her, in all innocence.
Desperately trying to regain control of the coversation (fat chance, experience said) Anji said 'So... what's your name?'
'Anji,' the toddler told her. 'What's yours?'
Oh no. Oh no, oh no, no, no, no, no, no.... They said you'd meet other versions of yourself... but this... this is just taking the *piss*...
'Didn't think you were the parental type...'
'Neither did I. Why?'
'Because there's a toddler behind you. For one thing, he looks like you, and for another...'
'...he's about to give you a wedgie.'
'Right.... Gotcha! What was _that_ in aid of?'
'You look funny.'
'...look behind you.'
The toddler looked up at Benny with adoring eyes. Unfortunately, Benny wasn't in the mood.
'Sweetie?' the toddler said, holding out a bag of white balls.
Benny took one, and started sucking. 'Listen, young lady, when someone is trying to write their best-selling sequel to their best-selling archaeology book, you do _not_ crawl across the keyboard!'
The toddler looked at Benny. 'You sound like my friend Benny....She can't finish stories either.'
Benny pulled the pill out of her mouth. 'I can _so_ finish stories.... It's just that, welll...'
'No you can't.'
'Yes, I can!'
'No you can't.'
'Yes, I can!'
A small part of Benny's brain observed that she was in a shouting match with a toddler. It was quickly hushed.
'No you can't.'
'Yes, I can!'
'No you... Don't throw that away!'
Benny stared at the toddler. 'Why?'
There was a muffled explosion.
Benny picked the baby up. 'Let me guess. You're baby Ace, aren't you...'
Adric pulled the rubber arrow off his head. 'All right... what was _that_ in aid of?'
The baby Trakenite looked at him. 'Who needs a reason?'
'Because, usually...' Adric began. He was interrupted when something whacked into his shin. He looked down.
A little Death, complete with Nerf scythe, had just taken a swing at his leg.
Adric closed his eyes. Okay. This was getting just _too_ weird.
Liz looked over the shoulders of the two red-haired toddlers. 'That looks interesting. What is it?'
'A working theorem for hyperspace travel.' one of them told her in all seriousness.
'Really? Does it work?'
The toddlers stared at her as if she were an idiot. 'Of _course_ it works. We just need a hyperspace engine to use it. Obviously.' The toddler hiccupped.
'And besides,' the other one said. 'I hold multiple doctorates. It'll work.'
Liz blinked. 'Okay... Where did you get a doctorate?'
'From your study. Cammy here thought they looked interesting.'
The other toddler raised an eyebrow. 'Really, Liz? As I recall, _you_ were the one who-'
'Shutupshutupshutupshutupshutup!!' Baby Liz turned to Liz. 'That shouldn't detract from the veracity of what I'm going to say... HHHEEELLLLPPPP!!!!!'
'Hey. Leave the toddlers alone.'
Liz turned round. Standing behind her was a little boy in... Oh no... a green frock coat, with... oh _no_... a fob watch tucked into his nappy.
Oh dear God. A baby Eighth Doctor?
'Okay...' Liz said. 'Let me... Oooof!'
She shot a dark look at the baby Doctor from her prone position on the floor. And blinked. How on Earth had he managed to tie her shoelaces together? He hadn't been near them....
'Uuuuurrrrgggghhhh.... All right. Does anybody know where, in Rassilon's name, all these babies _came_ from?'
'Improves the colour,' Frobisher observed.
'Sartorial comments are not what's required at the moment, Frobisher... And besides, my coat looks fine as it is,' the Sixth Doctor said. 'Now, what do you have to say for yourself, young lady?'
The blonde-haired toddler pulled her thumb out of her mouth. 'My name's
Romanadvoratrelundar. And I'm going to have that coat vaporised. 'Cause _I_ rule Gallifrey.'
The Sixth stared at her for a moment. Then he broke into peals of laughter. In between, he grinned 'Frobisher, go and get a camera. Holographic, for preference. Romana's _never_ going to live this down....'
'Look who's talking,' the baby Romana told him.
'_I_ have nothing to be embarrassed about,' the Sixth told her.
Baby Romana shook her head. 'Look Who's Talking. Our day care centre. That's where we're from. You _did_ ask.' she added, noting the expression on his face.
'You were saying, Doc?'
'Just get the camera, Frobisher...'
After several hours of effort, with everyone in This Time Round shanghaied into the job, all the toddlers had been rounded up. Now, there was just one small problem left...
Anji put the 'phone down. 'The Supervisor says he doesn't have the staff to take all of them back. At least, not before these kids' parents get back...'
'Did you ask him about directing their parents here?' the Fifth Doctor asked.
Anji nodded. 'Yep. He said "Do you _really_ want to explain to their, and your, parents, just how they ended up in a pub?".'
Roz winced. '_Not_ good...'
'Well, there _is_ one other option...' the Fourth Doctor pointed out.
'Everyone pick up a toddler, and follow me...'
Roz covered her eyes. 'Cwej, what _are_ you doing?'
'I'm being an ornithopter,' Chris explained.
Baby Chris went 'WWWHHHEEEE!!!!'
Baby Roz, in Roz's arms, looked up at her. 'He never changes, does he?'
'Nope,' Roz said. 'This is about as good as it gets... Cwej, keep your eye on the scorch marks, okay? We're supposed to be Adjudicators, not ornithopters.'
Chris grinned. 'You're the boss.'
Roz rolled her eyes. 'I wonder, sometimes... Ah. Last road.'
'How can you tell?'
'The shattered door was a good clue...'
The denizens of This Time Round hauled their struggling (and in some cases, clawing, biting, and dematerialising) cargo into the day care centre.
Sam looked around. 'Nice place...'
'Finally,' Fitz muttered. '...Get _off_ me!'
'No,' baby Sam said. 'You're funny.'
Fitz hauled her up, and looked her in the eye. 'I may be funny, but that lady over there's even funnier...'
Baby Sam considered this for a moment. 'Okay.'
'Here you go.'
Sam looked down at the two babies she was carrying. 'Fitz...'
'Just getting them a bottle of milk....'
The assorted babies of Look Who's Talking looked at the exhausted, and dozing, adults, around them.
'That was fun,' baby Chris said. 'Can we do it again?'
The baby Eighth grinned. 'Not _quite_ yet. Better let them recover first...'
'Why?' baby Izzy asked.
'Well...' the baby Eighth began. 'Ahhh.... Watch, this is interesting.' He pointed to a blank space of wall.
Which, as they watched, slowly transformed. First a door handle, perfectly positioned for a toddler... then a door frame... then panelling... then hinges...
Until, finally, there was a fully formed door there.
Baby Mel boggled. 'How did _that_ happen?'
The baby Eighth shrugged. 'Meta-continuity physics. Look Who's Talking may not be bigger on the inside than on the outside... but it is continuity-transcendental. In making two continuity-transcendant places aware of each other, we've forced both places to decide how they're going to inter-relate... and it appears they've decided _this_' he pointed at the door. 'is the safest way they can do it.'
'Pardon?' baby Anji said.
'It's a magic door.' the baby Eighth explained.
'Oh.' the others chorused.
Baby Seventh patted the door. 'And with it, we can go back and forth between the two...'
Baby Adric raised a hand. 'Should we tell the Adults?'
Baby Romana smirked. 'No. Look at them. They're all tired out.' She shook her head. 'Just can't keep up with a toddler these days... No. We'll just let them rest.'
'For the moment...' baby Compassion added, with a smirk of her own.
The baby Master started the Laugh of Evil (tm).
Then the baby Kroton bonked him over the head with a plastic stick.
'Ow! Hey, it seemed appropriate...'
The Supervisor sat back in his chair and watched as the toddlers started brawling again, while oblivious adults slept around them.
Everything was back to normal.
Well, as normal as things ever got in the realms outside continuity...
Which wasn't all that normal, now he came to think of it.
But then normal was a relative state of mind anyway...
He sat back with a relaxed smile on his face, and pulled his hat down over his eyes.
'Que sera, sera...'
Copyright 2001 Imran Inayat