There was a scritching at the door.
"Doctor," Called the tall redheaded woman. She waited for a response and then sighed, "DOCTOR!" she bellowed.
The doctor straightened to answer and bashed his head on the underside of the console, "Ow! What?"
"We are, are we not, in deep space?" She asked.
"Right you are. Deep space. Its where we are and stuck until I restart the colagulating pulse instigator." The Doctor replied, coming out from under the console, one hand clutching his head where he'd hit it, the other a pile of wires. "Did you see where I put my snips?"
"I ask this question," she said, ignoring his question, "because we have a scratching at the door. One would think, that because we're in deep space, that there wouldn't be any such thing."
The Doctor cocked his head to one side and listened and then nodded, "Right you are, that is, indeed, scratching at the door."
"Well?" She demanded.
"Oh! Right." He looked at the pile of wires and started to fiddle, "Shouldn't you answer it then?"
"Answer it? You're madder than usual." She muttered, walking across to the door of the TARDIS. "We're in deep space and he has me answering the bloomin' door like it's Avon calling."
Opening the portal revealed a buff coloured bunny with lop ears and an irritated expression. "It's a rabbit!"
Said rabbit hopped past her and thumped.
"Mickey!" The Doctor cried with glee. "Long time no see! Well, not all THAT long, all things relative and all that, but good to see you!"
"You're talking to a rabbit!" The redhead protested.
"He's not just a rabbit, he's Mickey!" The Doctor crouched down, "Don't suppose I can borrow your teeth, can I? Right about here, and here..?" He gestured.
Mickey sighed and hopped over, "Hmph, fine." The voice came from the console, the TARDIS translating for the human in th eroom.
"He can talk!"
"Of course he can talk!" The Doctor held the various bits he wanted snipped and Mr Mick complied. "All animals can talk, you just have to know how to listen!" He paused to give Mick a scritch on his nose, "Mr Mick, aka Mickey, that's Donna, my companion. She's a bit rough around the edges, but she's a heart of gold!"
"Oi! She's standing right here!" Donna protested.
Mickey looked over his shoulder at her, "Shouldn't she close the door before she lets all the air out?"
"What am I? The butler?" Donna muttered, attempting to slam the door, that instead just shut with its usual click. "So, besides playing wire cutters, why is there a rabbit on the TARDIS."
"An excellent question! Not that I'm not happy to see you, of course, you're welcome to drop by for tea anytime Mr Mick, but, why are you here?"
Mickey sat back on his haunches, "Someone has been mucking about with the rabbit portals!" He thumped a foot for emphasis. "And I can't go visit Speedy! He said he has extra oats and *everything*"
"I can see how that'd be a bit of a problem." The Doctor agreed. "Let me take a boo, then." He scrambled to his feet, dropping the bundled wires and pulled over his monitor.
"You can pet me if you like," Mickey said to Donna, giving her his best cute look.
"Oh, I can, eh? Lucky me." Grumbled Donna, but she sat down on the floor and stroked Mickeys head, "Oh, your fur is so soft!" She said delighted.
Mick gave a brief tooth pur, "Thank you!" He wiggled closer, "Start at the nose and up the bridge to the ears is the best petting, but ear rubs are nice too."
"I'm taking orders from a bunny." Donna said with some whimsy. "New thing every day."
"Right-o." The Doctor said, "Seems that there's been some overlaps with the portals. They're getting more use, as there's more bunnies who've been using them for shopping trips and pirating and things. Mix in the sunspot activity in that era and neighbourhood and the walls of the tunnels were weakening, so they all sort of shut down in a safety measure."
Mickey tried to concentrate on the important matter at hand, but he had to admit that Donna was a very good bunny petter for a newbie. "So, how does it get fixed, then? Give the sun acne cream for its spots?"
"Oh that's clever." Donna observed.
"He's a very clever rabbit, told me so himself." The Doctor agreed. "Anyway, what all you need to do is find a better powersource than what you've got."
"What powers the tunnels now?" Mick asked with curiosity. He'd never really given it any thought.
"You bunnies, do. It's why you nap so much. Your energy is going into all sorts of projects." The Doctor replied, fiddling with the console a bit.
"HA! I knew it wasn't 'cause I was lazy. Will poop in The Boy's shoes for that one!"
"Poop in his shoes? That's a bit rude." Donna said with a frown.
"Its just fertilizer. Hay. Nothing gushy."
"Oh, well, that's all better, that is!" Donna grumbled. "Stay away from my shoes!"
"Of course!" Mickey agreed. He'd stay away from her shoes for as long as she petted, anyway. "So how do we fix it?" Mickey asked again. The Doctor seemed to get distracted every which way if you didn't keep pestering him.
"Oh, I'm thinking that is we just reroute dreaming into powering, it will offer a renewable, powerful, resource that'll power your tunnels just fine. Probably use it for other things too, but I'm not sure what all you rabbits need."
"Food, tunnels, scritches.." Mickey answered playfully.
"Oh, yes, can't forget the scritches." The Doctor said. "Right-o then. Just give me a minute or two. Did you want me to send a message out on the W3 that everythings working again? When I get it working, of course."
"W3? What's that?" Donna asked.
"World Wild Web. Kind of like the world wide web, but a bit furrier."
"So you're saying, there's animals out there, who use the internet?" Donna asked with disbelief.
"Hundreds, if not thousands!" The Doctor agreed.
Mr Mick nudged her hand, surprise was no reason to stop petting the bunny!
Donna dutifully went back to stroking the silky-soft nose.
Silence reigned the TARDIS for several minutes.
"RIGHT!" The Doctor said, causing both Donna and Mick to jump. "All done. Anything else I can do for you, Mr Mick? Oh, wait, I know!" He started running around the console, flipping switched.
"Here we go again," Donna grumbled, "Grab onto something, we're gonna get tossed about!"
Mr Mick scrambled onto her lap, deciding that human cooties were the lesser of the two evils; he didn't want to be tossed about.
Donna scooped up the rabbit to hold him against her shoulder as the TARDIS started to thrash about as it whirled through the time vortex.
The TARDIS gave a final lurch and landed with a thud. "There we go, your pal Jensen's front door. If you want to go grab him, we'll then head to Speedy's and we should be in time for tea!"
Mickey wasn't sure he wanted to go through that whirlagig a second time, but decided it was easier than tunneling. Besides, he'd almost figured out where the Doctor's stash of jammy dodgers was.
"We're chauffering rabbits now, are we?" Donna asked, bemused as Mickey hopped out the door.
"Well, why not? They're cute little fellows. House broken, if they don't break the house, and its not too far out of our way."
Donna shook her head, "Animals and children." she said, with a smile.
"Animals and children," he agreed.