"We have to pretend to be married?" Rose asked the Doctor, dumbfounded.
"Yep!" he replied, popping the "p". "This is the planet Dashuri. It's illegal for anyone over the age of 16 to be single. Everyone is married, and they take extreme pride in it. So, not only do we have to pretend to be married, we need to be convincing. There are no unhappy marriages here. Well, I'm sure some people are unhappy, the chance of everyone being completely content is astronomically small, but no one shows it in public. To do so would be uncivilized and highly offensive."
The Doctor rambled a bit more about the statistics of marriages on this planet while he slipped a ring on both their fingers. Rose tried not to show how giddy she was to go along with this ruse.
"Right. Ok. We'll only be here for a bit though, yeah?" she asked.
He nodded and stepped out of the Tardis. "Just need to pick up a part, then we'll be off again to that beach planet I promised you. You'll love it, Rose. No need for sun cream and the sand just falls off your skin instead of sticking. Green water, too. Not just green, but neon green."
Rose closed the door behind her and placed her hands on her hips. "Ok, well, let's get this over with, shall we?"
He hummed in affirmation and took her hand, steering her to the multitude of shop stalls in the market place. It was the most colorful venue she had ever seen; each stall was a literal rainbow, and the colors were so bright that she had to squint.
The Doctor hauled her to a table with a blinding amount of hues. "Look here, Honey! Appsolonian fabric — never tears!"
Rose's steps faltered at his use of a term of endearment. "Did you just call me Honey?"
"Sorry," he whispered. "they use a lot of pet names on this planet. Best to join in to keep up appearances, Doll Face"
"Whatever you say, Sweetie Pie." Rose offered him a tongue-touched grin, and he rolled his eyes playfully.
"Oh, you can do better than that, Snickerdoodle," he challenged.
"Wanna bet, Pumpkin?"
He cocked an eyebrow. "Bring it on, Boobear."
Rose laughed and followed the Doctor along the rows of vendor stands. Every now and then, she heard other couples addressing one another with cute nicknames like he claimed. It was amusing to hear so many different terms of affection. She wondered how many her and the Doctor could come up with.
"Poopsie Doodles, take a look at this." The Doctor pointed to a table full of odd bits and bobbles. "Multi-use tools, kinda like a swiss army knife on your planet, only these have 1,000 little gizmos."
"Isn't your screwdriver better, Schnookums?" she asked.
"No question, Cutie Patootie, but I do love a good gadget."
Rose snorted at the moniker. "Of course you do, Snuggleluffagus."
He continued to lead her around the market until he spotted food stalls.
"Are you hungry, Puddin' Pop?" he asked. "There's an ice cream stand just up ahead. 500 different flavors."
"No thanks, Baby Cakes, I'm still full from breakfast."
"Ah ha! Jujubee, there's the part I need!" he exclaimed suddenly in delight and ran to a nearby vendor.
"Fabulous, Monkey Muffins. Let's get it and head to that beach you promised me." Rose joined him at the table.
After a few minutes of bartering, the Doctor handed over some local currency and happily scooped up his part.
"Alright, let's go, Love," he said.
Rose froze in front of the stall as he walked away. The Doctor noticed she wasn't following him and started searching around himself in a frantic circle. He finally spotted her and ambled over to where she was rooted to the ground, heart racing.
"Rose? Love? Are you alright?" He searched her face in concern.
She opened and closed her mouth a few times, at a loss for words. The Doctor's jaw went slack when he realized what he had said, and his eyes opened comically wide. He seemed to panic for a moment, one hand alternately rubbing the back of his neck and pulling on his ear, but then he stopped and gazed at her. His face softened and a tiny smile lifted the corners of his mouth.
The Doctor grabbed her hand, twining their fingers together. "C'mon, Love. The beach awaits."
Rose swallowed hard and finally found her voice. "L-love?"
"Yes, love," he said quietly, squeezing her fingers.
She smiled broadly and squeezed back. The Doctor leaned down and placed a very quick, soft kiss on her lips. A blush spread across her cheeks as he waggled his eyebrows, grinning like mad, and pulled her along back to the Tardis.
Rose admitted defeat in their name game.