Title: Chips, earmuffs and uninhabited planets

Author: Zeke

Summary: Another little salt-and-vignette, featuring Rose and the 9th doctor.

Rating: K, All ages.

Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to Doctor Who, or any of the characters within it. So there!

Rose remembered the first time that she and the Doctor had sat eating chips. It had become a bit of a ritual, one which would have caused a worrying expansion of her belly if she didn't end up doing so much running around and escaping all of the time.

"You're eating them out of my half, you know," the Doctor protested, while attempting to chase her wandering spork away with a sharp prod of his own.

It was always his fault, the running around and escaping. The Doctor had a knack for getting them into trouble; plastic madmen and homicidal trampoline ladies all within the first twenty-four hours of her meeting him. And this was only the tip of the running-and-escaping iceberg. The Doctor now sulked if ever Rose uttered the word "bicycle", much to her rather wicked delight.

"Mine are the big and squidgey ones," Rose replied, while battering such a specimen from the Doctor's spork and taking it for herself. "Yours are that type over there." She jabbed a rather sad-looking pile of small, sharp pieces of burnt potato.

The first time they ate chips had been a welcome diversion from making a difficult decision – travel through space and time with a rather demented alien who thought a 1950s police box was a good disguise for his mode of transport (and eat chips), or stay at home with Mum and Mickey (and serve chips).

"So I get to eat the root equivalent of charred shrapnel while you get all the juicy ones?" he asked, displaying his best put-upon face. Rose didn't dignify his display with more than a withering stare. The Doctor was having none of it though, and stabbed his spork into his side of the carton and dragged the chips away from Rose. He grinned as he saw the enraged look on her face as her mouth formed the word "oi!" and he nabbed a few of the choicest-looking of the remaining chip pile.

It was funny. From what Rose had gathered about the Doctor from the time she had spent with him, she realised that he had an awareness and a source of knowledge that was far greater than any human of his age could hope to have. But here he was, happy while sitting here and just eating chips.

"Don't make me say the word," Rose threatened, a look of feigned reluctance on her face. The Doctor's eyes narrowed in alarm.

"No!" he warned, while leaning in towards his companion. "I told you what would happen if you ever said that word again!" Rose smiled sweetly, opened her mouth in readiness. "I mean it you know," he went on. "You don't want to mess with me, I'm an alien. I could do all sorts of alien stuff and then where would you be?"

Rose leaned in to mimic the Doctor's pose and breathed in dramatically. "Bicycle!" she whispered, and the Doctor shook his head.

"That's it, Rose Tyler," he said. "No more First Class travel for you. If you want to travel by Tardis again, you'll have to nab on to the flashy light on the top!"

Rose smiled – even more sweetly – and took the opportunity to eat the last chip. "All sorts of alien stuff, eh?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Like get saved by a human while not managing to outwit a vat of dodgy-looking plastic with an attitude?"

They got up and continued their argument while leaving the greasy spoon café where they'd completed the Ritual. The Doctor, as he did when losing any argument, was currently suffering from selective hearing and compulsive subject-changing syndrome. They sat down on a park bench in front of some seagulls who were intent on doing a decent bit of posturing about.

Another thing the Doctor was happy doing, just sitting and watching some birds. With her. And sitting eating chips with her. Somehow, just sitting with him after their latest death-defying escapade seemed like the most natural thing in the world. But how long would it last? Seeing the end of the world did put the fact that everything eventually finished in sharp perspective. She shivered at the though.

The Doctor took off his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. Rose snuggled into it; it smelled of old leather and of him. Although she couldn't quite identify the individual scents that made up his "sniff-print", it was a comforting sort of smell.

"Shall we head off then?" the Doctor asked. "It's a bit chilly out here."

"I'm fine," Rose replied, snuggling further into the Doctor's jacket. "I thought you Northerners were meant to be tough?"

The Doctor huffed. "Says the one wearing a jumper and two jackets!" he said, standing up. "Just you wait until I set us down in the middle of an ice age. And I won't be lending out my jacket!" He pulled Rose to her feet and set them off roughly in the direction of the Tardis.

"I would say I'd rather go someplace where we can work on getting a tan," Rose replied. "But I think I've had enough of the Sun for a while."

"Ice Age it is then," said the Doctor. "Hope you brought your earmuffs."

"They'd never fit you, you know," Rose mused. "They'd be lost, trying to keep all of that lug warm."

"Right, that's it!" the Doctor said. "Give me the jacket back!" He grabbed at the collar of his beloved jacket, but Rose dodged and scarpered out of the way. "I'm going to let you off at the next uninhabited planet; I'd be doing the universe a favour!"

Catching sight of the Doctor's favourite put-upon face again, Rose collapsed into a fit of giggles. "Alright," she said, between snorts of laughter. "Here's your jacket back. Don't try to tell me that I'm not nice to you."

"Oh yes," he agreed. "Hand over the jacket now that we've gotten home and we're going inside. How kind of you. I wonder if Kylie Minogue would fancy a trip through time and space instead?"

"Maybe," Rose said. "Although she'd never eat chips."

"Hmm," the Doctor said. "That's not on. Suppose we'll just have to put up with each other then?"

"Well, just until you drop me off at that uninhabited planet," she said. "Can you make sure that it can pick up ITV though? I'd hate to miss Coronation Street."

"I'm sure with a bit of jiggery-pokery, I could get that working. But I refuse to watch it; I can't stand the accents."

Rose stared.

"What?" the Doctor asked, but Rose only continued to stare, her eyebrows raised in disbelief.

"Can't stand the accents?" she repeated incredulously, and the Doctor finally cottoned on to what she was meaning.

"Shut it!"