Summary: The Doctor and Rose get a little more than they bargained for when he takes her out for a friendly meal. Just fluff, romance if you squint.

Characters: Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler and a rather rude waiter /grin/

Disclaimer: Not mine. Seriously. I don't think I even want to claim ownership over this one.

Rating: K+ (mild sexual references)

Genre: Romance/Fluff/General

Author's Note: It's just a bit of a silly story I whirled off a while ago and found in the old files of my computer. Not exactly a show-off of my writing skills, but hopefully not that diabolical either. Enjoy!

Just Dinner

This was definitely not his fault.

In retrospect, perhaps it had been a little out of order for shouting at the waiter so. Mind, you, perhaps it had been 'a little out of order' for the smarmy know-it-all git to try and flirt with Rose in the first place. Perhaps it was her fault, too, for flirting back so obviously, tilting her head, grinning slyly.

Whatever the case, this – now – was not his fault.

"This is your fault," Rose muttered when they were stood outside the restaurant.

The Doctor shook himself, freeing up his jacket from the rough hands of the bouncers who had escorted them out of the restaurant.

"It's not my fault that pretty-boy couldn't control himself."

"Doctor, he was just doing his job!" He looked at her incredulously, so she sighed, dug around in her handbag, and continued. "Look, this is what it says."

She produced some sort of leaflet with a flourish and made to read it. However, the Doctor reached over, plucked it from her fingers and grazed his eyes sceptically over the text. Rose sighed pointedly as she watched him.

"See? 'Fine choice of Rest & Relaxation restaurants, in which a complimentary waiter will serve you'," she quoted. "He was just being polite."

The Doctor arched and amused eyebrow before tucking the leaflet into his jacket and cracking into a full grin.

Rose blinked at him. "What? You didn't find it so funny half an hour ago."

"Rose..." he began, but then quite promptly burst out laughing.

She put her hands on her hips and tapped the floor with her shoe impatiently. "Doctor," she warned.

He cleared his throat and straightened, but could not fight his smirk. "Y'know, I thought it was a bit weird that way you were so keen to come here. Now I understand."

She looked perplexed. "Doctor, what are you talking about?"

"You had a leaflet. Obviously come across this place before. Though how, I really don't know."

"I thought you left me the leaflet," she answered confused.

The Doctor stopped smiling. "You what?"

"I came out the shower and it was just lying there, on the bed. I had a quick glance through, thought it seemed nice, so came to find you."

It was his turn to look confused. "Rose, I didn't leave that for you. Not in a million years."

"Oh... Why not in a million years?"

He dug into his jacket again and took out said leaflet, opening it up and pointing to the introductory paragraph. Rose leant over to read it, then immediately recoiled and blushed.

"Oh," she said in a small voice, looking away from him as the blush burned ferociously at her cheeks. "Oh. Um..."

"Yes," the Doctor shrugged, replacing it. "You see, now?"

She looked back to him nervously. "So... this place..." She gestured to the building. "It's a... um..."

"Modern day, alien orientated, swank and seedy brothel, yes Rose."

"And that waiter...?"

"When they say 'complimentary' Rose, they don't mean polite."

She stared at him, eyes wide. He looked back with a gentle smile while she considered the previous evening in her head. The Doctor, after a while, looked at her inquiringly.

"What is it?" he asked after a while.

"Doctor, neither you nor me knew that that place was... a..." she trailed off, the green glow from the street-lamp illuminating a blush across her cheek.

"A house of ill repute?" he offered with a grin.

"Yeah," she nodded quickly. "Well, neither of us knew. So that waiter, he could have just been – flirting. As far as we were concerned, I mean."

"So?" the Doctor shrugged non-committally.

Her eyes sparkled. "You still yelled at him. You told him to keep his hands to himself."


He shuffled awkwardly, avoiding her gaze. Truth be told, he had been acting completely on instinct. In the moment, while they had been enjoying each other's company, he had forgotten everything of the TARDIS, of space and time, of the adventures, of their past, and had enjoyed her for who she was. Not that he didn't do that anyway, but there was something about the evening that had made him look at Rose in a completely new light. The sort of light that might have, possibly, meant that they were more to each other than was actually so. That their relationship was reaching on a different level.

And anyone who threatened to take away a Time Lord's romantic partner had to be dealt with severely. It just wasn't on: like saying suggestive things to a married woman, luring her away.

Looking at it now, of course, he put it down to the atmosphere of the place.

"... He had no right to speak to you like that," the Doctor offered at last. It wasn't exactly like he could explain to Rose the finer reasons for his actions.

"All he said was that my skin had a nice complexion!"

The Doctor smirked. "Rose, the aliens on this planet – I don't mean it to sound corny, but to put it bluntly, they have receptors in their eyes that are stronger than you humans; they can pick up on more than the naked eye."

She frowned at him, evidently not quite understanding. "So..."

He sighed and shook his head laughingly, before putting it into terms she would understand. "X-ray vision, Rose."

"Oh," she smiled. Then the smiled turned into a frown again and she met his eye. "What's wrong with that?"

"He wasn't looking at your face when he said it."

Realisation dawned on her and she choked, blushing like someone had just lit her on fire. Bringing a hand to her mouth in embarrassed shock, she stared at the Doctor.

"Oh God. So when he said... and then I said... Oh God, Doctor, how could you let me do that?"

He grinned proudly. "I didn't, if you recall. I kicked up a fuss, didn't I? Which is why we're standing out here and our dinner is sitting in there. Getting cold."

She turned around and cast the house a wary look. "It looks so... nice... from the outside."

The Doctor couldn't help a large grin. "It is so nice!"

"What?" Rose asked, shooting him a sharp look. "And how would you know, then, Doctor?" she teased.

"The leaflet said so," he countered quickly. She looked at him dubiously. "Honestly," he grinned, "I've never been here before. I hardly would have gone in with you if I had, would I?"

She raised him a somewhat amused eyebrow. "Wouldn't you?"

"Nah," he grinned. "I don't need posh restaurants, gorgeous bedrooms and smarmy waiters to help me seduce women."

Rose couldn't help grinning at him, sticking her tongue out between the corner of her teeth. She gave him a coy, side-on look. "Seducing me are you then, Doctor?"

He gave her a strange look, somewhere between amused and completely baffled. "Rose, if I seduced you, you wouldn't even be able to stand."

She gave him a playful hit on the arm.

"Ow!" he laughed. "What was that for?"

"Your big head," she teased.

The Doctor put on a face of mock-affronted. "No, Rose I mean it. You actually would not be able to stand up. Your legs would buckle before you could say 'bedtime'."

She stared at him, her smile fading. "Really?"

"Yup!" he grinned. Then he patted his chest proudly. "Master of seduction, me."

"But... how?"

He gave her a small wink, nudging her in the ribs. "Oh, wouldn't you like to know."

She gave a small laugh. "Yeah," she grinned, before she could stop herself.

The Doctor straightened, and they considered each other for an awkward moment. Rose reached to tangle her finger in her hair, shifting her weight from one foot to the other in the growing silence.

"Right," the Doctor coughed, staring down the street-lamp lit road. "Shall we find somewhere else for dinner, then?"

Rose snorted. "You mean somewhere that isn't a brothel?"

"We'll call that one a mistake, I think," the Doctor grimaced. "Though honestly, the next time you want to go 'out' for something to eat, would you kindly not pick somewhere you happen to find lying around?"

"It looked nice enough on the brochure," she shrugged.

The Doctor offered his hand and met her eye. "Not everything does what it says on the tin," he told her wisely.

Rose gave him an odd expression, mid way between a smile and a frown, before taking his hand.

"What's that supposed to mean, Doctor?"

"Just that," he smiled. "Don't go judging things on how you see them, that's all. You can't really comment until you know exactly what you're dealing with."

They shared a long moment of gazing at each other, the flickering lamps playing shadows across their faces. The Doctor tightened his hand on Rose's and she squeezed back.

"What am I dealing with?" she asked quietly, her eyes on him.

"More than you'll ever know."

They walked back, hand in hand, to the TARDIS. It was only when they pulled up outside that door that the Doctor stopped and gazed for a moment at Rose. She smiled bashfully, tilting her head and reaching past her shoulder to rub at her ear.

The Doctor grinned boyishly. "Got any more bright ideas for dinner?"

"Thought you didn't trust me?" she teased gently, swinging their hands slightly.

"Oh, I trust you Rose – I just don't trust all the other men out there who think you're theirs for the taking."

"I'm not theirs, Doctor," she said softly as he pushed open the door. He stopped and looked at her for a lingering moment, taking in a long breath through his nose.

"I know," he answered quietly, his eyes flickering in the eerie light.

The pair walked back in to the Time Machine, discussing ideas for where to go next. It was shortly decided that posh dinners were overrated, and they each settled for a portion of chips from a fish & chip shop just off the coast of East England.

The Doctor watched Rose stuff the potato snacks into her mouth, and smiled to himself.

There were worse ways to spend his days.