Alienated Encounter

By Marisha

"Rose, let's go!" the Doctor hopped from one foot to the other. "Ancient Spain awaits us!"

"You try putting on all these layers in a rush," Rose called from the corridor.

"Ya, well—," the Doctor looked down at his coat and made a half turn on the spot with his arms out-stretched wide.

"Multifunctional. One fits all occasions," he said smugly.

"So if," he called louder, "the lady —" His mouth fell open. Rose stepped through the door. He blinked rapidly as she descended the stairs. A satin dress from the Golden Age era of Spain snuggled closely over her curves ending in a wide swinging skirt. The dark red favored her blonde hair, which hung in soft curls from a loose bun.

"You look—" He swallowed hard before finding his normal voice pitch again.

Rose raised an eyebrow.

"Beautiful! Extraordinary!" He closed his mouth.

"You think?" Rose turned on the spot. "It's a bit stiff."

He swallowed again and looked away quickly. "Not really."

"Where did you get it from anyway?" Rose walked over to him.

He scratched his head, still avoiding looking at her. "A friend. Long story. Shall we go?" He offered her his arm.

Rose smiled. "Lead on."

They stepped out. A horn blared and Rose managed to pull the Doctor back in the last second as a bus thundered past them.

"Ancient Spain?" Rose looked amused as he tried to brush the dust off his coat.

Vehicles were zooming past them hovering a meter above ground.

"That can't be!" He looked frantically around, pulling his hair. He took two steps to the right, turned sharp and pace three past Rose to the left. "Guess this is the PLANET Spain."

"As in the same system as the planet Barcelona?" Rose bit her lip to not burst out laughing.

He scratched his head sheepishly. "The one. Must have misdialed slightly."

"The timeframe is right, though?" Rose's eyes flashed in amusement.

"Totally. Time is right—" he stopped as Rose's laughter echoed through the high rises surrounding them.

He frowned sternly for a second, but couldn't resist her laughter. He grinned and tucked her arm under his.

"Never mind, shall we go then?"

They strolled down a wide avenue leading to a cobble-stoned plaza flanked with tree-like plants.

"Beautiful." Rose let go of his arm and danced to the centre. The Doctor watched her, grinning.

"Hola, guapa!"

A group of humanoids of Rose's age lingered in the shadow of the trees.

"On the way to a carnival?" A muscle-packed youth whistled.

The group howled.

"No, she stepped out of a museum," a female snorted.

"Quieres bailar?" The leader sprang towards Rose with a wolfish grin.

Surprised, she took two steps back.

"Don't be shy, guapa."

But before he could reach her, the Doctor blocked his path.

"The señorita is with me."

The youth looked down at him. "And who are you, light weight?"

"I'm the Doctor." He looked up with an innocent smile, but his eyes turned cold.

The other towered over him. "And in what faculty? Women?"

The group roared behind him and he swung around triumphantly raising his hands in an obscene gesture. More cheering rewarded him.

"Just the Doctor."

The other turned back to him. "A doctor with no specialty. That should impress me?"

"At least it should teach you to show some respect towards strangers." The Doctor eyed him grimly.

The other's eyes turned to slits. "Did you just insult me?"

"I think he did, Mo." One of the group called out.

"Time to teach him a lesson," the female laughed.

Rose stepped closer to the Doctor, but he didn't take his eyes off Mo.

Mo stared back. "You can always apologize."

The Doctor smiled widely. "Don't think so."

The group growled in outrage in the background.

"Do you know who you're talking to?" Mo stepped closer to the Doctor.

Holding his ground, he shook his head. "Don't know and don't care. ALL I know is that you have no manners."

"How do you dare to talk to a Melacon like this?"

"I just did, didn't I?" The Doctor smiled up at him.

"Where the hell are you from?" Mo's face contorted into a mask of rage.

"Trust me. You don't want to know," the Doctor answered quietly.

"Just nail him." A shout rang out and the rest cheered.

"And then, we dance with his girlfriend." The group hooted with laughter.

"I would rethink that," the Doctor said calmly. Casually, his right hand dropped into his coat pocket as he pulled out his sonic screwdriver and juggled it between his long fingers.

"What?" Mo laughed. "Want to scare me with a screwdriver?"

"Sonic, please." The Doctor smiled while maintaining eye contact.

"NOW I should be scared?" Mo grinned.

"Oh, I would be if I were you," the Doctor's face turned hard. "'Cause there was one race in the universe known for its extraordinary use of sonic screwdrivers."

"Carpenters?"

The group howled, smacking the ground with their drinking devices.

"Time Lords."

The laughter stopped.

Mo's eyes widened. "You're the DOCTOR - as in 'On-coming-storm'?"

The Doctor remained silent, eyes cold with anger.

Mo stepped back.

"That would be the one," Rose said, slipping her hand into the Doctor's. He acknowledged it with a slight squeeze as his anger focused on Mo. The Doctor stepped forward – eyes staring coldly at Mo. Panic spread across the other's face as he made two steps back. The Doctor didn't care. Anger raged through him. Hot rage not at the disrespect, he didn't mind that, but at the unspoken threat to Rose. Even just the hint of it, fired up his fury clouding out all clear thoughts. He made another step forward, but Rose tugged his hand.

"Let's go," he heard her whisper into his ear.

The haze cleared a bit and her voice triggered something. Not a thought or concept, just something vaguely like a fleeting dream image.

He looked at her. Her eyes were big, full of emotion. Begging him. For what? The thought swam through his anger. She could have anything from him.

"Let's go," she repeated.

There was something in her voice – an edge - something beckoning him to come back. His eyes softened.

"We'll do that," he smiled at her and saw her smile back, relieved. "But not," his head shot back to Mo, "before he apologizes to you."

Mo swallowed hard under the stare. "No hard feelings man." He threw his hands up in surrender.

The Doctor remained silent, his frown deepening.

"Look, guapa." Mo addressed Rose. "I was just commenting on your – well ehm – lovely dress."

"That's not an apology," the Doctor said between clenched teeth.

"Okay, man." He looked at Rose. "I am sorry."

"Apology accepted," Rose said, tugging gently at the Doctor's hand.

"Well, then." The Doctor shook his head slightly. A smile flashed over his face like a sunbeam after a rainstorm. "Let's discover Spain."

"Let's!" Rose beamed at him.

The end