Disclaimer: Doctor Who and its accoutrements are the property of the BBC and copyright of Russel T. Davies and Steven Moffat. This is a work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Written for Ginamak for the Doctor_Rose_Fix-athon on LiveJournal. Inspired by a lovely work of art by Alizarin_Skies on LiveJournal. Really, this is just a bit of shameless, happytimes fluff for Nine and Rose.
"Who are we going to see again?"
"I told you, a couple of old friends of mine." The Doctor had that earnest sort of smile that not only told her that he wasn't telling her everything, but also that he knew that she knew that he wasn't telling her everything.
"Who are they?"
"Just some friends," he said, quickly.
"Right." She peered at him from around the console. "And are these the friends that know people that try to kill us or the friends that turn out to not be friends and try to kill us?" She knew he was the designated driver, but still…
He tried to look affronted and failed. "They're friends who are very nice, very polite, and will most certainly not try to kill us. It's just a quiet sit-down with some old friends. Is that alright?"
Rose eyed him and finally nodded. "Let me go and put my trainers on," she said, heading off.
The Doctor nodded before calling after her. "What for?"
"In case of the usual," she answered, not looking back.
He most certainly was not pouting. He never pouted. Didn't have the bottom lip for it. Maybe in another life…
Mr. and Mrs. Suvivian, it turned out, were very nice friends, very polite, and did not try to kill them.
Mrs. Suvivian ("Call me Nell, please,") bade them make themselves comfortable, and Mr. Suvivian ("Joel, Joel Suvivian. Pleasure to meet you. And it's always good to see you, Doctor. Even better to see that you got rid of that coat of yours.") and joined Nell as she went about making tea and biscuits.
The Doctor turned to Rose, who was sitting next to him on the massive two-seater sofa, which was so big that her feet didn't touch the floor. "Well?" he asked quietly.
"They're bears," Rose whispered.
"Yes," the Doctor agreed.
"Bears who talk and serve tea."
"Yes. Is that alright?" He quirked his head at her, enjoying her reaction to the situation.
"Yeah. It's just… they're bears."
He chuckled. "Met them as a younger man, off of Suvivia 4. Their planet fell to a famine and they moved away, hoping for a new start. They're mostly harmless, their race."
Rose smiled at the Doctor. "I like them."
It was pleasant, listening to the Doctor catch up with Nell and Joel. The fact that Nell and Joel were bears aside; they were quite normal and it was a quiet, happy little visit. Nell was very sweet and funny, while Joel had a sort of self-deprecating flirtiness to him. It was rather obvious that Nell and Joel were deeply in love with each other as they related how they'd met and how their children were doing (Jefferson is at university, you know.)
She certainly enjoyed hearing of the Doctor's previous exploits as seen and told with the candor of old friends who enjoyed embarrassing him in front of his "lovely young lady." She was going to have to ask the Doctor what coat Joel was talking about, currently, and why it was such a good thing that he'd gotten rid of it.
They inquired politely about her, and Rose, after glancing at the Doctor and seeing his nod, told them bits about herself, about her Mum and her travels with the Doctor. She related the story of the Doctor accidentally arriving a year late instead of twelve months and Nell frowned at the Doctor while Joel chuckled, amused.
The Doctor's ears had turned red with embarrassment as he muttered, "Turned out in the end."
She hated to say goodbye, but the Doctor insisted that he and Rose had places to go and danger to fall into. Nell and Joel had agreed good-naturedly and asked them to stop by again, after shoving a medium-sized pot full of honey in Rose's arms. Waving goodbye, the Doctor and Rose walked back to the TARDIS.
"Well," the Doctor prompted, after he'd sent them into the vortex and Rose had put the pot of honey away.
"They were nice and they didn't try to kill us," Rose admitted.
He grinned, smug.
Rose grinned back. "Doctor?"
"Don't suppose we could go find a planet that, I don't know, isn't full of polite, tea-serving bears?"
A pleased grin was shot her way. "Fantastic!"
Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated.