A Rather Unconventional Way Of Travelling
Rose Tyler wished she could have more days like this. Not that she didn't enjoy the running and the danger; she bloody revelled in the adrenaline rush she got when there was a trigger-happy lunatic or a power-crazy dictator baying for her blood chasing after her- but she liked these days too. The days where nothing in particular happened. Nothing world-changing or universe-ending, anyhow.
However, these days were the days Rose Tyler remembered the most. She'd often forget the name in which the family Slitheen originated from ("It's Raxacoricofallapatorius! How could you possibly forget that one, Rose?") but she'd always remember the days where the sun rose and set as normal. Or the eight moons. Or… Well, you get the idea.
Maybe it was because there were so few of them, she felt compelled to remember them. Or maybe it was because she knew that these were the days that the Doctor remembered the most too- although he'd never admit it. Not to her face, anyway. Not without blushing and stammering and going all bashful and cute that Rose had to pinch herself to stop herself from kissing his poor, embarrassed face.
The Doctor had done that a lot, lately. Going all bashful and cute- especially on days like this. And Rose had pinched herself a lot, too; but that also helped remind her that everything that was happening around her was real. The Daleks, Cybermen, the Doctor's hand in hers. It was all real. The TARDIS, Time Lords, the rift.
This picnic bench. On this hill. During the 21st century. On Earth.
Rose crossed her legs on the seat, her blonde hair catching the wind that was blowing in her direction. She wrapped her denim jacket tighter around herself to try and bite off the rush of cold.
"Good old British weather," Rose muttered to herself. After feeling the heat (and using lots of 120 spf sun cream) of the three suns of Exiv III, it was hard to adjust back to the single sun which was coming, thin and watery, through the thick grey clouds. The Doctor never seemed to be effected by the change in climate, though. He never seemed to be effected by the weather, full stop. He just took it all on his stride- oh, the envy.
But when it came to normal, human things, the Doctor appeared to be slightly useless. He was incredibly brilliant at reciting the Gallifreyan alphabet backwards while they were in the TARDIS kitchen- while they were supposed to be doing the washing up, but that never got done in anyway. He was also absolutely amazing at scaring even the scariest of monsters (with her assistance, of course) into running away. But when it came to buying ice creams at a bloody ice cream van, that was when he truly showed that he was alien.
That was why Rose decided to go and sit down while he went up to get two 99's. She couldn't quite face the mild humiliation of the Doctor's attempts of ordering monkey's blood and flakes ("Flakes? They're brown? And chocolate? I thought they were liquorice and green! Blimey.").
"Rose…" the Doctor plonked himself on the bench beside her, two cones in his hands. Behind his back.
Rose raised an eyebrow sceptically, noting a change in his tone. A tone which meant I've done something the tiniest, weeniest bit mental and I hope you understand and don't go all mad on me. He was also deliberately hiding his hands from view; which was never a good sign. "Yes?"
"Do you like strawberry ice cream? Better than vanilla, I mean." the Doctor asked, keeping his facial expression innocent.
Rose was becoming even more suspicious. She shrugged. "S'alright, I suppose."
"Right," the Doctor nodded, looking a little bit more relieved. "Then, what are your feelings on mint? And chocolate? And raspberry ripple?"
Rose bit her lip to stop herself from smiling. She could sense where this conversation was going. "Pistachio? Butterscotch? Mint choc chip?"
The Doctor narrowed his eyes at her and sneaked a look behind his back. "Yeah. And those too. On a rate of Clom to say, Gallifrey, what would you rate those flavours? Compared to vanilla, I mean."
Rose looked at the Time Lord, a smile playing on her lips, her tongue poking between her teeth- his two hearts melting in his chest like the ice creams behind his back. He was looking all bashful and cute again.
No. Stop it.
"Well…" Rose pondered, distracting her thoughts back to the question, "I would say definitley edging towards Gallifrey. Not quite Gallifrey, but absolutely better than Clom. Because I can imagine, nothing is quite as good as Gallifrey."
The Doctor looked wistful for a second. Rose nudged him a little, then he crashed back down to Earth. "Yes. You're most definitley right about that one, Rose Tyler."
"So… Come on then! Why you asking all these questions?" Rose gestured towards the Doctor's back, already expecting to know what the answer was.
The Doctor looked a bit sheepish, moving his hands from behind his back to the front. Clutched between his fingers in both hands, were two ice cream cones. One was a normal 99; perfectly whipped vanilla ice cream with a chocolate flake perched nonchalantly on the edge, a little of the cream leaking over the sides after been held in the Doctor's for too long. The other was the most outrageous ice cream that Rose had ever seen. Approximately seven (she couldn't really tell the number as the scoops had sort of… merged) dollops of bright cream were sat precariously on top of each other, in a small wafer cone. Rose wondered how the Doctor had managed to keep that monster of a treat balanced without any of it spilling onto the floor or his suit or anything. Mind you, the Doctor had always had a special way of doing the most menial of tasks- like the washing up (actually, bar that, it never got done), chess (now that was completely unfair- he changed the rules to the 'Time Lord Way' every time she won one of his pieces) and now, she discovered, balancing ice creams.
Well, they say that you learn new things about a person every day. More than one if you're with a nine hundred year old Gallifreyan.
Rose just smiled at him, shaking her head. "You really can go OTT with everything, can't you? I say let's go get two 21st century classic 99's, and you go and get every ice cream under the sun!"
"Weelll, this is hardly every ice cream under the sun, Rose. This sun, maybe, but there's…" the Doctor stopped when the first scoop (strawberry, Rose guessed- it was mostly pink. But a little brown and green too) of the mammoth ice cream the Doctor had bought landed on his shoe. Then the next. Then the next. Until there was nothing left of his purchase but the wafer cone.
The Doctor looked down at his messy, sticky trainer and then looked back up at Rose, frowning. Rose just broke down into giggles.
"That's not funny! I paid-"
"Correction!" Rose interjected, still giggling, "I paid for that."
"Fine! You paid for that with good money- and these are my favourite shoes! Now they've got a brown-green-yellow-pink stain on them!" the Doctor exclaimed, looking genuinely devastated.
Rose just kept giggling. But she stopped giggling when the Doctor let the rest of the normal, vanilla ice cream spill into her lap.
Rose looked down to see that on her jeans was a mess of white, cold cream. Her new jeans.
"Now that," she narrowed her eyes, pointing her index finger at the Doctor, "Was uncalled for."
"You laughed at my shoes!" the Doctor protested, gesturing wildly at nothing in particular.
Rose scowled. But of course, she could never really stay angry at him for long.
"Sorry," the Doctor apologised, rummaging around his dimensionally-transcendental pockets, finally finding a napkin and throwing it over to Rose. "I shouldn't have dropped that on you."
Rose snorted. "Too right. So you're going to wash these trousers."
"What!" the Doctor objected, "But I've given you my napkin! That's a very good napkin. Audrey Hepburn gave me that napkin at the rap party of Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Rose stared at him for a moment, just looking at him. Then she snapped out of it. "So you think that a napkin is going to get this out? Yes yes, it's Audrey Hepburn's, but it's still a napkin. You need detergent and a washing machine or a space thingy that washes them for you. Surely you've washed clothes before, right, Doctor?"
"Yeah. Yeah, of course I have." the Doctor scoffed.
"So this should be easy. Wash these for me, then I'll forgive you. I think my mum's a bit tired of getting all my washing, anyway."
"Fine! We'll go back to the TARDIS, you'll take your pants off right there, and I'll do it! Then…" the Doctor stopped at the sight of Rose giggling again, then flushed bright red. "Ah… I mean…"
Rose just grinned, whacking him playfully on the arm. "Come on then, you daft old alien."
"Hey!" the Doctor warned, "Less of the old. More of the… Pleasantly aged."
"Come on then, you 'pleasantly aged' alien." Rose used air quotes whens she added in the Doctor's phrase of choice. "We've got some cleaning to do. And some saving civilisations."
The pair stood up, looking down the grassy hill in which the bench they were sitting on was situated. The TARDIS, stood in its usual glory, was right at the bottom of the bank.
"You do know," the Doctor quipped in Rose's ear, "That there is another way of getting down that hill."
"Really?" Rose questioned, smirking a little, "How?"
"Weelll," the Doctor trailed off, "It's a rather unconventional way of travelling… But it's fun. And a bit out of the ordinary. And you'll love it."
Rose tilted her head on one side. "Is it just as fun for both parties?"
"Oh yes." the Doctor replied, "It definitley is."
"And does it look stupid, for both parties?"
"Well, for us, it will most likely look beyond normal."
"But that's normal for us, isn't it? Does it look beyond normal by our standards?"
"In this environment? 21st century Earth? Yes, it does."
Rose grinned and rubbed her hands together. "Sounds perfect."
"Right then," the Doctor grinned in return, "Jump on my back, then."
Rose looked dubious. "You mean a piggy-back?"
The Doctor leaned down. "Yes. That's what you call them, right?"
Rose bit her lip, gripping onto his shoulders, launching herself onto his back.
"Are you ready?" the Doctor asked.
Rose closed her eyes, grinning, not quite sure what she was letting herself in for. "Yes."
This, decided Rose Tyler, was a day worth remembering. The hand-in-hand walk across the beach, the complete failure of an ice cream, the piggy-back down the hill and back to the TARDIS.
As well as the lot of cleaning done that night.