"Your mother. I never know if she's going to invite me to dinner or slap me across the face. This time, it was most definitely the slap…" the Doctor muttered, rubbing his jaw as they walked back to the TARDIS. "She's a lot like you. Or you're a lot like her, I should say."
"Don't compare me to my mum. Women hate that," Rose protested.
"But it's true! She's got this fiery side that isn't afraid to whack somebody in the face, but she has another side that's very…"
He stopped mid-sentence. Rose stopped walking. "Very what?"
"What are you carrying?"
She rolled her eyes. Why did he always have to stop before he finished a thought? "Mum gave me a basket for the TARDIS. Food and the like. It's like she knew I was coming to see her."
"I'll bet she did! Would you have left your mother alone on her wedding anniversary? No. Why? Because you're…what's in the basket?"
Her mum wouldn't be the only one slapping the Doctor if he kept interrupting himself. "I told you. Food and other things."
"Yes, I know, but what kind of food? I'm starving."
He opened the TARDIS and they climbed inside. She opened the basket as he set a course. "Well, Mum packed a whole bunch of fruit. There's a note. And…what? It's for you. 'Doctor, you better make sure my daughter gets her vitamins. Love, Jackie.' She's gone mad. Certainly the moodiest woman in the entire universe!" she paused and saw the Doctor's mischievous expression. "Don't you dare say a word."
He broke out into a grin and the TARDIS took off. "Well then. Tell me what fruits your mother packed us."
"Us? This basket was meant for me, thank you. I'll share if the mood strikes me."
"Please say there's a banana in there and you'll let me have it."
She laughed. "What is it with you and bananas?"
"Oh, we go way back. Me and bananas. My favorite companion. They'd be second favorite if you give me one…" he smiled at her, turning on the Time Lord charm. "And I'll tell you the story of my banana love if you do. Eh? A story for a snack?"
He stood there with that look on his face, the one she couldn't resist, and she handed over one of the two bananas. "Alright, you can stop with the pathetic puppy dog eyes."
"Puppy dog eyes?" he repeated, triumphantly retrieving the banana. He peeled it and took a big bite. "I was going for a sort of reserved, but unobtrusively desperate, pleading. That didn't come through?"
She shook her head no and grabbed an apple, sitting down on the floor of the TARDIS. He sat beside her. "Well, Doctor, pay up. Story time."
"I once stopped an alien fleet with a banana. Long time ago. Least a hundred years. Probably more. Sent the whole fleet into the sun with a single banana. Hang on. That's not the story. Sorry. My brain is busy enjoying this delicious banana," he paused, attempting to recover his thoughts.
"How'd you send the fleet into the sun with a banana?"
"Don't tell me to shush."
"Right. Where was I? How I came to love the banana. At first, I didn't know that you had to peel it. It was an Earth fruit and I hadn't been out much. I was a young boy, not very worldly. I'd say I was only about two hundred or so. I had just 'borrowed' the TARDIS and found myself in Papua New Guinea around 7000BC. Bananas are one of the oldest cultivated fruits, you know. Anyway, I met up with a nice man who gave me one of his bananas. He taught me how to eat it and pay tribute to the banana by doing a tribal dance. Lots of arm flailing and stomping about like an elephant. But in summation, I've been in love ever since."
Rose studied him for a moment. "Are you making that up?"
"Well, it was mostly embellishments and flat out fabrication."
She whacked his arm. "I gave you that for a story!"
"You never said it had to be a true story, now did you?" he smirked and finished the rest of his banana. "What else is in there? Any more bananas?"
"One," she informed him. "But it's mine. There are also…" she got up and rifled through the basket. "…apples, oranges, peaches, and pears."
"Pears? Ick, I can't stand pears! In fact, I hate them! I can't get them out of my taste buds for months. They're all…soft and…mushy…"
She grabbed a banana and a pear, sitting back beside him on the TARDIS floor. He reached for the banana, but she moved it out of his grasp. "The pear is yours."
"Rose Tyler, you do not want to offer me that pear again."
"Oh yeah? What'll you do?" she tested, feeling her heartbeat flutter.
He had to think about it. "I will steal your banana and make you eat the pear."
"I like pears."
"You what?! And I thought we were friends."
She took a bite and he recoiled in disgust. Rose smiled wickedly. "Tastes good to me."
"Now you've done it. You'll taste like pears."
Her breathing hitched. "What?"
He reached for the banana and a struggle began. With one final push, he got the banana from her and began to eat it, grinning. "Yes!" he cheered. "Poor you. Stuck with a pear."
She shrugged and kept eating it, slightly put out with his behavior. He was even moodier than her mother. One second, he was flirting. The next, it was like nothing ever happened. He could tell that Rose was unhappy about something, so he reached out and gently took her chin in his hand. He turned her face and examined the large bruise Jackie slapped him over, hoping it didn't hurt too badly.
"I am sorry about this," he said quietly. "You shouldn't have gotten in the middle of the fight like that. Your mum was right to hit me for putting you in danger."
"It was nothing," she shrugged. "I'm fine. Eating a pear. On the TARDIS. Can't complain. Besides, if my mother hit you every time you put me in danger, all your days off would be spent at Mum's getting slapped."
They laughed and he watched her for a moment. She finished her pear and felt his gaze still on her. "Yes?"
He kissed her quickly, pulling back with a quizzical look on his face. "Yeah. Still don't like pears. But I have to say, that is the best way I've tried them in centuries."
With that, he stood and went to the basket, grabbing an apple and walking towards the back room. Rose sat unmoving on the floor, breathless and smiling.