Chapter One: Pets
Rose huffed and swept a long strand of hair behind her shoulder. She folded her arms and put on her best pout. This face always worked on her past boyfriends—not that he was her boyfriend, of course—so surely it would work this time. She fluttered her long eyelashes and stuck out her bottom lip. He smiled at her, which only made her angrier than she already was…and that was saying something.
"Why not?" she demanded.
The Doctor stopped fiddling with the console for a moment and focused his intense, blue eyes on her pretty face. "Because I said so."
"It's just a pet. What's wrong with that?"
"We're not even here half the time!" he defended.
"If we get a dog, it can come with us. It'll help us solve mysteries like Scooby Doo."
"No dogs. No pets. Too domestic. That's final."
"But I want one, Doctor. It'll make this box feel even more like a home."
"Like I said, domestic. Besides, you have pets all the time."
Her brow furrowed in confusion. "I do not."
"I meant your boyfriends. You've got a new one in here every other week. They always follow you around, beg for your attention, and end up in your lap. That's close enough to a puppy, if you ask me."
"You are infuriating!" she groaned with a frustrated motion. "Fine. It won't be a dog. We can get a cat or something. We'll just leave it food and water. I'm sure you could think of something like an automatic feeder, so that way we could leave it here for a while. Please, Doctor? I really want this."
His resolve was fading, but he wasn't about to show it. He hid behind the console and his sonic screwdriver while both hearts pounded under his green jumper. How could a human wrap him around her little finger so easily? No. Rose Tyler would not win. He was over nine hundred years old, the last of the Time Lords, and the Oncoming Storm. A nineteen year old Londoner wouldn't sway him.
"Forget it then. I'll be in my room," Rose announced with a tiny, sad sound.
She stalked off with flare, another move that always worked on her boyfriends—which the Doctor was not, and she made sure to slam her door once she got there. The Doctor saw all of this and knew what she was doing. It was effective, but he'd beat her at her own game. With a quick change of course, he stopped off to pick up Rose's new pet…and how fantastic it would be!
Rose stayed in her room for the rest of the evening, and she didn't seem to notice that he had landed. He was careful about that part. When she heard a knock on her door, she smiled and hoped that it was the Doctor. Slowly, she opened it and the Doctor was on the other side. His daft grin left butterflies in her stomach, but she wouldn't admit it.
"You were right, Rose. We should have a pet," he continued to smile.
She grinned back. "Really? You changed your mind just like that?"
"Just like that. I've got a surprise for you."
"Do you?" she wondered with the quirk of an eyebrow.
He hummed and pointed to her bed. "Stay right there. Eyes closed."
Smirking, she did was she was told. For a long time, she heard things shifting about and the Doctor cheerfully humming. Then, she felt one of his big hands wrap around her wrist gently. Her heart pattered and she knew that she had to be smiling like an idiot.
"Open," he instructed.
She opened her eyes to see the Doctor kneeling in front of her with a small cardboard box. This intrigued her and didn't explain the noise. He bobbed his head to the left and she followed it with her gaze. A glass terrarium sat on her desk. It was filled with brown soil and a half-log. There was a little water dish and a few rocks. She turned back to the Doctor curiously.
"What's all that?"
"It's the home for our pet, Rose."
"Our pet?" she repeated, oddly fond of the way our sounded.
He smiled. "Yes. She's in this box."
Holding up the box, Rose's imagination went wild. What could the pet be? What had the Doctor bought them? He didn't let her take it from him just yet. She tried, but he would always pull it away. Laughing, he stood and went over to the enclosure and leaned on it with an arm.
"Are you going to tell me what she is?" Rose questioned. "Or are you going to tease me forever?"
"Yes and yes. But first, I thought of a name. Tell me what you think. Daisy."
"Daisy?" she repeated excitedly. "You thought of the name Daisy?"
"What's wrong with me thinking of the name Daisy?"
"I don't know. It's so feminine…and you're…a tough man in leather."
He looked at her strangely. "Are you implying that I'm a manly man?"
"I didn't say that."
"I didn't say that you did."
Rolling her eyes, she motioned to the box. "Shouldn't you let Daisy out before she suffocates in there?"
"Good idea," he nodded as he lowered the box into the tank gingerly. His fingers easily undid the closure, and he hadn't stopped smiling yet. "Go on, Daisy. Come out and meet your mum."
Rose moved closer, idly hovering at the Doctor's side. After a long moment, Daisy revealed herself. Rose screamed and backed away as the Doctor doubled over in laughter. Rose scowled and pointed an irate finger.
"Yes. Me. Hello."
"I can't believe this! What kind of sick joke were you trying to play?"
"It's not a joke. This is our pet named Daisy," he frowned with a nod to the enclosure.
Rose took a steadying breath. "Doctor…you brought home a big, hairy…spider."
"A tarantula, to be exact. They're very low maintenance. This one is a rose hair. Mature female. Beautiful markings on the legs. Little, brown rings. Really complements the pinkish hue. Very friendly. I held her in the pet store. Would you like to hold her?"
"No. I want that insect out of my room."
"Arachnid. Insects have six legs while arachnids have eight."
"Whatever it is, get it out of here."
"You wanted a pet," the Doctor shrugged. "You got a pet. An expensive one at that. Do you know how much money I had to 'borrow' from the automatic teller?"
She held a hand to her head. "Why couldn't you have gotten a cat or hamster or a fish?"
"Well, I got Daisy. Get to know each other. She's staying," he said sternly with a little wave to Daisy. "Bye for now!"
With that, he breezily walked out and left Rose alone with the tarantula. She gulped as she heard her door close. What was she supposed to do with a spider?