Day at the Zoo
by Noelle - naushika@periapsis.net

RATING: G

CATEGORGY: Fluff, romance

PAIRING: Doctor/Rose

A/N: Thanks to Bonnie and Emma for the beta. :) This fic was written for LindaMarie for the Ninth Doctor Ficathon. Her request was: fic set in ancient Greece (at least partially), exotic animals (could be alien animals, if you like) and Doctor/Rose kissage, and she didn't want Rose's family (including Mickey). Unfortunately I couldn't do the ancient Greece part, as I know next to nothing about that culture. I hope just filling all the other requests is acceptable.

********

Roses. The smell of them was everywhere, as Rose ran through a flower garden on a distant planet, far away from the Milky Way galaxy. She laughed as the petals from a flower that smelled just like roses but looked nothing like one was tickled against her nose. Rose looked up at the man across from her, holding the flower. He smiled at her.

"Rose," he said quietly.

"Yes, Doctor?" she asked, still giggling from the feel of the petals against her nose.

"Rose," the Doctor repeated. "Wake up."

Rose opened her eyes, and as the room came into focus around her, she realized she'd been dreaming. Stretching to get the sleepiness out of her, Rose almost screamed when she angled her head to the side and noticed the Doctor standing next to her bed. Jumping out of bed, she clutched at her chest.

"Doctor!" Rose shouted, her heart beating a mile a minute. "Give a girl a fright, why don't you."

"Oh, sorry!" he responded, grinning ear to ear. "I just thought you might like this." The Doctor held out his hand, which held a flower with large red and yellow petals.

Rose smiled at the gesture. "It's beautiful," she said, taking the flower. She brought it to her nose to smell it, noticing that the petals tickled her nose the same way the flower in her dream did. "It smells like a rose," she said, surprised.

"Yeah," the Doctor replied, bouncing on his feet. "I thought you might like it. Well, get dressed then! I've got something to show you."

Rose watched as the Doctor bounded out of her room. She set the flower down on her bedside table and grinned to herself. "Never a dull moment."

---

"There you are!" the Doctor exclaimed exasperatedly. "I was beginning to wonder if you got lost in the TARDIS again."

"What do you mean again? I wasn't really lost the first time," Rose replied, crossing her arms over her chest. "Don't look at me like that. It's not my fault you can't give clear directions."

"I won't even dignify that with a response." Instead the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors, and swept his hand forward. "After you, m'lady."

"Why thank you!" Rose curtsied before stepping through. Once outside, her mouth dropped open in amazement. All around her were fields filled with vibrantly colored flowers, some similar to Earth flowers, with others taller than her and petals as big as her forearm. A breeze blew by them, and as it travelled, Rose could hear a slight tinkling noise, likes bells in the distance.

"Stunned into silence, for once," the Doctor remarked as he stepped beside her. "Well? What do you think?"

Rose blinked several times, her eyes taking in her surroundings. "It's beautiful," she replied softly.

"Corollaris," the Doctor nodded to himself. "Renowned throughout the universe for its flora and fauna."

"I can see why," Rose wandered over to a flower about her height, and leant in to sniff it. As she smelled it, she noticed a small insect climbing around on a petal. It fluttered away after a moment, and Rose stood up straight to watch it go. Her eyes moving to the horizon, goosebumps went through her at what she saw in the distance. "Doctor," as she spoke, Rose reached over to tug on his arm. "Is that a... dinosaur?"

He followed her gaze. "Oh, that! That's not a dinosaur, but good spotting, Rose. That's what we really came here to see. The great Zoo of Corollaris." The Doctor grabbed her hand with his own and began leading her through the flowers. "C'mon. I know a shortcut."

It took them a good fifteen minutes to reach their destination, and the whole time the beasts in her line of sight grew as they approached. Rose guessed them to be five stories tall, with long necks and spikes along their backs. They were an array of deep colors; blues, greens, and browns, and had small eyes, dark and glassy. Rose shielded her eyes with her hand and leant backwards to stare up at the closest one.

"Its skin looks strange," Rose remarked.

"Why don't you go and have a closer look?" The Doctor leaned back on his heels.

"But it's huge!" shouted Rose. "Won't it stomp me with its foot?"

"Rose, have you ever known me to put you in danger?" The Doctor asked. On seeing Rose's vigorous nod, he sighed. "Well, this time it's true. No danger! Cross my hearts."

Rose looked at the Doctor, who looked eagerly back at her. She had the feeling he could ask her to wade into molten lava and she just might do it. Smiling slightly, and heading into this adventure the same way she'd entered into all her adventures since meeting up with the Doctor, Rose ran up to the leg of the giant beast. Tentatively sticking out her fingers, Rose slowly traced the pattern of the skin on the giant animal.

"It's almost like scales," Rose spoke to herself. Pulling away her fingers, she brought them to her face, where she could see a sparkly residue across them. The Doctor stroked his finger over hers to pick up some of the residue on his own finger.

"Lovely, isn't it? It's called a Corus, which in Corollarian means 'to shine.'" As the Doctor spoke the animal moved its head down slowly until it was about a foot above Rose's head, where it let out a bellowing howl-like sound. "And I think it fancies you, Rose."

Grinning, Rose reached up to scratch the Corus underneath its chin. It made a rumbling sound in its throat. "It's purring!" She dropped her hand and the animal lifted its head. Making another howling sound, it turned and began to slowly lumber away from the pair. "That was amazing."

The Doctor nodded his head and grabbed Rose's hand. "There's more where that came from." He attempted to pull Rose along, but she stood still and pulled back on his hand. The Doctor looked back questioningly.

"Did I ever thank you?" Rose asked. Before he had a chance to respond, she leant in and softly pressed her lips to his. After a moment, Rose pulled away and gave him a huge smile. "Now show me the rest of the animals," Rose said, turning around and wandering away toward a small wooded area.

The Doctor opened his mouth as if to say something, but then closed it again. He wondered to himself if the thank you was for the visit to the zoo, or for something else. Grinning to himself, he went after her with the express purpose to find out what, and if there were any more thank yous in his future.

***

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