I Hate Pears

Well, I just had to explore why it is the Doctor seems to hate them so much… enjoy!

oOoOoOoOo

Martha frowned at the small screen. Come on, Doctor, she thought, where's the stuff that's actually useful?

She stood in the Tardis control room, dressed in the black and white uniform of a maid, and a long brown coat. She was watching –okay, re-watching, for the fifth time - the list of video instructions the Doctor had left her.

Before he'd gone and become a school master at an early 20th century boarding academy.

The Doctor had only gone and turned himself into a bloody human.

God, Martha hated 1913.

And not just because every time she saw the boys in the school laughing, it made her sick, knowing from history what they were going to have to live through so young. Not just because she was having to work as a maid who needed to "learn her place", or deal with abject racism from that Baines moron with the poker up his arse and his posh spoilt mates. Not just because she was terrified that at any minute, the Family could find them… and it would all be over.

Not just because of that.

Nurse Joan.

She was really struggling not to hate the woman. Or rather, she was the fact that she wanted to hate her, but couldn't, because she was such a decent person. A little severe, sure, but nice.

It was driving Martha around the bend, but she couldn't shake the futile jealousy. And yes, she knew it was stupid.

He wouldn't look at her. He didn't give her a second thought. His eyes all but slid over her when she tried to talk to him. Martha almostlaughed. How ironic that one of his instructions was a safe guard against just that."Don't let me abandon you."

It wasn't fair, said the part of her that wanted to feel sorry for itself. Buck up, Martha, she told it.

It bucked up.

The Doctor's voice snapped her back to her surroundings.

"Oh," came his slightly tinny tone over the speakers. He leaned in slightly, dark eyes suddenly serious. Martha listened intently."Whatever you do, don't let me eat pears. I hate pears."

Martha groaned in exasperation. For god's sake - could he not give her any useful advice? Clearly, the answer was no. Right now, she was finding it hard to believe that the Doctor had been any more intelligent as a Timelord than he was now as a human (and John Smith really was not the smartest bloke she'd ever met).
Unfortunately, she knew far better than that than to actually think for a second that it was true, and she wished she was able to read the Doctor better. At times he seemed as carefree as a kid with a stick of rock - the problem was she'd seen enough to know that at least part of his manic, bubbly front was just, well, a front.

The question was, how much? Was part of him really that bubbly kid, or did he just pretend? Did he really hate pears, or was he just acting up?

Well, she could find out tomorrow.

By spiking every single one of his meals with pear juice.

At the thought of this mini revenge, Martha grinned. At the thought of John Smith's horrified expression, she grinned even harder. She pushed the annoying thought of Nurse Joan disapproving out of her head. Just as long as he didn't have a deadly allergic reaction, this might actually be a plan that would improve her mood.

And even if he did? Hey, she was a doctor too, almost.

She'd be able to handle the situation fine.

oOoOoOo

"I will have the penne all'arrabiatta," said the Doctor cheerfully.

"You'll need a tray," drawled the canteen worker, who was texting on his vidcom. It was 4am Common Space Time on floor 16 of the Galactic League Cruise Liner, and most sensible passengers were asleepin bed (sensible being the operative word). Other than the Doctor and Lee, the canteen was deserted.

"Do you know who I am?" the Doctor boomed.

The guy raised his head, frowning. "Do you know who I am?" he replied sarcastically.

"Well actually, I do," said the Doctor, "It's Lee...unless your name badge is lying." He clapped a hand to his forehead. "I just ruined it!" he said. "We could have gone through the whole sketch then!"

"What are you talking about?" Lee asked.

"Oh," said the Doctor, crestfallen, "You mean you weren't doing the Eddie Izzard sketch? The food is genuinely hot, I'm not Jeff Vader, and you don't actually want my autograph?"

Lee stared at him.

"Well," said the Doctor, "it was good while it lasted. If you ask me you've got a future career in stand up comedy."He decided to break the awkward silence, and handed over a tray, slapping it down with a satisfying "slap" noise. "Tadaa. Here you go, a tray."

"What did you want again?"

"The penne all'arrabiatta."

"We've run out."

"Oh."

"Sorry." He didn't sound sorry in the slightest.

"Well…what else is there?"

"We have…er… pears."

"Pears?"

"Yup." Lee's voice took on the bored, mechanised quality of one who is reciting information for the thousandth time. "Today's special dish is green giant Gun-gun pears. Grown in the swamps of Naboo, incredibly nutritious and delicious, just one has the equivalent calorific intake of a three course dinner. Try five and get a sixth one for the same price."

"Really?" grinned the Doctor, "I'll take the lot."

Lee dumped a pear on his tray, but when the Doctor failed to move, he realised he was serious. "All of them?" he asked incredulously. The Doctor nodded. "Whatever," Lee snorted, and began piling more up on the tray.

The Doctor first attempted to pay with chocolate buttons, but when he eventually found his card and Lee had swiped it through the machine, the Doctor went and sat down in a booth. Other than quiet tinny strains of Max Rebo's Greatest Hits coming through the speakers, the canteen was deathly silent. The Doctor stared at the massive pile of pears on his tray. If they didn't taste good, he was really going to regret this.

oOoOoOoOo

Twenty minutes later, and the Doctor wiped the last streak of pear juice from his chin with a satisfied sigh. He dumped his tray by the counter. "Thanks," he said to Lee, who was still texting, "They were delicious."

"I forgot to tell you," said Lee, and his voice reverted to the mechanised drone. "The Galactic League cannot be held accountable for any injuries, death, or hallucinations sustained by the eating of the food in this canteen. Please enjoy your meal, thank you, and have a nice day."

The Doctor stared. "Hallucinations?" he stomach gave an ominous rumble.

Lee rolled his eyes.

oOoOoOo

The Doctor groaned.

It was even later that night (well, artificial night on the Galactic Liner, and getting on for morning) and he lay in his bunk on floor 117, where he'd been for the last hour. He hadn't slept a wink. Maybe eating all of those pears hadn't been such a good idea after all. How many had he eaten again? Oh yeah… about 15. His stomach, amazing at digestion as it was (him being a Timelord and everything) was really starting to regret his rather rash decision.

Suddenly his vision blurred, and everything went wibbly-wobbly.

"Timey-wimey," he said, with a slightly manic chuckle. Yup, he was definitely ill.

Then he heard a sharp rap at the cabin door.

"Go away," he moaned, "I'm asleep."

The knock came again.

Grumbling, he slid from his bunk and staggered over to the door, having to balance himself by holding on to the wall as he went.

"Hold on just a tick," he called, fumbling with the catch. The door swung open.

In the corridor, flanked by a group of space mask wearing Nazis, stood Hitler.

"Well," said the Doctor, "At least I know for sure now that the hallucinations have started. Goodbye," he added, and tried to shut the door.

"Not so fast," snarled Hitler, and stuck his boot in the door frame. "You didn't think that cupboard you and your snivelling companions put me in would keep me locked up for ever, did you?"

"Er, what cupboard?" said the Doctor, desperately trying to shove the door closed. Hitler's foot seemed to be immune to pain. "I never locked you in a cupboard…"

"Oh, you will," Hitler cackled, "You will! That's the beauty of time travel. But you know what? I escaped."

"Evidently," said the Doctor, and gave up trying to shut the door. Since this is all just the twisted creation of my unhappy stomach, I may as well run with it, he thought.

"After two weeks of eating nothing but mothballs, I got strong," the little man growled. "And that's when I realised that the world was not enough. I knew that it was my destiny to expand the glorious empire of the Third Reich beyond where anyone has gone before – I was going to conquer space!"

Well at least that explained the gas masks – they were actually oxygen masks.

"Wonderful, Mr Hitler," said the Doctor, noting with fascination that Hitler's moustache seemed to be bristling with its wearer's excitement.

"Please, call me Adolf," Hitler replied. "Don't you want to know the reason I'm here?"

"I assume it's not to throw a sleepover party, because my cabin isn't really big enough for you and all your SS mates. Plus they haven't brought any pillows."

Hitler through back his head and laughed uproariously. All the Nazis in gas masks laughed too. It was very disconcerting.

Hitler stopped laughing, and fixed the Doctor with an evil grin. "I may be a figure of your imagination," he said softly, "But I am still here to exterminate you. And once that is done, there is nothing you can do to stop me from taking over the univer….aaaaaargh!"

At that moment a huge, scaly head crashed down from the ceiling and scooped Hitler up in its slavering jaws. Nazis screamed (it sounded muffled through the gas masks) and ran in all directions.

"That's it, my beauty! Onwards, for the glory of England!" shrieked the beast's diminutive rider.

The Beast, head swaying on a long neck which ended in a four-flippered body, chewed thoughtfully before giving a huge burp. The Doctor felt his hair move in the smelly breeze…and one of Hitler's boots clattered out onto the floor, rolling to a stop in front of him.

"Good girl, that's right Nessie," cooed the rider, patting the Leviathan on the neck.

The Doctor stared. Nessie? You brought the Loch Ness Monster onto a Galactic Cruise Liner?

He looked again at the rider, who had curling red hair, and wore a humungous dress with an even more humungous ruffle.

"Queen Elizabeth the First?" he spluttered.

Her Majesty looked down from her slimy green throne, and noticed him for the first time. Her face contorted.

"Doctor!" she shrieked. "My worst enemy!"

What on earth have I done now? thought the Doctor.

Queen Liz pointed a pale gloved finger. "Nessie, eat him!"

Nessie seemed only too happy to oblige, and began lumbering down the corridor (incredibly awkwardly, because of the flippers) towards the Doctor. The Doctor by this point had already started running for his life. "I still don't know what I'm supposed to have done!" he yelled.

Her Majesty shrieked and whooped from her perch, and the Doctor heard the crashes and felt the floor vibrating as Nessie struggled to force her way down the passage. He was just starting to wonder what would happen if his hallucination ate him, when suddenly a tall, hench-looking man in a leather jacket and sunglasses stepped around the corner ahead, and began to blow on a huge set of bagpipes.

The Doctor skidded to a halt beside him. The bagpipes were….glowing?

Elizabeth gave a cry of fury as Nessie stopped chasing the Doctor, and began swaying placidly in time to the blaring, mournful music. All of the Queen's kicking and slapping did no good, and eventually, fed up with her unresponsive steed, she slid off its back and stalked off.

Nessie was making loud groaning noises, eyes half shut, and a huge strand of drool hanging out of her jaw. Then, she gave a huge sigh and closed her yellow eyes, lay down on the floor, and began to snore. Only then did the stranger lower his bagpipes.

"I've know idea how you managed to do that," said the Doctor, "but thanks, because you may have just saved my life. Hopefully not, actually, because this isn't real. But thanks anyway. How exactly do those pipes work?"

"They are the Bagpipes of Destiny," explained the stranger in a thick Austrian accent.

"Right," said the Doctor. He looked again at his saviour, who was built, square jawed, and dressed all in black, not forgetting the sunglasses. He was also carrying a shotgun inside a rose filled packet.

"I'll be back," he said, and walked off.

I think I just got saved from the Loch Ness monster by a set of magic bagpipes wielded by the Terminator, the Doctor thought. This hallucination is getting more and more worrying. What on earth is going to happen next?

He didn't have to wait long to find out. At that moment a bright spotlight switched on, flooding and burning his sight. He squinted his eyes, lifting up a hand to shade them. He realised that he was now sat on a couch on a stage….faced by a huge audience.

"Welcome, ladies and gentlemen," a voice boomed, "To the King Leonidus show!"

The audience began to cheer as an extremely ripped bloke wearing nothing but a cloak, sandals and a pair of Speedos, and bearing a suspicious resemblance to Gerard Butler, strode onto the stage to cheesy theme music.

"Hello, and welcome to today's show!" he said, arms raised to the audience. "We have an incredible show lined up for you today. Later, we'll be interrogating Bill Clinton about his clandestine love affair with a squirrel. But first, please welcome today's guests, the Doctor, and Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen!"

What?

The Doctor spun in surprise. There, on a couch on the other side of the stage, loomed the huge, gelatinous form of Margaret Slitheen, in her true shape. Tears shone in her bulbous black eyes.

"Blon has a special surprise message for the Doctor, isn't that right?" said King Leonidus.

She nodded, many chins wobbling. "Doctor," she gurgled, "I… I'm pregnant."

"Okay then," said the Doctor warily, "but why are you telling me?"

A sudden sinking feeling sank suddenly in his stomach. Oh dear lord, no.

Blon gazed at him, and blinked slowly. "Because you're the father."

The audience roared.

The Doctor fell off the sofa. "No, I'm not!" he spluttered, struggling to his feet.

"You are!" said Margaret, her face breaking into a wet, wobbly smile. "You are! I can feel its two hearts beating inside of me!"

"The DNA test results are in!" called Leonidus, "and I can confirm that the Doctor …is…the father!"

"There must be some mistake," said the Doctor.

"What?" shrieked Margaret. "What about all those nights we spent together? Are you trying to hide from our love, and the beautiful child we created?"

"Are you trying to shirk your new found paternal responsibilities?" roared Leonidus.

"This is ridiculous!" the Doctor said. "I haven't even spoken to Margaret Slitheen for years, and if I'd had my own way I'm not sure I'd ever have spoken to her again. Actually, I'm fairly sure that last time we met, she got turned into an egg."

The crowd booed and began to throw rotten fruit and vegetables. Margaret burst into tears.

"But I love you," she sobbed, "My Doctor-poo! How can you lie in front of all these people? Last time we met, you called me Maggie-kins, and then we kissed under the six full moons of Candor and then you took me back to your place, and then –"

"Stop right there!" the Doctor yelled, dodging out of the way of a thrown tomato, and sidestepping a rotten banana. "I can't take this any more!"

The audience were on their feet now, calling for blood at this heinous treatment of an innocent, vulnerable, pregnant (and generally murderous) woman. Margaret Slitheen lumbered across the stage towards the Doctor, arms open to embrace him, and snot pouring down her face.

"Come to my arms, my lubbly-jubbly Timelordy-wordy and tell me how I'm the most beautiful woman you've ever made lo-"

"Aaaargh!" the Doctor yelled, and prepared to start running for his life, for the second time that evening.

And then he felt a cold, round pressure between his shoulder blades.

"Raise your arms, humanoid," grated a hideously familiar robotic drone, "or you will be exterminated."

Just when I thought this couldn't possibly get any worse.

The Doctor raised his arms. The stage was suddenly empty of chairs, King Leonidus, and, thankfully, Margaret Slitheen. But the Doctor almost wished she was still there as, gliding across the stage to sinister whirring noises, came the Daleks.

The Doctor glanced over his shoulder at the Dalek whose laser nozzle was pressed into his back. Its metal casing was matt black.

"The Cult of Skaro," its voice scraped, "Demand that you take part in their annual cabaret evening."

The audience cheered.

The Doctor stared in incomprehension as he looked down to see that he was suddenly, inexplicably dressed in a pink, spangly, full-body leotard, stiletto heels, and a huge feather boa. He was also wearing a massive sparkly headdress.

"This," he muttered, "Is the most utterly humiliating experience I've ever had in my life."

It was about to get worse.

The Can-can by Offenbach began to play over the speakers, and the Daleks began to dance.

They stood in a line, feather boas wrapped around their metal bodies, spinning round and round and waving their lasers and toilet plungers to the beat. Terribly, the Doctor felt himself begin to dance along with them – his body was being controlled, and he couldn't stop himself. He was shimmying with his feather boa, and doing high kicks back and forth across the stage. Left, right, kick! Turn around, shimmy, shuffle to the left, and repeat.

The audience were pointing and laughing, and now the Doctor began to make out faces. Everyone he had ever met was sat there in the audience, howling with laughter, howling with laughter at him in his sparkly leotard!

In the front row, the Brigadier and a group of Zygons were crying with mirth. To the left, Rose Tyler and Mickey held their sides as they almost fell off their chairs with laughter, beside Leela and the Rani, who were pointing and giggling manically. On the right, Captain Jack was dancing along down the aisle in his own matching leotard….well, he would be, wouldn't he.

Please, please make this stop, the Doctor begged no-one in particular. I swear I'll never eat pears again!

But the music kept playing, and the Doctor kept dancing, and the Daleks kept whirling and twirling across the stage, faster and faster and faster. It was pink sparkly chaos and the Doctor was trapped in the middle of it, feathers flying everywhere.

"I can't take this anymore!" the Doctor yelled.

And then, at long last, he woke up.

He shot up into a sitting position with a strangled yelp, heart pounding in the darkness. He was lying in his bunk in his cabin, just as he always had been. There were no Daleks, and no feather-boas.

It had all been a hallucination.

The Doctor slowly lay back down. Damn those bloody awful pears. He was never, ever, going to eat pears. Ever again!

"I hate pears," he muttered, as he drifted back off into a peaceful (and thankfully dreamless) sleep.

oOoOoOoOo

"Morning!" said Martha brightly, shunting open the door with her hip as she marched into John Smith's study, bearing a tray of tea. John looked up in confusion from his armchair, hair slightly dishevelled. Nurse Redfern glared, cheeks turning delicately pink, from where she sat opposite him, and quickly pulled back her hands, which had been resting on his.

"Martha!" they spluttered in unison, "What have I told you about entering uninvited?"

Whateveerrrr! Martha thought. "Sorry, sir, miss," she grinned, and plonked the tray down with unnecessary force, so that every cup rattled.

She began to hum to herself excessively loudly and tunelessly as she carefully (and very, very slowly) poured out two cups of tea. She ensured that the teapot made as much glugging as possible, and was sure to splash the milk. She dropped the sugar cubes from enough of a height that the tea splashed all over the tray…entirely accidentally, of course.

The pair behind her was shifting uncomfortably in their seats, clearly waiting for her to leave. Every time she did something wrong on purpose while preparing the two cups, John and Joan winced, and Martha reckoned the expressions on their faces were probably enough to get her through the rest of the day. She could see that Nurse Redfern was practically bursting out of her chair to come and tell her how to pour tea properly.

"Will you please hurry up, Martha?" asked John suddenly.

Alright, keep your hair on!

"Enjoy your tea," Martha said sweetly, passing them both a cup. She stood by the chairs and waited.

John looked at her. "Well?"

Martha looked blankly back. "Well what, sir?"

"Well, are you going to leave?" he sounded exasperated.

"Oh, of course, sir," said Martha, "I was just waiting to make sure that you enjoyed your tea, that's all."

Mr Smith and the nurse exchanged long suffering glances, but raised their cups to take sips of the tea.

Nurse Joan almost spat out, and placed her cup to one side, coughing violently with a hand over her mouth. John Smith, however, took another thoughtful sip. "Tastes like…apples," he said. "Martha?"

"Yes sir?" she said blithely. It's not apples, you twit!

"This is awfully good tea. What ever it was you put in it, please make sure you do it again."

Martha nodded. "As you wish, sir."

So he did like pears, unless his taste buds had changed during his transformation to a human! The filthy liar. And what an idiot, as well! Martha gathered up the tray, and left the room.

"Apples, my arse," she grumbled.

She was half-way down the stairs when she realised she'd forgotten the sugar bowl, and turned back with a sigh. Coming towards the study again, she suddenly became aware of violent choking noises.

Oh no, what have I done?

She broke into a sprint and slammed open the door. John Smith sat hunched over in his chair, shaking and hacking, while a white-faced Nurse Joan tried to get him to sit up. Next to Mr Smith's chair, with a bite taken out of it, lay a pear. Only then did Martha notice the bowl of pears on the mantelpiece – which sure as heck had not been there yesterday.

"What happened?" Martha yelled, horror clutching at her throat.

"He ate a pear – a boy brought him some - I was going to get him to throw them out – he told me he couldn't stand them – and now he's having a reaction," said Joan grimly, clearly struggling to stay calm. "Call for a doctor immediately, Martha."

Martha couldn't move. Joan stared at her. "Didn't you hear what I said? Go!"

Martha ignored her. Jolting into action she ran forward, and fell to her knees by the chair, not even noticing the pain. Don't panic don't panic don't panic. She tilted John's head back. Eyes wild, his skin was clammy and his breath rattled in his chest.

"What are you doing?" said Joan, "I told you to fetch help-"

"I am a Doctor, remember?" Martha snapped, terror making her furious, "I'm a doctor in Freedonia – I know what I'm doing! I'm opening his airways!"

"And I think you'll find I'm a qualified nurse," Joan retorted equally angry, "Therefore so do I. We need to lower him to the floor immediately - for shock."

Martha clamped down on the urge to shout, and nodded curtly. They were both afraid, but they needed to work together. She was trained to operate in these situations, she couldn't freak out now. She had to stay calm for the Doctor's sake.

Joan grabbed John round the waist and Martha lifted his legs, and they slid him down from the armchair. He landed on the rugged floor with a thump and an 'Ow!' before descending into another fit of choking and coughing.

Joan yanked a cushion from the sofa and shoved it under head, while Martha strained to drag the armchair round so his legs could rest on it.

"I'll take care of everything else," said Joan, "Now go!"

John Smith made a hideous gagging noise, and his face went purple. Then he swallowed, and suddenly sat up.

The coughing stopped.

Martha turned from where she was already half way out the door. "Are you alright?" she gasped.

John nodded, and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. "Terribly sorry about all that - I was choking on one of those horrible pears."

Joan and Martha stared. Martha felt the knot of tension in her chest relief, but her heart was still pounding two to the dozen.

"So you're not having a reaction?" said Joan, brushing his hair back from his forehead and peering at his eyes.

"No. I was just trying to cough it up, because it tasted so horrible."

"You're telling me…" said Martha, voice not entirely calm, "That you knew you hated pears, but you ate one anyway, and then started trying to cough it up and neglected to tell us that you weren't actually dying?"

"I believe that's the case," said Joan.

"Well, actually –" began John.

"Shut up!" yelled Martha and Joan in perfect unison.

John's eyes popped slightly.

"You," said Joan, "Are a blithering idiot, John Smith."

Martha gaped at her.

Joan stood up in one movement, brushed off her skirt, and swept towards the door. She turned to Martha. "Let's leave this ridiculous fool, shall we?"

Martha didn't have a chance to reply before the Nurse hooked her arm through Martha's and glided from the room. Joan paused in the corridor, and then spun, wisps of blonde hair falling around her face, fixing John with a cobra-like stare. "If I ever catch you eating a pear again," she said, in a voice so matronly that Martha almost cowered, "Rest assured that I will leave you to choke to death where you sit. Do you understand?"

John nodded hastily, looking thoroughly chastised.

"Good," said Joan simply, and she and Martha turned and left.

"Just wait here a minute!" John called after the retreating women.

Martha and Joan ignored him as they left down the corridor.

Instead, they returned knowing glances, and Martha felt her lips twitch.

"John," sighed Joan, shaking her head with a small smile. "Has he always been like this?"

"Oh," grinned Martha, "You have no idea."

oOoOoOoOo

There it is, it's totally random but I hope you enjoyed it. Now please review!