Title: Death in the Fruit
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: adult themes
Category: Action, Drama
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones, OFC
Summary: Not all things are what they seem. 486 words.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: Prompt from my sister. Since we all know the Doctor's 'song is ending' she wanted something involving a fruit and Martha.

"Odd little thing, isn't it?" mused the Doctor, holding up the orange fruit.

The noise of the bazaar was loud, so Martha almost didn't hear him. She glanced at the fruit for a second. "It's just a tomato, Doctor," she said and looked away, poking through a bin full of...something fuzzy and garishly multi-colored, bound by an adhesive label.

The Doctor gently pushed her hand away from the bin. She looked up, puzzled.

He made a 'tsk' sound with his lips and said, "I wouldn't do that. They bite."

Martha stepped away from the bin, startled. She didn't notice that the girl minding the booth smiled to herself, covering her mouth with an open hand.

The Doctor grinned and tossed her the fruit. She caught it in both hands, surprising herself.

"And that's not a tomato. That's a persimmon."

She tossed it back to him, smirking. "Uh-uh, Doctor. You can't fool me like that. This is a tomato."

The girl minding the booth stepped forward. "It's not a...tomato...as you said."

The Doctor said, "Oh, and who might you be?"


"Well, Faruza, what is it?"

She took it from his hands. "Something masquerading as something else."

At that point, the tomato split, spattering red, watery liquid over Faruza's hands. She dropped it, and screamed when it sprouted spidery gray legs and shook itself, revealing an automaton bug, bristling with little spikes and lit with tiny green lights.

The Doctor shouted, "Back!" Faruza and Martha both put a healthy distance between themselves and watched as the Doctor took his sonic screwdriver from an inside pocket of his suit jacket and aimed it at the metal spider.

It squealed and then launched itself at the Doctor, spidery legs landing on his shoulder. It shook itself, reared back on two of its legs and then came down with the rest, piercing the blue fabric. The Doctor cried out and dropped the sonic screwdriver.

"Doctor!" Martha yelled and dashed forward, grabbing the screwdriver.

She aimed it at the bug and pressed the button, hearing the familiar whine of it working. The bug disintegrated. Martha rushed forward as the Doctor started falling and tried to support him. His weight was too much and they both went to the ground.

"Are you all right? Please, tell me you're all right!" She took note of his breathing, heavy, and his face was turning slightly gray, a sheen of sweat on his forehead.

"I'm all right," he said.

"You're lying."

His smile was more of a grimace. "Right."

"What can I do?"

"Take me back to the TARDIS. That's all."

She stared at him. He nodded.

"I'm going to regenerate. No stopping it."

She looked at him a moment longer, eyes wide and sad. Then she swallowed, her lips pinched. She exhaled and nodded. "All right, come on, Doctor. Let's get you back."

She looked back as they started walking. The girl was gone.