As Tosh looped the scarf around the man’s neck, he smiled at her, the manic yet infectious grin she remembered from so long ago. She was so caught up in remembering their last/first meeting she almost missed what he was saying…
“You don’t happen to know where I could get some Jelly Babies, do you? I have the oddest craving for them, but I can’t for the life of me recall what they are.”
Smiling back at him, she took his arm, guiding him along the street.
“As a matter of fact, I know just the place. It’s not far.”
Pushing open the door, Tosh led the way into an old-fashioned sweetshop, the kind with jars of sweets around the wall, waiting to be weighed out into bags.
Small independent shops had started making a return to high streets a few years previously. People had grown tired of the pre-packaged sweets, craving a taste of their childhoods, and enterprising businesspersons had quickly spotted a potentially lucrative opportunity.
Tosh had taken to buying herself some sweets here a couple of times a week. Somehow they tasted so much better from a paper bag, and Ernie stocked all of her childhood favourites.
“Morning, Ms Sato, what can I get you today?”
“Morning, Ernie. I’ll have half a pound of Sherbet Lemons, please, and my friend here will have a pound of Jelly Babies.” Tosh loved that Ernie had chosen to use pre-decimal weights. It added to the authenticity of the place.
Ernie fetched the jars and weighed out Tosh’s sweets, but just as he was about to weigh out the Jelly Babies, she stopped him.
“On second thoughts, could we buy the whole jar? My friend doesn’t live near a traditional sweetshop.”
“No problem. That’ll be £27.50.”
Tosh paid with a smile.
With the plastic jar and a bundle of paper bags in a brown paper sack cradled in the Doctor’s arms, they set off back along the street.
“I feel rather bad. You gave me this lovely scarf and you’ve bought me sweets, and I haven’t done anything for you.” He dug in his pocket. “I don’t think I have the right currency to repay you.”
“That’s alright, Doctor. I’ve been expecting you for a very long time.”
“You have? You know who I am? Extraordinary!”
“Let’s just say we’ve met before. I know some of your later regenerations quite well.”
The Doctor and Tosh stopped outside an old 1960s police box, incongruously parked in the middle of a flowerbed. Tosh found it highly amusing that not one person amongst the throngs of shoppers gave it a second glance.
“Well, here we are.” The Doctor opened the door. “Would you like to come in for a cup of tea? It seems the least I can do.”
“Thank you. I’d like that very much,” she said, stepping through the door he held open for her.
Morning tea in the TARDIS seemed like a very good way to start the day.
The End (and this time I really mean it!)