Romana examined the bouquet dubiously. "Why have you given me bits of plant?"
The Doctor shrugged and tried to look casual. "Don't you like them?"
"Are they dangerous?"
"Of course not!"
She sniffed the flowers carefully. "Beta-phenyl ethyl alcohol?" She looked quite interested by that. Absolutely typical. First she fixated that the Mona Lisa had no eyebrows and now she was going on about the chemical make-up of roses. She had no appreciation of beauty and style and things like that.
"It's traditional," he said, hardly sulking at all. "They're what you buy for people you're quite fond of."
"You didn't get any for K-9."
"What would a metal dog do with bits of local fauna?"
Romana rolled her eyes. "What am I supposed to do with them?"
He had to admit that he wasn't sure on that bit himself. "You could... well, you could put them in a vase? And... look at them."
"I quite wanted a hyperspatial spanner."
"We've already got one of those."
"No, you have one of those. And you keep losing it. You left in K-9 last week, remember?"
"Yes, but it did stop him veering off to the right so much, didn't it? You should have left it there."
She picked at her bunch of roses. "They'll just attract those little insects that buzz and stab you."
"You're supposed to be grateful," he sniffed.
"Grateful that you've made me a target for angry insects?" She flicked her hair back the way she did when she was starting to get irritated. "Honestly, Doctor, sometimes I just don't understand you." She looked thoughtful. "Do I have to buy you flowering plants as well?"
"Women don't have to. It's one of those gendered gift-giving rituals."
"I don't know!" He rubbed the side of his nose. "You can if you want to. It's just that people might think we were strange."
Romana looked at the people walking past them, comparing the way they were dressed to the way everyone else in the park was dressed. She looked at K-9 and at the fact that all the other dogs seemed to be organic. "I can't possibly imagine anyone thinking we were strange," she lied.
"Well, we're not."
"Not strange at all."
"Everyone else now... I'm not sure about everyone else."
"I have my doubts about them," she agreed.
"They are aliens," he said. "Native to the planet, of course, but aliens by any other standard."
"I don't have a vase," she said.
"A vase." She held up the bouquet. "To put these in. You said I should put them in a vase and look at them, and I don't have a vase."
"I got you a vase on Indigo Three."
"Yes, you did, but we had to use it to stop that invasion, remember?"
He didn't, but wasn't about to admit that. "Yes, so we did."
"So can I have a vase as well?"
He was never going to buy her anything ever, ever again. "I'm sure there's one in the TARDIS."
"How long will they live for?" she asked.
"Not long. Unless we put them in the Zero Room. But that would just be silly."
"So," said Romana, "you bought me bits of plant because you're fond of me, and they're going to die quite soon. Is that supposed to be symbolic?"
"You know, Romana, sometimes you annoy me intensely."
"I thought you liked that?"
He blinked at her. "Well, yes, as it happens, but I was trying to express my irritation."
"You started it. You're the one who thought dying plants would be nice thing to buy someone."
"It was supposed to be romantic!"
"And a hyperspatial spanner isn't? I wanted one of those. I've wanted one for quite some time. I wrote a note about it and stuck it on the fridge."
She did look rather upset about the whole thing. That would teach him not to try being nice to people. He kicked K-9 simply because he could, and because he couldn't think of any way to blame the dog for his own stupidity.
"It was in iambic pentameter," said Romana.
"My note. It was in iambic pentameter. And you didn't even read it."
"I did! I thought it was just a rather nice poem. I didn't know it was to be taken literally."
"What did you think it meant?" she asked, curious.
"I wasn't sure. I thought it might have been about the abundance of main sequence stars in the outer rim of Mutter's Spiral."
Romana looked confused for a moment and then shrugged. "I suppose that interpretation's as valid as any other. Utterly wrong, of course, but still valid."
"Perhaps that's where I got the idea that you wanted me to buy you some flowers?" he tried.
"So while I may have been mistaken on the details, you have to agree that it's the thought that counts."
"I think I'm trying to apologise," he said.
"You're terrible at apologies."
"I know. That's why you should appreciate the effort."
"You could write me a poem," she said. "A long and melodramatic one about how I make your hearts ache and about how incredibly wonderful I am."
"Do you want me to?" He started trying to think of things that rhymed with 'Romana' in case she did. Florana. Banana. There wasn't much to choose from. If only he'd stuck with 'Fred'. That rhymed with so many things.
She shook her head. "Not really. I'd rather you got me a hyperspatial spanner."
"Alright then, I will."
They sat in silence for a few minutes. It was pleasant, but a bit dull.
"They don't have them on Earth at this point, do they?" she asked, eventually.
He shook his head. "No."
"So we'll have to go somewhere else."
"Are you sulking?"
She handed him the roses. "I got you some flowers."
"Oh, how kind! Beta-phenyl ethyl alcohol?"
"Yes," she smiled. "Your favourite."
"We should put them in a vase."
She nodded. "And then look at them."
"Yes." He stood up and took her hand to help her up from the bench. "And then I'll get you something in return. Would you like a hyperspatial spanner?"
"That's exactly what I wanted," she said as she got to her feet. "However did you guess?"
"There was a note on the fridge."
"I wonder who put that there?"
"Perhaps we'll never know."
And so they headed back to the TARDIS, followed by a veering-slightly-to-one-side K-9, who did not know much about organic creatures, but suspected that these two were in some way strange.