Chapter Three

After learning all their names, Khassstra led them to a small wooden booth that was selling apple cider. The Doctor was about to pull out his credit stick to pay for four drinks but Khassstra pointed out who he was to the male Sissshak behind the counter. The man instantly declared that the drinks were on the house and gave five black plastic cups filled with apple cider to the Doctor and his friends. The Doctor thanked him politely but he was upset that his new friend was namedropping to keep him from paying for anything. He hoped he wouldn't alert everyone Sissshak in the area that he was here. The last thing he wanted while trying to enjoy himself was a crowd of enraptured lizards following behind them.

"This is good," Amy said after taking a sip of cider. "Tastes like the real thing."

"We try our best, Friend Amy," Khassstra said. "We don't get everything right but we try hard to recreate Earth culture."

"How come you aren't wearing a costume then?" Rory said. "Everyone except the Sissshak are."

"Well…we tried but Earth costumes did not fit well on our bodies," Khassstra said. "But we enjoy the sight of others in theirs. I like what you are wearing. I'm glad you decided to fit in with the rest of the tourists."

"Wouldn't be Halloween without costumes," the Doctor said.

"I agree. Our kind do not dress up and pretend during festival days. We love the humans' imagination and creativity."

"As do I," the Doctor said.

They stopped by another booth. Beside the wooden booth was a large steel tub filled with apples. A female Sissshak stood behind the booth and smiled at them as they approached.

"Would you like to bob for apples? We have prizes if you can grab an apple with your mouth," she said, pointing to the tub.

"That oughta be easy for you, Big Gob," Amy said to the Doctor.

River and Rory sniggered when the Doctor eyed her. Then a grin spread over his face as he took off his fedora and shoved it into Amy's chest.

"Watch a master at work," he said to her.

"Watch a git at work? Is that what you said?" Amy teased while she held his hat.

The Doctor ignored her as he walked over to the tub. He knelt down in front of it and plunged his head into the water. He rooted around while water sloshed over the sides. Then a minute later, he jerked his head up and proudly showed off the apple stem between his clenched teeth. He opened his mouth and caught the apple and stood up while everyone applauded. He thanked the female Sissshak when she reached down behind the booth and offered him a small white towel. While he wiped the water off his face and hair, she brought up a chart from behind the booth. On the chart were pictures of prizes.

"Look this over and pick what you want and we'll use a matter replicator to make one for you," she said, pointing to the chart.

"Dearest, come and pick your prize," the Doctor said, beckoning to River.

"Ooo, thank you," River said, walking up.

She studied the chart. It was filled with photos of Halloween trinkets and plushies. She chose a black cat plushie that was wearing a purple witch's hat. The Sissshak reached under the counter and put a large metal box on the counter. She used a keypad on the back to enter the number of the prize and there was a hissing sound from inside the box. After thirty seconds, the hissing stopped and she opened a door in the side of the box and pulled out a replica of the cat plushie. She gave it to River and River thanked her while she held it close to her.

"Okay, Pond, money where your mouth is," the Doctor said, turning and pointing to the tub.

"Wait, I never said this was a challenge," Amy said.

She gave the Doctor a peeved look when he made clucking noises. Rory scoffed and stepped up.

"Never send a witch to do a centurion's job, he said as he knelt down.

He stuck his head in the water, rooted around for thirty seconds before coming up with an apple in his mouth. Everyone applauded while he spit it into his hand and stood up. He took the towel from the Sissshak and studied the chart. He chose a torch that had a plastic jack-o-lantern attached to the front. The Sissshak made it and gave it to him. He turned the torch on and the jack-o-lantern lit up from the torchlight. He snorted when Amy held her hand out.

"This is mine, get your own."

The Doctor laughed at the pissed off look on Amy's face. Rory shrugged and turned the torch off.

"I'm not a chivalrous as the Doctor," Rory said to Amy.

"Got that right," Amy said.

"River? Want to have a go?" the Doctor said, pointing to the tub.

"And ruin my hair, are you insane?" River teased. "No, I'm content with my cat. Thank you, Sweetie."

The Doctor shrugged. He retrieved his hat from Amy and made more clucking noises while he put it back on.

"Your hat will be the next thing to get dunked if you don't button it," Amy said while the Doctor winked and walked back to River.

They moved on, following Khassstra while they looked at the scenery and the costumes on the other people.

"There is contest for best costume by the way; it takes place in our civic center in a couple of hours, if memory serves. Are you interested in that?" Khassstra asked.

"I think Rory should enter. His centurion outfit would win," Amy said.

"I think you should enter the contest," the Doctor said to River.

"What about you?" River said to him.

"Nah, I doubt people would know what I'm s'posed to be. Your dazzling though, you'd win first place," the Doctor said.

"Nah, Rory would."

"Care to bet on that?" the Doctor said, spinning around to face her.

Everyone stopped while the Doctor and Amy locked eyes for a moment. Amy finally smirked.

"Okay, I'll bet on it," she said.

"Wait, we never said we were going to enter," Rory said, gesturing to himself and River.

"Doesn't matter, dad," River said. "The Doctor loves to bet on things, we're superfluous at the moment."

"Will you enter if I bet on you?" Amy said to Rory.

Rory thought about that and turned to Khassstra.

"Do you know what I'm supposed to be?" he asked the lizard.

"Not exactly but the judges vote for what they like, even if they don't know what you're supposed to be," he said.

Rory looked at River.

"Wanna do it?" he asked her.

"What if neither of us wins?" River said.

"Then no one profits from the bet," the Doctor said.

River and Rory shared a glance.

"I'll do it if you want to," Rory said.

"Oh what the hell, I'm in," River said with a shrug. "It wouldn't require any effort to stand there and be judged and we might win a prize."

"I'm in," Rory said.

"What's the bet then?" Amy said to the Doctor.

"You win…hmmm…I'll give you a stick with one hundred credits on it and you get to pick where we go next."

"Okay," Amy said. "If you win…"

The Doctor thought about that.

"You…have to cook me a seven course meal and serve it to me and be my footstool while I eat."

"What?" Amy said while River and Rory laughed. "I'm not gonna be your ruddy footstool."

"Okay, okay, make me dinner and serve it to me," the Doctor said.

Amy gave him a wary look before shaking his hand.

"Yippee! I'm gonna get fed!" the Doctor said, pumping his fist.

"Yeah, right, I'm gonna win," Amy said.

"No, you're gonna lose and lose badly and I'll gloat and gloat and gloat," the Doctor said, walking off.

"In your dreams, Time Lord," Amy said, following along behind him.

"Don't worry, this is normal behavior for them," Rory said to Khassstra when he saw the odd look on the lizard's face.

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