Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Rose Tyler, the Ninth Doctor, Jack Harkness
Summary: The art of misdirection is a magician's best skill. Occasionally it comes in handy for galactic time travelers — but when misdirection involves costume changes, the eventual result can be ... revealing. A tale from the Ninth Doctor's time with Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness.
Author's Note: I wrote this criminally delayed fandom_stocking 2015 story for jessalrynn , who likes the Ninth Doctor and Rose, and likes Jack as well. She said one of her enjoyments was in-character humor so I wrote this exceedingly silly piece of ever-so-slightly risque fluff in hopes that it would tickle her funnybone in the right way.
Edited by: my ever-patient dr_whuh
Disclaimer: Much as I wish it were otherwise, nothing in the Whoniverse, save the occasional original character, is mine. All others belong to the BBC and their respective creators. I intend no copyright infringement and take no coin. I do, however, love them, and thank the BBC for letting me play in its sandbox.
“Alright, then,” the Doctor said, rubbing his hands. “The planet Gheretz Secondary, renowned for its organic glassworks academies and blue sapphire-dust beaches, for those sybaritic apes whose ideas of fun include deliberately gettin’ wet, then lying on beach towels to dry off. Everyone ready?”
“Ready as we’ll ever be,” Jack replied. He’d changed into a crisp white shirt and a pair of tight blue jeans for today’s outing, but he’d informed Rose and the Doctor, with one of his happily lascivious grins, that he had a very tiny Speedo on underneath, “for when we reach the beaches.” The Doctor had rolled his eyes theatrically, then grinned. Rose had just grinned and hugged Jack.
“I am so very ready for looking at beautiful glass and working on my tan,” she said. She was wearing a long blue sundress, and a blue floppy hat bedecked with gold ribbons. Underneath, she’d told the others with just the hint of a blush, was a very tiny blue and gold bikini. She’d been rewarded by a darkening of both men’s eyes. “Is it true that the glass moves when you touch it?”
“That it does, Rose Tyler, especially if you’re gentle with it,” the Doctor said, taking one last look around the TARDIS console room. “You’ll get a chance to see that, at least if we get a move on. Less talk, more walk, people!”
“Wait one precious second, Doc—”
“Don’t call me Doc,” that worthy answered, mostly out of habit. “What?”
“Are you seriously heading out to a beach wearing that get up? At least tell me you’ve got swim trunks on underneath those jeans of yours.”
The only response Jack got was a snort. He sighed. “Alright. I had to give it the old college try.”
Rose looked over at Jack and they shared a look of exasperated affection before joining the Doctor at the TARDIS door.
**** **** **** ****
Exasperated affection had long since turned to exhausted aggravation by the time the trio fell back into the TARDIS, ducking laser blasts as they did so.
“Close the bloody door!” Rose called to whoever could get the thing shut. She was busy trying to get the buttons of the leather coat undone, but was sabotaging her own efforts by stopping and trying to remove the sharp stones embedded in her bare feet. The mutually incompatible actions pitched her over. “Damn!”
“Done!” Jack was barefoot too, but he didn’t seem to mind the TARDIS grating under his feet as he lunged for the door and slammed it shut, before sliding to the floor, chest heaving as he caught his breath. “Goddamn … god damn … I thought we’d lost them a couple of times … no such luck ….” He stopped talking, and started trying to undo the ribbons of Rose’s sundress, which was wrapped, more or less uselessly around his otherwise bare torso, and tucked into the Doctor’s black jeans.
Rose, having given up on shedding the jacket after she realized she’d only the the bottom half of her bikini on underneath, righted herself and walked over to Jack. “You’re a proper jumble,” she said, eyeing her wadded up sundress. “Here, let me—hold still, for heaven’s sake .… ”
“Thanks darlin’.” Jack bent his neck away from her, so that she could get at the recalcitrant knot. “You know, it seemed so easy to untie when you were wearing it.”
“Hush … ah, there we go. That’s got it!” She pulled the ribbons apart, and the bib of the sundress fell forward, giving Rose a more than satisfactory view of Jack’s broad chest.
“Like what you see?”
“Always.” Her eyes sparkled.
He grinned at her, and Rose grinned right back at him, her irritation at the close call momentarily forgotten.
“Well aren’t you two toothy.”
At the sound of that deep Northern grumble, the two of them looked up and over to where the Doctor looked considerably less than happy, or dignified.
He was wearing Jack’s jeans and, while they were long enough to cover his bony ankles, they also sagged dangerously around his lean runner’s hips, forcing him to hold them up with the waistband bunched in one fist. He hadn’t been able to button Jack’s shirt in the adrenaline-fueled race from where they’d hurriedly exchanged clothing, so it hung loose over the jeans. Rose, who knew she shouldn’t giggle, worked hard on schooling her face to careful sympathy. It was a little easier when she focused on what she could see underneath the shirt. A different type of build than Jack’s, but similarly enjoyable viewing ….
“Teach me to listen to either of you about disguises,” the Time Lord snarked, trying to use his free hand to set the controls that would send them into the Vortex. “That was a disaster.”
“Disaster? Au contraire, mon ami, I’d say it was a complete success.” Jack had finally caught his breath completely. He bounced to his feet, then held his hand out to haul Rose up as well. “C’mon, Rose, it looks like we have to soothe a ruffled team leader.”
“What, ruffled? I’m not ruffled!” the Doctor protested, before adding grumpily, “Besides, what if I was? Which I am not. I am definitely not ruffled.”
“Ruffled,” Jack insisted as he walked up and threw an arm companionably around the Doctor. “And embarrassed. Which you don’t really have the right to be. Why be embarrassed, just because Rose’s idea was, under the circumstances, rather more brilliant than any of yours?”
“Why, thank you,” Rose said. “Glad somebody thought it was.” She bent down to brush the last of the stones from her foot, but not before shooting a quick glare at the Doctor.
Jack continued. “C’mon, admit it, Doctor. It had your ideas beat all hollow. Switching clothes confused the tracking drones, at least long enough to give us time to figure out where the tunnel had come out, and work out how to get back home. We’re lucky she thought of a practical application for your observation that Gheretzites don’t visualize their external world the same way we do — that they lack facial recognition abilities, that they don’t naturally identify by outer trappings and can get very confused by them — ”
“Yeah, knew that, thanks, don’t need the nature documentary programme dialogue.”
Jack was unfazed. “Hey, I learned how to hyper-monologue from the best of them.” He raised his eyebrow and shrugged with Gallic insouciance when the Doctor scowled at him.
“Well, I would have thought of it myself, eventually,” the Doctor started to say, but Jack held up one hand and shook his head, even as he smiled at the other man.
“Don’t go there, Doctor. You were all set to go out there to try to lead them away from us. You were considering telling us to go back down that godawful tunnel while you, like the Gallifreyan idiot you can all too often be, were going to walk straight in the other — very wrong — direction. You had, in short, that look in your eyes that you have just before you decide you’re going to step in front of a bullet because you think you’re supposed to.”
The Doctor’s face went through a remarkable set of changes, eventually settling on chagrined realization. Jack nodded, satisfied.
Rose, now leaning against the TARDIS console rail, nodded as well. Then she sighed. “We never did get to see the organic glass. Apart from the piece that stole my swim top, I mean. And we never found out why that piece had escaped the academy. Hope it made it back in one piece. It was pretty, even if it was handsy … in an it-didn’t-have-any-hands kind of way.”
“The Gheretzites were so certain you’d stolen it that they weren’t interested in considerin’ any other explanations,” the Doctor replied. “Ah well. Perhaps we can come back sometime —”
He rolled his eyes at the dual chorus from his companions. “Not now. In the past or the future.”
“Maybe,” Rose allowed. “ I mean, the glass and the beaches, I still want to see them without having to duck laser fire. But first, some rest and relaxation from our attempted rest and relaxation, yeah?”
The Doctor, finally out of his snit, smiled and nodded. “And perhaps we can all get back into outfits that suit us? Unless you want to keep that jacket, Rose Tyler.”
She looked down and smoothed the jacket proprietorially. “What if I did, then?”
“Simple, Rose,” Jack said, before the Doctor could reply. “You take the jacket, he takes your hat.
“Which is still, I’d like to point out, hiding his great big Time Lord ears in a very fetching manner.”
The Doctor snatched the floppy sunhat from his head, with as much dignity as he could manage.
And then watched in dismay as Jack’s jeans, now freed from his white-knuckled grip, slid to the floor and showed his delighted companions what he’d managed to hide under his jacket during their frenzied clothing swap in the tunnel.
The Doctor went commando.
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