thirty2flavors: (reel me in my precious girl)
[personal profile] thirty2flavors
Title: ...Have More Fun
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Ten2/Rose, alt!Donna, Jake, with a little bit of namedropping
Genre: Shameless fluff/humour
Spoilers?: Through 4x13
Summary: Everyone has a type.
Excerpt: “Nothing.” Rose shrugged, but from what he could see the smirk stayed in place. “Just that you’ve got a thing for blondes, that’s all.”

Author's notes: We all know it's true. And I think technically it's [ profile] goldy_dollar's birthday now since it's past midnight, so hurrah! A relatively insignificant addition to the Gingerbread 'verse.

The Doctor missed the TARDIS.

He missed the convenience of rooms seeming to appear when you needed them and the vast amounts of storage space. He missed the convenience of having a vast array of technology at his disposal all the time, the sort of technology that couldn’t be replicated even through Torchwood’s shameless pillaging of all that fell to Earth. He missed the ability to slip seamlessly from planet to planet and time period to time period.

Mostly, though – at the moment, anyway – he missed the instantaneous travel.

“It’s really quite hard to keep up any sort of adrenaline when you’ve got to drive forty-five minutes to get anywhere,” he announced. He lifted his head off the window and made a face at the squelching sort of sound his skin made as it left the glass. The TARDIS didn’t make squelching sounds.

“Would you usually have an adrenaline rush at an overblown science fair?” asked Jake innocently from the seat beside the Doctor, though his posture, too, suggested the very antithesis of adrenaline.

“Probably,” chimed both Rose and Donna from the front seats, before the Doctor so much as made a sound.

And then they laughed. The nerve.

“We should’ve got one of those vans with the televisions in,” Donna said, pointing at the bare spot on the car’s ceiling. “Put in some cartoons, that’d keep him quiet.” She smirked back at him over her shoulder, and with his nine-hundred-plus years of experience, the Doctor knew the only appropriate response was to stick out his tongue.

“You could play car games with Jake,” Rose suggested, catching his eye in the rearview mirror and grinning toothily. “Tony likes I Spy.”

“I spy with my little eye something that is pouting?” Jake suggested, perked up in his seat and grinning cheekily.

The Doctor scowled at him. Traitor. “I was only saying—”

“Oh, I like that,” said Donna, twisting in her seat to send an approving look in Jake’s direction. “Something that is impatient?”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Right, first off, if you’re doing that, it ought to be someone, not—“

“Someone that is sulking?”

“Someone who has to run around in the shower to get wet?”

With an audible and slightly exaggerated sigh the Doctor dropped his head back against the glass, turning again to stare at the landscape as it crept by.

Torchwood had learned of, as Jake had phrased it, an “overblown science fair” in Utah that was to be hosted by wealthy enthusiast Henry van Statten. The official Torchwood decision had been to send only one pair of eyes and ears in the form of Jake Simmonds, as Jake could blend with a crowd in the unobtrusive way the Doctor and Rose never seemed to manage. Donna had volunteered to keep Jake company, his “personal assistant” in the not entirely unlikely event that things proved interesting.

As for the Doctor and Rose, well, there’d never been any real chance of them staying behind, regardless of what Torchwood termed “personal bias”. They both distrusted van Statten and they both leapt at any opportunity to leave London. Officially they were on holiday; unofficially they were eager to provide back-up to the back-up.

Worried that the sight of Rose Tyler in Utah might trigger warning bells for anyone who paid attention to Torchwood, Rose had gone so far as to trade in her typical blonde hair for black. Under the onslaught of mocking from Jake and Donna, it was this that the Doctor focused on, leaning forward in his seat and studying what he could see of the dark strands.

It wasn’t that she didn’t look nice, exactly – he suspected Rose would be pretty with brown hair or black hair or green hair or no hair at all – so much as it was the simple fact that she didn’t look like Rose. Some distant part of his vastly superior brain acknowledged that this was a tad hypocritical.

Tactile as always he reached out, taking a lock between his fingers for closer inspection.

“I miss the blonde,” he mused, for little reason beyond the simple fact that it was true.

In the rearview mirror he saw Rose lift an eyebrow, and her reflection in the window was smirking. “Well, you would.”

He craned his neck as best he could to squeeze between the side of the car and her headrest. He really should have fought harder against Donna’s rule of “women in the front”. “What does that mean?”

“Nothing.” Rose shrugged, but from what he could see the smirk stayed in place. “Just that you’ve got a thing for blondes, that’s all.”

It was not an accusation he was expecting. “What? I do not!”

Rose laughed. “Oh, you do so!”

“Right,” said Donna, twisting in her seat, “I’m interested.”

Rose smirked, pleased with herself, and the Doctor looked from Rose to Jake and Donna and then back again. “I don’t!”

Rose sent him a brief but skeptical look over her shoulder, and he faltered.

“Alright,” he admitted, lifting one hand in mock surrender, “Astrid was blonde, I’ll give you that, but Joan hardly counts, that wasn’t really—“

“Who’s Astrid? And Joan?”

“Er,” said the Doctor.

Donna laughed in that certain way she did when he had said something spectacularly daft. Behind her, Jake was subtler in his mirth; he stared out the car window grinning like a madman and somehow managing to restrain his laughter.

“Well?” asked Rose, and he could see through the mirror that she still had one eyebrow arched in the terrifying manner all women seemed to have mastered.

He rubbed the back of his neck and took the time to scowl at Donna as he floundered for an answer. “Well, they were… hold on, who were you talking about?”

“Oh, let me, see,” said Rose, lifting one hand from the wheel to stroke her chin. “There was Lynda-with-a-y...”

“She helped us!”

“And Madame de Pompadour.”

“...Ah,” said the Doctor eloquently.

Beside him, Jake perked up. “Oh, I know about that! Mickey told me about that. Horse on a spaceship, right?”

France on a spaceship,” the Doctor interjected, though Jake seemed to pay little attention to the correction.

“That’s the one,” he said eagerly. “Mickey loved that one.”

“Tell me about it,” groaned Rose. To the Doctor she added, “His first trip and you just had to give him all that material. Honestly.”

Donna was turned completely in her seat now, looking delighted, oblivious to the way her seatbelt was cutting into her neck. “Is someone gonna tell me this story or not?”

“No,” said the Doctor, as Rose said, “He left us stranded on a spaceship so he could go snog the Queen of France.”

Donna’s eyebrows shot up and the Doctor scowled at the back of Rose’s headrest. “What?” he yelped. “That’s not –” Suddenly aware the pitch of his voice had risen, the Doctor turned back to Donna and swallowed before continuing. “That’s not what happened.”

“Pretty much how Mickey tells it,” Jake said, grinning merrily at Donna.

Donna's brow furrowed. "And the horse?"

"He took it with him," said Rose, as though this explained everything.

Exasperated, the Doctor rolled his eyes. “Why does everyone care about the horse?" He scowled at Jake. "And that's not what happened. I left them with my time machine so that I could preserve history.” He blinked. “And she wasn’t the queen, she was the king’s mistress.”

From what he could make out from the various reflective surfaces, Rose’s expression was the sort he imagined a bear wore when it caught a salmon straight out of the air. “But you did snog her.”

The Doctor found himself sympathizing with salmon that, while innocently attempting to travel upstream, suddenly find themselves as snacks for Yogi. “I... well, I..." Unsure how to finish that sentence, he trailed off. He imagined if crickets were the sort of creature commonly found in cars in Utah, they would certainly have chosen the awkward silence that followed as a fine time for a solo.

And then Donna reached across the car to hit him upside the head. Her seatbelt and the uncomfortable angle took most of the sting from the blow, but he rubbed his head and pulled away from her anyways. “That was years ago!”

“Good thing Mickey’s not here, I s’pose,” sighed Rose, shrugging. “I’d owe him a tenner.”

“You could pay me,” suggested Jake.

Leaning as far forward and as far from Donna as he could, the Doctor once again tried to tuck his chin between the headrest and the car door with only minor success. They ought to make the space between headrests and car doors bigger, he thought, or at least make it more difficult for someone in the front passenger’s seat to hit someone in the opposite back seat.

Rose was watching the road, squinting into the distance, and he found he wasn’t sure if she was an attentive driver or merely an annoyed one. “You weren’t stranded,” he said, certain that this was the sort of thing that ought to be clarified, even if that clarification came several years late. “I wouldn’t leave you stranded. The TARDIS would’ve taken you home, if you’d—”

“I know.” She somehow managed to smirk through her voice. “Gotta love those emergency programs.”

“Well, they’re important.” He tried to lift his head higher and only succeeded in bumping it on the roof. “You never said anything.”

“Yeah.” Rose shrugged, and some of her strangely dark hair tickled his cheek. “She died. You were upset. I wasn’t gonna.”

“Are you honestly upset about this now?” he asked, finding himself at a loss – as usual – with regards to the motivation of human females.

“Dunno,” said Rose. She really was very good at keeping a blank face when she tried. “Did you snog Astrid and Joan, too?”

The Doctor tugged at his ear. Oh, now she was just playing dirty -- but two could do that. If he couldn’t retain any dignity through honesty he could at least use pity to his advantage. “But you were gone! I thought I’d never see you again! I missed you, I was lonely! I—“

“Oh, shut up,” said Rose. Then her composure finally snapped and she laughed. “Of course I’m not upset, that was ages ago.” She grinned, but then her expression sobered and she took her eyes from the road long enough to give him a stern stare. “Do it again, though, and I’ll kill you.”

The Doctor beamed at her innocently in return, and then – because it really was uncomfortable having your head wedged between a window and a car seat – he pulled back, settling into a position that didn’t put quite so much strain on his seatbelt.

“So what you’re saying,” said Donna, still regarding the Doctor with a look he didn’t trust, “is that before all this, you wandered this other universe of yours picking up blondes.”

“What? No! Rose, tell her—“

“He picks up all sorts,” Rose clarified. “It’s just the blondes that he snogs.”

“That's not...” The Doctor trailed off, suddenly aware that genetic transfers were not likely to protect him from Donna's reach.

With a dramatic sigh, Donna turned around, looking out her window and shaking her head. “Even bloody aliens,” she muttered. "I might as well shave my head."

“It’s all right,” Rose went on, her tone light and cheery the way it always was when she was having a fun time making him squirm. “So you’ve got a type. Most people have got a type.”

“It’s true,” Donna agreed, staring out at the landscape still. “Jake and I, for instance, like blokes who don’t look like they might snap in half in a strong wind. Rose’s obviously got a thing for older men—“


“And Northern accents,” Jake added innocently.

The Doctor’s interest was piqued. “What?”

From the driver’s seat, Rose was indignant. “That was one time!”

Jake shielded his mouth with his hand even as he stage whispered. “It was three times.”

“Two and a half!”

Utterly delighted, the Doctor slid forward again and – no longer fearing onslaught from Donna – peered around Rose’s seat, grabbing the back of it for leverage. “Northern accents? Really?” She pursed her lips and did her best to ignore him; the Doctor did his best to make that impossible. “I had no idea.”

Rose tossed her hair, determinedly keeping her eyes trained on the road. “You’re distracting the driver.”

“Is that so?” Slipping into the accent felt strange; it was clumsy on his tongue, familiar and foreign like an old but well-worn pair of jeans. “This affinity of yours, when did it start, would you say?”

She took one hand from the wheel and bent her arm backwards, an awkward attempt at reaching him that culminated in little more than a pat on the head. She looked at him, smiled affectionately and shook her head.

“No, don’t do that.” She wrinkled her nose. “Really, don’t.”

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