When the strains of the music had finally faded away, with Rose still neatly tucked into his side, the Doctor finally remembered the Captain. It wasn't like he had actually forgotten him, of course. The look he had given the other man over his shoulder while he dipped Rose hadn't been an accident but now he actually had to concentrate on him. Which was slightly irritating considering what he had just been doing with Rose.
Even after Jack had helped save their lives — twice if he really wanted to get technical — he wasn't sure if he was going to like him. After all, he was arrogant, smarmy, Rose was obviously taken with him and he could probably charm the knickers off a Slitheen.
...though that could possibly come in handy, actually. He added that to the positive side of his mental checklist.
"So," Jack said, tucking his hat under one arm as he circled the console, eyes nearly as round as dinner plates. "What did you call this, a TARDIS was it?"
"The TARDIS, actually," the Doctor corrected as he moved to push buttons and press levers. Rose just grinned, looking back and forth between them, like a kid in a candy store. "Time And Relative Dimension In Space, if you want to get specific..."
"Which you always do." Now she looked down right cheeky as she tugged at her shirt, tongue touching the corner of her mouth.
"Oi, watch it you or no chip stops for a week," he warned sternly, shaking a finger at her and not getting distracted, no, not at all.
"Time and Relative Dimension in Space," Jack repeated slowly, finally coming to a stop in between the Doctor and Rose. With his back to Rose, he gave the Doctor a sharp look. "The TARDIS, you said. Amazing, almost like it's the last of its kind..."
The Doctor met the other man's gaze head on, neither one of them flinching. Of course. A Time Agent might not be as impressive as a Time Lord but they had to be more knowledgeable than the regular run of the mill 51st Century human. He knew. He had to have at least some clue.
Jack blinked and the moment was gone as if it had never there. Turning, he looped a casual arm over Rose's shoulders. "I demand a tour, beautiful," he announced to her. He gave the Doctor a bright grin. "You owe me one, Doctor."
"Excuse me? How can I owe you one when I was the one that rescued you?" The Doctor leaned against his ship, feeling her warmth under his hands and nearly snorted at the slight telepathic feedback. Fantastic, the TARDIS was amused.
"Ah-ah," Jack retorted, holding up a hand. "You may have saved me but, if I recall, I stopped the bomb from falling on you and Rose's lovely ... t-shirt." Rose beamed up at him and the Doctor wondered if the TARDIS would let him open the door long enough to see what effect the Vortex had on 51st Century humans. Doubtful, that. "Which means, essentially, you were the one who placed me in danger."
The Doctor's mouth dropped open. "You were trying to trick us in the first place!" he choked and felt his ears tinge red. "The con, do you remember that? Do you? And what about those..."
There was a small, warm hand on his chest and he stopped, arms frozen in mid-flail, as he looked down at Rose. She gave him a small and sincere smile. "He's windin' you up, Doctor," she said mildly.
"You know, what you do to Mickey?"
"Mickey?" Jack piped up from behind the young blonde and then leered. "Oooh, the Mickey Smith..."
"Oi!" she shouted back in warning.
"What, you've heard of him?" the Doctor asked, intrigued. He knew Rose was chatty but, still, she wisely tended to withhold names.
Jack grinned, arms crossed over his chest and completely ignored the warning glare he was being given. "In passing, really. Words that come to mind are avail ... oouf!" He sucked in a mouthful of air as Rose shook her hand and winced. "You hit me ... I like that in a woman."
Brilliant, Rose had decked him. That was Rose speak for "Let's keep this one and feed him tea and biscuits". She slapped people she didn't like – took after her mum, that one did. Everyone else was treated to a spot of rough housing, himself included.
The Doctor rubbed at his own chest, missing the hint of warmth that had seeped into his jumper from where her hand had been. "Worse than three year olds you two are," he sighed, sounding very put upon. A pair of wide grins were his only answer. "The death of me, both of you. But come on, we'll give flyboy here a short tour."
"Aww, but I was hoping for a long tour, Doctor," Jack now leered at him.
"Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack. The short tour will do you. You couldn't handle the long tour, trust me."
Rose stumbled out from her room, arms stretched over her head as she shuffled down the hall. Without thinking about it one hand dropped down and stroked the wall softly, a silent thank you for the gentle wake up. Better than what the Doctor normally did. The last time, she'd gotten socks chucked at her head until she was up and about.
Out of spite, she had ended up keeping most of those.
A yawn split her mouth and she didn't even try to stifle it, just covered her mouth and tried to keep her eyes open. It had been a very, very long night. That 'short' tour had turned into a several hour tour, mainly because Jack turned out to be a technofiend.
Techno ... thingie? Techno ... love? "Technophile!" she remembered. "Yay." She did an exhausted rendition of jazz hands as she turned the corner. "Tea tea tea tea tea." Chanting softly under her breath, she sped up a bit and felt a warmth of love for the TARDIS when she realized the ship had cut the distance by a good bit.
The Doctor, for all of his grumping and complaining, had been more than happy to show Jack some of the inner workings of his gloriously complicated machine. It had been like giving Mickey an overdose of sugar and coffee, then setting him loose in a toy store. One of the most frightening things she had ever seen which was saying quite a bit considering they'd just been chased around London by an empty dead child that wanted his 'Mummy'.
After a while, she just had to leave them to it. They had protested, begged, even clung ... and then Rose had thrown something shiny and incredibly complicated looking (knowing her luck, it probably had been a bloody rice cooker) at them and fled to the relative safety of her bed while they had been distracted. At which point, she had passed out into a techno-less dream state. Chocolate, Brad Pitt and a foot massage. That was all a girl really needed in her dreams.
Well. Unless it had to do something with an alien in a black leather jacket. There were some exceptions to the rules.
Finally, she reached the kitchen and nearly threw herself through the doorway in relief. "Te — whoop." Rose clapped both hands over her in an effort to silence her glee at being so close to her goal. She couldn't help the giggled snort that escaped as she took in the scene before her.
Jack was face down on the small, battered looking kitchen table, a soft snore coming up from him. He was still dressed as he had been when she'd gone to bed, which meant either he hadn't changed when he woke up or he hadn't been to bed at all. And considering the amount of various alien technology that littered the table in front of him and on various counters in the kitchen, Rose could easily guess which one it was.
The Doctor grinned at her over the other man as he leaned back against the counter top. "Tea?" he mouthed, pointing to the counter next to him. There was a mug - her mug, actually, a gift that said "Best Companion in the Universe" - and steam was rising from it. He held his own mug – a matching one that claimed "Best Doctor in the Universe" since they'd been feeling rather kitschy at the time - in his other hand.
"Bless you," she mouthed back, quietly making her way over to his side. Picking it up, Rose inhaled deeply and nearly purred before taking a careful sip. Just the way she liked it, of course. They'd been having tea together since nearly the first day she came on board. Leaning up, she impulsively kissed him on the cheek in thanks.
He blinked at her and then immediately became incredibly interested in his tea. She grinned and leaned up against him. "Late night?" she whispered.
"Jackie-boy here wasn't too keen on the short version of the tour, had to have the long version." The Doctor looked smug. "I told him he wasn't going to be able to handle it. Silly humans, even by the 51st Century, you lot still need a ton of sleep. Rather boring, really."
Rose rolled her eyes at him and he winked at her. "Sleep well?" There was a hint of concern under his voice. It had been a rather stressful adventure before hand even if the end result had been, in his words, utterly fantastic.
"Brilliant, yeah," she responded, leaning her head against his shoulder as she watched Jack sleep. Face down, nose slightly squished, and holding on for dear life to what looked like a steamer in his hand. Who knew what it actually did. "That doesn't look too comfortable."
When he shrugged, she felt more than saw it, her head gently rising and falling with his motion. "I warned him," the Doctor said, leaning his head further down to make it easier for Rose to hear him. "Didn't listen, obviously. Came into the kitchen to play with all the new toys he had found and about an hour ago, I turn around ... in the middle of a brilliant discussion about the calcification properties of a Gnargle toothbrush, mind you ... and he's passed out on me! And he snores."
"So, you what? Decided to hang around the kitchen, putting a cuppa on when you coulda been out there tinkering with the TARDIS or something that wasn't 'boring'?" Rose grinned up at him, not bothering to move her head from where it was. "You do like him," she sang out quietly and smugly.
"I do not!"
"Doctor, you're disappointed he fell asleep during a talk about calcification properties. You don't do that unless you actually enjoy the conversation."
"I like to talk, me."
"Well, yeah." She peeked around him and smirked. "You got everything set up for another cup of tea, too. In case he woke up or something?"
The Doctor grumbled under his breath. "Alright, he's not bad," he finally admitted in a huff.
"Is that all?" Rose asked, fluttering her lashes at him just a little bit. She could almost hear his teeth grinding against each other.
He opened up his mouth to say something but for once, thought about it and stopped himself. "For now, Rose, for now." Careful not to jostle her too much, he finished off the last of his tea and put his mug down. "But I suppose you're right, that doesn't look very comfortable at all. Suppose we should move him, yeah?"
Rose looked mournfully at her tea for a few seconds before giving a long suffering sigh. The Doctor chuckled softly as she chugged as much as she could before she had to stop, sticking her tongue out to cool it off from the hot liquid. As soon as the stinging pain left her, she set her mug next to his and tiptoed up to Jack.
The Doctor moved to stop her. "Careful, those former Time Agent instincts might..."
The man in question jerked upright under Rose's light touch to his shoulder, holding out the whatever it was in his hand like a sword. "Cake or death!" he shouted loudly before slumping backwards in a move that nearly rocked the chair off its legs, a snore already following his words.
They stared at him, each other and then back again in a mix of shock and amusement. "Or," the Doctor continued, "he could be so exhausted that he wouldn't notice if we took his bloody pants off. And no, Rose, we are not doing that." The last came with a stern finger waggle in her direction.
She shut her mouth and sulked as she slipped a hand under his arm while the Doctor got the other. It took them a few minutes to make him let go of the thing he was holding onto and then up onto his feet. Jack muttered something in his sleep and Rose let out a sudden yip before she hastily removed his hand from her bum.
"Airlock," the Doctor growled half-heartedly, hoisting Jack onto his shoulders as much as possible. He didn't want Rose to have to carry much of the fairly heavy man - only if it meant less of the grabby hands.
"You don't have an airlock," Rose huffed.
"I'm sure the TARDIS would provide..."
"Where are we putting him?" Rose asked as they dragged him down the hall, helping as much as she could but mainly there to make sure they didn't trip and fall.
"Here's good, I like here," the Doctor grunted. He kicked the door open gently and they manhandled Jack through the doorway into the room proper. It was fairly empty, like Rose's had been when she first came on board, but there was a bed, already made, ready and waiting. "And one, two, three..."
As gently as they could, they set him on the bed. Jack sighed in his sleep and curled up on his side, pulling all the blankets and pillows towards him.
"Huh, guess he's a cuddle kind of bloke," Rose commented with a grin. "I like that."
Ignoring him on purpose, she crouched at the end of the bed and reached to tug off the black boots that were sticking off the end. They were tight enough that it took a few good pulls to yank one off, then the other, and as soon as she was done he pulled his feet up onto the bed. "Should we, well, cover him up?" she asked, waving a hand vaguely at the sprawled form.
The Doctor scowled at her. "I've no problem dumping him in bed," he scoffed, placing a hand on the small of her back to gently propel her towards the door, "but I draw the line at tucking him in. We don't know where he's been, who knows what we'd catch?"
"Such a big baby," Rose teased, waiting for him to close the door behind them before walking down the hallway. Neither of them commented when his hand rose again to skim her back before falling down to his side.
"Well, Rose Tyler, what do you want to do while we wait for Sleeping Beauty?" the Doctor asked, pausing in front of the entry way to the kitchen.
"First," Rose said solemnly, "tea."
"Second, a shower. Feel like I've had something nesting in my hair ... oi, and don't you say a word."
He held his hands up in defense, grinning manically at her. "Not one word."
Rose huffed. "Third ... I dunno." He looked slightly crestfallen and then she grinned at him, knowing exactly what to say. "Third, I watch you tinker with your gloriously complicated machine and we pick where we go first with Jack."
"I like the way you think," he said, holding up his arm for her to slip hers through.
"Quite right, too."