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Unexpected Detour

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"Why does this keep happening?" Rose asked, kicking at a loose pebble on the floor with her foot.

The Doctor shot her an affronted look. "This isn't something that keeps happening," he said, putting emphasis on the last two words as if he was personally offended by them.

"Aractus," Jack said, not even bothering to open his eyes. He was sprawled out on the ground, his head resting in Rose's lap.

Rose felt her mouth twitch as she hurriedly held back a smile. "Therka."

Jack grinned and opened his eyes, although he didn't shift from where he was resting in Rose's lap. "Belannia II."

"Dronid," Rose shot back.

Jack's mouth twitched. "Muscolane."

Rose narrowed her eyes. "Ranx."

"Vandos," Jack said with a slight smirk.

"Xenon," the Doctor said triumphantly. Then he grimaced, as if he'd just realized he had joined in on a conversation that's entire point was to prove him wrong.

"Still going to say it doesn't keep happening?" Rose asked.

The Doctor muttered something under his breath that she couldn't quite make out. Jack apparently didn't have the same issue, judging by the amused snort he made from her lap.

Rose glanced down at him. He'd carefully wiped the expression on his face clean, so she had no idea what he was actually thinking.

She sighed before turning her attention back towards the Doctor. "Do you know what you did this time?"

"Why do you think I did anything?" the Doctor asked, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

"The fact that they were shouting 'it's the Doctor' and 'lock him up' kind of pointed in that direction," Jack pointed out.

Rose raised her eyebrows a bit pointedly as she glanced at the Doctor.

The Doctor looked away, grumbling under his breath again.

Jack shifted so that he was at least propping himself up to some extent. Rose could tell her was trying to hide it, but she could see the way he grimaced slightly as he did. He'd sworn that his ribs were just bruised. She wasn't certain she believed it.

Still, Rose knew better than to say anything. It hadn't been that long since Jack had slipped into their lives, not really, but there were some things about him that were startling easy to read. The fact that he was just as stubborn as the Doctor when it came to him being hurt was one of them.

Rose reached down and pressed her hand against his shoulder. She didn't put any pressure into it, but just the touch seemed to help. Jack relaxed somewhat, leaning back against her.

The Doctor was almost pointedly not looking at them, his gaze focused on the stone bars that separated them from the outside world. They hadn't even been on the planet for five minutes before the locals had started yelling his name and trying to drag all three of them to the nearest dungeon. It wasn't a record – that was Lelex and the ten seconds it had taken the guards to react when two people had stepped out of a blue box a few inches away from the royal family – but it was still pretty high up there on the list.

"I can try to flirt with the guard again?" Rose suggested.

It was almost amusing how Jack and the Doctor's reply of "no" overlapped with each other.

Rose shrugged. "Jack could try to flirt with the guard again?"

"Sounds good to me," Jack said. "I've always loved tentacles."

The Doctor gave them both an unamused look. "No."

"You could flirt with the guard?" she suggested.

If anything, the Doctor's scowl grew even larger. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the sonic screwdriver, running it over the bars again.

Rose rolled her eyes. Then she glanced down at Jack. His eyes were closed again, and he was breathing shallowly to keep from jostling his ribs too much. She leaned down and pressed a kiss against his forehead.

Jack's eyes opened just a sliver. "You missed," he said. "My lips are a bit lower than that."

She rolled her eyes again, but that didn't stop her from moving her mouth a little further down. He'd asked nicely enough after all, if in a very Jack kind of way.

"This really isn't the time," the Doctor called out over his shoulder.

Rose looked at Jack. Jack looked at Rose.

"It's not like we have anything better to do," she said, her gaze darting over towards the Doctor. He didn't hide his flicker of a smile quite as well as she suspected he'd meant to hide it.

After a moment or two, the Doctor looked back at them. "Really?" he asked. "Then I suppose you don't want to head back to the TARDIS?"

With a somewhat smug look on his face, he flicked a switch on the sonic screwdriver. There was a high-pitched whining sound for just a second.

Nothing seemed to happen.

The smug look on his face faded. "That should have worked," he said, frowning.

He looked down at the sonic screwdriver and shook it a few times, as if he was trying to convince it to do something different. Somewhere nearby, something exploded. It was immediately followed by a series of loud curses.

The Doctor quickly slipped the sonic screwdriver back in his jacket pocket and stepped away from the door.

"You might as well sit down," Rose said, patting the floor beside her. "We don't bite."

Jack grinned. "Well—"

The Doctor dropped down beside them. "If you bite me, I'll bite back."

If anything, Jack's grin grew a little wider. "Is that a promise?"

Rose shook her head and leaned against the Doctor, taking in the smell of his familiar leather jacket. It never failed to make her feel safer, no matter where they were or what they were doing. She didn't exactly know why, but she wasn't going to argue.

"I'm sure they'll let us go free soon," the Doctor said. "This is just a misunderstanding."

She pressed a kiss against his cheek. "A misunderstanding?" she repeated.

"Yes," the Doctor said. She couldn't help but notice that he wasn't meeting her gaze again.

"That's what you said on Therka," Rose said.

"And Dronid," Jack added.

Rose nodded. "Not to mention—"

The Doctor leaned down and pressed a kiss against her lips, cutting her off. Rose jerked in surprise before relaxing and giving in, enjoying it while it lasted.

He looked much too smug as he pulled away.

"If I keep listing off planets, will I get a kiss too?" Jack asked hopefully. "Xenon. Ranx. Belannia II. Vandos. Aractus. Muscolane."

With a sigh, the Doctor leaned down and gave him a kiss as well. It was quick, barely more than a peck, but it was enough to make Jack grin at him as he pulled away.

The stone bars in the wall suddenly crumbled into dust. Moments later, an alarm started blaring.

The three of them stared at the gaping hole that had suddenly appeared in the wall.

"I told you it should have worked," the Doctor said brightly.

Jack and Rose were both already pushing themselves to their feet, a little more carefully than usual in Jack's case. "Congratulate yourself later," Jack said. "We need to get out of here."

Rose reached out and grabbed both of them by the hands. "Come on," she said, grinning just a bit at them, "run!"