“Explain this to me again,” Jack requested, swinging Rose’s hand in his.
Rose laughed. “It’s not that complicated.”
She guided them around a group of young trick-or-treaters. They were in London, in Rose’s time, so she was in charge of navigation.
“I’m trying to respect your culture,” Jack said pointedly. It didn’t sound like a proper scolding, though, since he couldn’t lose his grin. “Tell me one more time.”
Walking along the sidewalk behind them, the Doctor hummed thoughtfully, staring at the Halloween decorations in the shops they passed. Rose and Jack glanced at him, in case he had something to say, and then shared an amused look when he didn’t so much as look at them.
“Alright, Halloween, in short,” Rose began again. “Used to be, you’d dress up scary. Now, it’s more for fun. You get lots of popular characters for costumes, or jokes. Kids go door to door and adults give them candy. It didn’t used to be so big in England, but it’s getting more popular. A lot more popular, I guess,” she commented as they passed yet another pyramid of Jack O’Lanterns. “I don’t remember there being so many of those when I was little.”
“Wait, so what there’s not actually a trick?” Jack clarified.
“Not for the kids,” Rose confirmed. “At grown-up parties you might see a prank or something, but mostly it’s just spooky outfits and jump scares.”
“You look so disappointed!” Rose laughed, tugging on his arm.
Jack smiled, shaking his head. “I was expecting something more elaborate,” he admitted.
“You may get your wish,” the Doctor interjected, finally tuning in to the conversation. “Something, is very much off in London.”
“Off?" Rose repeated.
“You look so excited,” Jack said dryly.
The Doctor stepped up next to Rose and walked alongside them. His grin was, indeed, massive. “It’s a holiday,” he insisted. “Fun and games and candy. Why wouldn’t I be excited?”
“Oh, tell me London isn’t going to get invaded by aliens again?” Rose whined. “Everyone’s just started to relax from last Christmas.”
The Doctor just laughed.
“We’re here,” Rose announced, still a little stroppy, as they turned the corner onto the Powell Estate. “Now, I want both of you on your best behavior, alright?”
She inspected her two men. Jack was watching some tart walking down the street in a tiny skirt and fairie wings, and the Doctor was giving the evil eye to a grinning Jack O’Lantern.
“Why do I bother?” she sighed to herself.
Four hours later, she crashed through a ventilation shaft at the heart of the alien battleship that was hovering over the UK. Jack and the Doctor were somehow standing in exactly the right place to break her fall.
“Oh yeah, this is why I keep you two around,” Rose quipped.
Jack kissed her firmly, and then the Doctor pulled her to her feet and showed his affection in his own typical way. He stuck out his hand for her and shouted, “Run!”
Rose took his hand and they pelted away from the on-rushing crowd of alien invaders in their horribly realistic Jack O’Lantern disguises. Jack held up the rear, shooting his stunner over his shoulder as they went.
“Yeah,” he called to them, delighted, over the sound of the firefight. “This is more what I was expecting!”