Disclaimer: Not mine.
Fandom: Doctor Who Rating: Kid-safe, I think.
Set: post-Invasion of the Dinosaurs, pre-Planet of the Spiders.
Characters: Mike Yates, Sarah Jane Smith, Third Doctor.
Song: The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon Notes: The amusing thing is that the song title suggest something completely different.
Summary: Playing Chinese Checkers never seemed so boring and pathetic.

Three For Tea
by ALC Punk!

UNIT Headquarters was rolling along normally, for a Sunday afternoon. Except for the rain, of course. The pitter-patter of the droplets pounded the windows in the secondary research hut almost dispiritedly. Two of the hut's occupants were trying to play Chinese Checkers. However, the third one had absent-mindedly wandered off with half the marbles, muttering something about relative densities. They'd ignored him.

"I can't sail my yacht." Mike Yates announced, his voice petulant.

Sarah Jane Smith rolled her eyes. "You don't have a yacht, Mike."

"But I could have," he rejoined.

Restraining herself from rolling her eyes again, Sarah moved her marble four jumps across the board, then settled back in the slightly uncomfortable chair to let Mike take his turn. "Anyway, what would you do with a yacht?"

"Sail it to Metabelis Three?" The tone that suggested these words was dry and sarcastic.

Turning, Sarah eyed the Doctor, "Well, why shouldn't he? It's not as if you've actually succeeded in traveling there in the TARDIS."

The tall man tapped his nose, and grinned, "Now, just you wait, m'dear. I'll get you there yet."

"Can I come?" asked Mike, his voice hopeful.

"No, I think you'd best stay here, bolster the Brigadier in his next offense against Number Eleven."

"That's ten, Doctor," Sarah corrected.

"There!" Mike crowed in triumph as he jumped his last marble home. "I win."

"You cheated," she accused, eyeing him.

"I did not!"

"He didn't, m'dear."

"Oh!" Sarah groaned, "You're both in it together."

"To do what, love?" Mike asked, his grin cheeky.

"Drive me mad?"

Mike chuckled, and glanced at the Doctor, "Now why would we want to do that?"

Standing, Sarah tossed a marble at the captain. "I'm sure you both have your reasons." She moved to look out the near window, glaring at the rain that still fell. "I can't believe we're still cooped up in here. Why's he not letting us out again?"

"Hubris," the Doctor replied crisply. "The Brigadier is afraid we'll prove him wrong."

"Well, perhaps he's right," Mike suggested.

"When has he ever been right?"

The captain shrugged and began resetting the board, frowning as he noticed still more marbles gone. "Doctor, you haven't removed more of the playing pieces, have you?"


"The marbles, Doctor," Mike explained, "We seem to be missing some."

"You're losing your marbles, Mike?" asked Sarah slyly.

He chuckled, "No, you silly girl. We're losing our marbles. Possibly to the Doctor."

But the Doctor shook his head, "Wasn't me, dear chap. Wasn't me at all. Not this time." He moved to study the board. "Quite puzzling... And you say they were here?"

"We just finished a game," Sarah supplied, moving back to gaze down at the board.

The Doctor scratched his chin, staring into the distance. "Yes, yes... Most interesting." He stopped, and clapped, "However, we have other things on our minds. Who wants to go to the sea?"

"It's raining, Doctor," Sarah pointed out logically.

"Well, it's not raining on Fluorana."

"Oh!" She snorted and scoffed, "As if we would in fact get there in a proper fashion."

"But I've fixed the TARDIS guidance systems, and we should make it there in a jiff." The Doctor tempted, his expressive face stretched into a school-boy grin.

"A jiff." Looking unconvinced, Sarah glanced at Mike. "Do you believe him?"

"I've lost my marbles, remember?" He rejoined cheerfully.

"We can rent a boat there, go poling on the Fluorial Sea."

"Can we," she said, her tone dampening.

"Oh, why not, Sarah Jane? It's a lovely place, Fluorana. And the skies are full of sunshine and stars."

"Yes!" Mike jumped up and clapped his hands. "Let's go, Sarah. I'm sure it will be more fun than waiting here."

"Oh. Now you're both incorrigible."

Two perfectly innocent school-boy grins were directed her way. Not even Sarah Jane Smith could resist such charm. She sighed and threw up her hands. "All right! All right. We'll go," she tilted her head, "But if we get into any scrapes along the way, I'm blaming the both of you."

"C'mon, Sarah," Mike grabbed one hand and tugged, "Fluorana awaits us!"

The Doctor took her other, and the three of them walked across the room and entered the dilapidated police box. The door shut to with a click, and for a moment, Sarah's voice could still be heard protesting before it became drowned out by the onslaught of a sort of wheezing groaning noise that grew more and more intense as the police box began to fade away.

And then, a moment later, it was gone. The sound lingered in the air for another moment, and then it too buggered off after the police box. Strange sounds like going on vacation just as much as people do.

The secondary research hut belonging to UNIT was silent then, save for the sound of raindrops.