Title: Befuddlement

Author: Angel Leviathan

Spoilers: None, except the presence of Jack.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who, characters, concept, etc, aren't mine.

Notes: Do As Infinity's 'For The Future' really does spawn the most ridiculously random and unrelated fics.


At the time she heard the shout she was balanced in a precarious position, dressed in hotpants and a strap top, razor in one hand, attempting to shave the back of her legs. The jolt of pain as she jumped, the silence broken, digging the blade into her skin, was briefly forgotten as she counted the syllables from the one continuous word that was exclaimed in an angry tone. Jack's voice. She smiled when he finally fell silent; a sixteen syllable swear word. Impressive. Rose laughed quietly and only then realised that blood was streaming from the back of her ankle across the floor, the wound suddenly demanding attention as the throbbing pain made itself known again. She cursed and reached for something to stop the blood flow, throwing her jumper away, the first thing to hand, and making herself reach for some tissue. She was so used to silence when she didn't have company, and as she pressed the hastily made pad of tissues to her ankle, she berated herself for causing such a stupid injury because of a simple shout. Not that the TARDIS was ever really silent, even if she was alone, she always felt she could hear a gentle hum, thread of sound, whether she imagined it or not. Early in their travels, she had once heard a loud crash in the middle of the night and wondered if it was a noise she would have to get used to interrupting her sleep. Turned out it was the Doctor falling off a ladder in the library, trying to get a very old and dusty book from a ridiculously high shelf. After convincing herself he was okay, she proceeded to mock him for weeks. Rose frowned, glancing back down at her ankle, the tissues now completely stained red. She swore and reached for more, wondering if she should try and find some form of plaster. She shook her head, curiosity getting the better of her, wanting to go and see just what had prompted such an impressive curse from Jack. And get him to teach it to her. She slapped another wad of tissues against her ankle, rather disgusted when they stayed there, stuck, and wandered from her bathroom, across her room and into the corridor. The shout sounded like it had come from the control room, close enough to, anyway. Rose ignored the pain, mentally cursing and brushing her hair from her face, trying to construct a word to rival Jack's. His put British swearing to shame. She wandered into the control room, taking a couple of steps up to the ring around the central column, and waited for some form of explanation from the man in question. She blinked when he simply stared at her with wide eyed concern, "What?"

"What happened to you?" Jack demanded, starting toward her.

"What?" she repeated, thoroughly confused, "What happened to you?"

"Me?" he frowned, reaching for her and tilting her head back, "What about me? We gotta get you fixed up."

"What?" Rose uttered, for the third time, batting his hands away, "What's goin' on? I heard you shout and here I am."

"What got you on the way?"

"I…you…got…what?"

Jack let go of her and waved his hands in front of her, blood staining his fingers, "See?"

"Oh my god, what did you do to yourself?" she yelped.

"Its on you! What did you crack your head on?" his voice was strangely quiet with worry.

"What? I didn't crack my head! Why did you shout an' curse?" Rose shot back.

"TARDIS shocked me when I tried to re-route one of her power lines," he elaborated, "and how did you know that was swearing?"

"That loud and with that much vehemence? And hey, I lived on a council estate, I know swearing! Where're you bleeding?" she looked him up and down, then prodded him to turn round.

"You're the one bleeding!" Jack stated, touching her face again and holding his fingers up to her eyes.

Realisation dawned. Rose brought one hand to touch her forehead, and only made matters worse, blood already on her hands joining the marks on her face. She glanced down at her ankle, the tissue-bandage gone, blood running down her foot and onto the floor, "Shit!" she looked back up at him, "I cut myself shaving my legs, thanks to you, might I add," she explained, "Must've touched my face or something."

Jack gave the loudest sigh of relief she thought she'd ever heard, "Don't do that to me!"

"Me? Don't swear so loudly, I wondered what the heck was goin' on!"

"Don't come in here and bleed!"

"Shout quieter!"

They glared at each other, torn between anger for being so scared and relief that nothing was really wrong. The two broke down into laughter at the same instant, as she gave him a playful shove and he nudged her back.

"Don't we make a right pair…" Rose shook her head, smiling, "And you so have to teach me whatever that word was…"

"Pleasure to corrupt others," he grinned.

"Rose! Jack!" a shout was heard just outside the room. The Doctor was suddenly at the door, "There's a trail of blood down the corridor, don't know what its from, but it can't be good," he stared at them, both stained red and still pale with shock, "What happened?" he exclaimed.

They answered in a perfectly timed chorus;

"Don't you start!"

Fin