AN/ This short fic contains my favourite part in the whole of the first series: Rose and the Doctor's dance to 'In the Mood'. Obviously, this takes place at the end of "The Doctor Dances." Part of my TARDIS 100 series, so it's in the TARDIS' POV. The BBC owns the lot. Thanks to Bindi for betaing.
Joy. Delight. Happiness. Relief.
Call it what you want, it was there.
It had been such a long time since things were this cheery or this exciting. I sensed it as soon as the Doctor and Rose stepped inside. The Doctor was bouncing off the walls. All it took was one peek into his mind and I knew what had made him so happy.
For once, he had left life in his wake instead of death.
And suddenly, I felt like celebrating too.
The Doctor was a whirl of life and energy. He strode around my console, never stopping his movement. "The nanogenes will clean up the mess and switch themselves off 'cos I told them too. Nancy and Jamie will go to doctor Constantine for help, ditto. All in all, all things considered, fantastic!"
Rose aws a little bemused. She hadn't seen the Doctor this bouncy before. "Look at you, beaming away like you're Father Christmas!"
"Who says I'm not? Red bicycle when you were twelve."
I remembered that little adventure very fondly. Rose had been asleep. The Doctor wasn't gone five minutes. All twelve year old Rose would remember was falling asleep on the sofa and half waking to see a man by her Christmas tree with a new red bike, just for her. She thought it had all been a dream.
"What?" Rose stared at him, realising that he had been the one in her childhood dream.
The Doctor spread his arms wide, victorious. "And everybody lives, Rose! Everybody lives! I need more days like this."
I had to agree with him. I liked it when he was happy.
Rose tried to get a word in. "Doctor."
"Go on, ask me anything. I'm on fire!"
"What about Jack?"
And just like that, it seemed like a light had gone out. The Doctor went very quiet, avoiding her gaze.
Jack? Who was Jack? I looked into their minds and saw him. Con man. 51st century. He had tried to trick him and he almost destroyed the human race, but he was not a bad guy. He was someone who could be worthy of joining the team, becoming a companion. But…he had sacrificed himself. He had put a German bomb on his Chula ship. He had no chance of escaping. Rose didn't know all of this yet.
The Doctor looked at her briefly. He was busy with something on my console. Programming a destination. I didn't want to leave yet. I wanted to know more about Jack.
"Why did he say good bye?" Rose asked.
When the Doctor didn't reply, Rose guessed the reason.
"He saved our lives, Doctor. We'd be dead without him," Rose protested.
"I just don't want this to become another Adam," the Doctor said.
I agreed with him, but from what I could tell about this Captain Jack just by reading their minds, he seemed like an okay guy. He certainly had more experience then Adam did. I sent the Doctor a 'why not?' message.
"He won't be another Adam," Rose said. She grinned. "Come on, you know you want to. Whatever happened to 'everybody lives'?"
The Doctor grinned back at her. He flicked a few switches and I was more then happy to oblige.
As I zoomed through space, I caught a little piece of Rose's memories. A song. A dance. Her trying to get the Doctor to dance. She still wanted him to. I happened to have a recording of 'Moonlight Serenade' and I came up with an idea. I sent Rose a thought. Come here. Press this button.
Rose slowly approached the console, staring at the little flashing button. "Doctor, what does this button do?" she asked.
He had a look. "That one? It plays music. Why?"
Rose smiled and pressed it. Glen Miller's 'Moonlight Serenade' filtered in through unseen speakers, filling the room. I set some mood lights going, creating what I felt to be a very romantic atmosphere. Rose turned to the Doctor, grinning. "All right, you. You're going to learn how to dance."
"I told you, I already know how to dance."
"Prove it," Rose challenged.
"Why not?" She took his hands and placed him in a dancing position. The Doctor paused just long enough to press the 'stealth mode' button that would allow me to land without a sound on Jack's ship.
It was easy enough to find his ship. How many Chula warships are there with German bombs on them? I landed with a whisper and let my doors open. Music wafted into his ship, catching his attention. Rose saw him through the doors and called out.
"Well, hurry up, then!"
Jack didn't hesitate any longer. He ran in…then stopped in amazement.
Ah, I remember his mind. He was relieved they had come to his rescue, and puzzled and awed at my interior. He watched Rose and the Doctor as they danced. Rose was in the lead. She made encouraging noises as they moved.
"Okay, all right and turn…" But they fumbled the spin. The Doctor seemed a bit nervous and awkward. "Okay, okay, try and spin me again," Rose said. "But this time, don't get my arm up my back. No extra points for a half-nelson."
The Doctor put his hands in his pockets. "I'm sure I used to know this stuff," he pouted. He turned to Jack as if he had just noticed him. "Close the door, will you? Your ship's about to blow up. There's gonna be a draft."
Jack sprung to my doors and closed them tightly. Rose leant against a coral pillar near him. The Doctor threw a switch, making me take off. He wore a sly grin. "Welcome to the TARDIS."
"Much bigger on the inside," Jack commented.
"You'd better be," the Doctor muttered. I gave him a mental poke in the ribs.
I had been pondering why my Doctor couldn't dance. I knew that he could. He knew that he could. Maybe it was the music. I searched their memories and found that 'Moonlight Serenade' had been dubbed "our song" by Rose, "our" meaning her and Jack. I decided that Rose and the Doctor needed a song, and I knew just the one.
On my screen I sent the Doctor a message. He smiled and pressed a button. I started to fade out 'Moonlight Serenade.'
Rose approached Captain Jack and held out her hand. "I think what the Doctor is trying to say is, you may cut in."
He took it and the grinned, happy that he was joining the crew. This was a great turn in his life.
"Rose!" The Doctor called. Excitement and happiness in his voice once more. "I've just remembered!"
Another Glenn Miller song, 'In the Mood,' flowed into the room. The Doctor snapped his fingers and moved in time to the music, his eyes still on her and the largest grin in the universe on his face. "I can dance! I can dance!"
Rose still didn't quite believe him. "Actually, Doctor, I thought Jack might like this dance."
The Doctor didn't care. He kept moving, kept dancing to himself. Enjoying life. "I'm sure he would, Rose. I'm absolutely certain. But who with?"
He motioned for her to join him. I gave her a mental nudge and with a little laugh she leapt to his side. The Doctor took her and danced with her happily. They danced a lap around my console. It was a marvellous display of the joy it is to be alive. Jack watched them with a smile.
At the end of their dance, with Rose bent in a dip over his knee, the Doctor threw Jack a look. I caught it and what he was thinking. The Doctor had won this battle, asserted his dominance. He was now everything that Rose wanted. Jack knew this and stepped down. He wouldn't compete with the Doctor over Rose. He didn't mind. Right now, he was just happy to be alive.