Title: The Cure

Author: moi

Rating: PG (implied potential naughtiness)

Characters: Rose, Nine, Jack (humor/flufferoonie)

Spoilers: S1

Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply. They're like little dolls you can dress up and play with, but I always put my toys back when I'm done.

Archive: Feel free, just drop me a line so I know (my ego is like that)

Beta: darkbunnyrabbit-ish. Sorry to Rosesbud, who am awesomest and long-suffering beta, but I has post-itus.

A/N: Come on, we all love these. There've been a rash of these types of fics lately and what can I say? Y'all've inspired me.

Summary: The Doctor has a serious health problem. Jack has a cure. Can they match the two up?

Knees pulled to her chest and sitting comfortably in the jump chair, Rose bit at her thumb nail as Jack concluded his presentation. "And so, as you can see, the cost-benefit analysis clearly shows that my method to resolving our current…issue is the most economical, least time-consuming and, quite frankly, the most fun." He grinned, flashing his pearly whites. How did anyone get teeth that perfect? Maybe everybody's teeth were perfect in the future. "And really, it's the only way to fix this. Otherwise, well, the consequences will completely suck."

Beside her he Doctor shifted slightly on his feet, leather-clad arms still folded over his chest. Without even looking, she knew his lips were pursed. It was something about the way the air was rushing out of his rather distinctive nose. "You've got to be kidding me."

Spreading his hands, Jack leaned against the control column. "It's absolutely perfect. It's a fool-proof plan!"

The Doctor glanced down at Rose, incredulously. "You buyin' this?" He held up a hand. "Of course you're buyin' this."

Rose tilted her head forward, letting her hair fall in front of her face, so he couldn't see her blushing. "Well, if we haveta…"

When the Doctor shifted again, it was almost as if the leather of his jacket was sighing as it brushed against itself. "We don't have to do anything."

Tucking her hair behind her ears, she dared to look at him. "So what's your big plan, then?"

The Doctor walked away from both of his companions, around the control column, and began charting a path through the vortex. He flipped various switches and turned dials casually, as if the question had never come up.

Jack put his hand on Rose's shoulder. "That's because he doesn't have a plan, sweetheart."

Wiping her spittle-covered thumb on the back of her jeans, Rose slid off the chair, wound around the column and tugged on the Doctor's sleeve. "What're you going to do about it?"

Sighing, the Doctor put a hand on the girl's, squeezing it briefly. "I don't know, Rose. But I refuse to believe this situation is as… dire as Jack is making it out to be."

"I'm just worried about your health, Doc!" Jack called out from the other side of the column.

Entwining her fingers in his, Rose tried not to let her worry show, but it wasn't helping. Not when she squeezed his hand like that, and she was sure he knew it. "I'm just worried about you. That's all. I don't want something…preventable to happen to you."

When Jack had his back turned, the Doctor put his head upon Rose's. "I'll think of something. I refuse to believe that Jack's solution is the only solution."

Inhaling the scent of leather and sooty oil, Rose closed her eyes. Why were men so stubborn? "But the consequence is…pretty awful, don't you think? I mean, certainly…the cure can't be worse than the disease."

The Doctor lifted his head from hers, then tilted her chin. His eyes searched hers, trying to convey as much comfort as he could. "There are very few illnesses that can only be cured by…Look Rose. I'll figure it out. I refuse to think that I only have two choices in this matter. Jack's suggested solution, or certain death. I don't care what the computers say, I don't care what the books say. I don't care what the pigmy Roterans say." He kissed her forehead, and she put her cheek against the cool leather of his jacket.

Sighing, the Doctor leaned his head against hers again. "There has to be a third answer. It can't just be…shag Jack, or die."