Another rough week at the salt mines. That's what Mickey thought of his position at Torture-wood (hah!) as sometimes. Well, not all the time. Like when they were running, or shooting shit, or blowing shit up. It was the never-ending paperwork that resulted in discharging a weapon (seventy-one times…and that bastard still got back up!) and after-action reports and the milliondy-billiondy other things that came with the dreaded office-work that wore them all down.

Them being his trusty sidekicks, one Rose Tyler and one Jake Simmonds, the new dynamic trio. Or duo plus one, or something.

Mickey didn't know. He was too freakin' drunk to actually pour more wine into his glass. He knew he couldn't pick up the bottle, which was how he knew it was time to stop. That, and he was laughing so hard his eyeballs felt like they were going to explode. He slid off the oversized leather chair and onto the hardwood floor, trying not to bash himself on the glass coffee table.

Jake was already on the floor, lying in the small space between the long three-seater sofa and the coffee table, tucked in the spot like the contents of a taco. He was rubbing his flushed cheek, blinking rapidly, and trying to clear laughter tears out of his eyes. "She says…that wasn't my beer bottle. Then I said…I said 'Lady…that wasn't an alien!'"

From her spot curled with her knees to her chest at the far corner of the couch, Rose choked as red wine came rushing out her nose, somehow managing to end up all over the shoulder and arm of her white nightshirt and long pink bottoms. With an unsteady hand, she wiped the liquid off of her foot as she tried to contain her choking coughs. "Oh my god. She should have beaten you senseless with her handbag. I would have."

Pushing the hair away from her overheated face, Rose put the mostly-empty glass down on the table, then looked to the far end of the dimly-lit open flat, the lights of the city penetrating the two enormous walls of glass. It was late; they were going out one by one, like stars. "You're a pervert," she whispered finally.

Mickey slid his glass along the table in the hopes that Jake would take pity on him and pour more. It was Friday. Passing out in Rose's lounge was a perfectly acceptable way to spend the night. It was just like the shit they used to do as kids, only the booze was of far better quality and they really did have something to drown their troubles over. Paperwork was so… paperwork-y.

Leaning his head against the arm of the chair, he sighed. "Oh yeah. Lil' Miss Perfect. Worst thing you've ever done? Besides dating that idiot Jimmy when we were teenagers. Or maybe some overdue library books." He nudged Jake with his foot in indignation, gesturing to Rose. "This one takes off with an alien for a whole year. Her mother thinks I've killed her and chopped her into little pieces and flushed her down the toilet, and she still comes up smelling like… well, a rose."

Rose rubbed her eyes and yawned. "Oh please. I'm way worse than you think I am."

Sitting up, Jake poured more wine into everyone's glasses, then drained the rest of the bottle himself. "Oh yeah, you skipped the Alien Encounter Disclosure form after our last two missions. Rose Tyler's going to HELL!"

Taking the glass, Rose took a rather unladylike swill then pointed at both of her friends. "Oh no. That just gets me sent to a special level for, like, lawyers and complete and total bastards. I have plenty of other things I'm actually going to hell for."

Mickey skootched forward in interest as much as his drunkenness would allow. "Oh, do tell."

Gulping the glass dry, Rose set it behind her on the lamp table. "Well, remember that time with the Delbo negotiation that went bad?"

Disbelieving that anything interesting could come of it, Mickey arched an eyebrow. "Yeah."

Rose let out a drunken giggle, her watery eyes glistening in the dim light coming from the gas flames of the semi-fake fireplace. "I shot first."

Jake whistled in admiration. "Cheeky bitch. All those bastards were packing anyway. They were going to do you in."

Shaking his head, Mickey dared to try taking another drink but ended up dribbling a bit down the side of his face. "Very Han Solo of you. Kid stuff though. Come on. How many aliens have you shagged?"

If it was possible, Rose turned even redder. She tugged the collar of her ruined white t-shirt up over her nose and tried to hide behind it. "Not tellin'," she vowed.

"What about Roy Orsen," Jake chimed in suddenly. "Didja shag him? He was an alien!" He held up his hands, but it made him dizzy so he leaned against the coffee table. "His head was like a melon. It was THIS BIG. And he was like… crazy. He was like… always talking gibberish and numbers and stuff. TOTAL alien."

Running her fingers through her hair, Rose brushed the locks away from her burning hot face. Mickey didn't know how, but it was turning even redder still. Rose glared at both of them. "He wasn't an alien! He was an accountant!"

"Boring," Mickey jabbed. "So boring. My gran coulda gotten him into bed. Ok, so your sex life is either boring or non-existent. Most adventurous place you ever had a shag?"

Rose pulled her head completely beneath the shirt, exposing her stomach. "Not telling!"

Jakes hands shot toward her, tickling her sides furiously until she was squirming in a particularly uncoordinated fashion and gasping loudly. "Ok! OK! Back of Mickey's Mini!"

"We never had sex there…"

Trying to slap Jake's hand away, she ended up hitting one of his arm bones with one of hers, causing her to groan in pain. "I didn't say it was with you!" Trying to slither away from Jake, she ended up landing on the floor, gasping and trying to get her giggles under control. "It was just that once… I thought the world was going to end…"

Mickey huffed and Jake shot him a look that said more than endless bouts of harassment (which were probably still to come) could do. "Thanks for that!"

"I told you I was a bad person! What do you want from me?"

Jake let her crawl away from him, until she flopped onto the two-seater on the opposite end of the lounge area. "I want DETAILS," he begged.

Licking her lips in that special Rose way, she thought about it. "That's not even interesting, cos I thought the world was going to end. Trust me. I've done worse. I've done so much worse I can't even tell you about it."

"DETAILS!" Jake demanded. "Details, details details!"

Rose looked at both of them very seriously, like what she was about them could change the course of human history. "Ok. This never leaves this room, got it? I don't care if you're being tortured for information about my sex life. I don't care if this information could save the world. I don't even care if the rift opens tomorrow, and the only way the Doctor can get through is by powering the TARDIS off the knowledge of what I'm about to tell you."

Jake whistled in admiration of her seriousness. With a sort of drunken insincere sincerity, Mickey crossed his heart. "Promise. So what is SO HORRIBLE that Rose can't ever, EVER tell the Doctor. You didn't shag him while he was sleeping and had some morning wood, did you? Cos I think it's still rape, even if they're unconsciously willing."

Rose sighed wistfully, as if the idea had never occurred to her, but seemed like a good idea nonetheless. "Teeny tiny shower cubicle. Add one Time Lord and one randy ex-Time Agent. And aliens. And the words 'shag or die.'

"You didn't," Mickey gasped.

Jake looked at both of them, wondering what he was missing out on. "What?"

"You had 'em both. I knew you were a nymphomaniac!" Mickey pointed at her as if she should be shunned. "I betcha she had one in each end! Rose Tyler Sandwich… and there were aliens watching on alien pay-per-view, gettin' their alien rocks off!"

Rose frowned, longingly looking across the space to her glass on the opposite marble-topped lamp table. It was all tragically urbane and understated-hip…not to mention a far cry from the council estate Rose and Mickey had grown up on. "This is comin' from the man who shagged one of the servers at the Christmas part last year? Under the table? During Pete's speech? Yeah. Excuse me if I'm not gettn' all sorry about it. Anyhow… just who's tellin' this story? Me or you?"

Mickey held up his hands in defeat then leaned back against the chair again. It would have been nice to sit in something plush and comfortable, but he wasn't quite sure he could make it there. "All you, babe. Have I mentioned you're a total slut for aliens? She'da shagged Jabba the Hutt. And the little rat thingy. Oh shit. I can't remember what it's called. Solicitation…Solat…whatever. Last name Crumb. What the fuck kind of name is that? Crumb?" He was officially past pissing drunk. Still… needed to be said. When someone does, like, all the Star Wars characters, it needs to be talked about.

Jake nudged the floor's other occupant with his sock-clad foot. "Not relevant," he reminded sternly…as if they'd had this conversation before.

For just a second, Mickey seemed to focus. "What I'm trying to say is, we're talkin' about a girl who lost her virginity at fourteen. She had to be up to kinky shit in the TARDIS."

Rose stuck her tongue out then buried her again. "Lost it to you, you incompetent penis weasel!"

He looked to Jake for support, who was inspecting the trim on the edge of the sofa intently. "Penis weasel? Do you see what I haveta put up with? PENIS WEASEL? Well…" Mickey searched desperately for a comeback before frowning. "What the hell's a penis weasel?" She probably didn't know either, but they were too drunk to care. It wasn't the content of the insult that counted, this late at night. It was the meaning behind it. Of course, he had no idea what the meaning or intent was, either.

Sucking on her lower lip in thought, Rose pointed to Mickey intently as she had a revelation. "It's—it's… a bloke who weasels his penis into some girl's mouth!" She turned to Jake. "'It'll be fun, Rose, you'll like it!'"

Trying to not bust out laughing, Jake covered his mouth and looked away from both of them.

Mickey tried for a look of indignation, but couldn't quite muster it. The most he could gather up was a smidge of mild annoyance. "Oh yeah? Well… you've probably done porn! Maybe with aliens!"

Laughing, Rose threw the cushion at him. Oh, the humanity…Here she was lying in a sticky, stained shirt trading horrifically uncreative and bad insults with the ex. "Alien sex is still sex, you…neo-virgin! Born-again virgin! …The Virgin Church of Latter-day Virgins! The Great Revivalist Congregation of the Brethren Virginy Virginers." She suddenly fell silent, wondering what the hell she'd just said, much less meant.

For some reason, Jake was the one frowning at this statement. Sometimes…those two acted SO married. "Shag or die," he stated seriously. "I believe you were saying?"

Sliding up into a sitting position, Rose hugged her knees to her chest again, having lost the cushion to act as her drunken teddy bear friend (it was important to have one of those). "OK. Shagging and dying. Ok. So… we're covered in pink slime. And it like… burns. So we're ripping clothes off as fast as possible, which is, of course, completely illegal on this planet. So they haul the Doctor and Jack to one place. And me to another. Matr-marchri—society run by women…society… Way too damned drunk for this. I'm the only one they'll talk to. So I'm explainin' about the burniness and stuff, and they were kinda understanding, except they wanted to keep the Doctor and Jack for being totally disrespectful by stripping in front of me, until I said that Jack was my husband and the Doctor was my concubine."

Mickey groaned. "Oh god. That, right there. That's enough to do you in if the Doctor finds out. But bet any amount of money, you didn't stop there, did you?"

Rose laughed, kind of bitterly. There was something about the memory that was nostalgic laced with sarcastic energy. "OH no. They're saying since we don't have binding tattoos like the other people on their planet, we need to PROVE that we're… together."

Slapping his leg, Jake grinned. "This is where the shag or die comes in, right? You totally shagged those lucky little bastards and probably beat the Doctor around a little bit ta show them you don't let your concubines get out of line. That would have been so awesome to see. Got video?"

She scowled at him then stuck her tongue out. "Right. I came here with the clothes on my back. Of course, bringing home-made pornography with me was number one priority."

Jake made a face back. Or he tried to, but even that was uncoordinated at this point. So instead he reached up and grabbed her glass off the lamp table and finished it off. This was bottle like… two of three, or three out of four or something. If one of them could crawl into the kitchen they could complete the part of this tradition where one or all of them passed out on the hardwood floor until someone's pager went off that they were needed again.

Rose almost complained about him drinking the rest of her glass, but she needed a break in the alcohol consumption so that she could sober up enough to get the last bottle. They didn't do this often enough to call it a habit, but it certainly could be deemed an event. "Anyhow…we're still like…on fire from the slime, so I'm like… we need to take a shower or something. So we're all in the shower stall, and we're all completely naked. And lemme say, Jack, naked…Adonis much? Totally. Anyway…"

Jake noticed that Mickey was frowning. "What?"

The other man scratched his forehead. "This sounds familiar." He thought about it. "Then you told 'em the aliens were gunna let you all go, but only if you shagged first. And if not, they were gunna kill you."

Sitting up abruptly, Rose slammed her feet down on the floor in a mild panic. "How do you know that! Who told you?"

Mickey smiled like he'd just eaten the canary. "You told us this one before."

She looked scandalized. "I've never told another soul!"

Managing to crawl back onto the sofa, Jake glanced back and forth at both of them like they were nuts. "I don't remember this story."

Mickey waved him off. "You were passed out by then. Point is, she told us last time she was drunk!" He sat back with the most satisfied smile. "Power the TARDIS off the knowledge that you're a kinky slut, huh? That'd be awesome!"

Rose turned beat-red again, her ears burning an almost purple colour.

Gesturing for her to continue, Jake put his head on the arm of the sofa and closed his eyes. "Well, I didn't hear it. Ok. We were at shagging or dying."

Just as Rose opened her mouth to continue, despite her embarrassment at having already divulged her deepest, darkest secret at another drinking marathon, Mickey slapped his leg excitedly as the rest of the story came back to him. "Ooh Oh! So they're all naked and they're in the shower stall, soaping each other up and getting ready to get it on when this alien knocks on the glass and says they've proven their togetherness and presents them with a certificate of union."

Covering her face with her hands, Rose ignored Mickey and addressed only Jake. "Just kill me now. Anyway, I am backpedaling like mad. I'm all like… well, I thought they meant… and Jack's like, yeah whatever, but he didn't press the issue. And to the Doctor, I'm just the dumb human, so obviously I misunderstood them. The Doctor just totally dropped it and got dressed and we got the hell off the planet." She held her fingers an inch apart. "I was THIS CLOSE. THIS CLOSE to the hottest sex in the entire universe…and those bloody aliens had to ruin it!"

Almost asleep, Jake chuckled quietly to himself. "That was great. Tell me another one."

"They're not bedtime stories," Rose teased.

But instead of responding, Jake started snoring lightly.

Mickey picked up the empty bottle and drained the last drop out of it. "Now what I wanna hear is how you had sex in my car without me knowing it."

Getting up to get the last bottle, Rose shrugged innocently. "I was mad about the Trisha Delaney thing. Oh yeah, and I thought the world was ending." Ducking into the kitchen, she pulled the last bottle of red off the wine rack. This beat cheap beer and homemade wine consumed on rooftops so their mothers wouldn't see, in all weather. And honestly, she'd never seen the fascination with drinking as a hobby until recently. It wasn't so much the booze and the passing-out-ness as the camaraderie of these events coupled with the freedom the alcohol gave to share intimate things about oneself without later recrimination. Partially because they might not remember later, partially because any personal honesty that might otherwise be uncomfortable could quickly be blamed on the wine.

Maybe she was showing her age. A bitter old recreational drinker at the tender age of twenty-three.

Coming back into the room with the corkscrew and the last of the red, she sighed and gave up, putting both on the coffee table as quietly as possible when she saw Mickey asleep on the floor too.

Pulling a blanket off of the back of the sofa, she bunched up Mickey's jacket as a pillow and went to sleep.


It was cold. That was really the first thing that Mickey thought about. Even though that wasn't what woke him, that was definitely the thing that impressed itself upon him the heaviest. Rose had a timer installed on the gas fireplace once when she ran out without turning it off, got caught up in something at work, and the thing ran for four days. Total fire hazard.

But the coldness wasn't what woke him. Or the brightness of mid-morning light pouring through the two walls of glass at the other end of the apartment.

It was the shoe continually nudging his stomach.

Groaning, he rubbed the sleepiness out of his eyes, knowing full well when he opened them, he'd suddenly be so hung over he would want to die. Opening one eye, then the other, he slowly tried to focus on the familiar shape standing over him, hands in pockets. If he didn't know better, he'd think that was… "No way."

"Way." The figure turned and looked at the other sleeping bodies and the remnants of last night's 'party.' Jake hadn't moved since the night before, and Rose was curled so peacefully (and adorably) on the two-seater, that it was no wonder the visitor hadn't chosen to wake her first.

"Holy shit." Blinking again, he sat up. "No fucking way."

Grinning, the Doctor straightened up proudly. "And you'll never guess how I did it!" The last was laced with a self-impressed smugness that Mickey had almost come to miss in the last few years.

Pushing himself up onto the chair behind him, Mickey shook his head in shock then started kicking Jake. When the other man stirred, he pointed up at the Doctor. "I can't believe it! He really DID run the TARDIS just on the power of the story of how Rose almost tricked him into a threesome!"

On the other side of the room, Rose fell off the couch with a painful thud.