Title: Don't Pass the Salt
Rating: PG (for Captain Jack Harkness-ness)
Characters: Nine, Jack, Rose near the end
Spoilers: None
Author's notes: Written for someone and my journal who asked for Nine and Jack in a holding cell, bickering. So, I therefore present: Nine and Jack in a holding cell, bickering.

"What did I say before we left the TARDIS?" The Doctor snapped at Jack as the door to their prison cell was slammed shut.

"Go to the bathroom now because we're not stopping?" Jack guessed. He attempted an innocent look, but didn't really pull it off.

"No. Flirting."

"I wasn't!" Jack insisted. The Doctor looked at him. "I wasn't! Really. I wasn't. I wasn...why are the walls spinning? Is that real or is it just Fizzbanger I drank at dinner talking?"

"Stafari technology," The Doctor explained. The walls, which were solid white and all looked the same, whirred around them like a cyclone. "So we can't tell which one's the door."

"The handcuffs weren't enough?" Jack asked. He lifted his hand and the Doctor's foot came with it. They were connected with two blue circles of energy around a central node. One of the Doctor's hands was likewise attached to his foot. "Enclosed space, handcuffs. You know I had a dream like this once. Involvement was less involuntary, though. Still we could make the best -" There was a buzzing sound and his and the Doctor's free hands were pulled to the wall like magnets and stuck there by the nodes on them. "Alright, that could impede my plans slightly. I shouldn't have said anything."

"Jack!" The Doctor snapped. "D'you mind spending some of the energy being used to get into my pants on getting out of this cell? Rose is out there, alone. Alone on a planet where sneezing at an inopportune moment gets you arrested!"

"Okay, okay," Jack said. "Take the fun out of it. What do you want me to do?"

"My sonic screwdriver's in my back pocket," The Doctor explained. He wiggled around a bit. "And I can't reach it."

"You didn't think of that before we got stuck to the wall?"

The Doctor raised his chin. "Everyone makes mistakes."

"So, you want me to stop trying to get into your pants and start trying to get into your pants?" Jack asked, politely. The Doctor glared at him. "Say it..."


"Alright then. How double jointed are you?"


Jack moved to his former position and the Doctor shook out his pretzeled leg. "Alright, no gold medals for contortion here."

He dug the heel of his free foot into the floor and tried to get his boot off. He watched the Doctor's face as he worked. He was staring at one wall in a way that made Jack think he knew precisely which one the door was and looked troubled. He felt a surge of jealousy in his stomach and tried to reassure himself that if he was the one missing and not Rose, the Doctor would be just as concerned for him. Wouldn't he? He hummed a little under his breath, trying to lighten up the silence.

"Black Hole: The Musical," the Doctor muttered.

"Huh?" Jack asked.

"The song you're humming."

"Oh, yeah. I was in an Academy production of it. Had the lead, actually."

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Sleeping with the director?"

"No...well, yes. One reviewer said I was the best Strell in three galaxies, though."

"Sleeping with him, too?"

"No. I happen to be an excellent tap dancer."

The Doctor snorted. Jack's boot came off and he started work on his sock.

"I was at Opening Night, you know," The Doctor said. "And Closing, since it only ran that one night. The original production." His face suddenly lit up in that way it often did. Jack had privately labeled the characteristic mood change as 'intergalactic hyperactivity'. "Worst show I ever saw. Best one too. Two hours of pure horror but that closing number..."

"Oh, the closing number," Jack agreed. "It's like they measured to see how long you could stand to sit there before your head exploded and then threw in the best closing number in history right at the last second."

"Exactly. I went three times."

Jack grinned and wiggled his now free toes. "Don't blame you. That closing number is worth the risk of paradox."

"Yeah, the last time I had to sit in the nosebleed seats to avoid running into myself," The Doctor smiled. "But I moved down to the 6th balcony after half the stadium left after Act I, so it wasn't a total loss. Not like I actually wanted to hear the first act."

Jack hooked his leg around the Doctor's back and felt around with his toes, trying to locate the screwdriver. "Come closer."


"So my leg will go farther around you. Okay, I admit that doesn't sound any less kinky, but it's for the greater good."

The Doctor sighed and shuffled closer, Jack doing the same. He pushed up the bottom of the Doctor's jacket with his foot and managed to get the screwdriver in between his big toe and the next. Which was when the wall opened, revealing Rose looking both amused and annoyed. She had two tall Stafarians flanking her and was wearing a jagged tiara on her head.

"Should I come back later?"

"Rose!" The Doctor exclaimed, lighting up again.

"Princess Rose," she corrected. She struck a pose and pointed to the tiara. The nodes of the handcuffs all released simultaneously, sending limbs flopping to the floor. "These people are really nice. As long as you don't flirt with them."

Jack raised his now free hands in the wake of double glares from his friends. "Alright, alright, I will never pass the salt to another Stafarian for as long as I live."

The Doctor laughed manically, a sign that all was well; in Jack's mind, anyway. He leapt to his feet and embraced Rose hard enough to dislodge her tiara.

"Alright, your highness," he said. "How about you abdicate your throne and we go see the best-worst musical in history?"

"Aww, but I was going to invade the next planet!" Rose whined, with one of her mischievous smiles. "I suppose I can put it off for a quick trip."

The Doctor squeezed her again and then turned to offer Jack a hand up. "Captain?"

Jack accepted the hand. "I'll bring the earplugs."