Title: Pink Silk (1/1)
Genre: Romance, fluff
Summary: Rose. The Doctor. A strip of pink silk.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Author's Notes: to JennyLD for the beta. I wrote this by prompting myself with one line from five different songs. I then wrote one section for each prompt and threaded one common theme throughout, making it into a whole.
Lost his home. When he was younger. She watches while he's sleeping, messy hair, chest bare, moonlight on his skin. More than willing to offer himself. I wish I would've known.
Pink silk slid across Rose's stomach, drawing lightly along her flesh, stirring a shiver in her. Her eyes lifted to the Doctor's as he reached around her and tied the material into a knot. When his fingertips brushed against her back, his gaze darted quickly to hers.
Heat shot through her and she dropped her eyes to the floor. This wasn't supposed to be erotic.
Stepping free of his arms, she brushed her hands down her skirt and straightened the band of silk. It wasn't much, unfortunately, but it was what she needed at that moment. Still, her fingers fidgeted with the short skirt, trying to lengthen it through sheer force of will. Her bare midriff was another source of annoyance for her. Really, did the people in the thirty-fifth century have to be in the middle of a clothing revolution?
Sighing, she smoothed her hands down the mint green material once more before lifting her eyes to the Doctor. "Presentable?"
"Hm?" His gaze darted from her legs to her face, brows rising in overly-dramatic curiosity, trying to cover up the awkwardness of being caught staring.
Well, that was different. She'd never seen him do that before.
His lips grew into a wide smile. "Oh, yes, you're fine. Just perfect." He reached up to scratch his head, disturbing the hair at his temples, making it droop forward a bit. "Quite fantastic."
"And the pink silk means...?" she asked again.
He'd been adamant about helping her put the material on, insisting there was a certain trick to it. Though, glancing down at it now, catching sight of herself in the mirror, it just looked like a long strip of pale pink silk wrapped around her waist. There were folds and pleats to it, but they looked accidental, so she really didn't understand the significance of it.
"Oh," he mumbled, sliding his hands into his pockets and glancing at her as if he'd only just understood her repeated question. She wasn't fooled. "Ah, it's just a certain fold and stretch and... it has to be just right or they'll know you're an impostor. They take their clothing very seriously on Kryse."
"Or lack thereof," she muttered, shifting uncomfortably, trying to make the small bits of cloth cover more of her. It was a useless pursuit.
"Yes, quite." His eyes slipped from her midriff to the floor and then back up again, this time all the way to her face. "The pink silk band around the waist simply means that you're, uh, you're not available."
She blinked at him a few times. "To do what?" What the bloody hell kind of a place was she heading into? He'd said an office building, but the more she heard, the more she began to doubt his words. "File? Type?"
A chuckle escaped him. "No, it's a... it's a personal thing." Brushing his own words off, he rubbed at the back of his neck, then tugged on his ear. "Doesn't matter. Just means you're not available."
She had her doubts, but he knew more about this time period than she did, so if three-quarters naked meant she'd fit in, and wearing a pink strip of silk meant she wouldn't be bothered while doing her job, then who was she to say differently? "Great, so... off I go to work then. Ya know, I seem to work more jobs with you than I did before I met you." Tugging her skirt down again, she sighed and glanced his way. "So, you'll be sneaking in the back while I go in the front, right?"
He raised an eyebrow at her before striding to the table in front of the couch, then bent down to grab a slender metal tool, holding it up for her inspection. "Yes. I'll be sneaking in the back." He paused and looked over her once more, no awkwardness this time. "Rose, this could be dangerous. Are you sure you want to--"
Cocking her hip out, she crossed her arms over her chest. "I didn't get into this slip of nothing to play dress up."
And there were his eyes sliding over her again, this time with a hint of something she couldn't quite identify. "No. Of course not." Glancing down at the sonic screwdriver, he cleared his throat and nodded. "Right, so, you go in the front, I go in the back, and hopefully we'll find the TARDIS somewhere in the middle."
Rose stared at the two men before her, trying to reconcile, in her mind, the fact that they were both Doctors. Not just Doctors, but the Doctor. The same Doctor. One with familiar brown hair, glasses, and a brown pinstripe suit, the other with straight blonde hair and a cream-colored suit with red trim on it. Very cricket-y.
He had a hat that he kept turning in his hands. Around and around. It was making her nervous.
Staying near the door, she glanced around at the unfamiliar TARDIS. Everything was so bright, so white. The console was where it should be, but it felt much closer than in the other TARDIS.
Same TARDIS, different times.
There was no ramp, just a solid white floor. Both Doctors were working around the console, flipping switches, turning dials, and pressing buttons with ease and familiarity, chattering together.
No mallets in sight.
They'd happened upon this TARDIS thinking it was their own. But almost immediately, the Doctor had disabused her of that notion. His key hadn't worked. And the man who'd stepped out of the bright interior had been a surprise.
"Tegan, Nyssa?" Sniffing sharply, her Doctor glanced around himself, darting a look toward the interior door. "Adric?" He leaned a hip against the console. "I don't remember this. Being here, meeting myself." His eyes slid to her, mouth curving up in a smile. "Meeting Rose. I'm pretty sure I'd remember meeting Rose here for the first time."
She smiled back, resisting the urge to pull at her skirt. The other two-hundred times hadn't helped, so it was unlikely one more would do it. Besides, the Doctor didn't seem to mind. In fact, all the times she'd tried to rearrange the fabric into a more comfortable fit equaled the times she'd seen his eyes on her legs, hips, and stomach.
The other Doctor tossed her a quick, warm smile and she shifted, raising her hand to her mouth, biting her thumbnail. This was so weird. He didn't seem to mind seeing himself, and neither did her Doctor. But her, on the other hand, the other Doctor seemed to find fascinating. She found his eyes on her more often than her own Doctor's. And that was saying something.
"Tegan and Nyssa are on Crileeon 2 on holiday. Adric is..." he stopped and straightened for a moment, staring at the wall across from him. "Well, Adric is gone."
Her Doctor lowered his eyes briefly and stuck his hands in his pockets. "Right."
"And, no, I imagine you wouldn't remember this," the cricket-Doctor told him, brisk manner back in place as he continued working around the console. Rose got the impression that he was merely perfecting the settings the two of them had already set. "It's likely I'll have to forget this encounter."
Her Doctor tossed his head back and forth a little, considering his words. "Mmm, highly likely, I'm afraid."
"Ah!" cricket-Doctor suddenly crowed, standing and facing her Doctor. "There we have it. Found her."
Her Doctor straightened and circled around to the monitor, tapping a few buttons as he peered at the screen. "Ahh! There she is. Beautiful!" He spun to Rose and grinned, moving toward her. "We're leaving Kryse, Rose."
She pushed away from the door, excitement and relief pouring through her. Grinning at the Doctor, she laughed when he swept her into his arms, holding her tightly to him. "You did it," she laughed, squeezing him to her. Her eyes landed on the other Doctor.
He was watching them, hands in his pockets, a small smile lifting his lips. There was a warmth to his eyes that was familiar. Everything about this other Doctor reminded her of the man in her arms. So much so that she blinked a few times and lowered her head to her Doctor's shoulder to escape the familiar gaze.
Her Doctor sighed against her neck, his warm breath disturbing her hair, making her shiver in response. "Oh, Rose, it'll be nice to be home again." He pulled free and patted the wall nearest them. "I've missed her."
Three months of living among the Kryse people was enough for Rose as well. She couldn't wait to go home. "Can't wait to get out of this stupid outfit," she sighed.
Her pinstriped Doctor's eyes flitted briefly over her and she glanced down at the floor, crossing her arms around her middle. She still didn't get it, didn't understand.
He watched her so much these days. Kept more than an eye on her, though he insisted it was merely for her own safety. But she caught him sometimes. Saw his gaze linger on her midriff, her legs, her breasts. Saw his eyes rising from her bum when she turned his way suddenly.
But he hadn't ever made any sort of move on her. Could he? Did he want to? Their lives had never included physical intimacy beyond hugs and handholding.
It was frustrating.
Smoothing the pink silk scarf around her waist, she saw the cricket-Doctor's eyes settle there for far longer than was usual. No one else on this planet seemed to care much that she wore it. The silk sashes were an established custom here. They denoted every sort of status there was.
Political. Personal. Financial.
The pale pink silk, from what she'd been able to gather without outright asking and risking outing herself as an impostor, denoted personal status. She was pretty sure it meant she was married.
Her eyes darted to her Doctor, then back to the other Doctor. His brows rose and she had the distinct feeling that he was waiting for her to ask him a question.
She just didn't know what it was.
Rose sighed and rolled over onto her back briefly before curling up on her right side. The cot she was on wasn't the most comfortable bed she'd ever slept in. Nor was it the most uncomfortable. She missed the TARDIS' beds, fluffy and soft in just the right amounts, firm and supportive when she needed it. The beds on the TARDIS were perfect.
Drawing in a deep breath, she dropped her hand to the stone floor, feeling a chill sweep through her. The threadbare blanket she was covered with wasn't doing much to keep the cold at bay. The Doctor must be feeling it too. He was spread out beside her, a blanket his only mattress, his folded up coat a pillow.
Curling her fingers, she raised her hand just high enough to brush his hair from his forehead. He was in pretty bad shape, but he'd been insistent that he'd heal. All he needed was rest. The knife wound in his side was better, it was true, but she was still worried about him. His skin beneath her fingers was warmer than usual.
Well, warmer than his hand usually was.
She didn't know about the rest of him except from taking care of him for the past few days.
Smoothing her hand down his forehead and cheek, she ran her eyes over him again. Moonlight poured through the window built high into the wall, covered by glass and bars. The blue glow of light caressed the Doctor's chest and stomach, dipping into the shadows and planes that the blood she wasn't able to remove didn't obscure.
He looked better. Not as pale and drawn. His chest rose and fell with a strength that'd been missing the past few days.
For the first time in days, he shifted and turned his head, moving into her touch as she cupped his cheek. Smiling lightly, she ran her thumb over his cheekbone, wishing she could do more for him. Wishing she'd seen the man with the knife sooner. Wishing she could hear his voice reassuring her that they'd be fine.
She wanted to see his familiar smile.
A flash of pink caught her eye as he moved again, and she leaned down, shifting on the small cot for a better angle. It creaked and groaned under her weight, rocking a bit as she reached up and pulled the bit of silk free.
She threaded it through her fingers, smelling her own perfume wafting up from it.
Bemused, she looked down at the Doctor. "Why do you still have this?" she murmured. It'd been weeks since she'd last seen it, last worn it. Weeks since they'd run into the other Doctor, with the blonde hair and ready smile.
Stuffing the pink silk back into his coat pocket, she decided she'd ask him once they were safe back in the TARDIS, as surely they would be once he woke up and they could leave together.
Glancing up at the moonlit window, she settled back on her bed, letting her hand settle in his hair. She already had an escape route, all she needed was a conscious Doctor.
"Let her go," the Doctor ordered, standing on the balls of his feet, looking as if he were about to jump the man holding her.
Her throat was grasped tighter, the ache in it beginning to bother her almost as much as the reduced air supply.
"Take me instead." The Doctor held both hands out, showing Lucas that he had no weapons. "She's of no use to you."
Lucas grinned and loosened one of his hands from her throat, sliding it down her neck, rubbing his filthy, dirt-encrusted fingers on her breasts, which were bulging out of the bodice of her gown. "Oh, Doctor, I'm afraid yours is not the sort of company I'm seeking this night."
Rose swatted Lucas' hand with her own, trying to push him away from her at the same time, but Lucas merely laughed and released her neck, giving her a moment to gasp in air while he grabbed her hand, encircling her wrist with his grubby fingers.
The Doctor's mouth tightened, fingers clenching into fists.
The English countryside, bathed in moonlight and sprinkled liberally with cows and carts, wagons, horses and riders, wasn't how she was used to seeing her home. For one thing, they had fewer animals of the bovine and equine variety, though there were plenty of the human sort. Just not like Lucas. Well, most of them weren't.
1385 was a bit of a letdown really.
Aside from Lord Lucas Trenton, she hadn't met many people she was likely to remember. Although, there was that servant they'd helped; Lucy.
"Lucas," the Doctor began, his voice in full conciliatory-mode and she let herself relax a bit. When he got angry, that's when she began to get nervous. "Rose is not a... a barmaid."
Rose snorted and turned to look at Lucas over her shoulder. "He means I'm not a whore."
"Oh, aye," Lucas chuckled, "I got that, lass." He ran his hand over her stomach, slipping his arm around her waist and drawing her closer to him. She felt a bit nauseous when something hard pressed against her backside.
"Oi!" She tried to pull away but Lucas tightened his grip. "Best keep your... parts to yourself."
The man was used to getting what he wanted, and he obviously didn't want her to be the first thing he couldn't have. "I'll put this," he hissed, pressing closer against her bum, "and more on you as I like. In you," he clarified, laughing heartily when she made a disgusted noise and resumed her struggles. "Might as well stop fighting me, for I intend to have you, lass." Leaning closer, hot, fetid breath making her flinch back in revulsion, he whispered loud enough for the Doctor to hear, "You're a mighty fine figure of the female flesh, and you're wasted on that stick of a man there."
The Doctor's mouth thinned and his eyes narrowed on Lucas. "Let her go."
Oh, no. Now, he was angry.
Hoping to diffuse the situation and get everyone out of it alive, and also because she was tired of being pawed at and leered at and touched and poked and generally treated like a piece of arse--no, lower than--she shifted against Lucas, partially freeing her arm. Taking the advantage, she elbowed him in the midsection.
While not as thin as the Doctor, he didn't have much meat on his bones either, so when she hit bone as well as flesh, she knew she'd hurt him enough to... well, hurt.
He released her with a gasped oomph and she jerked his hands off, shuddering even as she turned to shove him backward. It wasn't too hard to put her hands on him to do the job, but it made her slightly nauseous. Eyes wide, he lost his balance, reaching out to grab her as he went down. His hands grazed her hair and she started to fall, but then the Doctor was there, catching her, pulling her back against him and holding her steady, wrapping his arms around her in much the same way Lucas just had, but she felt no disgust this time.
"I will have you whipped for this," Lucas shouted from the mud puddle he'd fallen in, eyeing the Doctor's sonic screwdriver aimed directly at him over Rose's shoulder.
The tip glowed blue and Rose wondered if it could actually harm anyone. Remembering the fence she'd mended during the Blitz, she shuddered and settled her hand over the Doctor's, lowering it until he snapped it off.
He stared down at Lucas, then reached forward, snatching something from the ground at their feet. "Are you all right?" he asked from behind her, voice low, seething. His hand tightened around her waist, dragging her closer to him.
"Yeah. I'm... good-- ow. Can't breathe."
The Doctor's arms loosened minimally and she drew in a few breaths. Slipping the pink silk from his hand, she wrapped it around her palm a few times.
He exhaled and pulled free for a moment, then spun her around, slipping his arms around her, pulling her in tight for a hug. "Ready to go home?" he breathed in her ear.
"More than." Leaving Lucas behind, they headed across the square to the TARDIS, hands entwined.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
Rose flicked her eyes toward the Doctor's hand, watching his fingers move restlessly on the table in front of him. The pink tie was between them, lying in a pool of silk, shining and glimmering in the overhead lights. It was clean and free of mud.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
"Doctor." She reached across the short distance between them, stilling his hand with her own. When he twisted his wrist, threading their fingers together, he gave her a smile that barely reached his lips before it was gone again. She rested their hands on the tie and tried to lighten the mood. "If what you wanted to talk to me about was the many different ways to drive me mental, you've started out really well."
His smile returned, this time managing to stick around for a bit. But his eyes wouldn't rise from their hands.
The pink silk tie was the reason the Doctor had sat her down, she knew. It was there, between them, plain as can be. She'd asked him about it numerous times over the past few months, but he'd always brushed her questions off as unimportant. But this time... this time he'd come to her.
She was growing impatient, but she'd waited this long, she could certainly wait a little longer.
"It's a wedding band."
Okay, so, the wait was up. "What?" she sputtered, sitting forward, trying to catch his eye, sure she'd heard him wrong. "It's a what?"
"Well," he continued, as if she hadn't interrupted him. "Not your typical wedding band. Not the sort you're used to. Actually, not really a wedding band... per se. More of a prop. In a wedding ceremony." His fingers slipped from her slack hand and picked up the tie as she gaped at him. "This," he explained, holding it stretched between his hands, eyes finally landing on hers, "is a Kryse wedding tie. It's used in a binding ceremony."
"A wedding tie..." she mumbled, frowning at him, trying to understand what he was telling her, unable to believe he meant what it sounded like he was saying.
"The Kryse believe--" he continued, then dismissed his words with a wave of his hand, "well, doesn't matter really." His eyes darted from hers to the tie and back up again. "Two people participate in a wedding ceremony, one places the tie around the other and that signifies the unending bond--"
"Oh, my god." She sat back, hands over her mouth, staring at him. The man she thought she knew.
"--and then for the rest of their lives, one of them always has it on them." His eyes lifted to hers, and when she didn't answer, he frowned, twisting the tie around his palm over and over again. "Wh-- while they're married." Voice lowering, he added, "To each other."
Disbelief poured through her. Not just disbelief, but incredulity. This was... so far beyond what she'd thought he'd tell her. Far beyond what she'd thought him capable of. "So... we're married." Her hands were still over her mouth, and her words came out muffled.
Right. And that distinction didn't mean much. "We're basically married. And you didn't tell me." She stood up, shoving her chair back with a loud scrape. "You-- you married me," she accused, "and you didn't tell me." Then laughter bubbled up in her. "I didn't even get a wedding night." More laughter came, but under that was anger at the Doctor. How dare he do this without telling her? Without letting her know she was... a wife. Oh, god.
She sat back down and rested her elbows on the table, cradling her face in her hands.
A wife. Married to the Doctor. For months now. And no sex. That, at least, would've made it worthwhile. But, no, the not telling her thing was still bad and no amount of sex would've helped her anger over the fact that she was now married.
Although, it would've softened the blow a bit. A little.
No sex, no cuddling, no kisses, no tender, sweet words whispered in the heat of passion. Words she'd oftentimes had to bite back after life-or-death situations. All this time, they'd been married and he'd been too afraid to tell her.
More laughter bubbled up and she thought she might be a little hysterical. Lifting her eyes to his, she giggled, "We're married."
"Basically," she snorted, laughing harder, eyes beginning to water. "And you were afraid to tell me."
He shifted in his chair and scratched at his jaw. "Ah. A bit, yes. Thought you might be a bit more... angry."
"Just a bit, yeah," she assured him, wiping at her eyes as more laughter continued to spill out. "I'm furious. But, you--" she couldn't get any more out through her laughter. This was a nightmare. She was married to the man she was in love with and she hadn't even known it. "Oh," she sighed after a minute, still giggling, "I wish mum were here." She pointed at him and laughed some more. "You'd get a smack."
Staring at her calmly, he waited until her laughter began to subside, crossing one arm over the other, the pink silk tie still wrapped around his hand.
And suddenly, it didn't seem so funny anymore. Her giggles faded, smile slipping away, but the tears remained. "Why?" She shrugged, watching the fabric as he slipped his fingers along the smooth silk. "I mean, you've never even... Cassandra kissed you and you didn't kiss her back. You didn't even want a wedding night."
Sobering completely, she dropped her hands to her lap, directing her gaze there, rather than at the empathy in his eyes. Pity for the girl who loved him, but wasn't loved back, not in the way she wanted to be.
Darting a glance up at him, she found him watching her intently. His dark eyes were on hers, a frown turning down his lips. "Me," she said simply. "I mean, I just assumed you didn't-- that your species didn't..." stumbling over her words, what she was trying to say, she took a deep breath and said it plainly, everything she'd ever wondered about him. "I didn't think Time Lords had sex. Or were even interested in it. Until Reinette." The last two words were whispered through stiff lips as she tried to hold them back but was unable to. "Then I just figured it was me you didn't want."
Placing her hands back on the table, she shrugged them, confused as to what to believe anymore. He cared about her, she knew that. Maybe even loved her. But she was his best mate, not his girlfriend.
No, her mind whispered, you're his wife now.
Hands settling over hers, he squeezed them and leaned forward. "But, I do want you, Rose." He took a deep breath and let out a shuddering one, looking a little scared at what he'd just admitted. "More than I could ever tell you. It's... all the time, every minute of every hour of every day, I want you." Closing his eyes, he tightened his hands around hers and shrugged, opening them again. "This marriage thing, I-- I thought-- well, I thought I'd ease you into it."
She stared at him, eyebrows rising in disbelief. "Ease me into marriage?" she snorted. Was it true? Did he really want her? There'd been a few looks from him on Kryse, right after he'd tied the pink silk around her, and for the months they'd been stuck there, but he'd never approached her, never tried to kiss her, never touched her in ways that weren't their usual. "You really are an alien," she told him. "And a daft one at that."
He jerked a little, raising his head to look at her. "Right. Sorry. I shouldn't have presumed--" setting her hands on the table, he pushed his chair back and stood up, turning to leave the kitchen behind.
Anger subsiding, Rose stood up and grabbed his hand, pulling on the pink silk wrapped it around it, drawing him to her, spinning him around in the process. He lost his balance and had to catch himself on the table beside them, but his eyes were only for her. She rolled hers, biting her lip, standing on tiptoe. Lips hovering near his, gaze flicking from his eyes to his lips, she chuckled. "Always presume, Doctor." Mouth pressing to his, she snaked her arm around his neck and pulled him down for a hard kiss.
His arms immediately went around her waist, dragging her to him, hauling her closer. He leaned her back a bit and opened his mouth on hers, tilting his head a bit for better access, tongue, teeth, and lips devouring her breath.
Stomach fluttering, she felt desire slip into her veins, weighing her down like molasses. Finally, she had the Doctor in the way she'd always wanted him.
Minutes later, plastered up against the wall he'd pressed her against, she had to break free or die of suffocation. Resting her forehead on his, she smiled, not moving one centimeter away from him. "Married," she marveled.
Grinning, he tightened his arms around her. "You okay with that?"
She shrugged, considering his words. "So long as I get a wedding night out of it." That molasses thickened, flowing more slowly at the thought of a night in the Doctor's bed. Doing things to him, letting him do things to her. Groaning, she closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.
"Oh, you'll get that and more," he breathed, kissing each eyelid before nipping at her jaw, sending electric pulses of desire through her. "Every night." His tongue flicked out and he pressed open-mouthed kisses to her neck. "Mornings too." Trailing down to her shoulder, he nuzzled her blouse out of the way and slid his hands higher up her back. "What about afternoons? Have you got those free as well?" Lifting his head, he pressed his mouth to hers again, tasting and taking, lips open on hers, tongue teasing hers.
"Hm, I don't think I'll ever want to leave the TARDIS again." She kissed him lightly, loving that she could do that now whenever she wanted to. Biting his lower lip, she loosened his tie with hard jerks to either side, slipping her fingers underneath.
"Although," he mused, lifting his head from her neck, "it's only on Kryse that we're married."
Chuckling, she leaned close to his ear and whispered, "So, out here in different space and time, we're... about to live in sin?"
Busy with her neck again, he breathed out an absent, "Yeah." Pressing closer to her, letting her feel every inch of his hard body against hers, he slipped his hands under her blouse, touching warm skin. She didn't think he was paying attention, but then he lifted his head and grinned devilishly. "Living in sin sounds so..." his eyes lit up, hands sliding to her breasts, "sinful." Drawing her shirt over her head, he dove in to her neck again, slipping his fingers beneath her bra.
She gasped, and wrapped her arms around him, grabbing his arse. Sliding a leg around his waist, pulling him to her as she bit her lip, she rolled her hips forward. "Feels good though," she moaned, "don't care where we're married or even if we are. Doesn't matter to me."
Lifting his head, he stared down at her. "Uh, it doesn't?"
Wanting him to be touching her again with his fantastic tongue and mouth and those long fingers of his, she panted and quickly shook her head, encouraging him with another roll of her hips against his.
He shuddered and fell forward, bracing himself against the wall with one hand, leaning into her. Mouth inches away, he licked his lips. "Then these don't matter."
Lost in a haze of lust, she could only blink at him for a moment. Then she frowned and pulled back a little. "What?"
Swallowing, he dropped the pink silk tie to the table, then stuck his hands in the pockets of his suit jacket, which was already half off of him. He pulled out a square bit of gold. "This is a wedding bar from Reesha." Dropping it to the table, he dug back into his pockets. "Wedding band from O'pnol." A ring plinked to the table, bouncing and then rolling a ways before coming to rest on the pink silk tie. "Bonding Pin of Eu-lar Six." A white gold tiepin plunked down. "Bond of Marriage from Yr'elnum." A piece of paper fluttered to the table, followed closely by bouncing cocoa beans. "Aztec wedding..."
Rose's eyes widened on all the objects and she broke into gales of laughter.