As I am a professional writer and have work to do to get paid, I have decided to deal with these thudding plot bunnies in the traditional manner - I will inflict them on others. Please see my Profile for the Challenges of the Month. This month's May Challenges have been added because... well, I had a reason and I'm sure it was a good one. The new challenges will run through the end of May. If you'd prefer to do April's, feel free. Please let me know when you respond to a Challenge so I can read and review. Stories are linked on my LJ.

This fic was written back in March for the birthday of fellow beading-fanatic and Whovian, CapeMayNuts. First time posting to FFnet. Which is really becoming difficult, isn't it?


Beauty and the Bead

"Rose, catch it!" the Doctor shouted.

Rose, feeling like she'd gotten herself involved in an alien game of keep-away, stumbled to a stop with her hands cupped. The brightly glittering bead necklace dropped into them and Rose cursed her shoes while trying to remember everything the Doctor had said about this whole situation.

One of the Squididgeon invaders tackled her and Rose sprawled. The necklace flew loose and skittered under a table. Princess Anidra screamed and darted away. Rose scrambled where the woman's ankles had been and seized the necklace, kicking fiercely at the alien octopus thingee that was trying to haul her out from under the table. A spiked-heeled kick landed firmly and the thing let go with a bubbly howl. Rose scrambled to the other side of the table, dragged herself to her hands and knees, and vaulted to her feet, toeing off the useless shoes as she went.

"The plinth, Rose," the Doctor ordered.

Her head whipped around to the strained sound of his voice and she realized he was trapped. Several of the multi-limbed creatures held him in vice-like grips, one of them wrapped completely around him, holding his thrashing body as still as it could manage. Two more had his leather-clad arms secure at his sides. Another was climbing up his denim-covered leg, and yet another had attached itself to his neck, apparently trying to get an appendage around his mouth.

"Doctor!!" Rose shrieked angry protest.

"Not now, Rose!" he snapped. "Jus' get the necklace ta the plinth!" Rose stared at the struggling Time Lord, frozen by indecision. "Run, you silly ape!" the Doctor insisted furiously.

"So gonna get you for that later," she grumbled as she tore through the grand hall, Squididgeons flopping toward her at an astonishingly quick pace, scared humans trying to get out of her way. Her bare feet hit the edge of the dais and she half ran, half fell up the stairs toward the throne and the often shouted about plinth.

Princess Anidra cowered on her throne as Rose neared it. Something slimy caught her ankle and hauled. Rose seized the princess's hand and used it to try to drag herself out of the ever-tightening alien grip.

The princess wrapped her other hand around their already joined hands and tried to tug Rose toward her. Rose was as proud as she was astonished that the woman was finally trying to do something useful. She passed the necklace to its owner as her grip started to slip. "The Doctor says the blue one," Rose explained frantically.

Princess Anidra stared at the necklace in confusion. Rose tried to escape, kicked at her alien captor, screamed fierce protests. "Do it!" she shouted at the princess.

The creature hauled sharply. Rose lost her balance and fell.

"Rose!!" the Doctor's voice rang out over the din of screaming people, shrieking aliens, and a ruined dinner party.

Rose looked up at the princess as the alien creature began to climb over her, aiming, she knew, for her face. "Please!" she said.

The princess seemed to stiffen, then nodded and brought the beaded necklace down, hard, on the edge of the plinth. Glass tinkled, shattered, and scattered. Rose covered her face as brightly colored shards flew toward her, losing precious leverage in her fight against the alien holding her.

Anidra fit the one bead, now orphaned, into its slot. There was a loud click, a vivid display of dancing lights and then the aliens all shrieked at once.

Sounded like a room full of bagpipes being jumped on.

Rose covered her ears, pulled herself into a huddled ball, and shook.

Next thing she knew, the Doctor was snatching her up in a desperate embrace. Rose buried her face in his neck, even as he nuzzled her hair. His stubble of a beard was harsh against her skin but so real. They were alive. Rose tilted her head and kissed the Doctor's doubled pulse, seizing fistfuls of leather to keep him from pulling away or even putting her down.

He chuckled lightly against her hair, his voice dark as he whispered, "Gimme a mo'." Rose nodded slowly and regretfully loosened her hold. Mostly.

There were melted puddles of sea-green alien goo all over the place, bubbling luridly while the Doctor explained that the famous blue bead was actually the central control device to the computer left behind by Anidra's colonist ancestors. According to His Impressiveness, the bead being placed in the plinth reset the planetary defense system, interrupting the signal that had given the Squididgeons the semblance of life.

"Like the Nestene!" Rose exclaimed triumphantly.

"Exactly," the Doctor agreed, beaming down at her proudly through sparkling blue eyes. His arm around her waist tightened.

Rose grinned while he went on to explain that he'd stop by and have a little chat with the neighbors about leaving Loreii in peace, especially now that they couldn't get past the electronic blockade, which made Anidra sigh in relief. He also offered to have a look at this planetary defense computer, which seemed to delight the woman to no end.

Then he offered to get started on it right away, and that annoyed Rose to no end.

"The morning will come soon enough, Doctor," Anidra deferred. "Surely you and Lady Rose need some rest."

The Doctor looked at her closely and Rose blew an annoying wisp of her destroyed hair style out of her face to emphasize strongly that whatever she needed, it did not involve running from aliens. Unless he wanted to chase her around the TARDIS for a bit...

Her eyes must have gone a bit hazy at that thought because he looked a bit worried and suggested he and Rose should return to their ship for the night. Anidra politely insisted they accept her hospitality and personally escorted them to a well-appointed room which, she proudly informed them, had been used to accommodate royal guests and ambassadors for generations.

The Doctor thanked the princess politely and let Rose go inside ahead of him while he closed and locked the door. "Are you all right?" he asked, as soon as they were alone.

"I will be once I get out of this damned dress," Rose replied, fiddling with the beaded straps. "Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to design clothes that're only held together by beadwork, anyway?"

The Doctor chuckled. Rose turned away from him, pacing fretfully toward the tapestry drapes covering enormous windows in the far end of the room, and tugging uselessly at her straps. "Prob'ly a bloke," he said in a light, cheerful tone.

Rose replied with a frustrated snort, and the Doctor continued, but his voice had gone dark and quiet and so much more interesting than any sound that came out of him when other people were around. "Certainly gives me ideas, that dress does."

Rose shivered and turned toward him briefly. "Does it?"

The Doctor grinned his brightest grin, his blue eyes sparkling pure, unadulterated mischief. "Well, that an' you crawlin' around showin' your knickers ta any alien who happened ta want a look."

Rose rolled her eyes. She loved him, and it was a good thing, because it meant she had gotten well used to his jumping from topic to topic. "There was an invasion," Rose pointed out, determinedly returning her focus to the irritating straps of her miniscule dress. "And everyone runnin' around tryin' to escape the squid things. Pretty sure the only alien could handle all that an' a peek at my pants has already seen 'em."

"Not these ones I haven't," the Doctor observed brightly. Rose didn't turn to look at him, but she distinctly heard the heavy thud of his leather jacket as he banged it against something. "The quick look I had of 'em seemed nice, though."

"So glad you approve," Rose growled in frustration. "I take back what I said earlier. This thing's not comin' off me without power tools, apparently."

She wiggled and bounced a bit, trying to get a better angle to pull the infuriating strap from the clip that held it secure to the dress. Couldn't do a damn thing with it, what in hell were these people thinking, honestly?

"Rose." Her name was a dark growl behind her and then she felt the Doctor's bare chest pressed firmly against the exposed expanse of her back. "Hold still," came the command against the back of her neck.

Rose no longer cared about the dress. At a guess, it was coming off now even if it did so in ribbons. She also wasn't interested in holding still, so she sank back into her lover's body, reveling in the rapid pounding of double hearts that she could feel against her shoulders. "Doctor," she whispered, when his hands took up the job that had been frustrating her since the door closed. It was all the more frustrating now, his work-roughened, cool fingers passing lightly over skin and cloth in alternating strokes. Her body was responding to him already, tingling everywhere, the small hairs on her arms standing as if begging for his touch.

"Need ta be careful with somethin' delicate an' pretty," he observed against her ear, punctuating every couple of words with light nips to the lobe. "An' I like the dress, too."

Strange, sideways compliments were the way of things with the Doctor, as Rose had learned well. Still, this mood he was in tonight seemed a bit different from before. He was as playful as he ever was with her, but exceedingly gentle as he finally loosened the first strap. His lips dropped immediately to kiss where the beads had rested, his hand moving slowly around to cup the breast revealed by the fabric that was now freed and sliding down her body. His other hand managed to free the second strap and Rose was bare to the waist and desperate to kiss him.

She turned her head to do just that, but the Doctor stopped her with a light nip to the back of her neck. "Trust me," he murmured against her skin. He phrased it as an order, but Rose knew a question when she heard one.

"Always," she replied, and meant it, and felt a grin against her shoulder.

"Good," the Doctor whispered. His huge hands covered her breasts, the nipples tucked securely between the middle and index fingers of each, and he stroked the small peaks to pebble hardness with achingly slow movements of his fingers.

"Doctor," Rose complained, sinking further in to him so that she could feel the hardness of his arousal pressing against her. He was still wearing his jeans, obviously, which frustrated her as even the inability to undress had not. However, the feel of him, rigid and straining for her, sent a jolt of damp pleasure straight to her center and she murmured his name again.

His hips rocked involuntarily at her movement. "Bit of hush, please," the Doctor requested, his lips teasing her other shoulder now. He alternated brief, chill kisses with nips that grazed her skin and slow, soothing passes of his tongue.

Rose sighed happily, then bit her lip as his hands skimmed away from her breasts again. One meandered slowly down the bare skin of her waist, the other pushed her gently away from him just enough to find the final strap securing her dress in place. He toyed with it, chuckling lightly when she squirmed in his hold.

"Doctor." Frustration pulled his name from her lips again and he finally worked the strap free. The weight of the beadwork on the dress made it surrender to gravity quite quickly, and Rose was standing there with nothing to cover her but her dark crimson knickers and his hands. She gasped and pushed back against him when one hand found her sex and began tracing it lightly through the fabric. Her own hand snaked back to touch him, but the Doctor stopped her with a light touch.

The Doctor let his hips grind against her for a moment, whispering her name against her shoulder. "Please Rose, let me…"

"Anything," she agreed, and she meant it, just as much as she meant it when she said she trusted him.

"Fantastic," the Doctor breathed. His free hand came up from her waist to brush her cheek, turning her head toward him, and he leaned over her shoulder, kissing her awkwardly but deeply. His kiss gave the lie to his slow seduction, so desperate and possessive as he plunged his tongue into her mouth as if trying to taste her very life.

Rose raised a hand to keep him there, but the Doctor stopped her hand by catching it and lowering it back to her side. His other hand slipped beneath her knickers and immediately sought the hidden button of her clitoris. He stroked her expertly and brought her instantly to full, drenched arousal.

"Perfect," the Doctor murmured against her lips as her hips rocked against his hand. He broke the kiss, removed his hand from her knickers, stepped back. Rose wanted to scream with frustration. She moved to turn and kiss him again. The Doctor's hand in the small of her back stopped her, pushing her lightly toward the bed.

"Doctor!!" Rose exclaimed in frustration. She wanted to touch him, wanted to wipe the smirk she just knew he was wearing right off his face by jumping on him and blowing his mind. She wanted to let him do exactly whatever he wanted to do to her, if only he would get on with it before she exploded.

The Doctor came up behind her again, and this time, his jeans were definitely gone. She could feel the definition of his sex pressed against her back. "Up you go, Rose," he said playfully.

There wasn't any way she could turn, so she climbed straight up onto the bed on her knees, fully intending to turn over and wrap her arms around the Doctor as soon as she'd reached the middle.

His hands snagged her knickers and tugged them down, and off. Then, the Doctor was on the bed behind her, both hands securing her hips. "This all right?" he murmured.

In answer, Rose reached for a pillow and dragged it down where she could lean on it. She knew he couldn't see her face, couldn't see the positively filthy grin she knew she was probably sporting, so she said, "Please, Doctor?" She spread her legs, tilted her body, turned her head to look back over her shoulder at him.

Her Doctor. Like this. Oh, yeah. Any day.

His head was bowed, his expression not visible to her from this angle. However, only a second passed before she felt him pressed against her entrance and then, with a single, jangling Gallifreyan word, he thrust himself inside her.

Rose gasped at the sensation of him filling her like this. They'd never done this before; she'd always been able to see his face when they made love. Quite apart from the change in angle presenting new and wonderful sensations, there was the erotic mystery of what he was likely to do next.

What he did was set up a rhythm of long, swift strokes, pulling out of her almost completely, and then thrusting back into her, making Rose feel like he was reaching deeper every time. His hands gripped her hips tightly, but his fingers were gentle as they shifted in time to his rhythm. Rose rocked her body to meet the Doctor's every thrust, matching the beautiful alien words coming from his mouth with her own wordless cries of encouragement.

Rose felt her body tensing, tightening, coiling upwards toward completion. The Doctor leaned over her and his hands left her hips, coming around her to cup her breasts instead, tormenting the hardened peaks with every single thrust inside her. She let her head drop to one arm, bringing the now freed hand down to the place where their bodies met. Every time the Doctor pulled out of her, her fingers brushed his length and Rose pressed tight circles over her clit with her thumb at the same time.

"So fucking good." Rose knew she said that, along with quite a few other things that she never would have said under any other circumstances. She cried out for him when she came, the words tumbling from her lips beyond her control as wave after wave of pleasure wracked her body. "Doctor, my Doctor," she was still whispering as the clenching high slowly tapered down to a trembling buzz.

The Doctor's thrusts became frenzied and erratic and he was gasping for every breath he took. Rose shifted her hips higher and the Doctor found his release at last with a soft, wrenching sob of her name. He collapsed against her then, covering her back with kisses and whispering familiar, musical phrases across her skin.

Rose felt his teeth at her shoulder as he bit down, not hard enough to break the skin but hard enough to leave a mark. He lapped lightly at the mark with his tongue when she squeaked, more surprised than hurt.

When the Doctor withdrew from her, Rose turned toward him and kissed him at last, deeply and fervently, and he kissed her back with equal ardor.

Sometime later, while Rose was thinking about drifting off to sleep, she murmured, "What was that about, anyway?"

The Doctor looked down at her, then tucked her head beneath his chin and kissed her hair. "Didn't know what else to say," he tried to explain himself.

Rose smiled against his chest. "Good point," she said, then looked up at him, reading a whole world of emotions in his brilliantly sparkling blue eyes. There were words they couldn't say, either one of them, but their hearts knew them and their bodies spoke the language far more eloquently. "Me either."


In the morning, they had breakfast and stabilized the computer system quickly, and fled before they had to escape from Princess Anidra. Rose was reasonably certain the woman had taken a fancy to the Doctor. The Doctor, however, was convinced she'd actually started to fancy Rose. They teased each other about that all the way back to the TARDIS and, in fact, all the way to the planet next door.

"So, got any squid repellent?" Rose asked before they left the ship.

"Better," the Doctor answered cheekily.

"Really, what?"

He reached under the console and snagged open a drawer. Inside was a vast collection of brightly colored beads. "This should work."

"How?" Rose demanded.

"They can't make beads, Rose, not when 90 percent of the planet's under water. Sand's precious, here. Everything else Loreii has, they've got plenty of. S'got to be the pretty bits o' glass they were after."

"And if not?" Rose asked.

The Doctor shrugged. "Haveta give swimming for our lives a go, I s'pose."

"Not with the squid people," she insisted.

"We'll be fine," he said, his grin so wide she wasn't sure how it fit on his face. "An' if not, ya can always stun 'em with your knickers."

Rose waited until he was out the door before she stood on her toes and whispered in his ear, "Who says I'm wearin' any?"