Disclaimer: I own nothing but student loans and some cuddling elephant salt and pepper shakers. The latter of which is actually a Christmas gift. So suing me would be great. In fact, I invite it. Take my loans, make me see the error of my wicked ways.
Dedication: My roommate and I challenged one another to write River/Doctor/Jack. All the explanation you need.
A/N: I wouldn't recommend that you read this, but then, I can't really stop you.
The Doctor had traveled to planets with climates that settled comfortably upward of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. He'd vacationed on a moon that rotated a little too close to the sun on Saturday evenings, and once he'd fallen asleep on a camping trip in a sleeping bag resting far too close to the fire. The Doctor knew heat. His body was a little more resistant to it than the average human, but he felt it all the same—still, he was known for wearing full suits and long overcoats and tweed jackets no matter the weather. Heat didn't generally bother him, but the Tardis was different. The Tardis was his home, his other half, and he was used to her being a certain temperature—when he and Jack walked through the blue doors, the Doctor let out an instant cry of surprise and frustration, bolting haphazardly toward the console.
"What now, dear?" he murmured, feeling the unusual spike in climate acutely. He continued to mutter to the console as he flipped various switches and pulled many levers before huffing a heavy sigh and reaching up to turn the scanner in his direction. "I'm sorry, Jack, the Tardis's cooling circuits seem to be malfunctioning, and she's overcompensating—that's why it's so hot in here—I'm just concerned that she's going to try and take us to a cooler climate, which we don't necessarily want because of all sorts of things like icebergs and possibly penguins, which seem nice but honestly, it's been a long day and polar bears are the last thing I want to—put your shirt back on!"
Midway through his speech the Doctor had turned around to find Jack standing behind him, hands on his hips, his shirt somewhere that was absolutely not his torso.
"You said it yourself," Jack said nonchalantly, "it's hot in here. And for once it's not just me."
The Doctor growled as he turned, irritated that he'd agreed to take Jack with him at all, irritated at the blasted heat drawing sweat to his temples, irritated at the Tardis for all of her games, irritated at himself for never being able to control the situation when another time-traveler came around. He fiddled with the controls for several more minutes, not because he thought it would do any good, but because he needed to figure out what to do, and the situation was not in any way—not in any way that the Doctor would ever admit—improved when he heard a click-clack against the tile of a nearby corridor that he knew only too well.
"Would you at least call first?' He wondered briefly how long she'd been in the Tardis, since he knew that the old girl was wont to let her second favorite time-traveler in whenever River pleased. When he glanced up from his controls, she was already smiling that infuriating smile, and he couldn't decide whether his rapidly shortening temper was rooted in the heat, or in how both Jack and River had the unique and aggravating ability to make him—the Doctor, the Oncoming Storm, the Time Lord Victorious—feel as though there was something he didn't know.
"Sorry, sweetie," River said, stepping up onto the platform and leaning on the console as though she owned it. "Did I interrupt something?" she peered at Jack lasciviously, who was busy undoing his belt
"Not yet," Jack rejoined, grinning at River. "Nice to see you again, Professor Song." River's eyes grew wide, her smile mischievous as she eyed his bare torso—the Doctor found himself growing absurdly jealous, because after all there wasn't much to Jack but fifty-first century pheromones and, alright, he was fit, and he had great skin, but—
"No, no, Doctor, focus—I'm sorry, Sexy, I'm trying to figure it out but they're not helping..." the words were delivered under his breath as he watched River's attention shift from him to Jack.
"The pleasure is, as usual, mine," she answered the Captain, and the Doctor slammed his palm against a button a little harder than necessary. "Has he been talking to her long?"
"Long enough. I'm not used to being so ignored when I'm not wearing a shirt."
"I can see why."
"Could you two please be quiet so I can figure this out?" the Doctor exclaimed, wheeling around and clasping his hands together, already anxiously anticipating what he would find. Jack was still shirtless, and standing far closer to River than he would have liked—oh, was he ever glad that Amy and Rory were safe at home away from this... "Jack, put some clothes on!"
The Doctor couldn't have conceived a more frustrating, exhausting situation. Tearing his eyes away from his friends, he continued to fiddle unnecessarily with the Tardis's controls, scowling all the while. As if things couldn't have gotten any more problematic, the Doctor felt his own body temperature spiking beyond manageable levels. He felt the sweat dripping down his back, knew it to be beginning to show through the white of his thin, button-up shirt. He had shed the tweed jacket immediately upon entering, and he reached a hand up to undo the top button of his shirt, though grudgingly. Behind him, Jack and River continued to converse, much to his mounting frustration.
"Last time I saw you, I loaned you my blaster."
"River..." Jack warned, and the Doctor knew because he knew them, that River would be invading Jack's personal space to an absurd degree.
The Doctor couldn't hear what River said in response, but he heard her let out a snort of laughter, and then silence—a silence which made him very nervous—fell. The click of River's boots against the ground alerted the Doctor to the fact that she had moved, and when he looked up she was standing beside him, her arms folded across her chest. Somewhere since she'd arrived she'd lost her sweater, revealing her arms and her chest and though he was almost one thousand years old he still couldn't control his every mundane impulse—for instance, how his eyes instantly fell to the swell of her breasts, and rested there for a moment too long. He stood up, brushing his hair back and trying to appear nonchalant, though he was beyond overheated.
"I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate with you two—" he paused to wave his hands around erratically "—hovering so."
"You need to relax, sweetie. The Tardis will behave however she wants—we're certainly not going anywhere since you forced her off planet, and she doesn't seem inclined to do what you want currently, so we may as well... enjoy the ride."
"I can't relax, River," the Doctor said, running a hand over his face and tugging at his bowtie, all the while trying desperately not to stare at her—there was something so fetching about her skin, warmed by the heat, something about her chest gleaming slightly with perspiration that made it ever so hard for him to do much of anything.
"You could at least unbutton a little," she answered, reaching up and undoing three buttons of his shirt with a unnervingly deftness—he nearly jumped out of his skin, flailing and stumbling backwards, only to be caught by Jack, who had at some point appeared behind him.
"Would you both just go somewhere that is else—Jack, pants! Where are your pants? All right, quite enough of this—you two over there." He lifted his arms high into the air and gestured to a vague location away from him. He reached out and acted as though he were about to shove them both in that direction, but River and Jack gave him a smirk the moment his hand touched their backs and he withdrew, tucking his hands into his armpits as they grudgingly obeyed. He slumped back against the console when River and Jack both settled against the railing, and he was entirely resolved to ignore them completely until he felt less as though his entire body was tied in knots and less as though he were about to die of heat prostration. His resolution only lasted until River removed her boots, which he accepted, and then proceeded to (somewhat less than gracefully), remove the grey tights which she wore beneath her dress. "Not you, too."
"Always me, sweetie." River winked, casting the tights aside and crossing her bare legs, a motion which Jack followed with a little too much interest for a man wearing no shirt and no pants. The Doctor was just thankful that the Captain had at least deigned to wear underwear. "What's making you so uncomfortable, Doctor?"
"In case you haven't noticed, River, it's exceptionally hot in here, and the Tardis isn't—"
"Not the temperature. It's actually quite manageable with the proper adjustments." With those words she lifted a hand to unzip her dress halfway, turning so that her back faced Jack and allowing him to do the rest. The Doctor's eyes nearly bugged out of his head, but he thanked every god on every planet that he'd ever been to that she was wearing a white slip underneath, swallowing as he watched her slide out of the dress and let it fall to the side.
"You're like teenagers," the Doctor practically whined, covering his face with his hands, partially to express the frustration that was becoming painful, and partially to keep his eyes from River... and from Jack.
"Better than teenagers," Jack said, a hand sliding smoothly around River's waist. She moved so that her body pressed ever so slightly against his, though her eyes were on the Doctor as he squirmed. "Teenagers don't even know what they're doing."
The Doctor pulled restively at his collar, and after a moment allowed himself to undo his own bowtie, bringing it to hang on one of the many levers that wouldn't fix the temperature of the Tardis and make the whole situation a little less painful. Although the Doctor attributed his current tenseness to the situation with the Tardis, it became increasingly clear to him that River and Jack were making the situation all the more stressful. The slip River wore had, at first, seemed a reprieve, but belatedly it occurred to the Doctor that she likely didn't have much on under the slip. He shifted where he stood, adjusting his suspenders, trying to find a way to busy his hands and distract his eyes—he really needed to start traveling with less attractive people.
"Would it help if I ordered you to opposite corners?" the Doctor asked, though he wasn't at all optimistic about the outcome.
River leaned closer to Jack, extending a bare, lovely arm to wrap around his shoulders, her fingers playing at the nape of his neck. Jack's eyes were on the Doctor as River pressed a brief but obviously open-mouthed kiss to side of the Captain's neck. Jack smiled, reaching down to lift her chin, his lips hovering so close to hers that even the Doctor held his breath, his knuckles turning white around his suspenders. Their lips flirted as they did for a few moments, never quite touching though their bodies grew closer and closer until the Doctor couldn't quite understand the physics of it, and when it looked as though they would finally kiss, the Doctor's eyes were drawn completely away from their mouths and instead to River's hand, which trailed seductively down Jack's chest and slipped beneath the waist band of his underwear. The Doctor and Jack choked in unison, and River licked her lips.
"It is hot in here, Doctor, isn't it?"
He didn't even know how to respond.