“Oi! What did I say about that, Captain?”
“That I have to buy you a drink first,” Jack replied with a grin, backing away. He’d nearly landed a kiss on the Doctor that time. You know what they say, practice makes perfect…
“Exactly. Now shove off, I’m almost done recalibrating,” the Doctor said when Jack had retreated to a safe distance.
“What about you, Rose?” Jack asked as Rose wandered into the console room, her nose in a brochure the Doctor had given her. It contained some of the best tourist spots in the galaxy, since Rose had requested a restful trip after their last near-death adventure. The Doctor had claimed that neither visiting Jackie nor shopping could be considered restful, and had given her the brochure instead.
“What about me, what?” Rose replied, looking over at Jack. Upon seeing his predatory grin and the Doctor’s amused expression, she laughed and added, “Wait, never mind. No. Whatever it is, no. Definitely no!”
“Great!” Jack said with exaggerated cheerfulness. “I can’t wait! C’mere, honey!”
Jack proceeded to chase Rose about the console. The brochure went flying out of Rose’s hand as she dashed away, and the Doctor rescued it by plucking it out of mid-air and safely depositing it behind a lever on the console.
“Wait, wait!” Rose protested, rounding the console again, Jack just behind her. “I thought I said no!”
“You did!” Jack joyously shouted back. “But you forgot to ask what the question was first!”
Jack did an abrupt about face, and Rose obligingly skidded directly into him on her next circuit of the console.
“Cheater!” she complained, gasping for breath between laughs, clinging to his arms. “What was the question, then?”
“Would you mind if I kissed you right now?”
“Hmmmm,” Rose replied eloquently.
“If you two are done staring soulfully into each other’s eyes, can we make a decision about where we’re going next?” the Doctor interrupted them, suddenly appearing inches from their side.
They sprung apart guiltily, Rose’s gaze dropping to the floor while Jack unashamedly met the Doctor’s eyes with a grin.
The Doctor sighed, turning away from them. “Focus, you silly apes. Restful trip, remember? Where to, Rose?”
Jack and Rose shared a short look, and then Rose went to join the Doctor back up at the console, leaving Jack to wonder why the Doctor had just let him live. If he’d come that close to Rose, let alone that close to kissing Rose, a few short weeks ago, the Doctor would have unceremoniously shoved him out the nearest airlock. Now he just seemed amused.
When had that changed, and what did it mean for Jack’s future?
Up at the console, Rose had picked up the brochure again and flipped through its pages.
“There,” she said, pointing to the open page and handing it to the Doctor. “I want to go there.”
“Fantastic!” the Doctor said enthusiastically, reaching over one-handed to set the coordinates. “You’ll love it there.”
“Where?” Jack asked, joining them near the console.
“Wait and see, Captain,” the Doctor told him, wiggling his eyebrows twice.
“Oh, come on, Doc!” Jack complained, looking to Rose for help.
“Sorry, Jack, I can’t even pronounce it. You’ll have to get the brochure off him,” she replied.
Taking that as a worthy challenge, Jack began to reenact his earlier chase of Rose, with the Doctor as his new quarry. They circled the console several times, enough for the Doctor to reach in and hit the necessary controls on the run to finish setting their course.
Rose watched from the side as the Doctor thoroughly showed up Jack at his own game. Finally, the Doctor pulled Jack’s earlier move by suddenly stopping and turning around, causing Jack to barrel into him the next time he dashed around the console.
The Doctor caught him, and they finished their replay of Jack and Rose’s chase by staring into each other’s eyes for a moment.
Just when Jack looked about ready to try kissing him again, the Doctor grinned that mad grin of his.
“Nope, not telling!”
Suddenly he was across the console, and Jack was sitting on the grating not quite knowing how he’d got there. He could hear Rose laughing at their antics, and sent her a mock wounded look for her betrayal.
He picked himself up, and both he and Rose joined the Doctor at the controls once again.
“Seriously, though, where are we going?” Jack asked curiously.
“I really can’t pronounce it,” Rose replied. “But the brochure said it's the best museum of music in this area of space!”
Unable to avoid picking up on her enthusiasm, both Jack and the Doctor grinned.
“Oh, there’s only one place that could be,” Jack replied. “And don’t feel bad about not being able to pronounce it, honey, I don’t think any human can. Our mouths just aren’t built for it.”
Rose saw the Doctor open his own mouth, but she whacked his leather clad arm before he could say anything.
“Oi, you! No insulting species. This is our vacation,” she said firmly.
He chuckled in response, twiddling a control to tweak their course, replying, “Not yet, it isn’t, we’re still in the Vortex.”
Jack and Rose shared another look behind the Doctor’s back, and then grinned and sing-songed in unison, “Are we there yet?”
The Doctor just rolled his eyes and mumbled something only mildly disparaging about humans.