A/N—I wasn't planning on updating this one anytime soon, and that is probably why the ideas started acting up. Hope you enjoy the chapter. Please read and review.
Jack stood next to the Doctor in the Tardis' massive wardrobe. Rose was dressing behind a screen, accompanied by a mellifluous stream of small grunting noises. Both men wore wearied looks common to men in department stores the world over, their own clothing already altered to suit the fifth century roles that they'd agree to play. Jack was wearing noblemen's attire, and the Doctor was humbly dressed as a servant.
"Are you sure you don't want to change your mind about the whole servant thing?" Jack scoffed, "That brown tunic does nothing for your eyes."
The Doctor retorted, "Are you kidding? You two'll be the center of attention, you will, all shiny and such, won't be able to see anything. Me, I'll get to see everything. No one ever minds the help, absolute freedom, this is." The Doctor paused and pursed his mouth, and then said a little bit more loudly for Rose's benefit, "And I don't suppose you want to change you mind about that whole fancy dress bit and be a bit more inconspicuous like me?"
Rose's laugh echoed over the changing screen like music, "Not a chance. I've always wanted to wear one of these old-fashioned dresses, and here's my chance to do it. Besides," she added gaily, "Jack said that I'll be safer if people think I'm rich."
The Doctor made a low sound in the back of his throat and glared at Jack, "Depends on what you mean by safer."
Jack couldn't help but grin at the Doctor's almost predatorial body language (these two really were obliviously adorable) and shrugged his shoulders as he replied, "I meant that she'll be safer from roving hands if people think that she's a noblewoman. Our Rose here is going to stand out wherever she goes, regardless of what she's wearing," he watched the Doctor's brow furrow deeper at his use of the communal possessive.
"Ah," Rose's voice echoed around them, "Now that's sweet."
"Sweet, Rose?" The Doctor's voice rang with sarcasm. "The man's just stating the obvious, Ms. Union-Jack-hanging-from-a-barrage-balloon-during-t he-Blitz."
Jack continued, unfazed, "If the men think that she's some common serving wench, they'll all try to grab a hold and have a go." Then, he added cheekily, "I know I would… But, as a lady of means she'll be safe from those sorts of unwelcome impositions."
Rose laughed again and poked her head around the screen, her face alight with glee. "You see, Doctor, the fancy dress will shield me from roving hands: practicality and beauty rolled into one." Then, she winked at Jack and pulled her head back behind the screen.
"It's not just roving hands that I'm worried about," the Doctor said under his breath.
Jack was about to question the enigmatic man at his side about what else they would possibly need worry about when Rose interrupted. "Jack?" she queried, her voice suddenly uncertain.
"Do you think you could pop over here and lend me a hand with something?"
Jack could see a fire not unlike jealousy growing in the Doctor's eyes, but there was no hint of it in the Doctor's voice when he quipped back to her in seeming good cheer, "What, zipper trouble?"
She answered, "Sort of, yea."
Jack tried not to look too eager as he tentatively made his way behind the screen, conscientiously avoiding the Doctor's eyes. He was going to have to walk a fine line here, he knew. After all, he was a guest in the Doctor's ship. No, more than that, a guest in the Doctor's life and all because this beautiful young girl had decided to trust him. He could abuse neither the Doctor's grudging hospitality nor the girl's generous heart. So, he resolved as he moved behind the screen that no matter how fetching a partially clothed Rose-in-distress was likely to be, that he must behave as a perfect gentleman. A decision soundly reinforced by the Doctor's darkly voiced, "Careful."
His first glimpse of Rose nearly stole his breath. She was dressed only in a fine linen under-shift, her light hair framing her face, the expression on which was sheepish and shy, and a muddle of pink fabric swathed in her hands. She bit her lip as she looked in his eyes, and Jack knew that if he hadn't begun to love her already that he'd be a goner now. "Sorry," she began, her voice hardly a whisper. "But, I can't figure out how it goes. It all seemed to make sense on the hanger…"
Jack's tone was soft and tender, "Don't worry, Rose. We'll figure it out." He took the fabric from her and held it up in front of him, deftly arranging pieces and positioning it to slide over her head. "After all," his smile grew wolfish, "I've lots of experience undressing women. It shouldn't be too hard to put all of that hard-earned knowledge into reverse."
And Rose's laughter rang out from behind the curtain again, much to Jack's joy and, he was sure, the Doctor's mystification and annoyance.