Jack shivered, pulling his coat close around his body as the resonant clang of the metal door still echoed around the tiny cell they'd been granted.
"Well the decor leaves a lot to be desired" he sighed, glancing around at the stone walls, glistening with a liquid he didn't want to even begin to think about.
"Oh I dunno I've seen worse" the Doctor muttered, pulling slightly at the four iron bars covering the only small window. "Well they're solid enough."
"So what now Casanova?"
"Stop it" the Doctor replied, glaring at his grinning companion.
"I blame you completely you know" Jack continued, trying to pull the edges of his great coat tighter together and sliding his back down the driest of the walls.
"Of course you do" the Doctor sighed, finally giving up his quest for freedom and sitting himself down next to his friend.
"Actually I blame Martha."
"Well, if she hadn't swanned off and left you, you wouldn't have come back to see me, I wouldn't have been tempted to say 'screw it' and follow you to....where the Hell are we again?"
"Taklos four. Prince whatshisname..."
"Hainek wouldn't have gone all 'Ooooh! Cute Doctor, must have for my very own', you wouldn't have told him to bugger off, they wouldn't have stuck us in this delightfully snug cell and I wouldn't be freezing half to death."
"Well" the Doctor reasoned, sliding his arms around Jack's shoulders and holding his grateful friend close, "if you're gonna go by that logic, you'd have to blame her mum, or her grandma, or her great-grandma, or..."
"Okay okay, I'll blame you. Less complicated."
"I have to admit, it was pretty rotten luck to walk out of the TARDIS and straight into a contingent of the King's personal guard. We didn't even have time to explore! Such a pretty planet too."
"Pretty freakin' cold."
"You poor thing" the Doctor frowned, as Jack shivered almost violently. He wrapped his arms tighter around the Captain's body, pulling until the man was almost on his lap.
Jack in turn managed to slip his hands under his friend's coat, clasping them together at the back of the Doctor's thin waist.
"It's so damn cold in here. Why is it so cold?"
"I'm guessing it's designed to either convince us that we'd be better off following orders, or finish us off as punishment."
"Neither scenario makes me feel even slightly better" Jack muttered from the vicinity of the Doctor's neck.
"Tickles," the Time Lord chuckled.
"Sorry. I'm not moving though."
They fell into a companionable silence for a while, broken only by the occasional echoing footfalls of guards making their rounds and the rustling of clothes as Jack tried to bury himself even further into the Doctor's embrace, in an effort to stave off the biting cold.
"You know what I could really go for right now?" Jack sighed wistfully. "A nice, hot bag of chips. Lots of salt and vinegar."
"Oh I love chips!" the Doctor enthused. "Best ones I ever tasted were in a seaside village called Great Yarmouth. There's a quaint little marketplace there that sells the most divine chips. You can have 'em with anything too. Even cheese! Chips and cheese! Can you believe it?"
"Can we go there next?"
"Sure, why not?" the Gallifreyan smiled, not doubting for a second that they'd somehow get out of this latest predicament.
"I suppose it must be winter at the moment" Jack complained. "'Cause if it's summer, I definitely don't want to vacation here again."
"At least it won't kill you" the Doctor retorted, steadying himself as Jack climbed fully onto his lap.
"Been there, done that. Hypothermia is not my idea of fun."
"Any other time and I'd think you were flirting."
Jack lifted his head from his friend's shoulder and locked eyes with the Doctor's steady and amused chocolate gaze. "Flirting would be me suggesting we should get naked and share body heat" he grinned.
The Doctor chuckled, rubbing his hands swiftly up and down Jack's arms. "It looks like you'll have to join the queue to get me naked."
"Yeah well, Prince Heineken..."
"...Whatever, can keep his hands off. I saw you first."
"It may have escaped your notice Jack, but we're not...you know....not."
"It's only a matter of time my dear Doctor, I'm irresistible" Jack grinned, planting a quick, chaste kiss on his companion's lips, before snuggling into his neck once more.
"We'll see," the Doctor smiled.
The peaceful moment that followed was abruptly shattered by the metallic groan of their cell door opening, followed by the heavy tread of four armed guards. The dull brown of their uniforms complimented the colouring of the drab cell perfectly, causing them to almost blend in if not for the blue tint to their skin.
"Up!" the lead guard ordered, waving an impressively large gun at them.
"Spoilsport" Jack grumbled, hefting himself upright; the Doctor following.
With no warning, three of the guards opened fire on Jack, killing him instantly.
"What the Hell are you doing?!" the Doctor screamed, falling to his knees beside Jack's crumpled form. "You didn't have to kill him!"
"The Prince ordered it so. You will come with us now."
"You can naff off!"
The Doctor's protests were ignored and he was hoisted to his feet, flanked by two of the guards as they marched him out of the cell, leaving the door open.
"Ah....my beautiful consort!"
The Doctor glared disdainfully at the Prince's shimmering, almost metallic blue features, wanting nothing more than to physically wipe the smug grin off of his face. "Not gonna happen."
"Of course it is" the young Taklosian laughed, his silvery grey eyes dancing with anticipation as he ran his gaze appreciatively over his struggling, soon to be, spouse's form. "We're going to have such fun! The joining ceremony is set to begin in two hours, which gives us plenty of time to get you cleaned and dressed."
"You're insane! You just murdered my friend and now you're banging on about a joining ceremony?"
"Of course!" the Prince retorted, looking at the Doctor as if he was a congenital idiot. "With him gone, you've no reason to resist."
"With him gone you've no bargaining chip and I quite adamantly refuse!"
"And I quite adamantly insist. Take him away and get him prepared."
"Are you sure he is right for you your Highness?" the Prince's servant worried, taking a large brush to his master's long silver hair and wincing at the stream of x-rated insults emanating from the Doctor's mouth as he was dragged away.
"Oh I'm very sure. I've never met one such as he. Such a delicious mind don't you agree?"
"Not if his current vocabulary is anything to go by" the servant muttered, continuing his task.
"Son of a bitch!" Jack gasped, sitting himself immediately upright as he attempted to gain his senses. "Where? Wh...Oh! "
He shivered slightly, more from the tingling after-effects of being blasted with several thousand volts of electricity than the cold; although the latter was beginning its battle for dominance.
Jack hefted himself a little unsteadily to his feet, the events leading up to his untimely death falling into place as he did so. "Must have taken him to his highness Prince Heimlich" he groused, eyeing the open door. "Well, that was jolly decent of them" Jack grinned, making his exit.
"I'm not wearing those! They look like pyjamas!"
The unfortunate individual who had been chosen to dress the Prince's intended sighed in exasperation as the white tunic and trousers were unceremoniously thrown back at him. "Would you rather go naked?"
"I'd rather not go at all" the Doctor grumbled, crossing his arms and turning away from the short, rotund servant.
"Well that's not an option is it? So please, be co-operative and put these on?"
"Give me one good reason why I should?" the Doctor retorted, raising an eyebrow.
"Because there are five guards in the room, all with very big guns that are pointed in your direction."
The Doctor glanced quickly at said guards, before focusing once more on the servant. "Righto, good point" he gulped, hoping he was buying Jack enough time to formulate a rescue plan.
The walls of the long, dark dungeon corridors were just as dank and grimy as the cell itself and Jack tried his best not to let any part of him touch them as he made his way carefully to the staircase.
He didn't really have a clue as to where the Doctor was being held, or where the TARDIS was in relation to his position, but he knew that 'up' was the only direction to go if wanted to gain his bearings; and possibly find out some information along the way.
The stone steps came into view after a few minutes and Jack made his way up, two at a time, reaching the thick wooden door at the top fairly easily. He winced at the loud, ominous creak as he opened it, poking his head around only to come face to barrel with a large gun.
"Halt!" the guard ordered immediately.
"Well" Jack began, dipping his head and smiling up at the Taklosian through his eyelashes. "Hello to you too."
'Bloody Hell' the Doctor thought morosely. He'd been dragged, almost literally kicking and screaming, to the courtyard, accompanied by a heavily armed escort and some excruciatingly out of tune organ music.
The building itself was beautiful, with its black slate walls and ornate arches. On any other day he would have been content to spend a few hours, or days, studying it and marvelling over the architecture. As it was, he just about had time to blink and mutter "nice" before he was deposited next to his virtually bouncing intended.
"You look ravishing," the Prince whispered.
"I look like I'm ready for bed" the Doctor replied, glancing around in the fond hope of seeing Jack among the gathered crowd.
"Precisely!" his young companion replied eagerly.
"Ack! Not a chance in Chiswick!"
The rapidly retreating Doctor was shoved back to the Prince's side, his hands cuffed securely behind his back as a precaution.
"If we may begin?" the old priest suggested, shuffling forward to stoop in front of the partially happy couple.
"Wait a minute" the Doctor frowned, "where's the King? Isn't he supposed to, I dunno, give you away or, at least be here?"
"Daddy died last week" Hainek sighed, attempting and failing to act as if he actually cared. "I shall be crowned next week."
"Oh...joy" the Time Lord replied dryly, chancing another look for Jack. If his Captain didn't arrive soon, he'd have to work out a way of escaping by himself. 'My Captain' he smiled to himself. Damn! He was right.'
"...Do you accept the terms and agree to this union? Do you willingly give your life, your heart and your soul to Prince Hainek, soon to be king of Taklos four?"
"What?" the Doctor blinked, realising he'd missed the beginning of the ceremony with his silent musing. "No, I don't."
"And do you, Prince Hai..."
"Hang on a minute! I just said 'no'. Doesn't that count for something?"
"No" the priest replied dryly. "Do you, Prince Hainek....?"
'Oh fan-bloody-tastic!' the Doctor sighed inwardly. Taklos four was very different from the last time he'd visited. It was ruled by a kindly old king then, called Laiyan. He'd been welcomed with open arms and even invited to a feast in his honour. The Doctor could quite happily have stayed for a week or two then. 'Wonder what happened to old Laiyan?' he pondered. 'Wait...or was that Taklos three?"
"...The joining ceremony is complete. You may now seal your union and begin your life together. May you bring peace, happiness and joy to each other's lives. "
"Yes!" the Prince whooped, turning to his somewhat confused husband.
"What?! That was a bit quick wasn't it?" the Doctor protested, backing away from his advancing spouse.
"Time flies when you're having fun. Now hold still so I can kiss you."
"Goes at quite a lick when you're miserable too" the Doctor muttered, backing away so quickly the Prince was a little surprised he didn't leave a vacuum in his wake. "You can get those lips away from me for a start!"
"Beloved, we need to seal our union" Hainek reasoned, making a grab for his husband's shoulders and preventing further escape.
"Oho no! no no no no nomph!" The Doctor blinked in surprise as his protests were cut off with a victorious, forceful kiss from the Prince.
A sudden, ear-splitting whine broke the two apart and all eyes turned to the rear of the courtyard to see an exceedingly miffed Captain Harkness, holding a large gun in the air and scowling at the Prince.
"Those lips actually belong to me your lowness and I'd appreciate it if you backed the Hell off!"
"Where on earth did you get that?" the Doctor squeaked, staring at the static gun, now pointed at the Prince.
"I told you I was irresistible" Jack winked, briefly picturing the easily-duped and now unconscious guard in the hall. "Okay, I suggest you tell your guards to lay down their arms, or I'll make sure there will never be an heir to the throne" he announced seriously, pointing the weapon at the Prince's crotch.
"Jack!" the Doctor hissed, "Up a bit."
"Frowning in confusion, the Captain raised his gun to his captive's mid-section and looked to the Doctor for confirmation.
"A little to the left."
"Like this?" he questioned, realising he'd made the right move when the Prince's normally pale blue face took on a slightly green hue.
"Guards, stand down! Right now!" Hainek ordered, in a slightly higher-pitched voice than he'd intended.
"Good boy," Jack grinned. "Now, I'm gonna take the Doctor here and leave. I strongly suggest nobody follow."
They backed away slowly, stopping briefly to divest a guard of the Doctor's previously confiscated sonic screwdriver, not turning until they were through the archway, leading to the castle halls.
"Where now?" Jack questioned, following quickly as the Doctor took off.
"This way!" he shouted, hurrying along the hallway and down a set of stone stairs that led to a separate courtyard.
"I hope you're right" Jack muttered, quickening his step. A loud commotion behind him suggested that the Prince had gathered his wits and was currently sending the guards after them. They didn't have much time.
Blessedly, the TARDIS came into glorious view when they rounded the last step.
"Key?" Jack questioned breathlessly.
"Round my neck...OW!" The Doctor yelped, as Jack shoved his hand down the Time Lord's tunic, pulling his friend's head down to reach the lock. "You could've just lifted it over my head! Where's your key anyway?"
"Good point. Sorry, panicking a little" Jack grinned, finally getting the door open.
"There's no need to panic."
"Halt!" Came the demand from a large, burly guard, followed by the multiple whirrs of weapons being warmed up and pointed in their general direction.
"Or..." the Doctor corrected.
"Come on" Jack grinned, chucking his own gun through the door and picking his companion up. "I think we've outstayed our welcome."
"Jaaaaaaack!" The Doctor protested, once the door was safely shut behind them. "Put me down!"
"Hey, you just got married. It's only fitting that you should be carried over the threshold."
"You have no idea how funny you're not. Right, get these handcuffs off me and we can get going."
"Do I have to? They kind of suit you" Jack smirked, waggling his eyebrows.
"Okay okay, hold still."
Jack pointed the sonic screwdriver at the cuffs, releasing the Doctor effortlessly.
"Oh thank the Gods for that!" the Time Lord breathed, rubbing at his sore wrists and heading for the controls. "Right, let's get out of here ASAP. Any preference?" he smiled, looking up at the Captain.
Jack grinned, sauntering up to his friend and slipping his arms around the thin waist. "Well, there's that quaint little marketplace in Great Yarmouth...."