The late summer breeze blew across the pane and into the room. The curtains swept across the wood and then danced in the rushing wind. Although it was fairly late in the day, the breeze was warm and reminded of lazy days and childhood evenings spent looking for the Fae. She could almost taste her grandmother’s lemonade on her tongue, the memory of sour pursing her lips as she stood in the room.
Nyssa’s lilting voice broke her reverie. Tegan turned from the window and smiled at her friend. The girl’s costume matched her personality perfectly, she thought. Nyssa’s chestnut curly locks bounced as the girl crossed the floor to stare out at the patio. Tegan counted forty-five party-goers, all in costumes.
“I am,” Tegan happily said with a nod. “I am, Nys. I wouldn’t think so, but I am. This is room is very like my bedroom at my grand’s house in England…albeit a bit bigger,” she laughed. “And, well…no one’s shooting at us, are they? And both Adric and the Doc are acting…well…happy. I love parties, too, that helps.”
Nyssa turned from the window and smiled as the breeze blew her curls about her face. “You know this time well, Tegan?”
“Not at all; well, not very well, that is,” Tegan replied with a smile. She sighed and fluffed her skirt a little. “My grandfather and grandmama used to tell me about the roaring twenties and having a hoot during it all. But they never told me how to act at the gentry’s house. That’s eternal.”
“Gentry?” Nyssa asked as she turned towards the door.
Tegan heartily laughed. “The Cranleigh’s,” she explained. “They’re considered gentry. Like a royal court, I suppose. That’s the closest I can describe.” They slipped out the door together and it closed. Together they moved down the hallway, light on their feet. Tegan felt lighter hearted. Downstairs, the music sounded a merry dance and she found her steps drilling out a rhythm as she descended the stairs.
She was the happiest she had been in the past three months. Although she had finally admitted that she wanted to travel on the TARDIS, to see all that the Universe had to offer, she hadn’t been…carefree. After all, it was hard to be easy when some alien was shooting, torturing or generally trying to cause massive problems with them. But lately there had been some fun stops and this particular one was fun and easy. Imagine! She was going to a summer gala with a landed family in England during the roaring twenties!
“The ‘gentry’ as you put it, Tegan, isn’t very hard to act around really. Just defer to someone of higher rank in the room and smile and have a great time.” Nyssa’s voice was very know-it-all and Tegan realized that it came from knowledge. Her friend smiled widely over her shoulder and confirmed Tegan’s thought in the next sentence. “I had to deal with it quite often in my father’s house.”
“Well, my girl,” Tegan laughed. “If I have a problem, I’ll give you a glance.”
“You’ll do fine,” Nyssa shared and embraced her on the landing. “Just remember to wear your mask…”
“What?!” Nyssa stopped on the steps below her and glanced back at her. “What is it, Tegan?”
“I’ve forgotten my bloody mask!” Tegan laughed. “I’ll go back and get it. See you out on the veranda.” She turned on her heel and ran back up the steps. Her skirt brushed the back of her knees, tickling in it’s gentle caress. She could hear Nys making her way down and out through the foyer as she entered the bedroom corridor.
“Was it the third or fourth door,” she whispered. With a shrug, she opened up the third door and entered.
It was immediately obvious that it wasn’t her given bedroom. On the bed was a harlequin costume, and next to it, a properly folded jumper and trousers. Over one of the chairs, a very familiar fawn coat was neatly laid. And, on the floor near the bed, a pair of white trainers sat as if waiting for their owner. Finally, there was a white button shirt with red question marks hung on the door hook.
She didn’t leave. From in the adjoining room, she heard a strong baritone voice singing. The song was strange, definitely an oldie, and she didn’t know the words. Obviously, however, the Doctor knew it quite well.
She drew close to the door of the bathroom and glanced inside. Her Auntie V had always told her:
“You’re too curious for your own good, Tegan-girl.” Curious, yes, she agreed, but in her defense, she hadn’t ever heard the Doctor sing and he sounded happy. That, in and of itself, was more than enough impetus to investigate. After all, that bloody Time Lord was never happy, was he?
The song grew louder as she stepped to the cracked door. The melody was chirpy; the words were quick and had a hidden wit to them. Something about a man courting a woman…some of the words had double meaning. It was an...interesting song.
In the mirror, she saw the Doctor. He was facing away from the mirror and was bent over the tub. There was a plaintive squeak of metal turning and the water began to lustfully fill the basin. She couldn’t see the tub, just the Doctor, and she found she didn’t want to look elsewhere….
He was completely and wonderfully naked. His skin wasn’t entirely white; it was more bronze than anything else and his body was more athletically muscular than slim. His blond hair curled slightly at the nape of his neck as it gently curved to his shoulders. His broad shoulders tensed as he bent forward; the arms were long and toned and ended in hands with long, athletic fingers that moved out of her vision. She could hear the hands move through the water. As he tested the water under the spigot, she gazed at his back and hips as he straightened and then sighed.
Impishly, she smiled as she gazed at his buttocks and thighs. Her eyebrows quirked in interest as his muscles flexed and pulled under his firm skin. He was magnificently athletic, she determined; not too muscular, not too thin. He was just right for his body form. Bloody shame, she suddenly and grouchily thought. All that wonderfully toned and seemingly strong body… and no one to watch it. He wasn’t interested in anything associated with sex or humans. She decided that, with the thought in mind, she could admire and keep a…
…distance… oh my, Tegan thought as she bit her lip. His thighs were more muscular in front than from behind. Slim ankles, shaped calves and chiseled knees transitioned well to his toned, slightly bulging thighs. His hips were narrow and his waist was slim.
She need never guess that he was male, either, she thought wryly. Between his legs, a nicely thick soft shaft lay down the contours of one thigh. She closed her eyes as an embarrassing thrill went through her and sighed as quietly as she could. Then she blinked her eyes open in curiosity to see that his cock was accompanied by properly proportioned balls. She forced her gaze back to his waist. She watched the gentle roll of his hips as he walked from one side of the bathroom to another. His chest, she thought, wasn’t overly muscular, but fit his body build perfectly and was practically hairless, except for the thin line of hair that traveled from his navel downward.
All in all, he was beautiful to watch. She wondered what he did find attractive; if humans weren’t his cuppa. He was so like a human; he was very like an athletic, finely toned, 30 year old male and she appreciated that. She drew in a long breath and held it as he came closer to the door to retrieve his towel, to finish preparing for his bath. She could hear the pad of his feet on the tile and siddled back from the door. He was alien.
She jumped at the Doctor’s voice. She turned from the door to run for the corridor. The bathroom door opened fully before she could escape. The Doctor stood in the bathroom doorway a towel wrapped about his waist. Tegan’s hand couldn’t twist the door handle quick enough. “Tegan, what are you doing?”
“I...this isn’t my room…” she began. She glanced over her shoulder and saw him in the bedroom behind her. His eyebrow was quirked over his right eye. She gave up trying to twist the stubborn old door handle and turned to face him.
“Obviously,” he drew dryly. He tucked the towel tighter at his waist. “The clothes on the bed weren’t your first clue?”
“You were singing.”
“You…” he drew quietly. His voice was quiet, but she knew the undertone — he was quite angry, “ … were spying.”
“Spying, Tegan,” he concluded. His arms crossed over his chest.
Two could play that game, she viciously thought. In anger, Tegan took two steps towards him. “Like you aren’t guilty of curiosity, I suppose?”
“I won’t argue that my scientific interest is piqued by our situations,” he responded. “But it remains that I would like to bathe… alone. “
“Scientific…” she said.
The Doctor rolled his eyes slightly and came across the room with measured steps. Tegan adjusted her stance. There was something about the way that he was walking that was primitive. Maybe it was his skin, maybe it was the fact that his muscles rippled, tensed and moved as he walked, but she felt that she wasn’t looking at a Time Lord. He seemed more…and… less.
He wasn’t human and that thought gave her temper its needed nudge.
“Scientific curiosity, of course,” she nearly spat.
“What?” He looked confused: his eyes widened slightly and he slightly shook his head. Tegan exploited his lapse and turned to retreat across the room. He didn’t need to follow; his voice slowed her. “Tegan, what are you talking about?”
She turned and glanced back at him: half hiding behind the now open door, using the distance between them to look at his whole body again. The white towel hugged his hips, dipping low in the front. At this distance, she could see the thin line of hair from his navel that disappeared behind the towel where the knot pressed against his abdomen. Her gaze moved down to his bare feet and back up to the knot and finally to his broad shoulders. “Even we companions are scientific experiments, aren’t we?”
She turned and walked out the door quickly, letting it close instead of slam. In the corridor, she took a deep breath and patted the air with her hands.
“I was right,” she said with a nod. “Could be starkers around him and it would be viewed as a sociology or… biology…experiment.” It certainly would be easier to handle if he didn’t look just like a human man, a tall, well built, well endowed human man. She felt the prickling of heat in her belly and knew that she was going to think about his body that night. For a moment, she wondered what his chest would feel like as he held her…or what it would feel like to have his hardening cock pressing against her hip-
She pressed her fingers to the front of her brow. She had stopped in front of her and Nyssa’s bedroom and realized she needed her mask. “Biology experiment… and he’s a friend…”
Tegan found she was repeating those words in her mind as she grabbed her costume piece and retreated down the steps in search of her friend. Anything to keep her from thinking of the mental image of the Doctor naked… reclining in a tub…