"It's not much shorter than yours!"
Jamie put his hands on his hips and scowled at her. He wasn't budging on this. "You can't even bend over in it without showing everyone your... your womanly wiles!"
"I don't see that it's any business of yours anyway."
"It's not appropriate for a wedding! People aren't supposed to be trying to see up your skirt!"
Zoe pulled the edge of her skirt down without quite realising she was doing it. "The Doctor didn't think there was anything wrong with it."
"He's scatter-brained! There's a reason we haven't left him in charge of anything!"
"He said he'd fetch something old, new, borrowed and blue."
"Aye, the TARDIS with a new wee lamp on the top. That's only one thing he has to keep track of. And he still might manage to lose it somewhere."
Zoe took the opportunity to move the conversation away from her clothes. "Are you having jitters?"
"No," lied Jamie. "It's not me you have to worry about. The Doctor's probably hiding in a cupboard somewhere."
"He's made it this far, hasn't he?"
They thought about this for a moment.
"I'd best go and check on him," said Zoe, eventually. She headed off into the depths of the TARDIS.
"And change into something decent while you're there!"
"It's not a marriage," said the Doctor, "it's a civil partnership."
"I'm still no clear on what the difference is," said Jamie.
"It's... well, it... it has a different name." The Doctor wiped his brow with his handkerchief. "Oh dear. I don't really approve of 'separate but equal' because it never really is, is it?"
"I don't think you should marry Jamie if it's not going to be ethical. You'd never be able to live with yourself."
"It's just that I find the terminology less terrifying. Oh, I'm sorry, Jamie. It's just that this is very difficult for me. We don't have to go through with it if you feel it would damage society." He looked rather hopeful.
"No more excuses!" It had taken him some time to get used to the idea of marrying a man and now he was determined to go through with it no matter what.
The Doctor recognised his fiance's mood and decided not to push it. "I suppose at least we're helping people to recognise that two men deserve the right to enter into a binding... oh dear... a binding vow of love."
Jamie nodded, content with this rationalisation. "I have certain beliefs, Doctor, and one of those is that if a man loves somebody, be a woman or another man, he should make a promise to look after that person for the rest of his life." He glanced at Zoe to check that she wasn't paying attention and added, "And that he shouldn't do certain things outside of a marriage. Or civil partnership."
"Yes, you have been quite insistent about that last part," muttered the Doctor with some bitterness.
"Right then. Who's going to be your best man?"
The Doctor hadn't thought of that. He was indeed scatter-brained. "A best man? Zoe can't you do it?"
Zoe was paying attention to them again. "But I'm Jamie's best man. I can't do both of you."
"I'll do it," said a man who hadn't been there a moment ago.
The Doctor turned and looked up at the speaker. "Who are... oh. It's nice of you to offer but are you sure that's legal?"
"I don't remember it causing a problem." The man shoved his hands into his pockets and grinned like a mad thing. "This is brilliant! I've been waiting ages to do this!"
The Doctor nodded absently, he had more important things to worry about. "Zoe, this is... John Smith."
"Hello, Mr Smith."
"Zoe! Wonderful, amazing, fantastic Zoe!" John ruffled his own hair into a new and interesting shape which somehow managed to convey his happiness and enthusiasm.
"Steady on," said the Doctor, stepping between them.
John bounced a bit. "This is great. This is easily one of my top three weddings."
The Doctor's eyes grew very, very wide. "You've had more than three?!"
"Oh, my giddy aunt." The Doctor looked quite faint.
Zoe patted his arm. "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be more successful at it than Mr Smith was."
"I suppose we'd better get on with it before I change my mind." The Doctor took a deep breathe to calm himself. "If I pass out I hope someone will be kind enough to catch me before I hit my head on something."
Some time later, and with no alien invasions despite the Doctor's hopes, the happy couple headed back to the TARDIS.
"See, it wasn't that bad, was it?" Jamie held the Doctor's hand partly out of affection and partly because he still half-expected him to run off.
"Went better than last time," said John Smith even though no one had been talking to him.
"Are you... coming back with us?" This didn't seem like a good time to pick up extra passengers.
"Oh, no, I don't want to get in the way. I'll just, you know, tie a few tin cans to the TARDIS and wave you off. Someone has to look after Zoe, after all."
This was news to her. "What?"
Jamie felt himself blush. "Usually only the people who got married get to go on the honeymoon."
The Doctor finally spoke. He had been worryingly silent. "Yes, I'm afraid you'll have to stay here for a bit. We'll try to come back as soon as we can, but you know what the TARDIS is like."
Zoe looked like she was about to cry. "But... we go everywhere together!"
John Smith patted her arm. "I'll buy you a drink in that pub we passed on the way here."
The Doctor stopped and gave John a very stern look. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"I promise I won't not do anything you won't regret not doing."
The Doctor turned that sentence over in his head for a few seconds and then gave up. "I suppose I'll just have to trust you."
Zoe still wasn't happy about this turn of events. "But..."
"We'll take lots of wee pictures," said Jamie.
"You wouldn't like it anyway, Zoe, it's just a lot of sand and there won't be any mathematics." The Doctor was quite keen to get going on his honeymoon now that he was actually married. The scary bit was over, and he remembered that this was one of the good bits.
Zoe accepted defeat and nodded. "Will you at least throw the bouquet?"
"We don't have a bouquet!"
"Your handkerchief, then. So that we know who's next to get married." Zoe had been reading up on wedding customs, and that one had quite appealed to her.
"Alright." The Doctor turned his back and closed his eyes. He chucked his handkerchief into the air and pushed Jamie into the TARDIS before any more nonsense could get in the way.
As the TARDIS dematerialised, John Smith looked at the handkerchief in his hand with rising horror.