One, Two, One, Two Ouch!
“Oh, John I’m so sorry! Are you alright?”
Sarah Jane Smith may have been on the petite side but when her full weight landed on your foot for the umpteenth time it still blooming hurt.
John Benton smiled through the pain in what he hoped was a reassuring manner. While almost wishing he’d worn his regulation boots for extra protection.
“No problem, I’ve had a lot worse.”
Considering what UNIT had to deal with, Sarah was certain this was true, but still felt the need to apologise for her clumsiness.
“I thought it would all come back to me but I can’t get the hang of it. Perhaps we should just abandon the whole idea. I’ll never be ready in time.”
A crestfallen look fell across Benton’s face. Sarah had stated in no uncertain terms that she was not calling him Sergeant while they were dancing, nor she would let him call her Miss Smith and he was enjoying the informality as much as the dancing. He knew he was only cover for her story about vote rigging in ballroom dancing but it was so rarely he got the chance to indulge in his favourite pastime, and with such a pretty woman, that it didn’t matter. The idea of it coming to a premature halt was disheartening.
Sensing his disappointment and not a person who would readily concede defeat, Sarah smiled at him.
“Let’s have another go. Show me again will you?”
If Benton had a tail he would be wagging it with happiness. He looked so chuffed it was all Sarah could do to stop herself from laughing. Or from offering him a biscuit.
“Alright follow what I do. I’ll do it slowly, watch my feet and then once you feel comfortable we’ll have a go with the music.”
Sarah glanced over at the record player sitting on the floor of the gym. It looked so old she expected a small dog to be sitting beside it, wondering where the horn that the music came out of had gone. But it was all they could rustle up at short notice so it had to do.
With infinite patience, Benton walked Sarah through the steps, increasing the speed and they started to waltz around the gym, stopping only at the sound of a voice coming from the doorway.
The Doctor was still smarting over the Brigadier’s unnecessarily gleeful recounting of Sarah’s dismissal of his own dancing abilities. Not that he was prone to brooding about such inanities but his curiosity and bruised ego had got the better of him.
Sarah cheekily curtsied to Benton then turned to face the Doctor. His smirk irritated her. Well two could play at that game.
“Heaps! John’s a born dancer. Very graceful and so talented! The perfect partner one might say.”
She looked over her shoulder and beamed at Benton, who was looking very sheepish at being the recipient of such high praise, and blushing in a manner not befitting a man of his age and stature. Sarah meant every word and if it got the Doctor’s goat, all well and good.
“Oh really?” replied the Doctor in a condescending manner. He looked at Benton sceptically.
Sarah could spot hurt male pride a mile off. Even in uppity Time Lords.
“Absolutely. I guess all that hand-to-hand combat training must help him to be light on his feet.”
Benton thought the expression on the Doctor’s face was probably not too dissimilar to the one he had when Sarah landed on his foot. He wasn’t sure what was going on or how he had become stuck in the middle of it. So, he sensibly kept quiet.
“I’m sure it must have.”
The North Pole was less frosty than the tone of the Doctor’s voice. The glare he gave Benton wasn’t much warmer. So, Sarah went in for the killer blow.
“I’ve never danced with anyone like him. Perhaps he can give you a few pointers while you are here.”
BAM!!! Metaphorically straight through both hearts, Sarah thought gleefully. That will teach you Mr Time Lords Can Do Absolutely Everything But Can’t Dance for Toffee Apparently. The Doctor turned an interesting shade of puce. Benton gulped and wondered if Venusian Aikido could be fatal. Or if Time Lords could kill you with a hard stare. Or was that just Paddington?
In a futile attempt to regain his composure, the Doctor tugged at his ruffled cuffs. Then examined his manicured nails nonchalantly while trying to come up with a cutting retort. And failed. But he would have the last word. He was the Doctor after all.
“Thank you, Miss Smith, but I’m sure the good Sergeant has far more important things to do with his valuable time. I know I do. So, I shall bid you both a Good Night.”
Sarah was certain that if the Doctor had been wearing his cape at that moment, it would have been flung over his shoulder in a highly theatrical manner as he flounced out. He would never call it that but Sarah recognised a flounce when she saw one.
She turned back and was met by the sight of a slightly shell-shocked Benton.
“Have I offended the Doctor in some way? The Brigadier will be livid if I’ve upset him.”
Sarah took his hand and gently squeezed it.
“Not at all John, just ignore him. He’s being an old grump.”
Benton was not reassured by that comment. A grumpy Doctor was an erratic Doctor. Explosions often occurred as a result. Followed by an equally explosive reaction from the Brigadier. The fallout from either would definitely put the kibosh on their dancing.
“If I’m annoying him by taking up too much of your time...”
“Don’t be daft. It was me who asked you remember? Anyway, I’m having far too much fun to worry about Time Lord tantrums. Now let’s try that again with the music!”
Benton perked up immediately. Twirling Sarah around, causing her to giggle adorably, he let her go and went over and knelt by the record player. He held up an LP in each hand and asked:
“Tino Morano’ s Let’s Cha Cha in Stereo or Dance To The Music of Lester Lanin ?”
Broad smiles spread across their faces. With the Doctor’s antics put firmly to the back of their minds, and as the music filled the air, the dancing went on.
With no further harm coming to Benton’s toes. Well not too much harm.....
“Oh, John I’m so sorry!”