Author's Notes:
Written for the whofest ficathon on LiveJournal. AU Turlough at a modern uni, running into both the 5th and 10th Doctors. Title modified from a John Dryden quote.

"Bacchus, Ever Fair and Young"


Dark, and pretty.

It was at that stage of the night when things were deeply whacked. Turlough was cool with that. Lots of people were sprawled on the couches and at the tables, drinking and making out; lots of other people were on the floor, dancing and making out. By this point, the black light was really fantastic. Turlough was seeing things out of the corner of his eye and colors were unusually heightened.

He was cool with that.

There was a guy. Just this guy. He was really too old to be at this club, and he was just standing around in a corner with his hands in his pockets and looking around himself with a faint smile on his face, and he was dark, and pretty. And Turlough? Was really cool with that.

He couldn’t hear the music anymore. Not really. It was all just white noise.

He slinked across the floor, sliding through the thronging mass of bodies, and if nothing else, humans were really good with the sex and the drugs. He had to give them credit for something, he supposed, and if he was going to give them credit for anything, it would be for the sex and drugs. Nothing like a little chemical high to take your mind off being stuck on a damned backwater for crimes you didn’t (really) commit.

“Hi,” he said, standing in front of the dark and pretty man.

“Hello,” the dark and pretty man smiled, teeth brilliantly white in the darkness, and Turlough smiled sweetly back before leaning in to kiss him. He gently and slowly pushed the man back, back, back until he was right up against the wall and hey, Turlough was really, really cool with this. The dark and pretty man had seemed a little surprised but once he was backed up against the wall he seemed to realize he didn’t have anything better to do anyway and started responding appropriately.

Arms, hands, legs, lips, eyelashes, hair. Glimpses of touch; Turlough was too far gone to keep track of the totality of the other man so could only know him in brief moments as a hand scraped over the back of his neck, as his eyelashes fluttered against the dark and pretty man’s cheek, as his leg slid between the dark and pretty man’s.

At that, the other man broke away briefly and said, “Now, wait a minute, hang on, this is just a bit–”

Turlough smiled at him. “Yes?” he said. Sweetly.

The dark and pretty man looked a little dazed and confused. “Oh, alright,” he muttered. “You know, if I knew what I was doing, I would be sorely disappointed in myself–”

Turlough got bored with the talking, so he started snogging the other man again. His hand replaced his leg, and he pressed the dark and pretty man more firmly against the wall, and the dark and pretty man got a firmer grip on his neck and shoulder, and it was dark and hot and white noisy and Turlough was really, really cool with this.

When they were finished, and Turlough’s skin was flushed hot and colors were beginning to regain their natural hue (he would have to do something about that), the dark and pretty man placed his hand against Turlough’s cheek and kissed him briefly on the lips. “It was lovely to see you again,” he said, and smiled, and walked out of the club.

Turlough idly wondered what he meant by that “again.” But he didn’t let it bother him too much.

*

Blond, and pretty.

Turlough had joined the dance floor tonight, prowling. It was still dark and hot, and the music was sinking into his bones and skin, and the chemical interactions and electrical impulses of his brain were really hopping.

If he ever got off this damned planet, he decided, he would definitely make sure to mention to other people the drug availability. Hell, maybe he’d set himself up a company to market the stuff.

He needed a drink.

By the bar, drink in hand, he noticed the guy. It was just a guy. Blond, and pretty, and pretty clueless judging by the way he stood just in the entranceway, hesitant and searching.

Turlough grinned. Sweetly.

*

“Turlough,” the blond and pretty man’s blue eyes lit up as Turlough approached. His voice was breathless and he looked incredibly out of place. “What are you doing here?”

Turlough smiled, sweetly, and took his hand, tugging him away from the entrance. “I could well ask you that, sir,” he said, walking backwards through the crowd. “You realize you don’t belong here at all.”

“Yes, I do,” said the other with a look of discomfort and disdain as he looked around. “And neither do you. You’re supposed to be with me.”

“Oh?” Turlough said brightly. “I like you already. That’s a very good chat-up line, you know. Doesn’t often work on women but I will gladly take anything you throw at me.”

The blond and pretty man sighed impatiently. “No,” he said. “You are supposed to be traveling with me.” He looked around again, still uncomfortable. “And you were supposed to be at Brendan in 1983, not…here.”

Turlough snorted. “I’m not supposed to be here at all,” he retorted, “but if I must be, I might as well enjoy myself.” They had reached his favorite dark corner, and he grinned up at his new friend. “Care to enjoy it with me?”

“Turlough–”

Turlough took his lapel and pulled him closer, close enough to move his hand from the lapel to the back of the man’s neck and pull him down for a long, sweet, gentle kiss.

“You’re very nice, whoever you are,” he said finally, breaking away and looking up into the blond and pretty man’s pretty blue eyes, “for wanting to save me from my sordid life of wrong choices, but honestly? I’m quite happy with it the way it is right now, thanks. Better than fighting in a war that my father believed in that got my mother killed and me put on this wretched planet.” He slid his other arm around the man. “So, shall we take your lecture as read and get on with the real business of the evening?”

Turlough.”

Turlough put a finger over the man’s colorless lips and smiled. He kissed him again, a little more roughly this time, because he thought that roughing up this blond and pretty man would be lots of fun, and he was fully determined to find out how much fun.

A cold palm against his cheek, and Turlough placed his own hand over it to keep it there, and the other man broke away from him to murmur sadly, “Turlough, don’t do this…” and Turlough captured his lips again, impatient and insistent.

The nearest couch was gloriously empty, and Turlough made use of this fact to push his new friend down on it, full-length. Long and blond and pretty and bemused; Turlough was not in the mood to be gentle. He undid buttons and zipper and when he would have slid his hand inside boxers, a hand caught his wrist and held him.

“How did you end up here?”

“Somewhere between punishment, exile, and asylum,” Turlough said. “And you’re right. I was supposed to go to a place called Brendan–so I’d been told–but when I arrived my ‘banker’ seemed quite confused and said I was always supposed to attend the uni here.” He blinked. “Why am I telling you this?” he shook his head and then shrugged. If he had his way, the blond and pretty man would be too addled later this evening even to remember what he’d said anyway. He broke out of the man’s grip in order to tug at cricket jumper and shirt. He ran his hands over skin. “You’re a tense sort, aren’t you?” he grinned, not so sweetly this time. “I can tell. We could do something about that, if you liked.”

The pretty blond lay back against the sofa, wearied. “Sometimes you’re as unstoppable as Tegan, aren’t you?”

“I have no idea who that is but most people would not tell you that I’m–unstoppable.”

“They’ve obviously never had you trying to take all their clothes off,” the other man said wryly, and Turlough returned briefly to the sweet smile. He had to look up through his lashes as his face was at that moment somewhere in the vicinity of the other man’s belly, licking at cool skin.

The blond and pretty man caught his breath and shut his eyes as Turlough continued downward, and Turlough could see his hands bunching into fists at his sides. Turlough took him in hand, and he bucked.

After a couple moments, the blond and pretty man grabbed a hold of Turlough, unheeding where his hands landed. “You,” he gasped, “you are very good at this.”

“Practice makes perfect,” said Turlough, but he was focused on other matters. He was right. Roughing up this blond and pretty man was fun.

“Do you still want me to travel with you?” Turlough later asked slyly, curled up at the blond and pretty man’s side. The sofa wasn’t really big enough for both of them, but Turlough was all for squeezing and decorative draping.

The blond and pretty man placed a hand against his cheek, looked at him with serious blue eyes. “This is a choice,” he said. “You always have choices, Turlough.”

Turlough pulled back slightly, becoming bored. “Yes, of course I do,” he said. “I chose my parents, and they chose to fight on the wrong side of a stupid war. I chose to be exiled, and I chose this stupid planet for that exile.” He nuzzled at the blond and pretty man’s ear. “Why do you have to talk so much? You’d be so much prettier as the silent type.”

In the end, when the blond and pretty man asked him again, he said no.

*

The Doctor walked back to the TARDIS, alone. He was a little sore, incredibly weary, a trifle confused, and trying not to consider how upset he might possibly, conceivably, be.

“He’ll be in there when you walk in, you know,” somebody said, and the Doctor looked up, sluggish senses only now becoming alert.

The somebody was leaning against his TARDIS. He had obviously been waiting for the Doctor to come back. He stepped away from the police box and didn’t come closer to the Doctor. “This is an aberration,” he said.

“In more ways than one,” the Doctor said a little more shortly than he had intended. He studied the stranger, but the stranger was cool, remote, and firing all kinds of danger signals in the Doctor’s synapses. “When I looked for him in the TARDIS, he wasn’t there. I tracked him down to here.”

“As I said. An aberration. It’s been rectified.”

“Good,” the Doctor said slowly. “I don’t want to ask who you are, do I?”

The other man smiled with a sudden brilliance that made the Doctor blink. “No,” he said. “Got it in one. Always were intelligent, weren’t you?” He winked. “Good-bye.”

He turned around, stepped behind the TARDIS, and disappeared.

The Doctor unlocked the door and stepped into the console room. He looked around.

Turlough stood at the console, reading one of the tiny monitors with a small frown between his eyebrows. He looked up when he heard the Doctor, and he smiled. “We wondered where you wandered off to,” he said. “Tegan’s searching through the TARDIS even as we speak, even though I told her it was a waste of time.”

“It will keep her occupied for a little while,” the Doctor answered, tired, and Turlough started frowning again.

“Are you alright?” he asked, still hovering on the other side of the console.

The Doctor stared at him for a moment. Then he started for the inner door, unable to bear looking at the young man anymore. “I will be,” he said. “Find Tegan, will you, and let her know I’m back? I don’t want her wandering about needlessly. She’s gotten lost in here often enough.”

“Doctor–”

The Doctor paused in the doorway. “Please, Turlough,” he said. “I’m–tired.”

He heard Turlough’s hesitation. “Alright,” he said at last.

The Doctor went to his room and lay down on the bed, folding his arms over his stomach. He closed his eyes and evened out his breathing. And he carefully blanked his mind so that he would not think of Turlough in a dark, breathless room, eyes glittering unnaturally and lips gliding over his body.

*