Pairings: Ian/Barbara, Jo/Cliff, Tegan/John Chesterton, Harry/Martha
Summary: Even after leaving the TARDIS there are still aliens. And romance, if you know where to look for it.
Notes: The art for this was created by Caitriona and can be found here
Barbara huddled close to Ian in the shop doorway. It wasn't for warmth, although it was a cold night, but so they could stay out of sight of the group of people stood beside a car parked on the other side of the road. It was only a small space, hence the need to stand so close together. Not that Barbara had any complaints about their current position.
"What can you see?" she whispered. From here she had to turn her head to look and she didn't want them to be spotted, even though they were in the shadows.
"I think--" Ian said before he stopped suddenly and kissed Barbara, surprising her.
When he stopped, she looked up at him, her fast heartbeat not just from the fear of being discovered. She'd forgotten where they were until she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. She looked round to find the people they were watching had moved along and were trying to break into the post office. Worse, they were most definitely aliens - when they passed under a street light she could see their skin glowed gold. "We should call the police," she suggested.
Ian shook his head. "The police wouldn't know what to do with them." Before she could ask what the two of them could do against four aliens he said, "Stay there," and ran off towards the post office.
Now that all the aliens were inside and hadn't posted a look-out they could see from here, going closer wasn't so dangerous, but there was still a risk Ian could be seen. Barbara wanted to shout at him for going closer, but then they would definitely know he was there. So she stayed where she was and watched and worried as he opened the door of the aliens' car and started the engine. Then she understood what he was doing and ran over to meet him as he drove towards where she was waiting. The alarm that went off inside the post office suggested that the aliens weren't likely to be in there much longer.
"They won't get very far," he said, as he sped off around the corner and out of sight. "They should have had a getaway driver."
"They're very inept criminals." She smiled at him and he grinned back.
"Let's go to dinner and leave them to it." He parked the car down the road from what had been their intended destination, before they were waylaid by the promise of adventure.
"Didn't we come home to have a normal life free from aliens?" she asked, as they left the car with the keys in the ignition and walked up the road. There was no one following them, despite her worry that the aliens would find them. The police would surely get involved now and she wasn't sure what they would think about people with gold coloured skin. Or whether Ian was more interested in adventure and chasing aliens or dinner and a normal life. Come to think of it, she wasn't sure which she would prefer.
"We can do that too." Ian stopped suddenly and kissed her again.
Barbara smiled and found she had already forgotten all about the alien robbers.
"That monkey has three arms," Jo said, frowning as she peered into the tree.
Cliff shrugged and didn't so much as glance up from the patch of ground he was studying for signs of the mushroom. "It's probably a mutation."
Jo didn't know enough about biology to know if monkeys were capable of that large a mutation, but if Cliff thought it was likely then it was good enough for her. Or it would be if that was its only difference from other monkeys. "It's also green," she said to his back.
"Good camouflage." He must have discovered the mushroom wasn't there and he started walking, writing something in his notebook as he went.
She folded her arms and waited. It took a few moments before he looked up and around and then finally back at her.
"Did you say it was a green monkey with three arms?" he asked as he returned to her.
She nodded. At least he'd been listening.
"You think it's an alien?" He didn't sound sure, but then she'd seen more aliens than he had.
"Yes, I do."
He looked up into the tree, watching as the monkey swung from branch to branch to settle down in the next tree along. "What do you want to do about it?"
Since they were in the middle of nowhere and the nearest phone was a day's walk away, they couldn't call anyone to help. Not that anyone would be able to get here before they lost the monkey. "Let's find out if it's intelligent," she suggested. She followed its path to stop underneath the tree it was currently sitting in. Then she cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted up at it, "Hey, you!"
The monkey turned to look at them, then threw down the remains of a piece of fruit it had been eating. The fruit went splat at Jo's feet.
"I think that's a yes," Cliff unhelpfully pointed out.
Jo wasn't about to give up, especially if it could understand them. "Wouldn't you like to go home?" she called up to it.
Her answer was another piece of fruit. It would have landed on her shoes if she hadn't taken a step backwards just in time.
"I think it's happy here," Cliff said. "I don't think it's doing any harm."
She looked over at him. "If the Doctor was here he could take it home." Cliff took her hand and she smiled at him. "It might take him a few attempts," she admitted, smiling too. "It's happy here," she decided. "Let's just leave it."
She let him lead her onwards and they forgot all about the alien monkey for several years until they heard reports of a new species discovered in the Amazon. When they returned to see it for themselves they found the alien must have bred with the native monkey population to produce a variety of monkeys that were either green or had three arms. The experts were baffled, but neither Jo nor Cliff thought they would believe the truth. But Jo and Cliff knew and that was enough.
"Why did I agree to do this?" Harry grimaced as he and Sarah stepped out of their hotel room and he locked the door. A night spent on the floor hadn't done his back any good and he ached all over.
"Because everyone here has to be married," Sarah reminded him, then suddenly turned and kissed him.
For a moment he remembered exactly why he'd given in to her pleading to help her with an investigation that apparently no one else in the world could help with. Then he opened his eyes and discovered she was looking at something over his shoulder. It wasn't as if he was asking for a bit of romance, but Sarah played pretending to be married badly. He ended the kiss, reminding himself not to be fooled, and waited for her to tell him what was going on.
"It's not just corruption," she said, "it's aliens." Her eyes sparkled.
He sighed. He had supposed that when he'd left UNIT that would be the end of deadly adventures with aliens. He hadn't reckoned on his friendship with Sarah pulling him right back into the world it seemed she'd never left.
"Come along, darling," she said, in a tone that Harry couldn't believe no one else found suspicious. At least he couldn't until they reached reception. Various couples were seated on the sofas dotted around the foyer. Most of them were kissing. Some of them looked like they were on their way to doing more than just that.
"Um," Harry said. That wasn't normal, even for this place, and it was an odd, badly-run hotel. Surprisingly, none of the other couples had any complaints about their stay.
"Why aren't we affected?" Sarah frowned at him. "Unless you have to be in love."
That couldn't possibly be it because Harry still had no desire to kiss Sarah like that in public. He didn't dare say it, though. "It could be any number of things. They did state that you had to be married, not just in love," he pointed out.
Sarah stuck out her left hand and stared at it. They had the rings and the forged papers, but not the actual marriage. "Kiss the receptionist," she said suddenly, putting her hand in her pocket.
"What?" he frowned.
"We have to do something, to shock them or break their hold. They won't be expecting adultery."
He had a feeling that even if it were adultery Sarah would still suggest it, if it meant getting a story. It didn't explain why he'd ended up being her skivvy and he attempted to put his foot down. "Why don't you kiss her?"
She sighed. "Look, she's pretty, Harry. What more do you want?"
As an attempt it was a miserable failure. Sarah always got what she wanted, it was merely a question of how long it took her to talk him into it. Kissing random strangers, no matter how pretty, wasn't something he did and nor was adultery. So he took off his ring and passed it to her, not intending to put it back on, no matter what happened next. Before he could change his mind, he walked up to the receptionist and kissed her.
She turned out to be an alien of course.
After that there was general chaos and Sarah trying to talk the aliens into leaving, while Harry tried to stay out of the way. He wasn't sure how successful she'd been given that they got thrown out.
"I don't know how I'm going to write this up," Sarah said, standing on the pavement and staring at the hotel.
Harry smiled. "I'm sure you'll think of something, old girl."
"Rabbits," Tegan cursed as she heard the band say good night and the sound of music was replaced by the chatter of thousands of people leaving the arena. She'd been hoping the band would be on stage for longer. Now she would be trying to hunt a blue slithering alien while evading more security people. Not to mention the man carrying a guitar who came from around the corner and stopped right in front of her. "I don't suppose you've seen a big, blue caterpillar anywhere, have you?" she asked him. Sometimes brazenly telling the truth got you further than lying.
He gave her an odd look. "No, I can't say I have. Are you supposed to be back here?"
"That depends on how you look at it." She was probably the only person here qualified to know that the thing that looked like a big, blue caterpillar was really an alien.
"Right." He clearly didn't believe her. "I suppose you'd like an autograph."
She shook her head. "I'd rather wait until I caught the caterpillar-like thing, if it's all the same to you." Although it might stop Jenny from complaining Tegan abandoned her if she returned with an autograph.
He gave her an odd look. "You don't know who I am, do you?"
"Of course I do, you're in the band. And there it is!" She pointed toward where the creature had slithered off towards the toilets and ran after it.
The man put his guitar back around his neck and followed her. "Why would you come to a concert if you don't recognise the band?"
"Jenny dragged me."
"So you got bored and came backstage?"
Tegan decided to use the fact that she was running as an excuse not to answer that one. She knew the music, so she hadn't been that bored, they'd just been so far away they couldn't see anything, which made her wonder what the point of being here was. Having caught up to the caterpillar, she took a leap and rugby tackled it.
"It really is an alien."
Tegan was too busy stopping it from escaping under her that she failed to appreciate for a minute that she hadn't mentioned the creature was an alien. "A little help would be appreciated."
It turned out that the man's guitar strings came in handy for tying it up. By the time they were done all it could do was wriggle helplessly on the ground.
"You've seen aliens before?" Tegan asked, given his blasé attitude about the whole thing.
The man shook his head. "My parents always claimed they'd seen aliens. I never believed them." He smiled and stretched out a hand. "I'm Johnny."
"Tegan." She shook his hand.
"We're playing here again tomorrow night. I'll get you some free tickets, then you can see the songs you missed. And a proper backstage pass too." Tegan hesitated and he stepped closer to whisper in her ear. "Maybe you can check for aliens before we go on."
She couldn't resist that grin or another chance to see him.
Performing CPR on an alien was a tricky thing. It was hard enough to work out where the heart was (or even if there was just the one) with medical equipment and a heartbeat. It was harder when you were kneeling in the road in the middle of a crowd of onlookers, trying to establish if there was a heartbeat. Or even a heart, in this case.
"Allow me, I'm a doctor."
Harry looked up from his patient to see a young woman kneeling across from him on the other side of the alien. "Not of him you're not," he said, although the alien could have female, it was hard to tell. It was generally simplest to pick a pronoun until the aliens could reveal which they preferred. If they had one of those too.
"You'd be surprised," the woman said, pulling a stethoscope out of her bag and pressing it against various parts of the alien's torso. She was at least more prepared for a traffic accident than he was, but then he had just been for a quiet walk and not expecting his medical skills to be needed.
"Who are you?" She didn't looked fazed by the alien's appearance. Harry was sure he could see crumpled wings beneath it. Unless it was just his coat, it was hard to tell.
She smiled. "Martha Jones. And don't worry, I'm sure he's going to be fine."
Harry wasn't so sure. "Harry Sullivan. I have seen aliens before." He wasn't going to let her pull the wool over his eyes.
"Oh." She took the stethoscope out of her ears to look up at him instead.
"I'm a doctor too," he added. "I think he might be dead."
"I think you're right," she admitted. She sighed and sat back on her heels. He was tempted to tell her it wasn't her fault, she only just got here, but this was unlikely to be the first time she'd lost a patient, despite how young she looked. "But we can't leave him here."
"Leave it to me," he said and then realised that calling UNIT would be tricky from the middle of the road and there weren't as many phone boxes as there used to be. "Er, I don't suppose you have one of those mobile phone things?"
She laughed and passed him her phone. After Martha's introduction to UNIT, Harry took her to the pub to tell her all about how he knew about aliens. At least, that was how he justified it...