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Customs

CustomsThis time the Doctor had taken them somewhere to experience the culture rather than fine cuisine, stunning vistas or bargain shopping.

Dellamora was supposedly home to a peace-loving people with a high level of social harmony. Rose had rolled her eyes as the Doctor listed the planet's charms and spent the next hour going through the TARDIS' data banks for information on how to avoid she getting shot at, arrested or otherwise harassed by the locals.

The Doctor may well scoff at her sudden interest in research, but he wasn't the one who'd spent a night in jail for accidentally offending a Genoshee official. Memories of cold jail cells gave Rose a firm incentive for furthering her knowledge in the areas of self-preservation.

However, two hours later, she was thinking she'd missed the chapter on discouraging large, hairy men from thinking she was interested in them. She'd tried everything she could think of to drop the hint that she'd rather be elsewhere, but he just refused to get the message.

Sighing to herself, Rose wondered whether she was losing her touch or incredibly dense males were a common occurrence throughout the universe. Just as she was starting to contemplate if faking a heart attack would stop his inane chatter, she felt a touch at her wrist and a warm, familiar hand slipped into hers.

Jack held their joined hands up to show the stranger their matching bracelets that were displaying a synchronous cycle of lights. "Sorry, pal, she's taken."

Rose watched in amazement as the man shrugged and walked away without another word, no doubt he'd soon corner some other unfortunate girl. "I've been trying to get away from him for ages and all I needed was a pair of flashy bracelets?"

Still holding her hand, Jack traced a finger over Rose's wrist as the soft lights danced over her skin. "Let me guess; you looked up current fashions and social taboos?"

Not trusting herself to speak as Jack's fingers created delicious shivers that travelled much further than her hands, Rose nodded.

"You should check out social interactions next time as well. It might come in handy." Jack kissed her fingers lightly. "All Dellamorans wear these bracelets that react to those worn by others. When they light up, like ours did, they are viewed as matrimonial bands and the wearers are considered off limits to those on the make."

"Like those little pager thingies from Japan that bleep when someone matching your interests walks by?" Mesmerised by Jack's gentle caresses, Rose was a little slow to catch the meaning of his words. "Hang on. We're married?"

"Not exactly." Jack led Rose through the crowded room, looking back at her and grinning broadly. "The local custom dictates a triune marriage based on people whose compatibility is indicated by these bracelets. The more synchronous the display, the higher likelihood of a harmonious life together."

Looking down at their hands Rose frowned in confusion. "So, they're fakes?"

Jack put a finger to his lips as they joined the Doctor and she watched as he performed the same sleight of hand trick he'd used on her to snap a bracelet around the Doctor's wrist.

The Doctor turned at his touch and broke into a huge grin to see his two companions. "Been having fun then?"

Taking the Doctor's hand, Jack placed it over his and Rose's. The three bracelets brightened and pulsed even faster.

"Oh." Rose blushed as the implications sank in. "That's what triune means."

--

_workinprogresschallenge: extended version of pulse

Comments

redwolf
6th Aug, 2005 07:00 (UTC)
Thanks!