Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Title: Spring Conditions
Fandom: Doctor Who
strange_charmed aka kilodalton
Characters: AU Ten/Rose
Summary: AU Ten/Rose. John Smith is desperate to impress Jeanne Poisson - the girl of his dreams - by learning to ski, but his ski lessons at an out-of-the-way ski lodge change things in ways he never could have expected..
A/N: for kelkat9 =)
Rating: Teen

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4

Slightly surprised by this turn of events, he follows her back into the front hall, which was empty a few minutes ago as he was eating breakfast. Now a myriad of ski equipment clutters it: two pairs of skis, with matching boots, and ski-poles, lean up intermingled against the wall. John swallows, excited to learn - he loves learning, always has - but he's nervous at the same time. He's completely out of his element here, and can barely put a name to some of the equipment. It's an odd feeling, one he's not used to - he’s not completely sure he minds it, though.

"I picked up your rental equipment at the Lodge this morning - skis, poles, and boots, right?"

John nods, a little bit dumbfounded. Suddenly a thought occurs to him: this pile of equipment is huge.

"Hold on - you skied there and back?" he asks, bewildered. "How did you carry all this back with you?"

She shrugs. "Makeshift backpack," she says, and leaves it at that.

He barely knows her, but he finds he's growing more and more impressed with Rose Tyler by the minute.

The front hall has no seating, and is a bit small for them to have enough space to put on all their equipment, so he follows Rose through the kitchen and out into a small, add-on garage. With practiced motion, she carries her own equipment in one hand, skis perched expertly over her shoulder, base to base. He insists on carrying his own equipment and tries to mimic her motion, though it feels awkward and he's sure he doesn't look as casually confident as she does. Why he's even worried about what he looks like is a mystery to him - she's his instructor after all, she knows he's a complete novice. He just doesn't want to look like a fool, he supposes.

She leans her load against the garage wall and John does the same. Rose motions to a narrow wood plank bench alongside the garage wall and he sits on it. He waits almost patiently, watching her as she turns a crank to open the garage door, letting in both light as well as tufts of snow from the snowdrift that had accumulated by the door overnight. Ambling back towards John, she picks up the ski boots he'd left with the rest of the equipment by the wall and hands them to him.

"Here," she says. "Try these on and let me know how they feel."

They spend a good five minutes with him sitting on the bench and Rose on the floor at his feet, helping him with his ski boots, making sure they're the right fit and size. Then she asks him to walk around the garage for an additional few minutes, inquiring repeatedly about how the boots feel on his toes, heels, and instep. He tries to reassure her that she really doesn't need to bother, he's sure they'll be suitable and they seem to fit just fine - they look just fine, after all, but she overrides his objections.

"Making sure you have the right fit ... 's really important," she insists, though her eyes are gentle and almost apologetic.

"How so?" he asks, sitting down on the bench to be at eye level with her as they talk; he wants to know, after all.

"The ski is like an extension of your foot," she explains, her voice taking on a slightly wistful tone. "It's like... you're out there on the slopes, and sometimes, well a lot of times, you're going a little fast, and it's wild and it's beautiful out there, but it can be dangerous. It can be more than you can handle sometimes, if you're not expecting it. You need a boot that fits right, that's how you control how fast you're going. That's how you end up where you want to be on the slope, and not in a ditch somewhere - and trust me, that happens!" she laughs.

He smiles, and lets her continue her adjustments until she's satisfied.

Standing up, she helps him to his feet, takes a step back, and looks at him deliberatively, hands on her hips, biting her lip slightly. All of a sudden she breaks into a smile.

“You’re going to get soaked in those jeans!” she laughs. “You definitely need real ski wear. How many lessons did you plan to book?”

“Twelve,” he responds, having the number of weeks til Chamonix seared in his mind.

She nods and looks him over once again. If her gaze lingers on him just a moment longer than necessary, he doesn't notice.

"You'll want some proper ski wear then. Something waterproof but breathable. They have a small store up at Swinhope Moor, but you'd get a better selection if you bought something in London and just brought it with you next week. You'll need proper ski-pants, gloves, and you'll need a waterproof jacket too. A helmet wouldn't be a bad idea either, just to be safe."

He nods, mentally making a note to buy all of the items she's listed. Except the helmet - he shudders to think what that would do to his hair.

"We can start here, maybe head off to the lodge later today or tomorrow morning. We've got a small hill in the back that would be good practice for you later today or tomorrow, but first we'll learn some basics."

She picks up his skis and he follows her to the garage doorway, where a gentle breeze has begun to blow in a few rogue snowflakes from the snowdrift outside. The ground outside is perfectly flat, but Rose had said they were starting with 'basics' so he supposes this is what she intends. She places his skis on the snow in front of him, about shoulder-width apart. He excitedly takes a deep breath because this is it, an adventure in the making, and one that will soon hopefully lead him to a new, to an even better adventure together with Jeanne, thanks to Rose's help.

She hands him his ski poles, instructing him to put his weight on them. She then helps him guide first one boot into the ski bracing, snapping it into place, and then the other boot. Within moments, he certainly looks the part of a skier, but looks of course can be highly deceiving. As Rose puts on her own skis, John notes that the ski poles have wrist-straps attached to them. Intending to secure himself to them, especially on his first day, he begins to wrap it around his wrist and clasp it in place.

"Don't use the wrist-strap around here," Rose's voice pipes up as he's in the middle of fastening it. "Never when you're off-piste like this. That's lesson number one. On the slopes it's OK, but around here ... there could be branches or roots under the snow. The pole could get caught on something. I've seen people break their wrist that way."

John nods, absorbing every word. This is completely new to him, alien and foreign, and it should put him on edge: after all, he hates feeling like he is outside his comfort zone. Instead, it feels glorious.

Rose has him glide forward several metres, instructing him to glide his skis forward using his poles for balance. Her mouth quirks up in a smile as he initially attempts to lift his skis and walk the distance.

"First thing you need to do," she says, skiing in front of him a few additional meters before turning around gracefully, her hair dancing in the light breeze behind her. "You need to learn how to fall."

"To fall?" he asks, a bit surprised, having only just managed to stand. Wasn't keeping one's balance the point of this?

"Yup," she replies. "You need to learn how to fall, because you will fall, and the most important thing you need to do is to learn how to get back up again."

She smiles at him, a tongue-touched grin, and he finds himself smiling back at her reflexively.

They spend the rest of the day falling, and getting up, and learning to hop in place, and falling multiple more times (accidentally he admits) and getting up yet again, until Wilf calls them in that it's time for tea. It astonishes him – he thought he was pretty good at keeping track of time, but his lesson with Rose has sped by so fast it seems like it lasted only a brief moment.

He comes in wet, and tired, and freezing, and achy, but grinning like a loon.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 4th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Aww, this is so sweet and Jahn is a little hopeless, but rather sweet. I do love when Rose is the one teaching him.
Aug. 8th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, yes he is pretty hopeless...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )