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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..

inspired by a skiing AU prompt from kelkat9. As you may be able to tell, although this has started off rather fluffy, there may be some rocky times ahead for our OTP. It is a Ten/Rose fic tho so … yeah =) Just a little warning!
Rating: Teen

True to Wilf's word, Rodrigo has the parking lot plowed that night, and even goes to the trouble of excavating John's car. Of course, John doesn’t notice any of this until the next morning, when he wakes with a yawn, a stretch, and a smile, and plods over to the window to survey the outdoors. His breath fogs the window slightly, and he sees that the snow seems not to have melted at all – if anything, it looks more frozen, coated with a thin layer of morning dew and glistening prettily. From his vantage point, the roads still don’t seem well plowed, but are certainly serviceable enough to get him home to London. He notes that except for the same ski tracks he’d noticed yesterday, the snow hardly seems disturbed at all. He thinks of how in London, by now it would be tamped down, dirty and grey under the weight of thousands of shoes and shovels and grimy cars, and wonders slightly that this is still pristine and glistening white. It’s one of the many things that makes him feel like he’s taken a step back in time when coming up here: this hardly seems like the 21st century at all. It feels like a land of pioneers and fresh starts, set apart from his real life in London, and he’s suddenly doubly glad he’s keeping this little adventure to himself.

He repacks his few belongings, then descends the staircase with his duffel bag, feeling a momentary regret that the weekend has flown by so fast. Having originally intended his trip here to just be a means to an end of being closer with Jeanne, he’s surprised to find that he’s enjoyed it as much as he had. He’s also surprised to find he’s enjoyed skiing as much as he had as well, and hopes it will be even better in the future, with more training from Rose and proper equipment.

After a quick breakfast of tea and cereal (which he’d insisted on, rather than have Wilf spend so much time making him yet another elaborate meal), he’s ready to go and shuffles over to the front desk with his bag. Yet again, he and Wilf seem to be the only people at the B&B – everyone else appears to already be gone for the day, or still sleeping.

“Thank you for coming, we hope you enjoyed your stay,” Wilf says with a smile, bustling behind the desk to finalize John’s checkout.

“I certainly did,” John muses, eyes scanning quickly around the room.

“Looking for Rose?” Wilf asks.

John looks at him, startled. It’s not like he was looking for anyone in particular, mind, and Wilf’s question surprises him slightly.

“She took the other couple who is staying here up over to Swinhope Moor early this morning,” Wilf says. “She won’t be back til later – did you want to leave a message for her?”

John shakes his head in a silent no. It’s not like he has anything particularly important to say to her, she’s just his instructor after all, and he’ll see her in another week’s time, anyway. And it’s not like he was even looking for her to begin with, after all.

As Wilf hands John his receipt with a smile on his face, John asks if he could book a room for the next weekend as well, and Wilf’s smile gets even bigger.


He goes to work on Monday sore and achy just as Rose had warned him, and soon receives news guaranteed to make him even more sore and achy. It comes in the form of a memo in his office mailbox, on a blindingly yellow sheet of paper that hurts his eyes a little with its faux perkiness. Everyone in the physics department has to pack up their offices and move to a mobile building, for some nebulously-phrased reason having to do with construction and personnel safety. To John, all it means is more work and inconvenience. He’s suddenly glad Rose made him stop skiing when she did – his legs and back are already sore and now he apparently needs to spend the rest of the day sorting ten years’ worth of belongings from his office.

He's sitting at his soon-to-be-former desk, trying to decide how the hell to box up a prism spectrophotometer, when a knock on his open door grabs his attention.

His eyes flick to the doorway and he smiles softly as he takes in the sight of Jeanne, leaning against the doorframe, ankles casually crossed and looking at him with a wry smile.

“What’ve you been up to?” she asks with a demure smile.

He shrugs, and leans back in his chair, attempting to duplicate her casual posture.

“This and that,” he says with a grin.

Her smile broadens at this, and she enters his office and perches on the edge of his desk. She doesn’t wait for an invitation, which is all fine and good to him because she’s never needed one as far as he’s concerned. She smoothes the hem of her skirt then glances prettily back up at him.

“They’re making the French department move today as well … would you help me move my desk? I’m afraid I’m not dressed for it,” she says, pointing at her silk blouse and fitted skirt. She’s wearing high heels, too, making her slender legs look even longer and more shapely. He tries not to stare, knowing he’s failing badly and not quite caring. He may be achy, and the crick in his back may be throbbing viscerally at her request, but he nods gladly, happy to spend time with her.

As far as John’s own office move goes, he enlists two of his brightest students to help. It's nothing they have to do of course, but he's their teacher and he's well aware they're unlikely to say no if he asks – especially if he offers them something in return. His two 'volunteers' are Clyde and Luke, who are best friends, although an unlikely duo in John’s opinion. Clyde has always struck John as the more social, outgoing type, while Luke … well, Luke is brilliant, but never quite seemed to John to have Clyde’s finesse in social situations. Somehow, this makes John like Luke all the more, and he’s always wanted to take him under his wing a bit – and for John, this presents a perfect opportunity to do so. John promises both boys an opportunity to work with him on a research project – a highly coveted opportunity – and is pleased to see they’ve packed up his whole office (included that bloody prism spectrophotometer) by the time he’s done helping Jeanne.


That afternoon, on his way home from work, he stops by the Snow + Rock ski store, looking for the ski gear that Rose had recommended. Even for something as simple as ski pants, he finds the selection completely overwhelming. There are literally racks of ski pants, which are apparently also called salopettes from what he can tell, in all different materials and styles. Some even look like more like overalls with suspenders. He honestly doesn’t know where to begin, and as the salesperson seems to be wanting to direct him to the most expensive options, he kindly tells her he’s just looking and pulls out his mobile, dialing the number of the one person he hopes can help him sort this out.

It rings once before the call is picked up.

“Prentice B&B ... may I help you?”

“Nylon or polyester?” he chirps into his mobile.

“… pardon?” Rose asks, her voice sounding amused enough for him to feel confident that she knows exactly who is calling her and why, and the thought makes him smile into the phone.

“Ski pants,” he says, as his fingers flip through another rack of microfiber microfleece.

“Nylon’s better, it doesn’t tear as easily. And get waterproof not water-resistant. Look for down or fleece insulation – especially if it has extra reinforcement in the seat, given how much you’ll probably be falling if this past weekend was anything to go by.”

He makes a shocked sound he intends to come off as outraged, but which instead sounds more like a mewling even to his own ears – and certainly to hers, by the laugh he gets in response.

“Oh! And try to get a pair that you can extend down over the top of your boots – they say the snow is supposed be deep around here this winter, so that will be a little better for you.”

He wants to ask her about snow in the Alps, if the same type of pant would work just as well in Weardale as Chamonix – the ski wear is certainly expensive enough that he’d hate to have to buy multiple sets – but he’s still a bit embarrassed to tell her the reason for his lessons, or frankly at this point to admit that he’s even going to a resort aimed at accomplished skiers – which he most assuredly is not - so he decides against it.

By the time they’re done with their conversation, it’s been 45 minutes, and she’s helped him pick out an entire ski wardrobe (having logged on to the store’s website from the B&B for that express purpose, and yes John, there is internet access in Weardale). He rings off with a smile on his face, feeling inexplicably lighter than he has all day.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
Always trying to impress the girl, silly John. But he's kind of sweet and I like Rose teasing him!
Aug. 18th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)
Yeaaaah I think his heart is in the right place despite being not-so-bright about things <3
Aug. 12th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
I love this. I love them. But do you want to know what made me go "Aww!" out loud? LUKE AND CLYDE. So much love right now.
Aug. 18th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)
Yay glad you like them! You'll be seeing a bit more with them later too =)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )