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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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UNIT!100 - 011. Red.
I Am Clever
Title: Badge of Honour
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Jo Grant, John Benton, brief mention of the Brigadier
Prompt: 011. Red.
Word Count: 872
Rating: T
Summary: Nobody should have been talking to her like that.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author's Note: I think Benton somehow got a little OOC at the end, but I tried to do the best I could with what I had.


It had been a long week, and Sergeant John Benton was more than ready to enjoy his night off. He had headed down to the local pub for a drink and to watch the football game, looking forward to putting all the stress behind him.

Upon entering, he had been surprised to see Jo Grant already sitting at a table conversing with another woman, presumably a friend of hers. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Jo did indeed have a life outside of working with UNIT and the Doctor.

He smiled wryly and ordered himself a drink and some food. It was apparent that Jo hadn’t noticed him, and he thought he’d give her some space. Besides, the game had already started, and his team was down by a point.

Around halfway through the game, Benton happened to absently look over towards where Jo had been sitting and noticed that her friend was gone. It must not have been for very long, though, as Jo didn’t seem to be making any move to leave quite yet. Then out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a rather dirty, scruffy man advancing towards her table. That got him paying more attention.

As he watched, the man sidled up to Jo and started making what appeared to be sloppy come ons. She was shaking her head, indicating that she wasn’t interested, but the man didn’t seem to take any notice. If anything, the leer on his face just got bigger and he began making some rather crude gestures. By this point, Jo was looking rather nervous. Her eyes were darting around, looking for an escape that wasn’t there as the man closed in.

It usually took a lot to get John Benton angry. He’d often been told that his calm, unflappable demeanour was a gift, and usually it served him well, allowing him to keep a clear head in high tension situations. However, seeing a lady being threatened in any way, shape or form… it just made him see red. Nobody should have been talking to Jo like that. His father had always told him that one should treat ladies with dignity and respect, and this man was clearly doing neither.

With that said, he stormed over towards Jo and her aggressor, all thoughts of the game out of his mind. “I believe the lady said she wasn’t interested,” he said firmly, as he not-too-subtly inserted himself between the two. He just got enough chance to see a look of relief on Jo’s face before his attention was forcibly turned back to the man with a badly-executed right hook to his eye. “Look, sir, I don’t want to fight you,” Benton tried reasoning with the man (who reeked of booze, now that he was close enough to tell). “But you’ve got to leave her alone.”

“That’sh nunna yer buishness,” the man slurred, turning his attention back to Jo. “Come on, love, give us a kissh?”

“She’s NOT interested. So please leave, before you do something you’ll regret,” Benton warned the man again. The man responded to this by taking another swing at him, to which Benton dodged, countering with a block of his own. After that it escalated, with other drunken patrons wanting to get involved, and Benton just trying to hold them at bay and get Jo out of there unharmed. He succeeded, albeit with a few bruises and scrapes of his own, and luckily managed to get out before the police showed up to break up the fight.

Outside, he walked Jo to her car, making sure that she’d be able to get home safely before he himself would leave. When they had arrived, Jo had calmed down somewhat - enough to inquire about his injuries in the impromptu brawl. “Oh, it’s nothing,” he shrugged it off, wincing a little when she brushed his eye.

“You’re going to have an impressive black eye tomorrow,” she said, dismayed. “I’m sure the Brigadier will have something to say about that.”

“Don’t worry, Miss Grant,” Benton assured her. “It’s hardly the first time I’ve gotten one. And besides, until it fades, it’s a badge of honour and I’ll wear it with pride. Not every day I get to play the white knight and save a pretty girl.”

“Oh, Benton, you’re so sweet,” Jo smiled, standing on tip-toe to kiss his cheek. “But it’s Jo, alright? No need to be so formal.”

He blushed, and hoped Jo wouldn’t notice in the dim streetlight. “Well, in that case, you can call me John. Now, will you be alright to get yourself home?”

“Yes, I think so,” she nodded. “Will you?”

“I’ll be fine,” he agreed. “Just need to get home and put some ice on this.”

As Jo drove off, Benton watched her go, and surprisingly, he didn’t mind that he had missed the second half of his game at all. Black eye or not, it had been worth it to get to play the hero for once.

And if the Brigadier didn’t say anything about the very obvious shiner Benton was sporting due to a conversation with Miss Grant before the Sergeant came on shift the next day… well, that was his secret to keep.

X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.

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Oh, I love this. Benton is one of my favorite characters. And I was just thinking earlier today that I needed to write something different, something unexpected, with characters I don't usually write.

Then you write this.

It's perfect, and just what I wanted. Thank you.

I'm so glad you liked it! I had originally planned to have the story centre around Mike, but then I decided that Benton needed a chance to be the hero for once. :)

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