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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 - 021. Friends.
I Am Clever
Title: Unexpected
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Mike Yates, John Benton
Prompt: 021. Friends.
Word Count: 796
Rating: K
Summary: He wasn’t sure exactly when it had happened.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.


Mike Yates hadn’t had a lot of friends growing up. Living in post-war England had meant that his family had needed to move around a lot - 11 times, as a matter of fact, before finally ending up in Scotland. As a consequence, he hadn’t been able to form a lot of connections with others. This was unfortunate, as Mike was a very sociable and fun-loving boy, and he often wished he’d had a more permanent circle of friends. He was left alone to his own devices most of the time, as his three brothers were all older and either working or busy with girlfriends and the like, and his parents didn’t always have the time to spend with their youngest (though not for lack of effort). However, his mother’s philosophy was to ‘keep your chin up and to look for the positive side of things’, so he did and made the best of it. But he always felt like he was missing something.

When he was 16, he decided to join the army. Maybe there he might find that sense of community and camaraderie he had been missing on in his youth. And for a while, it worked - but after a few years, he’d found that he still had very few people he could consider friends. There were plenty of people who were friendly to him, and he got along well with all of his men, but it was hard to form a lot of real friendships with others when you had become an officer and they were your subordinates.

When he was 19, he was posted to Fort George up in Inverness. By that point, he had reached the rank of Lieutenant and was hoping that there was something more to life, as a desk job in the military seemed horribly dull. Then, after two years of this, he showed up. A man who simply called himself the Doctor, with a Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT in tow, turning Mike’s world upside-down. They had been called up to investigate some odd occurrences in the area, and Mike and his unit were seconded to the Brigadier to aid in the investigation.

Once the fiasco was over, Mike found himself being transferred from Fort George into UNIT at the request of the Brigadier, with a new promotion to Captain. Working for UNIT was certainly promising to be a lot different than working for the regular military, he mused as he was sewing on his new UNIT flashes onto his uniform one night. Defending England - and the world in general - from the presence of hostile aliens. Who knew his life would have taken such a turn? And yet… while life had suddenly gotten more exciting, he was still lonely.

It must have showed on his face, because a couple of nights later, a tall, friendly-looking man who introduced himself as Sergeant John Benton made his acquaintance, offering to show him around and explain things to the still-bewildered young Captain. Mike had accepted, figuring that he would take what he could get in terms of help, because it seemed that the Brigadier was too busy trying to corral the Doctor’s increasingly-volatile experiments to help him out.

He had figured that the Sergeant’s help had just been a polite offer to help out the new officer on the base, and hadn’t thought much more about it than that. However, Benton had surprised him by inviting Mike to come watch the rugby game with himself and some of the other men down at the local pub a few nights later. Mike had felt awkward at first, the only officer in a crowd of enlisted men, but that had soon passed, as Benton was friendly and made efforts to make him feel included.

One time at the pub turned into several over the next few weeks, as well as trips over to the enlisted men’s barracks to watch other sporting events on the telly in there. The crowd of people involved varied, with one constant - Benton. As time passed, the two men slowly got to know each other more, sharing stories about their childhoods (Benton had a younger sister, and a younger brother who had died as a child), their different military experiences, and what had led them to UNIT. Mike found that John Benton was very reliable, loyal, and sensible - three attributes that quickly made him his most trusted subordinate during any crisis they were involved in.

And even though his relationship with the man was based on a professional military officer-subordinate level, somehow, he found that he and John Benton had become good friends. He didn’t really know when it had happened, but he definitely didn’t mind it. This was what he’d been looking for, and he’d found it in UNIT.

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

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Very believable. I always liked the hint of friendship between the two characters, which is made quite plain, I think, in "Mind Of Evil". UNIT was always different to the regular army anyway, so less likely friendships make sense.

Yates and Benton are definitely my BrOTP from the show. My personal favourite moment that shows just how close they are is a snippet from the novel The Face of the Enemy, which reads:

Benton stood as Yates approached, but Yates waved him back to his seat.
“Have you got a tool kit in there by any chance?”

Benton nodded. “In the back. Shall I get it?”

“Don’t bother.” Yates went round to the back of the Land Rover, and dug out a small tool box and an ammunition crate. “These things never left this vehicle, if you see what I mean.”

“Understood. Can I ask what you’re not going to do with them, sir?”

Yates grinned. He and Benton had worked together for so long now that they could almost read each other’s thoughts. “I’m not going to take these things over to the wreckage and I’m not going to grab something for Chesterton to take back to the Doctor’s lab.”

That segment makes me grin every time I read it. :D

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