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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 - 042. Triangle.
I Am Clever
Title: Rivalrous
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Mike Yates, John Benton, Jo Grant
Prompt: 042. Triangle.
Word Count: 861
Rating: K
Summary: This was getting ridiculous - it was bad enough Mike had to act like Benton, but did Benton really have to get the girl, too?
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Set in my Captain No Longer universe, where Mike is having to pose as Benton. I highly recommend reading Captain No Longer first, or this may not make sense.


“Two main forms of love triangle have been distinguished: there is the rivalrous triangle, where the lover is competing with a rival for the love of the beloved, and the split-object triangle, where a lover has split their attention between two love objects.” - Wikipedia (as well as the inspiration for the title)


This was getting ridiculous, Mike Yates thought to himself. It had been a month, and there was still no sign of the Trickster, nor any sign that things were going to go back to normal any time soon.

Sighing, he began to get dressed, and still couldn’t stop the inward flinch that occurred when he caught sight of the Sergeant’s stripes on his uniform sleeves. It was just another reminder that he couldn’t be himself anymore; not until this problem was solved.

He put the beret on, and schooled his features into a mask of calm placidity, the way he would have. Another day in the life of “Sergeant Benton”.


Heading down to the lab (where he assumed everyone else to be, as the Brig wasn’t in his office) was when his day went downhill.

He arrived to find that not only were the Brig and Benton already there, Benton was in the process of chatting up Jo while the Doctor and the Brig argued. Seems he’d paid a little too much attention to how Mike behaved, and was now acting on the interest that “Captain Yates” obviously held for Jo. And the worst part was that it seemed to be working.

Mike tried not to show the frustration he was feeling. Wasn’t it bad enough that he’d had to give up the trappings of his rank; give up his private officer’s quarters in favour of Benton’s place in the barracks; give up being able to act like Mike Yates and have to act like John Benton constantly? Did Benton really have to get the girl, too? This just wasn’t fair.

He’d basically had to give up everything to maintain this ruse: pay grade (although the Brig promised he’d get backpay after this was all over), mannerisms, name… even the way he spoke had had to shift from his more upperclass tones to Benton’s Wiltshire accent. He idly wondered how long it would take for that to be able to change back after this was all over.

He was so lost in thought, he almost missed his name being called. “Sergeant!”

“Sir!” He quickly snapped to attention and saluted. He’d gotten past the point where he forgot to respond to “Sergeant”, “Benton”, or a combination of the two - it had started to become habit by now.

He tried to pay attention while the Brigadier explained what he needed to do (get some men and supplies together to go investigate some farmhouse where reports of strange lights had been seen - fairly routine), but his mind kept bringing up thoughts of Benton and Jo together. He managed to pull it back together in time to hear the Brigadier finish his train of thought and ask “…is that clear, Sergeant Benton?”

“Yessir. Right away.” He saluted and left the room quickly, before he got any more chance to watch Benton carrying on with Jo.

All afternoon, Mike was distracted and irritable, though he hid it every time another soldier was looking at or talking to him. How did Benton do it, he wondered? He’d never seen the man upset about anything, except when someone else’s well-being was at stake. He’d have to try harder to control his temper; it was rather un-Benton to lose control over something like this.

He shook his head. When had thought processes like that started running through his head? Un-Benton? Mike really hoped this would all be over soon.


Unfortunately, it only got worse. Several days later, Mike walked into the lab to catch the tail-end of a conversation he had hoped never to hear: “Right - I’ll see you at 7 on Friday, Jo.” He just managed to bring up a facade of neutrality before Benton exited the lab with a large grin on his face. “Finally managed to do it, Sir?” Mike asked casually, falling into step beside him.

“Yes; finally.” Benton nodded over at Mike. “Been wanting to ask her out for months, now, but she hasn’t been available.”

And Mike had been wanting to ask her out for months; he’d told Benton about this himself. But every time he’d asked in the past, something had come up and they’d had to reschedule. It had gotten to the point where he’d just been waiting for an opportunity to present itself, and apparently it just had. The only problem was, it wasn’t with him. Well, it was, sort of… just, not him-him. Benton-him. Mike winced. This sort of thinking was making his head hurt.

Then he realized his thoughts had drifted again, and Benton was staring at him oddly. “You all right, Benton?”

Mike shook his head as if to clear it, then nodded. “Yes, Sir. Just thought of something I’d forgotten, is all.”

Benton looked amused. “Well, just be sure the Brig doesn’t catch you doing that, or it’ll be extra clean-up duties for you for sure.” He then clapped Mike on the shoulder and walked off jauntily.

Mike just stared after him. As if things weren’t bad enough, now he was involved in a love triangle of sorts. An inadvertent one, to be sure, but a love triangle nonetheless.

What had he done to deserve this?

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

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RHIP, Mike. ;)

This is an interesting universe! I do feel very sorry for poor Mike, but there's potential here.

I'm glad you like it! I wasn't sure what peoples' reactions would be, but hey, it's my AU and I can do what I want with it. :P

Either way, though, I have at least two more stories in this universe, so we'll see how it goes. :)

(And funny enough, the next story does actually make reference to the RHIP statement.)

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