I Am Clever

alec_towser


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 - 100. Writer's Choice (Jealous).
I Am Clever
alec_towser
Title: Green-Eyed Monster
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Mike Yates, John Benton
Prompt: 100. Writer’s Choice. (Jealous)
Word Count: 757
Rating: K
Summary: He wasn’t jealous. He most definitely was not jealous.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Set in my Captain No Longer ‘verse. I recommend reading Captain No Longer and Rivalrous first, or this may not make sense. Also, I don’t know if Mike has ever been described as ‘dashing’ anywhere in canon, but it seemed to suit his character, so I used it as a descriptor here.

———

He wasn’t jealous. How could he be? He certainly had no claim over her; they had never been officially seeing each other or anything.

But no matter how many times Mike Yates told himself that, he still couldn’t stop the gnawing in his gut when he heard about Benton’s latest date with Jo. It also didn’t help that Jo was going on these dates with “Mike”, while he was always stuck back at base as “John”.

How long would it be, he wondered, before “Captain Yates” truly won Jo over? Benton was a pleasant, friendly man on his own, but slightly shy and awkward around women he fancied. Mike Yates, however, was not. So if one were to combine Benton’s naturally friendly demeanor with Mike’s charm around women… it yielded devastating results.

He wondered why it was that Benton never seemed to have gotten dates before, and why he seemed to be plagued with the same rotten luck now that he was posing as him. Perhaps it was because he was content to stay in the background and let others receive the credit. Mike and the Brigadier just naturally seemed to draw the attention of the civilians they happened to be saving, and as a young eligible bachelor, who was he to deny them?

Mike didn’t consider himself a proud person, but he had to admit it was a little difficult to get used to playing the unassuming figure in the wings; saving the accolades and attention for the officers spearheading their operations. Even though he was acting as a higher-up NCO, he found that more often than not, he was deferring to either the Brig or to Benton: “Just doing my job, Miss. The Captain was the one in charge.” and similar variations of the phrase had become common parts of his vocabulary. RHIP, indeed.

Then he wondered: was the gnawing feeling (that certainly was not jealousy) less a problem of Benton’s success with Jo, and more so about being unhappy with being stuck in the background?

It was certainly a valid point to consider; after all, how many times had he been described as “the dashing Captain,” and Benton simply “reliable” or “dependable”? While neither of those descriptors were bad in and of themselves, it implied that he was something of an action hero, while Benton was more akin to a fixture, or a piece of furniture - relegated to the shadows, and not given much thought.

Come to think of it, when was the last time he’d heard anyone on the base refer to the man by his first name? The Brigadier always referred to his men by either last name or rank, but Jo and the Doctor called him Mike quite frequently. Had they ever done that for the Sergeant? Not that he could recall - it was always just “Benton”, as if he had no life outside of working at UNIT. As if he wasn’t a person, but cannon fodder with a memorable name.

Maybe he was selling himself too short. It certainly wasn’t that the Sergeant was disliked or looked down on; quite the opposite, in fact. It was just that now Mike was having to live in his own persona’s shadow, and he wasn’t sure he liked it.

Funny what a difference it made, seeing yourself as someone else would. Did Benton secretly feel this way about him - slightly resentful of the differences between the two men? Or - much more likely - was Mike just feeling this way because he had been forced to watch someone else living out his life, while he stood on the sidelines? He couldn’t tell.

He sighed and brought his attention back to the present, and got up to go get changed; he was off-duty in five minutes, and had promised to go dancing with Benton’s younger sister Mavis tonight. After all, it was clear that her brother wouldn’t be going anytime soon, and Mike (at the request of the Brigadier) saw no reason that she should be left abandoned.

They had really gotten quite good as dancing partners in the past two months; perhaps they should enter that competition Mavis had mentioned last week. It was worth a thought, anyway - never let it be said that John Benton didn’t rise to a challenge.

It wasn’t until he was driving into town to meet Mavis that he realized something had been off about that thought process, but he couldn’t quite pinpoint it. He shrugged and went back to humming The Blue Danube. It would come to him eventually.

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

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And he has LOST himself and doesn't even realise it!

This is going to be FUN!

I'm glad you're enjoying this AU I've concocted. :D I've still got at least two more stories written for this 'verse, and probably more in my head somewhere.

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