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[personal profile] aerama
Title: Benton and the Kitten
Author: [livejournal.com profile] aerama
Genre: Doctor Who, Pertwee era
Characters: Benton, Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
Rating: PG
Summary: A kitten escapes into the Brigadier's office.
Word Count: 1,187
Notes: One-shot. Pure unadulterated fluff. Gen, but with the merest, teeniest glimmer of pre-slash, easily overlooked if one so chooses.
"Scritch" doesn't seem to be a real word, but it should be. Giftfic for [livejournal.com profile] livii.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kayakinccou for looking over!


Benton and the Kitten



Benton looked in despair at the ruin that was the Brigadier's office.

"Mew!" insisted the marmalade-striped kitten, now clinging to the inside flap of Benton's jacket.

"Now then, miss, none of your lip; you've caused me a lot of trouble today."

The kitten's pink mouth yawned widely. Benton grinned.

"How could anyone as small and cute as you make such a huge mess?" he asked, awkwardly scratching beneath her chin with a cautious finger. The kitten screwed her tiny eyes shut.

Benton's hand cuddled the kitten for a brief moment before he sighed, recalled to his duties. "Come on then, Miss Mess," he said, starting for the door, "we'll get you back into your nice warm basket in the nice warm laundry room, and there you'll stay if I have to - "

"SERGEANT BENTON!" bellowed a familiar voice from down the hallway. A very familiar enraged voice.

"Oh sweet mother of mercy, he's back early," Benton breathed. He hastily nudged the kitten further inside his jacket, buttoning up as fast as he could.

"WHAT are my papers doing out in the hall?"

The voice was suddenly closer. Benton stopped buttoning. Out of long practice, he hopped nimbly out of the way as the Brigadier cannoned into the room, uniform enviably crisp and clean despite the sheaf of crumpled papers clutched in his hand and a harried expression on his face.

"Your papers, sir? I was just coming to get them - "

"Just coming to get them? Just coming to get them?" the Brigadier bristled, brandishing the papers at Benton, who tried vainly to grasp them, one-armed. "This is a military organization, Sergeant. Papers do not walk out on their own. Papers do not get tired of sitting on my desk in a nice, neat pile, and say - What have you done to my office?"

Benton winced. The Brigadier stared, mouth agape, at his desk, his file cabinet, the floor.

"Me, sir? Nothing, sir, that is to say - " Benton broke off. The Brigadier had just noticed the ceiling. Benton glanced toward the door for an agonized second.

"Stay right there, Sergeant."

"Sir!" Benton snapped his eyes straight ahead. A tilted picture of a scowling general glared back at him.

He felt the Brigadier's eyes pierce through him, darkly. "'Nothing, sir?'" he repeated. "You mean to tell me that none of this is your doing?"

"No, sir! I mean - yes, sir. None of this is my doing, sir," Benton stammered.

"Not the papers in the hall?"

"No, sir!"

"Not the litter on my carpet?"

"No, sir!"

"Not the pen lodged in the ceiling?"

"No, sir!"

The Brigadier stared at him for a moment, then wheeled about and started pacing angrily, papers abandoned, baton wedged beneath his arm, voice clipped and concise. "Perhaps I'm not making myself clear. My office is a ruin. My office was not a ruin when I left. You were IN my office when I left. You are in my office now."

"I know it looks bad, sir, but – erg!" and Benton grimaced, as the kitten chose that moment to dig a tired claw into his chest.

"THIS IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER!"

"I know, sir, I'm sorry, sir, it's just that…" Benton broke off. The Brigadier had just come up very close behind him, so close that Benton could feel him staring at his back with those dark eyes, raking him up and down.

The Brigadier's voice came from beyond his left ear. "I fail to see what's so funny about this situation, Sergeant. I suggest you'd better find an explanation. Now."

Benton hesitated.

"Benton!"

"Well, sir, it's really not what it seems. I - " To his horror, the kitten gave an audible "Prrp?", and the tip of her tail curled out over his collar, flicking his ear. The Brigadier shot around him so fast that Benton nearly rocked back on his heels; the worst of it was that he just stood there, eyes narrowing, with absolutely no hope that he hadn't seen.

After a long, long moment, during which the floor refused to open up and drop Benton to the pits of hell, the Brigadier spoke. "What is that in your jacket, Sergeant?"

Benton affected a mildly puzzled expression. "My jacket, sir?"

"Don't you bluff with me, Benton. Not with me." For an instant, a hint of warmth deepened the Brigadier's voice, coloring his husky tone. It was gone the next moment, gone before Benton could react, could do anything more than grasp after the image that had flashed into his mind…

"Open it," said his Brigadier.

"Sir?"

"Now."

Benton unbuttoned his jacket. The Brigadier took one look and backed up to lean against his desk, baton hanging limply from his hand.

"Sir, I really can explain," Benton offered into the silence, careful to support the kitten with his arm.

"Yes, I think you'd better," said the Brigadier faintly.

"Miss Grant found the kitten, sir. It had arrived in a wheel-well of one of our jeeps."

"A wheel-well." The Brigadier's flat voice made it a statement.

"Yes, sir. She was meowing up a storm, from what I was told. The joker – the corporal driving the jeep had heard her but thought she would just fall out, or something." Benton shook his head in indignation.

"I see. And I suppose you reprimanded him?"

"Yes sir; I don't hold with cruelty to animals," Benton said stoutly. "I mean she wasn't hurt, she's a real trooper, sir, but in any case –"

"In any case, Miss Grant's pleading eyes helped convince you to be the hero in this case." The Brigadier's mustache appeared to twitch.

Benton was affronted. "No, sir, it was just the right thing to do!"

The Brigadier folded his arms crisply. "So you decided to bring this creature inside my base – a high security military base - instead of arranging for the pound to come pick it up?"

"I did, sir," admitted Benton.

"And why was that?"

"Well, sir," Benton burst out, "She's just so little and lost and cute, and she's such a fighter, sir, she deserves a chance just like anyone else, not to rot in that old pound!"

To his horror, the mustache did more than just twitch this time; the Brigadier barked a short, sharp laugh. Benton stiffened.

"I suppose I should be used to such things by now," the Brigadier mused out loud. "Maddened monsters, feisty Doctors, Miss Grant's knickers…and now you, Benton; a valiant guardian of stray cats. While presumably on duty."

"Sir," protested Benton.

"All right, Sergeant, all right. I suppose, under the circumstances, you felt you had no choice. Certainly Miss Grant would have taken her cause to a less conscientious man, or worse, bothered me when I returned. Not that I haven't been bothered anyway…" The Brigadier trailed off, looking again at the ceiling. "Yet I fail to see how you found the time to take care of this demonic furball when you're assigned to help the Doctor with anything he needs. Which have always been considerable if not downright ridiculous."

"Oh, sir, you know the Doctor's knee deep in his scientific experiments, he doesn't need us right now," Benton suggested anxiously.

A smile crossed over the Brigadier's face. "That's certainly true. Never can figure out what half his gadgets are for, even when he's waving them in my face and talking at 100 words a minute." He laughed now, fondly, genuinely; face alight with memories. Benton felt an unexpected pang, but cautiously laughed with him, glad things were back to normal, or as normal as they could be…

"Except."

Benton stopped laughing. "Sir?"

"None of this quite explains how your kitten came to be in here. I trust Miss Grant didn't tell you to stow it away with none the wiser?" The Brigadier's voice took on a derisively higher pitch. "'The Brigadier will surely never notice, not if you take care of it, Sergeant Benton.' Well?"

As Miss Grant had said exactly that, Benton opted to answer indirectly. "Ah, well, she just got out, sir."

"I can see that, Sergeant, but out from where?"

"The laundry room, sir. I'd fixed up a basket, see, and closed the door, figuring she'd be all right as it was warm and I'd left her a bit of food from my own lunch, a turkey roll I had today, and some milk…" Benton hurried on, seeing the frown start to crease the Brigadier's right eyebrow. "Sir. I told my men to be careful when going in, but somebody must have left the door open, and so…"

"And so she escaped this paradise. And came here."

"She's got good taste, anyway, sir," Benton said, immediately wishing he hadn't. But the Brigadier only grunted.

"How long was she in here?"

"Oh, it couldn't have been more than 15 minutes, sir. I was reporting to the Doctor as you'd asked, to see if he needed anything, and then when I was passing by your office, I, er, noticed the papers in the hall."

"With that creature just sitting in the midst of them, grinning fiendishly, no doubt," the Brigadier remarked.

"Actually, sir, at that point she was on your desk, grinning fiendishly."

The Brigadier underwent a small convulsion. Stemming Benton's anxious movement with a look, he tossed his baton behind him on the desk – Benton hadn't realized how tense he'd been until he found himself breathing a sigh of relief – and reached forward to scritch between the kitten's ears. The kitten stretched out a paw and batted at his fingers.

"She likes you, sir," Benton said, greatly daring. The kitten purred in agreement, leaning into the hand now cupping around her ear, touching the tip of her nose, caressing the softness of her little face; Benton hadn't known he could be so gentle.

The Brigadier's eyes smiled up at him, and Benton finally, completely relaxed.

"Carry on then, Benton, take our little escape artist back to where she belongs," said the Brigadier, gesturing expansively. "You have my permission to put a notice up for adoption. Perhaps one down in the village as well."

"Thank you, sir!"

"Then you're on clean-up duty, I'm afraid," the Brigadier continued, smiling wryly.

"Yes, sir," intoned Benton, appropriately downcast, though it was far more lenient than he'd expected.

"Come to think of it, you'd better get back here first and help me find my reports," the Brigadier added. "That's why I came back early, you know." His mustache quirked as he leaned back, dropping his hand on the desk in support – and he froze. A peculiar expression came over his face.

Benton had already leapt toward the door when the Brigadier slowly turned over his hand and looked at it. The kitten mewed merrily.

"BENTON!"

"Sorry, sir, better get her out of here, she sounds hungry!"

"ALL OVER MY REPORT FOR GENEVA!"

The kitten seemed to enjoy Benton running.


Date: 2007-06-07 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliophile1887.livejournal.com
*giggles*

Very good!!

Date: 2007-06-07 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! *beams*

Date: 2007-06-07 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] van.livejournal.com
hahahaa! This is so cute and so much fun! Who would have thought the Brigadier and Benton handling a kitten would be so funny? Great job, I really enjoyed this. XD

Maddened monsters, feisty Doctors, Miss Grant's knickers…and now you, Benton

Ahahahaha. Love. Excellent characterizations and voices. XD

Date: 2007-06-08 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Oh I'm so glad. I was worried most about characterizations, having never written a Who before.

The kitten was brought to you courtesy of this kitten *icon* whom we found outside of our door one day, mewing up a storm. Animal Rescue came for her but not before we brought her in and warmed her up and gave her water and food!
Plus [livejournal.com profile] livii is a kitty-cat kind of person...

Thank you very much! There's nothing like having one's fluff appreciated. :)

Date: 2007-06-08 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] van.livejournal.com
Oh, then it's an especially marvelous job. :D:D:D I hope you'll do a sequel. Yes, one where no one adopts it so Benton has to keep it in the barracks or something. Clearly caring for the cat should, um. Hook them up. I insist. In true Who form, the kitten could end up being a benevolent alien visitor, even, hahahaha.

Date: 2007-06-08 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
*is ded*
Now that's a heady plotline!
"You mean that creature is still here?" exploded the Brigadier.
"Er..." said Benton, casting a quick glance around, noting with relief the kitten had vanished into her hidey-hole, "Not exactly at the moment, sir."

Date: 2007-06-07 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfryder.livejournal.com
Oh, this was wonderful to read... Benton and a kitty. And the Brig. Nothing beats that combination.

Date: 2007-06-08 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Thank you! That's really nice of you to say! I could picture Benton's clumsy yet cautious hands throughout. Fortunately it didn't distract me too much...and it _had_ to be in the Brig's office. Nothing else would do.

Date: 2007-06-07 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] srin.livejournal.com
BENTON :D

This is adorable and lovely and yay. I can totally picture this and it's fantastic. Hooray for the hint of Benton/Bring, also. You should do more such stories, yes.

Date: 2007-06-08 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
YAY BENTON

I became a bit tempted to do more 'hints' of B/B, but ultimately decided to save that for another time...

Thank you so much! It's great to hear that you could picture it. Now I know it wasn't just in my head!

*waves to cat icon*

Date: 2007-06-08 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livii.livejournal.com
YAY!

This is so adorable! Both of the voices are totally spot-on AND there's a cute little kitten!

I could quote back so many of the lines but will just go for these: "Now then, miss, none of your lip; you've caused me a lot of trouble today." - oh my god, he WOULD say that to a cat!; Benton affected a mildly puzzled expression. "My jacket, sir?" - oh my god, he WOULD be that adorably impertinent; and of course the line that includes Jo's knickers. As you know I have such a soft spot for Jo flashing her knickers at us viewers. ;)

Thank you so much for writing this for me! You are so clever and awesome.

Date: 2007-06-08 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
*whew* I can relax now!
I am SO VERY GLAD you like this, because you didn't have to, you know, though I wanted you to. Yes I did remember you & Jo's knickers (how could I forget?). I tried to channel Benton as much as I could because there's also you & Benton, and, well - cool. And thanks!!!

Did LJ tell me truly that your birthday is the 9th?? If so, Happy Birthday! And look, I already had a present. *grin*

Date: 2007-06-08 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livii.livejournal.com
Thanks for the birthday wishes! It's indeed tomorrow. And this is a very lovely gift. :D

Date: 2007-06-08 07:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2007-06-08 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kayakinccou.livejournal.com
*applause* Nicely done!

Date: 2007-06-08 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Your help was invaluable - thank you very much!

Date: 2007-06-08 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kvistis.livejournal.com
This is really cute and I don't see why you were all insecure about posting it. Sadly I don't think I can appreciate it as it should be appreciated since I don't know the characters... since that is what fanfiction is usually built on, previous knowledge of the characters. Now I wish I knew them, but anyway it's a good story.

Date: 2007-06-08 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Well, see, I should ask you beforehand: Should I be wibbly? and you can say HELL NO.

That's just the way it is, or rather I am; very rarely am I _sure_ things are okay!

Come this way to Old Doctor Who land...I think you might enjoy it. It can be outrageously campy and we love it to bits. Of course this icon *points* is Benton...:)

Thank you for reading it despite no prior knowledge!! That's really cool.

Date: 2007-06-08 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kvistis.livejournal.com
Yes, you should. I'm here to encourage you, it's my job. Unless you do something really stupid - then I'm here to stop you.

Hey, you know that I am more than willing to follow you into Old Doctor Who land... if only I knew how to. :(

Date: 2007-06-08 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Eek, the flaming eye!

There are Ways to get old episodes, lemme do a little research...

Date: 2007-06-11 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] so-severus.livejournal.com
even though I have no idea who Benton and Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart are - I liked it a lot :)
it was so cute and I loved the descriptions



Date: 2007-06-12 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Awww you're a real sweetie to read it anyway!! ♥
Now you too have to go get old episodes (that's right, I was going to find an Archive of those, and never did) and look for all the subtext. Subtext is fab. Not that the show even needed it with all the craziness going on and scary aliens.

Date: 2007-06-12 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gilesgurl.livejournal.com
That is too adorable! I loved it :D

Date: 2007-06-13 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

And squeee! Icon!!

Wow!

Date: 2007-06-28 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icarus-chained.livejournal.com
I've been sitting here, reading this, getting weird looks as I chuckle to myself, until the Brig put his hand on that desk, and my sister ran away at my belly-laugh. I'm told it's an absolutely horrible sound.
Can I just say that I've been feeling down all day, and suddenly it's all good again, after this fic. Thank you. You don't know how much I appreciate that chance to laugh, after the day I've had. I'm in your debt.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2007-06-29 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
What an absolutely wonderful thing to say.
I think I've had the same kind of day you had, and to find this at the end of it totally lights me right back up.

I'm so very glad this fic was able to do that for you - makes me feel a bit awed, actually. And it makes me laugh to picture other people running in terror. Laugh more!

Thank you so much!

Date: 2009-04-25 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithrel.livejournal.com
*is incoherent from the awesomeness that is this fic* First you had me ded from cute with Benton and a kitten, then you had me on the floor with the Brig's lecture, then ded from cute again with the Brigadier being fondly exasperated with Benton and petting the kitten. And I wonder what the Brig's gonna say to his superiors in Geneva? Hope they didn't want that report right away.

Eeee!

Date: 2009-05-04 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aerama.livejournal.com
I am so glad you liked it! Thank you very much for the review. *sends kittens*

Re: Eeee!

Date: 2009-05-04 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithrel.livejournal.com
Yay, kittens!
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