During ‘May or May Not Be Non-Inflammable’

“You’ll get used to it,” said Vania as she flashed a bright smile. “You’re changed too, you know!”

Doc looked down at himself, clearly not having noticed his disguise before, and Vania chuckled. “Not bad looking, either, if I say so myself.”

Doc looked back at her, blinking. “Um, two questions. Are you… flirting with me?”

“Not really,” Vania replied after a moment’s thought. “You’re a skinny little newbie who is so not my type, if I had a type, which I don’t. But right now, you’re - if you’ll pardon the fireman pun - smokin’ hot.”

Doc tilted his head and considered this. “So… you’re flirting with your own skill with the disguise generator?”

“That’s the one!” Vania beamed at him. “So what was the second question?”

“Oh. Uh, no, it doesn’t matter.”

“Go on, tell me,” Vania insisted. “Otherwise I’ll give in to my baser urges and snog you.”

Doc’s disguise-generated face was stubble-covered enough that Vania couldn’t see him blush - but she was certain he’d done so, all the same. “I, uh. I was going to ask, if I flirted back - would that make me gay?” He saw her look and scratched sheepishly at the tattoo on his arm. “Purely hypothetically.”

“Nope!” Vania assured him cheerfully. “It would make you wrought. It’s a term we use in HQ - means you’re attracted to someone whether they’re currently your preferred sex or not. It’s useful around Andalites, magic, and of course disguise generators.”

Doc stared at her. “You made that up.”

“Maybe,” Vania allowed. “Now, let’s talk about that summary…”

During ‘The Adventure of the Misplaced Musical Miscreant’

Doc and Vania stepped through the portal, and felt Victorian disguises fall into place around them. Doc blinked rapidly as Vania’s uniform morphed into a pale yellow blouse and skirt, with a body underneath that had to be constrained by a corset. As she removed her hat to examine, he looked down at himself.

There wasn’t a lot to see - just a black suit with a bow tie, and a rather ridiculous hat on his head. He glanced back at Vania. “I don’t look very fancy, compared to you.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Vania said, eying him speculatively. “I think I did rather a good job. If you looked like this all the time, I’d- well.”

Doc blushed slightly, and reached up to touch his own face, his short hair. No, the disguise didn’t seem to have changed his face this time - just his clothes.

And he had to admit, Vania looked good. Quite how that was the case, when a minute ago she’d been a hyperactive ball of nuisance, was beyond him, but there was definitely something about her now. Maybe it’s the corset, he mused, and decided to try some possibly-flirting of his own.

“I think you did a better job on yourself,” he said, and heard Vania’s breath catch. “It’s a very good look on you.”

“Do you think so?” Vania asked, her face for an instant showing nervous insecurity. Then the window closed again, and she held out her arms. “I always was good with the disguise generators,” she said. “But I don’t know about the corset.”

“I think it works,” Doc said quickly, before he could lose his nerve. “You look-”

“Like my lungs are being compressed to half their size,” Vania cut in. “Come here and feel this, it’s ridiculous.”

Doc blinked rapidly, feeling his heartbeat accelerate, and obediently crossed to where Vania stood. She took his hands in hers and pressed one to her side, the other to her stomach. “See?” she said. “It’s like wearing half a car, it’s ridiculous.”

“Um,” Doc managed, staring down at his hands, and at the greatly-accentuated curves of Vania’s body.

Vania followed his gaze, then looked back at his face. One of her hands rose slowly to touch his cheek, and then traced its way down to his collar and his white bow tie. “You know,” she said in a soft, wondering tone, “this outfit really does suit you. I wonder if…” She cupped her hand under Doc’s chin, tilted it up until his eyes locked with hers. Then, taking a breath that caused her corset to strain under Doc’s hands, she leant in and kissed him gently.

The kiss didn’t stay gentle for long.

“At least one of us can breathe, dear,” Vania said shortly thereafter, as Doc took in great gulps of air, trying to recover from the intensity of it. He nodded slightly, acknowledging her point, and she smiled at him. “Of greater concern,” she noted as he straightened up, “we are currently not in the nineteenth century - but the twenty-first.”

During ‘Pick Your Poison’

Being a toon was by far the most surreal disguise Vania had worn. She was a bipedal quadruped of some description, for all the sense that made, wearing - yet again - a floor-length dress. Doc looked more like a dog or something, with huge, ridiculous ears.

So why, Vania wondered, do I find that attractive right now? She hadn’t when she was playing the game - that would have been downright creepy - but right now (And, she admitted to herself, on Doc) it was… well, hot.

Doc was staring right back at her, and Vania heard a popping sound over her head. Looking up, she was met with the sight of a flurry of cartoon hearts bursting in and out of view. She swiped at them with one gloved hand.

[That means nothing!] she snapped, her words still appearing in a text box low down in her field of vision. [It’s just a random… thing.]

“It doesn’t look like it,” Doc said, tilting his head. “It looks more like you-”

[Don’t say it,] Vania snarled. [I’m not mardy! I’m not!]

Doc blinked. “You’re not… what?”

[... mardy,] Vania repeated. [It’s HQ slang - means someone who’s attracted to their partner - but only when they’re both in disguise.]

“Ah.” Doc furrowed his brow, which on a toon’s face was a massive endeavour. “You sure? Because this isn’t the first time. I mean, the first time was the first time - remember the Fahrenheit 451 fic?”

[I could hardly forget it,] Vania said. [And I stand by what I said - you looked good as a fireman.]

“So did you,” Doc told her, and then took a deep breath. “And you look good now.”

There was a long silence, and then Vania held out a hand. Doc crossed the intervening space and took it.

“So,” he said, “is there something wrong with being… ‘mardy’?”

[Well, I don’t-] Vania cut herself off, and made eye contact with Doc. [No,] she said slowly. [No, there isn’t. I’d just never-]

“Neither had I,” Doc said quietly. “I didn’t even know it was something there could be a word for, let alone what it was. But, all things considered…”

[... I guess we should be proud to adopt it,] Vania agreed. [Now come here, Toon Boy.]

Disclaimer: The Protectors of the Plot Continuum is the creation of Jay and Acacia. Doc and Vania are the creations of doctorlit, and are used with permission. All excerpts from previous stories belong to doctorlit. All canonical elements are the property of their respective creators. This story is defined as ‘canon-friendly agentshipping’ - the events are possible (‘canon-friendly’), but not determined to be either canonical or uncanonical.