Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 5,333
Author's Summary: In a past that might have happened, Liz and Jo learn from each other. Written for amaresu in the 2009 DW Femslash Ficathon, with the prompt "Nothing ever changes, not even when it does."
Characters/Pairings: Liz/Jo, the Brigadier
Recced because: What makes a really satisfying AU is when, however far things have been shifted to the left or the right, we can still recognize the characters as possible versions of the ones we already love. Lessons only sidles a little bit to the side of canon, but it delivers all the charm of the U.N.I.T. years: spot-on characterizations, especially of Liz and the Brigadier, and the mundane humans finding adventure on Earth, taking on the world as it comes to them and saving the day.
Only super-concentrated, because this way we get Liz, Jo, and the Brig all at the same time.
Lessons has a pretty simple premise: In a universe where the third Doctor never became U.N.I.T.'s scientific advisor, Dr. Liz Shaw—conscripted before Three ever appeared on the scene—must simply do the job herself. Or would do the job by herself, if the Brigadier didn't insist on saddling her with an assistant… and so Liz and Jo end up learning from each other in much the same way that Three and Jo did. Stunt Muppet takes the opportunity to capitalize on the differences between Liz and the Doctor as well as the parallels, however, especially Liz's history as a teacher and the sense of camaraderie that develops between two women isolated in a world worlds away from what has been normal for them.
Oh, and there's light bondage.
"Jo," Liz asked, standing up, "did you follow me?"
She avoided her gaze, which was answer enough; how else would she have known where Liz was?
"Are those lockpicks?" Liz continued.
"Mm-hm." Jo perked up at that, looking quite proud of herself. "It was a pretty simple lock. I've cracked locks like that a hundred times. I've had lessons in escapology," she explained, answering Liz's puzzled look. "Locks, ropes, slipping handcuffs, all that."
"Oh, well, of course," Liz replied, as they made their way to the door to await the second guard. "I imagine it's required for all the lab assistants these days."
Jo chuckled, but Liz was genuinely surprised. She wouldn't have suspected Jo of being specially trained in - well, in much of anything; she was barely out of childhood. Certainly not in breaking locks. It wasn’t part of an ordinary field agent’s qualifications; who took a course like that for fun?
Though she supposed it was no different than the nights she'd spent with a telescope and a star chart at that age. Nobody she knew had done that for fun, either.