The Doctor was tinkering again.
Donna smiled as she came into the control room to see a pair of long, blue-suited legs sticking out from under the TARDIS console. The Doctor was really like a big kid when it came to playing with his ship.
Still, she hadn’t come in here to watch him and she composed her face into an expression of concern.
“Doctor, are you listening to me?”
“Do you think you could take the sonic screwdriver out of your mouth for a moment so I could ask you something?”
There was a deep, long-suffering sigh and then the Doctor slid out from under the console, dust all over his face.
“What’s wrong, Donna?”
“Oh, nothing.” Donna leaned against the console, her arms folded over her chest. “Just wondering where you were.”
The Doctor arched an eyebrow. “You hunted all over the TARDIS and interrupted vital repairs just to find me?”
“Yes… well… not exactly.” Donna looked meek. “Actually, I sort of — could do with your help.”
“Well, this is a first!” The Doctor smirked. “What is required that has prompted this climb-down?”
“It’s not a climb-down!” Donna looked outraged. “It’s just — you’ll do it quicker than me,” she finished rather lamely, and then slapped the Doctor on the arm when his expression became positively complacent. “Oi, give it up, Spaceman. Just go and fix the light in my room, will you?”
He marched ahead of her down the hallway to her room, and she could almost feel the glee emanating from him. Even his back looked smug. She came into the room behind him and settled into the chair near her bed, turning on the lamp on her bedside table and picking up a book.
Over the top of the cover, she watched as the Doctor yanked the casing off the light switch and peered at the collection of wires, just as Donna had done several moments before.
Of course, she was quite capable to doing this herself. Her father had taught her the basics of electrical wiring when she was young and she had done plenty of repairs around the house. When the light had blown, she had gone over to the cover and taken it off, pleased to see that the wiring looked familiar.
But then something that Sylvia once said had crept back into her mind.
“Men like to feel useful,” she had told Donna the day after Donna’s first — disastrous — date. “You have to ask them, of course. They won’t notice something left undone even if you put notes all over it, asking them to do it. But if you ask them, and flatter their vanity, they’ll do almost anything for you.”
And so Donna had put the cover back on again, got her giggles out of her system and gone to find the Doctor.
An exclamation of irritation drew her attention back to the man standing in the doorway of her bedroom. She arched an eyebrow as she saw him pat his pockets and, failing to find whatever it was he wanted, turn to leave the room.
Donna couldn’t understand why he was making such a mess of it. She would have had it finished several minutes ago.
The Doctor left the room, huffing under his breath. Donna put down her book, checked the hallway to make sure he was out of sight and then stepped up to the switch to look at what the Doctor had done.
“Typical,” she murmured. “Time Lord or human, men are all the same. Never see the answer under their noses.”
She fiddled with part of the wire, stripped the insulation off it and left it in clear view. By the time she had finished, she could hear the Doctor’s footsteps outside in the hallway and threw herself back into the armchair, picking up her book again and looking at him with an expression of interest.
“Got it? Whatever it was?”
“Something that might have to make do instead.”
The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, about to apply it to the wire in his hand when he happened to glance at the light plug. Donna saw his eyes widen and then, his cheeks having reddened slightly, he thrust the wire and his screwdriver into his pocket and reached up to adjust the wires.
The light flickered and came on.
“There you go,” said the Doctor in a pleased voice. “Brilliant.”
“Oh, thank you!” Donna had already dropped her book and now stood up to hug him. “That’s great!”
“It’s lucky you’ve got me around, really,” remarked the Doctor as he strolled out of the room. “I mean, really, not even able to change a plug?”
D’you wanna bet, Timeboy? she thought with a grin as she sat down again, picked up her book and resumed reading.
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