“You’re kidding, right?” Donna demands, staring from the man in the dark blue uniform to the Time Lord in brown pinstripes beside her.
The Doctor shrugs uncomfortably. “It’s procedure with something like this, Donna.”
“They want to frisk me?” She glares at him. “We never went through this at any of the other prison cells we went to before.”
“You make it sound like that’s all we do,” he retorts, hurt. “There have only been four!”
“And we’ve only landed on four alien planets,” she points out. “And at least on the Oodsphere, we had company!”
“If you could just stand here,” the guard interrupts. “It won’t take long.”
“Oh, just get on with it, Donna,” the Doctor says impatiently, because the sooner the preliminaries are over, the quicker they can get on with escaping.
“Just stand like that, ma’am.” The guard begins patting Donna down, beginning with her legs and moving up her body.
The Doctor has just removed his jacket when he realises that the guard has reached Donna’s bust — and that the frisk has turned into something rather more lingering.
He’s about to intervene — although he isn’t entirely sure whether it’s Donna or the guard who needs his help more — when he realises he’s too late at the sound of a sharp crack that echoes around the room.
“You said ‘frisk’,” Donna snaps, turning to glare at the guard who is holding his cheek, “not ‘assault,’ and if you so much as think about laying another hand on either of us, I’ll…”
“I’m sure he won’t,” the Doctor puts in, not wanting to get them into further trouble, because he can only imagine what threats Donna has in mind. He places a hand on her shoulder before turning to the guard. “Was there anything else?”
“Just one thing.” The guard stops rubbing his cheek and straightens up. “I’m afraid I’m going to need you to empty your pockets, sir.”
“What?” the Doctor demands at once.
“Well,” the guard’s voice is a mumble, “I can’t — you know — frisk you, or she’ll… and it is policy, sir,” he finishes as if desperate to have something to hide behind.
“What?!” is all the Doctor can get out, before he suddenly realises that this time it’s Donna holding him back.
“Go right ahead,” she says smoothly, and the Doctor stares at her in disbelief. He’s about to protest when she glares at him, and he guesses she’s come up with a way to get them out of here.
He shuts his mouth and decides, for once, to wait and see.
Ten minutes later, when the guard’s enthusiasm has clearly begun to dwindle, he finally realises why she was so keen. After all, the poor man is only a quarter of the way through the first pocket of his jacket, and the bench around them is littered with bits and pieces.
Half an hour later (the guard was so busy that he never noticed the Doctor pull two bar stools out of the pockets of his duster so that he and Donna had something to sit on) the man is finished with the first pocket and about to hand the garment back.
“Not quite,” the Time Lord replies, holding up his hands in a gesture of protest, although the other man probably can’t see it over the huge pile of stuff between them, “there’s still the pocket on the other side — not to mention the six inside ones.”
“Tell you what,” Donna says when the response to this is a groan, “let’s not bother about all that stuff. We won’t say a word to anyone — promise!”
“We-ell,” the guard’s reluctance makes it obvious how tempting he finds Donna’s suggestion, “I really should follow through with protocol. They’re very strict.”
“But they won’t know,” Donna assures him. “And we’d never tell, would we?” she asks, turning to the Doctor.
“Never,” he agrees immediately.
“Oh,” the Doctor holds his breath, “all right,” comes the eventual response. “Just shove all that back into your pocket,” the guard says quickly, “and I can lock you up like I’m supposed to.”
Ten minutes later, he secures the door behind them with an audible sigh of relief. Five minutes after that, the Doctor has long since unlocked the cell door with the undiscovered sonic screwdriver and they’re letting themselves back into the TARDIS.
“You know, it’s not really fair,” the Doctor says as he tosses his duster over a beam and sends the TARDIS into the vortex. “He’s going to be blamed for something that isn’t his fault.”
“I’d feel sorry for him if he hadn’t felt me up.” Donna rolls her eyes. “‘Frisk,’ my ass. Still, it’s not like he’s the only one. I’m yet to see a bloke who doesn’t have a go at them if he gets a chance.” She grins across the console at him. “I’m just glad that thought has never crossed your mind, Spaceman.”
“Nope,” he lies at once as he keeps his gaze firmly fixed on the scanner. “Never. Certainly not. Just mates. Don’t worry, I’m not about to forget.”
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