Author's Notes:
A little bit of speed writing.

It had been so long since he'd had this many companions, he'd forgotten how difficult it was to get everyone coordinated. Next time he'd stick to only one at a time- maybe two. This many extra people, while making things interesting, tended to lead to more trouble than usual.

This time, the Doctor was determined to have a pleasant, uneventful outing. He'd been careful to pick out a planet that was uninhabited and had no major land predators. He'd landed them during a calm time of the year and checked that the weather was neither too hot nor too cold. Now all that was left was to get everyone else on the same page.

Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric stood before him, each wearing a rucksack. "Right," said the Doctor. "Everyone got your bags?" He held up his own. "Did you pack a first-aid kit?"

"Yes," they chorused.

"Everyone has a bottle of water and some energy bars?"


"Compass? Umbrella? Emergency flares? Anti-venom? Towels?"

"Just what are you expecting to happen out there?" asked Tegan.

"Nothing, if I can help it!" replied the Doctor. "Let's see...hats! Do you all have hats?" The girls held up theirs. "Adric?"

"Oh, come on. What do I need a hat for?" The Doctor made Adric go get a hat before they continued.

"Is everyone wearing good walking shoes? Nyssa? Tegan?" They showed him their shoes. "Watches?" Three wrists went up. "Has everyone eaten something today?"


"Can we go now?" Nyssa asked.

"Just a moment. Now, I've picked a safe spot to go on a nature walk, but that doesn't mean we can just wander off all willy-nilly. Stay with the group. I know that's probably not going to happen..." True- there was nothing he could do to stop them wandering off short of putting them all on child tethers. (Something he'd tried once, which did not go over well.) " if you must go wandering, take a buddy with you. There's four of us, so there's no excuse for not having a buddy."

"Are we finished here?" asked Adric. They were starting to get restless.

"Yes, I think that about covers it." The Doctor started toward the door controls, then spun around, causing his friends to bump into each other. "Wait!"

They groaned.

"Did everyone, um...take care of business?"

Blank looks.

"Did you all...go?"

More blank looks.

"You know...go?"

The penny dropped. "Doctor," said Tegan, "we're not children. You don't have to tell us to-"

"Yes, yes, I know. But there are no facilities out there, and do we really want a repeat of last time? The poison ivy?"

Three faces went pale, then hurried back to their rooms to take care of that last little thing. And then finally, the Doctor opened the doors and they strode out into the beautiful woods for a peaceful hike.

A short while later, the Doctor remembered he hadn't taken care of business and slunk off back to the TARDIS, much to the obvious amusement of his friends.

When he returned, he found that Adric had been dragged away by alien wolves that thought he was one of their cubs. Tegan had tried to go after him, got her shoelaces caught in the bushes, and twisted both her ankles. And Nyssa's emergency flare had set fire to half the trees in the area. A sudden rainstorm doused the flames, but washed away all of their supplies.

The four of them staggered back into the TARDIS, clothes soaking wet and covered in soot and mud. (And in Adric's case, fur.) The Doctor carried Tegan on his back because of her ankles. Adric helped Nyssa bandage a small bite on her arm, while she patted out another flame that had started on the Doctor's coat.

The Doctor checked his watch. "Hmm...hour and a half. I think that's a new record."