The Doctor tugged at his restraints, muttering under his breath. The TARDIS didn't translate for some reason, which Clara took to mean that she was right about them being alien swearwords.
“Calm down,” she said, “that'll get you nowhere.”
He stilled, resting his head against the wall behind him with a final probable-obscenity. “If I don't get you home in one piece that boyfriend of yours will shoot me.”
“You'd regenerate,” said Clara, who entertained a brief fantasy about shooting him herself.
“I know,” he said, “but I like these eyebrows.”
She looked over at him. “They are good eyebrows,” she agreed.
The Doctor accepted the compliment with a nod. After a few moments he spoke again. “I need to find somewhere better to keep the sonic screwdriver, people who capture me almost always think to search my pockets. Maybe if I kept it in my sock...” he pondered, looking down at his ankles speculatively.
“They might look in your socks as well,” said Clara, helpful but also irritated quite by him.
“I had this friend once who kept a gun in his -”
Clara cut him off. “I thought you didn't like guns.”
“But your friend had a gun. You had a friend. With a gun.”
“He only used it when he had to,” said the Doctor, shaking his head probably because he could see where this was going.
“So did Danny,” she said, because that was indeed where this was heading.
The Doctor didn't say anything.
“And in any case I don't need your approval to date someone, you're not my dad.”
“No,” he agreed, “I'm your friend. I'm only trying to protect you.”
“From Danny!” She stared at him. “You don't seriously think he'd try to hurt me?”
“He might not mean to,” said the Doctor.
Anger erupted in Clara. “What the hell gives you the right to judge him?” she asked, raising her voice. “To judge me? Who made you the boss of everyone? Is your head bigger on the inside? Is that how it can hold your massive ego?”
The Doctor went quite for a moment. Maybe she had finally gotten through to him. Then he said, “I don't have a massive ego, I just have confidence in my own abilities.”
“I don't want to argue with you,” said the Doctor, interrupting.
“For what?” he shot back.
“For being horrible to my boyfriend!”
“I'm not going to apologise,” said the Doctor, scowling at her.
“Then shut up,” she snapped.
“I just -”
“I said shut up! Don't talk to me. When we escape from here you can take me home and come back when you're prepared to try behaving like a normal person.” She leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, breathing deeply to calm herself down.
A horrid silence filled the cell, broken only by distant prison noises and the occasional scurrying rat. Clara wondered which of them would break down first. She knew that it would probably be her, because trying to get the Doctor to apologise was like pulling teeth from... some sort of big scary animal with really sharp teeth. She sighed. Why did he have to be such a complete -
“Danny Pink -”
“Is this an apology?” asked Clara without opening her eyes.
“No,” said the Doctor, though he did at least sound a little contrite.
“Then shut your stupid gob.”
“Danny Pink obviously cares about you,” said the Doctor before she could insult him further. “He's brave, athletic, certainly handsome. And don't tell him I said this but he's probably intelligent enough for a decent conversation.”
“Thank you,” said Clara, looking at him at last.
“For what?” He seemed confused.
The Doctor's eyebrows almost met in the middle. “That wasn't an apology!”
“Sounded like one.”
“Well it wasn't!”
“If you say so,” said Clara, quite aware that she was annoying him.
“I'm only trying to keep you safe!” he protested.
“Given that we're going to be executed at dawn, I can't say you're doing a very good job of that. Did you really have to insult the empress?”
“I said she was beautiful! It was a lie, but she couldn't possibly have known that!”
“You said she was probably beautiful.”
Clara shook her head. “Never mind. Let's just focus on getting out of here.”
The Doctor nodded. “Good idea. Call the guard in and I'll try to seduce him.” He sat up straight and checked his hair with a cuffed hand.
Clara snorted. “With that face?”
“What's wrong with my face?” he asked, clearly annoyed.
“Nothing. It's probably even a bit handsome.”
The Doctor winced. “Point taken.”
Clara relented a bit. “I really do appreciate that apology that wasn't an apology. I'm sure Danny would too.”
“If you tell him I said any of that -”
“He wouldn't believe me if I did.” She inspected her chains again. “They obviously didn't get these from the pound shop,” she said, testing their strength.
“There's a whole industry dedicated to providing dictators and tyrants with the tools of their trade. I'd almost feel bad about the damage to the economy but I'd rather be poor than oppressed, wouldn't you?”
“What if I seduce the guard?” she suggested. “And don't you dare say anything about my eyes being too big.”
The Doctor closed his mouth before it could get him into further trouble.
“Right,” said Clara, trying to arrange herself against the wall seductively, “while he's distracted by me you hit him with something.”
The Doctor looked around the empty cell. “What sort of something do you suggest? This scrap of filthy blanket? One of the rats?”
He had a point. “Well... can you do any of that space karate while you're tied up like that?”
“It's Venusian aikido, not space karate,” he said, with dignity.
“Whatever you call it, can you do it with those chains on?”
He shrugged. “I could try.”
“Right,” said Clara with a nod, “we have a plan.” She cleared her throat. “Guard! Guard! I have something I need to tell you! It's about the resistance!”
The door opened and Clara got ready to run.