"Oh, dear," said both men at once.

The two men had never met before, but they had similar opinions about many things - including the startling sight of a young woman lying curled on the floor between two high shelves of books, with an arrow shaft protruding from her chest.

The smaller, stockier man knelt beside the body and slipped his hand under the girl's jaw, checking for a pulse. The taller man, white-haired and flamboyantly dressed, began pulling a truly extraordinary assortment of scientific equipment from the pockets of his tailored velvet jacket. "I'm the Doctor," he remarked.

"Donald Mallard, medical examiner," Ducky replied. "She's alive." He was a bit surprised, but not really startled; a man who wanders around L-Space on his day off can reasonably expect to encounter some unusual things. "Let's see, if I cut off the shaft so it won't--"

"...no..." the girl wheezed.

Caught by surprise, Ducky glanced over at the Doctor - who appeared to be scanning the girl with a whistling film-cannister - before he realized who had spoken. "No?" he asked her, raising one eyebrow. "Are you sure?"

"...just... pull..." Her hand twitched.

The Doctor switched off the film cannister and moved closer. "You want us to pull the arrow out of your chest?" he asked.

A barely perceptible nod answered him.

"We can't do that, Miss..." Ducky began.

"Actually," said the Doctor, "it seems we can. According to this, this young lady heals abnormally fast, but the arrow is preventing a full recovery." He showed Ducky a readout on the end of the film cannister, which conveyed very little to the twentieth-century M.E., but apparently a good deal to the Doctor.

Ducky leaned over the young woman and met her eyes. "Is that true?"

Another tiny nod.

"All right, then." Ducky took the girl's shoulders and rolled her carefully onto her back. He kept his hands in place on her arms, holding her down. "Ready?"

With a quick yank, the Doctor pulled the arrow free. "That's better, isn't it?" he smiled.

The girl tried a slow deep breath, then smiled back. "Much better." Her voice was still weak, but when Ducky felt her pulse again, it was definitely stronger.

"How long before you're completely recovered, miss?" Ducky asked.

A one-shouldered shrug. "...half hour?" The movement tugged at her wound and started a coughing fit.

The Doctor produced a handkerchief and pressed it against her chest. "Here, hold that. Doctor Mallard, help me sit her up." After a bit of a scuffle, they got her seated against one of the bookshelves, Ducky sitting next to her with one arm around her shoulders.

"Miss, can you tell us... no, I can see you can't," the Doctor said. "Doctor Mallard, I'm going to see if I can figure out where this arrow came from," and he strode off down the corridor.

Ducky just sat still, half-holding the young woman. He handed her his own handkerchief when she started coughing blood. "I won't leave you till you can travel on your own," he promised.

The Doctor reappeared, shaking his head. "No luck." He sat down on the other side of the girl, slipping his arm around her waist. "Yes, my dear, I'm afraid you'll have to put up with us for a little while longer."

The girl's coughing subsided. "Thanks, guys. Just as long as you can put up with me." She nestled comfortably between them, laying her head on Ducky's shoulder, and closed her eyes.

The two men shared a smile at the odd tableau. "You know," Ducky said, "this reminds me..."