Summary: Donna and the Doctor have to climb into a pothole.

Disclaimer: I'm more likely to get my telegram from the Queen on my 100th birthday than own these characters!

A/N: This was written in response to the Travellers' Tales Prompt #20 – cavern at doctor_donna

A/N2: For anyone that doesn't know, Alan Titchmarsh presented a popular television programme that transformed ordinary people's back gardens on the BBC; and he was particularly fond of adding in some decking. Also, climbing down into caves is called potholing here; and I am NOT refering to little holes in the road!

A Bit Of A Trek Down


"You have got to be kidding!" Donna huffed, peering down into the pothole. "You are expecting me to go down there! You are out of your tiny mind!" She placed her hands on her hips for good measure, to broaden her stance.

"Donna!" the Doctor groaned. "You are perfectly capable of climbing down there; and you know you are!"

"Says the man without an ounce of fat on his body!" she glared at him. "I'll fall and take you down with me. If the fall doesn't kill you, me landing on top of you will!"

"Oh for the love of… will you stop talking about yourself like that?" he took one determined step towards her and grabbed hold of her shoulders. He looked intently into her eyes, "I won't say this again, do you hear? You are not some blubbery whale, you can climb down and you won't kill me! Do you hear?"

She shook her head, "It's no good you pretending I'm not a dead weight because I know I am!"

"Right then…. I'll prove it to you!" To Donna's utter surprise he bent down and picked her up as if she were merely a bag of groceries. "Now do you believe me?" he stared at her without losing a puff of breath, and got the answering nod he was hoping for. He gently placed her back down again. "Come on!" he ordered, and started to climb down into the hole until only his head was visible. "Are you coming or what?" he griped at her. "This won't get sorted out if you don't!"

"All right all right, Timeboy! Keep your hair on! Some of us have to get ourselves ready for this sort of thing. It's not as if I go potholing at the weekends like some people do. Last time I was in a cave was on a visit to Wookey Hole!"

"Did you see any witches?" he grinned at her.

"Only the usual ones. Nerys and Veena were with me at the time." Donna chuckled and the Doctor joined in with her. She unsteadily sat down on the edge of the hole. "You promise you'll help me? You won't disappear and leave me alone in the dark?"

"It'd take a pretty bad catastrophe for me to ever abandon you, Donna," he assured her as he took her hand to help her down. "And I have illuminations."

"Makes you sound like a mini Blackpool!" she scoffed, as she began her descent. "You'd think they'd put steps in here, wouldn't you?"

"I don't know! There's never any pleasing you, is there? I go to all this bother of laying on a spot of activity…," he playful moaned as he helped her climb down further.

"And you chose such a good spot as well. I must congratulate the interior designer; they've done wonders with all this mud," she almost slipped but his leg saved her that embarrassment.

"It's a continuing motif. You can see it throughout the whole cavern once we get there," he continued. "There might even be a water feature."

"Ooh! Alan Titchmarsh would be proud! Though I bet he forgot the gravel and the decking," she wiped her sweating brow and managed to swipe a flattering smear of mud across her face.

"I do love a bit of decking. It cheers a place up," the Doctor climbed passed a particularly awkward obstacle. "I'm very fond of teak."

"Is that because you fancy being that colour for a change?" she let him help her negotiate the obstacle with a gentle touch.

He considered this. "No! I still want to be ginger," he decided.

"Oh well, we'll have something else to sort out in the future, unless you wear a wig," she brushed herself down as they finally stood on what appeared to be the base of the cavern. The Doctor pulled out a torch each from his cavernous pockets, and shone one around to assess their position.

"A wig… on top of this?" he challenged her as he ran his hand through his gelled hair, making it decidedly muddy and making Donna smirk.

"Yeah; what was I thinking? Mud is a much better covering!" she laughed, giving in to her amusement.

He tried to look up at his hair and failed, making her laugh even more. "Mud can be invigorating. I don't know why you're laughing, especially as you seem to be wearing your own fair share of it!" he beamed at her.

"Au contraire, Spaceman! I am collecting soil samples for later as I suspect you're going to be asking me questions about this trip," she giggled.

He wrapped an arm around her shoulder, "Me, ask you questions? Whatever made you think that?"

"Perhaps it's the way these things keep coming out of your mouth when we get back home to the TARDIS… these wordy things that go a bit higher at the end as if you want to know something…," Donna stammered out, her mirth affecting her speech.

"Yes, that sounds like they could be questions," he agreed as he laughed too. "Should we start looking now?"

"Well… since we've came all this way I suppose we should," she shrugged away from him.

"Might be a good idea," he smiled and began to explore the surrounding area.

"Doctor! While I think to say it… next time, don't go dropping your sonic screwdriver down massive holes!" Donna snickered.

"Duly noted, Donna!" he answered back, and they shared a knowing grin.