Technical Problems

By Marisha

Thud. Whump.

Donna's head smacked forward and she seized the steering wheel.

"What did you do that for?" The Doctor looked surprised over to her as the car skittered across the wet street.

"I. AM. KEEPING. US. ALIVE," Donna spat through gritted teeth, steering hard to slow the car down. It wobbled at random to either side of the road and the Doctor grabbed the handhold.

"Just like flying the good old TARDIS," he exclaimed, "but we really don't have time for acrobatics."

Donna sucked in a deep breath and the Doctor was certain she would have smacked him and hard if her hands weren't locked in a death grip around the steering wheel.

Gently, she eased her mother's car to a stop, turned off the engine and closed her eyes to take another deep breath. The Doctor watched her, fascinated. Donna slammed her hands full force into the wheel making the Doctor jump in his seat.

Slowly, very slowly, she turned her head. "So, spaceman. Your turn."

"What?" His brown eyes were big as saucers, but Donna laughed and shook her index finger at him.

"Won't work on me. Get out there and change the tire."

"Me?" He glanced through the window at the downpour.

"No, the invisible guy traveling with us on the backseat." Donna made a mock turn to the back.

"Sure." The Doctor unfastened the seatbelt, "No problem." He fished for his brainy specs and looked out again before digging deep into his pockets for his screwdriver.

Donna watched him, amused. "I thought we had an intergalactic appointment to keep."

"We do and it's of the utmost importance we get there." The Doctor put his hand on the door handle. Not moving.

"Well, get on with it, then!" Donna nudged him. "We won't go anywhere with a flat tire. The jack is in the back right with the spare tire."

"Good. Right, then." The Doctor made no move towards the door.

Donna stared at him openly now, then a slow grin formed on her face. "You don't know how!"

"Well..." The Doctor pulled his earlobe. "It's not rocket science. Just a simple technical procedure."

"So?" Donna's lips twitched.

The Doctor shrugged. "Never had to change a tire before."

"Never in 904 years?" Donna's eyebrow raised high.

"Can't be that hard, can it?" The confidence in the Doctor's voice trailed off as he wiggled the screwdriver.

The look Donna gave him said clearly, 'Good luck with that thing!'

"All right then." The Doctor slowly pushed the car door open, but a wind gust ripped it out of his hand.

"Careful!" Donna scolded. "Mum will kill me if something happens to the car!"

He braised himself against the wind and swung out; instantly the rain drenched him. "You're not coming?" The Doctor poked his head back in, his hair flattened to either side.

"Oh, you need me?" Donna's voice raised a few pitches and the Doctor knew he was treading dangerous territory.

"Well, you know…"

"Okay, okay," Donna turned to the backseat and grabbed an umbrella before popping the trunk open.

The Doctor ran around the car and peered inside.

"Nothing here," he announced cheerfully. "Maybe we should just flag a cab."

Donna twisted her face into an expression of utter disbelief.

"Right, then." He ran the screwdriver over the trunk bottom. "Aha!" he jumped back triumphantly. "Hidden under the carpet!"

"Where else would it be?" Donna watched him, amused. "Better get on with it. You're drenched!"

The Doctor looked down at his soaked coat. "Oh, it's just water. A bit cold, though," he admitted at Donna's raised eyebrows.

"Oh, hold this." She thrust the umbrella into his hands and pulled the carpet back.

"The proverbial 5th wheel." The Doctor beamed, as Donna thrust the jack wordlessly into his hand while taking the umbrella back at the same time.

"To raise the car," she pointed out at his interested examination of the tool.

"I knew that." He unfolded it holding it upside down. "Haven't seen them in ages."

"Obviously." Donna gently took it from him and flipped it around.

"Knew that too," the Doctor piped up.

"I bet you did," Donna said with a smirk. "Now find the notch to attach it. Should be just before the wheel."

"Aye, aye, Madam." The Doctor jumped out of her reach and knelt on the wet asphalt.

Craning his neck and in the light of the sonic screwdriver he felt under the car. "Found it!"

"Perfect!" Donna hoisted the spare tire onto the ground. "Let your muscles play."

The Doctor shot her a surprised look and she sighed. "Figure of speech."

"Right, knew that, too." He grinned and jacked the car up. Proudly, he observed his achievement, but Donna prodded him with the wheel brace.

"I prefer mine." The Doctor wiggled his screwdriver.

"Suit yourself." She grinned.

Within seconds the nuts shot out and the Doctor laid them carefully beside him. He pulled the tire off and traded it with Donna. She rolled it back and heaved it into the trunk.

"Make sure you pull them tight," she called over her shoulder and the Doctor gave her an 'I know' look. She smirked as she wiped her hands on a rag her mother always kept for cleaning.

The car came down with a swoosh.

"Careful!" Donna scolded, earning a grin from the Doctor. She laughed.

"What?" He shrugged his shoulders and shivered as the wet clothes smacked against his body.

"You look like a drowned puppy," Donna said and the Doctor humored her by squeezing his face into his best puppy impersonation.

"Exactly! Perfect!" she squealed before turning serious. "Let's get you inside or you'll catch a cold or worse."

"Don't worry." The Doctor shook himself like a dog. "It'll dry once we're out of the rain."

Donna gave him a 'If you say so' look and went to the driver side. The Doctor slipped into the passenger seat and instantly cranked the heat up.

"Off to save the Earth again!" he said, flashing Donna a wild grin.

The End