The Doctor sneezed.
"Please don't move, Doctor. I'm painting your leg," said the lady at the easel.
"Sorry, Anne." The Doctor straightened up and wiped his hand on the red drapery around his hips. He took a firmer grip on the trident and posed, hand on hip. "How's this?"
"Thank you." She dabbed away for a bit longer. "I must say, It's very kind of you to pose for me."
"Oh, no problem," he waved airily, then grabbed hastily for his falling drapery. "Besides, in the future, a good friend of mine will just love your painting," he grinned reminiscently.
Anne smiled at the besotted look on his face.
"A lady friend?" she asked, mixing more pink into her fleshtones.
"Well," he scratched his cheek, then dropped his hand when he saw her eyes flicker downward. "Certainly a female friend."
She nodded. She'd suspected as much when she'd painted the sleepy-eyed, smug look on his face. She grinned and dabbed at the tracing around his knee.
"That's fortunate for us both then. For some reason, it's very hard to find male models in the palace. I don't know why, my friends don't seem to have this problem."
"Well, perhaps it's because..." There was a commotion outside. Servants yelled and there was the sound of stomping feet. They stared at each other in horror.
The Doctor looked up at the trident, down at the tablecloth draped around his hips, over at his discarded clothes.
Someone pounded on the door, rattling the hinges. "DOCTOR!"
There were no cabinets, no wardrobes, no other door.
The Doctor fluttered, the pounding increased. He dropped the trident and sprinted across the polished floor. He slid feet first under Anne's skirts. She yelped. He fluffed the skirts back over his head.
"Don't move!" he whispered hoarsely.
The door burst open and heavy feet thudded across the floorboards. "WHERE'S THE DOCTOR!"
"Doctor who?" he heard Anne try to cover for him.
His nose tickled. He clapped a hand over his mouth. Too late. He sneezed. Bloody English springtime.
A sword tip appeared under the edge of Anne's skirts. The Doctor squeezed his eyes shut. River better appreciate it after all this trouble.
The skirts lifted. He poked his head out, smiling up ingratiatingly.
"You know, this isn't nearly as bad as it looks..."
For more stories by this author click on "betawho" at the top of the page.
Please take a moment to leave a review. Thank you.