The Doctor sat upright and rubbed his eyes. A strange noise had waked him, and he sat quietly for a minute with his ears turned to the darkness, trying to hear the sound again. When he heard nothing, he squinted his eyes, as if to peer into the dark, endless abyss that surrounded him.
"Xena, Donna?," He hissed, looking around for the two lumps that were usually huddled around him. For the past several nights, it had been very cold, and so the trio had huddled together for warmth. Surprisingly, it was the Warrior's suggestion, and The Doctor had begrudgingly agreed. He had gotten too close to companions in the past, and he wasn't about to let that happen again, so once the women were asleep he would always scoot a couple of feet away from them. Even so, they were always within arm's reach, so this time when he reached around him and couldn't feel them there he began to panic.
"No lights," He wondered aloud in the still black darkness, "It must still be night."
Their captors had kept them on a very rigid night and day schedule lately, although The Doctor was having trouble discerning the purpose of the sudden interest in their sleeping habits. It was usually a nice convenience, but at this moment the time lord found the practice a bit irritating.
He called out for his companions again, this time raising his voice in a bit of distress. He paced back and forth in his spot, and then stumbled in the darkness toward the wall until he made his way to the perimeter of the room. He put his palm flat against the cold, plain tile, and walked the edge of the room slowly, calling out for Donna and Xena along the way.
When he had made it the whole way around the room, and he still hadn't found them, he sat down, exasperated. He ran his long fingers through his disheveled, dark hair, and stroked the facial hair that had been accumulating on his chin.
"I would really fancy a shave," He mumbled to himself, twisting the beard and feeling how long it had gotten with his fingertips. It was only a couple of inches, max, but he was used to a completely bald face. "I bet I look like a bloody lumberjack."
He folded his hands behind his head and leaned back against the tile, worrying about his friends. He was sure they weren't in the room at all, and reasoned that they had not left on their own volition. If they had found a way out, they would've woken him. Right? The idea that they might've left him in the prison alone seemed totally absurd and the Doctor didn't believe it for a second, but still the nagging feeling of paranoia that one experiences when trapped in complete solitude crept up again and again on his psyche.
"Donna's left you, Doctor. She's left you for a more suitable Hero. Somebody who doesn't keep secrets from her. Somebody she can trust." The nagging voice repeated itself again and again in the complex, ever calculating mind of the Doctor. "Donna has left you," it sang and taunted the Time Lord, haunting him with pictures and memories of companions he had lost and let down in the past, "You got her captured, this is your fault, and now she's left and you'll never get her into trouble, again."
"NO!" The Doctor yelled, hitting the tile as hard as he could with a closed, angry fist. He frowned, and when he could see the blood trickling between his knuckles he realized that the room had started to lighten- it must be near dawn, which was good. He stared at his hand as the seconds ticked by, and chuckled. "Living like a caged animal is driving me mad."
"Now, where are they?"
He sat quietly, and brainstormed. The Daleks had taken them somewhere, and he knew that no matter what he did, he couldn't escape this room without somebody from the outside. If only he had his TARDIS, and then he would be able to find them. But what did the Daleks want with the women? They obviously didn't want to kill them, he had thought about that again and again. A Dalek wouldn't waste precious resources prolonging the life of an 'inferior species' if it only planned to execute them later. No, the insane tin boxes had something bigger in mind.
"We needed Xena to deactivate her chakram." He mumbled again, rubbing his temples and thinking back to the beginning of the journey, the reason they had come back to Ancient Greece to find her in the first place. "That weapon… if it could kill an Olympian… the same genetic code… there would be others. The Dalek's wanted it…" He frowned, acknowledging the current whereabouts of the chakram. He pondered the idea for a second, Daleks with a chakram, and then he began to laugh, "I guess it's a good thing that Daleks don't have arms!" He smiled, knowing that Donna would've thought that one was hilarious.
A sudden noise brought the Doctor back to the present, and he couldn't believe what he was hearing at first… no, it couldn't be. But it was! The thin, ragged time lord stood up, worried at first, but then he began to shout with joy. "Here she comes!" He said, as the mysterious blue box appeared before him, "My beautiful girl, my TARDIS!"
The door to the ship swung open, and a petite, muscular women with short blonde hair stepped out. Her face was a mixture of bewilderment and stress- an expression the Doctor had seen many times after people experienced their first wild ride in the TARDIS. She stared in shock at the disheveled man in tattered clothes who stood before her. He looked extremely different from the man she had seen in the holographic message, but Gabrielle recognized him immediately as soon as she looked into his eyes. They were old eyes, sad eyes. But they were magnificent.
"Well, Hello!" The man clapped, barging into the ship. "I'm the Doctor! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a shave." He ran quickly into a closet, disappeared for a few seconds, and returned dressed in the outfit Gabrielle had seen earlier- a suit and tie. The thick facial hair Gabrielle had just noticed was gone, and she marveled for a second at how quickly the man was able to get suitably dressed. But everything about him was hurried, and as he rushed to the center of the TARDIS he barked orders at the Bard.
"You must be Gabrielle," He finally looked straight at her for a moment, making a proper introduction. "I've heard a lot about you, and I'm glad you arrived in the nick of time." He reached for another dial on his beautiful machine, and the TARDIS buzzed around them, making a loud, metallic noise. "Now," He said, flipping yet another that thrusted the machine into full gear, "Let's go find our friends."