"How come people keep making you Prime Minister or whatever?" Donna asked, crossing her arms and staring at the gold-robed Doctor in annoyance.
"Beats me," the Doctor replied, taking a drink of his wine as he signed another document, "But, really, Donna, it's not that bad, is it? Get to have all the bananas and wine I'd like, and the place is fairly nice, don't you think?"
The "place" being the Palace of Realmania, of course. Looking a bit like Jasmine's palace from the outside (Donna's words, and the Doctor had to admit she was right) and the middle of a diamond on the inside, the place took pretty and turned it into something even more revoltingly beautiful. Everything was carved out of diamonds and glittering gems, but didn't overwhelm the senses with their sparkle. The floors were smooth and make a pad-pad sound with the bare feet of the servants and the guards.
Donna was impressed when they first arrived. That was before the people in the palace saw the Doctor's trainers and proclaimed him their Sultan. That was before their chief "wizard" (a telebiogenesist from Grenadreia with some skill in time-space portal manipulation) pulled anyone from any time to fill his harem, guards, and the general of his army.
"And why the bloody hell do I have to be a guard?" the Doctor sighed as Donna re-adjusted her breastformed plate mail. "This chafes in places I don't even want to talk about!"
"Yes, but you continue to talk about them." The Doctor sighed.
Donna crossed her arms, "How come?"
The Doctor leaned over his chair to her, "Because I never, ever want to see you in one of those outfits. And you need your wits about you."
By "one of those outfits", he was referring, of course, to the required dress code for all harem members. Martha, sitting by his left leg, seemed completely comfortable in the thin, silken brassire and panties she wore, and her head stayed perfectly straight to keep her elaborate hairstyle from falling to either side. Her complacency was due to a potion---a drug---that made her completely enamoured of the Doctor and happy to do anything he said. Which made her strangely similar to the way she was, but unable to speak her own mind.
The Doctor hadn't known about the drug when he first started picking out harem members. He actually thought the harem was a bit of a joke. But, nope, they drew everyone he asked for and drugged them up to adore him. It especially made talking with Sylar and Byron incredibly difficult. Sylar wasn't that much different, except he kept staring at the Doctor, which was rather…disconcerting, and Byron kept trying to lick him in odd places. And…the little loincloths. They bothered him. He was rather surprised by how well Martha, Rose and the Rani had taken to wearing their little bikini…things. He seemed more disturbed by them than they were.
And they kept catfighting. Which was strange and rather ridiculous. Reinette, his other guard, was constantly keeping Rose and Martha off of each other, both declaring the Doctor their one true love. The Rani was constantly trying to poison the other women; she eventually had to don an outfit of chains rather than one of silks. Which was not unattractive, mind, but still completely disturbing.
Being Sultan had a few perks, though. Like, he was in control of the entire planet's supply of bananas, which meant he was constantly provided with them. It was wonderful…for the first twenty or so. After that, he felt too full and the bananas were far, far too sweet. It almost made him wish he liked pears, they weren't quite so filling.
He drained the rest of his wine.
"The Sultan requires more refreshment," one of the advisors holding the documents he was signing informed Martha.
Martha rose gracefully from where she sat, and headed out of the room with a vacant expression to her eyes. It was worrying. The Doctor watched her go. Worrying wasn't strong enough a word. It was wrong. He needed to fix it.
"Sultan Doctor," the general of his army, one Jack Harkness, bounded into the room with scrolls under his arms, "I have important information I need to go over with you."
Donna promptly leaned against the Doctor's chair and tried on a sexy smile, all her annoyance with the Doctor promptly gone. The Doctor didn't understand Donna's sudden mood swings; they always seemed to happen whenever Jack was in the room. Maybe it was a pheromone issue caused by being exposed to so much of the drug.
"Important?" the Doctor nodded. He handed his quill pen back to the advisor. "Leave us."
The advisors looked to each other, then nodded. They left the room, and Jack motioned to Byron and Sylar to shut the door. Jack's official stance promptly dropped, though Donna kept up her slightly sexy pose.
"Did you get them?" the Doctor asked, putting down his wine goblet and hopping off the chair.
"Not quite, the anti-drug requires Malefazolene, which isn't on this planet, it's only available on Teterarn 9," Jack replied, pulling out a vial from the center of the stack of papers. "Doctor Carroras isn't as good with antidotes as he is with creating the initial drug."
The Doctor pulled the crown off his head and gave his hair a scratch, fluffing it up in all directions.
"No offense, Doc, you know I love Miss Pompadour to pieces, but couldn't you have picked someone a bit more…experienced with this sort of thing? Maybe doctor Suresh or something?"
"Any of my guards would have to be turned into eunuchs. And I don't think doctor Suresh would appreciate being castrated for the sake of his brain." The Doctor shook his head.
"He doesn't like it when his brains are brought up at all," Sylar said in that oddly detached voice he'd acquired since becoming part of the Doctor's drugged harem.
Jack, the Doctor, and Donna all stared at Sylar for a moment, and then went back to conversation.
"We're going to need to get to the TARDIS," the Doctor said, his voice low in case of overhearing advisors. "It's in one of the holds. Hold cell 4, I think. Priceless treasures."
"They're not just going to let you in," Donna hissed. "They don't just want you to walk out. Found you and your bloody trainers, they're gonna want to keep you here."
"Red here's right. Nice job," Jack replied, tossing Donna a wink. Donna appeared to melt where she stood.
"Jack." The Doctor's voice had more than a little warning tone to it.
"I was only complimenting her!"
The Doctor scratched his sideburns as he spoke. "We can't get me in there, but Reinette or Donna could lead one of my harem in."
"The Rani. Currently she adores me, so we could get her to pilot the TARDIS to this room and get everybody on board." The Doctor nodded.
"She might not do it," Donna said, "Been rather…angry 'bout the whole you-not-loving-her thing. If she finds out you're trying to make her not love you, she might go crazy, tell the other guards."
"Then we have to make sure she doesn't find out," the Doctor replied. "Tell the Rani I want her to do that more than anything in the universe. Get her to pilot it here in twenty minutes. Donna, go switch places with Reinette, get her back here. I've got a plan for her, too."
"Not sure I like your plans with that courtesan. Won't look at your adorin' harem, but you keep on eyein' her up and down. You gotta have a fetish for women you can have or somethin'," Donna snorted.
"Just go," he hissed. His ginger companion grinned again at Jack, then bounded out of the room. Martha entered just as she left, a goblet of wine on a tray before her.
"She's got a point, you know," Jack said, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "You don't seem to want what you can get easily. And most men? They'd kill for the sort of treatment you get here."
"A diamond cage is still a cage," the Doctor replied. Martha knelt in front of the Doctor with the wine. He hated seeing her like this. He hated seeing all of them like this. So completely subservient. So completely…unlike them. He put a hand on Martha's bare shoulder and she leaned into the touch. For a moment, he could almost believe his companion was there, with him. Not this shell of a woman with her face.
"Get some of the soldiers to stand as guards. Last thing we need is for the advisors to come in when the TARDIS shows up, spoil the whole thing. And hurry." The Doctor said.
Jack nodded, giving the Doctor a mock salute. "Whatever you say, Sultan." He vanished out the door, leaving the Doctor in the room alone with Sylar, Byron, and Martha. Byron lounged on one of the cushions, appearing to not care that the Doctor had yet to approach him (perhaps he believed the Doctor was simply taking his time).
The Doctor knelt next to Martha. Her vacant expression was too much to take. "Martha. Martha."
"Yes?" She tilted her head and looked up at him. No change.
He opened his mouth to say something else, but couldn't think for the life of him what. It wasn't Martha here. She'd be back. They could fix it once they got back.
Rose entered the room next, a plate of bananas in her hand. Ugh, more bananas. Her expression was also vacant, though she did eye Martha a little viciously. It was almost enough emotion to make the Doctor's hearts leap. Reinette followed her, in that ridiculous armor getup. She looked decidedly displeased with Rose. She even had a spear pointed at her back.
"Your harem has done nothing but drive me mad," Reinette spoke plainly. "It is not my fault that this child has never danced with you, Doctor. I believe it is best you explain these things to her."
The Doctor got to his feet and sighed. "Rose. Stop picking fights with Reinette."
Rose immediately nodded. "Yes, Doctor." No fire, no anger, no arguments. She was as much Rose as a photograph.
"If your plan with the chained one fails, my Angel," Reinette spoke again. "Is it not possible to order your advisors to reverse the effects of the drug? Perhaps at least restore them to normalcy while we are imprisoned here?"
The Doctor shook his head. "I already tried. Part and partial of being Sultan is wearing the big-wig trainers and having a harem of adoring men and women. Whether they want to be adoring or not."
Byron hopped from the cushion. He was more mobile and more himself than the rest of the Doctor's harem, but his eyes were still vacant and his manner was still…off. Everything was off.
"I shall fetch you fresh socks for your trainers, Doctor." Byron said with a nod.
The Doctor nodded. "Right, but be quick about it. Our ride out is in fifteen minutes."
"As you desire, Doctor." Serving him seemed to make them happy. It was disgusting.
Reinette shook her head. "I have seen kings kill for that kind of adoration. I believe you, like wise men, only wish it when it is genuine."
"Not always then. Just…" He made a frustrated noise and dropped back onto his throne. "This is not them! This is not what they're supposed to be like. I don’t want to rule this bloody planet, and I certainly don't want to rule it with my friends and companions as…drones! Mindless drones!"
Reinette nodded, and placed herself next to the Doctor. For all the armor and battle regalia she wore, she was still the courtesan.
"It will not be long, my Angel. You will save them, as you always save them."
Jack burst through the doors, Byron on his arm and the sounds of shouting behind him. Byron let Jack lead him without any resistance, back to the mindless drone-ness of the rest of his harem.
"What happened?" the Doctor demanded.
Jack ran forward and plucked the spear from Reinette's hand. "This adoring fellow decided that as any good harem member should, he ran off and told your advisors that you were planning on escaping." Jack ran to the door and slid the spear through the handles, creating a somewhat effective block.
The Doctor spun on Byron. "You did what?"
Byron shrugged, "You wanted me to stop adoring you. I never, ever want to stop adoring you."
"Neither do I," Rose piped in.
"Or I," Sylar added.
"Shut up!" The Doctor flailed at his companions. "I do not want you to bloody love me! This is all a drug, it's all in your heads!"
There was a slam against the door.
"That spear will not keep them out!" Reinette cried, and she darted towards one of the chairs. Rose pounced on Reinette, knocking the other blonde woman down.
"You won't take him from me!"
The Doctor ran over to Rose and tried, desperately, to pull her off.
"Rose, you have to stop! Listen to me! We have to keep them out!" Before he knew what was happening, he was suddenly suspended in the air above Rose. Sylar pointed at him, his eyes just as blank.
"If you're not going to love me…"
Slam! Jack smacked Sylar in the back of his head with a tray, and the Doctor dropped to the ground as Sylar fell unconscious. Martha went after Jack next, and the year that wasn't apparently made her fighting skills around a match for Jack's. Byron stood to the side, surveying the entire situation with the calmness of a theater-goer at a show.
There was another loud bang at the door, and the Doctor raced to it, shoving the chair Reinette had dropped beneath the handles. Rose screamed in frustration (though not nearly as loud as Reinette did), and those behind the doors made screams that sounded nearly identical.
"Do not leave us, Sultan! We love you! Do not leave us!"
There was a crackle, and above the Doctor a portal began to form.
"Oh, I hoped they'd have thought of that later."
"What if Donna can't convince the Rani to pilot the TARDIS? What if she thinks Donna's trying to take you away, too?" Jack cried over Martha's constant pummeling.
"Donna's resourceful, she'll think of something!" the Doctor replied.
As if on cue, the familiar vworp vworp of the TARDIS formed just behind the throne. The door opened, and Donna stuck her head out.
"Quick, get in! Get in!"
The Doctor sprinted towards the door, stopping long enough to grab Rose around the middle and drag her away from Reinette. Reinette made a loud huffing noise, and got to her feet. She limped towards Sylar and grabbed one of his hands. With all of her 18th-century-courtesan might, she dragged his unconscious body towards the TARDIS. Byron followed her, looking interestedly at her armor and Sylar's near-nudeness.
As Jack threw the still-flailing Martha threw the doors, the Doctor fired up the TARDIS's engines. Not an easy feat considering the Rani had her long legs wrapped around his middle and was licking her way down his throat.
"Teterarn 9?" Jack barked at the Doctor.
"Setting the course right now."
"And then somewhere we can all get properly pissed and forget about this?" Donna demanded.
"I like that idea, Doc," Jack laughed, giving Martha another shove away, "Whiskey and wine and banana daiquiris with little umbrellas for you?"
The Doctor shook his head as the TARDIS landed on another planet, the one that might spare them from all…this.
"I think if I ever see another banana again, it'll be too soon."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 2,646
Use of Donna Noble, Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Madame de Pompadour, Lord Byron, Gabriel "Sylar" Gray, and the Rani with permission from the muns.