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A Well-Timed Rescue

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Another long day at the office. Not that this was the particularly worst job she’d had; starting as a temp in office after office had been a rude wake-up call as to just how harsh it could be to be a secretary. But about ten years ago she’d been lucky enough to land the job here at Coal Hill, and it was a rather nice, cushy job. The headmaster was a decent bloke, the pay was good, her co-workers weren’t absolute morons, and the hours were usually decent.

Except at the beginning of the year. Then it was bloody hell.

And there was one glaring exception to the “her co-workers weren’t absolute morons” rule, too. Pity his office had to be near hers.

Donna grimaced as Harold leaned against the doorway into her office, leering slightly. She knew he had a wife at home; Mrs. Saxon made no bones about it when she came to visit the Deputy Headmaster. Oh, if she only knew he gawked at all the younger birds who taught at the school and then tried to play grabby hands with her arse if he could get her alone. It had gotten to the point she’d made sure there was always one other person in the room, preferably of the male persuasion, or her arse was nestled comfortably in a seat, but every once in a while…

Well, there were nights like tonight.

And on nights like tonight, she kept her desk between them and her hand nice and close to pepper spray. Illegal, she knew, but her grandfather hadn’t raised a fool, not with gams like hers.

“What do you want, Harold?” she asked, crossing her arms and tilting her head, giving him a look that she hoped came across as scornful and annoyed.

He looked her up and down. “Thought you could come out with me to get a bite. It’s been a long day. You deserve a treat.”

Donna scoffed. “The only treat I want right now, mate, is a long soak and a glass of wine. Neither of which I need your help with.” She uncrossed her arms and began packing her satchel to go home, trying to figure out in her head how to get around Harold when he was blocking the door. “Besides, don’t you have a wife at home?”

“She’s at her mother’s,” he said, coming into her office.

“Then maybe you should be a good little boy and call her and see how she and her mum are doing,” she said, trying to stay aware of where he was in relation to her and her desk, panicking ever so slightly when he began to edge to the side of her desk instead of towards the front.

“Now, whoever said I was a good little boy?” Harold said, his tone sounding smarmy, and Donna swallowed the ever growing sense of panic down as her hand edged towards the canister of pepper spray.

“Get the hell away from my desk, Harold,” Donna said.

“Or what?” he said. “No one else is here. Last of the teachers went home for the night.”

“You bloody bastard,” Donna replied loudly as Harold reached over to touch her side.

Harold was about to reply when there was a sharp rap at the door, like a wooden object hitting the door. Donna nearly jumped out of her skin, and she and Harold both turned in the direction of the door. Donna was relieved to see one of her co-workers she considered the good blokes, Greg Lestrade, standing there, his hand carved umbrella handle resting against the doorjamb. “Sorry to interrupt. Just realized I left my lesson plans in Holmes’s office. Don’t think he’d mind if I’m let in to go get them, will he?”

“Oh, not at all,” Donna said, glaring at Harold. “Right this way.”

Harold glared back, and then made his way out of the office, nearly crashing into Lestrade as he walked by him. “I seemed to have aggravated the PM,” Lestrade said wryly.

“Oh, you got in the way of him committing sexual assault,” Donna said bitterly as Lestrade came over. She picked up a pile of papers and realized her hands were shaking, and after a minute she rolled them up and smacked Lestrade on the shoulder with them a few times. “I don't know whether to hug you or slap you.”

“Do I get a vote?” he asked, moving away from the onslaught slightly but not stopping her. After a moment Donna stopped hitting him and he was surprised when she wrapped her arms around his neck. “You are not the huggy type.”

“No,” she said. “And if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it to my dying breath.”

He chuckled slightly and then hugged her back, rubbing her back gently. “Our secret, then.”

Donna set her chin on his shoulder. She knew making light of what could have happened was her way of coping with it, but really, it was a horrifying thought. If Greg hadn’t shown up when he did, it could have been a truly terrible night if her pepper spray hadn’t done the trick and she was able to get away. “I think I could use a few pints,” she said.

“Only a few?” he asked.

“Well, maybe some pints and some good pub grub.”

“Well, then I’ll take you somewhere and treat you,” he said.

She pulled away, shaking her head emphatically. “Bollocks that. Never let it be said Donna Noble doesn’t pay her debts. You got me out of a sticky situation so tonight, pints and grub are on me. Next time, we’ll see.”

Lestrade gave her a grin. “So I rate a next time for being a knight with a white umbrella?”

She tilted her head back and forth. “Maybe. Don’t push your luck. We’ll see how tonight goes.” She gathered her things and then motioned for Lestrade to leave the office before her, casting an uneasy glance at Harold Saxon’s office. She wasn’t sure what the repercussions would be, but she was hoping whatever they were, they wouldn’t be awful.