They were sitting on two uncomfortable chairs in some kind of entrance hall inside of the biggest building this small settlement had to offer in the middle of nowhere on a planet, which Donna had forgotten the name of, with two armed guards waiting behind them to make sure they wouldn't try to run away. The Doctor was fidgeting at her side. Donna was trying not to pinch him just to give him a real reason to be uncomfortable. “How do you always get us in this kind of trouble?” she asked.
“Me?” he asked back as if the notion was preposterous. “I was trying to help.”
Donna held up her hand between them so that both of them could inspect it. Her hand was glowing, giving off a cold white unearthly light. “I'm glowing, Doctor! I'm a human and I'm glowing! How was that supposed to help?”
“In the jungle out there it saved our life! The predators out there use bioluminescence to let each other know who is at the top of the food chain. So we were at the top of the food chain.”
“I'm glowing!” Donna shrieked again, stressing the last word to make the Doctor realize the gravity of the situation. “What kind of stupid plan is that?”
“Donna,” he said, tightly. “Stop worrying. This will all be sorted out. They're hardly going to hold us as soon as the glowing wears off and everyone has their happy little un-shiny children back.”
“You better hope it will be, sunshine.” She huffed. As much as she loved travelling with this lanky mad man, sometimes she had no idea why she put up with it. “You've made me and a group of scared little children look like sodding Christmas decorations. If I were their parents I'd be upset too. And just look at yourself. You look like my beside lamp.”
The Doctor made a low sound in the back of his throat, but his eyes had narrowed and he was staring at the main door on their right side, that she supposed would lead them to the magistrate. A guard stepped out. “Magistrate Tlixit will see you now,” he said in a no-nonsense voice and gestured to the Doctor only. He jumped up without hesitation, his ridiculous coat flapping around him, and then said: “Don't worry Donna, I'll be back in a minute.”
“Next time we want to take a day off, let's just stay in the Tardis,” Donna mumbled, and watched him go with a scowl. “Or go home for a while.”
* * *
“Doctor,” Jack said and smiled.
“Magistrate Tlixit, I presume.” He raised an eyebrow in question, but Jack was already getting out from behind his big desk, telling the guards to leave. “Tlixit?” he asked. “Seriously? What happened to Harkness.”
When the door had closed behind the two, Jack turned back to him with a wide and slightly flirtatious smile. “Was a good name and still is, but sometimes you have to go with the tide, Doctor. Jack Tlixit, at your service. For a while at least.” He bent into a mock bow, keeping eye contact. “You're glowing. Happy to see me?”
The Doctor sighed. “Do we always have to play this game? Yeah, Jack, this slightly sickly glow is all for you,” he said and rolled his eyes.
Jack's smile dimmed slightly, but he recovered quickly. “So what brings you to my little remote colony at the end of the Human Empire?”
“Vacation,” the Doctor said and watched warily as Jack stepped closer. “Saving kids by making them glow. You know? The usual.”
“The kids are safe. Smart thing you did with the bioluminzer. How did you make it work this quickly?”
“You know me. I'm brilliant.”
“That you are.” Jack's smile grew a little more lazy. “What will we have to do to get them to normal again?”
Once more the Doctor rolled his eyes. “It will wear off in an hour or two. Why is everybody so angry about a bit of light?”
“Oh, that leaves us some time, to explore the possibilities,” Jack said and turned off the light.
* * *
“Hmm,” he said and smiled. “Fun adventure, wasn't it?”
She quirked an eyebrow at him. “You're bonkers. I've spent most of my time here waiting for you after you claimed you'd be gone for a minute or so.”
He laughed stepped into the Tardis. “Ah, Donna, you've met the universe head on. Don't tell me you're afraid of a little waiting.”
She closed the door behind them and watched him, glowing even more in the dimmed light of the room. She looked down at her hands and then laughed loudly. “We still look ridiculous.”
“A little,” the Doctor conceded, but he was still smiling smugly.
“You know, if spending nearly an hour with some local magistrate to talk your way out of a pinch was so much fun to you, let's come here again sometime and do it again.”
His grin got wider. “Yes, let's do that.” And he pushed the lever and got them on the journey towards their next adventure. The familiar sound of the Tardis sounded like a promise to return to this place.