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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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UNIT!100 - 004. Insides.
I Am Clever
Title: Time-Out
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Third Doctor
Prompt: 004. Insides.
Word Count: 952
Rating: K
Summary: “Sometimes, simply saying ‘please’ is the best course of action, Brigadier.”
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: I really have no idea where the bit about the Doctor using all these different tools every couple of minutes came from. However, if anyone was going to do it, it would be him.


“Well, Doctor, you’ve done it again - managed to get us trapped inside something by a hostile life form who wants to kill us.” The Brigadier folded his arms over his chest.

The Doctor didn’t look up from where he was examining the door hinges with a magnifying glass. “Don’t be ridiculous, Brigadier - there’s always a way out. Besides, it wasn’t hostile to begin with - all I needed was a moment more, and I’d have convinced it to leave in peace. Hardly my fault Sergeant Benton chose that moment to blunder in with a group of soldiers all pointing weapons at it. If that had been me, I would have been rather upset, myself.”

The Brigadier took a step forward, not liking where this was going. “Are you implying that somehow UNIT is to blame for our captivity? My responsibility is to the safety of England, Doctor, at whatever cost that may bring. My job is not to sit around sympathizing with alien intruders over a cup of tea!”

At that, the Doctor did look up, visibly irritated. “Did your mother never teach you any manners, Lethbridge-Stewart? Or was it your household policy to shoot everyone that came knocking at your front door that you didn’t recognize? Sometimes, simply being polite and saying ‘please’ is the best course of action.”

The Brigadier just stared at the Scientific Advisor, now absorbed in poking at the lock with a set of tweezers. “I’ll thank you to not speak of my mother that way, Doctor. She was a good woman; rest her soul. And regardless, I still think we should have just shot the creature and been done with it.” The last part was added in an undertone.

“All that would have done would have been to set off the beacon that would bring the remainder of its fleet down to Earth to destroy the planet. It was a scout ship; not here for any harm. It simply managed to have an engine failure on its way over to Vizkar IV, where it was looking for some required minerals for its home world.”

“I see. And you didn’t think to mention that earlier, Doctor?”

The Doctor sighed exasperatedly, and stopped trying to pry at the window plate with a miniature crowbar. “I did, Brigadier. You simply weren’t listening.”

“Oh.” Chastened, the Brigadier could only stand in silence as he watched the Doctor work. A few minutes later, he spoke again. “Any luck there, Doctor?”

“Nothing yet.” The Doctor stood up, frowning at the offending door. Then he looked thoughtful. “Perhaps if I used my sonic…” He patted at his pockets, then realized it wasn’t there. “Blast. I’ve left it in my other jacket again. Ah well. Nothing to do but wait now.” He lowered himself down so he was sitting with his back against the wall, and closed his eyes, relaxing.

The Brigadier looked at the Doctor incredulously. “Are you really going to sleep now? At a time like this?”

One eye opened briefly, then closed again. “Of course at a time like this. We’re not being bothered right now, so why shouldn’t I?”

The Brigadier looked like he was going to say something else, then closed his mouth and thought better of it. Besides, judging from the look on the Doctor’s face, the man wouldn’t have heard him anyway. With nothing better to do, the Brigadier sat down and waited.


An hour or so passed; or at least he thought it had been an hour. He couldn’t tell. He glanced over at the Doctor - the Scientific Advisor was still dead to the world. He sighed and stood up, his spine cracking in the process, then walked over to the door.

He peered through the small window opening, and was surprised to see the alien outside looking at him. “Are you prepared to be civil?”

Well, this was unexpected. “Civil?” the Brigadier repeated.

“Yes, civil. Once you are prepared to behave appropriately, you shall be released.”

The Brigadier raised an eyebrow. “And what constitutes as appropriate behaviour?”

“You shall apologize for your previous behaviour, then allow the Doctor-man and myself to finish our discussion peacefully. None of your soldier-men disturbing us.”

The Brigadier couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Was he seriously being reprimanded, as though he were a child? “And what if I don’t behave?” he asked, just to test this theory.

“Then you shall remain in the disciplinary chamber until you have sufficiently considered the implications of your actions.”

Apparently there was only one way out. He hated it when the Doctor was right. He gritted his teeth and mumbled, “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what, soldier-man? And I must say, you do not sound penitent. Perhaps I should give you more time to contemplate your actions and try again later.” The being made a move as if to leave.

No! Not another hour trapped in this room of nothing with the Doctor. He shook his head. “No! I’m sorry; really I am.” He then tried to make himself sound as contrite as possible. “I’m sorry for disturbing your conversation with the Doctor earlier. It won’t happen again. Please let us out.”

The being’s mouth moved into what the Brigadier assumed was a smile. “Good. You shall both be released.” It then moved forward to open the door.

The Brigadier stepped back and turned to wake up the Doctor, only to find that he was already awake. Judging by the insufferable smirk on his face, he’d been listening for quite some time. “You see, Lethbridge-Stewart? Sometimes all it takes is good manners.”

As they were ushered out of the cell, the Brigadier knew he wouldn’t be allowed to forget this incident for a long time.

X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.

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Thank you for the early morning laugh!!!

You're welcome! I don't even know where the idea of the Brigadier being put in 'time-out' by the alien even came from. Made me laugh when I thought of it, though, so I thought I'd use it. :P

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