PORTRAIT OF A NIGHTMARE

Chapter 5

"But, you don't understand, officer." Rory pleaded, as he and the Doctor were marched to the cells. "My wife's just been kidnapped."

"Are you sure you want to be stickin' to that story, lad?" The policeman said, not unkindly. "Take my advice. Judge Hardbrick suffers no fools. Best way to deal with him, is to be straightforward and honest. Admit your mistakes."

"But I am being..."

"Rory, listen to this fine example of modern law enforcement. Admit it. You nicked His Lordship's carriage and went for a little joy ride." The Doctor suggested meaningfully. "Shame on you."

"I stole it?" Rory exclaimed indignantly. What about yo—Oomf." A jab in the ribs, and a serious glance from the Doctor, made Rory change his sentence. "Ohhh. Right. Yeah. The old carriage...jacking...thing. Gotta' stop doing that. Sorry. Won't happen again, sir." He said humbly to the policeman, albeit through gritted teeth.

"Admitting your mistakes is the first step to living a good Christian life, son." The police sergeant pontificated. "Not repeating them, makes you wise, as well as good."

"Er—OK. Thanks for letting me know that." Rory nodded.

Once they were locked in a cell, Rory rounded on the Doctor. "Don't do that again!"

"Do what? You're not making any sense, Rory." The Doctor replied innocently, slipping out his sonic screwdriver and making a few adjustments.

"I'll take a jab from Amy, now and again. Even a slap—though you'd better not tell her that. However, I do draw the line at you doing it to me, as well, Doctor." Rory said evenly, trying, once again, to rein in his temper.

"Sorry, Rory. But I needed to distract the sergeant's attention away from me for a moment."

"What for?" Rory asked, baffled.

"So I could borrow these." The Doctor said, holding up the policeman's badge and an old-fashioned pair of handcuffs. He flashed Rory a smile. "Might come in handy while we're escaping."

Using the sonic screwdriver at its quietest setting, the Doctor managed to open the door. He and Rory were handcuffed together, as they strode past the cells.

"Why do I have to be the criminal?" Rory asked in a whisper.

"Because you are a criminal." The Doctor turned his head, as if surprised by the question, and answered, "You've just confessed to carriage-napping. I heard you. Bad, bad, Rory."

Rory opened his mouth to reply, then closed it again, shaking his head. There was no point in arguing with the Doctor. He had just admitted to...Rory frowned, suddenly disgusted with himself. He'djust confessed to the Doctor's own crime, in front of a policeman. How did the man manage to get people to do that?

The only other exit from the cells in the basement, besides the staircase, was a small, heavy metal door at the other end of the hallway. This door took the Doctor a bit longer to sonic, and Rory shifted his feet impatiently, constantly keeping his eye on the staircase at the opposite end of the hall. Finally though, the big lock on the door clicked. The Doctor gave it a heave, and the metal door swung open on creaking hinges. The sound echoed through the cell area, making Rory wince. He glanced around nervously. But, no one seemed to notice.

The sun was just setting, but the alleyway in which they were standing was cast in deep shadow. There was a police wagon in the alley, but it was deserted. The Doctor eyed it, only to feel Rory grab his arm.

"Don't even think about it, Doctor." Rory admonished.

"Yes, well, I suppose not." The Doctor sighed with disappointment. "After all, you did just promise to reform, Rory. I suppose I'll have to keep you on the straight and narrow."

"OK, Doctor. Joke's getting a bit tired, now." Rory replied through gritted teeth. "How do you propose we find Amy?"

"We'll have to get back to the TARDIS. I can use the genetic aeriform monitor on the console, to track down any trace of her DNA within the city."

"Good." Rory nodded. "Let's get out of here, then..."

"Are you a policeman? A little girl's voice suddenly said, out of the blue.

A startled Doctor whirled around. The last little girl who'd asked him that, was Amy. But this wasn't her. It was an eight year old girl in blond curls, wearing a long, frilly green dress. She stared up at the Doctor with guileless blue eyes.

"Is he your prisoner?" She asked, indicating Rory, with a pointing finger.

"Erm—Yes, yes he is. And I'm..." The Doctor smiled and pulled out the badge. Holding up, he showed it to her, "...Detective Inspector Smith. Scotland Yard."

"That's not your badge. You're not a policeman. You're telling a fib." The little girl said.

The Doctor was taken aback for a moment, but quickly recovered. He pulled out the wallet containing his psychic paper. "I certainly am not! See? I really am a police inspector." He held it up to her.

"Oh. Alright, you can take the bad man away, now. Bye-bye, mister policeman." She smiled and waved at the Doctor, then skipped off down the alleyway, turning the corner.

"OK, that was a bit...weird." Rory said, looking at where she'd gone. "Sweet little girl, though."

"So was Lucretia Borgia, when she was a child." The Doctor frowned at Rory. "She used to bite the feet off my Jelly Babies. At the time, I didn't realize she was..." there was an embarrassed pause, as the Doctor swallowed uncomfortably, "...practicing."

The two of them walked towards the entrance of the alley. "I think the TARDIS is...that way." The Doctor jabbed his thumb towards the east. "Or...is it, that way?" The Doctor said, uncertainly. He'd stopped dead, and stuck his thumb over his shoulder, towards the south.

"Actually, I believe it's this way, Doctor." Rory said, rolling his eyes, turning the Doctor by the shoulders, until he was facing north.

They were also facing a pair of policemen. Standing between to two constables, was a very stern looking, middle aged man. He was wearing a custom-tailored tweed suit, a brown bow tie, and a bowler hat which didn't suit him. His narrow face had a wily look about it. He had keen blue eyes, and was sporting a bushy mustache. The man was grasping the little girl by the hand. The Doctor noted that they were hands more suited to an artist, than a copper. And, no doubt, that was this gentleman's profession.

"That's the men, daddy." The little girl told her father smugly, pointing at the Doctor and Rory.

"Right, you two. You're both under arrest. Again." The man in the tweeds and bowler said to them.

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