Title: Ball and Chain
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Tenth Doctor/Owen Harper
Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Rating: PG
Table: 1, 50ficlets
Prompt: 10, Chained
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the Tenth Doctor or Owen Harper, unfortunately. Please do not sue.


The Doctor pulled at the cuffs around his wrists for what seemed like the hundredth time, to no avail. They wouldn't loosen, no matter in which direction he tried to move his wrists.

It wouldn't be so bad if the cuffs hadn't been affixed to the stone wall of the dungeon he was imprisoned in with heavy chains, the links thick and unbreakable. Each time he tried to move more than a few inches to one side or the other, they clanked ominously in the silence.

Definitely not good. He frowned, twisting his wrists inward, hoping that would give him a bit of leverage. Vain hope, of course. He winced as the metal bit into the tender skin of his wrists, flexing his fingers and wriggling them a little. At least his hands weren't numb yet.

Sooner or later, his captors would probably hear the sound the chains made when he moved, and they'd remember that they had someone captive here. They seemed to have forgotten about him for the time being, but his luck in that direction couldn't hold forever.

What had happened to the people who'd been with him? He should have known better than to bring anyone along on this foray into the past; though he had to admit, he certainly had need of whatever help they might be able to give him now. He obviously wasn't going to get out of this on his own.

The Doctor closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall, wishing that he had some way of letting his companions know where he was. But with his hands cuffed behind his back, he couldn't reach the sonic screwdriver -- and he wasn't even sure that it was still in his coat pocket.

The men who'd dragged him into the dungeon had made a fairly thorough search, and they hadn't been gentle about it. He was sure he'd have uncomfortable bruises in places that he didn't want to think about. He was almost sure that they'd taken the sonic screwdriver.

Screaming obviously wouldn't do any good. That would only bring his captors down here more quickly, and he doubted that his companions were close enough to hear him.

What alternative did that leave him? He could either wait here for the men who'd captured him to come back and decide what to do with him, or he could keep up his ineffectual struggling until he was exhausted. Neither choice seemed overly appealing.

Or .... he could just give up, sink to the floor and wait for his jailers to come back and decide his fate. He was sure that wasn't going to be something he'd find very palatable. And it wasn't in his nature to give up, not when there was even the slightest bit of hope.

His head jerked up when he heard a scuffling sound coming from the direction of the stone staircase that he'd been dragged down, his eyes widening. Were they coming for him already? His mind raced, trying to think of some way out of this situation. He'd thought he would have more time .....

The Doctor's mouth dropped open in shock when Owen's face appeared around the edge of one of the stone pillars of his prison, the young man's expression cautious, then relieved.

Owen frowned as his eyes fell on the chains that snaked across the floor, his gaze lifting to meet the Doctor's. "The two of us split up," he said by way of explanation. "Jack is looking for you, too. I volunteered to search the dungeons."

The Time Lord nodded, frowning himself as Owen dropped to his knees to examine the cuffs. "I don't think you're going to be able to get them off easily, Owen. They feel like they're growing tighter the more I struggle, even though I know that's not possible."

"Shouldn't be a problem." Owen stood up, reaching into his jacket pocket. "After all, I've got .... this." He produced the sonic screwdriver, a smirk spreading across his face. "Jack told me about the things this little beauty can do. Let's put it to the test, shall we?"

"Just point it at the cuffs," the Doctor told him, closing his eyes for a moment in relief. This almost seemed too good to be true, but he wasn't going to ask any questions.

"One of those goons was playing with it," Owen told him, stepping back and pointing the device at the cuffs around the Doctor's wrists. The metal bands sprang open, clanging as they fell to the floor. The Doctor looked at Owen, alarmed. The guards would surely have heard that.

Owen shook his head as though he guessed what the Doctor was thinking. "No one's going to hear anything. There were two guards, but I took them both out. They won't hear anything for a good long while, and we'll be gone once they're up and about again."

The Doctor nodded, feeling grateful but unsure of how to put it into words. "Thank you," he finally said, wishing that he could think of something a bit more eloquent to say.

"No thanks needed," Owen told him, glancing around and then indicating the stairs. "Come on, let's get out of here. Jack shouldn't be far off, and I think we need to meet up with him and get back to the Tardis as soon as possible."

"I couldn't agree more," the Doctor said, dusting his coat off and following Owen towards the stairs without a backward glance.