The Doctor suddenly found his arms full of baby. He stared in surprise at the infant, the little girl, 18 months old at a guess, stared back.
"Come back here you bugger!" a voice yelled, and determined footsteps ran off.
He and Clara had been walking down a busy London street minding their own business. Suddenly his arms were full of adorable little baby, big brown eyes, and burgundy curls.
Hearts beating a mile a minute the Doctor turned, carefully holding the child to see her mother bearing down on a purse snatcher. The lanky youth, dressed in an anorak and ski cap, looked over his shoulder, terrified.
The woman tackled him, sending them both to the pavement. She ripped her purse out of his arms. The strap broke. "Oh, now see what you made me do!" She yelled in a strident voice. She towered over him. The youth cowered on the sidewalk, one knee bent to protect himself from a kicking.
The woman glared down at him, arms akimbo, long red hair falling down her back. He stared up at her unsure what she'd do. Eyes frantically seeking a way out.
"Git!" she yelled, and kicked him in his skinny bum. He shot off the ground like a runner out of the gate. "And I better not see you around here again!" she yelled after him.
He ran faster.
Huffing, the woman turned and strode back, she inspected her purse and grumbled at the broken strap, she threaded it through the loop and tied it off, then slung it across her shoulders.
She stomped back up in front of the Doctor and looked up.
He was grinning fit to bust.
She glared at him. That wonderfully familiar glare. He could feel it scorching him all the way down to his heels.
"Here now!" She reached out and snatched her daughter away, protectively cradling the child against her chest. "What were you doing with her?!"
"You gave her to him," Clara jumped in, staring in consternation at the Doctor's goofy grin and the woman's scowl.
The woman glared down at her too, then ignored her and checked her daughter over, as if making sure all the fingers and toes were still there.
She huffed again, the little girl leaned over backward in her arms and grinned, reaching for the Doctor, making "gimme" motions with her little hands.
The Doctor laughed in delight and wiggled his fingers at her. "She's adorable. What's her name?" he asked.
Donna righted her daughter. "Addy. And, well, thank you," she said grudgingly. "If that punk hadn't grabbed my purse..."
"I doubt he'll make the same mistake twice," the Doctor said.
"Not around here, he won't," Donna muttered, unzipping her purse one handed and checking to be sure she still had her car keys and wallet.
She looked up to find the strange, purple-clad man still grinning at her, his hair flopping down in his eyes. Totally delighted eyes.
"Yeah, well, thanks."
The Doctor flourished a deep bow to her. "Delighted to be of service."
She backed up a half step and gave him a dubious scowl. She turned and stalked away, her daughter, with her mother's miniature nose, grinning at him over her shoulder. He heard the muffled, "Weirdo," as she left.
The Doctor bounced, and laughed, and twirled in a wide circle, arms flung out.
Clara smiled at him bemusedly. "What was that for?" she asked.
The Doctor stopped and watched the retreating redhaired back. He did a happy little shuffle on the sidewalk, hands shoved deep into his pockets, slouching over a bit.
"That, Clara, was one of my all time best friends."
Clara's smile wiped away and she looked in consternation at the retreating figure.
"But, she didn't recognize you."
"No, thank goodness." He turned those eyes down to her, soulful and blazing. "But she trusted me."
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