"A nice romantic table for two?" the hostess asked, smiling at them.
"Oh, no, we're not a couple," the Doctor and Donna said together, shaking their heads.
The hostess looked sceptical, but continued smiling. "Just a table for two, then?"
"That would be fine," Donna said, taking the Doctor's arm as they walked through the restaurant. He pulled out her chair for her to sit, and they both glanced over the menu. "Mmm, everything looks wonderful," she said.
"I think the chef is famous for his pasta, if I remember rightly," the Doctor said. "I think you'd like the fettucini."
"That does sound good. Are you getting the spaghetti?"
"Oh, probably. It's always good here," he said, putting his menu aside.
Donna closed her menu, taking a moment to look around the restaurant. "This is lovely," she said, smiling across the table at him.
The waiter approached. "Good evening. Out for a special occasion?" he asked.
"No, just dinner," Donna answered.
He nodded, told them the specials and took their orders.
"Why does everyone think we're a couple?" Donna asked.
"It does seem to happen a lot, doesn't it," he replied. "They just assume, I guess."
"Hmph," Donna said. "Well, I suppose it's better than being your assistant."
"My assistant?" he raised his eyebrows.
"The plucky young girl who helps me out?" she quoted. "Agatha Christie? Giant Wasp? Remember?"
"Ah, yes," he said, rubbing his chin. "I'd rather hoped you had forgotten about that."
It was risky talking about that, because of the incident in the kitchen afterwards, but she kept on. "Do you think of me that way? Just as someone who 'helps you out?'"
"Well, not if you make it sound bad," he said. "You do help me, after all. But that's not how I think of you." He moved his hand to cover hers where it rested on the table.
"Well, good then." At least he had said "young." "Next time you can be my assistant."
"Just as you say," he said, smiling. He moved his hand as their drinks and bread basket arrived. He passed her the basket first.
Their dinners soon arrived, and they ate in companionable silence for awhile.
"So, where are we off to next?" Donna asked.
He reached across and stole a bite from her plate. "Mmmm, that is good," he said. "I was thinking Aurelia Major. There's an art exhibition I thought would be fun. Plus, they have some lovely shops. Here, you should try this," he said, offering her a bite from his fork.
"Mmmm, that is good," Donna agreed, dabbing at her mouth with the napkin. "Well, as long as there are shops, the exhibition sounds fun."
They shared a slice of chocolate cake for dessert, and were soon walking down the street, her arm through his again. He suddenly stopped short, looking at her with amusement. "You know, I think I know why people think we are a couple."
"You do?" she said.
"It's probably stuff like this," he said, gesturing at their linked arms.
She grinned. "And all the handholding."
"And the hugging," he added, rubbing her other arm with his hand. He seemed to be standing very close to her. The arm she had looped through his had moved to his waist, seemingly without her thinking about it.
"Maybe we should stop, then," she said, her voice soft.
"Oh, that seems drastic, don't you think?" he said, stepping even closer, lifting his hand to brush against her cheek.
"Well, if we're giving people the wrong idea," she said, looking down, suddenly shy.
"Are we?" he tilted her chin up so she was looking at him.
"Are we what?" she asked. She couldn't seem to form a complete thought. He was taking up all her space, all her air. What was he saying?
"Are we giving them the wrong idea?"
"We're not a couple," she said, automatically.
"Maybe we should be," he said, and he was kissing her. She didn't hesitate to kiss him back, sliding her hands under his coat as he pulled her closer. She was lost to the feel of his lips on hers, his hands on her back. They pulled apart when someone from a passing car called out, "Get a room!"
He tucked her arm through his again, covering her hand with his and grinning. "May I assist you back home, Ms. Noble?" he asked.
"You may," she said, smiling back at him.
A/N: The first idea for this came from nschick, from a comment to one of the Moments to Reflect at doctordonna. It took a bit of a sideways turn, though. The ending is for lilianvaldemyer, who wanted more "ginger kisses."