Happy Right Here

Donna is looking with envy at a couple out on the dance floor when he arrives back from the library. Her eyes seem not to shine as they usually do in the light that is being reflected around the room and her mouth is curled up at the corner in a slight scowl. Not happy, he notes to himself.

He walks a little faster and when he gets back to their table, smiles wanly at her and slides into the seat next to her.

"Doctor," she says, not taking her eyes off the dancing couple.

He nods and then realizing she probably can't see him with her focus set so intently on the dancers before them, mutters, "Donna?"

"This is magnificent," she says in a tone that suggests it clearly is not. "I'm in the 1873's at a bloomin' party and no one's asked me to dance." She turns to look at him finally and he swallows hard at the look she gives him.

She's sad. Disappointed. Perhaps a little lonely.

It sends a chill through him – he hates to see her miserable and in pain – and it angers him, too.

Why the sod had no one asked her to dance while he was gone? He'd have offered himself earlier on but he'd had the burning desire to explore a little first and he'd followed up on that rather than letting the urge slide and being there for her.

He cringes ever so slightly at that thought – she doesn't seem to pick up on it – and immediately stands up.

"Disappearing again?" she asks glumly.

Shaking his head and pushing away the guilt as much as possible, he extends his hand. "Making your day, actually. Care to dance?"

She stares up at him for a moment as if he's gone insane but then, just as he's giving up hope that he'll be able to cheer her up without too much trouble, she smiles. She reaches out and places her hand in his and allows him to help her out of her seat and to the dance floor.

He places his hands on her waist when they find a good spot; she wraps hers around his neck. Her skin is warm against his and his hearts suddenly flip over. Why he had found the idea of exploring more delightful than this, he cannot fathom.

He buries his nose in the crook of her neck and inhales her scent. "This," he tells her, "is nice."

She mumbles her agreement. "Really nice."

They dance in silence for several songs before either of them so much as speaks another word. She is caught up in the moment; he is remembering times of the past.

Her hand clutches his shoulder in a quick movement and he jolts back to awareness. He looks into her eyes.

"You okay, Spaceman?" she wonders aloud.

He sucks on his lower lip and swallows his memories. Even so, he knows he takes far too long to answer. "Yes, yes, I'm fine."

"Are you really?" She looks at him with concerned eyes.

He shrugs. "Just some old memories coming up," he explains before a smile flickers onto his face. "But this is fun. Great fun."


"Anything is fun when I'm with you," he tells her before he can stop himself.

She rolls her eyes and smirks at him. "Now you're just having me on."

"Not even in the slightest."

Something passes across her features – too quickly for him to quite comprehend. It's different though, something new. Intriguing. She is grinning then and he forgets it was ever there.

"Feel like grabbing a snack?" he changes the topic. He nods off to the side where there's a table protesting under the weight of far too many plates of food. Good food, too. He'd overheard someone earlier professing the cheese and spinach pasties the best thing they'd ever put into their mouth.

He continues to sway slightly to the music, Donna still in his arms and he in hers.

"No," she says. "I'm happy right here."