The TARDIS materialises in the back garden beside Donna's ginger TARDIS. The Doctor and Rose are met with a rousing welcome from Donna, Lee and Wilfred. Even Sylvia has a smile on her face, which is quite scary when you think about it!
Lee shakes the Doctor's hand while Wilfred gives Rose a big bear hug. "So good to see you again love," Wilfred tells her, wiping away a tear of happiness.
Sylvia takes her turn to give Rose a hug while Donna throws her arms around the Doctor. "I've missed you, Spaceman," she says with a smile.
Lee looks at Rose a bit warily so she makes it easy on him and wraps her arms around him. "Congratulations. You better take good care of Donna or you will have me to answer to!" There is a slight gleam in her eye and Lee bows his head in acknowledgement. "I will treat her like the Lady she is, never fear."
Donna finally releases the Doctor and Wilfred takes her place. He claps the Doctor on the back and quietly thanks him again for everything he and Rose have done for Donna.
Rose and Donna are hugging each other and squealing in excitement.
Sylvia stands in front of the Doctor, not saying a word. He looks at her warily, so used to mother's giving him a slap that he is sure that's what's coming next. But he is unprepared for what actually does happen. Sylvia sweeps him into a huge hug and kisses him on the cheek. "I can never thank you enough for everything you have done for my Donna, Doctor," she says with a catch in her voice. "Dad was right all along. She is better with you and I am so proud of her."
The Doctor feels a bit awkward, not knowing what to say or do for once! He returns her embrace and says, "Well it wasn't all my doing but thank you."
Sylvia lets him go and starts ushering everyone inside for refreshments. Once the tea has been poured and the food passed around they settle in for a chat, catching up on what everyone has been doing. Rose and the Doctor tell them what New Gallifrey looks like and the TARDIS kindly projects images onto the living room wall so they all can see. Even Sylvia is moved by the beauty of it. The Doctor makes a mental note to ask Donna later about this change in her mother, not that he's complaining! He rather likes it.
Then it is Donna and Lee's turn. Donna's TARDIS recorded the wedding ceremony of John and Joan seeing as the Doctor and Rose were unable to attend. John and Joan look so happy, surrounded by their loved ones. John is very dashing in his suit and Joan is gorgeous in her wedding dress. The church bells ring out, proclaiming their union. Donna sneaks a glance at Rose and spots a tear trickling down her cheek, which Rose quickly wipes away before anyone notices. Donna then looks at the Doctor to see what his reaction to the wedding is. He appears to be unmoved. "Typical male," Donna thinks to herself.
Wilfred excuses himself, saying he needs to have a lie down before dinner. Sylvia clears the dishes and takes herself off to the kitchen. Lee asks the Doctor to accompany him to Donna's TARDIS as he needs some help fixing something or other.
Finally on their own, Rose turns to Donna, intending to ask about her wedding plans. Before she can say a word Donna takes her hands and says, "Rose, tell me what's wrong."
Rose opens her mouth, about to deny anything, but Donna silences her with a stern look. "I saw your reaction to John and Joan's wedding. What I don't understand is why it upset you. Do you regret what happened with him?"
Rose swallows and then finds her voice. "I don't regret anything. I am very happy for John and Joan. They deserve to be together."
"Then what is it Rose? It's not like you to be like this. You are made of sterner stuff. Is it the Doctor, has he done or said something stupid? Is that it?" Donna guesses.
"No of course not," Rose is quick to reassure her. "It's just...," and she trails off, staring wistfully into space.
"I think I get it. You want to get married too, don't you?" Donna states, rather pleased with herself for working it out so quickly.
Rose blushes then replies, "Well yes, yes I would love to marry the Doctor. But I don't think he wants to get married."
"Have you ever asked him?" Donna quizzes her.
"No I haven't and I don't intend to either," Rose says defensively. "I don't want him to marry me out of a sense of duty. I want him to want to marry me, because he loves me." This last she finishes with a sniff. Her chin starts to tremble and tears well in her eyes.
Donna moves over to sit beside her on the couch and wraps her arms around her. She rubs Rose on the back and makes soothing noises as Rose starts to sob.
Sylvia pokes her head out of the kitchen to see what the matter is. She catches Donna's eye and mimics drinking a cup of tea. Donna nods her head gratefully.
Rose's sobs have died down to sniffles when Sylvia returns with a pot of tea and two mugs on a tray. She sets the tray down on the table and leaves them alone. Rose gives her a wobbly smile of thanks. Donna gives Rose's shoulder a squeeze then moves over to pour their tea. She adds extra sugar to Rose's cup and hands it to her. Rose accepts it gratefully and takes a sip. She feels calmer already.
"I'm so sorry Donna. We're here for your wedding, not for you to listen to me feeling sorry for myself," Rose apologises.
"Rubbish," Donna tells her. "What are friends for if not to have a cry on their shoulder? And I'd say you've needed a friend for quite a while, haven't you?"
"I suppose you're right. I had Mum when I was in the parallel universe but not a close girlfriend, like you," Rose smiles. "Please don't tell the Doctor about this," Rose begs her.
"Oh no, never," Donna is quick to reply. Rose doesn't notice that Donna has her fingers crossed behind her back!
They continue to sip their tea and Donna gets Rose to tell her more about New Gallifrey, trying to take her mind off weddings, for a while anyway!
Meanwhile, Lee and the Doctor have been tinkering with Donna's TARDIS. The Doctor finds he enjoys Lee's company and is more than happy to share a few of his secret repair tips!
Once they have finished Lee gives the Doctor a tour of the TARDIS. She has grown so much since the Doctor first saw her. Lee leads him to a garden room where there is a park bench overlooking a pond, sheltered by a weeping willow tree.
They sit down and just stare at the pond in companionable silence. Lee seems to be a little on edge though and the Doctor can sense it.
"Out with it then Lee," he says in a jovial tone.
Lee jumps slightly then his face reddens. He almost wishes he still has his stutter. At least that would give him an excuse to not say anything. A quick glance at the Doctor's face shows that he will not remain as patient for long.
Taking a deep breath, Lee musters all his courage and blurts it out. "Doctor, will you do me the honour of standing as my best man when I marry Donna?"
The Doctor is absolutely stunned. He opens and closes his mouth several times but he is lost for words. This is totally unexpected and, if he is honest with himself, terrifying!
He looks at Lee, watching him expectantly, and thinks of Donna, his wonderful, brilliant Donna, and knows that he must do this.
Clearing his throat, a serious look on his face, he says, "The honour will be all mine." He breaks into a grin and then laughs at the look of relief on Lee's face.
"Come on, let's go see what the girls are up to," Lee says. "It's nearly dinner time." His stomach rumbled, as if on cue. They both laughed as they headed back to the house.