Fireworks and Flaptyjacks
Disclaimer: All names and concepts associated to BBC's "Doctor Who" are not mine; I just borrow the characters/concepts for my own enjoyment.
Genre: General, Humour, Friendship, Fluff
Summary: The Doctor and Donna celebrate New Year's Eve a thousand years into the future.
A/N So, DT's finale broke my heart, but a certain something that didn't happen to our favourite redhead might just break my heart a little more (trying not to give anything away here). Thus, some fluff was born. Again, this is my first time writing Donna (and the real Doctor, not 10.5) so don't hold it against me.
The TARDIS landed with a knee-jarring jolt that sent Donna Noble across the room and into one of the hard, coral struts of the TARDIS' interior. After a moment she stood up, brushed herself off and glared at the sheepish Time Lord on the other side of time machine.
"Oi! Watch it, Spaceman," she grumbled, stalking over to him with one hand on her hip. "This body is not getting any younger, I'll have you know. I would like to live to a hundred and three, thank you very much."
The Doctor held out his hands as though it was a peace offering. "Sorry," he replied, rocking back on his heels. "But, you know, the TARDIS and all." He grinned. "Never know quite what's going happen. Makes it fun, you see." He threw Donna another one of his grins. "So shall we see where we ended up, Miss Noble?"
"That's Ms. Noble, and I thought we were going to see pretty lights in the sky and all that," Donna replied, frowning. "You haven't taken me to the middle of an icy wasteland, have you?"
The Doctor shrugged and gestured to the walls of the TARDIS. "Well . . . TARDIS and all that."
Donna harrumphed and muttered, "You promised me fireworks and music, Doctor, not some wasteland. If we've landed in the middle of an apocalyptic event again . . ." She let the threat dangle mid-air.
"Let's find out, shall we." Eager to confirm he really had landed the TARDIS amid fireworks and music and not some apocalyptic event, he gleefully raced over to the double TARDIS door, pulling his long brown coat off its hook as he did so. He slipped it on and grinned at Donna, offering her his hand. "Ms. Noble?"
She tossed her red hair over her shoulder and grudgingly allowed the Doctor to pull her through the doors of the TARDIS. He stepped outside, looked around widely and grinned triumphantly. "Fireworks and music, Donna," he said, almost breathlessly. "Not an icy wasteland in sight."
"This time," Donna muttered, but she was smiling as she took in the bright lights, the alien music and the smells that were so obviously alien but were still so good. "I admit you made good on your promise, Doctor."
The Doctor grinned adoringly at her. "Don't I always?" he exclaimed and bounded off like a child in a candy store. He called over his shoulder, "Come on, Donna. No dilly-dallying. We have lots to explore!"
He looked so cheerful and excited that Donna couldn't help but grin back at him. "Hold your horses," she called back. "We're not all Time Lords, you know." She gave the TARDIS another quick glance and hurried over to where the Doctor was already disappearing into the crowd.
Breathless, she caught up to him. Donna tugged on his sleeve and the Doctor stopped, turning around to face his companion. He still had that goofy grin on his face and had it been on anyone else so constantly, Donna would have found it irritating. "Where are we?" she asked, catching her breath after her dash to the Doctor.
"Oooh, about a thousand years into your future," he replied cheerfully, "on a plant known as Gavergth. It was originally colonised by the human race, but as you see . . ." He gestured around him. ". . . It's become a popular place for migrants." He grinned. "We have everything from your common garden human to your Bloths and your average cat person. Isn't it magnificent?"
And it was. The sheer number of different species and races that had gathered for what was obviously a large, bright and colourful event was staggering. Little blue aliens that looked a little like garden gnomes; tall, dark figures with three arms and even more eyes; a humanoid looking creature different only by her large ears and webbed hands; and . . . was that a walking tree?
Donna shook her head as if to clear it. "Gavergth, right. So what's happening, then? Some kind of alien convention or something?"
"Nup," the Doctor replied, popping the 'p'. "This, Donna Noble, is the Gavergthese equivalent of Earth's New Year's Eve."
"So it's just one big party?"
"Yep." He popped his 'p' again. "The biggest party in the universe. And we get to see it firsthand." The Doctor spotted something in the distance and grinned. "Oooh, I do love a good Flaptyjack." He pointed out a faint stall in the distance to Donna and then raced off towards it.
Donna heaved a sigh and raced after the Time Lord, nearly crashing into one of those walking trees she'd seen before. She did a double take and shook her head as she ran. She almost couldn't believe that this was her life now . . . walking trees and all.
"It's not gonna make me break out into yellow spots or something?" Donna asked warily as she looked at the bright yellow flat thing that looked a little bread. The Doctor was holding it in his outstretched hand, urging Donna to take it.
"Not at all," he replied as he munched on his own Flaptyjack. "We-ell," he said after a moment, "it may make your hair turn blue and your limbs orange . . . wait, no, that's Wacksport. Never mind. Nope, the Flaptyjack is perfectly fine for human consumption!"
"Well, okay." Donna took the yellow bread thing from the Doctor and turned it over in her hands. It was warm and had a pleasant smell, like a mix of cinnamon, lemon and ginger. The only thing that put Donna slightly off was its bright yellow colour that did not look natural at all.
"Go on," the Doctor urged, handing over a few more chips to the rainbow haired alien selling the Flaptyjacks and getting a pile of them in return. He sighed happily. "I love Flaptyjacks."
"I noticed," Donna remarked dryly. Then she shrugged and took the plunge, biting into the bright yellow bread thing. Surprisingly, the Flaptyjack tasted an exotic cake her mum might find in some specialised bakery. It was sweet, with hints of cinnamon, lemon, ginger . . . and was that banana? Typical Spaceman, Donna thought. Anything with bananas.
She finished her Flaptyjack neatly and glanced over at the Doctor. God knows how many he'd been through. Donna sighed and rolled her eyes. "You have a crumb on your nose."
"Really? Do I?" The Doctor looked comical as his eyes went cross-eyed as he tried to spy the elusive nose crumb. "So I do," he announced. He stuck out his tongue and curled it towards his nose. He tried grabbing the crumb with it, but he couldn't quite reach.
Donna was tempted to slap him around the ears. Sighing again, she reached out and brushed the Flaptyjack crumb from the Doctor's nose. "Better?"
"Aww," the Doctor pouted childishly, "I was going to eat that."
"That was a crumb," Donna pointed out slowly, shaking her head. "Just buy another." She paused and looked at the empty Flaptyjack tray; the alien seller was busily making more. "On second thoughts, only you would buy out the entire store."
The Doctor grinned sheepishly and shrugged innocently at her as if to say, 'who me?' Donna resisted the urge to roll her eyes again and instead slipped her arm inside the Doctor's. "So what else does the great Gavergth do on New Year's besides eat Flaptywhatsits? Any chance of some booze around here?"
"Now, Donna," the Doctor started to scold, "just because New Year's typically involves the consumption of alcoholic beverages . . ."
"I was joking, you idiot." This time Donna did roll her eyes. "But now that you mention it, a bit of alcohol doesn't sound like such a bad idea."
"Donna," the Doctor warned.
"Okay, okay." She threw her hands into the air. "No alien alcohol, I get it." She paused. "Didn't you say there were humans here? Surely I could get a teensy little Margarita?"
"Human alcoholic beverages have, uh, evolved a bit since the twenty-first century," the Doctor explained, shaking his head. "Not a good idea."
"Okay, fine, whatever," Donna huffed. "Just trying to suggest something to do."
The Doctor got that grin of his again. "Something to do? Why didn't you ask?" He tugged Donna along behind him, her arm still threaded through his, until they reached a wide, open space.
Donna was just about to ask what was happening here, when her eyes fell upon the stage and the main attraction. Immediately, Donna shook her head and back away. "Oh no. No you don't, Spaceman. Not in a million years."
But the Doctor just grinned and pulled her towards the stage.
"So alcohol has changed but they still have karaoke?" Donna hissed through clenched teeth as the Doctor dragged her up the stairs that led to the stage. If she looked above her, there was one couple already singing on the stage and another waiting for their turn.
"No. Absolutely not." Donna drove her heels into the stairs, causing the Doctor to stop dead in his track and stumble.
"Aww, Donna," he complained, giving her a slightly pathetic look, "you're no fun. You don't even have to be able to sing. See." He nodded with his head towards the stage where it was very obvious the alien couple could not hold a tune.
Donna snorted. "You have not heard me sing, Spaceman. And you'd do well to keep it that way."
"You can't be that bad." Donna gave the Doctor a pointed look. "No? Seriously? Aww, come on. It's just a bit of fun. You're the one who wanted something to do. And here's your music."
"Yeah, but karaoke was not high on my list, thank you very much," Donna grumbled. "I. Can't. Sing."
"So you've said."
"No, really." Donna cocked her head to the side, thinking. "Look, if you put an elephant, nails on a blackboard and a yowling cat in the shower then you'd kinda get the idea."
"We-ell." The Doctor drew out the word before grinning. "Nothing a little practice won't fix," he commented cheerfully.
"I think I'm a bit beyond a little practice, Doctor," Donna snorted and watched as the small audience clapped the alien couple off the stage before the one before them emerged into the spotlight. "Besides, I don't know any Gavergthese songs or whatever. I don't even speak the language."
"Not a problem." The Doctor gave her that slightly manic look he got when he had a "brilliant" idea. "Leave it to me."
"That's what I'm afraid of," Donna muttered as the next couple launched into their song, only slightly better than the couple before them.
Soon (too soon in Donna's opinion) the couple before them were taking their bow and then the Doctor was dragging her protesting body on stage. He stopped at the edge to mutter something to the alien – no wait, the human – who was directing that night's proceedings before pushing an unwilling Donna to the centre of the stage.
"I. Hate. You," she hissed as the Doctor grinned at the audience in front of them.
"Just go with it, Donna," the Doctor replied without ever turning away from the audience or letting his grin falter. "And besides, I've picked something you'll know. Late twentieth century pop is all the range of the moment."
Donna got a very bad feeling at that precise moment and it only got worse when the first few bars of the song lit up the stage. She had a dark look on her face as she screeched, "Spice Girls!? You picked me a Spice Girls song!?"
The Doctor shrugged. "I like the Spice Girls. Met Posh once, before she became Victoria Beckham and all." He smiled wistfully and said, "Great legs." Then he launched into the song, singing at the top of his voice, "You just walk in, I make you smile . . ."
Donna had to physically push her hand away to stop herself from whacking the Doctor in the arm. Hard. And of all the Spice Girls songs he had to pick . . . Donna was going to kill him, preferably slowly and painfully.
"Donna. Sing," the Doctor muttered through his grin.
"Oh, hell no." Donna shook her head. "Keep me out of it. You chose it, you sing it."
"But this is a couples thing," the Doctor muttered again through his grin and added on the end, "Don't you know it's going too fast . . ."
"Oi, I ain't a couple with you!" Donna exclaimed loudly. "Not in this lifetime, Spaceman."
"No, no, no, Donna, I didn't mean it like that," the Doctor quickly tried to placate. "It's a two person karaoke thing. Two. One. Two. Me and you. Don't you know, why can't you see . . . Together, but not together together. Yeah?"
"Yeah. No." Donna shook her head firmly. "No way."
"Donna, just sing!" the Doctor yelled as he launched into the chorus. "Stop right now, thank you very much. I need somebody with the human touch . . ." He yanked Donna's hand and pulled her forward.
Donna threw the human organiser a slightly panicked look, but he was just frowning at Donna's lack of cooperation. She cursed the Doctor, the Gods, the human organiser and anyone else she could think of before gritting her teeth and letting out, "Gotta slow down baby, gotta have some fun . . ."
The Doctor glanced at her as she joined in with her horrendous singing and grinned so brilliantly and brightly at her that it was almost, almost worth making a fool of herself.
She did say almost, right?
"You owe me a shopping spree in Paris, Mister," Donna grumbled as the Doctor helped her down from the stage. "A long shopping spree."
"Aw, admit it, Donna. You had fun." The Doctor rocked back on his heels and shoved his hands into his pocket, grinning broadly at her.
"Fun is not exactly what I'd call it," she muttered, but admitted grudgingly, "It was okay."
"See," the Doctor teased, wagging a finger in her face. "Not so bad after all. And you weren't that bad." Donna gave him a long, narrowed-eyed look. "Okay, so maybe no karaoke next time?"
"Got it in one." Donna smiled patronisingly. She looked around her and saw that the other people and aliens out celebrating the New Year were gathering in clusters and all facing the same way. She turned to the Doctor. "What's happening?"
The Doctor fished around in his coat pocket and pulled out an ancient looking watch. He flipped it open, peered at it and turned it upside down. He shook it, clamped his teeth down on one side of it and twisted the hinges. Donna sighed and tapped her foot. This she was used to. With his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth in concentration, the Doctor whipped out his sonic screwdriver and zapped the watch.
"Aha!" he exclaimed and grinned proudly at Donna. "A bit of jiggery pokery and look at that." He glanced at its face and said excitedly, "Midnight. We-ell, the Gavergth equivalent of midnight anyway. Come on." He tugged on Donna's hand. "I know the best spot."
This time, Donna allowed the Doctor to drag her along behind him. It didn't sound like what was about to happen would involve flat yellow banana dough or Spice Girls, but with the Doctor you never really knew.
"Oh, excuse me," the Doctor said as they pushed past a few disgruntled looking blue gnomes. "Sorry. Sorry."
He continued to pull Donna along until they reached the top of a small hill, which was surprisingly empty (at least that's what Donna thought considering this place was packed). "Here we are, then," the Doctor told Donna brightly. "Best seats in the house." He plopped to the ground and crossed his legs. Donna joined him, pulling her knees to her chest.
"When's it gonna . . ." she started, but was cut off by the Doctor's loud, "shush, it's starting."
For a moment Donna wondered what exactly was starting, but then a rocket of colour shot into the air and exploded into a million little raindrops of colour; her pretty lights in the sky. Another firework shot up, at least Donna assumed they were fireworks, and exploded into the shape of a large alien looking bird. Well, Donna thought, they'd come a bit of the way with fireworks since her time.
A typical, old-style firework burst in the sky, lighting it up with a rainbow of little coloured stars. Donna basked in its glow for a moment before looking over at the Doctor. He was watching the fireworks with such rapt attention that you'd have thought he was listening to the world's greatest leader. He had such wondrous glee on his face that Donna couldn't help but smile.
She shifted closer to him as a firework boomed above them. "It's gorgeous," she said softly, resting her head against his shoulder. "New Year's on an alien plant a thousand years into my future."
"Brilliant, isn't it?" the Doctor breathed, taking Donna's hand and squeezing it affectionately.
"Absolutely," Donna murmured as three fireworks exploded simultaneously, giving the fiery Earth lion a seemingly 3-D body. Donna leaned in closer to the Time Lord and he wrapped one of his arms around her shoulders, letting the other rest on his knee. "Wouldn't trade this moment for anything," she told him.
The Doctor looked down at his human companion and smiled. "Neither would I."