Warning: Contains angst, and makes references to The Runaway Bride and Journeys End.
Summary: Set in a (normally) fluffy AU where the Doctor and Donna have two young sons, Donna is on a home visit and discusses babies.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in these stories except the two people I've given them to love.
A/N: This started out as a playful look at babies and turned into angst, so I apologise for that.
Chapter 1 - Yes I Remember It Well
Sylvia loved it when Donna came to visit with the boys. They were so clever, so loving, and so entertaining. They came out with amusing questions, and it fascinated her how Donna managed to come up with an answer everytime.
Jamie had spotted a photo of Donna on the side-table, and Sylvia could almost see the questions instantly buzzing in his small head. "Mummy, what was I like as a baby?" he pondered as he picked up the photo frame.
"Small, squishy and a bit pink around the edges," Donna replied, peering at the photo too.
"No Mummy! I mean, what was I like?! Was I happy, squeally, smelly… you know?" he pouted.
Donna considered his question, "Hmm, well you were gorgeous and only smelly on the odd occasion, like the time Daddy forgot to change you because he was too busy tweaking something underneath the console. Believe me, you were not a happy bunny when I found you that day!"
"Daddy forgot me!" fury blazed across his tiny face. "He actually forgot me!"
"Don't worry," Donna caressed his face with the back of her fingers. "He didn't mean to! He just got distracted for a little while. Still does, doesn't he?"
"Yes, lots of times," he replied. He leant into Donna and whispered, "When he was late for dinner yesterday I nicked some of his chips!"
"No! You didn't?" Donna gasped in mock horror. "You'll be telling me you took some of his ice cream next!"
Jamie giggled, "I did! But he nicked some of mine first!"
"That makes it alright then!" Donna agreed. "Can't have people going around nicking ice cream off you, can we? There's bound to be a law about that somewhere."
"Would it be part of the Shadow Proclamation?" he asked.
Donna shook her head and smiled, "I have no idea, none at all! You'll have to ask Daddy that, since he quotes the Shadow Proclamation at every opportunity. Freaky people though who run it."
"You've met the Shadow Proclamation council?" his interest piqued now, he replaced the photo carefully and climbed into Donna's lap. "What are they like, Mummy?"
"Do you remember the weird Queen in 'Alice In Wonderland'?" Jamie nodded at her question. "They look like her, but with white hair and darker clothes."
His face scrunched up, "That is weird! Are they all that unfriendly?"
"No, not all of them; I was offered a drink by one of them," Donna became lost in her memories. "She kept going on about strange stuff, and I heard the heartbeat first then."
"What heartbeat?" He jigged up and down as he guessed, "Was it my brother?"
"What, Teddie?" asked Sylvia, finally unable to keep out of the conversation. "How can you have heard Teddie's heartbeat that long ago? That would have been ages before he existed."
"No, not him, Mum," Donna brought her attention back to Sylvia. "He means…," she suddenly realised that she hadn't explained that part of the metacrisis properly to her mother.
"But you told me the Doctor had a daughter while you were with him!" Sylvia insisted.
"Yes, he did, Mum, she was called Jenny," Donna eyed Jamie carefully to see if he was okay with that being said out loud. "But there was also…"
Sylvia interrupted her, "You're not telling me there was another child? Are you? Did you… and him… and not tell me?" her face reddened in anger, "How could you not tell me about my own flesh and blood?"
"I… it's complicated, I didn't think… and I didn't mean to keep you in the dark, honest!" she hugged Jamie, aware that she was probably worrying him. She couldn't look her mother in the eye as she explained, "It was during the biological metacrisis we told you about… he was created from the Doctor and me and…" She wiped away a tear. "He was called John. We named him John Marvin Noble," she finished in a small voice. Jamie placed his arms around her neck and hugged her tightly.
"Marvin? Who calls their child Marvin, unless they want him to be a member of the Shadows?" Sylvia scoffed, before realising Donna was upset. "What happened to him?" she asked gently; extremely gently for her!
"Do you remember that nice girl called Rose that you use to go on and on about for a while? Well, he went off with her, so that she could look after him," Donna had buried herself in Jamie's small embrace.
"But that's disgraceful! Why did she get to have him and not you?" demanded Sylvia. "He was your child, not hers!" Sylvia moved to sit next to Donna and began to stroke her hair comfortingly, "What does the Doctor say about this?"
Donna chewed her bottom lip, "He… he thought…" She lifted her tear stained face to look at Sylvia, "He gave John to her."
"What?" Sylvia stopped stroking. "He did what? He gave away my grandson? Why the hell did he do that?" she shrieked. Sylvia jumped up and began to pace the carpet, "Just you wait until I see him again, giving me all that blarney at the time about you and how much he… He'll wish he'd never been born!"
"Mum, stop it!" Donna threw her a menacing look. "You don't understand! It wasn't like that! He would never hurt me, not deliberately, and he didn't mean to hurt me then!" She took a deep breath before continuing, "John did not look like a child, he was a man, a clone of the Doctor. I know this is hard to get your head around; I was there and I still have problems with it. The Doctor let John go because that was where he was needed, and it made sense, it really did, but… that doesn't mean I don't miss him."
"Oh, Donna, of course you do!" Sylvia rushed forward to add to Jamie's hug.
"And that's why he's my brother," Jamie stated. "Mummy said we're not to forget him, like we don't forget my sister Jenny."
Donna tearfully kissed him, "That's right, Squeaks. We make sure nobody is forgotten."
"What's going on in here?" asked the Doctor from the doorway. "We pop out for a few minutes to buy something nice for tea, and you end up sobbing for some reason!" He crossed the room quickly to kneel in front of Donna. Sylvia thought it best to sidle off, so she took Teddie out into the kitchen. "What's the matter, love?" he asked gently, taking hold of her hand since Jamie still hadn't let go of her.
"We were looking at Mummy's photo," Jamie glanced towards the photo frame beside them.
"You weren't that ugly, were you?" the Doctor softly teased. "Not enough to cry over, unless being too beautiful is a problem." He placed a kiss on her cheek, "Was your mum upsetting you again? Shall I have words?"
"She sort of upset me, but it's not her fault," Donna stammered out. "I had to explain about John, and she wasn't very pleased."
"Ah!" he said simply, and stroked her hand. "How did you get onto that?"
"Mummy was telling me about the Shadow Proclamation and the heartbeat, Daddy," Jamie offered. "Then Nanny shouted about it; she wanted to know who it was and why he isn't here. That's when Mummy cried."
"Good boy," the Doctor ruffled Jamie's hair and kissed his cheek too. "I'll take over cuddling Mummy, shall I, and you can have your chocolate biscuits Nanny bought you?"
Jamie looked hesitant. "Okay, but make sure you hug Mummy lots and lots," he gave Donna a big sloppy kiss. "Love you, Mummy!"
"Love you more, Squeaks," she kissed him back. "I'll be fine with Daddy. Go on, go treat yourself." She gave him a little encouraging push as he climbed down, before heading into the kitchen.
The Doctor sat himself with her, taking over the cuddle as promised. "Feeling any better?" he asked. He rubbed large comforting circles on her back, "You don't regret being with me, do you?"
"Oh course not!" she gulped. "Whatever made you think that? I don't regret a minute; the rest of the time, well…" She laughed at his expression, then kissed him tenderly; which lead to a deeper kiss and being breathless.
He kissed both her eyes and then the tip of her nose, making her grin. "Just for the record, I don't regret a minute of our time together either," he stated as he returned to kiss her mouth.
"Are you sure?" she threw him a disbelieving glare. "'Cos I'm sure there was a change of heart at some point."
"Yes there was," he agreed. "A change that made you more important to me than anybody else, in all the universes."
"Flatterer!" she mocked. "You'll be telling me next it was love at first sight!"
"Well, you were certainly stunning," he pressed a kiss below her ear, "and beautiful," then against her jaw, "and deliciously ginger," before reaching her neck. "How could I not fall in love?"
"Fear of being slapped again, perhaps?" she mused. "I wasn't that nice to you."
"That works both ways, remember. But I think we both fell for each other pretty quickly," he was working his way back to her mouth now.
"Speak for yourself, Sunshine!" she scoffed. "What? It was my wedding day! I'm not going to own up to… okay, I will, since you're looking at me like that! I did start to… Oi! Stop smirking!"
"I can't help it! I love it when I'm right!" he stole a kiss. "And you did look scrumptious in your wedding dress."
"Delicious and scrumptious… am I nothing but food to you?" she asked.
"Oh no!" he waggled his eyebrows at her. "You're far more than that! But I do want to eat you!"
"Down tiger, we're at my mother's!" she laughed, "save some for later."
"Coming back to your mother; what was the real reason for the tears?" he asked softly.
"I miss him," she regarded him wistfully, "I shouldn't, but I do."
"I'm sure he misses us too. We'll find him one day," he promised.
"Thank you," she whispered into his neck as they embraced again. She knew he missed John as much she did, and that helped, sharing the pain of losing a part of yourself. "Now what did you say you got for tea?" she pulled away and attempted to get back to normal again.
"Ah, well, I think you'll be pleased," he announced, standing up and taking her with him. "We found this wonderful little deli that sold all sorts of goodies…," his voice trailed after them as they headed back towards their family.
Sylvia smiled as they entered the kitchen. She was relieved to see Donna smiling again, and she regretted her earlier outburst that caused so much pain. She could see Donna loved her boys, all her boys, but then Donna had always had so much love in her heart to give. Sylvia made a mental note to talk to her father later about having a special tree planted at some point to commemorate her missing grandson. A tree in remembrance of John.
If you want to read about John missing Donna and the Doctor, you can read it in the next chapter...