Spoilers: Slight references made to The Doctor's Daughter.
Summary: The Doctor attempts to 'cure' his unrequited love whilst in a prison cell.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Doctor Who, not even the prison cell.
A/N: This is another migraine-induced fic, so I apologise for the seriousness.
The Doctor sat in his lonely cell wondering how to while away the hours before he could talk himself out of here in court the following morning. Scrabbling through his pockets, he came across a notepad and a pen. The ones he had lent Donna on Messaline. The memory of that day flooded him: the uncertainty, the joy, the recriminations, and the comfort afterwards. This, of course, led back to thoughts of Donna. Oh Donna! If only you knew the effect you had, that day and every day.
They say that you can exorcise emotions by writing them down. It was worth a try, wasn't it? It couldn't do any harm by making things worse. He'd probably already made a complete idiot of himself over Donna; she was being considerate by pretending to be oblivious, that much he was sure of. He considered the notepad and pen again, sat down determinedly on what passed for a bed, and began to write.
My Dearest Donna,
I know you'll never read this, never want to read this, but I need to put down on paper how I feel. I have wrestled with this for so long I can't even remember now when or where it began, but I know it was there almost from the start.
You blazed into my life, into our life, the TARDIS and me. You were so frightened, but I couldn't see it, couldn't see much beyond my own grief and your anger. All I could think to do was getting you sorted and out of the TARDIS, but that quickly changed. I don't think you realised how quickly. I allowed my fear for you to overwhelm me at one point, but I think you guessed that bit judging by the sympathetic looks you gave me. Did you think…? But that would be unfair to ask, forgive me.
I was overjoyed the Empress of the Racnoss chose to kill Lance and not you. I never told you that, did I? She made the right choice. I knew then that you were destined for something much better. I still feel that way, which is why I was so heartbroken when you turned me down. I wasn't using you as a replacement, I really wasn't, right; what can I say? You knew my motives even then. Oh, I needed you! I didn't realise then how much. It made me go and pick Martha up thinking she would fill the gap, but then you know the story of that little adventure and the pain it caused.
There's that word again – need. I need you Donna. I need you so much and in so many different ways. You're my friend, my best friend, the bestest friend I have ever had, and I'm not saying that lightly. You have lightened my world, made it infinitely more bearable, shared my burdens and made me laugh. Boy, have you made me laugh! I can't remember the last time I had so much fun doing something as mundane as make a cup of tea. Okay, I accept that the exploding light bulb was not your fault, but it felt like that at the time. I'm sorry that I said otherwise. I think I made it up to you when we investigated that chocolate factory, but I'm sure you'd say otherwise. It wasn't a pretty sight I admit, turning bright orange like that, but I thought being an oompa loompa for a week was a fair trade for that much delicious chocolate. I know you didn't quite feel that way; but it's the nearest I've ever been to being ginger, so I was happy. And the jacuzzi experience was fun…oh sorry! Forgot for a moment that I had promised to never mention that to anyone again. Wilf was all right about it as far as I can tell, though I wouldn't say the same about Sylvia. Oh, that's probably what you meant when you threatened me with… the strangling thing. Sorry!
Why did I bring that up then? Oh yes, I was describing how we love having a laugh. I know that most of our daily lives involves being arrested, threatened and almost killed, and I like to think that you enjoy those bits as much as I do. I have noticed that you have a little trouble with the running away part at times. You're not physically – what's the right word here? – attuned to running fast. You have the legs for it. Oh, believe me you do have the legs for it, seeing as they go all the way up to your armpits. And no, I was not going to make a derogatory remark about your bottom. As much as you claim otherwise, I do not think your bottom is the size of Wales, or even the size of London. In fact, I think you have a perfectly sized bottom, just the right size for sitting on; perfect because it is your bottom. Whilst I'm referring to the area of your legs, I'd like to here and now state that they are not fat, you hear me! So stop saying they are. They are well toned, so why you feel it necessary to hide them away underneath trousers baffles me. I feel like I haven't seen them properly since we met at Adipose Industries. Not that I have been trying to see them or anything, and to be fair I did see them in the jacuzzi that time… sorry, I've gone and mentioned it again. Sorry. But you have lovely legs, and I don't think you appreciate that they should be, well, flaunted a lot more than you do. Though I do understand the practicalities of wearing trousers as much as you do, because it must be annoying having despots looking up your skirt. I'll shut up about your legs now, promise.
The reason you give for running not so fast is your (sorry, but I have rattled my brain and I cannot come up with a better word that won't offend you) your breasts. We try not to mention them, I know, but their presence is very evident. The new bras the TARDIS provided you with helped enormously, I could see. Why wouldn't you let me mention it? Anybody would think you are ashamed of your breasts. If I had some like that I'd exhibit them as much as possible though I get the impression you wouldn't want me to say that in front of you. Why though, Donna? Super models pay thousands of pounds to get a cleavage like yours, and you act like it's a massive embarrassment. Sorry, bad pun, now that I read that bit back. I have tried to study your breasts without you knowing, but it's like you have Extra Sensory Perception when I try to, making it nigh on impossible. Anyone would think you don't want anyone to look! You do want people to look, don't you Donna? Oh, please say you do want me to look, otherwise that makes me feel like a complete pervert. Oh Donna, what have I done? I'm so sorry. I've never thought of my behaviour in that way before. I really didn't mean to offend you. I was merely curious, and I love looking at you.
I can hear you in my head now scoffing at that last bit, but it's true Donna. I love looking at you. Your hair is long and deliciously ginger. I know you've seen me looking at your hair, and I'm sure you've guessed how often I have fantasised about running my fingers through it or stroking it. When you leave it wavy, I want to thread some curls around my finger and watch the light dance on the colours. And as for your shampoo, well, I breathe it in as much as I can when you are near to me. The best time is when you hug me and I can feel your hair silky smooth against my face, and I can breathe in all your fragrances. I shouldn't have said that, should I? But it's true, so why should I lie? Your hair brings out the blueness of your eyes, ranging from grey to deep blue with flecks of amber. Absolutely lovely, with never the same expression in them. I think you're fully aware of the affect they have on me, especially when you are upset. All it takes is a look and I'd do anything for you, absolutely anything that is within my power and a lot that is beyond if I'm honest. I just want to see those eyes smile at me. And they have done, so many breath-taking times that I'm addicted to them. Take no notice of me; I'm just an old fool.
I also know that you hate your pale, freckly skin, as you would put it. Why do you want to change the colour so much? I think it is lovely. It is so smooth, creamy and gorgeous. It heightens your hair colour and the intensity of your eyes. I want to run my fingers over your skin, to feel the soft hairs there, the way it undulates over your cheekbones and how it sweeps down from your lovely chin to your throat and your collarbone. And, again, I can hear you in my head calling me a pervert. I cannot change the way I feel, because that is how I honestly feel. And I don't want to, I realise now. Okay, maybe I'm not ready to admit this to your face, but I've got as far as admitting it to myself.
You see, Donna Noble, I love you. I don't know exactly how long I have loved you (okay, I do, to the nearest second but it sounds better if I don't admit that) or even exactly why, but I do. I love you. You've no idea how liberating it is to write that down. I love you, Donna Noble. Of course, it does mean that I can never show you this now, but that wasn't the point of writing this letter. The idea was to purge my soul of this affliction, but all it's done is make me more determined to try and sway you towards feeling something more for me. Do you think you ever could? Please say yes. But if the answer is 'no' I can live with it as long as I have you in my life.
He noticed the cold fingers of daylight creep in through the cell window, and he knew his captors would be opening the door soon to take him to his trial. He had already worked out his defence speech, so it was not a great shock when he was declared innocent and released to return to the TARDIS.
Donna was waiting anxiously inside the TARDIS when he eventually opened the door and entered. She threw herself into his arms, hugging him for all she was worth. "What happened to you? I thought you'd get away too but when you didn't turn up last night and your mobile phone went straight to voicemail I…," she wiped away some tears. "Don't do that to me again, do you hear me?"
"I hear you, loud and clear," he confirmed, as he started to extract himself reluctantly from the hug. He was well aware of what behaviour Donna would see as acceptable, and what would be questionable.
He pulled back to take off his overcoat and placed it carefully on the coral strut as he usually did, then he sent the TARDIS into the vortex. Donna held out a hand to him, "How about we go and get our morning cup of tea?"
"I could murder a cup right now," he grinned at her, as he took her hand and let her lead him into the kitchen.
"So tell me all about it," she began as she switched on the kettle, "what happened after we separated? Did you take the left-hand door after all? Was it those Vogon-like things? 'Cos I thought they looked well dodgy, but then again…," she suddenly stopped. "You're not saying much!"
He laughed heartedly, "You're not exactly giving me much chance there. Do I take it that you might have missed me a bit?"
She didn't look directly at him as she replied, "Maybe. Just a wee bit. No harm in that is there?"
"No. None at all," he agreed. "This cup of tea is taking its time though."
"It's the kettle. It seems to be on the blink. Shall I get out a saucepan or do you fancy a cold drink instead?" Donna offered.
"Oh I'm sure it's nothing a little sonic can't fix," the Doctor grinned as he dove into his jacket pocket and pulled out his sonic screwdriver. The trouble is it also brought out the small notepad. It landed unceremoniously on the kitchen worktop before he had the chance to grab it out of sight.
"Oh look! Isn't that the pad you lent me, to use on Messaline? Can I have a look?" Donna put out a hand to take it from him.
"No!" the Doctor thought the force with which he said it sounded strange even to himself. Donna jumped back away from him in shock. He quickly tried to recover the situation. "I'm sorry, Donna, I didn't meant to… it had nothing to do with J-…"
But Donna wasn't looking at him. She was staring at the pad that had fallen open as he yelled at her and pulled his hand away. "It's got my name in it. Is that a letter addressed to me? Why is it addressed to me but I'm not allowed to look?" she turned her watery gaze on him, and he was instantly powerless.
"Please don't read it," he quietly begged, but he made no move to stop her when she picked it up. He held his breath as he watched her skim the contents, and then she took her time and read the letter carefully. He tried desperately to try to read her expressions but she had tilted her face forward enough for her hair to obliterate his view. At least she hadn't said anything yet, so it might be good news. After what seemed an eternity, but was obviously only a minute or so, she lifted her face and looked at him.
Her eyes were filled to the brim with tears. 'Oh heck! she either feels sorry for me or she is so annoyed she wants to go home immediately', he thought.
"Is this true?" she gently asked.
"Which bit?" he asked before he had the chance to think through his response properly.
"All of it," she softly chided.
"Yeah, it's true," he couldn't hold her gaze, not when it was accusing him and he needed her to accept him. Instead he stared intently at the floor, "All of it's true, every last word." He risked peeking up at her, but all he saw were tears starting to trickle down her cheeks as she let out a gentle sob.
He scrambled through his pockets, producing a handkerchief with a magician's flourish to present to her. "I'm sorry, so sorry. You weren't meant to read it. You were never meant to read it. I wrote it to help me get over you; fill in some time in a cell, just to get rid of my feelings. I… I didn't make a very good job of it, I know, but I never meant to make you cry. Please don't cry Donna. Tell me what I can do to make this up to you. I'll do anything," he stole another look at her tear-stained face. "I know I'm a complete dumbo, but I don't want you to leave. Your friendship means more to me than anything. I couldn't bear it if you hated me. Please say something. Donna?" At last, he geared himself up to look at her properly, as she blew into the handkerchief and wiped her nose.
"Oh, I'm allowed to speak now, am I?" she tried to smile at him. He looked so anxiously at her as though he expected her to pronounce his death sentence. "I'm not angry… I'm not angry at all. Shocked, yes! Surprised even, and more than a bit pleased." She saw his expression lighten as she said that.
"You mean you'll stay with me?" he hesitantly asked.
She took one of his hands, that had been gripping the worktop until the knuckles were white, and squeezed it encouragingly. "I promised to stay as long as possible, didn't I?" she looked directly into his soft brown eyes to emphasise her point, and was delighted to watch them widen slightly.
"You mean, you don't mind? That I…?" he looked gob smacked that this wasn't going belly up.
"No, I don't mind at all," she lifted her free hand and gently caressed his cheek. "You never know, you might be able to convince me to…," she never got any further because he leapt forward, crushing her to him and capturing her lips. It was the most divine kiss she had ever received.
When they broke apart, he rested his head against hers and asked, "You didn't mind that I kissed you, did you?"
"A bit late if I did!" she laughed, but sensing his inner turmoil, she caressed his cheek again. "Good job I didn't then. In fact, I'm willing to give it another go." She smiled teasingly up at him, and he kissed her once more, this time entwining his fingers in her hair and taking his time to learn the feel of her lips and the taste of her mouth before moving down to her throat. She shivered deliciously.
"Shall we come back later for tea?" he asked, from his position just below her ear lobe.
"I can live with that," she replied, before she ran her fingers along his scalp, through his luxurious hair, to pull his lips back to hers.