Warning: Contains adult themes, mild violence and a scene in a jacuzzi.
Summary: The Doctor and Donna attend a ceremony, which leads to Donna facing a tricky situation. Written as a prequel to Prison Trip Muses, since a reference was made to this scene.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Doctor Who, not even the jacuzzi.
"Now don't start!" she warned him. "Just because I make some stupid comment about marshmallows, does not mean I want you to take us to some ridiculous ceremony lauding some bloke I've never heard of and will never want to hear of."
"Donna! You are so narrow-minded at times, it's a wonder you don't fall through the cracks in the pavement!" he gleefully taunted her.
"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up Martian boy, cos you won't persuade me with sweet talk like that!" Donna defied him, standing with hands on hips.
"Look, either we make a visit to the junkyard on Mellius III again, or we go to Chunleta, the choice is yours," he fixed her with a determined stare.
"Why are you so obstinate? I don't understand what the attraction for the place is! Or is that the point? That there is someone very attractive there that you'd like to get acquainted with, eh?" she had no intention of backing down, so she was going to get a proper explanation. "Is it your way of elbowing me out the way so that you can get jiggy-jiggy?"
He spluttered, "Where do you get these ideas from? You're amazing at times! Doesn't matter where we land, you manage to go straight into the gutter."
"Ha ha! If that's true then you've been keeping my place warm," she smirked.
"How dare you! I never think of smut to the extent you do," he glared at her.
"Ah! But you do admit to thinking smut!" she quipped triumphantly.
He looked daggers at her, unable to think of a suitable reply, but he fully intended to later. "You may think you're clever, but we are still going to Chunleta whether you want to or not," he ground out through clenched teeth.
"Fine! Take us to wherever you like, since I obviously have no say in the matter whatsoever!" she huffed, arms crossed defensively across her chest. "Just don't expect me to cooperate with anything major!"
"Oh, the usual then!" he threw back, eyeing her guardedly.
"You slimy b-…," she moved into slap-mode, "anybody would think I never help you at all! Well, you're on your own this time, Timeboy!" She spun on the spot and marched towards the corridor.
"Where are you going?" he called after her, but she made some sort of hand gesture at him that he pretended to misunderstand. "Oh, I see I'm on my own then," and he looked forlornly around the empty console room.
It was drizzling as he opened the TARDIS doors to greet Chunleta. He breathed deeply and let the scents waft over him. It was good to be back. He'd had fond memories of this place, many lifetimes ago. Hopefully they still did those little cheesy puff things with the poppy-seed topping. Checking his pockets for all necessary accessories, he stepped outside and headed towards civilisation. He pretended not to be put out by Donna's reluctance to accompany him, but the truth was that he was deeply hurt and annoyed. Why did she have to fight him over everything? Okay, most of the time she had a point, but still…
As he reached a rather grand building with an equally grand guard, he pulled out the psychic paper to wave about, "I believe I'm expected at the ceremony!" he proclaimed. The guard hardly noticed him and allowed him through. Inside there were banners everywhere announcing the presence of the one and only Tolly, who apparently was the best thing since sliced bread in this neck of the woods? The Doctor studied the posters with a great deal of interest; he didn't recognise the name and realised that he had turned up at the wrong ceremony. Maybe he wouldn't mention to Donna later when he saw her that he had miscalculated by a few years or ten. A flunky appeared by his side and asked, "May I see your invitation please sir?" The Doctor flashed the psychic paper again, but the flunky seemed puzzled. "Where is she, sir?"
"Where's who?" asked the Doctor, slightly angry that he was being quizzed over something as mundane as an invite.
"Your wife," the flunky explained, as though he were dealing with an imbecile.
"Oh, right! Her! Well, she's um… she's gone to the… she'll be here in a minute. Women, eh?" the Doctor started on his charm offensive.
"Please make sure she arrives in time to sit down in the appropriate seats before the ceremony begins. Mr Tolly does not like gaps, or late attendees." With a haughty whiff that only the best flunkies manage to make, the flunky drifted off to abrade someone else.
The Doctor was just thinking that Mr Tolly was going to be quite upset with him then, when Donna suddenly appeared in front of him, completely out of breath. "Where hell did you get to? I've had to run all the way here to try and catch you up! If I die from a heart attack after this I'm coming back to haunt you," she warned him.
"But I thought you weren't coming with me," he defended himself. "If I'd have known you were bluffing I'd have waited for you."
"Bluffing? I wasn't bluffing, I was cooling down. I thought you had more sense than that," she glared at him as she regained normal breathing. "Though why I ever thought you'd have any sense at all is beyond me."
"Whilst you're figuring that conundrum out, we'd better go and find our seats before the Fussy Flunky returns," he took hold of her arm and guided her towards the chamber everybody else was headed for the ceremony.
"The Fussy Flunky? Is that the latest dance craze here?" Donna asked, surprisingly obedient for once. She looked around at the other guests as she sat down, "Blimey! You could have warned me to dress up a bit! I feel like a Second Hand Rose in comparison."
He looked at her outfit and then smiled into her eyes. "You look as lovely as always. I don't know why you worry so much."
"Lovely? Have you been drinking already? Or do you need to put your glasses on?" she scoffed. He thought it wise to let that one pass, and turned his attention back to their surroundings.
The ceremony, as it turned out, was very long winded and boring, even for him, or especially for him. Donna whispered a warning to him to stop fidgeting. This trip wasn't turning out as well as he thought it would. The guy on the podium receiving a gong, as Donna put it, was far too full of himself and far too attractive. Donna had sat up straighter, pushing her… er… chest out further, when this Tolly bloke had appeared. What was so impressive about him? Okay, he had nice teeth, thick black hair, piercing green eyes and pleasantly symmetrical features, but that didn't make him God's gift. To add insult to injury, Tolly had been periodically assessing Donna and seemed to like what he saw. The Doctor could see that this'd all end in tears. Not that he could blame Tolly for liking the look of Donna, she had a demanding presence.
What shocked him was the way Tolly made a beeline for her as soon as the ceremony was over and the guests started to mingle. The Doctor found himself elbowed out of the way, Donna almost straining to touch Tolly on the arm when he swept up to her. "Well, hello! I'm known as Tolly, and who am I talking to?"
The Doctor half expected her to retort with 'yourself?' but instead she purred at Tolly "Donna, Donna Noble. Nice to meet you."
"And it is an exquisite pleasure to meet you, Donna Noble," Tolly schmoozed, taking hold of her hand to kiss the back of it. He had the cheek to keep hold of it. "Would you care to join me in a glass or two of wine?"
"Ooh, that would be lovely," she beamed, keeping eye contact with Tolly.
The Doctor stepped forward, "And I'm the Doctor!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't realise that you two were together," Tolly apologised, though he still didn't let go of Donna's hand the Doctor noticed.
"That's 'cos we're not," insisted Donna. "He's merely the designated driver. So I'll take you up on that offer, if you're still asking"
Completely ignoring the Doctor, Tolly pulled her away, "Oh, I'm definitely asking. Shall we?"
The Doctor told himself that he was relieved to be left on his own to investigate this Tolly fellow. There was bound to be something wrong here. It didn't feel right at all. And it had nothing to do with the fact that Tolly reminded him too much of Jack; nope, not at all. Gradually, by backing himself up to the wall and the doorframe, he dipped out of the room and went hunting for clues.
It would seem that this grand building was an administrative as well as a domestic building. Up on the third storey there was evidence of someone living quite a well-heeled lifestyle. There were plush bedrooms, settees and dining areas. It was as the Doctor investigated one of these rooms that he spotted Donna and Tolly together. It in was in the interest of his investigations and the protection of Donna, of course, that the Doctor hid and watched their exchange.
Donna had been led to a private lift that brought them out into a large stateroom furnished with lavishly upholstered settees and antique low tables. Well, she assumed they were antiques since rich and powerful people tended to live with that sort of thing. The servant that had been standing to attention by a drinks cabinet was told to pour Tolly and Donna a drink before being dismissed. She was led to a large sofa in the middle of the room and graciously sat down. "Does everyone get this treatment, or are you putting on a show for me?" Donna couldn't resist asking.
Tolly looked at her with amusement, "I don't think anyone would appreciate this as much as you seem to."
"What makes you think that? I have been in grand places before!" Donna answered, slightly put out by his condescending manner.
"No doubt you have! But I think we have a mutual interest in being here," he turned to hand her a glass of wine from a nearby table.
Donna tried hard to overlook the smarm, or wonder where the Doctor was at that moment, should she need him. "I'm just admiring the scenery, nothing more," she said.
He laughed, "So am I! Very much so!"
Donna blushed. It wasn't everyday she received such obvious compliments. Come to think of it, she didn't receive that many backhanded compliments either; well, if you ignored the Doctor telling her she was brilliant every now and then. With that in mind, she decided to make the most of this interlude. "So, what do you do for fun around here?"
"Ooh! I think I'm beginning to like you a lot!" Tolly leered at her. "More wine?"
From his hiding place, the Doctor had the perfect position to judge Tolly and his advances towards Donna; and boy did the Doctor judge him! He also thought of several descriptions for the man that involved slime, questionable parentage, and robbery.
He watched as Tolly made his moves on Donna, who seemed to be enjoying the attention enormously. The Doctor made mental notes on which pieces of endearment and schmooze worked on her, and which ones evidently didn't. He wasn't snooping, he was gathering scientific data for future experiments; that is, if he ever got as far as being in a situation where he felt capable of using the collected data. The Doctor sighed.
Unfortunately, he sighed a little bit too loudly for his own good. Tolly's head turned in his direction quicker than a rat up a drainpipe. "We appear to have company," Tolly said to Donna, as he stood up and began to investigate where the sound came from.
"Perhaps it was a cat or something," Donna suggested, hoping against hope that it wasn't the Doctor.
"What's a cat?" Tolly asked her, clearly puzzled.
"Er… it's some sort of annoying furry animal where I come from. Gramps is always trying to shoo them away from his…," Donna trailed off as she caught sight of where the Doctor was hiding. Why couldn't he leave well alone for once?
Tolly saw her looking intently and guessed correctly that she wasn't telling him all that she knew. He decided to set a trap instead. Tolly crossed over the room back to Donna and gripped her wrist firmly. "If there is no-one there, they won't mind me doing this," and he pinned Donna to the settee, attacking her neck with his mouth.
"Geroff! Get off me this instant!" Donna floundered, unable to get enough purchase to wallop him one. She had just figured out how to get her foot within booting distance when the Doctor gave himself up and appeared in the room.
"Okay, Tolly, you've got me to show my face; so why don't you let her go now?" the Doctor asked Tolly in an icily cold voice.
Tolly released Donna, and stood examining the man in front of him. "Ah yes, the man Donna was talking to earlier. Looks like we found your annoying furry animal, Donna! Don was it? What were you looking for, Don?"
"As I said before, I'm the Doctor, and I was just admiring your tapestries over there. Very nicely colour-coordinated, I must say. Now if you'd give me back my friend, we'll be leaving," he took a step towards Donna, but Tolly blocked his way.
"Oh I don't think so, Doctor. Donna and I are getting better acquainted. You on the other hand are far from welcome to stay," Tolly stood menacingly.
"Okay," the Doctor said slowly, "how about I sit here and wait until you are better acquainted; and then we'll leave together as I just said."
Donna had stood up, trying to get to the Doctor, but Tolly held out a hand and stopped her, speaking to the Doctor, "I don't think so."
Something blunt hit the back of the Doctor's head, causing him to crumple to his knees. "Leave him alone!" Donna yelled at the tall man, dressed in a black suit, who'd coshed him. "And as for you," she turned her attention back to Tolly, "What the hell do you think you are playing at?"
Tolly grabbed her right wrist, "Stopping you from injuring yourself."
Donna tried to jerk away from him, but he held her fast. "Keep on resisting me and your friend will pay the price," he threatened.
"What do you mean?" Donna looked worriedly at the Doctor, who still seemed dazed.
"How about," he nodded at his aide before speaking to Donna properly, "you help to… entertain me, and I won't fatally wound your friend?"
"I'll tell you what, mate, you are completely barmy!" Donna spat out. "What makes you think I'll play your game?" To her shock, the aide drew out a knife and held it to the Doctor's neck.
"I think I might be able to persuade you," Tolly seemed pleased at Donna's reaction to the threat; especially as the Doctor was still only capable of groaning.
"You dare harm him and I'll make sure you never wake up again in the morning!" Donna promised.
"Really?" Tolly didn't seem overly worried. "Anybody would think he meant something to you!" he pulled Donna nearer to him and stared into her eyes. "If I want a beautiful young virgin to… er… keep me company for the night, then I make certain it happens."
"You think…," Donna was about to scoff at him, and then suddenly changed her tune. "I'll comply without a guarantee that he'll be okay? You're having a laugh!" She changed behavioural tactics as well, deliberately walking her fingers up his lapel and toying with his tie. "I'll do as I'm told for a while, and if you prove to me he is okay later, I'll make sure the rest of your evening is very interesting," she purred.
His expression told her he was very interested in this plan, "Let's give it a try then." Tolly turned to his aide, "Take him and lock him in a bedroom for a while and bring him to me unharmed later." The aide nodded his agreement and effortlessly lifted the Doctor up and took him out of the room.
Aiming for bright and breezy, Donna asked, "So, what game shall we play first? Monopoly? Charades? Or perhaps 'Knock Down Ginger'? And you have no idea what any of those games are, have you?"
"No, but I can think of a game that involves stripping down and drinking wine in a jacuzzi." Tolly continued to hold her close, by the wrist, but he didn't sound so menacing now, "How do you feel about that, Donna?"
"I hope you have my size in a swimming costume," Donna quipped, knowing full well that she couldn't carry out this plan naked.
"I'm sure we'll find something very suitable," Tolly seemed pleased with how this scenario was playing out.
The jacuzzi was wonderful, and in normal circumstances Donna would have pleaded to have used it, but instead it was a bittersweet experience. The swimming costume Tolly had found for her was a skimpy bikini, and showed miles more skin than she was comfortable with. Obviously, Tolly had particular fantasies, and did this sort of thing often, well often enough to be prepared. She deliberately flirted with Tolly, sipped her wine slowly, and desperately hoped that the Doctor was okay somewhere in the building; or failing that, that he had escaped unharmed.
As the wine started to have its inevitable effect on her, Tolly became friskier, and Donna was finding it harder to keep him at bay. She stayed determined that he wouldn't get his reward for good behaviour until she had proof the Doctor was okay and released. At least Tolly would appear to be more bearable once she was drunk, but she evaded that slippery slope for as long as she could.
"Come on Donna, just a kiss, I promise," Tolly tried to seduce her.
Donna knew those sort of promises weren't worth the paper they were written on. "I've told you already," she tried to purr, but it came out a bit more slurred instead. She became quickly aware that she needed to make sure the Doctor was safe as soon as possible; otherwise, she'd loose her bargaining chip. "Bring me the Doctor in, what, two minutes, and I promise that you'll get that kiss."
Donna was gratified that Tolly immediately had the Doctor sent for. 'Show time' thought Donna, as her head began to swim.
"Ah, the Doctor has arrived, I see," sneered Tolly. "There you go, my dear. I didn't kill him after all. Do I receive my reward now?"
An inebriated Donna snorted at him, "Reward you for bringing me back my husband? Maybe I should punish you!" she laughed drunkenly, almost falling under the water but managing to recover herself just in time. Tolly looked at her in shock. "What? You didn't know he was my husband? Got the ring somewhere and everything! What did you think all that fuss was about earlier then? I wouldn't say that about just ol' anybody! He had to be special; otherwise I wouldn't have bothered with him." Donna snorted again.
Tolly looked from her to the Doctor, glaring at him disapprovingly, "Your wife seems to be out of your control, Doctor. I don't think you should have let her out of your sight."
The Doctor bristled, "It's a bit hard to keep an eye on your spouse when you are tied to a wall. If you have harmed one hair on her head, I'll…"
"Hollow words, Doctor," Tolly stopped drinking from his wineglass and eyed Donna with disgust. "Please remove your wife from my tub. I find my tastes here have suddenly changed." He wafted at two servants who leapt forward with a bathrobe and towels as he removed himself from the jacuzzi. "I shall find myself some better company. Make sure you've removed yourselves from here by the time I return!" With one final backward disapproving glance, Tolly and his servants left the two of them on their own.
The Doctor raced to Donna's side, taking hold of her arm to steady her. She tried to grin at him mischievously but it came off as rather creepy. "Are you alright, Donna? You shouldn't have risked yourself like that! He might have killed you!" the Doctor chided her.
"But he didn't, did he? Wasn't sure if it would work, but I had to chance it. Couldn't have you on my conscience and all that," she vaguely waved in his direction and almost lost her grip on the side of the tub again. "I think something in that drink is affecting me."
"I'd say it was a definite!" he smirked.
"O-kay, feeling a bit…," and she disappeared under the water suddenly, to emerge seconds later spluttering.
"Donna! You're going to end up drowning yourself if you're not careful," he cried, leaning over the edge of the jacuzzi.
"Well, help me out then," she pouted, as she attempted to stand without much luck. She burst into a fit of giggles, "I seem to be legless!"
"Yeah, I can see that!" he smiled despite himself. "Come on, up you get." He reached in and took hold of her around the waist with one arm, and placed the other arm underneath her legs.
"My hero!" she grinned at him. "Pity you haven't got a fireman's uniform… or… or…. better still, that white outfit Richard Gere had on in that film! What was it called now? Oh yes! 'An Officer and a Gentleman' I liked that one!"
"I bet you did," he chuckled. She threw her arms around his neck and placed a kiss on his cheek, much to his surprise. He lifted her out with ease, ignoring the water that soaked most of him, her scantily clad form, the scent of her perfume, the smoothness of her bare skin, and most of all, the way his heart rate picked up at her nearness. He finally had Donna Noble encased in his arms and he was powerless to stop himself from enjoying it.
She studied him and frowned, "Telling yourself a good joke there, Spaceman? Care to share? I could do with a good laugh."
He knew he was grinning from ear to ear, but he couldn't help it. "No, Donna, there's no joke, just me enjoying rescuing you again," he explained.
"Excuse me, but I just saved your butt back there, so don't go all… whatsername on me!" she slurred. "I know you!"
"Funnily enough, I know you too!" he laughed. "Now, shall we get out of this place, or do you like it too much?"
"Nuh! I'm a bit fed up with all this being pampered. It's not all it's cracked up to be. Though the being carried around part is beginning to grow on me," she snuggled into his neck, and yawned. "I might even be prepared to stay here on you a bit longer, but can we go home please?"
He looked down at her fondly, "Allons y, Ms Noble, your carriage awaits."
"Is it the one drawn by two white mice? Only it's getting a bit close to midnight and they want the pumpkin back," she told his neck sleepily.
"Don't worry, I've made all the suitable arrangements," he told her. "Make yourself as comfy as you like." He was amazed how he managed to negotiate the various corridors whilst keeping up their usual banter.
"Just for the record, I don't let just anybody take me home when I've had a few too many. I'm not that easy." Donna didn't want him to get the wrong idea about her.
"Well, you did just let me pick you up" he replied. "And you are letting me take you back to my place."
"Ah, see, that's where you're wrong! It's officially my place too now," she grinned. She lifted her head from the comfort of his neck and eyed him, "It is official, isn't it?"
"I'd say it is if you're going to continue calling yourself my wife," he loved watching her squirm over that one. Her blush made her eyes shine.
"Oh, I only said that to… well, you know," she suddenly gripped him tighter round the neck as they hit the colder outside air, and she began to tremble. "Can you get a move on? I'm starting to freeze here. Or would it be easier to put me down?"
He looked at her doubtful face, "That's okay; I can carry you all the way. It's not a problem, you're lighter than you think." He smiled reassuringly at her, "Besides, you have nothing on your feet."
"I've got next to nothing on the rest of me either!" her embarrassment was almost tangible. "So, do you do this often?"
"What, rescue near-naked women? No, this is a first. I could get to like it," he waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her. The sight of the TARDIS nearby had brightened his mood considerably.
"Shall I click my fingers for you this time? Or did you want to do it yourself?" she asked.
"In your new official capacity I'd say you ought to have a go," he encouraged her. With one click, the doors to the TARDIS opened slowly, and the Doctor carried Donna through, not stopping until they reached her bedroom. He set her down carefully next to her bed.
"Bloody hell! You need a medal after all that!" she exclaimed. "Did I put your back out?"
"No. And as long as I have you here, that's reward enough in itself," he replied, glad that she hadn't removed her arms from around his neck yet.
"Oi! I'm the one who's drunk enough to get soppy round here!" she admonished him. "But ditto," and she kissed him on the cheek again. He blushed to the tips of his ears. She giggled as she released him from her clutches, and sunk down onto the edge of the bed. "Oh Gawd! I'd forgotten! Look at me! Not exactly a sight for sore eyes, am I?" She looked down at herself disapprovingly.
He tilted her chin up with one finger and glared at her, "Donna, would you stop saying stuff like that! Tolly obviously thought you were beautiful, and I… " He faltered to a stop.
She took hold of his hand, "That's what I love about you. You always know what to say to make me feel better. I'm so glad you're my best friend." She smiled her brightest smile, before gradually sliding back onto her bed in a drunken sleep.
He lifted the covers around to cocoon her, and though sorely tempted to aim for Donna's lips, kissed her on the forehead. "Me too!" the Doctor whispered before leaving Donna to her slumbers.