Warning: Contains a couple of mild swear words, and sarcasm.

Summary: Set after the Unicorn and the Wasp, the Doctor and Donna aren't feeling well with a 'space cold'. Prompt by louiecat68.

Disclaimer: I do not earn a penny from Doctor Who; I merely contribute to BBC funds via my licence fee.

A/N: This was originally written so that Donna and the Doctor had different fonts, but this site soon put paid to that idea! So I've used italics for written speech instead - hope you can follow it okay.

Donna shuffled into the kitchen feeling like death warmed up and looking like she'd been dragged through a hedge backwards. "Morning, Spaceman!" she rasped out.

"Morning, Donna. Blimey, you look rough!" the Doctor observed.

"Thanks. I try and keep myself beautiful. It's called 'essence of cold'," she retorted, sitting down; though slumping would have been a better word to describe her action.

"Is that 'cold' as in temperature or the illness?" he asked, wary of getting near to her.

She pointed to her reddened nose caused by tissue abuse, "No, as in 'war' obviously, you prawn! Whatever it is, I got it from you."

"What do you mean you got it from me? How did you do that?" he protested.

"I was fine before; I kiss you, and I end up with a cold. Doesn't take a lot of logic to work out I got it from you!" she accused him.

"Excuse me, but doesn't logic also rely on me actually having a cold when you kissed me?" he pointed out as he risked placing her breakfast in front of her.

She considered him over her cup of tea, "I suppose so. Don't think you've got off scot free though. If someone else in the Manor gave me this cold, it means you've got it now."

"Well, thanks for sharing!" he sneered.

"Ours is a caring sharing relationship. I wouldn't want you to miss out, would I?" she sipped her tea and tried eating a piece of toast. "I don't think I can eat this."

"That proves it!" ignoring her glare he grabbed hold of her wrist and pulled her out of the chair. "You are going back to bed, where I will bring you plenty of fluids and several paracetamol tablets; all you have to do is sleep."

"Will I need to take a course for that?" she quipped. She let him guide her back into her bedroom.

"Nope, I think you have all the necessary qualifications. Come on, let's get you tucked in," he pulled back the covers and hovered over her until she had climbed into bed again. "And no trying to get up again, you hear me?"

"Yes, Mum!" she lay down as ordered. "What about you? Shouldn't you be taking something as well?"

"Who me? Nah! Colds don't affect me. I'm right as ninepence. Now be good, and I'll bring you something nice for lunch," he promised. He gave her a little wave, which she returned, and he made his way out of her room towards the library.

Donna woke a few hours later generally feeling better but with a sore throat. She looked to see if the Doctor had brought her in a drink, but there was no refreshing glass of anything on her bedside cabinet. 'Flipping Martian', she thought. She got out of bed and made her way to the console room to moan at him, but he was nowhere to be seen. Turning back down the corridor she tried the kitchen and then the library. She found him curled up on one of the sofas asleep. Torn between her maternal and tormenting instincts she lightly touched the end of his nose. He squirmed, so she naturally did it again.

He snuffled awake. "What d'you do that for?" he rasped at her.

"To ask you what happened to the drink you promised," she said; only that was what she meant to say, but nothing came out of her mouth. She looked at him wide-eyed in astonishment, and tried the sentence again. Nothing came out. She stood like a muppet without its puppeteer.

"What was that, Donna? Can't quite hear you," he grinned at her unease. He gave a throaty laugh when she mimed a rude gesture at him that implied he was a bit foolish. "Flattery will get you everywhere," he warned her, but another gesture implied she didn't care.

She made a mocking gesture that he easily interpreted, "Yes, I'm aware I have a froggy throat too. Does it make me sound sexy?" Another gesture from Donna, "No? I thought it might do when I eventually started to lose my voice." He watched her, "Okay, I think I'm going to need some extra help working that one out…. Where did I put that note pad?" the Doctor dove into his pockets and raked around. After 5 minutes or so he brought out a small pad with an attached pencil. "There you go! Now I can find out what you're saying," he handed her the pad.

How long am I going to be like this? She scribbled.

"I don't know! I can't know everything!" he whinged. "I never said I did, before you say otherwise," he met her glare. "This throat hurts like a good'un. Did you have this?" and his hopes went down when she nodded fervently at him.

Just before my voice totally went, she scribbled and looked at him to see his expression change to horror. His lips were moving but no sound was coming out.

He gestured madly before scrabbling in his inside jacket pocket and presenting his wallet holding the psychic paper with a flourish. The words Found it could be seen clearly on it.

WTF? Why couldn't you have found one for me? Berk! Donna scribbled.

Cos I didn't think of it 2 minutes ago! So sue me! The Doctor flashed at her. She sat down next to him to view the paper.

Can't you rustle up psychic paper for me?

Sorry only have the one piece

Rip it!

No! I can't do that! Stupid…


Sorry Don't cry! He put a consoling arm around her. If this takes a time we'll swop every half hour. How's that?

OK she cuddled into him. What shall we do now?

Dunno! Have something to eat?

She swatted his arm. You and your stomach!

What? Can't a person eat now? Feed a cold and starve a fever! Remember?

Alright! She took hold of his hand and got up off the settee, gesturing towards the kitchen.

You're right. It would be far easier if you had psychic paper too. She nodded her agreement enthusiastically.

They made themselves a quick meal with various cheeses, crusty bread and grapes washed down with plenty of vitamin C containing fruit juice; all in verbal silence. In fact they found their silence quite eerie. They had fun acting out little scenarios like some bizarre form of charades; and ended up laughing as much as usual. They felt better, but the enforced muteness continued.

True to his word, the Doctor swopped papers with Donna. OK? He asked with his newly acquired scribbling sheet.

She took hold of the psychic paper. Much better, thanks! That pad was so restricting it was unbelievable! Now I can talk properly again


Wow! This psychic paper is amazing! Look! I can get it to do pictures and everything! She whirled towards him in her excitement. I can think fish and there's a little picture of my goldfish from when I was little. I called him Spot. A bit obvious, I know, but I loved him!

Donna! He held up his little pad of paper.

And look at that! That caricature of you is FUNNY! A brilliant cartoon of steam coming out of your head! I could play with this for hours!

DONNA! He gripped her sleeve in a desperate bid to get her attention.

Sorry, Spaceman! I was miles away then! What do you want? Can we ever get out of the kitchen? Only my bum is starting to go numb on this seat! Don't give me that look! This isn't my fault you know!

Yes it is!

What makes you think that, eh? Just 'cos I did you a favour and kissed you doesn't mean you can go all Wuthering Heights on me!

You what?

All dramatic like, as if you're one of those fainting drama-queens they feature in Mills & Boon books. Read a few of those in my teens and they were rubbish! It was always the same… bloke turns up, she gets pissed off with him, he grabs her, they kiss and it all ends happily ever after. Though in the more recent books he gets to bonk her first before she realises she's in love with him! As if that would really happen in real life? Who are they kidding?

His head began to swim with the effort of reading all this jabber. Donna! He waved the notepad in her face.

I know what you are going to say! Yes, I am aware that I should be reading someone who writes proper stuff… someone like Dickens, Shaw or what's that bloke's name again? Oh yes! Salman Rushdie, I think, or was it Dan Brown? Hang on, I know that look; it definitely wasn't Dan Brown, was it? I've always like Bill Bryson myself. "Notes Round A Small Island" was brilliant; I never knew how rubbish some B&Bs were, well, I did but that's beside the point. He made me laugh! What is it with you and that pad? You'll be wearing it as a necklace if you're not careful, on the inside of your throat!

He threw his hands up in defeat.

Don't give me that attitude, Timeboy! You can't intimidate me as easily as that! You just don't like listening to me for a change. I have things I want to say too!

Do you?

Yes I do! I have to stand back and let you do most of the talking all of the time, and that's not fair! Why am I considered the lesser being in this relationship? I pull my weight…

Not your weight again!

Look here, Sunshine, I have every right to talk about what concerns me, and my weight has been… well, it's been the bane of my life! When people asked me if I could pinch an inch after that stupid Kellogg's advert, I had to cheerfully ask them back how many inches did they want! That's not easy to keep that up, you know!

But you are NOT fat! He huffed in a non-verbal way.

So says you, the walking swizzle stick! I know you think you are being kind but… I just wish you would be totally honest. Her head drooped and her shoulders slumped.

The Doctor tapped her on the arm to get her attention. I am being honest!

Yeah, sure! Donna's whole manner dripped sarcasm.

He felt he was on a hiding to nothing here, so he decided to change the subject. Have you thought about trying to talk again yet?

No. Do you think it's worth trying? She looked suspiciously at him. Or is this just a way to shut me up on the psychic paper?

Worth trying. He smiled reassuringly at her. She smiled back.

"Okay," she rasped out, but her face was ecstatic. "I can talk!"

The Doctor tried a word, but nothing still came out, so he hastily scribbled. I've got a few minutes to wait. Donna handed him the psychic paper back, smiling indulgently at him. Phew! That's better! All that writing is SO restrictive!

"Tell me about it," Donna croaked.

You should conserve your voice still. I'm not saying you shouldn't talk at all, so don't look at me like that! I'm only concerned with your well-being…honestly! Shall we go and get ourselves a healing throat gargle? He looked at her hopefully, reaching out to grab her hand.

"Okay Batman, or should I say 'Lead on Macduff'?" she gave a throaty laugh.

Do I need to whistle now and twist round three times? Or does that only apply only when you're in a theatre? Who cares? He swung their joined hands. The end is sight and I'll be able to talk normally soon too! He gave her a wide grin.

"Prawn!" Donna muttered fondly out as they headed into the med-room. She almost resisted kissing him on the cheek too.