Warning: Contains slight references to sex, but I've tried to hide them.
Summary: Set in a fluffy AU where the Doctor and Donna have two young sons, they take John to Donna's old home. This is a sequel to Back Where He Belongs: chapter 5 of "Looking For Brother John".
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters from Doctor Who, only the two people I've given them to love.
Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig
Sylvia came into the lounge to find Teddie doing something to her sleeping father's head. "Teddie! What exactly do you think you are doing?" she demanded. "Are you trying to hurt your Gramps?"
"No!" Teddie protested, dropping his hands down to his sides before spreading the palms out and open in a placating fashion. "I was just…"
"Just what?" Sylvia glared. "I think your father will have a thing or two to say to you," she threatened.
"Yeah, I think he will," confessed Teddie. "Maybe I should go and tell him myself?"
"Yes, I think you should!" agreed Sylvia. "And tell him dinner is almost ready while you're about it!"
"Yes, Nanny," he sheepishly looked at her and then got down off the sleeping Wilf's lap and made for where his father was, out in the garden fiddling, or pretending to fiddle with Sylvia's broken radio.
The Doctor looked up as Teddie approached him in Wilf's shed. "Hello! What's the matter? Been told off again?" he knew Teddie meant well but that didn't mean Sylvia always understood his intentions.
"Yes, Nanny found me doing…," he drew his hands up to look like an upside-down spider hanging in the wind, "on Gramps, and she didn't like it."
"Why were you doing…," the Doctor imitated him, "in the first place?"
"I was practising; seeing if I could do it like you can. Gramps had been telling me about his days in the army but he said he couldn't find the words to let me imagine it for myself. So I thought I'd give…," he did the motion again, "a go to see if I could see into his mind."
"And could you?" the Doctor's interest well and truly tweaked now.
"Not quite," Teddie looked pleased with himself nevertheless. "I could feel lots of emotions and blurring images, but not much of it went together or made sense." He beamed at the Doctor's proud expression.
"It will all take time and practise," the Doctor ruffled Teddie's hair. "Try it out on something like a dog for now since the imagery won't be as overwhelming as a human."
"When can I practise on you, Dad?" Teddie lifted his excited little face. "When?"
"I don't think that's a good idea, not even in the near future," he quickly pulled Teddie into a hug when he saw the downcast effect his words had. "I don't want to damage you with what's going on in here," he whispered against Teddie's head, "I couldn't live with myself if I hurt you in any way."
"That's okay, Dad. I understand," Teddie kissed his cheek. "I thought you might be hiding some secrets from Mum," he said cheekily.
"Oh no! I can't hide anything from her!" the Doctor grinned. "And you're forgetting that she's lived with my mind in hers, so she knew what she was getting into with me." He chuckled at the thought, grateful that she had indeed decided to stay with him despite knowing all about him and more.
"Did you know exactly what you were getting into with Mum? I mean, what made you decide without going into her mind?" Teddie tentatively studied him.
"Oh, but I have been in her mind; well I had before… any way… yes, I first went into her mind when we were on the Oodsphere. Did Mum tell you that?" Teddie nodded. "After that I knew how special she was and that…"
"And what, Dad?" a little puzzled frown appeared on Teddie's face.
"Don't tell her this, but I knew there was hope for me," the Doctor confessed.
"In what way?" Teddie bit his lower lip the way Donna often did.
"Hope that she genuinely wanted to stay with me forever."
"Of course Mum did!" Teddie exclaimed. "Why would you think otherwise?"
"It wasn't as obvious then, Smudge," the Doctor took a breath before continuing. "We liked each other. We liked each other a lot! That was obvious! In fact, people were always telling us that. Made us stubbornly refuse to admit it though. Yeah, in hindsight we were a bit delusional. And other things always got in the way, or other people, should I say."
"You are glad you're with Mum, aren't you?" the appeal in the question was heart-breaking.
"Yes, I'm very glad. I wouldn't want it to be any other way," he hastily agreed.
"So what was so good about Mum's mind? Should I practise on her?" the question was almost inevitable.
"You've already shared her mind; when you were in the womb, remember?" the Doctor gently pointed out.
"Oh yes! I'd forgotten that!" Teddie gave a happy smile. "She used to sing to me, and tell me stories about when she was a little girl." Teddie concentrated some more, "I also remember you talking to me… it was in Gallifreyan, wasn't it? About the mountains and the Citadel. Blimey! I hadn't realised how much or how far back I remember! I can even remember… oh!" He blushed.
The Doctor blushed too, "Yeah, let's forget that bit, shall we?" to which Teddie gave a quick nod.
"You're not going to give me 'the talk' now, are you?" Teddie hesitantly asked.
"Good grief no!" the Doctor gave him a squeeze, "Not the time or the place, eh? But start thinking up some questions for a later date."
"Sure, Dad." Teddie drew his attention to Sylvia's radio sitting on the side, "Have you fixed it?"
"Oh that thing! Ages ago! I've been… well, I've been scanning things for fun since then to be honest," he answered meekly.
"Does that mean you've been avoiding Nanny while Gramps is asleep?" he knowingly asked.
"Might be… just a bit… between you and me," they shared a conspiratorial smile.
"Talking of Nanny, she said to tell you dinner will be ready soon. Do you think Mum and Uncle John will be back in time?" Teddie fiddle with the knobs on the radio, and gave the Doctor a cautious glance, "Dad? About Uncle John, are you… erm… are you okay with him living with us?"
"What makes you think I have a problem?" the Doctor tensed despite his intentions.
"Nothing, just that… him and Mum are awfully pally and you often disappear to tinker with stuff and… erm… I wondered if you minded," Teddie still didn't look at him but continued fiddling with the settings.
"No, I'm fine! Couldn't be finer! It's nice for your mother to have a friend," he nodded enthusiastically; "I couldn't be finer!"
"Are you sure?" Teddie swept his gaze upon him. "Only I'm not convinced you are! I get…," he jiggled his fingers in the air.
"Do you now?" the Doctor watched the finger movement with interest. "So… dinner you said! Let's go in?" he clapped his hands together to denote the end to that conversation.
At that point they heard Donna's laugh ring out from the nearby kitchen, and then they saw her step through the patio doors. "Jamie was mortified when Hardeep said that! Poor bloke didn't know where to look!" she was saying to someone, probably Sylvia, before turning towards the shed and she made her way down the narrow path. She knocked on the shed door frame, "Permission to come aboard ship, sir?"
Teddie gleefully shouted back, "Permission granted!" before running forward to hug her.
"Thought I'd find you hiding in here," Donna smirked at the Doctor. "Oh well, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen!"
"And hello to you too," he replied slightly sulkily.
She loosened her grip on Teddie to touch the Doctor's arm tenderly, "What's the matter? Has something happened?"
"No, I'm alright!" he automatically responded, and regretted it instantly as he saw her concerned expression. He let her take hold of his hand and lead them back towards the house.
Entering the kitchen, Teddie rushed off to return Sylvia's radio to its rightful place in the bedroom, and Donna took the chance to whisper to the Doctor, "Are you going to tell me yet?"
He pulled her into a loose embrace, and caressed her cheek, "Honestly, I'm alright."
"And I'm a Dutchman! I'll deal with you later, Mister," she promised.
John bound up to them, "Can I borrow Donna again for a moment?" He hardly looked at the Doctor as he asked, but made a grab for Donna's hand and pulled her over to the dining table. "What do you think?" he eagerly asked her.
Sylvia smoothed her hand down John's arm, "It looks wonderful! You are very talented!"
John beamed at the attention he was receiving. He really loved being here in Donna's old house. Sylvia had been nothing but kindness towards him, making him feel special, and he'd felt part of her family instantly. "You like it?" he glowed.
"The table looks lovely, John," Donna pressed a kiss to his cheek, making him blush to the tips of his ears.
"I helped!" piped up Jamie, "I put the serviettes in the right place, but Uncle John folded them into lilies."
"Well done, Squeaks," Donna kissed his head too. "Now all we need is Gramps to wake up and we can eat."
The Doctor felt he needed to bring back some of the attention to him as Donna, Sylvia and John started to dish up dinner and hand out dinner plates. "What was it you were saying about Hardeep?" he asked as he took a plate from Donna.
"Oh that!" Donna shot a sheepish glance at her mother. "He thought that John was Jamie's dad, just a little misunderstanding really."
"I quickly told him I wasn't you," John put in, "but I'm not sure he believed me!"
"Of course he believed you!" Sylvia smiled fondly at him. "Who could think otherwise with an honest face like that?" She was delighted to see him blush again.
The Doctor, however, was not delighted! "I see," he merely commented.
"Aye aye! Watch out my boy!" Wilf teased him, "He'll be stealing away Donna next as well as your son!" Everybody laughed heartedly, except the Doctor who managed only a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. But nobody was paying attention to him to notice.
The Doctor and the boys did the washing up afterwards, during which Jamie jabbered on about his trip out with Donna and John, what Hardeep had said exactly, how he'd reacted, almost every detail. The Doctor found himself paying careful attention whilst Teddie asked Jamie questions about where they'd been, what they saw, what was said; it was amazing how much Jamie remembered in great detail. Having finished his job, Jamie skipped off to sit with Donna.
"Dad? Are you alright?" Teddie considered him closely with concern. "'Cos you really don't seem right. Was it something you ate? Too much Nanny in one go? Or is all this too domestic?"
He placed a hand on the boy's shoulder, "It's nothing I can't handle; but thanks!"
"Okay, but we were going to play a game of darts with Gramps and show Uncle John what a pub looks like at the same time," Teddie had noticed the slight reaction to John's name, and once again was concerned about how his father was coping. "Mum's coming too, so if you want to play as well…?"
"Ah! I can't let you beat everyone on your own, can I? Sounds like fun!" the Doctor was pleased to see a relieved smile as answer on the boy's face.
Teddie made a mental note to consult with his mother at the first opportunity. After having gathered some evidence first, of course, to work with. He really hoped having Uncle John stay with them wouldn't cause too many settling in problems; especially as Nanny and Gramps seemed to adore him. They'd even planted a special tree to honour Uncle John. A cheeky grin spread across his face, and Teddie wondered if he ought to use this as an opportunity to have a little fun! What harm could it do after all?
TBC in "Once More Round the Block"