Summary: Set in a (normally) fluffy AU where Donna and the Doctor have two sons, John has returned and is adjusting to the real world. This is a sequel to Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Doctor Who (or Eastenders), only the two people I've given them to love.
Once More Round the Block
"Mummy, I'm bored! I wish I'd gone to watch West Ham with Teddie and Gramps now," Jamie gave Donna his best pout. "Shopping with Nanny would have been better than this! What can I do?"
"Go out and have a run around," Donna suggested, looking up from the newspaper she was reading. "In fact, that's what I thought you were going to do."
He turned his eager attention onto John, clasping his hand. "Uncle John! You promised!" Jamie complained. "You said you'd take me to the park to play!"
John groaned. "All right! I'll come; but don't expect me to run around too much, I've just eaten my lunch!"
Donna smirked at him, "Don't make promises you're not prepared to keep! Rule number one with kids!"
"Ha ha! Laugh it up, sis. I'm doing you a favour, remember!" John glowered at Donna.
That drew Jamie's keen interest, "What favour is that, Uncle John?"
"Letting your mum have some 'quality' time with your dad, Squeaks," John dipped down to whisper into Jamie's ear. "Come on, grab your coat!"
Jamie took hold of John's hand and happily skipped out of Sylvia's front door. They made their way down the road and entered the park through one of the smaller entrances. Jamie immediately spotted the playground and made straight for it. "Ooh! Uncle John, what shall I go on first?" he trilled.
"I quite fancy the slide," John told him.
"Oh no, Uncle John, you can't go on these things!" Jamie giggled. "Grown-ups aren't allowed!"
"Too bad!" John pouted. "The swings look like fun."
"We'll ask the TARDIS to give you one, shall we?" Jamie beamed up at him.
John beamed back, "I like that idea, Squeaks!"
Jamie started climbing on the helicopter frame, so John sat himself down to watch and supervise. A few minutes later a little red-haired girl ran over to the playground and started to climb too.
"'ello!" she greeted Jamie. "Not seen you before round 'ere."
"We're visiting my Nanny," he told her. "This is my first time here in ages. Daddy is very busy, too busy to bring me here."
The little girl turned to look at John, "He's not very busy now. Good! We can have a good game on this. Who shall we pretend to be?"
Jamie considered this, "Erm… how about we fight the Racnoss, and you're full of huon particles for me to detect with my sonic screwdriver?"
"You're funny!" the girl smiled. "Completely nutty, but I like you! Who are the Racnoss?"
"Evil spider creatures," Jamie explained in low tones, since he knew they were particularly evil.
"Eww! I don't like spiders!" the little girl scrunched her face up in disgust. "Yes, let's fight them."
They chased around, shooting at imaginary creatures, having a whale of a time, until the girl fell down and started crying. John rushed over and pulled out a handkerchief to dab her eyes and soothe her distress. "It's okay, you haven't hurt anything and there's no blood," he told her.
"Oi! You! Get away from my daugh'er," floated across the park from a very irate woman storming towards them. "Tiffany! Get away from that pervert!"
John watched her flounce towards them, her long red hair streaming out behind her; and he recognised faint stirrings from ages ago. "I wasn't… I didn't…," he began to splutter as soon as the woman was near enough to hear him.
"Yeah, that's exactly right, mate! And you won't get the chance either," she threatened from a distance.
He turned and stood from his crouched position in front of Tiffany, pulling himself to his full height, "I'm sorry, but she fell over and…"
"Daddy was helping her!" Jamie piped up from behind him. "We was playing killing evil spiders and she fell." He gave Tiffany's mum the best smile he could rustle up.
It seemed to work, the woman began to smile at them and she eyed John up and down appreciatively. "Are you alright, Tiffany?" she asked the now quiet girl.
"Yes, Mum!" Tiffany sniffed. "We was having a fun game," she wiped her nose with John's handkerchief and then tried to give it back to him.
"That's okay! Keep it," he waved dismissively at the article.
"So, you've escaped from your wife for a while 'ave you?" Tiffany's mum asked him.
He gave her a puzzled look, "I'm not married."
Jamie jumped in with, "Daddy's all on his own. Are you on your own?"
"Yeah! Tiffany's dad done a bunk yonks ago. Dunno where he's 'iding himself, though the Child Support Agency tried 'ard to find 'im," she smiled broadly at John. "Do you fancy fixing up a play date for the kids sometime?"
"Oh! I dunno! I'll have to ask…," he looked to Jamie for help. "I'm sure Jamie here would love… though I'm not sure…"
"Jamie's dad is very busy," stated Tiffany. "Jamie told me. Can we ask them to tea, Mum?"
"Do you want to?" Tiffany's mum looked directly at John, willing him to say 'yes'.
"I… erm… I'll have to ask Sylvia…," seeing the question waiting to be answered, he added, "that's my step-mother. She was doing us some dinner."
"Oh, right! Sorry! Perhaps we can arrange it another day?" Tiffany's mum said hopefully. "I could give you my number, and you can check your diary later?"
"Yes! Why not?" John was still floundering under this unexpected social assault. "Oh, where are my manners? I'm John. John Noble," he stuck his hand to shake hers.
She very coyly returned the hand shake, "I'm Bianca, and this 'ere's Tiffany."
"And I'm Jamie Noble," Jamie shook her hand too, making her laugh at his good manners.
"Blimey! He looks like you, doesn't he?" Bianca chuckled. "You wouldn't lose 'im in an 'urry!"
"Why would I want to?" asked John. Was it normal to try and lose your child here? Not that Jamie was his child, mind you.
"Course you wouldn't!" agreed Bianca. "He's a right little charmer! Does he take after 'is dad for that?"
John considered Jamie, "I'd say a lot of his charm was from his mother. And the rest is from…"
"You're right modest, ain't you?" Bianca cut across him.
John blushed. "I'm not sure I'd say that!" he puffed out.
Bianca was obviously fascinated by this display, "Come off it! I bet you say that to all the girls."
"Girls? Oh, I don't know about girls. I… well, I sort of keep myself to myself," he confessed, and reddened even further.
"I can see that you do," she said softly. "Shame really!"
"Mum, I'm 'ungry!" Tiffany pulled on her mother's jacket.
"All right, Tiff! I'm almost finished." She turned her attention back to John, "Kids, eh? They're never 'appy!"
"I think Jamie here manages to be quite happy most of the time, don't you?" he grinned down at the boy.
Jamie took hold of his hand, "Very happy, Daddy!" He then tugged on John's jacket sleeve to whisper in his ear, "Get her number, Dumbo!"
Startled, John stood up abruptly, and nervously licked his lips, "About that number… you said… that's if you still want to… I'd like that."
Bianca patted his arm, "You're so suave, ain't you? 'ere 'ang on a tick, I think I've got…," she rummaged through her handbag and pulled out a used envelope and a pen. She hastily wrote her mobile phone number down on it and handed it to him, "There you go! Now don't forget to call me, will you? Tiffany 'ere will be gutted if you don't!" Tiffany pulled a puzzled face.
They said their goodbyes and walked off in opposite directions across the park. "They seemed nice," remarked Jamie as he skipped along holding John's hand. "And Bianca definitely fancied you!"
"Do you think so?" John could hardly contain his glee. "I might give her a call later," he tried to say offhand.
Jamie giggled, "Yeah, you might."
Donna answered the door when they knocked at Sylvia's. "You two look pleased with yourselves!" she greeted them with.
"I got Uncle John a date! Well, a date to get a date!" Jamie boasted as soon as he stepped through the door.
"Did you? How did you do that?" Donna couldn't wait to find out as she turned to regard John.
He blushed again, "He made a little friend, called Tiffany; and I got talking to her mum, Bianca."
"What? All on your own! Pfft! I don't believe it!" scoffed Donna.
"No he didn't!" confirmed Jamie. "Bianca thought he was a pervert to start with," Donna burst out laughing, but Jamie pushed on. "I said he was my dad, and she was fine after that!"
"And look at this… Da dah!" John went as he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket.
"What's that?" Donna glanced at the paper. "No! You didn't!"
"What didn't he do?" Sylvia asked as she appeared from the kitchen. "What did you do, John?"
"I got the phone number of a beautiful red head!" he stated smugly. "Called Bianca."
"Well done!" Sylvia kissed his cheek, "My clever boy!"
John glowed under her praise.
"I helped!" Jamie pointed out.
Sylvia made sure she kissed him too, "My little gorgeous boy."
"Oh p-l-ease!" Teddie scoffed from the doorway. "All he did was tell some stupid woman a whopping big lie!"
"Stop it! Jealousy doesn't become you!" Donna warned him with a glare.
"And she wasn't stupid!" yelled Jamie. "She thought we were charming!"
"Not stupid at all then!" mocked Teddie. "Just a bit doolally!"
Jamie pouted angrily at his brother, "You're saying that to be mean and horrible!"
"Boys!" Donna grabbed both boys by the wrist and wrenched them through the doorway and out to the kitchen where she could face them on their own. "I won't have this sort of behaviour!" she warned the two of them, "You do NOT do this in someone else's home! Do you hear me?"
They hung their heads sheepishly. "Yes Mum," they both stated.
"Jamie, you can go. Teddie, you have something to tell me I assume?" Donna ordered them.
Waiting until Jamie had skipped away, Teddie decided to come clean, "I know! I'm being a bit of a git!"
Donna's tone softened, "So why so nasty? What's annoying you?"
His faced frowned as he thought deeply, "I keep feeling… I don't know why… this anger… as if something is terribly unfair. But I don't really feel angry; it's as if someone else is making me feel that way." He lifted his eyes to beseech her, "How do I stop it, Mum?"
Donna held out her arms and he flew into her embrace. "Hold on to who you are, sweetheart! Don't let anyone or anything take that away from you," she kissed his forehead. She whispered, "We'd better ask your dad about this, do you think?" He nodded his reply.
"Anything I can help with?" John asked from the doorway.
"All sorted for now," Donna released the now embarrassed Teddie, and let him escape. "John? Are you…," she hesitated, biting her lower lip; "…can you feel anything odd since you walked in?"
John tenderly took her hand and rubbed comforting circles over her knuckles, "Can't say I have, but then I'm a bit distracted by my news." He tried to get her to grin back at him, "Do you want to investigate together?"
He succeeded, to his delight. "You can be so sweet!" Donna brought her free hand up to caress his face but had second thoughts when she realised what she was doing and rested it on his shoulder instead. "I… I don't think I should be doing this, sorry John!"
"Donna," he almost whispered, "you know I'm not the Doctor, so why is this a problem?"
"Because I'm an idiot!" her voice wavered.
"Don't say that about yourself, because it isn't true," he insisted. "You're brilliant, and clever and gorgeous." He shook his head, "I shouldn't have said that, should I?"
"No," Donna replied faintly.
"No you shouldn't!" came the angry voice of the Doctor from behind John. "Would you like to tell me why you did?"
John and Donna jumped apart guiltily. "I… I… I can explain," John gulped. He'd never seen the Doctor look so irate.
"Dad! It's my fault!" Teddie burst out. "Please don't hurt him!" Teddie had seen the Doctor storming towards the kitchen in a bad mood and followed him in.
The Doctor turned his glare towards Teddie, "This doesn't concern you!"
"Doctor!" Donna calmly approached him and took both his hands, "Look at me… this isn't you. You don't do this. Something is wrong here. We need to get back to the TARDIS as soon as possible."
"Mum?" Teddie cried.
"It's okay, Teddie. Go fetch your brother; we're going home, now!" she told the frightened boy. Donna turned her attention towards John whilst keeping hold of the Doctor's quivering hands, "Say 'goodbye' to Mum and Gramps for me, and make sure you bring the boys back will you? I'll meet you in the TARDIS."
Without waiting for his confirming reply, Donna dragged the Doctor out through the patio doors and into the TARDIS waiting in the garden.
Sylvia watched them go with concern. She gave John and the boys a big hug. "Come back soon!" she begged them. The sight of the boys waving goodbye as they left almost broke her heart, especially when she found the phone number John had proudly gained fallen on the floor. Wilf slept soundly in his armchair.
TBC in "This Little Piggy"