Warning: Contains angst.

A/N: Here it is… the end. I hoped you enjoyed the journey.

Part 9


Andy sneered down at the Doctor's prone figure. "Good to see you too, Doctor." Then he felt Donna's tender touch; on his hand, his mind, and on his soul. He closed his eyes as she mentally wrapped herself protectively around him, easing out the anger and letting their love trickle in.

It's just you; it's only ever been you for me, she crooned into his mind.

He couldn't bear not to touch her properly then, to know it was true. Without taking any notice of the Doctor watching them with astonishment, nor caring if he was harmed or not, Andy swept Donna up into a passionate embrace, kissing her deeply. Why did he have to come back now? Why?

Knowing him he probably meant to have come back two years ago, she teased, glad to feel an answering chuckle from him.

"I am still here," the Doctor pointed out testily. "And I can hear you despite your best efforts to shut me out."

"Dad-dy!" wailed the small body lying on the settee. He rubbed his eyes anxiously and looked from Andy to the Doctor and back again, bewilderment etched on his little face. The Doctor tried to smile at him encouragingly, but the boy scowled at him and put his hands out towards Andy.

"There there," Andy reached out to sooth him. "Daddy's got you now." He hugged the boy close to him and kissed his head. "The man won't hurt you; he's your…" Andy frowned as he thought about how he should refer to the Doctor. "What do you want us to call you? Are you an uncle or his grandfather?"

The Doctor spluttered in surprise. "Well I… erm… I'm not… I suppose I'm… Can't he just call me the Doctor?"

"Typical, Spaceman!" Donna griped, leaning forward to kiss her son too. "God forbid someone should think you are family."

"Uncle!" he instantly decided. "Tell him I'm his uncle. That doesn't sound too bad."

"Yeah, I can imagine Rose wouldn't be pleased being called a grandmother," Donna remarked, and got a smirk from Andy.

The Doctor, however, shot her daggers. Instead he decided to change the subject. "What's the deal with you two? When did this happen?"

"Are you asking specific dates and times because you ain't gonna get 'em," Donna huffed. "And I'm too knackered to keep standing around while you babble on avoiding the obvious."

"Oh I'm sorry! You should be sitting down, resting your legs, and… things," the Doctor leapt forward to assist her.

As soon as he touched her hand Donna flinched back. It wasn't that she wanted to avoid his touch, though a part of her wanted to punish him by not giving him the satisfaction of gaining any comfort from her; it was the physical affect it had on her. She thought Andy touching her was electrifying, but the Doctor caused something miles crazier. And she knew the Doctor had felt it too, judging by the way he was averting his gaze. Oh she knew him of old! He was hiding something.

"You sit down and I'll go make the tea," Andy offered, helping her to sit comfortably by placing cushions around her, and then placing their son onto her lap.

"Thank you," Donna told him gratefully. She was smiling wistfully at him when the Doctor spoke, grabbing her attention.

"Aren't you going to introduce me?" he asked pointedly.

"What do you mean? You already know us," she answered vaguely.

He held in a laugh. "I mean this young man. I don't know his name; but he's testing me out. I can feel him nudging my mind."

"You mean our little monkey here?" The boy looked up at Donna wide-eyed and innocently, as only children can do. "This is Michael Peter Noble; isn't it?" she asked as she tickled Mikey's neck, and he gave a squeal of delight. "And this, Mikey, is your brand new uncle, the Doctor."

The Doctor knelt down and shook Mikey's tiny hand. Mikey drew his hand hastily back as though he'd had a shock, and scowled at the Doctor some more; refusing to speak.

"What? I didn't cause it to happen!" the Doctor defended himself to the boy. "Okay, I sort of did; but I didn't mean to."

"Story of your life," Donna remarked. "What else haven't you meant to do since I last saw you?"

"Er… nothing much! Lost the city of Atlantis, again; been strawberry picking in the Arctic…"

"Like you do," interjected Donna.

He paused as though he was going to say something, but obviously changed his mind. "We crampled on the planet Vilantos…"

"Sounds painful," she commented.

"Donna! Are you going to do this to me all the time?" he whined.

"Depends how daft you sound," she argued. "Why don't you just spit it out and tell us the real reason you are here?"

After all this time she still knew him. "I... er… I wanted… I want to take you away from all this," he admitted.

"Am I included in that invite?" Andy asked irritably as he appeared carrying three mugs of tea and an orange juice.

"Of course," the Doctor didn't hastily add. He turned to Donna, knowing he could persuade her. "You don't want to stay here, in this domestic setting. I mean… Come on! This isn't exactly the Ritz; and you love travelling. All those planets waiting out there for you walk on them with your human feet."

"Carrying my Time Human brain," Donna retorted. "The same Time Human brain that needs Andy to stay with me."

"Who's Andy?" The Doctor shot her a puzzled look. "Oh I see! You're Andy," he said, pointing at Andy with his index finger. "Well, yes, I'm sure the TARDIS will accommodate all of you."

"If you're worried he'll snatch Rose away from you, just come out and say it," Donna told him. "We don't have any secrets… a bit hard to these days." She then turned her gaze onto Andy. "If he develops feelings for Rose then I'm doomed anyway. I don't think he would stray, but…"

Andy looked heartbroken as he pulled Donna's body against him on the settee. How can you even think that? All that was such a long time ago and stopped as soon as we slept together.

"What? How quickly did that happen?" the Doctor demanded to know. "Did I unleash a sex fiend on you?"

"No! Oh goodness no!" Donna spluttered. "We didn't sleep together until we got the flat, and even then it was…" She halted. "Why the hell am I telling you this? It's none of your business what we did and when! You left us here for years on end, so of course we formed a home and a family of our own. What else were we supposed to do? We can't live in a cage like a pet hamster waiting for you to decide to play with us!"

"Donna? Andy?" called out a voice from the passage outside. "It's only Jean! I hope you don't mind but you left the door open." She shuffled in, and was most anxious when she saw the Doctor sitting there. "I'm sorry; I didn't know you had company."

"That's okay, Jean," Andy immediately got up and greeted her. "Sit down. We're having a bit of a family reunion." He ushered her to sit down. "In fact we haven't seen each other in years; not since the year we moved into the flat. This is my brother, Doctor…. John. Doctor, this is Jean," he made the introductions.

The Doctor shook hands with her. "Lovely to meet you, Jean," he enthused with his usual charm. "Have you been taking good care of my brother Andrew."

Jean went into raptures then. "Two doctors in the family! How wonderful. Are you a degree type doctor too? He's such a darling, your brother. Any little job that needs doing, he's round like a shot to help. I was worried when Andy and Donna started all that noise from the bedroom, but he soon explained about their experiments and gave me these lovely ear plugs." She took a sip from the cup of tea Andy handed her. "And then I got to know your grandfather and mother. Well, it's been delightful!"

Donna had felt the Doctor's reaction to 'your grandfather and mother', knowing she'd have to explain, and use, that one on him. She almost couldn't wait! Yes, she thinks Mum is your mother, she pushed at him.

Why did you let her do that? he asked in horror. "Yes, young Andrew has always been helpful," the Doctor agreed.

Donna gave him a mental shrug. It seemed right at the time, especially as she lets him call her 'Mum'.

She couldn't hold back her mental laughter when he burst out with, She does WHAT?

"You must have lots of things to talk over, so I'll leave you to it," Jean said, finishing her tea and making to stand up. "I'll pop round tomorrow instead, Donna." She chatted on to Andy about her rattling letterbox as he showed her to the door.

Donna took the opportunity to ask softly, "You've not told her about this visit, have you? Why haven't you?"

"I… erm… she's having a few days off, gone to visit relatives, and have a bit of a breather," he reluctantly admitted. "She's having a more difficult time being back with me than we'd anticipated."

"So you came to find a friendly face, someone to tell you that you're not in the wrong, and point you in the right direction," Donna guessed.

He looked very sheepish. "Something like that."

"And how would she really cope if I suddenly turn up like this, with what looks like an instant family that you're part of?" She shook her head at him in disbelief. "You need to talk to her about us first otherwise you could ruin everything."

"If I do that, would you consider coming back?" He glanced up at her hopefully. "I've missed you."

Oh gawd! She'd never expected him to admit something like that; never in a million years. "And I've missed you," she replied quietly. "But don't think you're completely forgiven yet."

He chuckled. "You've got a nice setup here; it looks very homely."

"Is that polite talk for 'this is a dump'?" she asked archly. "Andy earns good money, but London is expensive to live in. This is all we could afford."

"No! I didn't mean it like that," he said, but his mind was telling her otherwise, like his need to change the subject. "What was that about experiments in the bedroom?"

"The usual temporal shift to resonate the parameters of co-endrontrascular introflux," Andy supplied as he joined them with fresh tea. He handed a cup to the Doctor. "I thought you'd need another cup by now."

The Doctor gratefully took it. "You've got it working? Where is she?" he asked enthusiastically.

Andy pointed upwards towards a bedroom. "Ah, not in the way we'd like; but we've extended the growth rate, so that…," he looked at his watch, "…we've got another three years."

The Doctor laughed heartily. "Well, I must say, I never thought you'd have your own TARDIS within such a short time scale," he said with awe.

"That's what happens when you have two decent brains working on it," Andy replied smugly.

The Doctor smiled wistfully at Donna. "Yes, I forget at times."

MY MUMMY! shot into their heads from a little person who wasn't as asleep as he looked, cuddled up against Donna's body, and lulled by the heartbeats beneath his ear.

The Doctor blushed with embarrassment. "Of course she is," he spluttered. "And on that note I'd better go and… have words." He reluctantly stood up, his desire to stay longer evident. "I'll come straight back when I can offer something more concrete. No, don't get up!" he told Donna as she struggled off the settee.

"And not see you out properly? Who do you think I am exactly?" she chided him, smiling at his agitation. She deliberately added to it by saying, "Especially now you're my brother."

The Doctor groaned. "I'll never live that one down. How could you?" he playfully asked Andy.

"It sort of happened," Andy defended himself. "I can't help it if she fell in love with me and adopted me as her own."

"After all she said about me!" he remarked to Donna incredulously.

Nanny! Mikey bounced up and down with delight at the thought of Sylvia.

Donna felt the strain of holding him and passed him into Andy's willing arms. "Take care of yourself, and come back to see us soon," she said turning to the Doctor; and impulsively threw her arms around him and hugged him tight because he looked as though he needed it from her.

Oh my goodness! He hadn't realised how much he had missed and needed one of her hugs. He probably held onto her much longer than he should have done, but the Doctor reasoned that he had lost time to make up for. He wrote the Gallifreyan symbols for 'missed you' on her lower back with a finger, needing to say something between the two of them; and was gratified to feel her answer 'and you' on his neck. He feigned a cough as he broke from her. "I'll be back before this one enters the world," he promised, in a slightly broken voice.

They said their general goodbyes then, and escorted the Doctor to the front door. "Bye!" Mikey waved madly, pleasing the departing Doctor enormously.

As soon as the Doctor dropped off their internal radar, Andy sagged against Donna. The tears were completed expected by her, and she transferred Mikey into her arms. "Tell me," she said gently.

He wrapped her in a fervent embrace as she was overwhelmed by his relief. "I thought he would whisk you away; take you away from me… forever," he confessed.

She gave a mirthless chuckle. "Why would I let him do that? We come as a package now; you and me, and baby makes three."

"Four," he reminded her, placing a protective hand on her stomach above their unborn child. "Sorry to spoil the rhyme."

"I'm not sorry. Some things deserve to be broken," she told him sincerely. "I love you, Earthman; and don't you forget it!"

He kissed her then, consoled that their future was together after all.

The End - for now

This story is continued by KendraC in "Eyes Forced Open"