Summary: the Doctor and Donna attend a dance in a ballroom for a change.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters; a shame, but I don't.

A/N: Written as a response to Travellers' Tales Prompt #54 – 'dance' at doctor_donna. I started another story but this one just happened.

Marital Dancing


The Doctor watched her twirl with slow grace as her dancing partner held her at arm's length to turn and dip, pulling her smoothly back to his body to slide across the ballroom floor. It was obvious that Donna was having the time of her life under such expert tutorledge. The grin on her face was spread from ear to ear, her skin glistened, and the skirt of her long dress fanned out to show off her legs.

The dance band ended on a fanfare, and the two dancers stopped within metres of the Doctor. Donna's dancing partner bent low in a bow and kissed her hand graciously before releasing his hold. Donna swept up to the Doctor smiling enthusiastically. "That was brilliant!" she said between gasps. "I want to do that again." She deposited herself on the chair next to him and took some grateful sips of her drink. "This punch isn't so bad either. Have you had any?"

"No," he answered vaguely. "I'm sticking to lemonade."

"You don't have to, you know. I promise not to take advantage of you," she told him with a teasing wink. When he didn't smile back she leant into his personal space to ask, "What's wrong? Did something happen while I was dancing?"

"Nothing much," he replied, leaning closer. But he lied; it had.

She considered him suspiciously. "I don't believe you; something is up." She laid a gentle hand on his sleeve. "Why don't you tell me, Spaceman?" she offered.

He placed his hand on top of hers. "There's nothing to tell. You go and enjoy yourself."

Her emotions battled to decide which one would gain the foreground. Emotions like concern, delight, selfishness, and sacrifice. "It doesn't matter; I can always dance another day. I don't mind sitting with you and watching other people enjoying themselves.

He immediately felt guilty. The whole point of this trip had been to provide Donna with the chance to dance with someone and dress up in fancy clothing. Every woman deserved that once in a while. Donna deserved that, but she was giving it up just in case he needed her comfort. "Go on, Donna. I'll be okay sitting here on my own for a short while. You go and find another dance partner."

She let her gaze roam around the room. "Doesn't look as though there's a free bloke to go and grab; so I'm afraid you're stuck with me." She gave him a wry grin. "Sorry. Unless you want me to rustle you up someone? That blonde over there looks alright, or how about the woman in the pink and green dress?"

"Donna, I said I'm okay. You don't have to provide me with entertainment by finding me a woman." He tried to soften his words by raising her hand to his lips and gave her a small smile.

What was going on with him? He'd never acted that way before. Perhaps all those blokes dancing was having an effect on his manners? That would explain this new phenomenon. Deciding she was in a no-win situation, Donna retrieved her hand and stood up. "In that case I'll go have a prowl and see the sights. I'll meet you back here later. Don't go without me though, will you? Even if you get lucky," she asked cautiously. Knowing him she could end up stranded wearing nothing but an evening dress. That look only worked for Marilyn Monroe.

He chuckled. "Even if I get lucky," he agreed, and let her go to seek out some fun of her own.

She sashayed away from him, oozing an undefined something as she walked towards a large group of people containing men who eyed her appreciatively. It was easy to see which ones she would be able to charm if she chose to. That was some dress she was wearing! Every curve was emphasised and extenuated to maximum effect. It would be hard to use any other word to describe her other than stunning. The TARDIS had made an excellent choice.

"Looks like you've got competition," a voice to the side of him remarked. "Your wife could be stolen away from you if you're not careful."

The Doctor turned to see an old lady smiling consolingly at him from the next table.

"I was that gorgeous once," she confided. "I thought it would never end; but it did and it does. Shame, but that's life. I wish I'd had hair like her's though."

"It is beautiful," he replied. "It was the first thing I noticed about her once her temper calmed down."

"And you didn't notice her body?" she asked incredulously. "I can't believe that! She could look good in a potato sack."

"Yes she could," he readily agreed. Was it him, or had he accidentally allowed this woman to think he was married to Donna? At least Donna would have a good laugh about it later when he told her.

"How did you meet?" the woman asked.

"Ah!" He scratched his neck nervously. "It was supposed to be her wedding day. She had this fiancé who turned out to be using her. I discovered her in her wedding dress, and I sort of rescued her from the wedding and then from some nutter. Well, when I say that, she also sort of rescued me…" His voice trailed off when he noticed the old woman was giving him a curiously soft look.

"How romantic!" she uttered. "No wonder she fell for you."

"Oh no! It wasn't like that," he insisted.

"What was it like then?" she asked in interest.

"She turned me down; she wouldn't come with me at first. But she changed her mind," he said proudly. "She came looking for me. Spent a whole year trying to find me."

"Did she? And what were you doing all that time?" she wondered.

"The usual… you know. Met a lovely girl called Martha; but there wasn't anything between us, not on my side. It was a bit of a rough year. All gone now," he said, pulling a glum face.

"You missed her? How sweet! It must have been a relief when you met up again," she told him amiably.

He smiled broadly as he thought about their reunion at Adipose Industries. "It was! She gives some great hugs. I could hardly believe it when she talked her way back into my life; I thought I'd lost my chance for all that. But it seems that somehow we were destined to meet up and get together."

"So you believe in destiny?" she asked.

"Is he going on about destiny again?" asked Donna as he suddenly found her leaning over him to get to her drink. "He does nothing but go on about it."

"I do not!" he protested. "I've only mentioned it the once."

"Yeah, I'll believe you. This is you going on about it the once," she mocked him, fondly smiling before she took a mouthful of her drink. "Did he tell you about the wedding?" she asked the old woman and sat down beside him to join in the conversation.

"Oh yes, dear!" the old woman replied gleefully. "It all sounds very romantic."

Donna pulled a 'meh' face. "I suppose it was if you like that sort of thing. I could have done without the jumping for my life bit."

"Hey! I was rescuing you!" the Doctor cried out, but his temper ebbed away when Donna kissed his cheek gratefully.

"That you did; and I am very thankful you bothered." She wrapped a hand around his arm too, and gave it a squeeze.

"Of course I bothered. How could I not?" he queried. "You needed me."

"And you need me," she added, getting a nod of acknowledgement.

"I saw you dancing earlier," the old woman complimented Donna, "and I thought you looked wonderful! Why weren't you dancing together?"

"See him…" Donna thumped the Doctor in the stomach with the back of her hand. "He doesn't do that sort of thing. Not with me, anyway; that was saved for someone else. I went off to grab a partner but let's just say it wasn't a dance I was offered!"

"I can well imagine," the old woman replied with a chuckle. "The downside of being gorgeous."

Donna blushed modestly. "I think the dress should get all the credit. I normally look like a bag of spanners."

"You do not!" the Doctor protested indignantly. "But you do look extra lovely tonight."

"What's come over you?" Donna gasped in surprise. He was complimenting her, and she had no idea why. "Thanks though," she mumbled, blushing again.

"Would you ask your wife to dance, just for me, to make an old woman very happy?" the woman asked the Doctor as sweetly as she could.

Donna mouthed, 'Wife?' at him, so he took hold of her hand and pulled her out of the chair. "Why not?" he replied politely, and led Donna away to the dance floor.

Donna kept quiet until they could talk without being overheard. "Now you've got me worried. Who are you and what have you done with the Doctor?"

"Donna! I assure you it's me. I just thought I'd make someone happy; that's all," he explained, giving her an infinitesimal shrug as well.

"You thought you'd break your golden rule just to please some old woman you've just met," she mused, and then sighed. "All right then, I'll play nicely and pretend you're enjoying this."

She missed his bemused smirk as he brought her body close to his, and led her into a waltz. She also missed his look of momentary panic when she asked, "What's this about me being your wife?"

She did however feel him stiffen slightly. "She referred to you as that and I didn't get the chance to contradict her," he defended himself.

"You mean you were too busy talking about something else, if I know you," she retorted.

"Ah… well… it wasn't quite like that," he blustered.

"So I got it right," she said, visibly preening. "What were you explaining?"

"How we met, the first time and the second time. You don't mind, do you?" he asked, sweeping them around the corner of the dance floor.

"Nah! I'm sure you said nice things, so I don't have to worry in that way," she admitted.

He frowned at her. "Why do you have to worry then?"

"Oh, you know; this and that." She added in a vague gesture as if it would explain all.

He watched her hand in confusion. "No I don't know; you'll have to tell me."

She thought carefully for some moments, still letting him guide their dance. "Things like whether you will do something stupid and get yourself hurt; whether we will end up in another prison cell; when we will end up in another prison cell, because, let's face it, it happens an awful lot; and whether I'll be able to keep running with you."

"The last one's not a problem, because I always take your hand to make sure you stay by my side," he answered.

"Yes, but what happens when you no longer want that? Will I be abandoned to fall on my face in the dirt?" she asked.

"I can't see that happening; no way!" he declared as they made their way around the ballroom.

"Are you sure? I mean, I was worried I'd spoilt things between us by kissing you that time," she admitted.

He halted their progress at that point, and deliberately led them outside where it was quieter, as Donna agitatedly awaited his reply.

"About that," he said softly, guiding her into another dance pose and gently rocking them from side to side. "I wanted to say it didn't spoil anything, as far as I'm concerned, but seeing as you brought it up I think it is only fair I spoil things equally."

"What do you mean?" she wondered, as he moved nearer still.

"I mean, I should do this…" With the softness of a breeze he pressed his lips onto hers, until he felt no resistance from her and pressed more firmly.

His mouth moved over her tempting lips, learning their shape, their texture and their taste. When her hand smoothed up the side of his head, he genuinely expected a slap to follow; but instead her fingers worked their way into the hair at the back of his head, and he groaned with pleasure.

One tender touch of his tongue and her lips parted to allow him entry. Bubbles of delight surged through him as their tongues smoothed over each other. She tasted of fruit, a tiny amount of alcohol, and the unique flavour that was Donna.

With a great deal of reluctance, he released her mouth, and drew back to place his forehead against hers.

"Is that your secret weapon?" she asked in a teasing tone. "Because I'm not sure it'd work on everyone."

"In that case I'll save it just for you," he replied cheekily.

"You'd better!" she told him, and turned her head to return his kiss with equal enthusiasm.

The old woman they'd been talking to watched their passionate kiss with glee. The cards had foretold this moment, and soon there would be a child between them. A child that would move planets. It was written in the stars.