A/N: Sorry for the delay, but my migraines won't bugger off! And I might add more to this chapter at a later date...
"A beach! You found me a beach!" Donna exclaimed excitedly, as she whirled on the sand to take everything in.
The Doctor stood smugly watching her. "And not only that; it's also deserted so you can wear that bikini you desperately wanted to try out."
"Oh do be serious! I can't wear anything as revealing as a bikini; I look like an elephant," she said despondently. "I'd put you right off your dinner!"
"Donna! You are pregnant, and blooming. Don't be ashamed of your body; please don't," the Doctor begged. He pulled her into a consoling hug, and whispered close into her ear enticingly, "It's only us, so there's nothing to stop you wearing whatever you like. You could even go naked if you fancied it."
She playfully swatted at his upper arm. "Give over! You don't half talk crap at times. Anyone would think you want to look."
"Anyone would be perfectly correct," he purred; and then caught her suspicious expression. "I didn't mean the nakedness, just the looking at you part…," he added with an embarrassed sniff.
"If you were any other bloke I'd have thought you were after a quick shoofty, but I know you would avoid getting too much of an eyeful." She gave him a wry smile.
"I… erm…," he spluttered.
"Hold that thought," she mischievously told him, and disappeared inside the TARDIS to change. She reappeared swathed in a beach dress, hat and sunglasses, carrying a beach bag.
"Expecting to do a spot of spying?" he asked her.
"Nothing beyond your pale flesh," she answered, and settled herself down onto the warm sand. Looking up at him she added, "If you ever manage to take your suit off."
"Ah, now, Mrs Wife; you know full well that I'm capable of taking this all off." He gave her a wink.
She decided to ignore the thought of him as he normally dressed at night; or should that be undressed? "Just pretend you like sunbathing for a few seconds, and come and help me put this sun cream on," she ordered him. "Otherwise, Dr Husband, I may have to consider ditching you for another bloke."
He eagerly took the offered bottle of sun cream from her hand, and sat himself down to enjoy his task. Releasing a large splodge of cream onto his hands, he lifted the edge of her beach dress out of the way and began to apply it. "Stop it!" she shrieked out with loud giggles. "That tickles!"
"You mean this…?" he asked as he swept his fingertips over her back, making her squirm even more. "No, you can't mean that!"
"That is it! You are getting your kit off right now, and you will bare your chest to that thing up in the sky called a sun," she threatened. She added emphasis to her words by tackling the buttons of his shirt and yanking off his tie.
He laughed hard at the absurdity of her undressing him. He laughed right up to the point when they were kneeling face to face, chest to chest, and skin to skin; and then he inevitably sobered. The bottle of sunscreen was ignored as he grasped her head, bringing her lips closer until he dipped forward. "Donna…," he whispered.
His eyes fluttered shut as he landed softly to kiss her tempting lips; and then an extremely strong hand gripped the back of his collar and yanked him away.
"Doctor?" Donna yelled as he was pulled away from her body, leaving her grasping at air.
Some massive being with fists the size of small dogs handed her a piece of paper. "You have violated code order number 7-2b!" it growled at her.
"That's my husband you've just run off with!" she angrily pointed out, having glanced expertly at the paper outlining the offense they had caused. "Not some punter! Bring him back right now or I'll sue the backside off you! Off the pair of you," she added to include both the beings wavering in front of her on the beach.
The Doctor couldn't be heard apart from a few muffles, thanks to the hand that had been clamped firmly over his mouth.
Donna went into full manic pregnant woman mode. "I'm not warning you again! Hand him back NOW!" she roared at the beings and bore down on them menacingly.
"But he… was going to abuse your sacred body," the one holding the Doctor stammered in its defence.
Donna held up her hand and ring finger in demonstration. "He's allowed to touch me, you half-baked walking potato scumbag! We're MARRIED! What part of that don't you understand?"
Two hours later Donna was sat slumped on a bench outside what passed for a courthouse on the planet, waiting for the Doctor to be reunited with her. The décor was atrocious! Even Laurence Llewellyn Bowen wouldn't have dreamed up something so outlandish. Plus, a little bit of padding on the seats wouldn't have gone amiss.
"Donna Noble, your property is ready for you," announced someone in the distance; right before the Doctor and a beach bag were shoved towards her.
They hugged each other enthusiastically. "We're going to have to give up these beach holidays," the Doctor told her. "They're proving to be a bit of a bind."
"I'm sorry for wanting a beach," she immediately apologised, hugging him again.
He wiped a thumb tenderly over her cheek. "Hey! Don't worry. I'm the one that should be worried, what with everyone thinking I'm married to a convicted felon," he teased.
"Don't!" she exclaimed with deep embarrassment. "Not that they totally had it coming… What with all the grabbiness." She flexed her fingers in remembrance.
"Of course," he agreed, grinning like an idiot. "They deserved every slap and wallop." He reached down to grasp her hand. "Ready for our next adventure?"
"Bring it on, Dr Husband," she answered. "Almost anything has to be better than this place."
Donna changed her tune about that once they landed in the Library, and even more so when he tricked her into being transported into the TARDIS.
It had started off pleasantly enough. Well, when I say pleasantly, I really mean weirdly. Weird in a 'where the heck is everyone?' way. The whole place was deserted; and for a whole planet, known as The Library, that was decidedly weird and scary. The scary part started when the lights started going out; just after that creepy node.
"It's got a face!" Donna had exclaimed in shock. "It's got a face that it thought I'd like!"
"It's just like donating a park bench," the Doctor had commented in a vain attempt to calm her down. Perhaps pointing out it had once been a real person hadn't been such a good idea in hindsight.
On the other hand, it had given him an opportunity to hug her closely in public, and she didn't always allow that. Junior had kicked against his hand as he ran it over her bump; and the feeling sent a thrill through him. It also made him determined to protect her with his last breath. "Donna, fancy a look around?" he had asked her; trying to entice her with his eager schoolboy expression.
"Try stopping me," she had answered keenly. "I'm making the most of still being able to run."
"Just don't expect piggybacks later, that's all I'm saying for now," he teased.
She snorted her derision. "I'm more likely to get lean back bacon, but thanks for even thinking about it."
It was on the tip of his tongue to admit that he was thinking much more pleasant thoughts were she was concerned as they strolled along, when he noticed the lights. Or should that be the lack of lights? "Run!" he had shouted; so they had ran.
Donna was most impressive as she kicked down a wooden door that the sonic wouldn't budge. It was also enlightening, and slightly threatening, when she admitted the element of surprise was needed with boyfriends. Did they mean that she would kick down his bedroom door at some point.. possibly.. you know, if he ever got her to admit they were anywhere near being like that? It was quite thrilling too, in a way.
He was about to tell her some of his thoughts when he noticed the retro- football webcam thing.
Things went downhill after that. Especially when the suits arrived.
Donna glared at the interloper in the white spacesuit. The tart was muscling in on the Doctor, giving him all the giggly girl act when she thought Donna wasn't looking. 'The utter bitch!' Donna thought. She'd have thought something lots worse, but for some reason her pregnancy hormones were affecting her memory. They'd nothing to affect her need to slap someone into next Tuesday though. Funny that!
She had taken the opportunity to saunter over to him to softly enquire, "What's going on Dr Husband? Is the Klingon giving you grief?"
He looked briefly up from his task to answer her question. "Klingon, Mrs Wife? Oh! You mean 'cling on'! Well, she claims she knows me in the future. Who's to say whether or not that's true? This could be our bunny boiler moment," he suggested, grinning broadly at her.
A thunderous expression crossed her features. That would entail him straying, and she'd be damned if she let that happen to her again! Through gritted teeth, she commented, "You may act like the Energiser Bunny at times but if you dare play hide the thimble with that woman, I swear I shall hunt you down with a double-barrelled shotgun. And the last words you shall ever hear will be me saying 'what's up, doc?'"
"Donna!" he crooned soothingly, wrapping his arms instantly around her. He kissed her forehead. "Why would I let some bimbo turn my head away from you, eh? We're the three musketeers; me, you and junior. There's no way I'd look elsewhere. You know how I feel."
"Do you mean that?" she whispered, searching his eyes for the truth.
He poured everything into his returning gaze. "I… Hang on! Why has he got a second shadow? " he suddenly queried as the pilot of the exploration team caught his attention.
There followed a whirlwind experiment that led to the discovery that the planet was being attacked by the Vashta Nerada. Who'd have thought they would encounter flesh eating zombie books? Well, no one who was wise enough to lay a bet on it, that was for sure!
"Spaceman, is junior safe?" Donna agitatedly asked him, grabbing his arm when she got the chance. "Shouldn't we have one of those spacesuits too?"
He had carefully considered her. "You know what? You're right. Come on!"
"Where?" she asked as he dashed her along. "Why are we going this way?" she wondered as they ran passed a display of fancy looking pens that would go rather nicely with her…
"Donna!" he yelled. "The little shop always has an exit. So stand right there for a second, while I…"
And then he flickered from her vision; and she flickered from his. The bastard! He had sent her away at the first opportunity, and there was going to be hell to pay!
A tall, rather attractive man wearing glasses greeted her. "Hello, Donna," he brightly said.
She returned the greeting, and swept her gaze over the unfamiliar room. "Where am I?"
"You've been ill," he explained in his extremely soothing voice. It was the sort of voice that made you trust him immediately and want to lie down in a chocolate cake; if you have that sort of sleeping fantasy, and not because you are a kinky wombat or anything… Anyway, it was a nice voice. Let's say no more about it.
Donna ran her hands down her body to check that she was all there, and instantly frowned. "Wasn't I pregnant, erm… whatever your name is?" she asked the man.
"I'm Dr Moon," he supplied. "You thought you were pregnant; and then you forgot."
"So I did," she agreed. She then looked around, seeking someone. "Where's my husband? He always fixes things."
"Ah! I have something to tell you," Dr Moon admitted, and led her into the landscaped garden that surrounded the hospital they stood in.
Donna found herself walking by a small lake flanked by a line of trees. "About your husband, Donna," Dr Moon was telling her, looking very concerned as they walked along. "John was in a very serious accident. The same one you were in. Don't worry…" He held a hand up when she went to interrupt him with questions. "…he isn't dead, but the prognosis isn't good." Dr Moon then stopped and faced her, placing a consoling hand on her arm. "He might never come out of his coma, and you have to prepare yourself for the worst."
She threw a hand over her mouth in shock. "Oh my God! But he can't die; I won't give up on him. He's all I've got. I love him, Dr Moon!" she declared.
"I know," Dr Moon soothed her. "Would you like to see him?"
Donna had no sooner nodded her head in agreement then she was in the Intensive Care Unit, looking down at John's lifeless body as machines blipped and tubes pumped vital nutrients into his body. "John!" she cried out, and rushed forward to hold his hand; grasping it desperately in a vain attempt to reach him. Why did his name sound so wrong to her? This was the man she loved after all. She'd been married to him for as long as she could remember.
"Donna, why don't you go and rest?" a passing nurse asked her.
"No, I won't," she insisted sternly. "I'm not leaving him again. Bad things happen when we are separated."
So the nurse shook her head and left her there.
The next time Donna glanced out of the window the season had changed. Hadn't it been autumn when she had sat down there? It was clearly spring outside when she lifted her head from where it rested against John's arm. The appearance of Dr Moon made her start.
"I think it is time for you to move on," he suggested gently.
But Donna shook her head, as before. "No," she replied firmly. "I'm staying here. He needs me; I just can't get up and walk away."
"You need to meet fresh people, start a new life for yourself," Dr Moon advised her. "It doesn't look like he will be joining you after all."
"I don't want to!" she answered, surprising herself by bursting into tears. "He's my life!"
As she said the words the machine that had been bleeping let out a low monotonous tone, and she struggled to grasp his hand.
The next thing Donna was aware of was standing by a grave; an established grave with a stone that bore the inscription: 'John Peter Noble, Beloved husband of Donna'
'This is wrong; this is so wrong!' kept ringing through her head. As she lifted her head to try and scream her way out of this nightmare Dr Moon appeared by her side, offering much needed support.
"Come and meet some other people," he cajoled her.
She had barely agreed when she found herself sitting with a friendly looking group of people. One man kept trying to get her to smile back at him, but she didn't want to consider anyone else yet.
"I see you've got a new man in your life," Dr Moon remarked to her.
"Have I?" she asked with some surprise, and was amazed to see the smiling man standing by her side.
"Yes, you met Lee here," Dr Moon informed her.
She went to question this, when Dr Moon's image stuttered and the Doctor stood in his place.
"Donna!" he cried out in anguish.
"John!" she yelled out and reached for him, but he fizzled away, leaving Dr Moon in his place. "I just saw John! What have you done with him?" she demanded.
Dr Moon merely smiled patronisingly at her. "You thought you were alone so you conjured up John, and then you forgot."
Donna blinked a few times. What had she been thinking about? Something about missing someone, apparently. This was becoming too much; she felt so tired…
And then she was in her lonely bedroom, getting ready for bed; when something fell through the letterbox. Wondering who on earth would be delivering anything so late; she peeped out of the window and saw a figure in black with a familiar gait.
Racing to the front door, she found a note. It cryptically said that the world was all wrong. Wrong? She wanted to meet the mysterious woman… and suddenly she was; standing by the large tree that overshadowed John's grave. "Who are you, and what do you want from me?" Donna instantly asked. It only took a few moments, but she knew this woman was what was left of Miss Evangelista after she died in the Library.
"Look around you," she advised Donna. "It's all the same."
In confusion, Donna stumbled away. What the heck was Miss Evangelista on about? Okay, she might have traded in IQ points when her looks were taken away but surely she'd got it wrong? At that point Donna happened to glance at the grave next to her. What? But it said… as did the next grave, and the next! Where exactly was John? Had she been mourning a carbon copy? This suggested that her grief wasn't real at all!
There was a blaze of light surrounding her, and then she was being sucked into another dimension. One that was miles darker, and smelt of damp wood. She was standing on what looked like a glorified speak your weight machine in the Library little shop, and for quite a few seconds she had no idea where she was or even who she was. She was just a cork bobbing in the sea of faces that greeted her sight.
She pushed through the crowd expecting to see someone, but not quite knowing who. It was a he; that part was a definite. Now if she could only recall what he looked like… He was old, and yet not, and he had hair. She scoffed at herself then! Fancy speaking to herself about him in terms of his hair. It wasn't as if every other bloke was completely bald, after all.
Although wouldn't it be funny if that fluffy hairstyle was a complete fake and he wore a wig? And that suit could easily cover up a robot body. A body that frequently snuggled up close and enticingly next to hers in bed, hugging her tightly, and sweeping those ripe, full lips against her skin. How many times had she wanted to shag him senseless, but had deliberately battled on to resist him? What a stupid cow she was!
Her hands immediately fluttered to her stomach, and she let out an agonised gasp. She had forgotten about junior! How could she have possibly done that? It was unthinkable, and she wanted to weep for her stupidity. The Doctor would disown her at this rate.
The Doctor! That was his name. Where was he? Had he truly abandoned her? Had that tart got her claws into him, and she'd have to commit a murder, or a double murder, by the end of the day? Because she would! With her bare hands if necessary.
"Ah! You're back!" exclaimed a familiar voice as a hand grabbed hers and shook it violently. Donna found herself gazing at a spacesuit holding the form of Mr Lux. "It worked; they managed to save everyone from the computer."
"They?" Donna faintly echoed.
"The Doctor and Professor Song. They were down by the core together," he explained.
'I bet they were!' Donna found she was fuming. "Where?" she demanded. "Where exactly is the core?"
Mr Lux looked confused. "Over there on the elevator pad," he said, pointing in the necessary direction.
"Thanks!" Donna replied, and stormed over to take a ride down to the core. "You'd better be dying and injured, Doctor," she muttered to herself as she travelled down.
Donna found him, eventually, handcuffed to a pipe as he sat glumly regarding Professor River Song's body. She had to squat down in front of him before he reacted; so lost in his thoughts was he. Then she spotted the sonic screwdriver just out of his reach, and she realised how agonising his plight must have been. "Oh Spaceman!" she sighed as she released his wrist from the handcuff.
His body sunk into her embrace. "Is it really you, or is this a dream?" he faintly asked her. "Are you a ghost?"
She sniffed back some tears, and tenderly caressed his face. "It's me, Donna, Spaceman. Alive and kicking. Well, when I say kicking it's junior doing all that." To add emphasis to her words she pressed his hand onto her stomach; and junior complied with a wee squirm.
The Doctor grinned as he felt the tiny movements against his hand. "It really is you!" he softly exclaimed. In the next instant he was crushing his mouth down onto hers, and she felt powerless to resist; giving him the comfort he demanded. She also grabbed a few moments of comfort for herself as she fought to ignore the memories of her fictitious life inside the computer. In fact she wanted to swoon and die beneath his lips.