Summary: in a modern re-working of Human Nature/Family of Blood, Donna meets up with the Doctor as Mr John Smith in the comprehensive school where he works.
Disclaimer: these don't belong to me in any shape or form; but they do say 'write what you know'. I'll blame my migraines for foisting this idea on me.
A/N: A year seven pupil is a sixth grader, and a year eleven pupil is a tenth grader. I hope that helps you figure out the ages used here.
Goodbye Mr Smith
Donna looked at the latest information from the temp agency. 'Oh goody!' she thought sarcastically. It was for a work placement in a school, just the sort of place she didn't want to be back in. Still, it was a job that would fill a few weeks while some office woman coped with a bad illness.
What worked in this placement's favour was that the school was out of town, so it meant travelling against the commuter traffic, making travelling to work a possible joy. Working with kids might mean that this would be the highlight of her day; the travel.
She was greeted by the office manager, Tilly, who made her feel instantly welcome; and handed her lists of staff and children to replicate for various people and departments. Now this Donna could cope with! So she went off humming as she tackled the photocopier.
As she punched various buttons and made the copier sing she noticed from the lists that there were a few new members of staff joining at the same time as her, two of whom were apparently filling in for staff on maternity leave. It was a relief to know that she wasn't the only person who was new there.
Part of her duties was to be an administrative assistant to a couple of faculties throughout the week as they each were entitled to at least one day's help from someone. Her first day was with the history department. "Just go up to room 306 and they'll explain everything," Tilly told her.
Blimey, her first real encounter with a teacher since she had left school! Donna tried not to be nervous about it as she bounded enthusiastically up the stairs. Room 306 wasn't too hard to find, but no one was in there, so she walked further down the corridor until she saw a body through the window of any particular door.
Knocking courteously, she stepped in and saw a lone, well-dressed, dark haired man sitting at the desk. "Is this history?" she immediately enquired.
"Yes," he cautiously replied.
"Then I'm all yours for whatever you want," she declared, pointing at herself. She hadn't expected him to instantly blush a deep red.
"Pardon!" he eventually stammered out as he managed to stand up; but it looked as though it had been a trial. "Mine?"
"Ah! Are you the new girl?" a voice behind her asked.
Donna turned to see a middle-aged man dressed in a charcoal suit, with thinning grey hair and small round glasses. "Well, I think the label 'girl' is pushing it a bit, but I'm here to lend a helping hand with your paperwork," she replied, grinning broadly. "I'm Donna, by the way. Donna Noble."
The man eagerly shook her hand. "I'm Graham Chapman, head of department, and our flustered friend here is John Smith. He's only just started here too." He watched as Donna and John exchanged greetings. "Come to think of it, you should have met up by now. How remiss of me! I normally have a little 'welcome to the department' meal at my house, so are you two up for it sometime this weekend?" His expectant gaze was swept between the pair of them.
"I'm free the whole weekend, so I suppose it's up to Mr Smith here," Donna answered when John continued to look unsure.
"Well... I… that is… I suppose… Yes, I'm free any time this weekend," he stammered out.
The poor bloke! Donna instantly felt sorry for him and resolved to help him conquer his shyness.
"In that case let's make it Friday night," Graham decided. "Now if you would follow me, Donna, I'll show you were everything is."
John just stood there as they whooshed back out of his classroom. Blimey! That had been unexpected. It wasn't every day that a tall, ginger woman thrust herself into your room and offered her services; even if they were of the administrative variety. Or especially if they were of the administrative variety. It had taken him completely by surprise. The combination of lovely long ginger hair and intense brownish blue eyes had captivated him for a moment and he hadn't been able to say a word; not a word! What had come over him? And what on earth would his friend Martha say? Should he even tell her? He decided that for the time being he would keep this to himself.
It would be strange not to see her for most of the day, as Martha was set up in the science department over in the other block on the separate campus. He had wondered if he'd be lonely without her, but the appearance of Donna might be more than compensation for that.
The following morning he found himself practising say 'hello' in the mirror after he had brushed his teeth in his bathroom, for when he met Donna later that day. Well, he hoped he would meet her that day. He resolved that he would make sure he did if she wasn't timetabled for their department again that week. There was even a bit of playing about with his hair as he said the word before giving up in frustration. Why would she even look at him after all?
It was just after lesson three that he saw her striding down a corridor and positioned himself to 'accidentally' meet her. "Hello Miss Noble!" he called out as cheerily as he could as she neared him.
She immediately recognised him and beamed back. "Hello Mr Smith! How are you today?" she greeted him.
He was slightly distracted as a year seven caught him of balance as they tried to get by. "Oh, fine, you know. And how are you?" he asked in return, and leaned in towards her to hear her answer.
She giggled as a large year eleven politely asked, "Excuse me!" as he tried to get through a doorway and passed them.
"Oops! We're holding up the traffic!" she exclaimed, and moved nearer to him to get out of the way. "So…" She noted he wasn't saying anything again, just looking at her expectantly. "Perhaps we can meet later for that coffee." She then stepped purposefully away from him and headed back down the corridor.
"What coffee?" he called after her in confusion, but all she did was smirk at him before continuing on her way.
"Careful, sir. You'll catch flies with your mouth open like that," one passing girl saucily said to him; and giggled loudly to her friend when he blushed.
John hurried off to his next lesson then, vowing he would repay Donna Noble for that!
He would find her later leaning against the wall by the coffee machine in the staff room chatting to Dave Branson from the technology department. She raised her eyebrows in greeting at him but carried on talking. Should he just go over and talk to her, should he get a coffee and hover close by, or should he go and talk to someone else? Why was life so full of awkward decisions? He didn't even know why he wanted to talk to her; he just did.
He finally decided that he was thirsty anyway, so he made his way over to the machine. "Mine's white, one sugar," Donna aimed at him as he started to place money in. For some reason a happy grin lit up his features and he pressed the appropriate buttons for her coffee before getting himself one.
By the time he had turned with both cups towards her Dave had sauntered off to grab his messages from a pigeonhole and John was standing alone with Donna. "Here you go," he said as he handed over her cup.
"Thanks," she replied as she took it, unamazed that he managed to brush her fingers as he handed it over. "How's it going so far? It doesn't seem too bad a place."
"No, I don't suppose it is. I'd forgotten how exhausting it can be working full time," he told her. Realising he ought to expand on that, he added, "Normally Martha and I are dealing with other things."
'Oh, he's married,' Donna instantly thought. Shame; she'd have to back off now and he'd seemed interested. Story of her life really… So she smiled weakly, and started to calculate how she could extract herself from the situation.
He half expected her to ask what they would normally be dealing with but instead Donna looked rather downhearted. "Are you still going to Graham Chapman's on Friday?" he asked hopefully.
Damn! She'd forgotten she'd agreed to go to that; and she really ought to considering she'd be working with these people for a while. "Yes, of course," she said politely. "I'll get to meet everybody and their wives. I wonder if a teddy bear can be counted as a significant other if I take him with me. Anyway, see you later." She then turned on her heel and walked away from him.
What the…? What happened just then? One moment they were chatting quite amiably and the next she had shut herself off. He stood there stunned as he watched her go. Had she met Martha and not liked her? Surely not. Everybody liked Martha, didn't they? He would have to ask her when he got the chance to find out if Donna had any reason to be annoyed. Despondently he made his way back to his room to finish off marking some books.
"Mr Smith? I've got those worksheets you desperately wanted," Donna called around his door during his next lesson hesitantly, having rapped loudly on it and gained permission to enter first.
John almost tripped over a chair leg in his eagerness to get to her, causing several pupils to laugh. "Thank you, Miss Noble. I'd thought you'd forgotten me," he said, grinning broadly at the sight of her. Placing a hand onto the edge of a desktop to lean on it, he suddenly lost his grip and he half plunged towards the floor.
The whole room guffawed as he did so and tried to look as though he had meant to do that. "Careful, sir. You almost fell for her," the nearest boy remarked.
Donna had rushed forward and was now holding his arm to presumably keep him upright. "Are you okay? They must have over polished these floors today," she sought to comfort him.
He caught the gleam in her eye that suggested she didn't believe that in the slightest. To add to his embarrassment he blushed again. "Ah... well… you know," he stammered as he gazed straight into her eyes. Why did she have this effect on him?
She patted his hand. "If you can make it back to your desk I'll leave the worksheets there, unless you want them somewhere else," she offered.
"Erm…" He was shocked to hear his voice come out a bit squeaky, so he forced it to go lower. "On my desk is fine." He thought it best to stay stock still whilst she deposited her armful of papers and watched her leave the room.
"You should definitely go out with her, sir, if you ask me," the boy sitting by his elbow commented.
"Yes, thank you, Harry. When I want your opinion I'll ask for it," he replied tersely.
"Don't you like her, sir?" a girl asked incredulously. "Cos you looked as though you do."
Kids and their flipping opinions! He'd forgotten this aspect as well. "That's enough! Now where were we…?" he demanded, distracting them away; but he had the feeling they were going to drag up his personal life again given half the chance.