A/N: this last part has been slightly edited for sexual content. You can find the uncensored version on my LiveJournal website.
Donna had smirked in amusement. She was able to easily take this sort of backhanded compliment. "I had to keep up the appearance as your slave, didn't I? The shackles are a bit of a problem."
"Then I'd better tie you to me," he suggested; making her excitement grow.
He heartily laughed at her expression as he offered his arm for her to hold onto, and they made their way to the Audi car that would take them to the party. It was in full swing when they got there, and they were greeted like old friends. Within seconds they were introduced to all the important partygoers as though they were highly favoured guests. Peter loved the attention. Well, he did, right up until he inadvertently found himself standing under a massive bunch of mistletoe that hung low in an impressive Georgian room, and couldn't escape.
"Come on, Peter! Surely you can give the lovely Donna here a Christmas kiss," Tony insisted; and Peter found himself gazing into Donna's questioning eyes.
She clearly wanted to know why he was avoiding it. He could feel it through their tentative link, and he really didn't want to explain why. "Of course I can, Tony," he answered as brightly as he could. "Stopping, on the other hand, is the problem."
There was a sceptical expression on Donna's face. As if he'd have a problem stopping! Who was he kidding? Feeling everyone's eyes on her, she tried to dismiss the impression that she'd been set up to be rejected publically. Instead she waited for Peter to come up with a clever way to deflect the situation. To her surprise he leaned in closer and eyed her lips anxiously. There was a faint lick of his own lips and then he was taking hold of her chin with two fingers, tilting her face up slightly; and then there was a gentle press against her mouth.
Gasping in surprise, she accidentally opened to him, and he seemed to take that as an invite to do more than ghost his lips over hers. He was actually tasting her for a few seconds, drawing her flush with his body; and then he suddenly stopped and pulled away.
Peter chuckled self-consciously to cover his action. "And that, dear Tony, is why you shouldn't kiss Donna. You'd sell your soul to keep doing it."
Tony laughed with delight. He had gained exactly the effect he had wanted, and he triumphantly wandered off to try out the trick on someone else; leaving Peter facing a befuddled Donna.
"What did you mean by doing that?" Donna hissed at Peter as soon as she could.
"We'll discuss this when we get back to the hotel," he hissed back in equal tones. Oh, he knew she'd make sure they discussed it later. He had no doubts about that.
As it was she was waiting for the right moment as soon as they got back. "Well?" she demanded as they walked into the room.
He double checked to see if there was a ball of fire around her, because he half expected it. "Well what?" he asked in his feigned ignorance.
She actually stamped her foot in fury. "Don't give me that! I want to know what that kiss was all about?"
"Ah," he merely said as he tried to think up an acceptable defence. "It was a kiss under the mistletoe, provoked by that fucking scumbag, Tony Price." He then turned his attention onto switching a radio channel on, and soft music filtered across the room. Music soothed the savage beast so perhaps it would sooth a rampaging Donna?
"Yes, I know that bit! I happened to be there. Look at me when I'm talking to you!" The music seemed to work its magic a little bit because her expression softened. "Say it, Peter. Why do I feel there's something you're not telling me?"
He stepped up to her and drew her into a dancing pose. "Dance with me. I didn't get the chance to do so tonight and I'm sorry for that. I was too busy organising business meetings for future gigs as usual, when I should have been making the most of how stunning you look," he admitted.
She inevitably scoffed at him. "Get to the point!"
He swayed them into small dancing movements; and to his surprise she readily let him. "You wanted to know why I did this." He brought his mouth down next to hers and placed a brief kiss there. "Except I didn't do that; I did this." Another, much less brief kiss was placed on her lips. "Shall I tell you something? I've wanted to do that for a fucking long time."
There! He had finally said it, having lit the blue touch-paper and was now forced to stand well back to wait for the fireworks. It was beginning to faintly buzz around her, creating a indefinable aura.
He went to place another kiss but she hastily pulled her head away. "What do you mean by a long time?"
This was his golden opportunity to make a declaration. "I mean ever since I first met you. From that moment I wanted to kiss you to within an inch of your life," he confessed, feeling braver because she hadn't removed herself from within his embrace.
"But… you were in love with Brian!" she spluttered.
"I was. I also love chocolate and I loved Tom & Jerry. All things are relative and there are all sorts of love," he argued. "And I take it that you don't love me in that way. Sorry." He then let go of her, allowing her to escape from him.
To his delight, she didn't even try. "Let me get this straight... and yes, we'll ignore the usage of that word for the moment… are you saying you love me? In a fancy-love sort of way and not a brotherly love way?" Her eyes desperately searched his for some truth.
"Yes," he said quietly; hardly believing he was finally saying it. "Does this mean you might…? No, that's silly. Of course you wouldn't love me. What was I thinking?"
"Peter, I…," she started to say, as though she was going to let him down gently.
He turned his head, not wanting to see her sympathetic expression as he quietly died inside. He'd ruined it. He had committed the ultimate faux pas, and she would never be healed now. Every hope had been dashed. "Fuck!" he cried out in anguish. "What the fuck have I done?"
"Peter…," she tried again.
"Don't! Don't say it; please don't! I can't…," he stuttered in his grief as the consequences piled onto him, and he hid his face behind his hands. "Years of work down the drain," he mumbled pathetically.
"Shame that, because I was going to say I love you too," she remarked, and sighed dramatically. "Never mind; I'll save it for… Oof!"
Her words were shut off as he grabbed her head and crushed his lips onto hers, stealing her breath away. "I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry," he murmured repeatedly when he broke momentarily away from taking possession of her mouth.
Ooh, the luxury of smoothing his hands down her body, over her bare back and landing on her bottom; pressing her lower torso against him. Her hands were everywhere on him too, as if she had no idea where to start first in her eagerness.
He mentally ticked off items on a list as he hungrily kissed her tempting lips. There was a way to use this, to take the final step. A happy groan escaped from him as he swept his tongue over hers, exploring her mouth with abandon.
They inevitably broke apart, panting heavily as they sucked in much needed oxygen. "So you've wanted to do that for a while?" she asked in glee. "What stopped you? Besides making that weird pen of yours."
"You have no idea how much I have wanted to do this and more!" he enthused. A thought occurred to him, and he anxiously glanced at the bed. "We normally share a bed without any problem. Is it okay to… erm… sleep together tonight?"
Ah! A loaded question that gave her a get out clause. "It depends…," she began to answer; and was gratified when his expression immediately fell. "It depends how much sleep you want to get and how equipped you are."
A broad grin lit up his face. "I've been fully prepared for a while now; so the equipment is all accounted for. That just leaves the question of sleeping." He then took hold of her hands and placed them firmly on his chest over his heart, right on his buttons. "The next part is yours to decide."
Part of her wanted to bite off those buttons. It was the same part of her that wanted to see how tanned he was now and whether her memory was right about other things. Flashing him a coquettish smile, she lifted her chin and openly invited him to kiss her again before launching herself at his lips. For once she was pleased about how naturally talented he was.
As she fumbled with undoing his fastenings he was slowly unzipping her dress. Well, his hands weren't being squished between them as he tried to manoeuvre them towards nakedness. "Do you have a...?" she suddenly thought to ask.
His mouth was worshipping her neck at the time, and he instantly reassured her. "Yes, I have everything we will need." He didn't add that he would palm it as soon as he could, making her believe he was using one. His plans involved close intimate contact where pregnancy was a lesser risk than death.
Kiss after kiss was placed, traded and bartered; feeding their spiralling desire. Until finally he was faced with the inevitable as he hovered above her body on the bed, causing him to hesitate.
"What is it, Peter?" she asked, not understanding yet why he had stopped after all their declarations.
Wide-eyed, he gulped nervously. "I'm frightened, Donna. I am so fucking frightened because I will destroy everything by doing this," he confessed.
She frowned up at him. "What do you mean? How can making love destroy what we feel for each other? I don't understand."
His greatest trick ever was beckoning; promising everlasting glory. He swept a hand lightly over her temple and landed on her cheek, thumbing it thoughtfully. "The only way to heal you is to take this final step; but then you'll know everything about me and I know it will kill how you feel. You won't love me in the same way, you just won't! And I don't want to lose you like this."
"How can knowing everything stop me loving you so much? Surely it should do the opposite," she reasoned.
"For fuck's sake, Donna! I'm not just talking about warts and all; you'd know where I come from, why I'm here, how and everything in between. You are going to hate me…"
She grabbed his head then, passionately kissing him to prove otherwise.
He eagerly kissed back. If he was going to lose the things he cherished most he'd fucking choose how and when. In that moment he didn't think he could love her more for trying to accept him, for doing so without question. There was no other way to save her; he could already feel the Time Lord consciousness starting to threaten her. Within minutes she could be gone if he couldn't pull this off.
It was now or never, he knew that; and she felt so warm and soft beneath his hands. He wanted her so much and there was no point in holding back any longer. With a cry of anguish he brought his hands up to her contact points.
The swirling gold light in her eyes intensified, and she gasped out a silent scream.
Images; so many images in her head. and words fought to appear centre stage in her mind, full of colour and sounds. "You're not just Peter, you're the Doctor!" Tears streamed down her face, as she saw the beauty, the horror and the sacrifices that had torn his life apart. "My little Doctor! Oh, my Golden Graham. You came back for me; all that way."
"Yes I did," he readily agreed, tears now on his own cheeks having heard that teasing name again after thinking he never would. "I'd do it all again if I had to."
All he could feel coming from her was love and acceptance; pleasing his soul. There were no haunting secrets. She knew everything, every single thing; and she hadn't rejected him offhand. He then slowly extracted from his jacket pocket a device that looked more than familiar to Donna now.
"You've got a sonic screwdriver!" she squealed in excitement. "Where did you get that?"
"I made it," he stated proudly. "Er… Donna. Exactly how attached are you to this…?" He then twirled a finger to circumnavigate the outline of his head.
"What; your face? Are you saying you are going to change your face?" she asked in disbelief.
"No, you silly cow!" He laughed in sheer delight. "I'm asking if you like all the hair. Would you be appalled if I shaved off the beard and moustache as they are really getting on my pip? And I want to ditch the long hair for day to day use. That way my stage makeup can be totally different, and we can go out and enjoy ourselves in privacy for a bit," he explained.
"Hmm." She carefully considered his face. "Shave it off," she said decisively. "I want to see the real you again." She watched him scan her, without complaining once about the bleeping. "Well? What's the verdict? I'd like to know who to contact in the next five minutes."
A glorious, triumphant smile shone back at her. "I did it! You're safe. We' better call your mum and tell her about our engagement. If you'll have me… of course…"
"Daft half Martian!" she softly chided him. "'Of course' is the operative phrase." She then encouraged him with more than kisses to finish what he had started as they both glowed with a different colour.
The next time Peter saw Vincent Noble looking back at him in a bathroom mirror he was grinning like a Cheshire cat. There was nothing that could contain his happiness. Even the thought of informing Sylvia was cheering him up.
"Oi! Emo boy! Haven't you finished checking out your handsome face yet?" Donna sauntered in to demand. "We've got rings to go and buy."
She couldn't resist stroking a finger tenderly along his freshly shaven, smooth chin, and across his lips; loving the fact he was back as she remembered him. He caught hold of her finger and kissed it.
"Fucking perfect!" he exclaimed without a trace of irony. For once he truly meant it.