The Doctor looked up at the sound of his name. Donna was stood in the doorway, looking slightly nervous.
"Yes, Miss Noble?" he asked politely.
Donna chuckled. "How many times, John? Call me Donna!"
"Sorry, Donna," the Doctor replied, grinning.
Donna grinned back. "That's alright, spaceman," she replied.
The Doctor's breath hitched at that.
"Wha- What did you call me?" he asked politely, hoping and praying he'd heard wrong, but knowing he hadn't.
"Spaceman," Donna replied matter-of-factly "after all, you do keep going on about distant stars and planets!"
The Doctor chuckled nervously. Indeed, a week ago- barely three days since he began working at Noble Corporation PLC, Limited- Donna had invited both him and Rose out for a meal, insisting it was only right she should get to know her new employee and his partner, and the majority of the conversation was the Doctor and Rose being rather vague about their 'travelling' and the Doctor's love of stars and the Universe.
"Anyway," Donna continued, snapping the Doctor from his thoughts "I was wondering if you could come with me tonight to meet a potential shares buyer. He's flying in from America and wants to look over the figures. I thought it would be good experience for you,"
"Yeah, that should be fine," the Doctor replied, his manic grin spreading across his face.
That manic grin had barely diminished since he began to work for Donna. She was just like he remembered, only more sure of herself. Not overly so, but enough that she was confident, and successfully running her business. The Doctor still couldn't believe just how fortunate he was to be working for Donna, and he was ecstatic at how well she was doing for herself.
"Great! Well, if you're sure, I'll pick you up at about 6:15 tonight. We've got reservations at the Galvin at Windows restaurant at 7 tonight." Donna told him.
"Wait, as in Galvin at Windows, Park Lane?" the Doctor asked, perplexed. He had heard Jackie complaining to Rose a few nights ago about how she desperately wanted to try out the restaurant but it was too hard to get reservations for.
Donna nodded. "Yeah, I managed to ring up early and book it. This American guy is quite big in the States, and he wants to buy a lot of shares, so I figured we should go all out to impress him."
The Doctor swallowed. "Right," he murmured, suddenly feeling irrationally scared "I guess I'd better go get a tux!"
"Rose not back yet?" the Doctor asked, frowning as he stepped into the sitting room of the Tyler Mansion and found only Pete and Tony.
"She and Jackie went shopping," Pete explained from where he was sat on the floor playing with his son.
"Ah," the Doctor murmured.
"What's that?" Tony asked, his interest piqued at the tuxedo the Doctor was holding.
"I've gotta go on a business meeting with Donna tonight, that fancy restaurant in Park Lane." The Doctor explained to Pete, smiling gently at Tony.
"Oh, the American guy," Pete realised "yeah, Donna mentioned that."
"Anyway, do you know when Rose will be back? Donna's picking me up in half an hour." The Doctor told Pete, scratching the back of his neck self-consciously.
"I'm not sure when they're back, but you go get yourself ready and if they're not back before you're gone, I'll tell her where you are," Pete offered as Tony seated himself in his lap and pressed a large hardback picture book into his hands.
"Ok, thanks," the Doctor replied, sighing.
He headed slowly upstairs to get ready for the business meeting.
"How're we gonna know what he looks like?" the Doctor asked, straightening his tie and tugging at his tuxedo.
"I've had a few video calls with him, we know what each other look like," Donna explained, straining her neck to look around the restaurant towards the door.
"So what's the name of this potential shares buyer?" the Doctor asked curiously.
"Henry Van Statten. Like I said, he's big news in America." Donna replied.
Not noticing the Doctor's shocked expression, Donna stood up suddenly, waving to Van Statten, who had just stepped into the restaurant. As Van Statten made his way over to their table, the Doctor forced himself to stop staring and act professional.
"Miss Noble," Van Statten announced as he reached the table. He shook Donna's hand warmly "Pleasure to meet you at last!"
Donna blushed a little, still not quite used to these big business meetings.
"You too, Mr Van Statten." Donna replied, smiling. Then, she gestured to the Doctor. "This is one of my employees, John Smith."
"Mr Smith, so good of you to join us!" Van Statten declared, shaking the Doctor's hand eagerly.
The Doctor nodded, silently praying that he was actually smiling and not grimacing like he pretty sure he was.
"So," Van Statten continued, startling the Doctor from his thoughts. The three of them took their seats at the table "are we eating first, or getting straight to the business?"
"Sorry we're late; we bumped into Pamela Kennedy in Knightsbridge. You remember Pamela, don't you, Pete? She's married to Henry. Why don't you and Henry play golf together anymore?"
Jackie Tyler's voice rang through the ground floor of the Mansion as she struggled in with a load of shopping bags, Rose following her. Pete came out of the sitting room as Rose shut the front door.
"Nah, that's alright. And of course I remember Pamela! Henry and I don't play golf anymore because I'm always busy with Torchwood!" Pete reminded his wife as he moved to kiss her hello.
"Have you gotten Tony off to bed?" Jackie continued, kissing Pete and heading into the sitting room.
"Yep, an hour and a half ago. He was out like a light." Pete confirmed as he and Rose followed Jackie into the sitting room.
"Where's the Doctor?" Rose asked, noticing that her partner wasn't in the room like she was expecting.
"He's gone out with Donna for a business meeting. Some American called Van Statten has flown over, is interested in buying shares in the company." Pete explained, sitting down beside Jackie.
"Oh," Rose mumbled, slightly hurt. Then again, she berated herself, she had gone out with her Mum for hours and didn't bother telling him. Then she realised what Pete had said "Hang on, did you say Van Statten?"
Pete nodded, frowning in confusion.
"What's wrong with that?" Jackie asked tiredly, confused.
"Nothin'. Well...No, 'm sure it's nothin'..." Rose trailed off.
"Rose," Pete prompted, raising an eyebrow at his daughter.
"The Doctor and I, we…Well, we met a Henry Van Statten years ago, not long after I first started travelling with him and he had…interesting taste. We found a Dalek in his basement; he said it was his pride and joy. I touched it, and accidently brought it to life. It killed most of his staff, and tried to kill me but it couldn't. In the end, the Dalek killed itself. Never did find out what happened to Van Statten- he disappeared." Rose explained, shrugging.
"Well…This Van Statten bloke doesn't have a Dalek, does he?" Jackie asked Pete worriedly.
Pete shook his head.
"I doubt it. Donna researched him when he took an interest in the company He buys stocks and shares for a living, doesn't even believe in aliens," Pete answered calmly.
Jackie sagged against her husband in relief.
The Doctor crept into the Tyler Mansion, cursing his stupid part-human body as he struggled to make out the shapes of the entrance hall in the dark. He didn't want to put any lights on because he'd end up waking everyone, and the last thing he wanted was Jackie yelling at him for waking Tony at one am in the morning. Cautiously, he made his way over to the staircase, his arms out in front of him to feel the way. It took far longer than it should have done to get up the stairs and along the corridor to what had become his and Rose's bedroom. The Doctor slipped inside, wincing as he stubbed his toe on the doorstep. Rose didn't even stir as the Doctor carefully stripped off his suit, leaving him clad in just his boxers. He slipped a pair of pyjama bottoms on before climbing into bed. This time, Rose did stir, and she turned round, eyes fluttering open.
"Doctor?" she asked sleepily.
"Yeah," the Doctor answered softly "it's me. Sorry I'm late. Just go back to sleep, Rose."
He pressed a kiss to Rose's forehead as she curled into his chest. Within a minute, they were both asleep.