Disclaimer: I don't own anything enough to make money from it.

A/N: Another writing experiment, to break this weird mood.

Noises Off


It was that noise again. It always started with that noise; that faint huff followed by a sharp intake of breath. The air would then stir as the seat shifted, the legs scuffling along the ground as the rubber base squeaked its protest.

Any moment now the next action would follow. The one where he simultaneously enjoyed and regretted his decision to utter those words. Why? Because the action always brought her hand close to his face as a violent reaction overwhelmed her, and her hot angry puffs of carbon dioxide exploded over his chin, as if trying to force back the stubble from growing any further.

Her eyes blazed with indignation as she glared at him, her teeth bared in disgust as she sought the perfect reply. And then he saw the moment she found it flash across her expression.

"Don't ever, EVER, say I'm just like my mother!" she threatened him in the lowest tone she could find.

He gently reached up and grasped her wrist before her hand could make contact and send him reeling against the library bookcase behind him. "But Donna, I didn't mean…," he started to defend himself, and realised immediately that the response was futile. He knew she was nothing like her mother but he had gone and said it nevertheless.

"Good! I'm glad we agree," she stammered out; and then looked pointedly at where he still had a tight hold of her wrist.

He instantly dropped his hand, and ran it anxiously through his hair, forcing it to stand up on end. Being this near to Donna can be extremely dangerous. It was like walking a tightrope at times. "I'm sorry," he mumbled; and threw her the whole kicked puppy routine.

"Nice to hear… Spaceman," she muttered.

He risked a smile. If she was using that nickname it meant he was forgiven, and his cheek could live another day being this side of red. "Cup of tea?" he offered as compensation. Tea always acted as their last refuge. Come to think of it, it was their only refuge. Tea was certainly wonderful stuff.

"Please!" she answered, both in word and in a smile.

This is what he loved about them; every misunderstanding or spat was always quickly resolved. It was a relationship to enjoy at so many levels.

It was logical then to offer her his arm, and it was equally logical for her to take it as they sauntered off towards the kitchen. This was what they boiled down to in the end: exploring the stars together with a friendly cup of tea in their hands.

The sound of their joint blissful sighs was the best thing in the universe. It didn't get better than that.