"We should probably go downstairs..." Donna says, sliding off the bed, "I don't want Gramps getting the wrong idea." She smiles a bit awkwardly and begins to walk towards the door. The Doctor follows shortly after, but...he feels a bit strange. Almost disappointed. Could Donna really not imagine anything between them? He'd had a lot of time to think while he was alone. He found himself waking up every morning and missing Donna's presence in the kitchen, red hair thrown about her face or tied up halfheartedly on her head. She'd growl at him and make it known that she hated mornings, if it even was morning. A cup of tea always cheered her up, and they'd sit down together...it was all very domestic and a bit strange for the Doctor. But it was nice. He sighs as he follows Donna down the stairs and into the kitchen, his hearts beating faster than he would have liked at seeing Donna there, smiling with a cup of tea Wilf had handed her.
"How are you?" Wilf asks, cupping Donna's face in his hands, and she smiles at him, a real genuine smile, one he hasn't seen in a long time.
"I'm good, Gramps, I'm really good." the Doctor enters the kitchen and Wilf looks at him,
"Ah, there you are!" he smiles widely, not the exact reaction the Doctor was expecting,
"Hullo," he says softly, taking a seat next to Donna and across from Wilf, Donna looks down as her cheeks tinge pink,
"Gramps...what you saw, I-" she cuts off, unsure of exactly how to finish that sentence, so the Doctor jumps in,
"Donna wanted to make sure I wouldn't fly away," he says in a teasing tone, "We just slept in the same bed, it wasn't anything more than that." to his surprise, Wilf looks almost...disappointed.
"Well, your'e adults, it's not my business." he smirks, and Donna blushes, sighing. Wilf declares he's going to meet up with some friends before their weekly lunch, and Donna lets him go, no complaints.
"Sorry 'bout that," she says, smiling a bit, "I'm gonna have some toast...you want some?" the Doctor nods without thinking, even if he'd disagreed, Donna would have made him some anyway, insisting he needs to eat. She nods and moves to the counter, popping two pieces of toast into the toaster. The Doctor just watches, looking at her fondly as she putters around with her hair tied up, her t-shirt much too large, and her shorts a bit too short.
"When do you want to go?" the Doctor asks without thinking, she turns,
"Hmm?" she raises a brow and he clears his throat,
"When, uh, do you think that you'd want to...y'know...go?" he asks again
"When my mum comes home." Donna smiles, "I want to tell her I'm going...if I do it over the phone she'd have my head on a platter." she smirks and the Doctor nods,
"That's probably best...I don't need your mum hating me any more than she already does." Donna sighs,
"She doesn't hate you she just..." she looks to the ceiling for a moment, "I think, I mean...maybe she's a bit jealous?" she says tentatively and the Doctor frowns,
"Jealous of me, what for?"
"Well, you did just kind of take me away." and as she notices the look on his face she corrects, "No, no, I'm glad that you did, it's the best time of my life out there with you but...I don't know, maybe she feels like one day I'm just...not gonna come home." and that does something to the Doctor's hearts. Because he can't promise her that nothing will happen, he wishes he could, he wishes with all of his might, but he knows that he can't, and it kills him.
"Donna..." he sighs, "the last year...how was it with your mum?" he asks, and Donna bites her lip,
"It was the same as ever." she admits, quite truthfully. "I know she loves me, Doctor, she has to, she's my mum." but she doesn't look too confident, "She's hard on me but it's always been like that, it's stopped bothering me. I just let her have it right back." the Doctor nods. He knows Donna's relationship with her mother has never been the best, and Sylvia isn't the warmest person out there, but he won't let himself get into it. He only wants Donna to know how wrong her mother is, because she's brilliant. The ding of the toaster breaks the Doctor from his thoughts and he watches as Donna sets them on plates and gets out the jam.
Donna's taking a bite of her toast, and watching the Doctor from across the table when she notices. How could she have missed that before? All along the Doctor's cheeks, dipping across his nose, are freckles. Tiny little dustings of freckles. Had she just not looked that closely at him before? Why was she looking now? She tears her eyes away and focuses on her toast. What was wrong with her? Ever since he'd come back she felt this...feeling. It was there when he held her at Torchwood, and it was there last night, when she curled up to him. She's listened to his double heartbeat and felt comforted, like she'd known that sound forever. It was a bit strange because it was so alien, when she heard that, she couldn't pretend like he was human. He was something much, much more.
"Donna?" the Doctor calls, tilting his head a bit and she blinks, realizing that in the time she was thinking she'd began staring at him again,
"Freckles," she says, almost inaudibly, but of course he hears her.
"What?" he asks, looking a bit amused, and she wants to smack her head on the table, she knows he heard her, and there's no backing out.
"I just hadn't realized that you've got..freckles." she says, trying to sound nonchalant. He smiles at her,
"You've got them, too." he says and she smiles, and looks at the back of her freckle-covered hand.
"Yeah...suppose I do." she finishes her toast and the Doctor smiles at her,
"So, Donna Noble," she likes it when he uses her full name like that, "what would you like to do today?" she smirks at him,
"Oh, so I get to decide?"
"You are the one who just got a bunch of old-new memories shoved back into your head, it's only fair." she chuckles and thinks for a moment before deciding.
"Can we go to the library?" she asks and the Doctor frowns,
"Sure, but I don't know where-"
"The library in the TARDIS, dummy," Donna corrects him, and he smiles,
"I thought you didn't like reading?" he asks, and she shrugs,
"Had a lot of time to fill," she said, "I learned to like it." the Doctor's smile grew,
"You're going to love this, then."
The Doctor pulls Donna out of her chair, ignoring her protests and reminders that he's in his pants and she's wearing her pajamas. He counters by telling her that no lazy Sunday requires real clothing and they weren't going to disobey the laws of Sunday. So they trudged up the hill in their lazy Sunday clothes, as Donna wishes the neighbors won't see. But as she approaches that big blue, ancient box she doesn't care anymore. The Doctor lets her go in first, and she trails her hand along the door. She sighs, looking around the room, at the console and the beams.
"Hello, old girl." she croons and the TARDIS groans a response.
"She missed you." the Doctor whispers, right in Donna's ear and she shivers.
"I missed her, too." she says, and the Doctor takes her hand. He leads her forward, past the console and to the hallway. She takes a step forward, trailing her hand along the wall, she smiles. It doesn't even seem like she has to walk that far, until there's a tugging feeling in her mind, urging her forward, and showing her the way. She opens a door to her left and there it is. The Library. She's standing in the doorway as she lets out a breath. It's true, she's never been one for reading but in that time, well, it was the only thing that kept her sane. She turns around and suddenly notices that the Doctor isn't behind her, he's not even coming down the hallway. She rolls her eyes and enters the library, the door closes softly behind her and she smiles. Donna goes over to a shelf and picks out a book, a random book, and sits in one of the extremely comfortable leather chairs. She can't believe that she hadn't appreciated this when she was traveling with the Doctor. She'd been in there plenty of times, yeah, but she'd never really sat down and took the time to just be there. As she's reading, she hears footsteps. She looks up to see the Doctor walking towards her, now dressed in a pair of striped pajamas. He grabs a random book from the shelf and flops himself down onto the couch, kicking his slipper-clad feet up onto the table. He flips the book open and begins reading. Donna watches for a moment before slowly getting up, the Doctor looks up upon hearing the squeaking of the leather to see her walking over to him. He smiles and pats the spot next to him. Donna curls up with her back resting against the Doctor's side, and the book resting on her thighs which were pulled up, on an angle.
The Doctor likes this, just sitting here, not talking, but feeling her presence. He feels the heat of her against his side and smiles a bit into his book. The library was one of his favorite places. It was cozy and warm and smelt of leather and old books, it was where he went when he needed to calm down, when he was sad, when he'd had a nightmare. He loved that he could share it with Donna now, before she'd roll her eyes and call him a book worm, declaring that she was going to the pool or some other equally less boring area. He thought that now, she was the same Donna as he knew, wonderful and hard headed and loud mouthed but with a few...tweaks. They didn't make her better, or worse just...different. He was different. And different was okay, different had to be okay.
"So," the Doctor asks, resting his book against his chest and tilting his head to look down at Donna. "what're you reading?" She tilts her head up to meet his gaze,
"Pride and Prejudice." she says with a thoughtful frown, she shrugs and looks up at him, "Mr. Darcy's a bit of a prat." the Doctor barks out a laugh.
"That he is, why're you reading that?" he sits up a bit on the couch and watches as she fiddles with the book in her hands.
"Dunno. Just picked it up, it's interesting though." she continues to look down and bend the pages of the book. "It's funny how two people who never seemed like they'd go for each other just...fall in love."
"It's a bit out there," the Doctor agrees as he takes a breath, and Donna looks back up at him,
"Yeah, doesn't seem like it could happen." there's something in her eyes. And before he knows it, the Doctor finds himself leaning down a bit,
"Stuff off fairy tales, that is." he says softly and she smirks,
"Total rubbish." she breathes and he finds himself smirking as his lips are millimeters away from hers, and he's still looking her in the eyes.
"I agree." he barely whispers as he finally closes the gap and presses their lips together. It was one of those moments, the totally unpredictable ones that everyone saw coming but them. He doesn't know what it was exactly, maybe it was the time apart, or the way her hair fell across her shoulders. It could be the way she looked at him, or the way he looked at her, or the way both of them seemed to be craving the sight of the other. Maybe it was how he needed her and she, in turn, undeniably needed him. His hand comes down to rest in her hair and she tilts her chin, adjusting to the slightly awkward angle as they break for a moment to catch their breath. Suddenly, four loud knocks echo through the TARDIS and they jump apart, Donna's heart practically beating of of her chest, and the Doctor's doing the same for an entirely different reason.
"It's uh...that's probably Grandad." Donna says, closing the book and setting it down quickly before skittering off down the hallway. The Doctor follows behind and tries to gauge her emotions. Was what just happened going to be forgotten now? Were they going to talk about it or should he just let it fade away into the background? He joins Donna at the doors of the TARDIS just as she's opening them. And before he knows it,
"WHAT IS GOING ON?" Sylvia shrieks, stepping into the TARDIS, she spies the Doctor and her eyes narrow menacingly. He backs up a bit, holding his hands up in surrender,
"Oh, don't you 'now, Sylvia' me! What's my daughter doing in this thing? Didn't you say she could die? Why are you back, and why are you both in your bloody pajamas?"
"Simple answers." the Doctor squeaks out, "Uh, Torchwood developed the technology to restore Donna's memory only up to the point of the biological metacrisis, so those memories are now wiped and she's in no danger of dying any longer, at least not from remembering me. I'm back because Jack called me about Donna I thought something terrible had happened, I'm still here because Wilf asked me to be and we're in our pajamas because we were sleeping." he says in a rush, and Sylvia pokes him in the chest,
"If you slept with my daughter I swear-"
"Memory erasing technology and all you got from that was my sleeping with Donna? Well-"
"Shut up!" Donna yells, coming between the two of them. "Mum, we slept together, we did not sleep together. I'm fine, and he is here because we want him to be and you are not having a say in it." Sylvia splutters as Donna continues, "Honestly, mum, do you really think I was happy this past year? Forgetting the Doctor wasn't better for me." Sylvia frowns,
"The pair of you. Get dressed and I expect you in the house in twenty minutes for dinner." she says through gritted teeth and turns on her heel before stomping out of the TARDIS and slamming the door behind her.
"Uh, is 'dodged a bullet' the correct phrase for this scenario?" the Doctor asks, and Donna puts a hand to her forehead, chuckling breathlessly,
"Oh no, don't think you've escaped this one. The bullet's still in flight, Spaceman." and she takes his hand, leading him down the hill. They sneak in through the back door and up to Donna's room. She gathers up his suit and hands it to him, he takes it and she points him towards the bathroom. Once she's dressed, Donna heads downstairs, she pauses just outside the kitchen upon hearing her mother and grandfather's voices.
"She slept with him." her mother was whispering harshly, Donna can practically hear her grandfather rolling his eyes,
"It wasn't like that, Sylvia. And so what if she had? Donna's a grown woman." thank you Donna says in her head, trying to keep herself from interfering in the conversation.
"But it's that Doctor, he's an alien!"
"And he's better than any man on this planet." Wilf argued, "Sylvia, you have to let Donna do what makes her happy, and the Doctor does that. If you try to say she was happy this past year, you're delusional."
"She'll get herself killed being around him." Sylvia says, "Traveling and all that. I don't trust him." Donna hears her grandfather sigh,
"Sylvia, I trust him. Donna trusts him, he's probably saved this world more times that we can count." there's a pause, "Donna's happy with him, she's better with him. Let this be her decision." Donna gives it a moment, and when neither of them says anything else, she steps in.
"Donna!" Wilf smiles and hugs her tightly. Donna smiles,
"Hey, Gramps." She looks over, the table is set, and moments later the Doctor walks into the kitchen, hands in the pockets of his pinstripe suit.
"Why don't we all have a seat?" Sylvia said, if a bit curtly. Donna pulls the Doctor over and seats him next to her. They eat in silence for a while, before Sylvia looks up at Donna,
"Are you going to go with him again?" she asks, and Donna sighs,
"Yeah, mum, I am." She says and Sylvia nearly glares,
"Why don't you stay? Get a real job and do something with your life!."
"I am doing something with my life," Donna argues, obviously fighting to stay calm, "You've no idea what the Doctor does, mum, he helps people, he saves entire planets and I get to help him!"
"If I may interrupt.." the Doctor smiles politely, "Sylvia, I've seen what she can do. Your daughter is brilliant, compassionate, and a lot stronger than anyone gives her credit for." he smirks at Donna, "She's saved my sorry hide more than once." Sylvia huffs,
"You can't guarantee her safety." Syliva argues,
"No, he can't, nobody can, mum. I could die in a plane crash, or get hit by a car just as easily as I can get hurt with him." Donna sighs, "I know your'e worried, but this isn't your decision and I'm sorry, but I'm going." Sylvia looks at Donna for a moment, her lips pursed and tight.
"When?" she asks, and Donna shrugs,
"When we're finished eating." she says and looks to the Doctor, who nods in agreement. The rest of the meal is eaten in silence, and Donna helps with the dishes afterwards. When they're finished, Donna walks over to the Doctor.
"You ready?" he asks, and she nods,
"I just need to pack,"
"TARDIS has a wardrobe, remember?" the Doctor says and Donna scoffs,
"Isn't most of that Rose's?" she asks, "Nothing would fit me."
"It would," the Doctor insists, "I think you're forgetting that the TARDIS is an interdemensional time and space machine...I think she can handle a few bits of thread." Donna smiles,
"Alright!" she announces loudly enough for Wilf and her mother to hear. "We're off." they follow her and the Doctor to the back door, where the TARDIS is parked on the hill.
"Be safe." Sylvia says, and seems to be struggling with keeping her tone warm. Wilf smiles,
"I knew it, Donna, didn't I?" he says as he hugs her, "Knew you'd be back with him one day. Go be great, sweetheart, don't forget to come visit."
"We won't." Donna promises and kisses her grandfather on the cheek before heading out the door, watching the Doctor say something and hug Wilf goodbye. They head up the hill. Donna stands for a moment, staring at the doors of the TARDIS.
"Alright?" the Doctor asks, she can feel his breath only inches from her face and she closes her eyes.
"Yeah," she says a bit unsteadily, "I still can't really believe that I'm coming with you again." she smiles and looks over at him. She takes his hand and he smiles widely at her. He opens the doors of his beautiful, wonderful, confusing machine and they step inside. Donna sits as she watches the Doctor run around the console, flicking buttons and switches and levers, muttering to himself exactly what he's doing. He sends them into the vortex, and lets them float as he leans against the console with his hands in his pockets, staring at Donna levelly.
"So," Donna says, pursing her lips and looking more than a bit lost for words. "What happened earlier...was that, I mean...was that on purpose?" she asks and the Doctor smiles,
"Nope." he says, "I tripped and landed on your lips, of course it was on purpose, Donna." She rolls her eyes at him,
"Don't act like you don't know what I meant." she says, and he tilts his head, sighing.
"I think about everything I do. Well, most things I do...well, things concerning relationships." he shrugs, "I wouldn't have done it if it was a one-off, if that's what you're asking." Donna nods a bit, biting her lip.
"So...what do you want, exactly?" she asks, the Doctor blinks, what does he want?
"You." he tells her, quite simply, "I want you. Anything you're willing to give me, time, company, some patience with me would be nice," he smirks as she shakes her head with a smile on her lips.
"So...a relationship." she says slowly, tentatively. She's not so sure about these things. Men have wanted 'relationships' with her before and dumped her right after they got what they were really there for. The Doctor sees it in her eyes, the doubt there, the uncertainty, the...distrust?
"If that's what you want to call it," he says softly, taking a few steps closer to her. "But we're intergalactic space travelers Donna, I really don't think we need to be confined to labels."
"Good." she says, somehow, taking the label off made it significantly less stressful. "Let's not label it then. Let things happen as we please and, I don't know, have fun." the Doctor smiles at her, laughing a bit. He puts his hands on the seat on either side of her and leans down.
"So," he breathes, "Does the non-label allow this sort of thing?" and he gets his answer as Donna pulls him forward, knotting her hands in his hair. He laughs against her lips and wraps his arms around her, pulling her from the seat. They break apart a moment later and the Doctor laughs, breaking away from her and running around the console.
"Where to?" he shouts excitedly, hand ready to pull down a lever, Donna shrugs and throws her arms out, smiling widely at him,
Welp, that concludes it. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'll be writing more Doctor-Donna stories, so look out for them! Reviews are always nice if ya catch my drift ;)
Also, did anyone else have their hearts ripped out by the Pond's departure? Cause I sure did.