Disclaimer: the words and the scenario are mine, the rest belongs to the BBC.
A/N: this was written as a prize to donna_decem for guessing the movie reference in a fic. I hope you like it!
A/N2: anyone curious about the biscuits mentioned can see what a Custard Cream, a Bourbon, a Viennese Finger, or a Jammie Dodger look like, I would have added in the links if FFN allowed it.
A/N3: I found this languishing on my hard drive, so I thought it was about time I dealt with it.
Little Dog Lost
"It's no good, I can't walk another step," the Doctor griped. "Is there such a thing as death by Tesco's?"
"Nah! You're thinking of Death by Chocolate; though judging by your slim figure it'll never happen," Donna teased him and nudged his shoulder. "Come on! Where's your stamina gone? We haven't got to the biscuit aisle yet."
"Biscuits?!" His attention was instantly caught by the very word. "Ooh! What biscuits can we buy?"
"I'll let you happily think about that while I pick up Mum some cold ham and some vegetarian sausage rolls," she told him as she tugged on his sleeve to guide him and the trolley he was pushing down the colds section.
As she expected his face lit up like a Christmas tree once they were standing in front of the chocolate digestives and numerous varieties of shortbread. He hopped about picking up and considering the merits of Custard Creams over Bourbons, and the dunkability of a Viennese Finger over a Jammie Dodger. It was too all much for him.
"Donna? How many packets can we buy?" he hesitantly asked her, obviously expecting a disappointing answer.
"Go for it, Spaceman!" she encouraged him. "I think you've earned yourself a packet or four."
He danced up to her to place a thank you kiss on her cheek and then happily set about grabbing an armful of various biscuits. For a contented Time Lord it was a small price to pay, she decided.
Having paid for all their purchases, they trundled the trolley out to Sylvia's car sitting in the car park. As Donna opened the boot to unload the trolley she realised she hadn't visited the recycling centre yet. "What's the matter, Donna?" the Doctor asked her as he noticed her frown.
"I forgot to go to the bottle bank first, but we'll do that on the way out," she told him. She knew the act of posting the glass bottles her mother had foisted onto her would please him immensely; most kids liked hearing the smash as they landed inside the vast bottle bank.
It was as the Doctor was depositing the last empty jam jar that he remarked, "Did you hear that? I can hear whimpering."
"Where?" Donna instantly asked. "From inside? You are kidding me!"
"No, not inside," he answered, sweeping his head from side to side. "It seems to be coming from… here!" He bent down behind the paper and cardboard recycling skip and pulled back what looked like a large paper ball. Beneath it was a puppy. "Hello!" the Doctor greeted it, smoothing his hand over its tiny head. "What are you doing here?"
"Aw, Doctor! He's gorgeous!" Donna crooned, as she too bent down to make a fuss of the animal.
The puppy enthusiastically licked both of them, making them giggle with delight. It was as the puppy tried to munch on Donna's hair that the Doctor waited for the inevitable question. "Can we keep him, Doctor?" she asked, cradling the puppy's head to her cheek. "Isn't he adorable?"
The Doctor stretched out a hand to caress the puppy's head. "He probably belongs to someone, Donna. We can't just take him, despite how tempting that is," he argued.
"But Doctor! Look at his little face," she used a baby voice and held the puppy up in emphasis. "Who couldn't love him?"
"That's not the point, and you know it; so stop trying to make me feel guilty," he retorted, feeling himself being swayed. "He is not ours to keep."
"What if we left a note with the store saying we've found him and take it from there?" she asked him, giving him her own version of the puppy dog look.
He heaved a sigh. "Alright…" And he instantly found himself being kissed by both Donna and the puppy simultaneously. He made a protesting sound that covered the fact he liked all the fuss really. Laughing, he pushed her away. "Give over; I'll think you like me!"
She gave him her sunniest smile. "I do more than that at times," she readily told him, and was pleased to see him blush.
"Mama!" came a cry from not too far away. "There he is!"
Both Donna and the Doctor turned to see a woman and a little girl running towards them, clutching a small collar and lead that obviously didn't hold a dog.
"You found him," the woman told them using a heavy French accent, speaking with clear delight as she neared them. "My daughter thought she would never see him again."
The puppy wriggled desperately in Donna's arms, so she placed him on the ground and saw him race to the little girl. The two of them greeted each other like the long lost friends they were.
"Thank you so much," the woman said as they watched the tender reunion. "It means a great deal to us for Nicole to find her puppy after the fright we've had."
The Doctor and Donna chatted with her about finding the puppy, the woes of the woman as she had searched for it when it had slipped its lead, and her family's recent change of country. After some minutes, the woman and her daughter expressed their thanks again and were on their way, leaving Donna bereft at the near miss she had had at owning a dog once more.
"I suppose it's only right Nicole should get back her puppy," Donna commented with regret. "And she does need the company."
"She'll settle down in England now," the Doctor added as he considered the girl thoughtfully, "gaining lots of new friends as a consequence of owning that puppy."
Donna peered at the girl in the distance, hoping to be able to see the timelines for herself but knowing she never would. Instead she sighed resignedly. "It's nice to know our loss is someone's gain."
He smiled and reached out to take her hand in order to lead her away. "Come on. Time we were moving on and find someone else to help."
"I dunno about you but I'm hoping to help myself to a few of your biscuits," she teased, readily following him.
The Doctor threw her a mock frown. "My biscuits? Oh no, I think you are mistaken, Donna Noble. My biscuits are for my consumption."
Donna snorted in scorn at him. "Too right they are! If you know what is good for you, you'll be sharing them with me and a cup of tea."
"And why would I want to share you…them with anybody?" he asked. At this point they had unlocked the car; he opened the door for her and guided her into the driver's seat.
She halted to give him a meaningful look. "You're all heart, did you know that? When you're not a walking empty stomach, of course…"
"You know me so well," he replied with a delighted smirk. "Would you do me the honour of escorting me back home via your mother's house?"
"I can do better than that," she said confidently. "I'll drive you."
"How about…," he began to ask as he climbed in beside her and onto the passenger seat, "I let you pilot the TARDIS when we get back too?"
"You will?!" She gave a squeak of surprise, and threw her arms around him. "All on my own?"
"I might be able to arrange that," he answered as vaguely as he could. "If I'm bribed with tea…"
"And biscuits?" she wondered, arching an eyebrow at him briefly before putting the car into gear.
"And biscuits," he confirmed as she pulled away.
The thought of tea and biscuits was a very happy one as they headed for home.