A/N: this was supposed to stop at 12 chapters, but it grew again. So I bring you a round baker's dozen. :D Oh and you finally find out why I named it this.
Before them all stood a silent hooded humanoid figure that seemed to be hunched over. Gradually it stood up and stretched to its full height. Stunned, the Doctor reached out to push Donna protectively behind him, but he wasn't quite quick enough. The cloak fell back to reveal the identity of the person and the gun they carried.
"Donna Noble, queen of daytime television and bane of my life with your high morals, opinions and esteem. But no more, Ms Noble; because today you die and my career skyrockets!" the figure uttered as it did its best Bond villain impression.
"Bunty, you don't have to do this," the Doctor calmly stated. "We can all come to an affable agreement, since Donna won't be returning to Earth in the same way as before."
"Won't I?" Donna asked.
"Oh no," he supplied. "You'll be coming with me."
"I will? Any particular reason why, that you'd care to enlighten me with," she queried.
"Well…," he answered cautiously, rubbing nervously at the back of his neck. "We are the last two of our kind…"
"Like the giant pandas or white rhinos. How quaint," she mocked.
"Can we discuss the details later?" he begged, nodding his head towards where Bunty stood.
"Oh, right!" Donna suddenly realised. "I'm new to all this. Sorry!"
Bunty sneered at them both. "How touching! I've been watching the pair of you together, and it's been sickening."
"To think you were the one that insisted we appeared side by side on screen. You could have looked the other way. There's always an OFF button," Donna argued.
"And that precisely illustrates the point I've been making." Bunty brought her gun up to aim at Donna. "Always so high and mighty."
"That's genuinely a trait of our race," the Doctor tried to distract her attention. "It rankles an awful lot of species. But we can be lovable."
"You can also be shut up, once and for all. Goodbye," Bunty calmly said, and fired. Strangely enough she then toppled forward like a sack of wet teddy bears. Behind her floated Fairy Mouse holding a blunt instrument and looking very pleased with itself.
"Would you look at that," he remarked to Donna as he saw Bunty fade away. "Just like Yoda. I said… Donna? NO! Donna!"
Donna lay crumpled on the floor, clutching her throat. It was soon evident that she was trying to halt the flow of blood from a deep wound. She tried to voice an answer, offer him some sort of consoling remark, but her ability to stay awake and alive was fading fast.
"No, Donna, you can't leave me! Not like this," he insisted. "You're dying but that doesn't have to mean the end of you and me. Just regenerate; it's how we fight death. You can do it."
She was trying to say something, so he knelt down and brought his ear up against her mouth. "I don't know how to do it!" she tearfully admitted in her own way.
He gently took her head between his hands and brought them nose to nose. "Don't worry, I'll guide you," he murmured. "Just follow my lead."
Inching nearer, he seemed to make a sudden decision - well, it was a sudden decision; one where he risked life over possible limbs later on – and pressed close until, finally, his breath brushed over her lips.
"Stay with me, Donna," he pleaded. "Concentrate with me, and I'll take it from there."
Her eyes grew larger with wonder as cool tendrils of golden light crept and oozed out from her skin to engulf her. The light seemed to pulse, and then… BAM! She was encased in a blinding light that shot out from her limbs.
"Now," she heard him say as she felt herself slip away; and then his mouth was on hers, drawing out life, fears, impressions, and her very essence.
There was no time to scream, to complain about the violation, to protest her indignation; because her attention was solely on him as they became one. And then just as quickly as the sensation had happened, it stopped.
She found herself looking deeply into his eyes. "What were you saying?" she mumbled. Donna sat blinking at him desperately. "What just happened?"
He stared back at her. "I think you might have… sort of… and don't take this the wrong way, please… but you probably regenerated for the first time."
"I did what?!" She shot a stricken look in his direction.
"She is he, and he is she!" Fairy Mouse sung out as it danced about. "Thank you for saving us all!"
"They seem pleased," the Doctor noted. "The ship syphoned off most of the regenerative energy for use later by the H'rae."
"And what happened to the rest of it?" Donna wondered.
The Doctor smiled in delight. "It healed you. Who would want to change how you look any way? You're already perfect."
She swatted at his arm, but not enough to make him drop her. "Give over! Anyone would think you like me."
"That anyone would be correct." He thoughtfully considered the fairy mouse. "It's time we were making for home."
Donna asked, "Whose home? Yours or mine?"
Allowing himself a moment of happiness, he suggested, "Let's make them both the same."
Fairy Mouse reluctantly said its goodbyes to them, and returned them to the surface of the planet known as Earth; right where Donna's current home was. But they had ambitious plans, and they weren't to do with her television career.
It was decided between the pair of them that they would visit Donna's family, Sarah Jane and Luke to explain what had happened; but first they would celebrate by having a much needed refreshing cup of tea.
"Do all Gallifreyans have this need for tea?" Donna quizzed the Doctor.
"No, I'd say it's more of an acquired taste after spending time on Earth," he replied. "Have you remembered much about your former self yet?"
"Not really, if I'm honest," she confessed. "I can only guess that I was very young; or they'd completely wiped my mind."
"I'd say that being exceptionally young was the more likely answer, otherwise bits would seep through," the Doctor reasoned. "They did that to me once," he offered in explanation.
"I'm sorry," she immediately sympathised, and tenderly caressed his cheek. "You've suffered a great deal in your time, and far too much of it being so lonely."
"I won't have to anymore now that I've found you," he sincerely told her.
Oh dear! Things were getting serious again, and needed lightening up. Donna threw herself down onto the sofa, groaning out loud as she did so. "Got any special foot rubs in that pocket of yours?"
He pretended to search; dipping his hand into each pocket as she giggled at his antics. "No, sorry. You'll have to make do with a free range one."
"What's a free range one?" she asked him as he plonked himself down next to her.
"Ah, it means," he began to explain as he lifted her foot into his lap, "that it is allowed to roam as much as it likes."
There was a loud squawk of laughter as his fingers trailed up her calf and assaulted her knee. "Geroff!" she shrieked, and tried to wrench her foot away. "You're a menace!"
"No; I'm a masseuse," he insisted.
Hah! She didn't believe him for one second; but he did look adorable in that moment. "Whatever you are, you deserve a kiss of thanks."
"Only the one?" he wondered cheekily, bringing his face close to hers.
"We'll see," she half promised, tipping her head in order to line up properly. "After this one."
Meeting part of the way, the Doctor eagerly pressed his lips to hers, moving with subtle sweeps to gradually build the kiss until they were exchanging large, open mouthed kisses. On and on, sharing kiss after kiss, letting tongues meet, glide and caress.
The need to contact Sarah Jane, family or anyone else was forgotten as they lost themselves in their passionate embrace. And as they kissed, their minds sang together in their mutual joy, enhancing the experience beyond measure.
Eventually the Doctor gasped out, "Stay with me, Donna. Join me among the stars."
"Just try stopping me, Martian," she retorted.
"I'm not from Mars, Earthgirl," he corrected.
"And I don't care, Spaceman," Donna answered, and then resumed kissing him to within an inch of his life.
Eventually they were disturbed by the sound of someone calling out, banging on the door and then by that same someone letting themselves in using a personal key.
"Is anyone there?" floated into them; closely followed by the appearance of Wilf in the room having returned home from his jaunt out with his friends. "Donna?! Is that you?" he exclaimed when he saw them entangled on the settee. "I've been so worried! One minute you were on the telly and the next you weren't."
"Hello Gramps!" she stammered out, having let go of the Doctor and attempted to sit away from him. She waved a hand towards her settee companion. "This is my friend, the Doctor. Doctor, this is Wilf Mott, my grandfather. "
The Doctor instantly offered a handshake as he stood politely in greeting. "Good to meet you, Wilf."
"Nice to meet you too," Wilf enthused as he shook the Doctor's hand. "I've seen you on the telly with our girl."
"Oh, you saw that then?" Donna considered with embarrassment. "I was hoping you hadn't."
"Of course we did!" Wilf scoffed. "We always watch your shows."
"Who are you, Wilf?" the Doctor suddenly asked.
"Who me? I'm nobody, me," Wilf modestly answered.
The Doctor moved around him sniffing. "No, you're certainly not 'nobody'. Not judging by what Donna did."
Wilf tried to shrug nonchalantly, and then he visibly sagged. "I just look after Donna. That's all. It's my job."
"There's something more than that," the Doctor encouraged him to talk. "Wilf, does the name Gallifrey mean anything to you?"
It certainly did, because Wilf reacted with a startled twitch. He then anxiously looked at Donna as he spoke. "Yes, I was born there long ago. My mother might have been familiar to you. Her name was Leela."
It was the Doctor's turn to be startled by this revelation. "You escaped?!" he spluttered out. "How many did?"
"Just me… and Donna, of course. You've got to understand, Doctor. I was given the special job of looking after her. She was destined for something big, they told me; she had to be outside the coming time lock to fulfil her purpose."
"And you as a partial human was given permission to leave," the Doctor concluded. "What did you do to her?"
"I didn't do anything! They used a Chameleon Arch on her, not me! All I did was smuggle her out with me under my robes," Wilf insisted defensively.
"Then I'm not your real granddaughter?" Donna asked when she finally found her voice again.
"No, sweetheart; but you became one," Wilf tearfully admitted. "I wouldn't have exchanged our time together for the world."
"Oh Gramps!" she cried, and flew into his warm embrace to hug him closely. "Then who are the people I call my parents?"
"They were a nice young couple I found who wanted children but couldn't have them. They were both orphaned in the war. All it took was a bit of jiggery pokery to get them to think we were both related to them. I never harmed them. Am I forgiven?"
"Of course, Gramps!" Donna declared, and hugged him enthusiastically.
Wilf hugged back and eventually released her. "You go with the Doctor, as you should. You belong there," he insisted. "Go and find out who you really are, my girl. Make my sacrifice worthwhile."
The Doctor reached out and took her hand. "We will," he promised. "The universe is waiting to educate her."
"Cheek! And what about you?" she asked.
"I'm waiting for you to educate me in return!" he answered and waited for the laugh he longed for.