Part 8

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"Hello, Jack!" Donna eagerly greeted him. "I didn't know you could dance."

"Oh yes," Jack enthusiastically replied, leaving the stunned Fred behind them as he expertly guided Donna across the room. "I've seen this particular dance win and lose popularity over the past decades."

She immediately sympathised, "I bet you have, you poor thing."

He grimaced pleasantly in reply.

They happily swished by several times until the music stopped for an interval. "Thank you, Donna. We should do that again," he told her.

"Anytime," she readily agreed. "I suppose I'd better get back to meeting each family member individually to explain what happened and why they're seeing Jenny for the first time."

"It must be hard for you," Jack commiserated. "It's a good job the Doctor came here to help. You're doing a wonderful job making him happy."

"Who me?" Donna wondered as the Doctor and Jenny made their way towards them. "Nah! All that's because of Jenny; you know that. And thanks to you."

"Are you fawning all over him again?" the Doctor teased her as he joined their company. "You'll make his head even bigger."

Of course Donna had to spoil it for him by noticing his tie was askew, and she instantly insisted on adjusting it. "Look at you," she tsked. "At least Jack can keep his tie straight! You're like a scarecrow at times."

Jenny shared an amused glance with Jack.

"Donna!" the Doctor whined. "Do you have to?"

"Yes," she declared. "I'm in charge of you now, and my family will not hesitate to criticise me if you are scruffy."

"Why do they care about me? They're here to see Jenny, not judge my appearance," he protested.

"Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you? But oh no! I'll never hear the end of it if you're not deemed fit for public display," she explained.

"Then thank goodness we never had our wedding in front of them," he argued. "They'd have been appalled with how I was dressed."

"How were you dressed?" Jenny interjected.

"Nothing more serious than being without his jacket," Donna quickly answered.

"You were wearing it," the Doctor added. "Not that you didn't complain."

"I was cold, I'd been kidnapped, and I'd jumped from a moving taxi. I think I had the right to complain," she defended herself.

"I did say you looked lovely in your wedding dress."

"True, you did," she conceded with a smile.

"I wish I could see a picture of you," Jenny said wistfully.

"I'm sure I have something you can have," Jack offered.

"And there was some video footage somewhere," the Doctor remembered. "We'll have to find out where that went."

Donna was about to make an observation when she was bumped from behind. She turned to find her mother's aunt standing there. "Aunt Maggie! How are you?" she greeted the woman with a hug.

"It's been a long time," Great Aunt Maggie returned. "Is this your daughter Jenny that I've been hearing about? And who are these gentlemen?"

So Donna made the introductions. "This is our old friend Jack, and this is my…" She steeled herself to continue. "…husband, the Doctor."

Jack politely excused himself as the music started up again, to join his team, leaving the four of them standing there.

"So you're the husband," Great Aunt Maggie said with much disgust as she eyed the Doctor up and down. "Shame you didn't appear earlier."

"Actually he did," Donna spoke up and held his arm defensively. "He saved your arse when those Christmas trees attacked you."

"That was him?!" Great Aunt Maggie queried with awe; and then smiled pleasantly at the Doctor. She even added in a little pat on his arm. "Well done, lad. Treat yourself to a drink."

"Erm… thanks," the Doctor answered, and watched with amusement as she toddled off towards the buffet. "Your family are certainly entertaining, Donna."

"We aim to please," she smirked back at him. "I'll let you get back to eating or dancing with Jenny."

"Wait!" he cried as she made to move away; and was stunned when she actually stopped and looked at him expectantly. "Seeing as I'm being referred to as your husband and we had a wedding of sorts, do you think we should dance together?"

Donna blushed, much to her annoyance. "You really don't have to. No one will come after you with a shot gun."

"I know," he replied, and took hold of her hand to draw her closer. "That doesn't mean I can't dance with my wife."

Was he really expecting to dance with her? Donna didn't believe it until he had placed one hand on her back and held her right hand in the other to lead her into a graceful waltz. Her surprise went up a notch or two when he pressed them close together. Almost unbelievably close.

As if that wasn't distracting enough, skin to skin contact brought his mind flooding into her head, dazzling her with its brightness. So much so, that she slightly stumbled; and he instantly held her up.

"Don't do the 'falling for me' joke," she mumbled in warning.

"Sorry, but it's been so long since I had family to share minds with," he breathily confessed near her ear. "And with you it's all so…"

"Boring and domestic?" she suggested.

"Golden and intoxicating," he quietly admitted, as waves of another emotion rolled off him.

Donna gasped. He wasn't, was he? The gentle hum of his mind was slowly seducing her, causing her blood to pump wildly around her body. Good grief! He would know what reaction he was creating. How would she ever live it down? This could end up being another Martha situation if she wasn't careful.

"I'm…" The rest of her denial fell away as she lifted her head and found herself nose to nose with him, and those damned tempting lips of his eased nearer. She closed her eyes as faint contact was made; a mere brush of slightly parted lips as his breath mingled with hers.

"Donna!"

She immediately pulled back and opened her eyes to find her mother standing glaring at her. "What, Mum?" she enquired.

"Are you two going to mess about all night like silly buggers, or are you going to finish introducing Jenny to everyone?" Sylvia demanded to know.

Donna shook her head to clear her thoughts. "Who hasn't met her yet?" she asked dreamily.

"My cousin Joan and her family haven't yet," Sylvia supplied. "Why are you dancing with him anyway?"

That made Donna bristle. "In case you don't know, this is the first time I have ever danced with the Doctor."

"What, never? Surely you must have at some point," Sylvia reasoned.

"No, never," Donna answered testily. "So thanks for ruining it for me!" She then glared angrily about her missed opportunity and stormed off.

Sylvia was left staring at the Doctor. "Why haven't you danced with her before? Is there something wrong with you?" she quizzed him. "I suppose you'll be telling me next you don't dance. Not that I'd believe you if you did. That little display you put on with our Jenny proved otherwise."

The shock of hearing the words 'our Jenny' almost made him miss the rest of the accusation. All he knew was that he'd been told off for not previously dancing with Donna, and he had to admit that Sylvia had a point. He'd been avoiding dancing with her for a long time. "Sometimes the opportunity doesn't arise," he retorted.


After several minutes of vainly looking he found her eventually standing outside the hall; looking through a window at the empty bowling greens outside as though they held the key to life. "Are you okay, Donna?" he softly asked as he approached her side.

She lifted her head to gaze directly into his eyes. "Yeah, I suppose so."

Once he was next to her he playfully nudged her shoulder. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing really. Just thinking about stuff." She then scrunched her face up in thought. "Can I ask you something?"

"Anything. You know you can ask me anything." He waited for the expected personal question.

Her mouth opened a couple of times before the question properly formed. "The dance was nice but I can't help wondering… Why did you try to kiss me? Was it for a bet? Have you planned something with Jack that I don't know about?"

A slow shake of his head showed his disapproval. How could she doubt his intentions? "I did not make a bet or anything else with Jack," he seethed. "I hadn't realised my kissing you would cause such a problem. I even thought you might have liked it."

"Why? Cos that's what I do now? Go around kissing every Tom, Dick or Harry?!" she bit back angrily. "Well, you've got that one wrong, mate!"

"Then try enlightening me!" he spat back. "I would love to know why you took offense when all I did was try to…" He then spluttered to a halt, the unspoken words hanging heavy between them.

"You've shut your mind off to me," she pointed out. "There's no way I can know the end of that sentence unless you actually tell me. Is it that bad that you can't? Was it some sort of parting gesture? A case of here's a kiss, now it's good night Vienna?!"

"Where do you get these ideas from? I shut you out because I'd like to consider my own thoughts first before sharing them with you both. And I am not implying they are negative thoughts, but that I'm slightly out of practice with all this and retaining some privacy."

Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Are you thinking dirty thoughts? My god, you are!"

His cause wasn't helped by the fact that his face blushed a deep red. "Private thoughts are meant to be private!" he blustered.

She glared at him. "So who were you perving over in there? Please say it wasn't Nerys!"

"It wasn't Nerys. Happy now?" he wondered tersely.

Oh! "Then who was it?! If it was your own daughter I shall personally rip your…"

There was no way he wasn't going to interrupt her tirade. "No no no no! Don't be so sick. If you must know it was you!" he ground out in defence and only then, having uttered the words, realised what he had said. "It was you," he repeated in defeat.

"Me?!" She couldn't have looked more shocked if she had tried. "Well, that's a first. If I hadn't've heard it I'd have never believed it."

"Yes, well, it's true, so get used to it," he mumbled, shame-faced.

Cautiously bringing up her hands, she sought to wrap her jacket more tightly around her to cover up her exposed chest. "How long have you been having these feelings? Were you after a 'friends with benefits' relationship?"

"Is that…?" There was a definite hopeful gleam in his eyes for a second. "No, that's not what I was after."

"Then what?" she asked in confusion. "I don't understand what you want from me."

"Oh, you know. The usual," he tried to say offhandly. "Things like being my wife, the mother to my daughter, and sharing my life."

"I do that already," she commented.

"I know. But I was thinking of extending it slightly,"

That made no sense to her. "In what way? You've got it made from what I can tell."

"Not quite." He risked a glance in her direction, and then went in for the kill. "I want a proper wife, in a proper marriage, sleeping in a proper marriage bed."

He wanted what? "Then you'd better go and get her. I'll even hold your coat if you like as you do."

"No, Donna!" he sighed in exasperation. "I'm not trying to get that from someone else. I'm trying to suggest that we, that's me and you, become a proper husband and wife."

"An arranged marriage of convenience then," she tried to clarify. "Yeah that makes sense with Jenny and all."

"Give me strength!" he cried out. "You really don't want to make this easy for me, do you?"

"I just thought I did," she answered in confusion. She then snorted a laugh. "Unless you are seriously suggesting…?" Her face fell in realisation. "No! Are you? No, surely not."

"Perhaps I am." He was getting rather fed up with her reluctance to see the truth; and suddenly decided that perhaps his actions would speak louder than his words. "I want you, Donna Noble," he quietly stressed as he moved in closer to place his hands around her jaw. "And more than anything, I want to…"

Using his hands to ease forward her head to capture her lips, he actually managed to begin that longed for kiss, bathing in her warm mind, when there was a shout from the doorway of the hall.

"Dad! Mum! Come quick!" Jenny yelled at the top of her lungs. "You have got to see this!"

"What?!" the Doctor ground out in frustration. "Is this what having kids is like these days?"

"Get used to it," Donna sarkily replied and quickly headed to where Jenny stood anxiously looking for them.

Jenny broke out into a smile of relief as soon as she saw her. "Thank goodness you were close, Mum!" she called out. "I have a massive surprise for you."

"You do?" Donna asked as she got to Jenny's side and peered inside the hall. "What sort of surprise?"

"The best kind," Jenny answered, and knowingly grinned. "It was Jack who suggested I use the box again. So I concentrated, because I knew you desperately wanted this to happen even though you've tried to hide it. There was this large smoky whirlwind of a tunnel thing that appeared. Something dark slid through…. and…"

"And?" Donna encouraged her to continue, glancing briefly towards the Doctor in exasperation. "What came through?" Then a thought struck her. "You said I wanted… You don't mean who I think you mean, do you?" she asked hopefully, not daring to believe it was true.

A tall figure stepped forward from the gloom into the light, and beamed a huge smile in their direction. "Hello, Mum!" he cheerfully greeted her.